January 26, 2018
The Virginia Trial Lawyers Association selected Francis McQ. Lawrence to its Steering Committee. A majority of the sitting Steering Committee members is needed to select new members. Membership Chair Theo Stamos made the motion selecting Mr. Lawrence, who replaces Mr. Craig Cooley on the committee.
The VTLA is a voluntary bar association “dedicated to enhancing the knowledge, skills and professionalism of trial lawyers and committed to improving the law and the fairness of Virginia’s system of justice.” The Association is governed by a statewide Board of Governors and “educate the public about the role of trial lawyers and the importance of the jury in our justice system.” The association also hosts a variety of continuing legal education seminars, hosts the Virginia Criminal Justice Conference, and lobbies before the Virginia General Assembly.
January 25, 2018
Rhonda Quagliana is a co-author in the sixth edition of the “The Virginia Lawyer: A Deskbook for Practitioners.” The two-volume set is now available for purchase in both softcover and electronic formats. Ms. Quagliana co-wrote Chapter 3: “Litigation: Civil and Criminal.” The set is produced by Virginia CLE in cooperation with the Young Lawyers Division of The Virginia Bar Association.
The book includes “concise analysis, practical advice, and electronic forms from experienced practitioners across a broad spectrum of practice areas.” The set is intended to be a research aid for Virginia attorneys, provide guidance on how to manage a law office, and ensure professional ethics requirements are maintained.
The 2018 new edition is updated through the 2017 session of the General Assembly and includes changes in the U.S. Code and the latest case law. It includes over 150 ready-to-use electronic forms for an array of pleadings, agreements, and transactional documents.
Topics covered in the book include:
- Administrative Law
- Business Law
- Civil Litigation
- Criminal Litigation
- Consumer Law
- Eminent Domain
- Employment Law
- Estate Planning and Administration
- Family Law
- Incapacitated Adults: Guardianship and Conservatorship
- Intellectual Property
- Real Estate Practice
- Representing Debtors and Creditors
- Managing Your Law Office
- Professional Responsibility
November 14, 2017
Rhonda Quagliana headlines a stellar group of speakers set to participate in the upcoming Attorney Panel hosted by UVA Commercial Law Professor Sherri Moore. The Panel is presented by Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity and will be held on the University of Virginia campus, Wilson Building, Room 301. The event will be held on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 from 7pm – 9pm.
Speakers on the panel:
- Rhonda Quagliana is an experienced trial attorney who represents clients in state and federal courts in central Virginia. She has handled complex civil and criminal litigation, including capital defense. In 2010, Ms. Quagliana was selected to serve as president of the Charlottesville/Albemarle Bar Association. She currently serves on the Indigent Defense Commission Capital Qualification Standards Committee, as well as the Rules Committee for the Western District of Virginia. In addition to her law degree, Ms. Quagliana holds a doctorate degree from the University of Virginia. She uses her understanding of the academic environment to assist students and faculty in disciplinary and other administrative proceedings. Ms. Quagliana is a partner at St. John Bowling Lawrence & Quagliana. She received her law degree from the University of Virginia in 1995. Ms. Quagliana is active in the community and has served on the board of the Local Human Rights Committee for Region 10, which assists disabled citizens, and currently serves as President of the Board of Directors of the Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA.
- Kristin Shields is an associate at the law firm of Hirschler Fliescher, and works at their Fredericksburg branch. She is a 2009 graduate from the University of Virginia, and went to law school at the University of North Carolina, graduating in 2016. She works in Hirschler Fleischer’s real estate section, specializing in commercial real estate.
- Brittani Lemonds is a respected attorney for Michie Hamlett. She focuses on various areas of domestic relations law including: family law, child custody and adoption, divorce, and child and spousal support. Ms. Lemonds received her B.A. in English, Language, and Literature from the University of Michigan and later received her J.D. from the University of Richmond School of Law. Ms. Lemonds was selected as 1 of 40 family law associates nationwide by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers to attend a training program.
- Matthew Quatrara focuses his practice on white collar defense and government investigations, labor and employment and commercial litigation at Lenhart Pettit law firm. He also handles college and university student crimes and serious traffic offenses. A Lieutenant Colonel the Air Force Reserve, Quatrara spent his early career investigating felony criminal, fraud and counterintelligence matters as a Special Agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. After graduating from the University of Virginia School of law, he worked at a firm that represented fortune 500 companies. He practiced labor and employment litigation surrounding topics such as employment discrimination, theft of trade secrets, and breaches of covenants not to compete. He then became a prosecutor in Albemarle where he gained extensive trial experience and served as Special Assistant to the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia where he prosecuted white collar offenses.
October 4, 2016
The Virginia Supreme Court granted a motion to dismiss filed by St. John, Bowling, Lawrence & Quagliana, ending a case brought against the Region Ten Community Services Board. Jim Bowling represented Region Ten in litigation brought against the agency by the plaintiff, an individual receiving services from Region Ten. When the plaintiff lost at the trial court, he attempted to appeal the trial court decision to the Virginia Supreme Court. In lieu of filing a lengthy and time-consuming Brief in Opposition to the Petition for Appeal, Mr. Bowling filed a succinct Motion to Dismiss, pursuant to Virginia Supreme Court Rule 5:4. The Motion argued, among other things, that the Assignments of Error were insufficient and that the appeal should be dismissed. The Motion also asked the Court to stay the proceedings until the Motion was decided.
The Supreme Court granted the motion to stay the proceedings, obviating the need to file a Brief in Opposition to Appeal, and subsequently granted Region Ten’s motion to dismiss the petition on the basis of insufficient assignments of error.
October 17, 2016
Rhonda Quagliana will present a Virginia CLE® seminar for attorneys titled “Representing Clients in Title IX Investigations of Sexual Misconduct on College Campuses” in Charlottesville, Virginia. Over the past seven years, college and university campuses have seen a substantial increase in the number of allegations of sexual assault and other forms of sexual misconduct. The process by which colleges and universities investigate and adjudicate these allegations has generated heated controversy throughout the nation, as colleges and universities implement new and controversial procedures to meet their obligations under Title IX, and as students and their families attempt to navigate the life-changing consequences that may result from a report of sexual misconduct.
The seminar introduces attorneys to the legal concepts that govern how colleges and universities investigate and adjudicate allegations of sexual misconduct against their students. It provides practical advice to attorneys in this unique legal setting—those representing accused students, complainants, witnesses, and those representing colleges and universities. It explores the difficulties that students face in proceedings that are neither criminal nor civil in nature. And it explores the rapidly developing case law delineating the obligations of colleges and universities, as well as the rights of the accused students.
On May 9, 2016, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decided a precedent-setting case in Goines v. Valley Community Services Board, et al. that has been cited frequently since its publication. St. John, Bowling, Lawrence & Quagliana attorneys Jim Bowling and Francesca Fornari represented a mental-health evaluator, who was alleged to have erroneously concluded that the plaintiff suffered from a mental illness and that he posed a threat to the safety of his neighbors. The plaintiff was involuntarily committed to a hospital for five days. The District Court held on a motion to dismiss that the mental-health evaluator did not violate any of the plaintiff’s constitutional rights, and dismissed the case against her. The plaintiff appealed the decision to the Fourth Circuit, where Jim Bowling successfully argued that the information contained in the Prescreening Report, which had been attached to the Complaint, was sufficient to provide probable cause for the emergency mental-health detention. The Fourth Circuit upheld the District Court’s dismissal of the case against the mental-health evaluator. The Goines opinion is an important decision out of the Fourth Circuit, because it sets forth the legal standards governing under what circumstances the contents of documents attached to a Complaint should be treated as “true” for purposes of a motion to dismiss.