Tasing is for Safety, Not Punishment: Even Non-Lethal Force Can be Deadly

By: Cullen Seltzer.

South Boston police responded to the local Super 8 Motel in the wee hours of May 3, 2013. They came because they’d received phone calls from Linwood Lambert, Jr. asking somewhat unclearly for help. When they arrived, they found Lambert’s room in shambles, with blood stains about, and a white discharge around Lambert’s nose. Lambert […]

 

Virginia Supreme Court Opinions Affecting Local Government Law: December 17, 2015, January 14, 2016 and February 12, 2016

By: Andrew McRoberts, Editor.

The Virginia Supreme Court issued opinions on February 12, 2016, just before Jane Marum Roush’s second interim gubernatorial appointment to the Virginia Supreme Court expired. This author does not typically make political commentary, but in this case, I will make an exception.  No matter how this situation happened, I hope that this issue will be […]

 

Re-Districting After Shelby County v. Alabama: a Volatile Mix of Race and Politics

By: Cullen Seltzer.

In 2012, following the 2010 decennial census, Virginia re-drew the boundaries of its Congressional Districts.  In 2013, plaintiffs brought a Voting Rights Act challenge to that re-districting.  They alleged that the re-districting unconstitutionally packed African-American voters into a small number of Districts.  The suit was ultimately defended by Virginia’s Republican Congressional delegation and was initiated […]

 

Lights, Camera, Action: Entering the Age of Electronic Law Enforcement with the Use of Body-Worn Cameras

By: Michelle L. Warden.

This article was originally published in the Journal of Local Government Law, a publication of Local Government Section of the Virginia State Bar. It is posted here with copyright permission. Rapid technological advancements are putting law enforcement agencies across the country in a difficult position. It is now easier than ever for citizens to record […]

 

Virginia Supreme Court Opinion Affecting Local Government Law: September 17, 2015

By: Andrew McRoberts, Editor.

The Virginia Supreme Court issued opinions on September 17, 2015 during its recent term.  This term resulted in one opinion affecting Virginia local government law, in the area of the Freedom of Information Act.  The opinion addresses the need – actually, the lack of a need – to redact documents when a portion of a […]

 

Police Shooting of Unarmed Suspect Who Threatened with Fake Gun Deemed Reasonable

By: Michelle L. Warden.

     Written by Michelle L. Warden and Cullen D. Seltzer Police Officers are often faced with unimaginable circumstances that most of society runs away from.  However, police officers took the oath to protect and serve, and to run towards that danger.  Sometimes, running towards that danger means that an officer will have to make a […]

 

Signs Signs, Everywhere a Sign: U.S. Supreme Court Decides Reed v. Town of Gilbert

By: Cullen Seltzer.

The Supreme Court of the United States handed down today an important First Amendment case concerning governments’ ability to regulate commonly displayed informational signs. In Reed v. Town of Gilbert, the US Supreme Court (Justice Thomas wrote for a six Justice majority with three other Justices concurring) struck down a town’s Sign Code that regulated the […]

 

Kingsley v. Hendrickson: Excessive Force is in the Eye of the Objective Beholder

By: Cullen Seltzer.

The Supreme Court of the United States, in Kingsley v. Hendrickson, waded into the metaphysical discussion of what plaintiffs must prove about corrections officers’ state of mind in a lawsuit alleging the officers used excessive force against an inmate.  In the process, the High Court made it incrementally easier for plaintiffs to prove an excessive […]

 

Virginia Supreme Court Opinions Affecting Local Government Law: June 4, 2015

By: Andrew McRoberts, Editor.

The Virginia Supreme Court issued opinions on June 4, 2015 during its June term.  This term resulted in several opinions affecting Virginia local government law.  These opinions addressed defamation alleged from statements by a planning commissioner, more defamation alleged from statements made by public school officials, and the grievance of an employee of a redevelopment […]

 

Virginia Supreme Court Opinions Affecting Local Government Law – April 16, 2015

By: Andrew McRoberts, Editor.

The Virginia Supreme Court issued opinions this morning during its April term.  This term resulted in several opinions affecting Virginia local government law.  Opinions addressed evidence in a condemnation case, interpreted the Freedom of Information Act after release of a document by a Sheriff, and included the long-awaited opinion in the appeal from the State […]