Henrico Bar News
June 2014
Henrico County Bar Association
P.O. Box 70147
Richmond, Virginia 23255

From the Desk of Carl R. Schwertz, HCBA President


It is a unique honor and privilege to serve as President of the Henrico County Bar Association.  I have practiced in the greater Richmond area now for nearly 30 years.  When I first came to Richmond, my biggest fear was that I would be trampled by the "tall building" lawyers of whom I had heard tales.  Nothing could have been further from the truth, and the collegiality of our bar association is a true testament to that fact.


At my installation at our Annual Banquet, held recently at the Jepson Alumni Center at the University of Richmond, I noted two things that I hope to be able to accomplish in my year as President.  First, I wish to continue the strong work of my predecessors who have made our association an excellent source of information, education and fellowship.  Too many times to count, we have told our members that membership in our association is the most cost-effective pathway to CLE credit.  Our programs to meet the judges, information through the newsletter and email, as well as our social events rival any group in the Commonwealth.


My second goal is to increase membership, and with that, attendance at our excellent events.  With our inviting, helpful and exciting programs, there is no good reason for any attorney regularly practicing in Henrico County to not be a member and, once a member, regularly attend our functions.  So my challenge to myself, and to you, is to inform as many attorneys as you meet about the HCBA and recruit at least five, hopefully more, new members this year.  Think of it this way -- you'll have more colleagues to enjoy as you attend our events.


I look forward to a challenging, rewarding year.  I thank you for your support.  Please contact me with any suggestions, comments, criticisms or congratulatory statements as you see fit.



Carl R. Schwertz




Annual Banquet

The Jepson Alumni Center at the University of Richmond was the site of the Henrico County Bar Association's Annual Banquet held on May 6, 2014.  Over 80 members enjoyed an evening of fellowship, food and drink.  Judge L.A. Harris swore in the new board for the upcoming year and Jon Nichols presented Mary Hunt with the Second Annual Pro Bono Award.  Based upon the smiles and lingering crowd (until we were chased out of the room), those in attendance found the event to be a great evening.  We thank our sponsors, Planet Depos and Summit Global Services, for their support in allowing this event to continue being a cost effective opportunity to gather as a group. 
Judge L.A. Harris swears in the new Board of Directors

Immediate Past-President, Jon Nichols, presents the HCBA

Pro Bono Award to Mary Hunt

Chris Macturk, Jon Nichols and Dan Rosenthal

Margie Rapisarda, Joe Rapisarda, Judge Hammond

and Judge Harris

Carl Schwertz, Keith Barker, Mike Feinmel and Mike Ewing

Angela Axselle, Judge Boice and Mike and Christina Blanks
Julie Palmer, Ben Spence, Matt Morris and Melissa Nichols
8th Annual John Garret Memorial Golf Tournament

On May 29, 2014, we hosted our annual John Garrett Memorial Golf Tournament for the benefit of Comfort Zone Camp at The Crossings Golf Club in Glen Allen.  Although rain appeared imminent, the weather stayed relatively dry, and 40 golfers competed for the honor of having their names etched on the silver platter that will be displayed in the Henrico County Courthouse.  This year, the team of John Blankenship, Allen Ramer, Tolar Nolley and Clifford Foster won the event with a score of 58, narrowly edging out last year's championship team of Judge Yoffy, John Honey, Ed Riley and Mike Gerrard.  Jim Sheehan prevailed in the "Closest to the Pin" competition, and Jon Nichols had the event's "Longest Drive". Participants also had an opportunity to enjoy a BBQ dinner and win an assortment of excellent prizes from our generous sponsors following the event.


Once again, all proceeds were donated to Comfort Zone Camp, a camp for children and teens to grieve, heal and grow after the death of a parent, sibling or guardian.  CZC has been the chosen charity of Lynn Garrett, wife of the late Judge John Garrett, as it helped her own children though a very difficult time following her husband's passing. Mrs. Garrett was in attendance to thank all of the golfers and to honor the memory of her late husband.  The Henrico County Bar Association appreciates the support of its members and its sponsors in supporting this worthy cause.


Tournament winners Clifford Foster, Tolar Nolley,

Allen Ramer and John Blankenship

Longest Drive winner, Jon Nichols, and

Closest to the Pin winner, Jim Sheehan

Spring Luncheon


Richmond Flying Squirrels Vice President and COO Todd "Parney" Parnell spoke at our Annual Spring Luncheon at the Westwood Club on March 21, 2014.  Mr. Parnell is widely regarded in the Greater Richmond area as an entertaining speaker, and he shared his thoughts about what it means to be a good citizen of our city.  More than 50 of our members enjoyed lunch while they listened to Mr. Parnell speak of his experiences in minor league baseball, and why our local team set out to be something different than "just a minor league baseball team".  Mr. Parnell left the crowd excited for another season of Squirrels baseball, and for the warmer spring weather.  


We would like to thank SELTEK, Inc. for their continued support of this event.


Suzanne Wade, Angela Axselle and guest speaker,

Todd "Parney" Parnell

Sharon Ten, Dan Rosenthal, Marissa Mitchell and Shannon Taylor
John Merrick, Lisa Leiner, Julie Palmer and Jon Nichols
Nia Vidal, Mike Gill, Matt Morris and Tom Edmonds

Legislative Update


Each member of the Virginia House of Delegates and Senate who represent a portion of Henrico County were invited to this April 10, 2014 event at the Westwood Club.  Delegates Jennifer McClellan, John O'Bannon and Joe Morrissey discussed issues relevant to our members, such as the ongoing state budget negotiations, mental health access, the expansion of Medicaid, and other recent changes in the law.  The speakers also fielded questions from the more than 50 members in attendance.  Tom Edmonds, one of the three members of the Virginia State Bar Council for our area, also presented a brief update on the events and changes within the Virginia State Bar. 


We would like to thank The McCammon Group for treating us to drinks and hors d'oeuvres after the event.


Delegate Joe Morrissey
Delegates Jennifer McClellan and John O'Bannon

Henrico County's Virginia State Bar Council members

Tom Edmonds, Bill Viverette and Dan Rosenthal

George Elmore, Joe Rapisarda and Ellen Fulmer
Jeff Zwerdling and Eddie Whitlock
Suzanne Wade and Chris McDonald

The McCammon Group representative and HCBA member,

Mike Harman and Elliott Buckner

Save the Date


Your Board is busy planning next year's events.  Please watch your inbox for Save the Date information for our Fall Breakfast with the Judges and CLE opportunities.

In This Issue
Annual Banquet
Golf Tournament
Spring Luncheon
Legislative Update
Drug Court News
Members on the Move
Court Docent, Awards and Honors



News from the Drug Court


The Henrico Drug Court has been a busy place during the first five months of 2014.  We hosted two graduations where we celebrated 13 participants who completed all the requirements of the program and became our newest Alumni group members.  The Drug Court Team wishes to thank those members of the Defense Bar who were able to attend the two graduation ceremonies where their former clients were recognized: Harrison Hubard, Peter Baruch, George Townsend, William Viverette and James Curry.


On March 19, 2014, we hosted the 2nd Annual March Madness Basketball Game at Highland Springs High School where the Drug Court participants challenged the Henrico County Bar Association.  The game was full of action and the foul shot and half court competitions held during halftime were well represented by both participants and their family members. It was a fun and exciting game with the CA's Office/HCBA winning with a final score of 26 to 16.  Thanks go to all participants, and we are looking forward next year's game.


May is Drug Court Month and at the April 22, 2014 Board of Supervisors meeting a Proclamation recognizing our collaborating partners was presented by Mr. Richard Glover, Supervisor from the Brookland District.  Judge Hicks offered some remarks and a graduate spoke about her life.  The presentations can be viewed at our website, www.co.henrico.va.us/ccjudges/drug-court/ . Other Drug Court Month activities included a Pizza Party for participants and their sponsors and the 3rd Annual Softball Game against the Commonwealth Attorney's Office followed by a Family Day Cookout, held on May 21st at Hunton Softball Field and Recreation Center.  Pictures of the softball game can be seen on our website.


The family of the late Travis Pierce, a former Drug Court participant, created a fund in his memory to assist persons with substance abuse challenges.  The Travis Pierce Fund will support the Henrico County Drug Court Program through a variety of fundraisers and volunteer opportunities.  On June 1, 2014, for example, a bowling tournament was held at Sunset Lanes, and a golf tournament is scheduled for June 27, 2014 at The Crossing Golf Club.  For more information about how the fund will assist our program, visit the website at www.travispiercefund.com/index.html.


Lastly, if you would like more information about the Henrico Drug Court, you can come observe the docket any Friday at 1:00 p.m. in the Henrico Circuit Court, or you can contact Patricia Shaw at 501-2301, ext. 222.



Members on the Move   

Bowen Ten Cardani, PC is proud to announce the formation of their new firm.  The firm consists of partners Alexandra D. Bowen, Sharon B. Ten and Scott D. Cardani, and associates Jacqueline W. Sharman and Robert L. Peresich.  The firms practice areas will include civil litigation, family law, estate planning, criminal and bankruptcies. 

If you have recently changed jobs or been promoted, please share the move with the Henrico Bar.  We would like to post your announcement in our newsletter and update your member profile.  Announcements can be emailed to Mary Lou Wellman at admin@henricobar.org.  Please include your name, firm or company's name, new title and areas of concentration.  



Welcome New Members
Scott D. Cardani
Blake Hegeman
J. Andrew Johnson
Denise Letendre
Morgan L. Manning
Matthew G. Muldowney
Robert L. Peresich
Jacqueline W. Sharman
Nia Ayanna Vidal


Officers and Directors



Carl R. Schwertz



Michael Y. Feinmel


Vice President

J.T. (Tom) Tokarz



Julie S. Palmer



James W. Hopper


Immediate Past-President

Jon A. Nichols



D. Brooks Hundley

Natalie T. McClearn

Tony H. Pham

Brian J. Schneider

Suzanne E. Wade


Mary Lou Wellman



A Big Thank You to our Golf Tournament Sponsors

Prize Sponsors
Bogeys Sports Park
Capital Ale House
Chuy's Restaurant
Comfort Restaurant
Kona Grill
Prospect Hill Plantation Inn
Richmond Flying Squirrels
Richmond Kickers
Science Museum of Virginia
Sedona Taphouse
The Crossings Golf Club
The Foundry Golf Club
Windy Hill Sports Complex
Hole Sponsors
Chandler & Halasz Court Reporters
Cook & Wiley Court Reporters
Goodman, Allen & Filetti
Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman
Henrico Bonding Company
Joyner Fine Properties - Larry Mills
Keller Williams Realty - Tyra Wagner
Lafayette, Ayers & Whitlock
Law Office of Daniel L. Rosenthal
Planet Depos
Spotts Fain

Court Docent Program


Once again, our bar association will participate in the Court Docent Program in the fall.  The program is sponsored by the Richmond Lawyer's Auxiliary and presented in conjunction with Henrico County Public Schools. The program gives 8th grade students in Henrico County an overview of the court and corrections systems, an opportunity to interact with those involved with the judicial process, and allows them to witness the roles of various court officers.  The students will visit the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, the Juvenile Detention Center, the General District Court, the Circuit Court, and the Henrico County Jail.  As in years past, the HCBA will provide the attorney volunteers to guide the Docent, students and teachers during their visit to the judicial complex.  This program is a wonderful educational opportunity for students.  If you are interested in volunteering please contact Natalie McClearn at ntmcclearn@flaor.com.


HCBA Receives Special Honor


The Henrico County Bar Association received a special honor at the Virginia State Bar's annual meeting.  The Conference of Local Bar Leaders presented the HCBA with a 2014 Certificate of Achievement for the County Bar's presentation of The Rule of Law Program at Mills E. Godwin High School last fall.  The Awards of Merit competition is held annually to recognize outstanding projects conducted by local bar associations, to encourage greater service to the public and the profession, and to give local bar leaders the opportunity to learn from other bars.



HCBA Vice President Honored


J.T. (Tom) Tokarz, HCBA Vice President, was recently honored by the Local Government Attorneys of Virginia, Inc. with the 2014 Cherin Award for Outstanding Deputy or Assistant Local Government Attorney at the association's spring conference.


Tokarz, currently serving as Henrico County Deputy Attorney, has served the citizens of Henrico County for 34 years.  He was selected for the award because he has "demonstrated distinguished public service that has enhanced the image of local government attorneys in the Commonwealth." 


Congratulations, Tom!


J.T. (Tom) Tokarz