The Virginia Bar Association                                                   November 4, 2013
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 The independent voice of Virginia lawyers

Advocacy, Professionalism,

Service, Collegiality

In This Issue
Election Day
Article Idea?
VBA Online CLE
125 Years in Va. Law
Judicial Funding Campaign
Judicial Funding Campaign
Veterans Initiative
Proposed Board Slate
Annual Meeting 2014
Legal Elite Reminder
Welcome, New Members
Rule of Law Project


Remember to vote
Election Day is tomorrow, Nov. 5. Virginians will be selecting a new governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general. Delegates to the General Assembly also face elections. Local political races and some  referenda also may be on your ballot.

Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The VBA and the Young Lawyers Division presented two political  debates this year for members and the public.

On Oct. 2, the VBA YLD Town Hall Meeting/Capitol committee and the Student Government Association at Old Dominion University invited the candidates for lieutenant governor to share the ODU stage.
Lt Gov candidates face off in VBA-ODU debate
Photo by David Hollingsworth
In July, at the VBA Summer Meeting, the major party candidates for governor faced off. Judy Woodruff of "PBS NewsHour" moderated. Together, we live streamed the debate, archived here.

Upcoming events

VBA Journal

The VBA Journal is soliciting queries from members interested in writing substantive articles for 2014 issues.

Substantive articles focus on topics of general interest to attorneys in diverse practice areas. They range from 1,000 to 1,500 words before endnotes. Articles should be peer reviewed before the final draft is submitted to the journal. Find details and deadlines in the Writer Guidelines on the VBA Journal webpage.

Query the editor with your idea before Jan. 4 for spring issue consideration. The article deadline is Feb. 11, 2014.

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. 


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


New exhibit

An exhibit commemorating the VBA's 125th anniversary and the VSB's 75th is on display on the third floor of the building housing the Supreme Court of Virginia.

The Supreme Court of Virginia Historical Advisory Committee and the Virginia State Law Library created "The Bar at Work: 125 Years of Building the Legal Profession in Virginia, 1888-2013.

For 125 years, Virginia lawyers have exerted a profound influence on the development of the legal system in Virginia through their participation in bar associations.  

The VBA provided the traditional Summer Meeting group photograph from this past July to cap off the display. We also helped the exhibit with obtaining a copy of a photograph from an early VBA meeting.

Organizers expect the presentation to remain on display through August 2014. 

The VBA Voice
October flew by in a whirlwind of CLEs and socials, meetings and the media. November promises more of the same. And, it's never too early to start thinking about the year ahead.

Statewide bar associations unite on judicial funding

The VBA and eight other statewide bar groups endorse the full funding and filling of all Virginia judicial vacancies. President Tom Bagby's In A VBA Minute message Nov. 1 detailed this collaborative effort.


All nine groups signed a resolution that sets out the rationale behind the support. The VBA is seeking broader support for the initiative from members and candidates of the legislative and executive branches of government, and has notified the news media. Virginia Lawyers Weekly and Virginia Business quickly picked up on the campaign.    


Legislative agenda evolves

Six proposals to improve the law, recommended by VBA sections and affiliated groups, have been accepted by the VBA leadership into the 2014 legislative agenda. Suggestions from the Boyd-Graves Conference will be reviewed alongside with other pending proposals. Once the agenda is finalized, it will be posted online at, where updates will appear throughout the legislative session. 


Our lobbying team from Reed Smith LLP consists of Edward A. Mullen, H. Lane Kneedler III, Jeff Palmore and Georgia Reynard.     


VBA dues renewal for 2014 
Members late last week received the first notice by email that VBA and Section dues for 2014 can be submitted online. Go green and respond digitally!

Your 2014 renewal notice also permits donations to The VBA Foundation, the 501(c)(3) charitable arm of the VBA. Any contributions to the VBA's non-profit organization made with your 2014 dues renewal will be credited as a 2014 gift.

You can still contribute for 2013. Donate before Thanksgiving, Nov. 28, and your name will be listed in the winter issue of the VBA Journal. Give online or print out the form and return it to the VBA today. Thank you, patrons, for enabling The VBA Foundation to conduct and support the charitable and educational purposes of the VBA.

Attention! Volunteers needed to represent veterans

This Veterans Task Force November, the VBA will commemorate the fourth annual Veterans Legal Services Month with a volunteer drive. Will you be one of the 200 attorneys that organizers want to add to the VBA's Veterans Pro Bono Volunteer List?


Joelle Laszlo and Mark Villapando feel a deep sense of personal satisfaction and professional development from their involvement representing veterans on a pro bono basis. Read their story and more about this VBA initiative and RSVP to a Nov. 12 event.


2014 proposed slate for the VBA Board of Governors
The Governance Committee of the VBA plans to present a slate of new board members for three-year terms at the Annual Meeting in January. The Bylaws permit nominations from the membership delivered in writing to Executive Director Yvonne C. McGhee at least 45 days before the January meeting. Any additional nominations must be received by Dec. 11.  

The proposed slate:
  • Blue Ridge Region - C.J. Steuart Thomas III of Timberlake, Smith, Thomas & Moses
  • Tidewater Region - William A. Galanko of Norfolk Southern Corp.
  • At-Large - Mary C. Zinsner of Troutman Sanders
  • At-Large - Michael HuYoung of Barnes & Diehl 

Judge Louis R. Lerner, Sen. John S. Edwards and Dean Wendy Collins Perdue have agreed to serve another one-year term as the judicial, legislative and law school representatives, respectively.    


Save the date for the Annual Meeting

Colonial Williamsburg, site of 124th VBA Annual Meeting Join colleagues in Williamsburg from Jan. 23-25, 2014, for the 124th VBA Annual Meeting. In addition to educational programs, look forward to the abundant social aspects of this statewide meeting.


When the Williamsburg Lodge is ready to take room reservations and the VBA starts taking meeting registrations, we'll let you know by email. Or you can bookmark the event page on the online calendar to keep abreast of meeting details.  

Legal Elite reminder

If you've received a Legal Elite letter from Virginia Business, please make sure you have confirmed your information with the publisher as soon as possible.  


Email or fax your letter to (804) 225-0028. Virginia Business must confirm your information before it can be featured in the December issue of the magazine.


The Virginia Bar Association is not involved in balloting, but has advised Virginia Business on categories of legal specialties to consider.    


Welcome, new and reactivating members!
During October, 12 individuals joined or reactivated their membership with the VBA. Thanks for getting (re)acquainted!

November is a great time to encourage your friends who haven't yet joined to become VBA members. Why? Ask Katie Heflin, our member coordinator!


GOT NEWS? Send your announcements about VBA members to Communications Coordinator Marilyn Shaw.

The VBA's 2005 president, James V. Meath, will serve as president of the Virginia Law Foundation through next October. Meath is chairman of the board at Williams Mullen in Richmond. The foundation has provided more than $23 million in support of programs including the VBA-initiated and now jointly named Rule of Law Project.

The executive director of Virginia CLE, Raymond M. White, also recently became executive director of the Virginia Law Foundation.

Thirty Leaders in the Law, recognized by Virginia Lawyers Weekly, selected John B. McCammon of The McCammon Group as Leader of the Year for 2013.

Reed Smith LLP attorney Edward A. Mullen of Richmond has been appointed to the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and Public Policy.

VBA Board of Governors member Lori D. Thompson serves as president of the board of directors of the Virginia Poverty Law Center. She is a shareholder with the Roanoke office of LeClairRyan.

: Marla Graff Decker succeeds Judge Larry Elder on the Virginia Court of Appeals. Gov. Bob McDonnell appointed Decker, Virginia's secretary of public safety since 2010, for the seat. Before joining McDonnell's Cabinet, Decker worked in the state attorney general's office for more than 25 years.

40 UNDER 40: Style Weekly in Richmond named McGuireWoods associate Matthew A. Kapinos and LeClairRyan partner Rhodes B. Ritenour to its 2013 Top 40 Under 40 list

STATE OF LAW: Virginia Living magazine interviewed VBA officials and affiliates for several articles in its December issue, coming out Nov. 8.
Marion S. Cooper joins MercerTrigiani
NEW VENUE: Marion S. Cooper, Douglas M. Diffie joins MercerTrigiani counsel, and Douglas M. Diffie, an associate, have joined the Alexandria office of MercerTrigiani. Cooper previously worked as a risk management attorney for Dow Lohnes, PLLC, in Washington. Diffie served as a law clerk to Norrfolk Circuit Court Judges Charles E. Poston and John R. Doyle. ...

Also, Jeff Palmore, formerly director of policy development and deputy counsel in the office of Gov. Bob McDonnell, has joined Reed Smith LLP. ... Peter Schurig, formerly of McGuireWoods, is now with ParkPalais LLC. ... Former Troutman Sanders attorney Melissa Tannery is now with Andrew Mauck PLC.

FIRM NEWS: The Lenhart Obenshain and Feil, Pettit & Williams law firms announced that they plan to merge in January. The merged firm, with 30 attorneys, will use the name Lenhart Pettit and have offices in Charlottesville and Harrisonburg. ... Eleven lawyers and 16 staff members from Adelman, Sheff & Smith have been welcomed into the LeClairRyan fold. They will continue to work from offices in Annapolis, Md., and Glenwood Springs, Colo.

Mills Godwin H.S. students  ponder Rule of Law Program questions.

Bringing the Rule of Law to life

The Henrico County Bar Association presented a Rule of Law program to high school students at Mills Godwin. Speakers included Justice Cleo Powell of the Supreme Court of Virginia and program orginator G. Michael Pace Jr.        

The Virginia Bar Association is the largest statewide voluntary group for lawyers, judges and law professors.
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