VBA Journal

SPR 2016

The VBA Journal is the official publication of The Virginia Bar Association.

Issue link: http://vba.epubxp.com/i/671857

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Page 14 of 42

Improving the Law LEGISLATIVE RESULTS 10 • VBA JOURNAL ELDER LAW AND SPECIAL NEEDS SECTION Special Needs Trusts Provides that circuit courts may establish special needs trusts and other types of trusts to ensure consistency with federal law. Acts of Assembly Chapter 186. HEALTH LAW SECTION Fee-Sharing Statute Updates Updates Virginia's physician fee-sharing statute to eliminate ambiguities, protects physicians from inadvertent violations, and modernizes the statute based on current health care busi- ness models. Acts of Assembly Chapters 76 and 104. JOINT ADR COMMITTEE Increased Compensation for Court-Appointed Mediators Provides that court-appointed mediations that include custody/visitation as well as support are treated as two separate appointments for purposes of a mediator's compensation. Acts of Assembly Chapter 508. Te 2016-2018 budget conference report also includes an increase in mediator compensation from $100 to $120 per mediation. E very year, Te Virginia Bar Association makes a number of legislative proposals to the Virginia General Assembly for lawmakers' consideration. Tese proposals aim to improve the law and ensure the fair administration of justice. In the 2016 General Assembly session, the VBA supported several pieces of legislation from its sections and afliated or- ganizations. As detailed here, the General Assembly considered legislation from the Elder Law and Special Needs Section, the Health Law Section, the Wills, Trusts & Estates Section, the Joint ADR Committee, the Commission on the Needs of Children, the Virginia Family Law Coalition, and the Boyd-Graves Conference. Te VBA is grateful for the General Assembly members who agreed to sponsor this legislation as well as the many VBA members who worked in support of this legislation during the process. All of Virginia's citizens will beneft from these improvements in the law. In addition to selecting a new Supreme Court justice and Court of Appeals judge, the General Assembly approved funding in the 2016-2018 budget conference report for three additional judges, bringing the number of funded judgeships to 408. Te budget also includes money in the second year of the biennium for the National Center for State Courts to update its study on the number of judges needed in Virginia. Te study will provide evidence-based data to support proper judicial stafng levels and will assist the General Assembly in determining appropriate funding for the judiciary. BY JEFFREY S. PALMORE L

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