In the News
CASE RESULTS DEPEND UPON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE. CASE RESULTS DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE UNDERTAKEN BY THE LAWYER
In The News
- Civil Rights – FOIA in the balance. The judiciary’s role to interpret rather than to legislate changes in the law.
February 8, 2013 – Virginia Supreme Court affirms in part prior victory for citizens who want transparency in government affairs through Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Civil rights attorneys Thomas H. Roberts and Andrew T. Bodoh were pleased that part of the victory was preserved and concerned that the victory was not complete.
January 30, 2013 – Civil rights attorneys Thomas H. Roberts and Andrew T. Bodoh successfully represented 20 year veteran Richmond Police Officer Wesley Moore in his suit against a junior patrol officer arising from events following a traffic stop. While the plaintiff disputed the basis for the traffic stop, the court determined the stop was legitimate – the case was submitted to the jury on the claim of battery. The jury awarded $250,000.
January 18, 2013 – Thomas H. Roberts, Esq. and Andrew T. Bodoh successfully defended a a $850,000 defamation claim in the Circuit Court for the City of Richmond, convincing the jury that the claims were insignificant resulting in a jury verdict of $3500. In light of the nominal award, the decision whether to appeal to request a dismissal on issues of law based upon First Amendment and other legal issues is more difficult given the costs of an appeal.
January 17, 2013 – Thomas H. Roberts, Esq. successfully prosecuted a defamation and conspiracy suit on behalf of a guardian ad litem where the defendant that she had no factual foundation for the defamatory statements published at the time she wanted to have the guardian ad litem removed from the case in which he had made recommendations adopted by the court over her objections. The court awarded compensatory damages, attorneys’ fees and costs against the defendant.
- Civil Rights – State may not unilaterally modify its contracts or breach the provisions of those contracts with impunity.
December 17, 2012 –Virginia Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of Smith who entered into a contract with the State, a plea bargain in a sex offense case, which the State subsequently breached attempting to unilaterally modify the terms. While it is not popular to represent sex offenders, the law firm believes that all citizens are entitled to due process, the benefit and protection of the law.
July 25, 2012 –Alexandria Federal Jury awarded $75,000 in damages. Under Virginia law, the plaintiff is entitled to treble the damages for the conspiracy claim under § 18.2-500 and costs of suit, including a reasonable fee to plaintiff’s counsel.
- Keeping the Light Shining on Virginia Government – Law Firm’s Victory Providing Citizen’s Access to Information Under the Freedom Of Information Act in James City County
February 7, 2012 – Civil Rights Attorney Andrew T. Bodoh, with the Richmond law firm of Thomas H. Roberts & Associates, P.C. successfully enforced Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in the Circuit Court for James City County.
A resident of Toano, Virginia alleged that he had been improperly detained and sought extensive information related to his arrest and the past conduct of the arresting officer, including the officer’s personnel file. The law firm filed suit with the Circuit Court after counsel for the police department denied many of the requests. In less than 30 days from the filing, Judge Robert Curran ruled in favor of disclosure and ordered James City County turn the documents over to Andrew T. Bodoh, Esq.
Additionally, the Court ordered that James City County should pay attorney’s fees for the improper denial of those documents.
September 11, 2010 – Civil rights attorney Thomas H. Roberts, and spokesman for Freedom Works Foundation argues that citizens are asleep at the switch as their rights are quietly being removed. He hopes to awaken citizens in Bennett v. Vilardo, now pending in the Circuit Court for the City of Colonial Heights and destined to be heard by the Virginia Supreme Court. In Virginia, several lower state court rulings have erroneously followed federal courts’ decisions that eviscerate the rights of Virginia citizens guaranteed by the Virginia Constitution. While the Virginia Supreme Court in Robb v. Shockoe Slip Foundation, 228 Va. 678, 324 S.E. 2d 674 (1995), confirmed the fundamental rights of its citizens, setting forth the “fundamental analysis” for determining whether a constitutional provision is self executing or enforceable without a special grant by the legislature, the federal courts and lower state courts fail to properly identify or follow the rule of law laid out in Robb. ”
A constitutional provision is self-executing when it expressly so declares. Even without benefit of such a declaration, constitutional provisions in bills of rights and those merely declaratory of common law are usually considered self-executing. The same is true of provisions which specifically prohibit particular conduct. Provisions of a Constitution of a negative character are generally, if not universally, construed to be self-executing.” Robb, 228 Va. at 681-82 (quotations and citations omitted). A constitutional provision is self executing, then, if it expressly so declares. A provision is also usually self-executing if (1) it is part of a bill of rights; (2) is merely declaratory of common law; (3) prohibits particular conduct, or (4) is of a negative character. Id. These courts consistently deny citizens the right to bring an action seeking remedies for violations of the rights contained in the bill of rights with the lone exception of the right to be free from governmental taking without just compensation. The federal courts and lower state courts have elevated the exception to liberty to be the only right recognized and enforceable. The simple and clear language of the Constitution makes it clear the framers of the Constitution were carving out an exception to the citizens’ liberty by providing a temporing provision to the right of private property, where the good of all citizens might trump the right of private property–but only when the individual is duly compensated. Thus the Constitution provides the power and duty – the power of government to exercise immenent domain, infringing upon the right of personal property of the citizens provided the government pay the citizen “just compensation” for taking the property. It is obscene to read this exception to liberty as the only enforceable right of citizens in Virginia.
September 18, 2008 – Civil rights attorney Thomas H. Roberts, and spokesman for Freedom Works Foundation believes that citizens face an insidious danger of the freedom guaranteed by the United States Constitution becoming eroded by so called conservatives who trade police power for liberty. Former prosecutor and now United States Judge Henry Hudson flushed the 4th Amendment claim of a Virginia man who complained that police officers violated his reasonable expectation of privacy by forced entry into his bathroom in his own home. The police were called to the home by his wife following a verbal spat. The officers had been informed that there had been no domestic violence prior to the entry. The wife met the officers at the front door to the home without any evidence of violence. The officers spoke with the man who made it clear that he intended to stay in his bathroom and was not interested in engaging in a face to face conference with the police officers. If the home is a man’s castle, then the bathroom is the throne room and the police have no business barging in without a warrant, probable cause or exigent circumstances. The Fourth Circuit upheld the decision by an unpublished opinion. The U.S. Supreme Court denied the writ petition.
April 30, 2008 – The law firm of Thomas H. Roberts &
Associates, P.C., announced another victory after prevailing for its client in
an ore tenus hearing after the client’s application for renewal
of his concealed weapon’s permit was denied. The firm also
prevailed obtaining the dismissal of criminal charges of obstruction and
reckless use of a firearm, both class 1 misdemeanor charges with maximum
penalties of 1 year in jail and $2,500 fine for each charge.
- Mara J. Martin v. University of Virginia Medical Center, 03/13/2007
Commission erred in finding that claimant failed to adequately market her
residual work capacity; commission’s decision is reversed and the case is
March 13, 2007 – The law firm of Thomas H. Roberts &
Associates, P.C., announced another victory after prevailing for its client
before the Virginia Court of Appeals, which reversed the decision of the
commission, holding that the test to determine whether a worker’s compensation
claimant met her burden to market her residual capacity is a test of
reasonableness. What constitutes a reasonable
marketing effort depends upon the facts and circumstances of each case.
The factors the commission should consider in deciding whether a claimant has
made reasonable good faith efforts to market his or her remaining capacity are:
(1) the nature and extent of employee’s disability; (2) the employee’s
training, age, experience, and education; (3) the nature and extent of employee’s
job search; (4) the employee’s intent in conducting his job search; (5) the
availability of jobs in the area suitable for the employee, considering his
disability; and (6) any other matter affecting employee’s capacity to find
February 26, 2007 – Suit filed in the United States District Court
in Norfolk, Virginia alleging violation of Title VII and First Amendment to the
United States Constitution, seeking to hold Sheriff of Chesapeake, Virginia
accountable to the law he is sworn to uphold
CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY SPEAKS OUT AGAINST THE WEST COAST ATTEMPT TO UNDERMINE
GOD-GIVEN FREEDOMS AND RIGHTS.
September 14, 2005 – San Francisco’s United States
District Judge is taking another run at undermining the “unalienable”
rights and freedoms “endowed by the Creator” declaring
unconstitutional the national
acknowledgment “under God.” This and the likely decision of the
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals stands in conflict to the August 10, 2005
decision of the Fourth Circuit.
Government agrees not to interfere with the informed and difficult medical
decision of fit parents for their children including the decision to reject
medical treatment for their child after weighing the risk and benefits of a
July 4, 2005 — The law firm of Thomas H. Roberts & Associates,
P.C. announced another victory in the battle to preserve the constitutional
right of fit parents to make informed medical decisions including the right to
reject treatment after weighing the risks and benefits of a particular
- Hanover School
Bus Drivers drive the law home – Employers must pay non-exempt employees all
the wages earned and may not require “off the clock” work.
April 28, 2005 — The law firm of Thomas H. Roberts & Associates,
P.C. filed a class action suit for Hanover School Bus Drivers who have been
required to work “off the clock” in violation of the Fair
Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). Employees who want to be
compensated for the “off the clock” work should opt
in pursuant to 29 U.S.C.A. § 216(b).
COUNTY PROMISES REMEDIAL EDUCATION TO SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS AFTER MIDDLE
SCHOOL STUDENTS GIVE EDUCATORS A FAILING GRADE IN RELIGIOUS FREEDOM AND THE
EQUAL ACCESS ACT.
July 23, 2003 — The law firm of Thomas H. Roberts & Associates,
P.C. announced another victory in the battle to preserve religious freedom after
Henrico County, Virginia agreed to end the policy which violated the First
Amendment and the Equal Access Act in one of its middle schools.
February 24, 2003 — “Upon review of the record in
this case and consideration of the argument submitted in support of and in
opposition to the granting of an appeal, the Court is of opinion there is no
reversible error in the judgment complained of. Accordingly, the Court
refuses the petition for appeal.” Thomas H. Roberts, Esq. stated
“With this confirmation by the Virginia Supreme Court, it is time for
people to accept responsibility for their actions–we will see.”
CIVIL RIGHTS ATTORNEY OBTAINS $1.04 MILLION VERDICT AGAINST FORMER
PROSECUTOR SENDING MESSAGE THAT NOBODY IS ABOVE THE LAW
July 19, 2002 – After several days of trial,
Thomas H. Roberts, Esq. asked a Henrico County jury to find in favor of his
client, a contractor who suffered substantial injuries after being struck
repeatedly by Richmond’s former prosecutor Joseph D. Morrissey. Roberts
urged the jury to carefully consider the evidence presented to them and to find
that Morrissey’s account of the incident was simply inconsistent. Finally,
Roberts urged the jury to award punitive damages in a sufficient amount to
punish him and to send a message to others that wrong doing and an attempt to manipulate
the system to cover up wrong doing will not be tolerated. The jury awarded
$1.04 Million, which ranked among the top 20 largest verdicts in the
state of Virginia for 2002.
June 26, 2002 – Thomas H. Roberts, Esq. denounces
the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that attempts to remove the national
acknowledgment “under God” which is the basis for the freedoms and
rights which are “unalienable” and “endowed by the Creator.”
August, 2001– Thomas H. Roberts
& Associates, P.C. announced a victory in a highly publicized action in
Fairfax County. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
ruled that the Sheriff and other officials were not entitled to the defense of qualified
immunity for claims of 1st Amendment violations. Further the court ruled
that contrary to the argument of Fairfax, there is never qualified immunity in
Title VII cases.
July 3, 2001– Since the firm of Thomas H. Roberts
& Associates, P.C. took up the cause of two black men in the Town of Front
Royal, positive changes have been obtained. The parties have resolved the
IN LYNCHBURG – FELONY CHARGES DROPPED AGAINST MAN WHO WAS ARRESTED WITHOUT
PROBABLE CAUSE AND BEATEN
July 2, 2001– Lynchburg – Under Common law long
recognized by the Supreme Court of Virginia, citizen had every right to use
reasonable force to repel an unlawful arrest
June 11, 2001– Powhatan County was fortunate to have
been given the opportunity to settle after it violated the Constitutional rights
of the Powhatan Chapter of the student religious club, the Fellowship of
Christian Athletes, said Thomas H. Roberts, civil rights attorney and spokesman
for Freedom Works Foundation, referring to the decision of the U.S. Supreme
Court on June 11, 2001.
May 5, 2000 — Civil Rights Attorney Thomas H. Roberts,
and spokesman for Freedom Works
Foundation announced he was pleased with the resolution of the Powhatan High
School Federal Suit. The students religious freedoms will be protected and
the school will be training its faculty to comply with the First
Amendment. A victory for all!
- DISCRIMINATION – FAIRFAX COUNTY
January 7, 2000 — District
Judge denied the attempt by Former Sheriff Peed to block the trial of two Deputy Sheriffs
who allege that he retaliated against them after they complained of race discrimination in
the Office of the Sheriff for Fairfax County, Virginia. Peed appealed the
decision to the United States Circuit Court.
- PETITION FOR WRIT OF
U.S. SUPREME COURT – SEX DISCRIMINATIONDecember 27,1999 — A
petition for writ
of certiorari was filed with the United Supreme Court in the sex discrimination case
of Taylor v. Virginia
Union University. Two female police officers formerly employed by Virginia Union University have asked the Supreme
Court to reverse the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and the
district court in Richmond after they were denied the right to a fair trial. The law
firm of Thomas H. Roberts & Associates, P.C., has filed the petition asking the
United States Supreme Court to direct lower courts to conduct a more thorough analysis
rather than retreating to sweeping generalizations often applied in discrimination
cases. Thomas H. Roberts is asking the Court to remove contrived restrictions on the
Civil Rights Act of 1991 and to curtail the application of the “same actor
inference” and the “stray comment rule”.
- CONSTITUTION – 1ST AMENDMENT
November 18, 1999 — Civil Rights Attorney Thomas H. Roberts obtained the
immediate restoration of the First Amendment Rights of Powhatan High School students to
free speech and the free exercise of their religion. Alleviating the need for an
immediate temporary injunction, while standing before the United States District Court,
the school approved the request of the student club of the Fellowship of Christian
Athletes to be treated like all the other student clubs, with the right to have guest
speakers address their club and to announce their activities with other clubs over the
school PA system. In the event that the school agrees to provide full relief for the
students rights under the Constitution, the 17 year old student will agree to dismiss the
suit. While abandoning its indefensible position of hostility towards the religious
student club, no agreement has been reached to remedy the past violations.
November 17, 1999 — High School student files a federal law suit seeking an
injunction prohibiting Powhatan High School from discriminating against a student club,
the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, on the basis of its Christian viewpoint. The
suit also seeks to obtain an injunction against the school prohibiting it from further
censorship of club. Civil Rights Attorney Thomas H. Roberts represents the student.
November 9, 1999 — Federal District Judge denies Police Officers’ attempt to obtain
immunity from suit after they entered a Chesterfield resident’s home without a warrant.
Thomas H. Roberts opposed the attempt by the United States and Chesterfield
County to prevent his client from seeking redress for violations of his rights under the
Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The Court agreed with Roberts
that “A warrantless entry into a person’s home is presumptively unconstitutional and
illegal.” The Judge ruled “Service of a subpoena would never give an
officer a basis for a warrantless entry into somebody’s home.”
September 27,1999 —
Four Judges on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, concur with the
law firm of Thomas H. Roberts & Associates, P.C., stating that the district
court’s decision should be vacated. In the sex discrimination case of Taylor v. Virginia Union
University, the dissent, with a more thorough analysis, calls into question
sweeping generalizations often applied in discrimination cases, including the “same
actor inference” and the “stray comment rule”. The majority, however,
affirms the judgments despite the trial court errors. An appeal to the United States
Supreme Court is likely.
August 20, 1999 — Law
firm of Thomas H. Roberts & Associates, P.C. racks up another victory. Dr.
Aurelia Eggleston Ford, a prominent Richmond Psychologist and business woman in Jackson
Ward District of Richmond, Virginia, challenged her brother-in-law, former Judge Willard
Henry Douglas, Jr., his wife Jane Eggleston Douglas and her brother Neverett A. Eggleston,
Jr., among others who were claiming to have been the beneficiaries to the exclusion of Dr.
Ford of the Last Will and Testament of her father, Neverett A. Eggleston, Sr. Dr. Ford
claimed that the purported Will, which Douglas claimed Eggleston executed in his presence
at the age of 101, was a forgery. The jury agreed.
July 28, 1999 — The County of Spotsylvania has resolved the $1 Million suit filed against it by
Spotsylvania Fireman, D. Wayne Usher
May 14, 1999 — Two
former Deputy Sheriffs filed a $45 Million suit against Sheriff Carl R. Peed in Fairfax
County, Virginia, who they contend fired them on November 20, 1998 for opposing alleged
unlawful employment practices of race discrimination by communicating with the NAACP and
other advocacy groups. After filing the suit, the two Deputy Sheriffs were
reinstated with backpay and benefits. The case will be tried on the remaining issues
including compensatory and punitive damages.
July 14, 1999 — A
private investigator, filed a complaint against two police officers from
Richmond and Chesterfield, Virginia, alleging they entered his home without a warrant,
invitation or exigent circumstances to serve him with a subpoena to testify before a Grand
Jury in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
February 19, 1999 — The United States Court of
Appeals for the Fourth Circuit agreed with Thomas H. Roberts of the law firm of Thomas H.
Roberts & Associates, P.C. , in Taylor
v. Virginia Union University, reversing the United States District Court for abusing
its discretion in excluding evidence that Roberts contended was highly probative of
unlawful discriminatory intent in two sex discrimination cases. The Court also agreed with
Roberts that the claimants should not be limited to the official “charge” more
often than not poorly drafted by EEOC bureaucrats. The Court stated, “It seems beyond
cavil that the ‘reasonable investigation’ of an EEOC complaint would include an
investigation of facts alleged in an affidavit filed with the complaint. Therefore,
‘we may consider the plaintiff’s statements in a sworn affidavit that she filed
in support of the charge’ when determining whether a claim has been properly
exhausted.” BUT SEE – EN BANC
January 13, 1999 — The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit agreed with
Thomas H. Roberts of the law firm of Thomas H. Roberts & Associates, P.C., in Fobian v. Storage Technology
Corp., reversing the United States District Court dismissal based on jurisdiction. The
Court of Appeals held that litigants could request a new trial based on newly discovered
evidence, fraud, misrepresentation and other misconduct under Rule 60(b) by filing a
motion with the trial court within one year while the case was on appeal in the Court of
November 19, 1998 – The Town of Front Royal was served with a $45 Million suit by
Civil Rights Attorney Thomas H. Roberts on behalf of Isaac Thompson, alleging that the
town and his former supervisors, Eugene Tewalt, the former Director of Public Works and
Clarence Deavers, engaged in discrimination based on race in violation of 42
which makes it unlawful to discriminate by reason of race in the making and enforcement of
November 19, 1998 – $1 Million suit filed against Spotsylvania County Officials in
Virginia for terminating a Fireman and Emergency Medical Technician who published public
information on the Internet.
August 10, 1998 — a Chesterfield Jury awarded plaintiff $800,000.00
against defendant, after the law firm of Thomas H.
Roberts & Associates, P.C. successfully established that defendant could not discharge
in Bankruptcy the debts and liabilities caused by the unlawful operation of a motor
vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
- SERIOUS PERSONAL INJURY
September 12, 1997 — Virginia High Court reinstates a $100,000 jury verdict
for a client of the law firm of Thomas H. Roberts & Associates, P.C., who was injured
by a bolt of fabric that slid from a store’s cutting table which resulted in $6,300
in medical expenses for a foot injury she suffered. O’Brien v. Everfast Corp.
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