December 21, 2017 – Dawn Figueiras Appointed to LGA Ethics Committee
Dawn Figueiras has been appointed to a two-year term on the Ethics Committee of the Local Government Attorneys of Virginia. Ms. Figueiras will join the Committee in its review, analysis, and recommendations regarding VSB Legal Ethics Opinions that affect local government attorneys throughout the Commonwealth. Ms. Figueiras’ term begins as James Elliott’s tenure ends. Mr. Elliott served consecutive two-year terms on the LGA Ethics Committee.
November 17, 2017 – Lucas Hobbs Successful Before the Supreme Court of Virginia
R. Lucas Hobbs, a shareholder in the Firm, recently prevailed on five appeals before the Supreme Court of Virginia in which he represented a municipality in a tax collection matter. The Court adopted his arguments in affirming the trial court on all grounds, permitting the municipality to continue its efforts to sell real property on which taxes and special assessments were severely delinquent.
August 1, 2017 – Dawn Figueiras Elected to VSB Local Government Section’s Board of Governors
Dawn Figueiras was recently elected by her peers to a three-year term on the Virginia State Bar Local Government Section’s Board of Governors. The Board of Governors oversees the functions of the VSB’s “Local Government Law” Section, which provides assistance and support to practitioners of local government law throughout the Commonwealth.
April 5, 2017 – Sheri Hiter Appointed Assistant Attorney General
Elliott Lawson & Minor congratulates Sheri A. Hiter on her appointment as Assistant Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Virginia at its Office in Abingdon. Effective April 10, 2017, Sheri will begin working in the Trial Section of the Civil Litigation Division, defending the Commonwealth, its agencies and departments, and its officials and employees in state and federal courts, litigating cases ranging from personal injury torts to alleged violations of constitutional rights.
November 14, 2016 – New I-9 Form Published for Use by All U.S. Employers by January 22, 2017
USCIS, a division of the Department of Homeland Security, has published a new Form I-9 for use by all U.S. employers. The I-9, which must be completed by all employers upon the hiring of any employee, is designed to verify identity and employment eligibility for all employees. Although the changes to the form are relatively minor, all employers MUST begin using the new form no later than January 22, 2017. The new form, which is available to be completed online or printed and completed by hand, may be obtained by visiting the USCIS website at: www.uscis.gov/i-9. If you need assistance with the new forms, or would like to discuss conducting a “self-audit” to make sure your I-9s are in good shape, contact Dawn Figueiras at ELM today.
February 16, 2016 – Hobbs named Commissioner of Accounts for the City of Bristol, Virginia.
R. Lucas Hobbs, a partner with Elliott Lawson & Minor, P.C., of Bristol, has been named by the judges of the 28th Judicial Circuit to serve as Commissioner of Accounts for the City of Bristol, Virginia.
As Commissioner of Accounts, which is a quasi-judicial position, Hobbs will oversee fiduciaries who qualify before the Circuit Court for the City of Bristol, Virginia, including personal representatives of estates, trustees of testamentary trusts and those established for minors, guardians of minors, and conservators of incapacitated adults. He will also review accounts of sales under deeds of trust in the City.
Hobbs will also continue the rest of his law practice, representing clients on a variety of legal matters, with a focus on litigation in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate levels, in Virginia and Tennessee. He also assists clients with their estate planning and estate administration needs.
He received his B.A. from Virginia Tech and his J.D. from the University of Virginia. Prior to beginning the practice of law, he served as a law clerk for the Honorable Glen M. Williams and the Honorable Cynthia D. Kinser.
Hobbs also serves as escheator for the 28th judicial circuit.
Hobbs, his wife Becky, and their children, reside in Bristol, Virginia.
January 7, 2016 – Sheri Hiter Prepares Amicus Curiae Brief on Behalf of the Local Government Attorneys of Virginia
Elliott Lawson & Minor attorney Sheri A. Hiter was recently chosen by the Local Government Attorneys of Virginia to prepare and file an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief in a case before the Virginia Supreme Court. The LGA is an organization of approximately 800 Virginia lawyers who represent counties, cities, towns, and other local governmental bodies throughout the Commonwealth. The case involves an appeal of a Tidewater-area condemnation case. The object of the brief is to assist the Court in understanding the case’s significant implications for public improvement projects undertaken by Virginia’s local governments. Ms. Hiter was engaged by the LGA, Virginia Association of Counties, Virginia Municipal League, and Virginia School Boards Association in 2013 to assist in preparing a similar brief for the U.S. Supreme Court on issues important to all of Virginia’s state and local public bodies. Ms. Hiter practices state and local government law and litigation.
April 21, 2015–ELM Attorneys Present Training Seminar on Workplace Discrimination, Harassment & Reasonable Accommodations to Bristol Chamber of Commerce
Mark Lawson, Eric Reecher and Dawn Figueiras presented a training seminar to approximately 25 representatives of employers at the Bristol Chamber of Commerce on April 21, 2015. The three-hour course included a presentation by Mr. Lawson on Workplace Discrimination, a presentation by Ms. Figueiras on Workplace Harassment: Recognizing, Preventing, Investigating and Resolving Harassment and Hostile Work Environment Issues, and a presentation by Mr. Reecher on Reasonable Accommodations in the Workplace.
March 23, 2015 – Figueiras Receives “Coverage Attorney of the Month” Award from MyMotionCalendar.com
In its March 23, 2015, MyMotionCalendar.com named ELM attorney Dawn Figueiras its Coverage Attorney of the Month. MyMotionCalendar is a nationwide network of attorneys for attending local court hearings and conducting trials. Ms. Figueiras joined MyMotionCalendar in 2014 and has served as local counsel in Bristol, Tennessee courts in several cases involving national clients.
January 14, 2015 – Figueiras Makes Presentation on Immigration to Bristol Chamber of Commerce
On January 14, 2015, Dawn Figueiras provided an overview of the Executive Actions on Immigration Policy issued by Pres. Obama on Nov. 20, 2014 entitled “Executive Actions on Immigration – What Do These Mean for My Business?” to the Bristol Chamber of Commerce. Approximately 25 business leaders in Bristol attended to hear Ms. Figueiras discuss the business/employment implications of the Executive Actions as well political and judicial efforts to halt the Actions.
January 6, 2015 – Lucas Hobbs reappointed to Virginia State Bar’s Disciplinary Board
R. Lucas Hobbs, an attorney with Elliott Lawson & Minor, P.C., of Bristol, has been reappointed by the Supreme Court of Virginia to the Virginia State Bar’s Disciplinary Board. He will begin his second three-year term on July 1, 2015.
Hobbs represents clients on a variety of legal matters, with a focus on litigation in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate levels, in Virginia and Tennessee. He also assists clients with their estate planning and estate administration needs.
Hobbs received his B.A. from Virginia Tech and his J.D. from the University of Virginia. Prior to beginning the practice of law, he served as a law clerk for the Honorable Glen M. Williams and the Honorable Cynthia D. Kinser.
July 17, 2014 – Eric Reecher to Present at Civil Litigation Seminar
Eric Reecher will be a speaker at the National Business Institute continuing legal education seminar “Building Your Civil Litigation Skills” on August 8, 2014, at the Carnegie Hotel in Johnson City, TN. His presentation will cover civil litigation pleadings, motions and damages.
For more information: Building Your Civil Litigation Skills
October 30, 2013 – Hobbs & Hiter Receive LGA award
R. Lucas Hobbs and Sheri A. Hiter received the 2013 Special Project Award from the Local Government Attorneys of Virginia (LGA) at the LGA’s fall conference in Norfolk recently.
They received the award for the successful amicus brief they authored and filed in the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year in the case of McBurney v. Young on behalf of the LGA, the Virginia Association of Counties, the Virginia Municipal League, and the Virginia School Boards Association.
The McBurney case involved the constitutionality of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which guarantees public records access only to citizens of the Commonwealth. The brief assisted the Court in unanimously determining that the FOIA provision is constitutional, and also advanced the positive image of the practice of local government law.
Hobbs is a shareholder with the Bristol law firm of Elliott Lawson & Minor, P.C., and Hiter is an associate with the firm.
August 2, 2013 – R. Lucas Hobbs Named Escheator for 28th Judicial Circuit
ELM attorney and shareholder R. Lucas Hobbs has been named by Virginia governor Bob McDonnell to serve on the Board of Escheators for the Commonwealth. Hobbs will serve as Escheator for the 28th judicial circuit, including Washington and Smyth counties and the City of Bristol. An escheator conducts inquests relating to real estate left by someone who dies without a will and without known heirs, or with a will, but without disposing of all his or her real estate, and without leaving a surviving heir to inherit the property. Mr. Hobbs’ practice focuses primarily in the areas of general civil litigation and appeals, as well as estate planning and administration.
June 12, 2013 – Eric W. Reecher Listed as Rising Star
ELM attorney and shareholder Eric W. Reecher has been listed in the 2013 Virginia Super Lawyers magazine as a Rising Star in the practice area of Employment and Labor. Virginia Super Lawyers magazine is published annually and recognizes as Rising Stars the top lawyers in Virginia who are under 40 years old or who have been in practice 10 years or less. The selection process includes a statewide nomination process and is based on peer recognition and professional achievement. No more than 2.5% of lawyers in the state earn this distinction. Mr. Reecher previously earned the Rising Star distinction in 2008, 2011 and 2012. Mr. Reecher’s practice focuses primarily in the areas of labor and employment law, business litigation and transactions, and general civil litigation and appeals.
May 28, 2013 — Bristol Virginia Bar Association Donates to Veritas Drug Court
The Bristol Virginia Bar Association made a donation of $1,000 to the Veritas Drug Court program serving Bristol, VA, at its quarterly meeting on May 28, 2013. Susan Morrow, executive director of the Veritas program, provided an overview of how the program works and introduced three program participants. The participants shared their personal stories of past struggles with drug addiction and how the Veritas program changed their lives. The Veritas program in Bristol currently boasts of a recidivism rate of only 11%, much lower than the national average.
ELM shareholder Dawn Figueiras is serving as President of the Bristol Virginia Bar Association for 2013, and ELM associate attorney Sheri Hiter is serving as Treasurer.
May 13, 2013 – ELM Attorneys Obtain Judgment for Applicant in Zoning Case
James W. Elliott and Sheri A. Hiter, representing Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores, Inc., successfully defended a zoning decision made by the Washington County Board of Supervisors. In June 2012, the Board granted a special exception permit for Love’s to operate a travel center at Exit 24 on Interstate 81. Neighboring landowners challenged the legislative action in Wagner v. Board of Supervisors of Washington County et al., Case No. CL12001000.
After a two-day trial, the Washington County Circuit Court agreed with the defendants that the Board’s decision to issue the permit was reasonable and fairly debatable. The Court sustained the Board’s action and denied the plaintiffs’ request for declaratory judgment and a permanent injunction, clearing the way for Love’s to move forward with construction of its travel center.
The Bristol Herald-Courier provided coverage of the trial: http://www.tricities.com/news/local/article_06906d72-b9cd-11e2-864e-001a4bcf6878.html
April 30, 2013 – ELM Attorney Rated “Preeminent” by Martindale-Hubbell
Martindale-Hubbell, the leading attorney directory and rating resource in the U.S. since 1896, recently conducted the peer review rating process for ELM attorney Dawn Figueiras. Ms. Figueiras was ranked “AV Preeminent,” the highest ranking available for an attorney in the United States. An “AV Preeminent” ranking signifies”the highest level of professional excellence” as well as “very high general ethical standards” as rated by other practicing attorneys and judges. Ms. Figueiras has practiced law with ELM since 2002, and became a shareholder in the firm in 2010.
April 29, 2013 – ELM Lawyers Successful Before United States Supreme Court
The United States Supreme Court today issued a unanimous opinion in a case in which two lawyers from Elliott Lawson & Minor, P.C. had authored an amicus brief, deciding the case as the ELM lawyers had urged. R. Lucas Hobbs and Sheri A. Hiter submitted the amicus brief on behalf of the Local Government Attorneys of Virginia, Inc.; the Virginia Association of Counties; the Virginia Municipal League; and the Virginia School Boards Association.
The case, McBurney v. Young, presented the question whether a restriction in Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act (VFOIA) violates either the Article IV Privileges and Immunities Clause or the dormant Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution. The Court found that the restriction, limiting the right of access to public records under VFOIA to citizens of Virginia, was constitutional.
The opinion is available here: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/12pdf/12-17_d1o2.pdf. The amicus brief is available here: http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/publications/supreme_court_preview/briefs-v2/12-17_resp_amcu_lgaci-etal.authcheckdam.pdf.
March 13, 2013 – USCIS Publishes New Form I-9; All Employers Must Begin Using New Version by May 7, 2013
The federal government has published a new version of the Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification), which all employers must begin using by May 7, 2013. You can download the new version at www.uscis.gov (under the “Forms” tab). Your ELM attorney can assist you with questions about the new Form I-9 or with conducting an internal audit for I-9 compliance.
March 8, 2013 – ELM Lawyer Honored for Dedication to Community Service
Elliott Lawson & Minor, P.C. lawyer, Dawn Figueiras, was recently honored at the 2012-2013 Annual Meeting of United Way of Bristol. Ms. Figueiras was given the Mildred P. Morris Community Service Award “in appreciation for exceptional performance and dedication in [her] volunteer commitment to United Way of Bristol.” Ms. Figueiras has volunteered with United Way of Bristol for 10 years, serving as its Board President in 2011-2012, and she currently serves as Chair of its Evaluations & Allocations Committee. She is a shareholder in the law firm.
February 7, 2013 – ELM Lawyer Awarded Preeminent Rating
Elliott Lawson & Minor, P.C. lawyer, Eric W. Reecher, has received the “AV Preeminent®” peer review rating from the Martindale-Hubbell legal directory. The Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review RatingsTM are an objective indicator of a lawyer’s high ethical standards and professional ability, generated from evaluations of lawyers by other members of the bar and the judiciary in the United States and Canada. AV Preeminent® is a significant rating accomplishment – a testament to the fact that a lawyer’s peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence. Mr. Reecher is a shareholder in firm.
January 31, 2013 – ELM Lawyers File Amicus Brief In United States Supreme Court
R. Lucas Hobbs and Sheri A. Hiter recently submitted an amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court on behalf of the Local Government Attorneys of Virginia, Inc.; the Virginia Association of Counties; the Virginia Municipal League and the Virginia School Boards Association.
The brief was submitted in support of the responding government agencies in McBurney v. Young, which presents the question whether a restriction in Virginia’s freedom of information act laws violates either the Article IV Privileges and Immunities Clause or the dormant Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution.
The United States Supreme Court will hear argument in the case on February 20, and is expected to rule before the conclusion of its current term in June.
Hobbs earlier filed an amicus brief in the case with the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which ruled unanimously in favor of the responding government agencies.
October, 2012 – ELM Lawyers Resolve Litigation in Mediation
Mark Lawson and Dawn Figueiras recently resolved a large civil litigation that had been ongoing for several years. The ELM lawyers represented their client in mediation, and ultimately successfully resolved the litigation without proceeding to trial.
August 13, 2012 – Employers Should Continue to Use Form I-9 After August 31, 2012
USCIS has directed all U.S. employers to continue to use the Form I-9 found on its website (www.uscis.gov) until a new Form I-9 is posted by the Office of Managment and Budget. The current Form I-9 shows an expiration date (found in the bottom right corner) of August 31, 2012, but OMB has not yet released a new version of the Form. USCIS announced that the new Form may be delayed until after August 31, and all U.S. employers should continue to use the current Form.
August 9, 2012 – ELM Attorney Published in the VADA Journal of Civil Litigation
Steve Minor’s article, “On Litigating Fraud,” was published in the Summer 2012 edition of the Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys’ Journal of Civil Litigation. Previously, articles by Mr. Minor were published in the Journal of Civil Litigation in 2000 and 2003.
June 20, 2012 – ELM Obtains Dismissal of Case in Western District of Virginia
Dawn Figueiras and Sheri Hiter of Elliott Lawson & Minor successfully defended Mr. Cary Brent, Keswick Estates Owners Association, and Keswick Corporation in a civil case seeking $300,000 in damages in federal court. The case, Gundlach, et al. v. Brent, et al., Case No. 3:11-cv-00070, brought in the Charlottesville Division of the Western District of Virginia, alleged misconduct and improprieties against a former president of a homeowners association, the association itself, and the developer of the estate. The lawsuit sought damages of more than $300,000, removal of trees from a neighbouring property, and an injunction removing two of the current directors of KEOA. The case was dismissed, with prejudice, in its entirety on June 15, 2012.
June 15, 2012 – ELM Attorney Listed as Rising Star
ELM attorney and shareholder Eric W. Reecher has been listed in the 2012 Virginia Super Lawyers magazine as a Rising Star in the practice area of Employment and Labor. Virginia Super Lawyers magazine is published annually and recognizes as Rising Stars the top lawyers in Virginia who are under 40 years old or who have been in practice 10 years or less. The selection process includes a statewide nomination process and is based on peer recognition and professional achievement. No more than 2.5% of lawyers in the state earn this distinction. Mr. Reecher previously earned the Rising Star distinction in 2008 and 2011. Mr. Reecher’s practice focuses primarily in the areas of labor and employment law, business litigation and transactions, and general civil litigation and appeals.
June 15, 2012 – Major Change in Immigration Policies for Undocumented Immigrants under age 30
On Friday, June 15, 2012, the Obama administration issued a major change in immigration policy. Dawn Figueiras, an EL&M immigration attorney, was attending an Immigration Law Conference when the news was announced. Details of how the policy changes will be implemented are still being developed, and should be finalized within 60 days of the announcement.
The policy change will affect undocumented immigrants under age 30, who came to the U.S. before age 16 and have been in the U.S. for at least five years. Contact Ms. Figueiras for further details.
May 7, 2012 – ELM Attorney Admitted to Practice Law in Tennessee State Courts, Fourth Circuit, Sixth Circuit
Associate Attorney Sheri A. Hiter has now been admitted to practice law in the state courts of Tennessee. She was sworn in by Chancellor E.G. Moody on Monday, April 23, 2012 at the Bristol Justice Center in Bristol, Tennessee.
Ms. Hiter is also newly admitted to practice before the United States Courts of Appeals for the Fourth and Sixth Circuits. She was previously admitted in the state courts of Virginia and in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia.
May 2, 2012 – ELM Attorneys Advise High School Seniors on Legal Rights and Responsibilities
Reaching the age of 18 is a significant milestone accompanied by serious legal rights and responsibilities. On May 2, 2012, ELM attorneys R. Lucas Hobbs and Sheri A. Hiter presented a program on these new rights and responsibilities to the seniors in Mr. Neil Mullins’s government class at John Battle High School in Washington County, Virginia.
Mr. Hobbs and Ms. Hiter highlighted the ways that legal rights and responsibilities change when high school students or recent graduates turn 18 and move into the world of adulthood. Students learned about their legal rights when signing their first lease, registering to vote, finding a job, and interacting with the police and criminal justice system, among other topics.
The program was presented in conjunction with Law Day 2012. Law Day, established by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, is an annual event celebrating our nation’s commitment to the rule of law.
Students received a copy of the So You’re 18 brochure developed by the Virginia State Bar. This brochure is also available as a free download on the VSB website at http://www.vsb.org/publications/brochure/so18.pdf.
April 17, 2012 – ELM Attorney Gives Lecture on “Risk Management for Sports Facilities”
Dawn Figueiras presented a lecture on Risk Management Issues to Prof. David Hicks’ Sports Facilities Management class at King College on April 11, 2012. The lecture focused on a discussion of ways in which liability for personal injuries is imposed on sports facilities and methods of managing those risks.
Risk management is an integral part of any business operation, and plays an important role in the advice ELM attorneys provide to their business clients.
April 16, 2012 – ELM Attorney Passes Tennessee Bar Examination
Elliott Lawson & Minor, P.C. is pleased to announce that associate attorney Sheri A. Hiter has passed the Tennessee bar examination. Ms. Hiter took the examination in Nashville on February 28th and 29th.
Ms. Hiter is currently admitted to practice law before the state courts of Virginia and the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia. Once she is sworn in by the Supreme Court of Tennessee, Ms. Hiter will be licensed to practice law in Tennessee’s state courts as well.
With her admission to the state bar of Tennessee, Ms. Hiter will join the firm’s six other attorneys, who all practice law in both Tennessee and Virginia.
March 29, 2012 – ELM Lawyer Awarded Preeminent Rating
Elliott Lawson & Minor lawyer Mark M. Lawson has been listed “AV Preeminent” in the field of labor and employment law in the 2012 issues of The American Lawyer and Corporate Counsel, published by ALM Integrated Media Company. ALM also publishes Martindale-Hubbell legal directory which first established “peer review ratings.”
An “AV Preeminent” rating is an objective indicator of a lawyer’s high ethical standards and professional ability, generated from evaluations of lawyers by other members of the bar and the judiciary in the United States and Canada. Mr. Lawson previously has been recognized in the same practice area by Virginia Super Lawyers magazine.
March 15, 2012 – ELM announces new shareholder
Elliott Lawson & Minor, P.C. takes great pleasure in announcing that R. Lucas Hobbs, Esq. has become a shareholder in the firm.
He graduated magna cum laude from Virginia Tech in 1995, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. In 1998, he graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law. While at the University of Virginia, Hobbs was managing editor for The Virginia Journal of Law and Technology.
After graduation, he served as a law clerk to the Hon. Glen M. Williams of the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Abingdon, and the Hon. Cynthia D. Kinser of the Supreme Court of Virginia. Subsequently, Hobbs practiced law with Woods, Rogers & Hazlegrove, PLC, in Roanoke, and served as an Assistant United States Attorney in Abingdon. He was employed by Elliott, Lawson & Minor in 2005.
Hobbs represents clients on a variety of legal matters, with a focus on litigation in Virginia and Tennessee state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate levels. He also assists clients with estate planning and estate administration.
Elliott Lawson & Minor has served the greater Tri-Cities area since 1971.
November 1, 2011 – Elliott Lawson & Minor Announces Addition of New Attorney
The law firm of Elliott Lawson & Minor, P.C. is pleased to announce that Sheri Hiter is associated with the firm. Ms. Hiter is licensed to practice law in Virginia.
She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Virginia and her Juris Doctor degree magna cum laude from Washington and Lee University School of Law.
While at Washington and Lee, Ms. Hiter was elected to the Order of the Coif and served as Executive Editor of the Journal of Energy, Climate, and the Environment. She also assisted low-income taxpayers in the school’s Tax Clinic and completed an externship with the County Attorney of Augusta County, Virginia.
Ms. Hiter lives in Abingdon with her husband and enjoys hiking in the mountains of Virginia and Tennessee.