(Posted March 14, 2024) It’s opinion day! Sort of. The Supreme Court of Virginia decides two appeals this morning, both by published order. But there’s no new analysis; both Warren v. Commonwealth and USAA v. Estep are affirmed on the reasoning of the Court of Appeals. Warren is a DUI appeal involving a circuit court’s decision to strike a venireman for cause and its exclusion of evidence relating to a claimed defense of necessity. In a quirk of timing made possible by last month’s Leap Day, the Court of Appeals handed down its published ruling one year ago today. Estep holds that a driver’s actions in loading the trunk of a car in a hotel parking lot suffice as “use of a vehicle” for insurance purposes.

Both decisions come in one-page rulings; Justice Powell dissents from the Estep result, but Warren is unanimous. Both of these appeals come from the January session, seven weeks ago, and both, coincidentally, arose in the Chesapeake Circuit Court.