Questions Answered by Timothy R Johnson

Q: Can a bank sue me for overdraft charges from November 2010? Received a phone call yesterday saying I will be served.

1 Answer | Asked in Banking, Consumer Law, Contracts and Criminal Law for Virginia on
Answered on Jan 22, 2019
Timothy R Johnson's answer
They can sue you, but you will probably maintain a strong defense that the claim is past the statute of limitations, unless you acknowledged the debt on the phone call.

Q: My significant other of nine years are now parting ways. How do we transfer ownership of the business we have together?

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law for Virginia on
Answered on Jul 25, 2018
Timothy R Johnson's answer
I know no one likes this answer because it's exactly what you are trying to avoid...but you need to speak with a business attorney directly. While we can give general advice about what you need to do, there's almost always something unique to your situation that can adversely impact your interests if it is not taken into consideration in a simple forum response.

She might be able to just "sell" her business to you directly where you take over essentially as the sole proprietor. (Though...

Q: Is it legal for realtor to "forget" to email my contract and allowing anther party to buy that house? Anything I can do?

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Answered on Apr 18, 2018
Timothy R Johnson's answer
It's doubtful you can sue the realtor successfully (and even if you could, probably not worth it to do so). But you should consider filing a Realtor Association complaint as it can affect their realtor accreditation and possibly even their state real estate license.

Q: want to know if the owner is allowed to hold on to my tips if something is not done right.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law and Business Law for Virginia on
Answered on Apr 12, 2018
Timothy R Johnson's answer
Depends on whether he's at least paying you minimum wage ($7.25). If not, then he can get in some big trouble for that scheme, and you may want to consult an employment law attorney. Employment law attorneys don't typically charge consultation fees, and in some cases, may take some cases on a contingency basis so your only risk is lost time.

Q: Recd warrant in debt 4 VA rental surrendered 2/13. Due to biz fail. Stat of limitations? No prev contact prior to cert

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Civil Litigation, Collections and Landlord - Tenant for Virginia on
Answered on Apr 11, 2018
Timothy R Johnson's answer
Hire a local attorney to defend the case. If you don't do anything, you will have a default judgment entered against you, and at some point, the plaintiff may pursue assets of yours in Virginia (if any), and if the amount is significant enough, possibly against you in Florida.

If your message means that the property was surrendered in February 2013, there's a chance, depending on what exactly happened and on the terms of the contract, that you may be able to allege that the contract's...

Q: Can I be liable for what others state on Facebook if I'm a administrator or moderator of a group?

2 Answers | Asked in Civil Litigation and Libel & Slander for Virginia on
Answered on Apr 9, 2018
Timothy R Johnson's answer If you did absolutely nothing else to "re-publish" the statement, then there's almost no possible way that the plaintiff can allege you engaged in any wrongdoing. It would only be wrong if you know that information posted is wrong, and defamatory (impugns on the reputation of another), and you take actions to "re-publish" that information to others (ex: re-post the information yourself; re-open a closed discussion on the topic; etc.).

If you are already being sued by...

Q: I put a building lot under contract with multiple owners in Virginia.

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for Virginia on
Answered on Apr 3, 2018
Timothy R Johnson's answer
This is certainly a situation where you will need to consult with a real estate litigation attorney about what happened. The communications, their timings, and the purchase agreement all need to be closely reviewed to assess what your rights are, and whether you can obtain a "specific performance" (legal term for requiring the other party to perform on their part of the contract, a.k.a. make them sell you that particular property).

But even if the specific performance option falls...

Q: Can you sue a television show for portraying a person's faith in such a negative light that it damages that religion?

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights and Constitutional Law for Virginia on
Answered on Mar 30, 2018
Timothy R Johnson's answer
It comes down to the very specific information and portrayals depicted in the tv program, but 99.9% of the time: no. As long as the information presented is truthful, or at least based on a reasonable belief that it's truthful (ex: sources that appear reliable), any depiction is fair.

The same can be said even if it's all negative opinion based. If the interviewers all said, "[X] religion is just a bunch of idiots." That's not actionable since opinions are protected speech and it's not...

Q: Is a license/registration required to give a three day Survival Class with one overnight camping required in Virginia?

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law and Business Formation for Virginia on
Answered on Mar 29, 2018
Timothy R Johnson's answer
I can't possibly think of a department or 'professional license' that this would apply to.

If anything, the bigger issue is working out possible areas of liability such as if someone is injured while hiking or while engaged in any of the survivalist activities. You would probably want to create a liability waiver for all participants to be aware of the risks associated with the activity; requirements to follow all of your instructions including not wander off; and explain any critical...

Q: If I never had a write up and never been in trouble at work not once and how can you get fired if some one lies on you ?

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination, Employment Law, Workers' Compensation and Civil Rights for Virginia on
Answered on Mar 28, 2018
Timothy R Johnson's answer
An employer can fire you for any reason at all in Virginia unless you have a contract or the reason behind firing you was based on unlawful discrimination (race; religion; gender; age; etc.). If an employer heard about you through another employee, regardless whether it was true or not, the employer can fire you without any repercussion.

Q: Had a trial Nol Prossed the day before trial. What do I owe?

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts for Virginia on
Answered on Mar 26, 2018
Timothy R Johnson's answer
It comes down to the very specific language of the retainer agreement. It may be interpreted that once preparation for jury trial commenced in anticipation of a jury trial, the attorney would earn the extra $10,000; but it may also be interpreted that only once the jury trial COMMENCED would the attorney have earned his $10,000.

Additionally, there are ethics rules concerning whether an attorney's fee is "reasonable," under the circumstances that may affect whether your lawyer would be...

Q: According to VA state law- what is the stature of limitation on an 11k loan to a family member with a signed contract?

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts for Virginia on
Answered on Mar 22, 2018
Timothy R Johnson's answer
Generally, it's five years on written contracts as of the last date that performance was due (typically final payment). If no one re-affirms the contract after the final payment was due, the Statute of Limitations will trigger at five years and no longer be enforceable.

Q: I was wondering can I sue a county for wrongful arrest?

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights for Virginia on
Answered on Mar 22, 2018
Timothy R Johnson's answer
I don't believe you have a case.

1. Unless you have facts that can establish that certain county officials intentionally maintained an arrest warrant against you, knowing there was no basis for doing so, they are going to be protected by sovereign immunity, as well as general principles of civil rights laws requiring a heightened standard that the government official acted way outside of line of their duties.

2. Even if you could establish what I said in point 1 above, a...

Q: My former business partner refuses to give me the Federal tax returns for the last FY that I was co-owner.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Business Law for Virginia on
Answered on Mar 22, 2018
Timothy R Johnson's answer
The easiest way is to refer to any purchase agreement for the business and see whether there are any terms that can be used for establishing your continuing right to monitor the business's financial health as it relates to the SBA loans. But if the purchase was done via a handshake agreement and cash, it makes things a little tougher.

The next legal document that might confer express rights upon you is the SBA loan itself. If you signed as the guarantor, and your partner did as well an...

Q: I want to open a video gaming cafe that sells fresh, made on the spot pizzas. Is there any law that forbids this?

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law and Business Formation for Virginia on
Answered on Mar 16, 2018
Timothy R Johnson's answer
I don't see anything particularly concerning about this business model. It's just an updated arcade that serves food. As long as you obtain all proper business permits including health permits, and establish appropriate privacy and internet security safeguards, there shouldn't be anything uniquely difficult to deal with related to legal compliance.

The only other issue could be licensing problems if you offer video games that typically expect one user per product.

Q: I had an eyebrow tattoo.The esthetician posted pictures of my eyebrows on her Instagram without my consent.

1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury for Virginia on
Answered on Mar 12, 2018
Timothy R Johnson's answer
You may have claims against her for misappropriation of your likeness for commercial purposes. If you want her to stop her conduct immediately and have the pictures removed, you may want to consult an attorney to send her a letter informing her of her privacy infringements and warning that further action will result in her being taken to court.

Q: I have a potential dispute with an water equipment distributor.

2 Answers | Asked in Arbitration / Mediation Law, Business Law and Civil Litigation for Virginia on
Answered on Mar 12, 2018
Timothy R Johnson's answer
At face value, it sounds like you might have some valid claims. But the only way to find out with some real certainty and fully assess your legal options is to consult a business/commercial litigation attorney. Attorneys need to review all the pertinent documents, correspondences, marketing materials, and your own version of events to assess the strength of your case and what issues might be involved. I strongly encourage you to contact a local business/commercial attorney.

Q: In regards to a VA LLC. Can a P.O.A. Be used to represent any individual listed as a partner in the LLC?

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law for Virginia on
Answered on Mar 12, 2018
Timothy R Johnson's answer
The articles of organization and the operating agreement cannot limit the use of the power of attorney for members. If there is no prohibition on a non-member being given the POA to act on behalf of a member's part, it is most likely permissible.

(Va. Code § 13.1-1022. Management of limited liability company. . . . D. Unless otherwise provided in the articles of organization or an operating agreement, the members of a limited liability company have the power and authority to delegate...

Q: VA Non Stock Corp. Can a BOD principal appoint a primary AND a secondary proxy simultaneously? same document?

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law and Contracts for Virginia on
Answered on Feb 26, 2018
Timothy R Johnson's answer
In theory, sure a director could have alternate proxies based upon availability, but it should very clearly be established in any appointment forms regarding the circumstances when a proxy has the authority to operate on behalf of the principal. I have to stress that it should be VERY clear.

As for your second question, it's a matter of what happens in each vote. If everyone votes in agreement, then of course it's unanimous. If any valid proxy or principal votes against, then it's not...

Q: Virginia Non Stock Corp. Can a BOD director put a non- expiring or maybe an annual proxy in place?

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law and Contracts for Virginia on
Answered on Feb 26, 2018
Timothy R Johnson's answer
The first thing to check is the entity's articles of incorporation and by-laws to see what, if any, restrictions are placed on proxies. Generally, those rules will control the issue.

If there is nothing limiting the use of proxies, then Virginia's Non-stock Corporation Act rules on proxies applies.

A BOD director can put a proxy in place via an appointment form or other statement making clear such appointment. Without an express time limitation on the appointment, the proxy is...

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