Virgin Islands Law Blog

Virgin Islands Law Blog

U.S. Virgin Islands law & politics

Category Archives: Litigation

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Evaluating the Admissibility of Expert Testimony

Posted in Litigation
Stotesbury v. Pirate Duck Adventure, LLC, Slip Copy, 2013 WL 5508131 (D.V.I. October 1, 2013).   In a recent case in the District Court of the Virgin Islands, Division of St. Thomas-St. John, Defendants sought to exclude portions of Plaintiffs’ proposed experts’ testimony. Senior District Judge Donetta W. Ambrose of the U.S. District Court of… Continue Reading

Motions Screech to a Halt in Attempt to Keep Money from Creditors

Posted in Litigation
The Appellant Dawn Prosser appealed from a judgment of the District Court in favor of James Carroll, the Chapter 7 Trustee of the bankruptcy estate of Jeffrey Prosser, Dawn’s husband. Dawn challenged the District Court’s denial of her motion to dismiss, as well as other pleadings. She argued that the court erroneously allowed recovery for transfers… Continue Reading

Settling Foreclosure

Posted in Litigation
In a previous post, I offered tips on how to avoid foreclosure.  Most of those suggestions centered on how a mortgage borrower should talk to the mortgage lender at the onset of financial difficulties.  But what alternatives do borrowers have if they are already in active foreclosure litigation and they don’t qualify for loan modification programs… Continue Reading

VI Court Rules on Substitution of Parties to Action

Posted in Litigation
Curtis V. Gomez, Chief Judge of the District Court of the Virgin Islands, recently heard a motion by the plaintiffs to substitute a party in the matter of Richards v. Marshall.  The action was initiated in 2009. Plaintiffs Barbara Richards and several other tenants ("Tenants") alleged that they sustained various injuries after being exposed to… Continue Reading

The District Court of the Virgin Islands Vindicates the Administrative Exhaustion Doctrine in Challenges to DPNR Land Use Permits

Posted in Litigation
There is an old saying that you can’t fight city hall, but any administrative law attorney will tell you that this is not true.  If a local government agency makes a decision that affects your personal interests, you most certainly can appeal that decision.  But in doing so, appellants must take care that they lodge… Continue Reading

Eco-Expert OK to Testify on VI Bauxite

Posted in Litigation
The U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Planning and Natural Resources and the Government of the Virgin Islands brought an action against companies that had owned an alumina refinery and an oil refinery on St. Croix.  Judge Harvey Bartle wrote the opinion in Barnes v. Century Aluminum Company, Slip Copy, 2013 WL 3356421 (D.Virgin Islands June 28,… Continue Reading

Failure to Prosecute: Dream Home Purchase Turns into Litigation Nightmare

Posted in Litigation
In 2009, Rian Watts and David Morrell were interested in buying a furnished home located in Estate Bonne Esperance on St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.  Tanya Blake–Coleman, a licensed real estate broker in the U.S. Virgin Islands, represented the sellers of the property.  Ms. Blake–Coleman was employed by My Dream Properties, Inc., d/b/a Re/Max Dream Properties (“Dream”). … Continue Reading

Continuing Violations Doctrine Limits Legal Action

Posted in Litigation, Real Estate
James S. Carroll III, Judge of the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands was asked to settle a real estate dispute that originated in 2002. The Defendant Basil Bryan agreed to sell Parcel No. 17–5C, Estate St. Peter on St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, to the Plaintiff, Nancy Anderson. The parties also agreed that Ms. Anderson would receive an… Continue Reading

What Type of Insurance Do You Need for Your Small Business?

Posted in Litigation
When starting your own business, insurance is an important consideration.   Protecting your business investment with insurance minimizes the risks that can arise from unforeseen events, liabilities, and losses.  Finding the right insurance for your business can be a difficult task.  There are many variables that decide the right insurance for a small business.  These include… Continue Reading

Avoiding Foreclosure: First Talk to Your Lender

Posted in Litigation
Money troubles can be embarrassing.  Some people take it as a sign of weakness, and many people don’t like to admit that they need help.  This is the main reason that people avoid contacting their mortgage lenders when they have cash flow problems that affect their ability to remain current on their mortgage payments.  This… Continue Reading

Getting to the Court On Time!

Posted in Litigation
The statute of limitations is the deadline for filing a lawsuit. Federal law or the laws of a state or territory establish the amount of time an individual has to commence their lawsuit by filing their complaint.  If a party fails to file within the timeframe, in all but the rarest of instances, they will be barred… Continue Reading

Confrontation Clause Bars Surrogate Testimony

Posted in Litigation
Attorney Nycole A. Thompson with BoltNagi PC appealed her client’s conviction for aiding and abetting the unauthorized possession of a firearm. Thompson argued that the trial court’s admission, over her objections, of a certificate of non-existence of record (“CNR”) stating that her client did not have a gun license in District of St. Croix violated… Continue Reading

“Brave New Lawyerless World”

Posted in Litigation
Lawyer deregulation appears to be the current zeitgeist in the legal reform movement. Great Britain is experimenting with lawyer deregulation, which would make some basic legal services available at supermarkets. The Brookings Institution–somewhat surprisingly, to me–recently published a study recommending the deregulation of the legal industry in the United States as well. (Hat tip Futurelawyer.)… Continue Reading

I, For One, Welcome Our New Google Overlords.

Posted in Litigation
It appears that Google is bringing its fearsome powers of information organization to the legal world: Traditional lawyers may not like it, but venture capitalists are pouring money into one of the last industries to resist commoditization on the Web. Google Ventures today announced it is part of a group that infused $18.5 million into… Continue Reading

“‘Fair Market Value’ of No Value When It Comes To Foreclosure Deficiency Judgments”

Posted in Litigation
The St. Croix Division of the District Court of the Virgin Islands recently clarified whether a foreclosed property’s fair market value (as opposed to the price that is brings at a foreclosure sale) can serve as the basis from which a deficiency judgment is calculated. This is an important question, as it addresses an apparent… Continue Reading

Virgin Islands Aggravated Assault Statute Unconstitutional? Or Just Inadequately Defended

Posted in Litigation
A recent opinion by the Appellate Division of the District Court of the Virgin Islands addresses the constitutionality of the Virgin Islands aggravated assault statute. But far from wading into a scrum of technical constitutional analysis, the Appellate Court takes the Virgin Islands government to task for failing to muster any evidence on the statute’s… Continue Reading