Third-year ASL student Eugene Belenitsky was recently awarded second place in the College of Workers' Compensation Lawyers national writing competition.
Belenitsky's paper was titled "The Applicability of the Virginia Death Presumption to Workers who were Found Dying." Virginia courts do not extend the death presumption -- a presumption that an employee who was found dead died in the course of his employment -- to employees who were discovered dying and later died without communicating what happened to them. Ultimately, Belenitsky argues that the death presumption has actually covered such employees from its establishment. He supports that argument with an examination of Virginia precedent and a discussion of emergency medical services that blur the line between life and death.
"I became inspired to write this paper while working on a case in my externship at the Virginia Court of Appeals," Belenitsky noted. "I entered the contest because I had passion for the issue and wanted to have it published." He submitted it several places, he said, and his persistence paid off.
The College of Workers' Compensation Lawyers honors attorneys who have distinguished themselves in workers' compensation law. Writers were encouraged to comment on or critique a public policy issue, case or doctrine, or statute regarding workers' compensation. Entries were judged on organization, research, depth, originality, clarity, and readability.
Belenitsky won $1000 for his efforts. ASL Professors Stewart Harris and Doug McKechnie and Writing Center Coordinator Saundra Latham helped along the way, he noted.