Henrico Bar News
October 2013
Henrico County Bar Association
P.O. Box 70147
Richmond, Virginia 23255

From the Desk of Jon A. Nichols, HCBA President



We've made it through the first third of our Bar Calendar, and it was a wonderful start.


As we had hoped, we were able to offer two CLE programs at no cost to our members.  We appreciate the efforts of Leslie A.T. Haley (Haley Law, PLC) and the good people at Minnesota Lawyers Mutual for presenting two excellent programs, and to Julie Palmer and Tony Pham for organizing the events.  We hope these presentations helped you meet your obligations in advance of the October 31 deadline.


We also had two opportunities to mingle with our judges and fellow members of the bar at our "Breakfast with the Judges" programs in September.  Attendance was at an all-time high, and we thank everyone who made it to the courthouse in the early morning hours to have a cup of coffee and some conversation.  Special thanks to Marissa Mitchell and Mike Feinmel for helping to organize the events.

Finally, the Rule of Law Program at Godwin High School was a great success.  We had so many volunteers from our bar and from local law enforcement that I think we really made an impression on the next generation of Henrico residents.  Thanks to Tony Pham for making the necessary arrangements for the high school students to learn about such an important subject.


All of these programs went smoothly because our administrator worked tirelessly to ensure it.  Thank you to Mary Lou Wellman for all of your hard work with every one of these events.

As the weather gets even cooler and the days get shorter, we enter the next phase of our bar year.  We hope you will join us for the always-fun Holiday Party, December 10 at Willow Oaks Country Club.  After that, we will be presenting our annual Bench-Bar Conference, another great opportunity to interact directly with our judges and fellow bar members.


As always, it is the Board's goal to serve the members of our bar and support them in any way that we can.  If you have any suggestions or concerns, we would like to hear from you.  You may contact me directly at jnichols@hccw.com or 804-762-8039.



Jon A. Nichols



Breakfast with the Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court Judges

On September 25, 2013, the HCBA hosted its annual breakfast with the Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court judges.  About 50 members of the bar enjoyed a casual breakfast and conversation with the judges in Courtroom #6. 
A few highlights from the discussions include the following:
  • The county recently hired a mediation coordinator, Pat Carrington, to help streamline the process of getting cases to mediation quickly.  The mediation coordinator will also ensure that the guardians ad litem are aware of mediations set for their cases. 
  • Judge Deglau reminded attorneys that they are allowed to use their smart phones in the attorney work room and in the courtrooms, but attorneys should not be using their phones in the hallways of the court building given the "no cell phone" policy of the courts.
  • Judge Williams asked attorneys to be mindful of the time set for their cases, and duty attorneys should not schedule other cases during their duty time.
  • Clerk Rebecca Cone provided an updated list of numbers and emails for the clerk's office.  Ms. Cone reminded attorneys to call or text 804-241-4968 when they are running late.
  • The judges shared that deputies will be handing out surveys to assist the judges in court improvement efforts.
  • Informational materials were provided for two new services: 1)  There is a new crisis stabilization unit at St. Joseph's Villa.  The resource is available for youth ages five to 17 experiencing behavioral health crises in need of short-term, out-of-home placement or stabilization in their home environment.  2)  Commonwealth Catholic Charities is now offering a supervised visitation program at their Richmond office.  The fees for this service will be assessed on a sliding scale.

The HCBA thanks the judges and all those attending for supporting this wonderful event.  We also wish Judge Soden a speedy recovery from his recent surgery and look forward to his return to the bench. 


Natalie McClearn and Judge Deglau
Judge Johnson, Mary Hunt and Marissa Mitchell
Cassie Edner, Judge Williams and Tom Tokarz
Commonwealth Attorney Shannon Taylor, Player Michelsen, Audrey Burges and Nancy Oglesby

Breakfast with the General District and Circuit Court Judges
On Wednesday, October 2, 2013, the Henrico County Bar Association hosted its annual Breakfast with the General District and Circuit Court Judges.  Judge Steverson was kind enough to volunteer his courtroom for the function.  Over 75 attendees enjoyed bagels, donuts, juice and coffee, and collegial conversation with the members of the bar as well as with the General District and Circuit Court Judges. 
Judge Harris, speaking on behalf of the Circuit Court judges, took the occasion to introduce the Circuit Court law clerks as well as to praise the attorneys present for the professionalism and collegiality of the attorneys who practice in Henrico County. 
Judge Marshall, speaking on behalf of the General District Court judges, thanked the Henrico County Bar Association membership for its contributions to the portraits of retired General District Court judges that have been prepared over the last two years.  According to Judge Marshall, the County Manager will be scheduling an event to unveil these portraits. 
Both judges asked attorneys to be diligent in informing either the court or the judges' secretary when they will be running late to court to avoid witnesses from being unnecessarily inconvenienced.  
Henrico Commonwealth's Attorney Shannon Taylor asked those in attendance to be mindful when setting hearings, particularly bond hearings, that the Commonwealth's Attorney's Office often has specially assigned an assistant to handle the case, and to reach out to that attorney to ensure that he or she is available for the date set for the motion or hearing.  Judge Harris agreed with this request, and asked that attorneys advise the judges' secretary that they have spoken to the assistant handling the case. 
Later in the morning, judges from both the Circuit and the General District Courts commented about how impressed they were with the attendance at the breakfast.  The judges passed along their views that the attendance and participation in the breakfast reinforced how fortunate they felt to be associated with such a professional and collegial Bar.

Vice President Mike Feinmel, Judge Chucker and

President Jon Nichols

Toni Randall, Judge Hicks and Janet James
Judge Wallerstein, Stephen Sharpe and Michelle Marken

Rule of Law Project


The Henrico County Bar Association sponsored the Rule of Law Program for seniors at Godwin High School on October 10, 2013.  The program provides an alternative way for high school students to learn about the rule of law as the basis of their rights and responsibilities as American citizens.  The presentation included remarks from three separate branches of government: Justice Cleo Powell of the Supreme Court of Virginia, The Honorable John O'Bannon of the 73rd District of the Virginia House of Delegates, and Mr. Roderick C. Young, Esq. of the United States' Attorneys' Office.  Richmond Sheriff C.T. Woody, Jr. also spoke on the importance of education and self-accountability. 


Following the presentations by the speakers, the volunteer police officers and attorneys conducted individual break-out sessions in each classroom where the students engaged the professionals in a back-and-forth dialogue about how the law addresses situations that many students face in their daily lives.  Thank you to all of our volunteers for donating their time to make a difference in the lives of Henrico's next generation of citizens.

Sheriff C.T. Woody, Jr., Roderick C. Young, Esq., Justice Cleo Powell, Delegate John O'Bannon and HCBA President Jon Nichols

Thanks to all the volunteers who helped make the

Rule of Law Program a great success!

Volunteers Needed for Court Docent Program


The Henrico Court Docent Program is in need of volunteers for events it conducts with various Henrico County high school civic classes.  This volunteer program allows local high school students to see how the various governmental institutions function by taking tours (hosted by our volunteers) of the courthouses and the juvenile detention center.  The volunteer will often visit the school to meet with the class to discuss what they saw and to answer questions that the students have about government.  The program is supported each year by the involvement of the Circuit Court, the General District Court, the Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court, the Henrico Sheriff's Office, and the Juvenile Detention Center.  If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Angela Axselle at aaxselle@goodmanallen.com.                                

Save the Date


Holiday Reception

Tuesday, December 10, 2013
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Willow Oaks Country Club

Look for your invitation in your inbox in November.
Annual Spring Luncheon
Friday, March 21, 2014
12 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Westwood Club
In This Issue
Breakfast with the JD&R Judges
Breakfast with the GDC and Circuit Court Judges
Rule of Law Project
Court Docent Program
Social Media Ethics CLE
Members on the Move
Substitute Judge Opening
Implicit Bias Ethics CLE



Social Media Ethics CLE


On September 26, 2013, over 70 members of the Henrico County

Bar Association were enlightened on the rapidly changing ethics of social media.  Leslie A.T. Haley of Haley Law, PLC in Richmond captivated the audience with her insight into the use and, often, misuse of social media by members of the bar and their offices.  Ms. Haley brought knowledge and experience to members who may be unaware of the pitfalls of the use of cell phones, computers and other technological advances we encounter every


Leslie A.T. Haley, Esq.

Members on the Move

Adrienne N. Barnes opened her own practice effective June 1, 2013.  The Law Office of Adrienne N. Barnes, Esquire, P.C. is located in Midlothian and is a general law practice, focusing in the areas of family and criminal law.


Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman is pleased to announce that Carson W. Johnson has been named a partner.  Ms. Johnson concentrates her practice in insurance coverage, products liability and commercial litigation.


Susanna B. Jones and Kathryn B. Daughtry have joined the law firm of Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman as associates.  They will concentrate their practice in general civil litigation, including motor vehicle, premises and products liability.


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
Wade T. Anderson
Ralph L. "Bill" Axselle, Jr.
Nupur Bal
Allison L. Bridges
Jeremy D. Capps
Lauren A. Caudill
David P. Corrigan
Joe Thompson Cravens
Karen S. Davis
Daniel C. Duddy
Lindsay Dugan
M. Scott Fisher, Jr.
Susanna Brailsford Jones
Adam M. Jurach
James Mick "Jamie" Kessel
Valerie L'Herrou
Natalie T. McClearn
Player Butler Michelsen
Matthew R. Morris
Susan L. Parrish
Elena G. Patarinski
Richard A. Quitiquit
Mark Ramos
Rhonda L. Spady
Sharon B. Ten
Steven K. Webb
S. Michael Westermann
Matt Witten


Officers and Directors



Jon A. Nichols



Carl R. Schwertz


Vice President

Michael Y. Feinmel



Tony H. Pham



J. T. (Tom) Tokarz


Immediate Past-President

Marissa D. Mitchell



Angela Boice Axelle

Martin A. Conn

D. Brooks Hundley

Julie S. Palmer

Suzanne E. Wade


Mary Lou Wellman


Substitute Judge Opening

The Henrico Circuit Court has an opening for a substitute Judge for the District Courts.  Any member of the bar who is interested in serving as a substitute Judge should notify Chief Judge L.A. Harris, Jr., by letter, before December 1, 2013.  Letters should be sent to P.O. Box 90775, Henrico, VA  23273-0775.

Implicit Bias Ethics CLE


On Wednesday, October 16, 2013, Minnesota Lawyers Mutual sponsored a two-hour Ethics CLE examining implicit bias in the context of the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct.  Tim Gephardt, Tom Auth, Anne Hill, all with Minnesota Lawyers Mutual, and Michele Mulligan, with Golightly, Mulligan & Booth, discussed the Rules' admonition that the law be used "only for legitimate purposes and not to harass or intimidate others," as well as the Principles of Professionalism's pledge to "avoid all bigotry, discrimination and prejudice."  Through the use of television and movie clips, real-life anecdotes and war stories, the panel deftly and engagingly examined this sensitive and fascinating topic.

Tim Gephart, Vice President

of Claims, Minnesota

Lawyers Mutual


Bar Secretary Receives Honor


Henrico County Bar Secretary, Tony H. Pham, was recently invited by the Virginia State Bar to serve for a two-year term as a member of the faculty for the Law School Professionalism Program.  Tony is among a group of highly respected Virginia State Bar members known to exhibit and maintain the highest professional standards.  Congratulations Tony!


Tony H. Pham

Office Space For Rent


Turn-Key Law Office in Parham Road Professional Suite

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Dan Rosenthal 527-0699