VB CGC Practice Group

VB CGC Practice Group
Vandeventer Black's Construction and Government Contracts Practice Group focuses on serving our business clients in the construction industry. We currently have offices in Norfolk and Richmond, VA, the OBX and Raleigh, NC, and Hamburg, Germany. For more information about Vandeventer Black, clink on the VB logo.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

New Federal I-9 Form Required After May 7, 2013

The Department of Homeland Security published a new form for verifying employment eligability that is applicable to all U.S. business.  Vandeventer Black's Mara Mijal offers this summary of the change:
On March 8, 2013, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a revised Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 for use. All employers are required to complete a Form I-9 for each employee hired in the United States. Improvements to the new Form I-9 include new fields, reformatting to reduce errors, and clearer instructions to both employees and employers.
As of March 8, 2013, employers should begin using the newly revised Form I-9 for all new hires and reverifications.  Employers may continue to use previously accepted revisions until May 7, 2013; however, after May 7, 2013, employers must only use the new Form I-9.  Employers should not complete a new Form I-9 for current employees if a properly completed Form I-9 is already on file.

The revised Form I-9 is available online at www.uscis.gov.
For more information about this, here is Mara's contact information:

Mara S. Mijal
Immigration Law Group
Vandeventer Black LLP
101 West Main Street
500 World Trade Center
Norfolk, VA 23510
tel 757-446-8600
fax 757-446-8670
email: mmijal@vanblk.com

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Careful what you say: it may be actionable defamation

The Virginia Supreme Court recently held that a contractor could sue a competitor for defamation for asserting to the plaintiff contractor's client that the plaintiff contractor told the competitor he as going to "screw" the client. The lower court had dismissed the defamation claim, concluding that competitor's statements were opinion. The Virginia Supreme Court reversed, holding that under the specific facts the competitor's statement was one of fact, not mere opinion. The case is Tharpe v. J. Harman Saunders, No. 120985, Feb. 28, 2013. Bottom-line: be careful what you say about your competitors; it just might be actionable defamation.

County Claims: Don't Forget the Notice of Appeal and Bond

Claims against County's have their own statutory requirements in Virginia, including the requirement in Virginia Code Sec. 15.2-1246 that claimants both provide a written notice of appeal and a bond to be filed with the clerk respecting appeal of any money claims against the county. Recently, the Virginia Supreme Court reversed a judgment because the appellants filed a document with the county called "Appeal Bond", but nowhere in that document indicated it as notice of intent to appeal their claim. While the dissent argued this was form over substance, the majority of the court disagreed. That decision is County of Albermarle v. Camirand, No. 120711, decided Feb. 28, 2013.

What impact does that have on me you might ask? Well, if you do procurement work for a county you have the same statutory requirement. Even though your contract is under the Virginia Public Procurement Act, and even though that act has its own disputes resolution statute, and many contracts have their own disputes resolution statute as is allowed by the VPPA; you ignore Virginia Code Sec. 15.2-1246 at your peril. In its Jan. 16, 2009 decision in Viking Enterprise, Inc. v. County of Chesterfield, Record No. 080215, the Virginia Supreme Court noted that while the VPPA applies to how claims are initially presented to the public body, it is not inconsistent with Sec. 15.2-1246's requirements respecting how suits against counties are to be brought, and so both apply. Therefore, the failure to have complied with Sec. 15.2-1246, and to allege allege compliance in the complaint, are fatal jurisdictional defects.