The right to a mechanic's lien in Virginia is statutorily created and the Supreme Court of Virginia requires strict adherence to these statutes. During mechanic's lien litigation, the validity of the underlying indebtedness to the claimant or the quality of the claimant's work often has little bearing on whether the lien is valid or enforceable. Rather, the question revolves around whether the claimant or his attorney substantially complied with the procedures mandated by the statutes as interpreted by the courts. These procedural or "technical" defenses are usually raised in the initial or preliminary stages of the litigation, long before any issue regarding whether the amounts claimed by the claimant are properly due are addressed.
James L. Windsor,
Perfection and Enforcement of a Mechanic's Lien in Virginia: A Defense Lawyer's Perspective,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/lawreview/vol25/iss2/4