The Virginia Bar Association                                                   September 30, 2013
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 The independent voice of Virginia lawyers

Advocacy, Professionalism,

Service, Collegiality

In This Issue
Lt. Gov. Debate
VBA Online CLE - on-demand
Legislative Proposals
Welcome, New Members
Open Water Swimming Expert


Lt. Gov. debate
At 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 2, the candidates for Virginia's lieutenant governor will face off in a debate on the Old Dominion University campus.

The YLD Town Hall Meeting/Capitol committee teamed up with the Student Government Association at ODU to present this event.

The candidates are Democrat Ralph S. Northam, a state senator, and Republican E.W. Jackson, a minister. This debate will mark the fourth election season in which the YLD has organized a debate for the candidates seeking state's No. 2 office.

Reporter Julian Walker of The Virginian-Pilot will moderate and questions also will be posed by Professor Quentin Kidd of Christopher Newport College.

Tickets are free but must be reserved in advance. VBA members may call Nancy at the VBA office, (804) 644-0041, about ticket availability.

Upcoming events
Oct. 4-5
Oct. 15 
University of Richmond, VA

Oct. 16
Richmond, VA

Oct. 17
Oct. 24-26
Virginia Beach, VA

Oct. 25-26
(invitation only) 
Nov. 1
Charlottesville, VA
Nov. 7 

Nov. 12 
VBA Veterans Initiative Task Force event

Nov. 15

Nov. 15
National Moot Court Competition
Richmond, VA

Nov. 21-22
Richmond, VA 

Save the date 
Jan. 23-25
VBA 124th Annual Meeting 
Williamsburg, VA  
Your gift means so much!
Patrons of The Virginia Bar Association Foundation support the VBA's many good works.

As we near the season of giving, please consider an initial offering to The VBA Foundation, or an additional donation. To give online, click the button below.

Donate Now button -- The VBA Foundation 

All donors who contribute for 2013 before Thanksgiving will be listed in the winter issue of the VBA Journal.

See your tax adviser about the deductability of your gift.

Thank you for your donation.

VBA Online CLE logo 
If you need a few CLE credits or want to catch up on a VBA program you missed, check out VBA Online CLE. Watch a video or listen to the audio of some of the best programming for Virginia attorneys, organized by your peers in the VBA.

Once the recordings of 2013 Summer Meeting programs receive CLE approval, we will be adding them to our catalog. 


As a valued member of the VBA, you receive a discount. Non-members also can enjoy these quality presentations.  


The VBA Voice
Two things The Virginia Bar Association is known for are the quality of its educational programs and the success of its legislative advocacy. Late September and all of October bring both to the fore. We hope you'll join us for nourishment of the mind (See Upcoming Events) and improvement in the law (See the first headline below) -- and that you'll invite non-member colleagues to get involved in the VBA and its quality initiatives.

Proposals presented at VBA Legislative Day
Eight VBA sections or affiliated groups presented their legislative proposals to the VBA Board of Governors and its Reed Smith lobbying team on Thursday, Sept. 26.

Pete Johnson III at VBA Legislative Day From Health Law to Appellate Law, and Wills, Trusts & Estates, these groups' representatives offered ways to improve the law. A complete set of proposed legislation that the VBA will advocate in the 2014 General Assembly session will appear in the winter VBA Journal.

Before the presentations started, Katya Herndon, director of legislative and public relations in the Office of the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court of Virginia, updated the group gathered at Hunton & Williams in Richmond on the study determining the weighted caseloads of Virginia judges. Executive Secretary Karl R. Hade discussed judicial funding and vacancies and district court clerk pay levels.

The VBA Board also will consider the legislative recommendations of the Boyd-Graves Conference after that group meets in October and the Virginia Family Law Coalition once it meets in December.

Court creates Access to Justice Commission 
The Pro Bono Committee of the VBA Board of Governors is expected to have a voice on a new advisory panel established by the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia.

The 17- to 20-member Access to Justice Commission will promote equal access to justice, with particular emphasis on the civil legal needs of Virginia residents. One of the two co-chairs will be a justice of the Supreme Court. Members will include judges, a trial court clerk, a law school dean or faculty member, corporate counsel and legal aid organizations.

Chief Justice Cynthia D. Kinser ordered the creation of the panel to identify barriers to obtaining needed legal services and to develop solutions and to mobilize legal professionals in closing the justice gap, among other goals.


AWARDS AND APPOINTMENTS: The Fairfax  Law  Founda-Daniel Ortiz
tion's Society of Fellows named Daniel E. Ortiz, the immediate past chair of the VBA Young Lawyers Division, as its emerging leader. He earned a Golden Gavel Award. ... Bill Nusbaum, a partner in the real estate practice at Williams Mullen in Norfolk, is serving as chair of the Virginia State Bar Real Property Section. He also recently was elected vice chair of Opportunity Inc., the Hampton Roads Workforce Development Board and was appointed by Tidewater Community College to its Workforce Development Advisory Council. ...

The Virginia Capitol Foundation named Anita O. Poston of Vandeventer Black and John Charles Thomas of Hunton & Williams as new trustees for 2013-14. ... Business, IP and entertainment attorney Justin Laughter has been appointed interim executive director of Virginians for the Arts. ...

The Society of Professional Journalists has elected Paul Fletcher, publisher Virginia Lawyers Weekly Paul Fletcher to national secretary-treasurer. Fletcher is publisher and editor-in-chief of Virginia Lawyers Weekly. He is immediate past president of the SPJ Virginia Pro chapter, which was named outstanding small chapter of the year for 2012-13. ...

Martinsville City Attorney Eric H. Monday is a member of the board of directors for the Local Government Attorneys of Virginia Inc. for 2013-14.

CHANGE OF VENUE: VBA member Neil H. MacBride, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, resigned after one four-year term in office. Kathleen M. Kahoe has been appointed acting U.S. attorney. ... Joseph E. "Jay" Spruill III, formerly of Reed Smith LLP, has joined LeClairRyan in Richmond as a partner on the firm's community banking practice area and banking industry teams. ... 

Troutman Sanders in Richmond hired Brooks Smith, a former co-chair of the environmental practice at Hunton & Williams, as a partner. ... Thomas J. "TJ" Mascia, formerly an associate at Hunton & Williams, also joined Troutman Sanders' environmental practice. ...

Veteran Richmond bankruptcy lawyer Keith L. Phillips is the newest U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge for the Eastern District of Virginia. He succeeds Judge Douglas O. Tice Jr., who has been serving as a recalled judge since his official retirement June 30. ...

John Erbach photo Spotts Fain in Richmond welcomed new VBA member John Erbach to its litigation section. Previously, he served as law clerk to three federal judges in Richmond after two years in private practice.

RETIREMENT: Judge Larry G. Elder retires from the Court of Appeals of Virginia on Oct. 1, after 27 years on the bench. He has served in the Court of Appeals for 22 years.

LAW FIRMS: Sands Anderson PC expanded its lease in Richmond's Bank of America Center by 5,856 square feet, bringing the total to about 39,000 square feet, Virginia Business and RichmondBizSense reported.

Welcome, new and reactivating members!
During September, nine individuals joined or reactivated their membership with the VBA. Thanks for getting (re)acquainted!

October is a great time to encourage your friends who haven't yet joined to become VBA members. Why? Just ask a VBA staff member!

Virginia Lawyers Helping Lawyers Conference

More than 80 lawyers and presenters attended the Virginia Lawyers Helping Lawyers 2013 Fall Conference at the Wintergreen Resort on Sept, 13-14.  


CLE-accredited programs included the panel discussion "Views of the Impaired Attorney From the Bench, Bar, and Discipline"; a presentation by Robynn Moriates, executive director of the North Carolina Lawyers Assistance Program, titled "Getting Lost in Our Own Lives"; an overview of recent medical research pertaining to substance use disorder and mental health issues by Peter Coleman, M.D.; and a talk about the importance of drug courts, presented by Henrico Circuit Judge Catherine Hammond.


The keynote presentation Saturday evening was a disbarred lawyer's moving account about his battle with and recovery from alcohol and drug addiction, his successful petition to be reinstated to the practice of law in Virginia, and his lawyer's description of the reinstatement process.


Paulk swimming

Litigator shows persistence in and out of the water

Hirschler Fleischer PC partner Courtney Moates Paulk completed the final leg of the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming. That feat made her the Courtney Moates Paulk photo 79th person in the world and the first female attorney in Virginia to earn the title.


On Sept. 10, 2013, Paulk swam across the Catalina Channel, a 20.2-mile course in Southern California. She completed the crossing in 11 hours and 50 minutes, averaging 60 strokes per minute in the icy channel waters. Paulk completed the first two legs of the three-part challenge in the past two years, swimming 21 miles across the English Channel between England and France, and 28.5 miles around Manhattan.


Paulk, who documented her journey in a blog, took on the challenge in an effort to raise $10,000 for the American Heart Association. 


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