The Virginia Appellate Lawyer’s Court of Appeals of Virginia Blog

One for the Win Column

I remember the invasion of Grenada being described as “knocking over a fruit stand with an aircraft carrier.”  Well, today I had my first legitimate appellate court win since going into private practice.  I cannot say I feel much elation however, because this was a victory somewhat less difficult than Grenada was for the navy and the marines.  Without going into great detail, let’s just say that I represented the appellee in a civil case which very much turned on the credibility of the witnesses, and more specifically of the defendant (or more correctly, the defendant’s corporate representative and sole shareholder).  The circuit court wrote an opinion letter in which it stated that it had “significant difficulty” in accepting the defendant’s evidence as being even remotely credible.  While the appeal ostensibly was based on a legal issue — whether there was evidence of an intent to defraud at the time a contract was entered into — to find that this intent was absent required believing the defendant’s claim that his subsequent actions, including forging a release and making numerous false representations, were simply not true and therefore could not be taken as evidence that he had never intended to fulfill his obligations.  Today the Supreme Court refused the petition for appeal, and so it counts as win for the appellee — but I don’t think my brilliant prose had anything to do with it.

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