Our attorneys are admitted in all the Courts of the Commonwealth of Virginia, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts in the Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court.
Operating as usual
I personally don’t see an equal protection argument in the Constitutional challenges to the voting process because the language of the Constitution specifically gave certain powers to the states and certain powers to the Feds. For example, as I mentioned above, Congress can enact laws regarding the elections. For the military, it is covered under https://www.justice.gov/crt/uniformed-and-overseas-citizens-absentee-voting-act. However, For the most part, states can decide their absentee and voter laws. However, the argument is that in doing so they have to act within the Limits set by Congress, which has declared the first Tuesday in November to be the day for voting. Thus, much of the argument is definitional. Are votes postmarked on the 3rd valid? Do they have to be received by the 3rd? What does it mean to have the election on the first Tuesday? Those are the questions. As commented above, it more akin to a supremacy argument. Interesting to note that some states have viewed that the election had to be complete on the first Tuesday and shaped their absentee laws to reflect that. Thus, in Virginia all absentees had to have been postmarked a week earlier. It is an interesting legal question that will likely be decided by SCOTUS.
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Framing the state v federal right to control the manner of election
Article 1, Section 4 states: The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.
Article I sec 2 states: the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.
Thus state legislatures proscribe the means of electing senators, reps. And Electors are elected in the same manner as the most populous state house chamber.
Article 1, section 8 seems to give power to Congress to set other laws for elections: To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Ex*****on the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
With regard to the President, article II, section 1 states: The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.
Thus there is argument that a state cannot have late ballots unless that is permitted by federal law. Because though they choose the qualifications for electors because they choose how their house is elected, the Fed’s choose the time and place of election.
The second video in the Virk case
Criminal Contempt of Court is one of the most serious sanctions facing attorneys. The Virginia Code spells out specific requirements for implementation of this Criminal Charge by the Courts and its Honorable Judges. In this video BoseInConversation presents the audio and transcript of the hearing in which Attorney Virk was found in Contempt of Court.
The third video in the Virk series
Video #3 of the Trilogy on the Virk Case is the Analysis of the Audio and Transcript by Attorney Thomas Plofchan of Westlake Legal Group and an honest discussion of the JIRC and its practical use as a medium of checks and balances on our Commonwealth Judiciary.
Criminal Contempt of Court is one of the most serious sanctions facing attorneys. The Virginia Code spells out specific requirements for implementation of this Criminal Charge by the Courts and its Honorable Judges.
The Virk case is the classic case in which the provisions of the Code and its practical implementation went awry. Learn about the Virk case and about the general parameters of the charge of Contempt of Court in this InConversation piece between Bose and Attorney Thomas Plofchan of Westlake Legal Group.
washingtonpost.com Law enforcement and intelligence agencies are focused on domestic terrorism threats.
Tom Plofchan’s recent interview on the Virk case
The Virk Case (lawyer stepped back and jailed) handled by Attorney Thomas Plofchan should be studied closely by all attorneys practicing law in the Commonwea...
The SBA has issued official guidance on the allowance of borrowers to claim forgiveness on their Paycheck Protection Program Loans. According to the guidance, at least 75% of the loan must be spent on payroll costs. Click the link to see the detailed guidance:
T K Plofchan Jennifer Guida Jackie Kramer Jessica Elizabeth McCollum Mason Dalman
federalregister.gov This interim final rule announces the implementation of sections 1102 and 1106 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act or the Act). Section 1102 of the Act temporarily adds a new product, titled the ``Paycheck Protection Program,'' to the U.S. Small Business...
wsj.com Practices whose ranks have been thinned by a decade of economic growth are preparing for a wave of business collapses triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.
As many of us are currently at home with our families, and thinking about our loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic, now is a perfect opportunity to review your will, trust, power of attorney, and other estate planning documents. Don’t have any estate planning documents? Attorneys at Westlake Legal Group would be happy to meet with you via Zoom and discuss your family’s specific needs and situation. Having an estate plan in place is especially important in the following situations:
• You have children under the age of 18—Who will act as their guardian?
• Blended families—especially when there are children from prior relationships
• You are recently married, divorced, or widowed
• You want to put provisions in place for you end-of-life care
• You want specific individuals to act on your behalf to carry out your healthcare wishes
• You have assets (money, real estate, etc.) that would need to be distributed after you pass away
Every family situation is unique, and Westlake Legal Group will design an estate plan tailored to your needs and wishes. Please contact us at 703-406-7616 to schedule a consultation.
T K PlofchanJennifer GuidaJackie KramerJessica Elizabeth McCollumNassir Aboreden Mason Dalman
Stealing, to quote Tammy Glaser, cuz it’s “clever”:
Yesterday, Judge Yeatts of the Lynchburg Circuit Court enjoined Governor Northam from enforcing part of the executive order.
Much of the argument uses a statutory analysis Tom Plofchan identified after the first three Executive Orders. Albeit, Judge Yeatts' conclusion does not rest solely on a state constitutional analysis because it incorporates the statutory carve out for the right to bear arms. However, the initial approach is solid. This opinion demonstrates that there is rife legal and academic support for the proposition that the Executive Orders are illegal and unenforceable, at least in part. Judge Yeatts' opinion does not provide an advisory opinion on all future cases. Again, it is Tom's opinion that one can obtain public cooperation without creating precedent for curtailing or eliminating civil and Constitutional rights.
To view the opinion, click the link below:
Jackie Kramer, an attorney at Westlake Legal Group, is also a Rotarian. The Rotary Club of Ashburn's Annual Flags for Heroes Memorial Day Event is fast approaching. The Flags are displayed in front of the One Loudoun sign on Route 7. This year the Rotary will have drone video of the ceremony posted on Facebook on Memorial Day to promote social distancing.
Last year, Rotary’s Flags for Heroes focused on honoring veterans. This year, in light of COVID-19, the Rotary Club is expanding the scope to include other heroes along with veterans, such as first responders and medical professionals.
Support for this cause would be much appreciated. Proceeds benefit the Ashburn Rotary Foundation, a 501(c)(3) that supports student scholarships and charitable endeavors here in Loudoun County. Please see the Flags for Heroes website for more information. Cost is $50 per flag.
For those that wish to write a check, they can be mailed to RCOA Foundation PO BOX 392 Ashburn, VA 20146. Please write your check out to the Rotary Club of VA Foundation. Your contributions are tax deductible.
Flags will be up at One Loudoun May 23rd through June 10th.
Please consider sponsoring a Flag in honor of your favorite veteran, first responder, or medical professional.
Mason Dalman, T K Plofchan, Nassir Aboreden, Jennifer Guida, Jessica Elizabeth McCollum
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many individuals are struggling financially and are wondering what options they may have. Westlake Legal Group has prepared a PowerPoint that addresses some basics in Bankruptcy. Click the link to view the slideshow.
Mason Dalman, T K Plofchan, Jennifer Guida, Nassir Aboreden, Jackie Kramer, Jessica Elizabeth McCollum, Kelly Carpenter Cook, Tanya Frye.
While the courts are closed to the general public during the COVID-19 pandemic, exceptions to these closures include the requests and hearings for Protective Orders. Westlake Legal Group has put together a power point that outlines the general process and benefits of a protective order, click the link below to view the slideshow.
Jessica Elizabeth McCollum, Jennifer Guida, Nassir Aboreden, T K Plofchan, Jackie Kramer, Mason Dalman
For those with federal student loans, there is relief! Provisions of the CARES Act are designated to assist those with federal student loans during the COVID-19 pandemic. Take a look at the slideshow created by Mason Dalman of Westlake Legal Group to learn more.
Jennifer Guida, Jackie Kramer, Nassir Aboreden, T K Plofchan, Jessica Elizabeth McCollum
This is a friendly reminder that the due dates for state and federal tax payments have been extended!
The IRS has extended the filing deadline for federal taxes until July 15th and all taxpayers can defer federal income tax payments to July 15, 2020, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. Click the link to learn more about federal tax deadlines.
Virginia is maintaining the May 1, 2020, filing deadline, but everyone is given an automatic six month extension (seven months for corporations) if they have not filed by the May 1st deadline and state tax payments are deferred until June 1, 2020. Late payment penalties will not be charged if payments are made by June 1, 2020. Click the link to learn more about Virginia’s tax deadlines. https://www.tax.virginia.gov/coronavirus
Jennifer Guida, Nassir Aboreden, Jackie Kramer, T K Plofchan, Jessica Elizabeth McCollum, Mason Dalman
irs.gov IR-2020-58, March 21, 2020 — The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced today that the federal income tax filing due date is automatically extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020.
This is friendly reminder that Westlake Legal Group is still open! Now is the time to get your financial affairs in order.
Something you may want to consider is putting your vehicles in a Trust.
The United States Supreme Court has recently held that an officer may rely on car registrations that identify a person as the owner of the vehicle when considering making a stop. The Court has determined that an officer may assume that the owner is the person driving, absent other disqualifying information. The Court further held that if the vehicle owner has any outstanding citations, warrants, or suspended/revoked licenses, that information, paired with the assumption that the owner is the person driving, is adequate reasonable articulable suspicion to warrant a traffic stop.
See the full Court opinion here:https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/19pdf/18-556_e1pf.pdf
However, if your vehicles are in a Trust, you are protected from being randomly stopped. If an officer were to run your vehicle’s license plate number through his database, no personal information will be revealed. Instead, any result will only refer to the Trust and/or the Trustee as the owner of a vehicle. . Thus, an officer will not know, or be able to assume, that the owner of the vehicle is driving the vehicle (as Trusts can’t drive); and, therefore, will not have reasonable articulable suspicion to stop the vehicle.
Proper titling of assets is an essential part of estate planning.
If you are considering moving your vehicles or other assets into a Trust, or if you are considering creating any estate planning documents, please call our office at (703) 406-7616. Westlake Legal Group is here to help!
Nassir Aboreden, Jennifer Guida, Jackie Kramer, Jessica Elizabeth McCollum, T K Plofchan, Mason Dalman
Wondering what relief is offered to tenants and homeowners under the CARES Act?
Click to view a powerpoint created by Westlake Legal Group that reviews the key aspects of the Rent and Mortgage Provisions of CARES Act.
Jennifer Guida, T K Plofchan, Nassir Aboreden, Jackie Kramer, Mason Dalman, Jessica Elizabeth McCollum
In response to COVID-19, Governor Northam issued Executive Orders 53 and 55 in an attempt to slow the progression of the virus. Jessica McCollum of Westlake Legal Group conducted an analysis of these Executive Orders. Click the link below to learn about Protecting your Civil Liberties and Knowing your Rights During the COVID-19 Crisis:
Nassir Aboreden, T K Plofchan, Jackie Kramer, Jennifer Guida, Mason Dalman
In these highly unusual times, Westlake Legal Group believes that prior planning is required to permit people to emerge from the effects of COVID-19 having suffered as little financial harm as possible. To that end, people may need to alter their spending in the event of furlough or job termination. If this happens, there are ways to prioritze what bills get paid to maximize the effect of a bankruptcy or other debt relief, should that become a necessity. Please consider our current public service announcement on COVID-19 Bankruptcy Planning. Clink the link below.
[03/31/20] Westlake Legal Group is Open for Business Remotely. We have been meeting with clients via Zoom and have been able to continue to provide the advice clients need.
Understanding the CARES Act program for small businesses:
On behalf of Westlake Legal Group, Nassir Aboreden drafted a Summary of the CARES Act Forgivable Loan Provisions.
Please click the link below to view his summary.
Mason Dalman, Jessica Elizabeth McCollum, T K Plofchan, Jackie Kramer, Jennifer Guida
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