Attorney Colleen M. Quinn of Locke & Quinn interviews Anne McDonell who is the Executive Director of the Brain Injury Association of Virginia about the various ways in which head and brain injuries occur, the impact on victims and their families, available resources and the intersection of such injuries with the law.

Access to Justice and Legal Services is critical to ensure that persons of all economic levels and walks of life get access to the justice system. In this informative show, Marty Wegbreit of Central Virginia Legal Aid Society and Ali Fannon of the Greater Richmond Bar Foundation talk about the limited amount of free and reduced fee legal services available to Virginia residents. The show has resulted in a comprehensive summary being posted on the Raising the Bar Law Talk radio show website at

What are some of the laws and programs that protect the rights of individuals with disabilities here in the Commonwealth? Attorney Kati Dean interviews Robert Gray and Julie Triplett from the disAbility Law Center of Virginia, which is the state’s designated agency to advocate for the rights of people with disabilities. This show covers some of the major laws, court cases, and federal programs that protect individuals with disabilities, and Robert and Julie discuss the work that they do at dLCV, both to help people in individual cases, and to bring about change on a wider scale.

What is it like to be a surrogate or gestational carrier? Attorney Colleen M. Quinn interviews her client and three time surrogate Brooke Collawn (who carried twins – twice!) about her experiences in being a gestational carrier. Brooke shares her story including: why she decided to be a surrogate, how she selected her attorney, going through the psychological and medical clearance processes, selecting the intended parents and how the contract process worked. This show covers nearly all of the various aspects involved in a surrogacy arrangement.

On Wednesday, December 13, 2017, the Metro Richmond Women’s Bar Association held their annual holiday luncheon and presentation of the 2017 Women of Achievement Award to Colleen M. Quinn. The luncheon was held at Willow Oaks Country Club in Richmond, Virginia.

Colleen is a partner at Locke & Quinn, a past president of the MRWBA, and a tireless advocate for her clients. Colleen has been practicing law in the Richmond area since 1988. She is dedicated to advocating for women, families and the LGBT community as is evidenced by the creation of the Adoption & Surrogacy Law Center and the Women’s Injury Law Center at Locke & Quinn. In addition to Colleen’s professional success, she is involved in many organizations that give back to the community, including the Richmond YWCA, National Association of Women Business Owners, and the Girl Scouts of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Colleen’s list of accomplishments goes well beyond these highlights and we were honored to celebrate her at the December luncheon, expanding on her illustrious career.

Thank you to the luncheon sponsors! Our Platinum Sponsor was Minnesota Lawyers Mutual and our Silver Sponsor was Parker + Lynch.

Join MRWBA today by clicking here.

How secure are you in your job? Just what is a “Hostile Work Environment?” Paralegal Katie Obermiller interviews Attorney Colleen M. Quinn on the fundamental aspects of employment law in Virginia and the common misconceptions. Quinn explains the various federal laws on discrimination, harassment and retaliation as well as applicable Virginia laws while giving lots of real life case examples. Quinn also explains the concepts of “at will” employment and the often misunderstood concept of “right to work.”

What is involved in recovering from a personal injury? Attorney Colleen M. Quinn interviews Dr. Mason Sheehan of FITT RVA regarding getting essential medical care after being injured. Dr. Sheehan explains the various steps to recovery and his use of various therapies. This show also covers how the medical providers work with personal injury attorneys when there is no health insurance coverage available as well as how medical provider liens work.

What is it like to go through a personal injury lawsuit? Attorney Colleen M. Quinn interviews her client Lisa Walker of Believe Fitness about her personal injury case. This show covers Lisa’s initial injury while sitting at a deli with her family having lunch through two shoulder surgeries and Lisa’s trying to run her business while also trying to recover. Lisa explains the process of selecting Quinn as her attorney and just what it was like to go through the entire lawsuit process.

On this radio show sponsored by Creating a Family, Colleen Quinn, owner of the Adoption & Surrogacy Law Center at Locke & Quinn, joins host Dawn Davenport and Andrea Braverman, a therapist specializing infertility and alternative family building, to talk about “Choosing between Assisted Reproduction and Adoption.” For patients who have not been successful with IVF, the next decision many infertility patients face is whether they should move to third party reproduction (donor sperm, donor egg, embryo donation (or embryo adoption), or surrogacy) or should they move to adoption. Quinn addresses many of the legal aspects entailed in making these choices.

Listen to the Radio Show


Why Choose a Private Hospital?

Did you know you are better protected in the event of medical negligence if you choose a private hospital instead of a public one? When selecting a hospital or medical provider for medical treatment – know there is a big difference in the ability to recover for medical negligence as between them. Public hospitals, like the Medical College of Virginia, are operated by the Commonwealth of Virginia, and also are often teaching hospitals. Put very simply, a public hospital and its employees generally are protected from being sued by a concept called “sovereign immunity.”

What does “sovereign immunity” mean?

Sovereign immunity is a judicial doctrine that prevents the government or its political subdivisions, departments, and agencies from being sued without its consent. The doctrine stems from the ancient English principle that the monarch can do no wrong. Over the years that doctrine has been extended to protect the public purse, that is, the taxpayer’s money. However, given that medical providers at public hospitals generally have malpractice insurance, the public purse rarely is actually implicated.

Does this sovereign immunity extend to all employees of a public hospital?

Generally, so long as the employee is using some discretion in providing care, the answer is yes. In a recent Virginia Supreme Court case handled by our law firm, Pike v Commonwealth of Virginia, the Virginia Supreme Court extended this immunity to nurses as well.

So can there be any recovery at all when sovereign immunity applies?

There is a very limited recovery of up to $100,000 available if notice is given within one year of a claim under the Virginia Tort
Claims Act for claims arising from the negligent or wrongful act or omission of any Commonwealth employee while acting within the scope of his or her employment. However, most cases of medical negligence involve injuries and damages well exceeding $100,000.

On the other hand, private hospital and provides cannot claim sovereign immunity. If they cause injury due to medical negligence, they can be liable up to the statutory medical malpractice cap in Virginia of two million dollars.

What does this mean?

While all hospitals and medical providers, regardless of whether they are public or private, generally strive to provide the highest
standard of care, medical mistakes can and do happen. Just be sure to be educated on the concept of “sovereign immunity” and how it can impact possible recoveries for such mistakes when you choose public hospitals and medical providers over private ones. There is a big difference in a recovery of up to $100,000 versus up to two million.

Assessing cases of medical negligence requires very experienced legal counsel. This article provides general information only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. For more details please be sure to contact an attorney. Article provided by Colleen M. Quinn, Esq. For more about Ms. Quinn, please visit Colleen Quinn, Esq..

Learn more about Medical Negligence