Month: October 2020


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10/31/2020Paul, Dustin M.

As a special Halloween Treat, we look at a recent Motion to Dismiss ruling by Judge Doumar. The facts are colorful.  An unidentified SeaWorld employee, dressed as a clown, was working at the Howl-O-Scream event at Busch Gardens in 2018.  He intentionally startled Plaintiff while she was using a set of lockers to store her… Read more »

COVID-19 and Retirement Plan Fiduciary Obligations

10/28/2020Saffelle, Robert N.

Under ERISA, the federal law that regulates retirement and 401(k) plans, plan fiduciaries are required to prudently administer the plan, select and monitor plan investments and sufficiently diversify plan assets to minimize the risk of large losses.  When third parties are retained to assist with these duties, they may become co-fiduciaries, but the employer retains… Read more »


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10/24/2020Paul, Dustin M.

I spend a lot of time handling cases on or near the waterfront.  One recent opinion caught my eye.  Judge Jackson ruled on a Motion to Dismiss concerning an oyster farm and distribution business.  The individual defendants were the founders of the corporate defendant—Wharf Oyster Company, LLC.  The Plaintiff was an investor.  After a period… Read more »

COVID-19 and the CARES Act – Partial Termination Relief for Retirement Plans

10/19/2020Saffelle, Robert N.

Many employers have had to terminate or furlough employees in 2020 due to COVID-19.   Under IRS rules, a partial termination of a retirement or 401(k) plan may occur when there is a significant reduction (generally more than 20%) in plan participation due to employer-initiated terminations or layoffs during the plan year.  If a partial termination… Read more »

Let Your Fingers Fly—At Least in North Carolina

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10/17/2020Paul, Dustin M.

As we discussed last summer, the North Carolina Court of Appeals issued a surprising decision that there was probable cause to pull over a driver in North Carolina after he makes “an up-and-down pumping motion with his middle finger extended.”  We thought the decision was wrong, and we praised the dissent by Judge Arrowood. Justice… Read more »

The Short Guide to Short-Term Rentals: Norfolk, VA Edition

10/16/2020O'Dea, T. Duggan

Short-term rentals have become increasingly popular with Hampton Roads visitors and a big source of income for local property owners. Many guests in the Hampton Roads area are finding accommodations on websites like,, and, instead of staying in traditional hotels and resorts. In 2018, Airbnb hosts in the City of Norfolk alone… Read more »

Simplified PPP Forgiveness Procedure for Loans of $50,000 or Less

10/12/2020King, Ray W.

NOTE:  This article updates the information in the following Articles previously published: PPP Loan Forgiveness, April 29, 2020 Additional PPP Loan Forgiveness Guidelines, June 2, 2020 PPP Loan Forgiveness Application, After the Payroll Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020, June 24, 2020 On Friday, October 9, 2020, the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) released guidelines for… Read more »

The Power of the Court Compels You: The Frequency and Result of Motions to Compel in the Norfolk and Newport News Divisions of the Eastern District of Virginia

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10/12/2020Paul, Dustin M.

[Reprinted from “Fed Tide”—newsletter of the Hampton Roads Chapter of the Federal Bar Association.  If you are not a member, and you practice in Hampton Roads, you should be!] Few litigators like discovery.  It can be extensive, expensive, and irritating.  It can also lead to a motion to compel and the unpleasantries that often surround… Read more »