Henrico Bar News
April 2015
Henrico County Bar Association
P.O. Box 70147
Richmond, Virginia 23255

From the Desk of Carl R. Schwertz, HCBA President


It would be very easy to start this message with the old joke: This is my last message...please hold your applause.  But that would be too easy, so I won't.

The year has gone entirely too fast.  At our most recent board meeting, I was reminded of what I included in my remarks at our Annual Banquet when I was installed.  I promised I would do my best to take something that has been successful and not make it worse.  I modestly will say I succeeded, although I have had very little to do with the continued success of our association.

As members, you need to be aware that those who have volunteered their time to administer this association are a spectacular group who daily give up time from family, career, or just plain fun to make sure we continue to improve all that we can offer to the association.  We have a better website, we continue to provide no cost CLE offerings to our membership that rival anything I attend anywhere, and our social gatherings give opportunities to all to enjoy time together without the need to be adversarial.  Thank you, Mike, Tom, Julie, Jim, Brian, Natalie, Brooks, Tony, Suzanne and Jon.

If you still don't know, we have an administrator who is a tremendously organized and selfless person who guides us and assists us in making sure that our ideas, programs and activities get done correctly and well.  Thank you, Mary Lou.

My challenge to each of you remains the same -- Give back to your association by participating, by marketing it to others, and by saying "yes" when asked if you can help.


Carl R. Schwertz


Annual Spring Luncheon


Richmond Times-Dispatch political columnist Jeff Schapiro spoke at our Annual Spring Luncheon held at the Westwood Club on March 5, 2015.  Mr. Schapiro has covered campaigns and government for nearly 35 years and joined the Times-Dispatch in 1987.  He shared his thoughts on the topic, "Virginia Politics - A Work In Progress".  More than 40 of our members braved the snowy weather to enjoy lunch with their colleagues and hear Mr. Schapiro's engaging presentation.  After Mr. Schapiro concluded his remarks, he responded to questions from our members on a variety of topics.  A big thank you goes out to our friends at SELTEK, Inc. for sponsoring the luncheon!


Jeff Schapiro from the Richmond Times-Dispatch
Martha Brissette, Jim Hopper and Stan Wellman
Judge Hicks and John Hughes
Natalie McClearn and Mary Hunt
Judge Yoffy, Judge Wallerstein and Dan Rosenthal
Ryan Young and John Mizell


Please visit our website at www.henricobar.org to see additional Spring Luncheon photos. 

Legislative Update CLE


On April 22, 2015, the HCBA - with the help of the McCammon Group, which sponsored the event, held its annual Legislative Update along with a cocktail reception at the Westwood Club.  Henrico County Delegates Jimmie Massie, Peter Farrell and Dr. John O'Bannon were kind enough to highlight for the approximately 60 attendees a number of legislative issues addressed by the 2015 General Assembly session.  Among those were budgetary and health care issues, as well as an extension of a DNA database in criminal matters.  The legislators also entertained questions from the audience, including several on the autonomy of Virginia's publicly funded universities to determine their respective mix of in-state versus out-of-state students.  


Bryan Schneider, Del. John O'Bannon,

Del. Jimmie Massie and Del. Peter Farrell

Jeff Zwerdling and Del. Peter Farrell
Jon Nichols, Dan Rosenthal, Julie Palmer and Natalie McClearn
Eddie Whitlock, Jennifer Wheeler and Charles Adams
Matt Morris, Julie Cillo and Kari Jackson
Judge Hoover from The McCammon Group and Eone Beck


Please visit our website at www.henricobar.org to see additional Legislative Update photos.

Member Spotlight




Full Name: Matthew Ryan Morris


Employer and Position: Attorney at Friedman Law Firm


College: University of South Carolina


Law School: University of Richmond


Years in Practice: 3


Hobbies and Interests: Spending time with my two kids, vegetable gardening, coaching my son's T-ball team, playing tennis, watching sports and vacationing at the beach.


Favorite Movie: O Brother, Where Art Thou? (or Star Wars if I'm being really honest)


Favorite Book: Treasure Island


Favorite Pro and College Sports Team: Washington Redskins, South Carolina Gamecocks


One Thing You Might Not Know About Me: My wife teaches 1st grade in Henrico.


Best Thing About Practicing Law in Henrico: The collegial atmosphere and quality of the bench and bar.


Funniest Experience as an Attorney: A client once told me he lived in an old, haunted house.  He explained that it used to be an asylum for the criminally insane, and that there was constant paranormal activity.  I had a nightmare that night that I was trapped in that house with criminally insane people all around me.  (I guess that's more scary than funny.)


Advice to Young Attorneys: Always be polite and respectful to everyone you come across professionally.





Full Name: Andrew R. Newby


Employer and Position: Assistant County Attorney, Henrico County


College: University of Virginia


Law School: University of Richmond


Years in Practice: 5


Hobbies and Interests: Almost anything outdoors


Favorite Movie: Oliver Twist


Favorite Book: The Great Republic


Favorite Pro and College Sports Team: Washington Nationals, UVA Basketball


One Thing You Might Not Know About Me: I have a wonderful daughter named Elizabeth and a wonderful wife named Melanie.


Best Thing About Practicing Law in Henrico: Serving the community I live in.


Advice to Young Attorneys: I could use some advice, myself.




Save the Date
Annual Banquet
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
The Dominion Club
John Garrett Memorial Golf Tournament
(Benefiting Comfort Zone Camp)
Thursday, June 4, 2015
1:00 p.m. Shotgun Start
The Crossings Golf Club
In This Issue


Judge Catherine Hammond's Last Docket


By Mike Feinmel, HCBA President-Elect


A few minutes ago, Judge Hammond ended her 16 year career as a Henrico Circuit Court Judge.  Fittingly, her last docket was a Henrico Drug Court docket.  Over ten years ago, Judges Hicks and Hammond formed the Henrico Drug Court in response to the large number of probation violators with substance abuse issues who could not get out of the "revolving door" of the criminal justice system.  To say that in ten years the Henrico Drug Court has saved lives is axiomatic.  The Henrico Drug Court has dramatically changed the landscape of dealing with substance abusers in this county, and has not just saved lives, but has helped hundreds of individuals rebuild their lives.


After the docket was complete, some tears were shed, pictures were taken, and Judge Hammond and I sat in her chambers for a short time of reflection on her career.  This included law firm experience, public sector experience, and a full career as a jurist.  When asked to compare herself now versus the judge that first took the bench 16 years ago, Judge Hammond sized herself up succinctly: "My heart was much smaller the day I started."


Anyone who practiced in her courtroom was well aware of Judge Hammond's devotion to the system of justice.  We spoke about that and the importance of the court system as a trusted pillar of our society.  The importance of timeliness, professionalism and order of the court were, and are, important to Judge Hammond to accomplish her goal of having the members of our community have respect for the process.  "I want people who come to court to think of the system as reliable.  I want people to know that they deserve to be heard and to believe that the court system works."


As many have heard Judge Hammond say before, principles of professionalism and cordiality amongst the Bar have over the years helped to reinforce her belief that the citizenry deserve a court system based upon respect. We talked about some of the most memorable cases over which she presided in her career.  To follow that up, I asked what she was most proud of about her tenure as a judge.  Her answer, not surprisingly, was the relationships that she had established with the members of the bar, and the mutual respect that she felt with the bar membership.


Perhaps most telling of Judge Hammond's legacy as a judge was the courtroom full of courthouse personnel who all wanted pictures and wanted to say their goodbyes.  Judge Hammond commented to me that she believed it to be the courthouse workers - the deputies, clerks, probation staff, law clerks and secretaries, all integral parts of the system - that she would miss the most.  With that said, a deputy assisted her with removing the last personal items from her office and she left the courthouse, beginning the next phase of her life.


The Honorable

 Catherine C. Hammond




Clerk's Corner


Notice from Yvonne Smith, Clerk, Henrico Circuit Court


Our fileless system has been up and running for a little over a year now.  The Officer of the Court Remote Access System (OCRA) has been successful.  If you have not subscribed to the system and are interested, the links are located on our web page at:



Also, the index to our civil and criminal records has been available for awhile on the Supreme Court's website at:



Land Records Users: Our office has contracted with a new land records vendor and the conversion will take place during the months of May and June.  In order to train employees and the public on the new system, we will stop recording at 3:00 p.m. on May 7, 2015.


On May 7, 2015, at 2:00 p.m., we will have a demonstration by Logan Systems for the public users in the Jury Assembly Room located on the second floor of the courthouse.  Please contact Rebecca Cone at con080@henrico.us if you or your staff are interested in attending.


Notice from Patricia L. Harrington, Clerk, Supreme Court of Virginia


Rule changes regarding the filing of electronic briefs with the Supreme Court of Virginia and the Court of Appeals of Virginia can be found at:


The Guidelines and User's Manual referenced in the rules will be available on the website in mid to late May, 2015.



Members on the Move   

If you have recently changed jobs or been promoted, please share your news 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 employer's name, new title and areas of concentration.  



Welcome New Members
Po Chau
Kyle R. Elliott
Karen E. Dottore-Jones
Kari Jackson
Nisha R. Patel
Douglas E. Pittman
Karen W. Ramey




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