Virginia's Judicial System


Appeals Granted


Case

ERIC E. HOTUNG v. MICHAEL ERIC A.B. MAK SHUN MING HOTUNG
(Record Number 130264)

From

From the Circuit Court of Fairfax County; C. Maxfield, Judge.

Counsel

Lee E. Berlik (BerlikLaw,LLC) for Appellant.

Timothy B. Hyland (Ifrah PLLC) for Appellee.

Assignments of Error

  1. The trial court erred by overruling Eric's Demurrer to Count V (Defamation). The trial court should have sustained the Demurrer because the Complaint fails to allege that Eric made a statement capable of supporting a defamation action.
  2. The trial court erred by denying Eric's Motion to Dismiss for Forum Non Conveniens. The trial court should have followed the precedent established by Norfolk & Western Railway Co. v. Williams, 239 Va. 390 (1990), and should have dismissed the case in light of the substantial inconvenience to the witnesses, the fact that Virginia has no practical nexus to this action, and the fact that no good cause existed for retaining the action.
  3. The trial court erred by reading instructions 12 and 18 to the jury, which erroneously directed the jury to consider snippets of Eric's comments in isolation, without consideration of the context or surrounding statements, and which erroneously permitted the jury to enter its verdict based on statements that were not actionable as a matter of law.
  4. The trial court erred by refusing to set aside or reduce the grossly excessive jury verdict. The verdict of $600,000.00 is unsupported by the evidence and is grossly out of proportion to any actual injury sustained. The punitive damages awarded by the jury are oppressive and to allow them to stand would violate the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Date Granted

  09-17-2013