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Compensation & Personal Injury Lawsuits Against Subcontractors in Virginia

Emergency Action Plans

Construction
Neil S. Lowenstein
An Effective, and Necessary, Collaborative Tool for Job Site Safety As Construction Safety Week 2002 wanes, we want to discuss emergency action planning. OSHA requires formalized Emergency Action Plans (EAP) for all employers. For companies with more than 10 employees, the EAP must be written; but companies with fewer than 10 employees may communicate their ...
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Sunset and Clouds

Heat Protection Awareness: It’s starting to get hot again in many places and in other places heat is a constant issue

Construction
Neil S. Lowenstein
As part of Vandeventer Black’s participation in Construction Safety Week 2022, and with heat increasing in many places (or staying hot in others), we wanted to remind those in the industry of the importance of heat-related illness prevention, training, and supervision. It remains important for construction companies to have a well-considered heat-related illness prevention plan ...
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Construction Industry Safety Awareness

Construction Industry Safety Awareness

Construction
Neil S. Lowenstein
According to 2020 OSHA data, there were 976 construction-related fatalities. Of those 88 fatalities included construction supervisors, making it clear that safety awareness is critical for everyone on a project site and not just for tradespersons. In total, OSHA reports that about 20% of all worker fatalities were in the construction industry – accounting for ...
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Human Hands Exchanging Money

Cleaning Up Its Mess – the Virginia Assembly Ditches Virginia’s Overtime Wage Act

Labor & Employment
Anne G. Bibeau
Well, that was fun! Last year, on July 1, 2021, the Virginia Overtime Wage Act (VOWA) went into effect, causing significant headaches for Virginia employers because it differed starkly from the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) on a number of key points. Employers were left reeling as they tried to untangle the new law’s ...
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Pile of Money on Top of White Envelope

Virginia’s New Construction Payment Terms (Part 2)

Construction
James R. Harvey
(Part two of a two-part article series)  This article is a continuation of Monday’s article, and we will be discussing in detail the new payment terms for all construction contracts in Virginia. ARE “PAY-WHEN-PAID” CLAUSES A THING OF THE PAST IN VIRGINIA? KINDA, SORTA, MAYBE.  Starting January 1, 2023, all construction contracts in Virginia will ...
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Money In Rubber Band

Virginia’s New Construction Payment Terms (Part 1)

Construction
James R. Harvey
(Part one of a two-part article series)  Confused about “pay-when-paid”, “pay-if-paid” clauses and the requirements of Virginia’s Prompt Payment Act on Virginia construction contracts? A new law intending to change the payment landscape may have just created more uncertainty for Virginia contractors. On April 11, 2022 Governor Younkin signed Senate Bill 550 with proposed amendments ...
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A Brief Overview of Suspension Bonds and Appeal Bonds for Appeals to the Court of Appeals of Virginia and the Supreme Court of Virginia

A Brief Overview of Suspension Bonds and Appeal Bonds for Appeals to the Court of Appeals of Virginia and the Supreme Court of Virginia

Appellate Practice
W. Thomas Chappell
As part of a larger set of articles on appellate practice inspired by the Court of Appeals of Virginia taking on an expanded role, this article will discuss the often-overlooked but important topic of appeal bonds. The term “appeal bond” is frequently used colloquially among the Bar to refer to two different types of bonds: ...
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Closeup Photo of Black and Blue Keyboard

How to Protect Your Business Against Ransomware

Technology Roundup
Jonathan V. Gallo
Within the past decade, technology has evolved extremely rapidly, which can be both beneficial and difficult for business owners to navigate. Just as common technology like laptops and mobile banking has evolved, so have the cybercriminals that target businesses in ransomware attacks. Despite the frightening news of recent ransomware attacks, Vandeventer Black is here to ...
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Hand Signing a Paper

New Federal Law Ends Mandatory Arbitration of Sexual Harassment and Assault Claims

Anne G. Bibeau
This month, President Biden signed into law the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act of 2021, limiting the use of mandatory employment arbitration agreements. Until now, under the Federal Arbitration Act, employers, by use of valid arbitration agreements, could require employees to submit most claims against the employer to arbitration. The ...
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Marine Salvage and the Sinking of M/V Felicity Ace

Marine Salvage and the Sinking of M/V Felicity Ace

James Levantino
The news of the sinking of roll-on roll-off car carrier M/V Felicity Ace provides a unique opportunity to illustrate and distinguish the two major types of marine salvage – pure salvage and contract salvage – and the effect of a “no cure, no pay” provision as included in the Lloyd's Open Form Salvage Agreement. For ...
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Ships and Boats and Containers of Port

The burning question – the fire aboard the M/V Felicity Ace

James Levantino
Last week the roll on-roll off car carrier M/V Felicity Ace, transporting luxury vehicles from Germany to Rhode Island, caught fire with an estimated $334,500,000 worth of cargo onboard. The fire spread, requiring the crew to abandon ship. The vessel is currently adrift approximately 90 nautical miles from the Azores islands with multiple salvage tugs ...
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Yale Padlock 5

Accommodating Field Directions While Maintaining Good Client Relations and Guarding Against Unintended Liabilities

George M. Nicholos
During construction, the parties’ focus is often on maintaining a good working relationship. That is a valuable goal, however, it can sometimes result in parties avoiding technical requirements in their contracts, including for such things as field directions. The parties understandably want to keep the project on track, often accommodating modifications to the work agreed ...
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Ship Repair Ship Building

U.S. Virgin Islands Open Registry – Ultra Vires and Unconstitutional

James Levantino
This month, the Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands (“U.S.V.I.”), Albert Bryan Jr., signed an agreement with the Northeast Maritime Institute, a “Private Maritime College,” to establish the first open vessel registry in the United States. (Proposal ). This registry is, however, likely going to be challenged as unconstitutional. Here is why: As a general ...
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Doctor Holding Syringe

OSHA Pursues A Different COVID Strategy

Dean T. Buckius
Effective January 26, 2022, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has withdrawn its Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) that would have required employers with 100 or more employees to ensure that their employees were vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing.  OSHA’s decision to scrap the ETS follows the United States Supreme Court’s January ...
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Carmack Preemption – Brentzel v. Fairfax Transfer& Storage, Inc.

Carmack Preemption – Brentzel v. Fairfax Transfer& Storage, Inc.

Appellate Practice
James Levantino
In a recent unpublished Fourth Circuit decision, Brentzel v. Fairfax Transfer& Storage, Inc., the broad preemptive force of the Carmack Amendment was reiterated and held sufficient to preempt a plaintiff’s state law tort claim. No. 21-1025, 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 38522 (4th Cir. Dec. 29, 2021). Plaintiff Cathy Brentzel appealed the district court’s motion to ...
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COVID-19: Fatigue Remains, But Ignore the Global Situation at Your Peril

COVID-19: Fatigue Remains, But Ignore the Global Situation at Your Peril

Neil S. Lowenstein
The COVID-19 pandemic’s duration is approaching the two-year mark, leading to significant “COVID Fatigue” for everyone. However, the recent spike in confirmed cases makes ignoring the potential impact globally on business owners’ critical. According to the World Health Organization, confirmed cases rose by nearly 10 million in recent weeks; far higher than at any other time during 2021, with most of those confirmed cases being, ...
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The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal and its Impact on SWaM and DBE Programs

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal and its Impact on SWaM and DBE Programs

Gaela R. Normile
On November 15, 2021, President Biden signed into law the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal. The $1.75 trillion infrastructure bill, which is the largest investment in the nation’s infrastructure since 1956, will have a significant impact on Small, Women-owned, and Minority-owned businesses (SWaM) and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) ...
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Virginia Seeks to Become the Next State to Decriminalize Possession of Psychedelic Mushrooms

Virginia Seeks to Become the Next State to Decriminalize Possession of Psychedelic Mushrooms

Jonathan V. Gallo
After legalizing simple possession of marijuana less than 1 year ago, Virginia is seeking to become the next state, behind Oregon to decriminalize the possession of psilocybin or psilocyn, commonly known as psychedelic or “magic” mushrooms.  Recent legislation introduced in the Virginia Senate this week by Senators Ghazala Hashmi (D) and Jennifer Boysko (D) would ...
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Agreement Blur Business 2

QDRO’s From The Plan Administrator’s Perspective

Jane D. Tucker, Karen Elligers
A qualified domestic relations order (“QDRO”) is a state domestic relations order that assigns to an alternate payee (such as a former spouse or a child) the right to receive all or a portion of benefits payable to a plan participant. Specifically, under ERISA Section 206(d)(3)(B) and Internal Revenue Code Section 414(p)(1)(B), a QDRO is ...
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The New Copyright Claims Board

The New Copyright Claims Board

Jane D. Tucker
Copyright infringement cases are costly and time-consuming, but there is now an alternative for smaller claims - a new small claims tribunal for copyright matters involving less than $30,000.  In December 2020, Congress passed the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement Act of 2020 which directed the Copyright Office to establish the Copyright Claims Board (the ...
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