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On January 10, 2014, Shebelskie v. Brown, No. 13053, was handed down by the Virginia Supreme Court. It concluded that two lawyers did not violate Va. Code Ann. §8.01-271.1 because one did not sign the brief in question or make a motion, and because the...

The Winter issue of The Trial Lawyer, the quarterly publication of The National Trial Lawyers “Top 100 Trial Lawyers,” features “THE VEHICLE SUBMERSION PROBLEM: THE ROLE OF DESIGN IN PREVENTING DROWNING DEATHS”. Id. at 24-27. Submersion deaths and catastrophic injuries most commonly result from car...

On February 11, 2014, Patient’s Motion to Enforce §8.01-413(C) Subpoena Duces Tecum and Defendant’s Motion to Quash came before the Court on supplemental evidentiary “privilege” hearing in Joanne T. Rauchfuss, Administratrix of the Estate of George William Rauchfuss, Jr., Deceased v. Roger E. Schultz, M.D.,...

In Rhoten v. Commonwealth, No. 130456, the Supreme Court of Virginia affirmed a civil commitment under the Sexually Violent Predators Act (“SUPA”), Va. Code Ann. §37.2-900, et seq. Id. at 12. Rhoten held that res judicia did not prohibit an inmate “determined in a prior...

The Winter quarterly of The National Trial Lawyer’s “Top 100 Trial Lawyers,” The Trial Lawyer, features an article on truck crashes, “THE UNHOLY TRINITY: TALKING, TEXTING AND TRUCKING – THE EPIDEMIC, THE LAW AND HOW TO WIN YOUR CASE.” Id. at 16-18. Its statistics are...

In Commonwealth v. Peterson, No. 121717, the Virginia Supreme Court set aside 2 $4,000,000.00 wrongful death jury verdicts against the Commonwealth in favor of 2 families of slain Virginia Tech students, which had been reduced to $100,000.00 apiece under the Virginia Tort Claims Acts by...

American Association of Justice’s January 2014 issue of Trial features a medical malpractice article: “ANTIDEPRESSANTS & BIRTH INJURIES” Id. at 44-48. It covers the special cases of product liability against pharmaceutical manufacturers of Paxil, Zoloft, Effexor, Celexa/Lexapro, and other drugs. Id. “Several antidepressants have been linked...

In Burkeen v. Commonwealth, No. 122718, the Supreme Court of Virginia affirmed a conviction for malicious wounding, even though the unprovoked assailant only struck his defenseless crime victim with a single bare fist blow to the face. “We hold that, under the circumstances, there was...

The Trial Lawyer is the quarterly publication of The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers. Its Winter 2013 issue features an article on medical malpractice: “LITIGATING IDIOPATHIC NECROTIZING FASCIITIS CASES.” Id. at 20-22. Idiopathic necrotizing fasciitis (”NF”) cases often are more difficult than secondary NF...

On January 22, 2014, Mr. Waterman filed in the Virginia Supreme Court the Amicus Curiae Brief of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association (“VTLA”) for Appellants he authored in the consolidated wrongful death case of Harman v. Honeywell International, Inc., No. 130627. The appeal raises issues...

On January 10, 2014, the Virginia Supreme Court issued its opinion in the alleged defamation case of Webb v. Virginian – Pilot Media Cos., LLC, No. 122024. It affirmed unanimously a trial entering judgment in favor of Defendant, despite a $3,000,000.00 jury verdict for Plaintiff....

On June 5, 1995, a recumbent bicyclist on the Colonial Parkway was struck from behind by a York County school bus, which immediately killed him. The collision was unwitnessed, and the driver’s self-serving account was exculpatory. But Mr. Waterman brought the physical evidence to life...

On January 10, 2014, the Supreme Court of Virginia decided against the Defendant in the sexual abuse appeal of Linnon v. Commonwealth, No. 130179. It relied in part on Mr. Waterman’s brain injury case, Burns v. Gagnon, 283 Va. 657 (2012). Id. at 6. Linnon upheld...

On January 10, 2014, the Supreme Court of Virginia decided the case of Simpson v. Roberts, No. 121984. It held that an infant’s claim against a doctor for injury sustained in utero was subject to the medical malpractice “cap” Id. at 13. “The facts of the...

In Hagwood v. Newton, 282 F.3d 285 (4th Cir. 2002), the United States Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the survivor benefits waiver of a premarital agreement was invalid and unenforceable under the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended by the...

Trial is the monthly publication of American Association for Justice (“AAJ”), formerly American Trial Lawyers Association (“ATLA”). Its issue for January 2014 is entitled “Technology @ Work”. Its lead articles are “THE ETHICS OF SOCIAL MEDIA,” id. at 16-20; “DOES YOUR WEBSITE CLICK WITH CLIENTS,” id. at 22-27; “ESSENTIAL...

During December 19-20, 2013, Mr. Waterman concluded a six-figure settlement with an automobile insurer, Main St. America Assurance Co., for a Williamsburg couple injured when rear-ended at only five (5) miles per hour. The car accident occurred early in 2013 at Sentara Circle on Mooretown Road...

American Association for Justice’s monthly magazine, Trial, reports “Verdicts & Settlements”. Its December 2013 issue reports two settlements of serious personal injury claims in the special case of premises liability. Id. at 8, 10. “Failure to Provide Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter at Boat Slip” covers a Virginia case mediated into settlement...

During December 11-16, 2013, Mr. Waterman and his legal assistant are attending the 3rd Annual Advanced Reptile seminar in Guanacoste, Costa Rica. That 4-day seminar is presented by noted medical malpractice lawyer, Don Keenan, and revered jury consultant, David Ball. Mr. Waterman has been a Reptile seminar attendee, book reviewer,...

Trial is the monthly magazine of the American Association for Justice (“AAJ”), formerly American Trial Lawyers Association (“ATLA”). Its issue for December, 2013, features “Professional NEGLIGENCE,” including three articles about medical malpractice. The first Trial article is “BRINGING YOUR MED-MAL CASE IN FEDERAL COURT” Id. at 24-30. The second is “HOSPITAL LIABILITY FOR...

On transfer from the California Supreme Court, a California Court of Appeal recently held unconstitutional a trial court’s order that required plaintiff’s counsel to remove from her website for the duration of trial her blogs about similar asbestos cases. Steiner v. The Superior Court of Santa Barbara County,...

On December 5, 2013, Mr. Waterman prevailed substantially on Motion to Enforce Va. Code Ann. §8.01-413(C) Subpoena Duces Tecum of Plaintiff patient and on Motion to Quash of Defendant healthcare provider, Virginia Health Services, Inc. d/b/a Walter Reed Convalescent & Rehabilitation Center, Long Term Care of Tidewater,...

At hearing on November 14, 2013, Mr. Waterman sought the ostensibly privileged “Risk Management investigative file” of healthcare provider Riverside Hospital, Inc. in the medical malpractice lawsuit of George Rauchfuss v. Roger E. Schultz, M.D., Hampton Roads Urology, Riverside Physician Services, Inc., Riverside Medical Group, Benjamin J. Pettus,...

On November 1, 2013, Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel re Privilege Claims was heard in Lyles v. Calloway, No. CL000070-00 in Circuit court for Gloucester County Virginia, a vehicle accident lawsuit for personal injuries. The judge granted Mr. Waterman’s motion in part, conducting in camera review of defense documents and ordering...

The American Association for Justice (“AAJ”), formerly American Trial Lawyers Association (“ATLA”), features “Verdicts and Settlements” in Trial, its monthly magazine. The issue for November, 2013, highlights “MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE”: “Failure to Diagnose Ischemic Stroke”. Id. at 10, 12. A 19 year-old Emergency Room patient with profound neurological deficits,...

Trial is the monthly publication of the American Association for Justice (“AAJ”), formerly American Trial Lawyers Association (“ATLA”). Its issue for November, 2013, focuses on special cases of “Products Liability,” including auto accidents. It features 5 product liability articles: “BREAKING THROUGH COURT SECRECY,” id. at 14-18; “UNMASKING DEFECTS IN...

On October 25, 2013 the Virginia Supreme Court let stand a $9,182,906.23 jury verdict in Circuit Court for the City of Newport News, Virginia, for a wrongful death victim of asbestos. The case is John Crane, Inc. v. Bristow, No. 120947, and was handled by Mr. Waterman’s...

On May 10, 2013, the Virginia Supreme Court issued an unpublished 6-page opinion in Westermann v. Bermisa, et al., Record Nos. 121004 & 121005. It remanded for entry of a $3,500,000.00 final judgment in favor of Plaintiff on a wrongful death lawsuit. Id. at 5. The jury in Westermann found for Plaintiff against...

The Trial Lawyer is the quarterly legal publication of The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers. Its Fall 2013 issue features a truck accident primer, “Working A Trucking Case: The A to Z Basics”. Id. at 16-17. Mr. Waterman has been named to the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in...

In October, 2013, Mr. Waterman’s law firm, Patten Wornom Hatten & Diamonstein, L.C., received the prestigious legal recognition of Tier 1 ranking in the 2014 Edition of U.S. News – Best Lawyer’s “Best Law Firms”. Mr. Waterman has practiced with the firm for 27 years – the third longest...