Williamsburg, Feb. 11 -- Virginia needs new laws governing rights of privacy, responsibility for illegitimacy, and liability of charities, a law school dean said here Saturday.

Dean Dudley W. Woodbridge of the Marshall-Wythe school of law at the College of William and Mary addressed some 340 attorneys during the second annual seminar of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association. The lawyers are holding a two-day meeting that will end Sunday afternoon.

Dean Woodbridge spoke on "Some Needed Changes in the Tort Laws of Virginia" during the luncheon session.

The state now has laws forbidding an appropriation of a part of one's personality for commercial use, the dean said. But it is "extremely doubtful whether or not any other violations of the rights of privacy are actionable in Virginia today," he added.

He said there should be additional laws providing protection against an intrusion of one's physical solitude, too candid photographs, publication of that which violates the ordinary decencies, and placement of a person in a false by not necessarily defamatory position.

The state also should tighten up its laws requiring paternal support of illegitimate children, Dean Woodbridge said. The father should be required to pay in all those cases where there is no reasonable doubt about his paternity, he said.

The dean blamed the illegitimacy laws on the state's policy of not compelling the white father of a mulatto child to provide for its support. "Naturally, since the statute cannot make such an exception in so many words, an easy out has to be given to all fathers of illegitimate children," he said.

The dean said the General Assembly should pass a statue placing charities, including public corporations, on the same basis as any other legal persons so that charities would be as liable as other individuals and groups. There is no reason a charity cannot carry liability insurance, he said.

Saturday afternoon the lawyers saw a trial demonstration in which four physicians were examined and cross-examined in a case involving severe leg, foot and knee injuries.

Other seminar sessions included a presentation of a jurist's and a lawyer's views of appellate procedure and recent rule changes. Justice Lawrence W. I'Anson of the Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia and Aubrey Russell Bowles Jr., a Richmond attorney, made the presentation talks.

The lawyers also heard discussions on recent trends in uninsured motorist law of Virginia, arguing damages, products liability, and courtroom projection of trauma.

On Sunday, 21 attorneys will lead a panel discussion during a torts workshop and consultation clinic.

George E. Allen of Richmond is president of the trial lawyers association.


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