Author: Cravens Noll

Cravens and Noll, an experienced Virginia law firm, takes great pride in the trust our clients place in our counsel. In a time of crisis, experienced trial attorneys can provide the solutions needed, at a reasonable price. Providing quality legal representation, our law firm will develop a comprehensive strategy based on your unique financial situation. Before taking a case, Cravens and Noll lawyers provide free consultations for clients, we will never give you false expectations about the potential outcome of your case. You can count on a realistic assessment of your case, in order for you to make a sound decision.

Virginia Warrants in Debt, Garnishment

Civil Judgments in Virginia: Winning Half of the Battle

In Virginia, Warrants in Debt are used to attempt to recover money that is owed. A Warrant in Debt is filed in General District Court, and must not request more than $25,000.00 in damages. If you have a valid, enforceable contract with a debtor, and the debtor fails to pay you in a timely fashion, then you can sue that person/business for monetary damages. Filing a warrant-in debt is the first step in the process of being paid. 

Most plaintiffs do not realize that getting a judgment against the debtor is only one part of the equation before being paid. A judgment is a piece of paper, signed by the judge, which states that the debtor owes you money. 

There are ways to get money from a debtor, including garnishment and liens. However, to garnish a debtor’s wages from employment, the creditor (person to whom money is owed) must know where the debtor works. Once a debtor’s wages start being garnished, some debtors will decide to work somewhere else, hoping that the garnishment does not follow them to their next employment. When a debtor changes employment, the creditor must again try to find out where the debtor is employed if he wants to continue garnishing the debtor’s wages.

As evidenced by the previous paragraph, there is a lot more to recovering money than simply getting a judgment against a debtor. There’s a colloquialism that “you can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip.” It means that a person cannot get something from nothing. If the debtor does not have a job, or property, or other financial resources, then a judgment might be all that you get. Part of deciding to sue someone for money is contemplating how you will get that money.

Cravens and Noll, an experienced Virginia law firm, takes great pride in the trust our clients place in our counsel. In a time of crisis, experienced trial attorneys can provide the solutions needed, at a reasonable price. Providing quality legal representation, our law firm will develop a comprehensive strategy based on your unique financial situation. Before taking a case, Cravens and Noll lawyers provide free consultations for clients, we will never give you false expectations about the potential outcome of your case. You can count on a realistic assessment of your case, in order for you to make a sound decision.

APPROACHING A CHILD CUSTODY DISPUTE AS A WORKING PARENT

Cravens and Noll, an experienced Virginia law firm, takes great pride in the trust our clients place in our counsel. In a time of crisis, experienced trial attorneys can provide the solutions needed, at a reasonable price. Providing quality legal representation, our law firm will develop a comprehensive strategy based on your unique financial situation. Before taking a case, Cravens and Noll lawyers provide free consultations for clients, we will never give you false expectations about the potential outcome of your case. You can count on a realistic assessment of your case, in order for you to make a sound decision.

Cravens & Noll PC Welcomes Two Experienced Virginia Attorneys

The Virginia personal injury, criminal defense, family law and bankruptcy law firm of Cravens & Noll PC, welcomes attorneys Susan G. Andrews to our legal team. With offices in Richmond, Chesterfield, Henrico and Colonial Heights, we are proud to offer representation to clients throughout Virginia.

Attorney-Susan-G.-AndrewsSusan G. Andrews will be located in our Tri-Cities office in Colonial Heights. A native Virginian, Susan will be working with Cravens & Noll clients facing legal issues related to divorce and separation; guardianship; bankruptcy protection and relief; and personal injury claims. Susan has been in private practice in Richmond and the surrounding areas for over 25 years; her background and experience practicing in the Commonwealth will allow her to efficiently and effectively assist clients with any legal issue they may face.

Cravens and Noll, an experienced Virginia law firm, takes great pride in the trust our clients place in our counsel. In a time of crisis, experienced trial attorneys can provide the solutions needed, at a reasonable price. Providing quality legal representation, our law firm will develop a comprehensive strategy based on your unique financial situation. Before taking a case, Cravens and Noll lawyers provide free consultations for clients, we will never give you false expectations about the potential outcome of your case. You can count on a realistic assessment of your case, in order for you to make a sound decision.

Virginia Law Firm, Cravens & Noll, Supports Scholastic Read & Rise National Literacy Campaign

As part of our commitment to literacy throughout Richmond, Cravens & Noll PC participates quarterly in the Scholastic Read and Rise Book Fair, volunteering at and providing financial support to elementary schools throughout our community.

In February, our attorneys attended the J.E.B. Stuart Elementary School Read and Rise book fair, volunteering at the book fair and reading to students’ in classes. Our firm donates approximately $2500 to each school at which we volunteer, enabling each child in attendance to purchase a book from the fair to take home and read with his or her family.

What is the Read and Rise Program?

The Scholastic Read and Rise program is a national literacy campaign focused on providing children with the tools to learn to read. Over 35 percent of children begin school lacking the language skills needed to develop literacy; the Read and Rise program addresses this through engaging children, their families and the community in learning to read as well as providing resources to promote reading at a young age.

Our Commitment to Our Richmond Community

As attorneys, as parents, and as Virginians, we understand the importance of building reading skills and the role access to books at school and at home plays in developing those skills in our children. Contributing to take-home resources for children and volunteering in our elementary schools is part of Cravens & Noll’s commitment to our community, the learn-to-read process and ultimately the improvement of childhood literacy throughout Richmond.

Cravens & Noll plans to continue our support of the Read and Rise program and we encourage others to get involved in promoting literacy among young Virginians.

Cravens and Noll, an experienced Virginia law firm, takes great pride in the trust our clients place in our counsel. In a time of crisis, experienced trial attorneys can provide the solutions needed, at a reasonable price. Providing quality legal representation, our law firm will develop a comprehensive strategy based on your unique financial situation. Before taking a case, Cravens and Noll lawyers provide free consultations for clients, we will never give you false expectations about the potential outcome of your case. You can count on a realistic assessment of your case, in order for you to make a sound decision.

Medical Bill Liens in Personal Injury Cases

What you should know and how we can help

When medical treatment is sought as the result of a motor vehicle accident the medical provider is entitled to payment for services rendered to treat your injuries. The medical provider will first look to the health insurance carrier whether it is a private plan such as Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield or popular government plans, Medicaid and Medicare. When a personal injury case settlement is being negotiated or after a verdict has been rendered it is important to know your rights and responsibilities with respect to any liens.

Private Health Insurance

Chances are if you have private health insurance it is provided by your employer and falls under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act better known as ERISA. An ERISA plan can recover for damages received from third parties. In laymen’s terms, the effect is the plan can seek reimbursement for medical bills they have paid on your behalf which are directly related to injuries sustained as the result of the negligence of a third party. In the event your health insurance plan does not fall under ERISA the plans contract language will dictate the insurers right to any proceeds arising from a personal injury award.

Medicaid

The Department of Medical Assistance Services administers the Virginia Medicaid program. To be eligible for Medicaid an applicant must assign to the state any rights to payment of medical care from any third party. In the event the injured party fails to pursue the claim, the state has the ability to pursue reimbursement from the third party. Medicaid is required to be reimbursed from the proceeds of a personal injury award for medical expenses related to the injury.

Medicare

Medicare has a federal statutory lien for payments made under the Medicare Secondary Payer Act (“MSP”). The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) and the Medicare Secondary Payer Recovery Contractor (“MSPRC”) enforces the lien against the party receiving a personal injury award. Similar to Medicaid, only medical expenses related to the injury are recoverable by Medicare.

Hospital Liens

Pursuant to Virginia Code § 8.01-66.2 each hospital, nursing home, licensed physician, registered nurse, registered physical therapist, pharmacy, or ambulance service shall have a lien for services rendered on care to any person injured in an accident as a result of the negligence or alleged negligence of any other person. The lien shall be for the amount of a just and reasonable charge for the services rendered, not exceeding $2,500 in the case of a hospital or nursing home, $750 for each physician, nurse, physical therapist, or pharmacy, and $200 for each ambulance service.

How we can help

ERISA, Medicare, Medicaid, and Hospital Liens should be scrutinized and negotiated on the client’s behalf. In some instances the lien holder will agree to reduce their lien in an amount proportional to the amount the client has paid in attorney’s fees and costs. We at Cravens & Noll believe even though the case has settled, our job is not over, and we will continue to advocate on your behalf until the job is done. Article by: Kurt Brickman

Cravens and Noll, an experienced Virginia law firm, takes great pride in the trust our clients place in our counsel. In a time of crisis, experienced trial attorneys can provide the solutions needed, at a reasonable price. Providing quality legal representation, our law firm will develop a comprehensive strategy based on your unique financial situation. Before taking a case, Cravens and Noll lawyers provide free consultations for clients, we will never give you false expectations about the potential outcome of your case. You can count on a realistic assessment of your case, in order for you to make a sound decision.

Considering a name change post-divorce

If you and your spouse have decided to go your separate ways, you are likely facing a host of decisions about what your future will now look like as a single individual. One of the more intimately personal decisions you may be contemplating is whether or not to change your name after your divorce is finalized. You may be a woman who has taken your husband’s name for many years, or you may be a man who has hyphenated or otherwise altered your last name to include your wife’s. Either way, the choice to keep or change your current last name should be yours alone and should be made with your best interests in mind.

Some people change their names in the wake of divorce in order to begin again symbolically and practically. They may not want their names associated with their former spouses. Or, they may simply find power and self-confidence in the switch. If you ultimately choose to change your name, please contact your attorney so that the correct paperwork can be filed.

On the other hand, some people choose to keep their married names for a variety of reasons. If your children share your spouse’s name, perhaps you will want to keep your last name the same as well. You may also simply identify with your married name or feel that you have invested in what that name has come to mean for you. Names are deeply personal assets and should be changed only when individuals feel that it is important to do so.

Source: Huffington Post, “Should You Keep Your Ex’s Last Name After Divorce?” Oct. 26, 2013

Cravens and Noll, an experienced Virginia law firm, takes great pride in the trust our clients place in our counsel. In a time of crisis, experienced trial attorneys can provide the solutions needed, at a reasonable price. Providing quality legal representation, our law firm will develop a comprehensive strategy based on your unique financial situation. Before taking a case, Cravens and Noll lawyers provide free consultations for clients, we will never give you false expectations about the potential outcome of your case. You can count on a realistic assessment of your case, in order for you to make a sound decision.

Virginia jury fails to reach verdict in surgical malpractice case

A somewhat high-profile medical malpractice case resulted in a hung jury this week in Virginia. The case involved a Rapidan woman who accused a prominent surgeon of employing a questionable surgical technique, resulting in permanent injuries. Two doctors expressed opposite opinions on the surgical technique during the trial, which may have contributed to the jury’s inability to reach a decision.

The woman underwent carpal tunnel and clavicle surgery in 2011 in Culpepper. During the operation, a surgeon tried to implant a metal plate to stabilize the patient’s clavicle – which had been damaged decades earlier – but was unable to screw in the plate because of the patient’s bone condition. As a result, he used surgical sutures instead to stabilize the plate.

Months later, it was determined that a portion of the woman’s collar bone had been sheared off. The surgeon said this was not due to the sutures, but rather the woman’s osteoporosis. The woman then went to another shoulder surgeon, who removed the metal plate.

To this day, however, she suffers pain due to the permanent injury to her collarbone, and her shoulder remains disfigured. She sued the original orthopedic surgeon for $1 million for the allegedsurgical malpractice.

During the trial, a medical witness for the defense argued that the surgeon’s technique – of suturing the plate into place – was a perfectly suitable option. Another doctor testified for the plaintiff, arguing that the technique was bound to fail, and that the sutures fractured her bones.

The six-member jury deliberated for 11 hours and was unable to reach a verdict.

Medical malpractice is a very complicated area of law in Virginia. Not every negative surgical outcome is caused by medical malpractice, as surgery always involves risks. However, when a surgeon deviates from the accepted standards of care, or when a surgeon shows incompetence or makes errors, this is medical malpractice. Victims of medical malpractice have the right to hold their doctors accountable and obtain compensation for their ongoing medical expenses and pain and suffering.

Victims of surgical or medical malpractice should not be discouraged by this case. It is important to hold negligent medical professionals responsible, and victims should seek legal counsel to learn how to do this.

Source: Star Exponent, “$1M medical malpractice case ends in hung jury,” Rhonda Simmons, Oct. 3, 2013

Cravens and Noll, an experienced Virginia law firm, takes great pride in the trust our clients place in our counsel. In a time of crisis, experienced trial attorneys can provide the solutions needed, at a reasonable price. Providing quality legal representation, our law firm will develop a comprehensive strategy based on your unique financial situation. Before taking a case, Cravens and Noll lawyers provide free consultations for clients, we will never give you false expectations about the potential outcome of your case. You can count on a realistic assessment of your case, in order for you to make a sound decision.

Suspect lineups in Virginia remain vulnerable to misidentification

Two years ago, the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services took steps to ensure that fewer Virginians will be misidentified as criminal suspects in eyewitness lineups. The agency acted to limit misidentification primarily because the people of Virginia can only truly have faith in the criminal justice system if it prosecutes individuals fairly and if prosecutions are informed by accurate information. When an individual’s criminal defense is unjustly influenced by eyewitness misidentification, no one benefits.

Unacceptably, only a few police departments in the whole of Virginia have adopted the agency’s model since it was released two years ago. Out of 144 police departments and law enforcement agencies throughout the state which have written policies on suspect identification, only nine have adopted the low-cost misidentification prevention model. Over 100 more have failed to even write up policies on the issue, even though all law enforcement agencies were instructed to create them by the Virginia General Assembly eight years ago.

Suspect misidentification by eyewitnesses to criminal acts is a serious problem in Virginia. Of the 16 wrongfully convicted men set free by the state in recent years due to DNA evidence that proved their innocence, 13 were misidentified by witnesses in either lineups or photographs prior to their wrongful convictions.

At this point, the model is voluntary. But if police departments continue to fail to implement the model, lawmakers may become compelled to make the model mandatory procedure. Understanding the potential consequences of inaction and yet failing to act on this critical issue is simply unacceptable at this point in time.

Source: Richmond Times-Dispatch, “Many suspect lineups remain flawed across VA,” Frank Green, Aug. 26, 2013

Cravens and Noll, an experienced Virginia law firm, takes great pride in the trust our clients place in our counsel. In a time of crisis, experienced trial attorneys can provide the solutions needed, at a reasonable price. Providing quality legal representation, our law firm will develop a comprehensive strategy based on your unique financial situation. Before taking a case, Cravens and Noll lawyers provide free consultations for clients, we will never give you false expectations about the potential outcome of your case. You can count on a realistic assessment of your case, in order for you to make a sound decision.

ONC plan aims to protect patients through EHR data analysis alone

In a move that has disappointed many safety-minded experts and organizations, the federal government has declined to establish a new agency designed to investigate certain technology-related patient deaths at this time. Rather, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) is putting in place a collaborative plan to prevent these particular kinds of patient deaths.

Currently, more and more healthcare providers and hospital facilities are shifting towards electronic health records (EHR) instead of paper-based charts. These electronic records are meant to reduce rates of communication-related errors and misdiagnosis. However, the technology itself has the potential to create new kinds of errors resulting from software glitches, implementation challenges and data input problems.

The Institute of Medicine has recommended that the government create a new agency tasked specifically investigating patient deaths tied to EHR-related errors and other technology-based problems. The government is declining to act on this recommendation at this time. Instead, the ONC will work with public and private organizations to attempt to prevent these deaths in the first place.

Prevention of patient deaths through trend-related data analysis is absolutely a goal worthy of pursuit. However, such initiatives fail to address those deaths which have already occurred and continue to occur in a focused way. It seems that both prevention and investigation of tragedy are necessary in order to both foster patient safety in the future and bring justice to the victims of technology-related medical errors.

The ONC is making important progress by embracing its new prevention-related mission. However, targeted investigations into deaths that do occur are necessary for patient safety and justice as well.

Source: Forbes, “Government Asks Health IT Industry To Police Itself On Patient Safety,” Zina Moukheiber, July 5, 2013

Cravens and Noll, an experienced Virginia law firm, takes great pride in the trust our clients place in our counsel. In a time of crisis, experienced trial attorneys can provide the solutions needed, at a reasonable price. Providing quality legal representation, our law firm will develop a comprehensive strategy based on your unique financial situation. Before taking a case, Cravens and Noll lawyers provide free consultations for clients, we will never give you false expectations about the potential outcome of your case. You can count on a realistic assessment of your case, in order for you to make a sound decision.

Study: Racial disparity exists in marijuana-related arrest rates

Newly released federal data suggests that a disturbing trend has developed in regards to drug arrests in America. The data indicates that in 2010 alone, black Americans were arrested for simple possession and related marijuana charges at rates between three and eight times higher than white Americans were. This data is particularly disturbing given that the rates at which black and white Americans tend to possess and use marijuana are roughly the same.

Federal law only recently began to address the racial disparity in sentencing for cocaine-related offenses. It now seems that reform is needed in other areas of federal drug law enforcement. If a primary goal of the criminal justice system is to be consistent in application and general enforcement of the law, then these statistics strongly indicate that some mechanism within the system is broken and doing a disservice to the system’s larger goals.

After reviewing the data, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) constructed a report analyzing it which was released this month. The lead author of the work is the director of the ACLU’s Criminal Law Reform Project. He recently explained that “We found that in virtually every county in the country, police have wasted taxpayer money enforcing marijuana laws in a racially biased manner.”

As the public’s attitudes toward marijuana shift in favor of legalization in certain contexts, legislators and law enforcement will likely slowly begin to focus away from cracking down on offenses like simple possession. But for many reasons, this shift in focus does not delegitimize the fact that reform is needed urgently. Any time one population is held accountable for criminal activity in far greater numbers than another population similarly engaged in illegal behavior, discrimination threatens the integrity of the system as a whole. For that reason alone, this issue is in need of immediate reform.

Source: The New York Times, “Blacks Are Singled Out for Marijuana Arrests, Federal Data Suggests,” Ian Urbina, June 3, 2013

Cravens and Noll, an experienced Virginia law firm, takes great pride in the trust our clients place in our counsel. In a time of crisis, experienced trial attorneys can provide the solutions needed, at a reasonable price. Providing quality legal representation, our law firm will develop a comprehensive strategy based on your unique financial situation. Before taking a case, Cravens and Noll lawyers provide free consultations for clients, we will never give you false expectations about the potential outcome of your case. You can count on a realistic assessment of your case, in order for you to make a sound decision.