I often find myself explaining how auto insurance “works” to family, friends, and clients. Even the basics of insurance can be difficult to understand. Unfortunately, the complexities of insurance often cause individuals to unknowingly expose themselves to serious risk when purchasing auto insurance. Through this and a subsequent post, I will explain auto insurance in Virginia. To begin, this post will discuss the basic types of coverage that come into play during a personal injury case.
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McDonald’s Hot Coffee– Lesson for Trial Lawyers
The telling of stories is a natural way for people to learn and convey ideas. In fact, it is so natural that at times people will complete lessons they think they have learned by inventing facts that fit their perceived story. This is particularly problematic for trial lawyers. If you tell an incomplete story to a jury–someone will complete it for you and do so through their own experiences, real or perceived. Once a juror has completed your story, it becomes the only story and will guide that juror’s thinking and communication with his fellow jurors.
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Matthew (Matt) graduated magna cum laude from George Mason University School of Law in May 2012. Immediately upon graduation he served as law clerk to The Honorable Michael F. Devine, Judge, Circuit Court of Fairfax County. Matt will be involved in all aspects of the firms civil litigation practice.

A 30 year old father of two was injured while working on a County trash truck. He received workers compensation benefits, but knowing they wouldn’t last forever, the worker sought counsel. After several lawyers told him there was no case, Gary Mims and associate Zachary Desmond agreed to investigate further.
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On December 14, 2012, a 36 year old man entered a primary school in central China, intent upon injuring school children. He was apprehended after injuring 20 students, with no fatalities. Two days later, a 20 year old man entered an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut with the same intent–but with hugely different results. In Newton, Connecticut, 20 children and 6 adults were killed and the police were unable to apprehend the shooter before he fatally shot himself.
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(Fairfax, VA – Nov. 1, 2013) — Fairfax personal injury law firm Sickels, Frei & Mims has earned a Top Tier, National ranking in the medical malpractice category by US News and World Report’s annual edition of top law firms. The firm is also listed in the top tier ranking in the Washington, DC metropolitan area for medical malpractice and personal injury, for both defendants and plaintiffs.

The firm has been recognized by US News since the inception of its Best Law Firms rankings in 2010.
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In a confidential settlement, an anesthesiologist agreed to pay $1,690,000.00 to settle a lawsuit brought by her patient who suffered a torn esophagus due to the negligence of a surgical anesthesiologist.
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In a case that redefines employment law in Virginia, the State Supreme Court recently issued a definitive ruling on the scope and breadth of not to compete covenants. In Home Paramount Pest Control v. Shaffer, et al., the court agreed with Sickels, Frei & Mims partner Charles Sickels that the employer’s non-compete restriction was overbroad and unenforceable because it effectively restricted former employees from performing any activity whatsoever for any competitor of the former employer’s. Further, the Court said that the Covenant was not reasonably limited to protect only the employer’s legitimate business interests. The Court noted that the law of non-compete agreements had evolved in Virginia since 1989 in Paramount vs. Rector when it had upheld an identical covenant. Sickels represented Paramount in that case. The Court examined the function component of the restrictive covenant to determine whether the covenant was reasonable and no more restrictive than necessary. The restriction in the employment function with a new employer must be related to the functions the employee performed with the former employer.

Read the full opinion: HOME PARAMOUNT PEST CONTROL COMPANIES, INC. v. JUSTIN SHAFFER, ET AL., No. 101837, November 4, 2011, OPINION BY JUSTICE WILLIAM C. MIMS.pdf