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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Statutory Lien: Send Your Bills

Whatever difficulties a doctor may encounter in collecting a bill owed by a patient who was negligently injured, he is assured of as much as $500 under Virginia law. Section § 8.01-66.2 of the Virginia code provides for a lien for his "just and reasonable charge" up to that amount on the claim of an injured person whose injuries are alleged to have been caused by another's negligence.

In order to assert your lien, send copies of your bills to the attorney representing the patient. If the attorney is uncooperative (refusing to sign a lien/assignment), it might be prudent to send copies to the negligent party's insurance company.

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The above is not meant to replace legal counsel. If you'd like to speak to an attorney, please contact Gross & Romanick by calling 703-273-1400 or by filling out our Online Information Request Form.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Summer Venues and Marijuana Possession

Summer in Northern Virginia is synonymous with the start of the concert season at the Wolftrap National Park for the Performing Arts. It is also the time of year when area residents plan to camp in the Prince William National Forest and take weekend drives along the George Washington Memorial Parkway. Unlike Jiffy Lube Live, the Patriot Center, and the multitude of state parks in the Northern Virginia area, Wolftrap, the Prince William National Forest and the GW Parkway are “federal enclaves”. This means that misconduct at these venues can result in facing criminal charges in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division.

In other words, possession of just a small amount of marijuana can literally become a federal case. The United States Park Police routinely patrol the parking areas, overlooks and camp grounds. Often officers are dressed in plainclothes and are not easily identifiable. These federal officers can be aggressive in their efforts to uncover marijuana and alcohol possession.

In a case recently handled by our lawyers, we successfully persuaded the United States Attorney’s Office that the arresting officer’s aggressive behavior violated our client’s constitutional rights. In another recent case, an attorney at our law firm convinced a federal judge to suppress evidence of marijuana possession because the traffic stop which lead to the discovery of marijuana exceeded the permissible scope of the stop under the US Constitution. It is extremely important that every individual charged in federal court retain an experienced attorney to fully protect his or her rights.