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Safeguarding Your Sanctuary – Asset Protection for Churches and Nonprofits

By Simms Showers LLP |

By H. Robert Showers, Esq. Introduction A church or nonprofit’s corporate structure is vital for both its long-term maintenance and day-to-day operations—but a single corporate structure no longer suffices to protect and provide all available advantages. The 21st century has seen an uptick in secular lawsuits that purposefully target churches and religious nonprofits. This,… Read More »

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A Lone Church at Dusk

The Power of Well-Drafted Church Bylaws

By Simms Showers LLP |

By H. Robert Showers, Esq. I. Introduction Fifty years ago, few people—especially churchgoers—would have dreamed of suing the church. However, the legal climate today has changed dramatically, and lawsuits against churches are increasingly common. Fortunately, every state except West Virginia now permits churches to incorporate.1 Incorporation is a powerful tool for churches and member… Read More »

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3 Legal Strategies to Decrease Your Liability

By Simms Showers LLP |

By Kyle Winey, Esq. I. The Need for Liability Limitation We live in a highly litigious culture. Businesses, nonprofits, and other organizations are increasingly exposed to legal liability. For example, businesses increasingly fear the vitriol of litigious patrons—and for good reason. That’s why all businesses, nonprofits, and churches should take significant measures to protect… Read More »

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Workplace Food Dispute Ends in Seventy-Year Prison Sentence

By Simms Showers LLP |

Nearly three years after a man brutally murdered a colleague who stole his lunch from the break room refrigerator, the judge closed the book on a chilling case. In April 2021, a 58-year-old man took the defendant’s lunch from the office fridge at the Virginia Target they both worked at. The next day, the… Read More »

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TrafficTicket

Fighting a Traffic Ticket in Loudoun County

By Simms Showers LLP |

In the old days, fighting a traffic ticket in Loudoun County was easy. Usually, a municipal court wasn’t a court of record. So, defendants could automatically appeal the verdict. Then, at the appeal hearing, the arresting officer often didn’t appear, so the judge dismissed the case. The environment is different now. Most municipal courts… Read More »

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CrimJustice

Building a Successful Defense in an Assault Case

By Simms Showers LLP |

Ultimately, a successful defense in an assault or any other case must create a reasonable doubt as to the evidence. A criminal case doesn’t decide if the defendant “did it” or not. Rather, the outcome of a criminal case hinges on what the state can prove. The less evidence prosecutors have, and the stronger… Read More »

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Cops Offer Cash Reward for Suspect’s Capture

By Simms Showers LLP |

Investigators are looking for a man wanted in connection with a November 2023 shooting, and they’re offering $5,000 for information that leads to his arrest and conviction. Officers say a 26-year-old Big Stone Gap man was shot and killed around 8:40 p.m. on November 14 in the 3700 block of Wharf Lane. The primary… Read More »

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CrimLaw10

Defending Aggravated Assault Charges in Loudoun County: A Primer

By Simms Showers LLP |

The aggravated assault arrest rate bottomed out in 2014. Since then, it’s increased almost every year. Now, law enforcement investigators aggressively pursue cases that, ten years ago, they considered civil matters and dropped. An often over-aggressive investigation usually means additional procedural defenses when the case goes to court. More on that below. Fortunately, when… Read More »

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HateCrime

Lawmakers Mull Expanded Hate Crimes Law

By Simms Showers LLP |

Because of an increase in anti-Muslim and anti-Semetic incidents, Dan Helmer (D-Fairfax) wants to extend hate crimes law coverage to include ethnicity. Helmer’s bill would offer protection for Jewish people who may not identify with the religion, but whose heritage is connected to the culture. “My sons, like many other children, have faced antisemitism… Read More »

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CrimJustice2

Breaking Down Forfeiture Proceedings in Virginia

By Simms Showers LLP |

Depending on your perspective, civil forfeiture, which is covered in Section 18.2-46.3 of the Virginia Code, may be the most essential or most oppressive law enforcement tool in the state. Essentially, this provision allows law enforcement to seize and sell any property related to criminal activity, such as a bank account associated with money… Read More »

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DUIAccident

Should I Hire a DUI Lawyer?

By Simms Showers LLP |

Most people know the Miranda Rights line “You have the right to an attorney; if you cannot afford one, the court will appoint one for you.” Indeed , the Sixth Amendment guarantees the right to counsel in criminal cases. However, this provision in the Bill of Rights doesn’t guarantee a free lawyer. Most Loudoun… Read More »

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Triple Shooting in Virginia Beach on Christmas Eve

By Simms Showers LLP |

An apparent shootout killed one person and wounded two others, and police have no leads or suspects. Shortly after midnight Sunday, the Virginia Beach Police Department (VBPD) responded to a report of shots fired in the area of Riverbend and Lakecrest roads. There, officers found two men who had been shot. One of them… Read More »

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Top Five Non-Moving Violations in Loudoun County

By Simms Showers LLP |

Most people cannot drive more than four or five blocks without violating at least one provision in Virginia’s extremely complex traffic code. That’s just the moving violations. Many vehicles are not street legal, making their drivers subject to a stop at any time. The next step in a traffic stop is usually a criminal… Read More »

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