Henrico Bar News
October 2012
Henrico County Bar Association
P.O. Box 70147
Richmond, Virginia 23255

From the Desk of Marissa Mitchell, HCBA President


Fall is in the air!  This is my favorite time of year.  I love the cooler weather, the turning of the leaves, football season, and the kids being back in school.  And speaking of back to school, I have two very important things I hope you will add to your calendar this fall. 


First, I hope you will consider participating in our court docent program.  You would be volunteering an hour and a half of your time on a Tuesday morning to accompany an 8th grade class on a tour of the Henrico courts.  Our attorney volunteers are instrumental in ensuring that these students get the most out of their visit by arriving early to scope out the best courtrooms for the students to visit.  Please contact me or Angela Axselle to sign up for this wonderful program!


Second, it is time for "class pictures".  This year, the HCBA is adding an online pictorial directory and I encourage all members to participate.  The directory will be available online to the Bar and the public at large.  Member-submitted photographs cannot be published in the online directory.  The professionals at Lifetouch will be photographing members on Wednesday, October 24, Thursday, October 25, and Tuesday, October 30.  Photography sessions will be in the Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Courtroom #6.  There are no sitting fees for your portrait session, and your photograph will automatically be included in the directory at no cost to you.  Please schedule your appointment online at:   https://www.securedata-trans14.com/ap/henricocountybarassociation/index.php?page=10


Please check our calendar of events for the upcoming Ethics CLE and mark your calendars for our Holiday Party.  I hope you all have a beautiful fall and I look forward to seeing you at an HCBA event soon!



Marissa Mitchell



FREE Ethics CLE 


Don't miss our annual FREE Ethics CLE on Thursday, October 25, 2012, from 4-6 p.m. in the Henrico Board of Supervisors' Board Room.  The course is entitled, "Competence, Communication & Conflict: A Guide to Preventing Ethical Complaints and Malpractice Claims."  This seminar will explore the relationship of ethical compliance and malpractice avoidance.  The discussions will illustrate how a program, developed using the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct as a foundation, will assist in minimizing the chances that a lawyer will commit an error that will lead to a malpractice claim.  This program will be presented by Timothy Gephart, Vice President of Claims, and Tom Auth, Esq., Regional Sales Director, of Minnesota Lawyers Mutual.  It is approved for 2.0 MCLE ethics hours.  Please make sure you have paid your dues so that you may receive the materials and attend this FREE CLE. 

Breakfast with the Judges


On September 27, 2012, the HCBA hosted its annual "Breakfast with the Judges" in General District Courtroom #3.  Judges from all three Henrico courts and over 40 members of the Bar gathered for a relaxing breakfast and open discussion.  Judge Harris began by commending the Henrico Bar on its professionalism and collegiality.  He also welcomed Judge Wallerstein to the Circuit Court Bench.  Some of the information shared by the judges included the following: 

         Judge Marshall announced the hiring of a full-time interpreter on staff, and Judge Harris pointed out that attorneys still must request a court order for an interpreter. 

         Judge Yeatts asked that attorneys fill out the forms in advance of trial if they anticipate asking for a restricted license for their clients.

         Judge Harris noted that continuances are not being as liberally granted so attorneys need to be mindful of providing good reasons.  Also, attorneys requesting continuances should let the Commonwealth's Attorney know in advance so that witnesses may be notified. 

The HCBA would like to thank the Judges and all those attending for supporting this great annual event.  We especially thank Judge Steverson for allowing us to gather in his courtroom.

Judge Harris provides circuit court perspectives
HCBA members gather over breakfast

Vice President Carl Schwertz updates Past Presidents

Dan Rosenthal and Stan Wellman

Judges and attorneys mingle
Jim Hundley chats with Tom Blue

Breakfast with the Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court Judges


On September 19, 2012, the Bench of the Juvenile & Domestic Relations District Court took time to meet with a significant number of HCBA members over coffee and bagels in J&DR Courtroom #6.  Those in attendance enjoyed the informal gathering which gave them a chance to ask questions and hear from the judges.  Judges Herman and Johnson were warmly welcomed to the Bench. 


Judge Deglau made several notable comments.  She shared some great news from the clerk's office--Rebecca Cone is in the process of hiring four additional staff members.  She also noted that on November 1 the court will begin doing group informational arraignments in J&DR Courtroom #6.  This is being done so that financial forms can be filled out prior to going into the courtrooms which will make the duty docket run more efficiently.  Judge Deglau also mentioned that on appeals, the clerk's office is only sending copies of the petitions and court orders.  Attorneys must withdraw their exhibits at the end of the case or else file a miscellaneous motion to obtain their exhibits.  Lastly, she reminded attorneys to turn in their time sheets at the end of their cases so they can be timely processed.


President Marissa Mitchell and Mary Hunt introduce the Judges
Judge Deglau informs HCBA members about current changes
Judge Soden and Harry Shaia catch up
Members enjoying breakfast and each other's company
President Marissa Mitchell greets Aubrey Brown


Annual Dues Reminder


If you have not already sent in your annual dues, please do so.  Dues statements were mailed in September.  If you have not received yours, please contact our administrator, Mary Lou Wellman, at (804) 402-8126 or admin@henricobar.org.  HCBA membership dues are $90 for the 2012-2013 year.  We are offering a reduced rate of $60 for members admitted to the Virginia State Bar in the last three years (July 2009 or later).  Payments may be made online through our PayPal address which is admin@henricobar.org or mailed to the Henrico County Bar Association at P.O. Box 70147, Henrico, VA 23255. 


Please complete & return this form with your check

2012-2013 Membership Dues $90.00                    Due: October 1, 2012

 1   I am eligible for the reduced dues rate of $60.00 (admitted to bar in July 2009 or later)


Firm Name_________________________________________________

Mailing Address_____________________________________________

City, State, Zip______________________________________________

Telephone_______________________  Fax ______________________­

Email address__________________________________________________         










Save the Dates


Ethics CLE

Thursday, October 25, 2012,

4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Henrico Board of Supervisors' Board Room


Sittings for Pictorial Directory

Wednesday, October 24 , Thursday October 25, and Tuesday, October 30, 2012, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

JDR Courtroom #6


Holiday Reception
Thursday, December 6, 2012,
6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Willow Oaks Country Club


Annual Spring Luncheon

Thursday, March 14, 2013,

12:00 p.m.

Westwood Club






In This Issue
Breakfast with the Judges
Breakfast with the J&DR Court Judges
Annual Dues Reminder
Court Docent Program
Members on the Move
Clerk's Corner
Pro Bono Week






Henrico Court Docent Program


The Henrico Court Docent Program is well underway.  We give a big thanks to our members who have already signed up to participate!  We still need a few more attorney volunteers to assist the docents in escorting the students and teachers to the courts.  Attorney volunteers will accompany the groups to the General District and Circuit Courts on Tuesday mornings from 11:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.  If you are interested in volunteering or would like to learn more, please contact Marissa Mitchell at 501-5734 or mit06@co.henrico.va.us or Angela Boice Axselle at 565-3522 or aaxselle@goodmanallen.com.








Members on the Move


Christopher P. Thumma has joined the law firm of Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman as an associate. He will concentrate his 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
Cassie Baudean
 G. Barton Chucker
David R. Lett
Richard L. Locke 
Alvin A. Lockerman, Jr.
Justin A. Ritter
Christopher P. Thumma
Hunter R. Wells
Meredith L. Yoder




Officers and Directors



Marissa D. Mitchell



Jon A. Nichols



Carl R. Schwertz



Michael Y. Feinmel



J. T. (Tom) Tokarz


Immediate Past-President

Michael J. Rothermel



Angela Boice Axelle

Martin A. Conn

D. Brooks Hundley

Tony H. Pham

Suzanne Wade


Mary Lou Wellman






Clerk's Corner - JDR Court

-a message from Rebecca Cone


The JDR Clerk's Office was given an additional 4 positions - THANK YOU to all attorneys who supported the JDR Clerk's Office in obtaining these positions.  A few of the new faces you will see in the Clerk's Office -- Jessica Norton started September 10, 2012. Jessica answers the main phone line. Lauren Plemons will start on October 10, 2012 and work in Data Entry/Customer Service. Heather Quinonez will start on October 10, 2012 and will be assigned to the courtroom clerk team.  An updated phone and email list will be available from the Clerk's Office after October 10, 2012.

All DC-40 time sheets must be turned in at the conclusion of the case.

In cases that are appealed, counsel will need to request exhibits be withdrawn/returned. If exhibits are not returned at the conclusion of the case, the attorney will need to file a miscellaneous motion with the Court to have them withdrawn. The JDR Court will only send the original pleadings and final order to the Circuit Court.

Reminders:   Clerk's Office hours are 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.  This is a change.         

Forms are available at  www.co.henrico.va.us/jdrcourt




National Pro Bono Week


National Pro Bono Week is October 21-27, 2012.  In recognition of how important it is to give back to the community, the HCBA will be partnering with the Central Virginia Legal Aid Society to assist with no-fault divorce cases in Henrico County.  In addition, the HCBA will continue to partner with the Hunton & Williams' Church Hill office in placing no-fault divorce cases and landlord tenant disputes.  If you are interested in volunteering for one of these cases, please contact our pro bono coordinator, Mary Hunt, at mhunt@flaor.com.  If you are interested in other programs throughout the Richmond area during Pro Bono Week, contact Ali Fannon, Director of Programs & Development with the Greater Richmond Bar Foundation at afannon@grbf.org.