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What Individuals Should Know about Same-Sex Marriage in Virginia

On Monday, October 6, 2014, the United States Supreme Court denied certiorari (review) of seven different rulings from the Federal Courts of Appeals (coming to the Court from the Fourth, Seventh and Tenth Circuits).   The Fourth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals' ruling held that Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.  Since the Supreme Court denied review, the Fourth Circuit Court’s ruling stands and same-sex marriages will be permitted in Virginia.  At 1:00 p.m. on October 6, 2014, same-sex marriage began to be permitted across the Commonwealth.

What does this mean for the citizens of Virginia?

If you are already married in another state that legally permitted same-sex marriage—

  • You are legally married for all purposes under Virginia and Federal law.
  • If you are not the legal parent of your child(ren), you may obtain a step-parent adoption in Virginia to become a legal parent of your child(ren).
  • You and your spouse may legally adopt a child jointly.
  • You may take title to property in Virginia as Tenants By The Entireties, which has significant advantages for estate planning purposes and to avoid collection activities by creditors of one spouse.  [Property previously titled may be re-titled to change the ownership to Tenants By The Entireties.]
  • One spouse may qualify for health insurance and other spousal benefits, including pension benefits, through the other spouse’s employer.
  • Your tax returns for Virginia and for the Federal government must now indicate your status as married.
  • You may enter into post-nuptial agreements, property settlement agreements and/or custody and visitation agreements with your spouse.
  • You may now obtain a divorce in Virginia, including equitable division of marital property, spousal support, child custody, child visitation, and fault based divorces.

If you are not current married –

  • You may enter into a pre-marital agreement establishing rights and obligations upon marriage and potentially upon divorce.
  • You may obtain a marriage license and get married in Virginia.
  • Once married, all of the rights set forth above will apply.

The attorneys in McCandlish Holton, P.C.’s Family Law Team, Employment Law Team and Employee Benefits Team can provide assistance with the adoptions, pre-marital and post-nuptial agreement, re-titling property, employee benefits, and employment law issues arising out of the recent court decisions.  


This New Article is provided for information only. While we believe the information to be accurate, this article should not be construed as legal advice.  This article does not create an attorney-client relationship between McCandlish Holton, P.C. and the reader.   Every situation is different and you should consult with counsel regarding your particular facts and circumstances.


Robert W. Partin to Present at 22nd Annual Bench Bar Conference

Robert W. Partin, a member of the McCandlish Holton Family Law Team, will present “Child Support:  I Have To Pay HOW Much ?!?!” at the Bar Association of the City or Richmond’s 22nd Annual Bench Bar Conference on October 23, 2014 at the Omni Hotel Richmond.  The presentation will review the 2014 changes to Virginia’s Child Support Guidelines, the first substantive changes to the guidelines since they were first instituted in 1988, including the underlying social science research and assumptions.  The program is intended to provide guidance to family law attorneys and judges on application of the guidelines and when deviation from the guidelines may be appropriate.


McCandlish Holton Opens Office in Fairfax, Virginia

Shortly after completing a significant expansion of its main offices in downtown Richmond, McCandlish Holton has expanded to the Northern Virginia area, opening a new office in Fairfax.

McCandlish Holton is a full-service law firm with 35 attorneys in practice areas including litigation, immigration, healthcare, real estate, and biotech.  Scott C. Ford, Vice President of the firm and Chair of the litigation practice group, states that the Fairfax office will focus primarily on litigation matters.  Ford stated, “We are excited about the expansion of our geographical footprint because it will allow us to provide better support to our existing and growing client base in the northern Virginia region.”

With clients throughout Virginia and the mid-Atlantic region, the firm’s expansion aims to provide its clients with more timely, cost-effective, and specialized defense.

The office is located at 8280 Willow Oaks Corporate Drive, Suite 600, Fairfax, Virginia, close to the intersection of the Capital Beltway and I-66, just off Gallows Road. The Northern Virginia office opened for business on September 1, 2014.


McCandlish Holton Welcomes Maggie Krantz

McCandlish Holton is pleased to welcome the return of Maggie Krantz to the firm's Health Care team.  Maggie joined McCandlish Holton immediately following her graduation from the University of Virginia School of Law.  In 2009, she moved to Germany where she served as a consultant to the U.S. Army Medical Department Activity Bavaria.  Maggie has re-joined the firm as Of Counsel and focuses her practice on a variety of state and federal regulatory issues and transactional work.


Best Lawyers in America for 2015

We are pleased to announce that six of the firm's attorneys have been selected by their peers for inclusion in the 2015 edition of Best Lawyers in America. They are:

Commercial Litigation, Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions - Defendants, Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants, and Personal Injury - Plaintiffs

Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law

Employment Law - Individuals, Employment Law - Management, and Litigation - Labor and Employment

Health Care Law

Immigration Law


AILA Presents Jennifer Minear with the 2014 Susan D. Quarles AILA Service Excellence Award

The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has awarded Jennifer Minear the 2014 Susan D. Quarles AILA Service Excellence Award in recognition of her outstanding service, over a period of years, in advancing the mission, development, and value of AILA for its members and the public it serves. In the awards program, AILA described Jennifer’s service as follows:

Jennifer has served AILA as a volunteer in nearly all possible capacities. She has been a member of, or chaired, liaison committees and conference program committees, spoken at numerous AILA conferences, and written for AILA publications. In 2012, she was elected to the AILA Board of Governors (BOG). As a BOG member she took her fiduciary duties seriously, preparing for and participating in tough policy and governance decisions…A model of true leadership, Ms. Minear is professional, gracious, dedicated, and able to stay the course in rough waters.


Virginia Super Lawyers for 2014

McCandlish Holton is pleased to announce that seven of the firm's attorneys have been recognized as Virginia Super Lawyers for 2014. They are:

Business/Corporate:

Business Litigation:

Employment & Labor:

Family Law:

Health Care:

Workers’ Compensation:

In addition, three of the firm's attorneys have been selected as Virginia Rising Stars for 2014. They are:

Business/Corporate:

Real Estate:


Sara Hendon Heisler Presents at Lorman Education Seminar

On Wednesday, June 4, 2014, Sara Hendon Heisler, a member of the Health Care practice group, presented at a Lorman Education Seminar in Richmond, Virginia.  Sara's presentation, Electronic Health Records, discussed the incentives and penalties related to meaningful use of electronic health records, as well as the physician quality reporting system, compliance with anti-fraud laws, administrative simplification, ICD-10, and key licensing issues. 


Jeremy A. Ball Presents at 16th Annual Virginia Health Law Legislative Update and Extravaganza

Jeremy A. Ball, a member of McCandlish Holton's Health Care practice group, presented at the Virginia Bar Association's 16th Annual Virginia Health Law Legislative Update and Extravaganza.  Held on Thursday, May 22, 2014, at the General Assembly Building, the event served to update Virginia's health care attorneys regarding legislative changes resulting from this year's General Assembly session, to present potential issues the General Assembly might discuss in the 2015 session, and to provide a stimulating discussion of ethicical concerns.  Jeremy served on the panel of legal titans, sharing the professional experiences of the panel and relating those experiences to the Rules of Professional Conduct.


Jeremy A. Ball Leads Virginia State Bar Professionalism Course

On May 15, 2014, Jeremy A. Ball, a member of the Health Care practice group, led the Virginia State Bar Professionalism Course held in Hampton Roads, Virginia.


Samantha Stecker Otero Presents at RMGMA

Samantha Stecker Otero, a member of McCandlish Holton's Employment Law and Health Care practice groups, presented at the Richmond Medical Managers Group Association Meeting on Thursday, May 8, 2014.  Sam's presentation, Let’s Get Practical: A discussion of common employment issues, updated meeting attendees regarding new changes to employment law and discussed the top reasons health care practices seek employment law advice. 


David E. Gluckman Publishes Article on the Rules for Traveling and Working on Expiring Green Cards

McCandlish Holton Immigration attorney David E. Gluckman recently published an article on the rules for traveling and working on expiring green cards.  The article discusses the processes and procedures a permanent resident would need to follow to properly prepare for plans to leave the United States on, around, or after the date of expiration of his or her green card.  The article is available online at ILW.com.


Jennifer Minear Recognized as “Influential Women of Virginia” Honoree

McCandlish Holton is pleased to announce that Jennifer Minear, a director in the firm’s Immigration Practice Group, has been recognized as a 2014 honoree of the Virginia Lawyer’s Weekly “Influential Women of Virginia” award.  This esteemed honor is bestowed upon women of the Commonwealth in recognition of their professional achievements as well as their contributions to the greater community.  Specifically, Jennifer was nominated for her outstanding performance as an immigration attorney, notable leadership in the American Immigration Lawyer’s Association, and remarkable dedication to pro bono efforts.   A gala ceremony celebrating the honorees is set to be held at the Hilton Short Pump in May.  Congratulations, Jennifer!


Jennifer Minear Served as a Panelist on Foreign Physician Immigration Series

On March 20, 2014, Jennifer Minear, a member of the Immigration Practice Group, served as a panelist on ILW.com's "Foreign Physician Immigration Options for Experts" series.  In particular, this presentation focused on J-1 waiver options for international medical graduates who have completed graduate medical education in the U.S. in J-1 status, including clinical J-1 waivers and the various interested government agencies through which these applications may be processed.


Tonia E. Peake Moderated ICSC Virginia Alliance Seminar

Tonia E. Peake, a member of the McCandlish Holton Real Estate & Finance practice group, moderated on Thursday, March 20, 2014, a seminar coordinated by the International Council of Shopping Center’s (ICSC) Virginia Alliance Committee.  Hosted at the Renaissance Hotel in Portsmouth, Virginia, and sponsored by McCandlish Holton, Virginia is for Retail Development Lovers explored the use of Tourism Zones and Financing Programs as a way for localities to encourage retail development in today’s tight lending markets.  The panel of experts discussing the initiatives’ opportunities and best practices included a co-sponsor of the enabling legislation as well as officials from multiple cities in the Hampton Roads area.  Providing a forum for the public and private sectors to work together on retail development issues, the event was a huge success.


Jamie Baskerville Martin Moderates ABA Webinar

Jamie Baskerville Martin, a member of the McCandlish Holton Health Care Team, moderated an American Bar Association Health Law Section webinar held Thursday, March 20, 2014.  Entitled Medical Staff/Hospital Relationships: Diagnosing the Problem, Treating It, and Practicing Wellness, the webinar discussed how the ever-changing roles of hospitals and medical staff can lead to friction.  The presentation provided guidance on how alternative dispute resolution, which is traditionally used to resolve specific disputes, can be implemented on a regular basis to manage and mitigate everyday conflicts.


McCandlish Holton Signs Lease for New Office Space

McCandlish Holton has signed a lease for nearly 34,000 square feet in the Bank of America Center, at 1111 East Main Street in the City of Richmond’s financial district.  The 32-lawyer firm has been headquartered in the Bank of America Center since 1994, but looked at new office space options as its current lease approached expiration.  Overall, the firm will be increasing its total space by nearly 30%, moving from its current 15th-floor location to the 21st floor, and expanding its current 20th-floor presence.  “With the evolution in law firm staffing models and technology over the past 20 years, we needed a new approach to office design.  We looked at many site options, but we have found the central location of our current building to be very convenient.  Our new office space will be extensively renovated to allow for more efficient space usage, easily accessible public areas and full integration of technology,” said Jamie Baskerville Martin, firm president and chair of the healthcare practice group. 

McCandlish Holton, founded in 1980, is a full-service law firm with practice areas including business, immigration, healthcare, litigation, and real estate.  Thomas W. McCandlish, chairman, founded the firm.  The firm became known as McCandlish Holton in 2002.  Governor A. Linwood Holton, governor of Virginia from 1970-1974, has been with the firm for nearly 20 years.

Ned Roberts and Charles M. Polk, III, with Jones Lang LaSalle Americas Inc., handled the transaction for McCandlish Holton.  Malcolm M. Randolph, Jr., and Scott F. Durham with CBRE | Richmond represented the Landlord.  RoseMarie Bundy, Randy Blankenship and Caroline Garrett with Evolve Architecture are the architectural and interior design team on the project.  A lobby rendering can be found here.


Virginia Business Legal Elite for 2013

McCandlish Holton is pleased to announce that five of the firm's attorneys have been recognized as Virginia Business "Legal Elite" for 2013. They are:

Bankruptcy/Creditors' Rights

Family/Domestic Relations

Health Law

Labor/Employment


McCandlish Holton Attorneys Score Major FOIA Victory in Federal Court

McCandlish Holton attorneys Jonathan L. Moore and David E. Gluckman scored a major Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) victory against the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) in a decision issued on November 26, 2013 by Judge James R. Spencer in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Most employers wishing to sponsor foreign employees for permanent residence in the United States must first obtain a “labor certification” showing that no qualified, willing, able, and available U.S. workers exist for a particular position.  DOL is responsible for issuing these labor certifications under the Program Electronic Review Management (“PERM”) program.  Although thousands of U.S. companies file PERM labor certification applications each year, DOL has provided little public information about many key aspects of the PERM program or how DOL processes PERM applications.

Mr. Gluckman, an attorney in the McCandlish Holton Immigration Practice Group, saw the federal FOIA statute as an opportunity to shed light on DOL’s operations.  On March 15, 2012, he submitted a FOIA request seeking records relating to DOL’s auditing and processing of PERM applications, including the criteria DOL uses to select cases for audit.  When DOL failed to provide any documents in response to his request, Mr. Gluckman retained fellow McCandlish Holton immigration attorney and litigator Mr. Moore to represent him.  After more than a year passed without receiving any documents, Mr. Moore filed suit against DOL on Mr. Gluckman’s behalf to compel production of the requested documents. 

DOL vigorously contested the lawsuit, claiming that 272 documents were exempt from disclosure (either in full or in part) under the “law enforcement” and “deliberative process” exemptions to FOIA. In extensive briefing and at oral argument, Mr. Moore demonstrated how the claimed FOIA exemptions did not apply to the withheld and redacted documents.  He also pointed out flaws in the methodology DOL used to search for responsive documents.

On November 26, 2013, the court ruled in Mr. Gluckman’s favor, rejecting all of DOL’s exemption claims.  The court also ruled that DOL had not demonstrated that it had conducted a legally sufficient search for responsive documents in two of its three primary offices. 

This decision is a significant victory for “open government” and promises to shed light in an area that has been historically bereft of clear public guidance, ultimately providing substantial benefits to employers and members of the immigration bar nationwide.

A copy of the court’s opinion is available here.