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    The Greater Williamsburg area is an exciting place to live and work, especially because of the large number of entrepreneurs who have built businesses from the ground up. These entrepreneurs have taken their passion and made it their profession. Many of us want to take that step. Before you begin, you need to think of the type of business entity you want to form. Our attorneys have extensive business experience, from small one-person companies to publicly traded major corporations. Our attorneys are among the leaders in Virginia in the representation of Common Interest Communities. These communities are generally referred to as "homeowners associations," or "HOAs," and "condominium associations." In the greater Williamsburg area alone, we provide legal assistance to nearly 100 associations. Our attorneys have successfully prosecuted and defended a wide array of civil disputes involving community association covenant enforcement, commercial transactions, construction disputes, contracts, real estate matters, boundary line and easement disputes, employment matters, antitrust litigation, copyright violations, administrative proceedings, and estate issues. Real Estate law encompasses a wide variety of matters, and our attorneys have vast experience to assist you. Whether you need assistance with a commercial or residential closing, or you have questions relating to residential or commercial leasing, we provide experienced advice and counsel to our clients. Zoning law can be a complicated maze of statutes and ordinances. We have ample experience in successful applications for rezoning, variance, and special use permit requests. Finally, commercial and residential construction provide special challenges with respect to financing issues and the construction process. We serve as counsel to various financial institutions.

January 2011 Newsletter

January 18, 2011 on 8:45 am | In Weekly Tweets | No Comments

Tarley Robinson January 2011 Newsletter

Catch up on relevant legal information we discussed in our December blogs. Topics include:

In a struggling real estate market, the payment of real estate commissions becomes more contentious. We reviewed two recent cases involving disputes over the payment of real estate broker commissions. In one case, the Virginia Supreme Court reviewed whether it could enforce an oral listing agreement. In the other case,  a New Kent County judge reviewed the terms of the listing agreement to determine whether a real estate broker could recover a commission when the closing occurred after the expiration of listing agreement.

Also, we reviewed our discussion regarding raising money or obtaining other property for investment purposes. Learn why anyone raising money or obtaining other property for an investment of any kind from whatever source, perhaps especially from “family and friends,” should take care to obtain competent legal advice from an attorney well versed in securities law.

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The 2-Minute Drill – Your (somewhat) Daily Legal Update

January 7, 2011 on 4:16 pm | In Weekly Tweets | No Comments

Tarley's compilation of articles he has been reading about the law

  1. Undefeated and 9-time world champion boxer Floyd Mayweather is being sued by the homeowners association governing his gated community. According to the lawsuit filed by HOA’s attorney, it seems that Floyd has been “threatening the life of a patrol officer, physically accosting a security officer, refusing to provide identity to gate officers.” Among other things, the HOA wants Floyd to stay in his car when he gets to the gate. Seems like good advice.
  2. Continuing with the sports theme, Newport News, Virginia native and former NFL quarterback Aaron Brooks has signed a deal with construction giant Armada Hoffler to develop the Southeast Community of Newport News. Newport News is trying to redevelop the Southeast Community and hopes are that the venture between Armada Hoffler and Brooks will succeed.
  3. Mediation is a good idea, and it’s an even better idea to do it early before extensive litigation expenses are incurred. Some confuse “arbitration” with “mediation” but in mediation, an independent third party mediator helps the parties negotiate a resolution. Just like in negotiations, you control the outcome: neither a mediator nor your attorney can negotiate a resolution without your authorization. A mediator helps facilitate the negotiation, but cannot make decisions or rulings on your case. On the other hand, arbitrations are like trials and arbitrators make decisions like judges.
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The 2-Minute Drill – Your (somewhat) daily legal update

January 5, 2011 on 6:16 pm | In Weekly Tweets | No Comments
The 2-Minute Drill

Today’s collection of notable legal stories we tracked.

  1. Ex-Texas Tech coach Mike Leach sued his former employer. But he does not believe that little fact is impacting his job search. Reality check here Mike, Maryland hired Randy Edsall whose team lost to Oklahoma by 48-20. In your last game against the Sooners, your team beat Oklahoma 41-13. Suing your former employer is usually a bad career move and it makes it less likely a new employer will take a chance on you.
  2. We represent a number of community associations, but not this one. A blind man, Tim Spencer, is fighting complaints and fines stemming from his guide dog’s barking. The Chicago condominium association where he lives has scheduled a hearing to resolve the $300 in fines. I do not know all the facts, but it does not take a legal genius to figure out that suing a blind man because his guard dog is barking is not going to look good.
  3. A Virginia judge assessed attorneys’ fees and costs against Westmoreland County officials for holding a closed meeting in violation of the Freedom of Information Act. Ironically, the officials met secretly to discuss a contract with The O’Gara Group, many of whose employees and leaders are former CIA.
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The 2-Minute Drill – Your daily legal update

January 3, 2011 on 6:00 pm | In Weekly Tweets | No Comments

The 2-Minute Drill

We continue to warn about the dangers of email scams, safe emailing, and protecting the attorney-client privilege. Here are a few more reasons why.

1.  In this litigation, in-house counsel for defendant received inadvertent emails from plaintiffs. In-house counsel passed them onto attorneys representing the defendant. The court ruled that act tainted the defendant’s attorneys and ordered them replaced.

2. Mom’s children shared an email account with mom. Mom communicated with her attorneys on that account. Court said that sharing waived her attorney-client privilege.

3. Finally, in what seems a nonsensical decision, a man suspected his wife of an affair. On their shared laptop, he logged into her Google gmail account and found, what he considered incriminating evidence. He turned over the emails. Now he is being prosecuted under an anti-hacking statute.

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The 2-Minute Drill – Your daily legal update

December 31, 2010 on 4:26 pm | In Weekly Tweets | No Comments

The 2-Minute Drill

1. Tom Gear’s resignation could have big ramifications for the York County Judge vacancy (if the General Assembly decides to fund the vacancies).

2. Law talk in “True Grit”: “[Lawyer Daggett] will come after you with a writ of replevin!” Alas, “replevin” has been  abolished in Virginia. What is a “writ of replevin?” This 1825 Virginia Supreme Court case describes it in more detail, but here’s my summary: if I have a claim that another person wrongfully holds my property, under a writ of replevin the court would order the return of that property until the court could determine the rightful owner. No longer, now we only have the action of detinue, in which the person in possession keeps possession until the court’s decision.

3.     Billy the Kid is not getting pardoned. I did not know he was up for one. Because Jim Morrison of the Doors got a pardon, and the Rolling Stoned Keith Richards got a pardon, maybe the lesson is that Billy the Kid should have had a band, not a gang.
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The 2-Minute Drill – Your daily legal update

December 30, 2010 on 4:31 pm | In Weekly Tweets | No Comments

The 2-Minute Drill

1. Governor McDonnell takes Virginia attorneys’ money, still doesn’t fund vacant judge positions. York County will continue to be without a full-time judge.

2. Shocking. A bill has been proposed to limit car title lending interest rate to 36%. Think about it, that means the lending rate is regularly higher than that!

3. I think I’ll do a post on all the lawyer references in “True Grit.”  Some other day. In one scene, Rooster mentions reading Daniel’s treatise on Negotiable Instruments. I looked it up and found this link showing that Daniel may have been a Lynchburg, Va. attorney. How about that?

4. We represent many homeowners associations. Not this one, though. The HOA says inflatable Mickey Mouse is ok, but the “Happy Birthday Jesus” sign, no.

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The Proposed Tax Legislation and You

December 12, 2010 on 3:17 pm | In Business Planning, Neal J. Robinson, Real Estate Strategies, Weekly Tweets | No Comments

In S8721, S. Amend.4753 amending H.R.4853, there is some good news with respect to the long in limbo future of federal estate and gift tax legislation for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2010.   Further, it appears that the estate and gift tax amendments are likely to pass both houses of Congress this year, though nothing is certain in the current legislative environment.

Under the proposed legislation, the amount of a decedent’s taxable estate excludable from estate tax would be $5 million.  For years beginning in 2012, the exclusion amount would be indexed for inflation.  While the provisions of the proposed legislation will sunset with the entirety of the proposed tax package, this time as of December 31, 2012, the inflation index provisions as to these provisions may be an indication that there exists some consensus that the estate and gift tax components of the current tax bill may represent appropriate long-term policy.

Continue reading “The Proposed Tax Legislation and You”

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December 2010 Newsletter

December 9, 2010 on 3:03 pm | In General Interest, Weekly Tweets | No Comments

Tarley Robinson December Newsletter

Topics include:

Many HOAs have board members who are also attorneys. Attorney board members can provide valuable input as board members but have to be careful not to provide legal advice. The attorney board member’s experience and training help with identifying legal issues, framing those issues for the board, and presenting the questions with clarity to the HOA’s counsel. The attorney board member’s legal experience likewise aids attorney board members in helping the board understand the import and implications of legal advice received, and in the board’s adoption and implementation of appropriate actions in light of that counsel.

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Tarley Robinson November Newsletter

November 4, 2010 on 6:35 am | In Common Interest Community, HOA, John Tarley, Neal J. Robinson, Real Estate Strategies, State & Federal Litigation, Susan B. Tarley, Weekly Tweets | No Comments

Tarley Robinson November Newsletter

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Seminar: Collections, Bankruptcies and Foreclosures, Oh My!

October 25, 2010 on 9:27 am | In Common Interest Community, HOA, Real Estate Strategies, State & Federal Litigation, Susan B. Tarley, Weekly Tweets | No Comments

Susan B. Tarley will be one of the presenters for Collections, Bankruptcies and Foreclosures, Oh My! sponsored by the Central Virginia Chapter of CAI. Join us on November 10, 2010.  11:30 a.m. registration.  Noon presentation with lunch.  Location:  3901 Westerre Parkway, Ste. 100, Richmond, VA.  RSVP to attend to sdrayer_cvccai@verizon.net. We’ll post an outline of the presentation.

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