Legal Blog

Tax Credits for Donating Conservation Easements: What You Need to Know and Why You Should Take Advantage

It often seems impossible to do something that is great for both the environment and your wallet. However, every landowner in Virginia can do just that. One of the most valuable and well-kept secrets regarding tax benefits available to landowners...

November 09, 2018 in Environmental Law; Land Use & Zoning; Residential Real Estate; Tax Law;

Written by Barry Dorans

What Is A Closing and Why Do We Have Closings?

When you purchase a business, commercial property or even a home, the last step is called a closing. Occasionally, I am asked why there is such a thing as a closing. When you buy something that is mass produced, for example a cell phone, it is...

September 04, 2018 in Commercial Real Estate; Residential Real Estate;

It's Alive! Federal Court Finds A Pulse in the Expired Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act

In February of 2009, during the height of the residential foreclosure crisis, this column discussed the federal Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act (the “Protecting Tenants Act”). That federal law was meant to provide some protection to tenants...

October 19, 2016 in Residential Real Estate

Virginia Adopts Transfer on Death Deeds

Imagine that a listing agent meets with a property owner about potentially listing the owner’s property for sale. During the meeting, the owner reveals that he recently signed and recorded a deed transferring the property to his daughter. Can the...

September 13, 2016 in Residential Real Estate

The SCRA Is Not Bulletproof

​The Servicemembers’ Civil Relief Act (“SCRA”) is a powerful shield protecting military servicemembers against overreaching by creditors. The United States Supreme Court has opined that the SCRA should be read “with an eye friendly to those who...

August 15, 2016 in Residential Real Estate

Misrepresentation or Mere "Puffery"?

A condominium developer in Northern Virginia avoided liability for fraud under common law and the Virginia Consumer Protection Act by engaging in “puffery” rather than misrepresentation of facts. That was the conclusion of the United States...

February 09, 2016 in Residential Real Estate

Bank Learns the Hard Way About After Acquired Title and Priority

What happens when a person signs a deed or deed of trust purporting to convey property that he does not own? The Virginia Supreme Court considered that question in the complicated case of Deutsche Bank National Trust Company v. Arrington, decided...

October 06, 2015 in Residential Real Estate

The Common Enemy

For the second time in three years, the Virginia Supreme Court has revisited the “common enemy rule” pertaining to stormwater drainage. First came the case of Kurpiel v. Hicks, in which the Supreme Court seemed to weaken that rule by overturning...

September 14, 2015 in Residential Real Estate

Tenancy by the Entirety: A New Case Changes A Very Old Doctrine

Virginia is one of approximately 24 states that allow married couples to hold title to real estate as tenants by the entirety. Most REALTORS have probably seen deeds that grant property to married couples “as tenants by the entirety with the right...

August 11, 2015 in Residential Real Estate

Boundary Line Adjustments: Moving the Line is Not Enough

At some point in their careers, most REALTORS will probably run into a transaction involving a boundary line dispute. Those disputes usually arise when one of two neighboring properties goes up for sale, and the potential purchaser obtains a...

July 13, 2015 in Residential Real Estate