(Posted June 5, 2024) Opinion day is still a number of hours away, but there’s news out of the Supreme Court Building that won’t wait.


New injunction rule

Back in March, I posted word that the Supreme Court of Virginia was considering adopting a rule to better define the principles underlying temporary-injunction analysis. The court received public comment through the beginning of May, and today it announces the promulgation of a new rule devoted to this very purpose.

Rule 3:26 uses terminology from federal practice, including preliminary injunction instead of merely temporary injunction, which has been the practice for generations. It adds that there’s no difference between the two phrases.

The rule also creates a category for temporary restraining orders, which are to be “of brief duration for the limited purpose of preserving the status quo” until the court can conduct a hearing on the preliminary injunction. If you want more certainty than that, such as the limits of “brief duration,” you’ll go hungry.

A quick skim of the new rule will show you familiar language and decisional factors. I regard this as a welcome development; as I wrote back in 2013, circuit courts and litigants have had to borrow from federal jurisprudence and hope that that suffices. The justices have done Virginia courts a favor here.


Slimming down

Just 12 days ago I reported on the Supreme Court’s June session argument docket, which featured just three appeals. Yesterday I learned that the session is now down to two cases, as the court removed King v. Commonwealth for an unreported reason. That means that court was in session for a little over an hour this morning before adjourning until the September session. The session was so short that audio recordings of the two oral arguments are already up on the court’s website.

The next gathering of justices will be August 28, for writ panels. If recent history is a reliable guide, we should see forty-ish appeals divided among two or three panels. I’ve learned that the court has yet to reinstitute the wonderful “road shows,” panels that convene in two locations outside Richmond over the summer. Those are wonderful engagements where the justices come to the people. I hope they’ll resume these panels someday soon; but for the August panels, counsel in the case will, like Mohammed, have to go to the mountain.