The Virginia Bar Association                                                   December 9, 2013
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 The independent voice of Virginia lawyers

Advocacy, Professionalism,

Service, Collegiality

In This Issue
Renew in 5 Easy Steps
New VBA Online CLE Titles
20-Year Members
Annual Meeting 2014
Welcome, New Members
VBA Populates the Legal Elite
Award Winners
VBA Journal, Winter Issue
Judicial Funding Campaign
Write-ins' last chance


Have you renewed your dues for 2014?
You can renew online, as mentioned in emails sent Nov. 1 and Nov. 20. It's as easly as 1-2-3-4-5: 
  1. Go to
  2. Find Member Login and sign in (first timers: your username is your email; the password is VBA). 
    Member Login detail  
  3. Click on Members Only Section
  4. On the left side of the screen under your name click on renew.
  5. Verify/update contact information, add or drop section memberships, consider a 2014 gift to The VBA Foundation, then make payment

You will immediately receive confirmation of payment and membership renewal.  


The not-as-"green" method of paper invoices will be mailed this month to members who have yet to renew.    


Upcoming events
Jan. 23-25
 124th Annual Meeting in collaboration with the Old Dominion Bar Association, 
Williamsburg, VA

April 2 
The Chief Justice's Pro Bono Summit, 
Richmond, VA

July 24-27
124th Summer Meeting, 
White Sulphur Springs, WV
VBA Online CLE logo 
"Stepping in It: Avoiding the Accidental Franchise in Your Business Plan" and 

 "Drones: A Discussion of the Criminal and Civil Law Impact of Unmanned Aerial Surveillance" are two of the newest additions to the VBA Online CLE catalog. 


If you need a few CLE credits or want to catch up on a VBA program you missed, check out VBA Online CLE and click Try it now under the logo. 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.  


Thank YOU,
20-year members

The list below identifies VBA members who this year have reached the milestone of being
with the Association for 20 years. Your continuous support
is greatly appreciated.  
Heidi W. Abbott
Farhad Aghdami
Everette G. Allen, III
Wyatt S. Beazley, IV
Hon. Edward DeJ. Berry
Hon. Garland L. Bigley
Mark W. Botkin
Mark D. Braley
Margaret F. Brinig
Rudolph Bumgardner, IV
Kristina L. Burgard
Brian N. Casey
Stacy M. Colvin
N. Thomas Connally, III
Prof. Robert T. Danforth
Hon. Bonnie C. Davis
Thomas F. DeCaro, Jr.
J. Burns Earle, III
Nathan D. Finch
Douglas M. Foley
William S. Fralin
Joy C. Fuhr
Gerald E. Gilbert
Hon. Paul F. Gluchowski
James M. Goff, II
Hon. S. Bernard Goodwyn
Phillip S. Griffin, II
M. Peebles Harrison
Mark H. Hathaway
Susanna B. Hickman
Hon. Gary A. Hicks
Susan M. Hicks
Patrick T. Horne
Thomas C. Inglima
Robert L. Isaacs
Eric S. Jensen, Sr.
Jonathan M. Joseph
Alan M. Kagen
Maria M. Kear
Steven E. Keller
Anisa P. Kelley
William L. Kirby, III
Barry L. Leibowitz
Daniel E. Lynch
Hon. Kathleen H. MacKay
R. Shawn Majette
Steven M. Marks
James R. McGarry
Fred A. Mendicino
Charles G. Meyer, III
Martha F. Mica
Teri C. Miles
Hon. Tommy E. Miller
Kenneth B.E. Montero
Hon. Joan T. Morris
James A. Murphy
Hon. William T. Newman, Jr.
Sarah E. Powell
Russell V. Presley, II
Tracy Ann Roman
R. Bradley Runyan
Robert N. Saffelle
Frederick T. Schubert, II
D. Scott Seery
Arthur Serratelli
Hon. Jeffrey W. Shaw
Hon. Charles F. Sievers
Charles M. Sims
Charles H. Smith, III
Melinda H. South
Phillip C. Stone, Jr.
Frederick R. Taylor
Hon. Richard D. Taylor, Jr.
Daniel E. Toomey
Joseph J. Traficanti
Jonathan R. Tuttle
Anthony F. Vittone
Susan C. Ward
Donna L. White-Kearney
Deborah L. Wickham
Steven R. Williams
Victoria A.B. Willis
Thomas M. Winn, III
D. Edward Wise, Jr.
Jack L. Young

The VBA Voice
We hope you made some new memories at Thanksgiving. Whether you celebrate Hanukkah or Christmas or Kwanzaa, your professional association wishes you the happiest of holidays.

The VBA's gift wish list includes a fully funded and appropriately enlarged judiciary, record attendance at the 124th Annual Meeting and success for VBA-led initiatives in the 2014 General Assembly session.

Judicial caseload study backs additional judges

The independently researched Virginia Judicial Workload Assessment Report determined that the need exists for Virginia to fill vacancies on the bench and create several more judgeships in circuit, general district and juvenile and domestic relations district courts.


In site visits and surveys, sitting judges said they would like more time to: 

  • address pretrial motions and issues,
  • prepare written findings and orders,
  • conduct legal research,
  • review case files before hearings and trials,
  • ensure parties feel their concerns are addressed, and
  • more fully explain rulings and orders to enhance compliance.

They also reported that unfilled judicial vacancies and cases involving pro se litigants and interpreters are common sources of concern.  


In September, the VBA and eight other statewide bars urged legislators and the executive branch to fully fund and fill judicial vacancies. The report by the National Center for State Courts supports the need we have expressed and expands on it.    


Register now for the 124th VBA Annual Meeting

2014 AnnMtg ad

Sign up today for the 124th Annual Meeting from Jan. 23-25 at the Williamsburg Lodge and Conference Center in Williamsburg.

This year's meeting will be held in collaboration with the Old Dominion Bar Association.

Your room reservations can be made by phone or online. Calling (800) 261-9530 will take you directly to a reservations specialist  who can arrange your lodging that meets your specifications.  


Or book on the Internet using the VBA Reservation Code: The room block will be available until Dec. 24, space permitting.

Find a link to the meeting brochure and registration details on the event page in the VBA Calendar:    


Welcome, new and reactivating members!
During November, 10 individuals joined or reactivated their membership with the VBA. Thanks for getting (re)acquainted!

New members: Meet seasoned members. Elsewhere in this newsletter is a listing of individuals whose membership now spans an impressive 20 years.

If you ever have a question about membership, please contact Katie Heflin, our member coordinator.

New admittee signs up for VBA membership
New admittee and Chris Gill

Congratulations and welcome, new admittees

Several members in the VBA Young Lawyers Division promoted the Association with lawyers who recently passed the bar. During a break in VSB First Day in Practice events at the Greater Richmond Convention Center last week, many newly minted attorneys joined the VBA.

VBA members again populate the Legal Elite

The December issue of Virginia Business, on newsstands now, contains this year's Legal Elite. These are top attorneys as determined by their lawyer peers.


VBA members, not surprisingly, always feature prominently on the list, which this year identifies 868 lawyers in 16 categories.  The names of more than 3,300 nominees were submitted.


Profiled Legal Elite members that belong to the VBA include Thomas W. Greeson in Health Law, Marshall M. Curtis in Intellectual Property, and Gretchen M. Ostroff in Young Lawyers. 


Virginia Business began collaborating with the VBA in selecting categories for the Legal Elite in 2000. The VBA is not involved in the balloting.

Amicus Award winners Lucas Hobbs, Sheri Hiter
Partners at Bristol firm earn special projects award

R. Lucas Hobbs and Sheri A. Hiter, a shareholder and associate, respectively, of the law firm of Elliott, Lawson & Miner, P.C., received 2013 Special Projects Awards from the Local Government Attorneys of Virginia, Inc. The award cites their work in a U.S. Supreme Court case, McBurney v. Young, and an amicus brief they co-wrote. The case dealt with the constitutionality of the state law provision in the Virginia Freedom of Information Act that guarantees public record access to Virginia citizens only. The amicus brief supported the state law provision. 

Guess who's on the cover of the next VBA Journal?

We're not telling. Just yet. Your winter 2013-2014 issue of the VBA Journal will be in the mail at the end of the year. The digital version should be posted slightly before then at


Among the contents are the columns you've enjoyed in previous issues from VBA President Tom Bagby, YLD Chair Travis Hill and LPMD Chair Jim Guy. Writer's Block looks at the legal writer's purpose. The Docket surveys the busy fall season of CLE conferences and member activities.  


The great content goes on from there. We will let slip some other must-read articles as we get closer to publication.


Write for the VBA Journal in 2014 
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.

Legislative agenda evolves

Our lobbying team at Reed Smith LLP has been laying the groundwork for another successful year with the VBA legislative agenda. They are finding delegates and senators to sponsor bills and are conferring with coordinating groups and legislators on final language for proposed law changes.


Once finalized, the VBA legislative agenda will be posted online at, your portal for updates throughout the legislative session. 


VBA members also are monitoring prefiled legislation. When section chairs and interested others see proposals of interest, they are flagging them for immediate attention or for further monitoring. 


Young Lawyers Division newsletter nears release 
Opening Statement cover Winter2013 The editors of Opening Statement are putting the final touches on the Winter 2013-14 issue of the newsletter for YLD members.

The upcoming issue touches on embracing change as well as such practical elements as requesting records under the Freedom of Information Act and "Life Insurance 101."

YLD members will receive an email with the link to the issue, which also will appear on the newsletter archive webpage. Non-members (VBA-YLD and "OLD") can visit the division webpage at and click on the YLD Newsletter link, or search "Opening Statement" anywhere on the VBA website.

Last chance for write-in nominations 
The Governance Committee has prepared a slate of VBA leaders for the membership to vote on at the Annual Meeting. The VBA Bylaws permit nominations from the membership. Next year, the VBA Board of Governors will consist of two new at-large members and one each from the Blue Ridge and Tidewater regions. Terms are three years.

Anyone interested in self-nominating must submit their interest in writing to Executive Director Yvonne McGhee no later than Wednesday, Dec. 11.



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

Christine Mehfoud NEW VENUE: Spotts Fain in Richmond has welcomed Christine Mehfoud (pictured at left) to its litigation section. Previously she was senior counsel in McGuireWoods in Richmond. ... Courtney M. Malveaux joined ThompsonMcMullan in Richmond as a director. A former assistant attorney general and former deputy counsel to the attorney general of Robert Proutt Jr.Virginia, he most recently served as Virginia's labor commissioner. ... Robert J. Proutt Jr. (pictured at right) joined Christian & Barton, L.L.P., in Richmond as a partner. His practice focuses on commercial real estate transactions and natural resource restoration, and mitigation banking. ... Lee Bujakowski joined Marks & Harrison's Hopewell office. He received his law degree from Tulane University Law Schools.

Michael W. SmithAPPOINTED: James M. Hingeley Jr., the public defender in Charlottesville, is the Circuit 16 representative on the Virginia State Bar Council. He will fill until June 2016 the unexpired term of Alex R. Gulotta, who resigned from the seat. ... Michael W. Smith (pictured at left) has been elected treasurer of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He will serve on its Executive Committee. He is a partner at Christian & Barton, L.L.P., in Richmond, and chair of the firm.

IN THE NEWS: Virginia Living magazine interviewed VBA officials and affiliates for a state of law article in its December issue. Among those quoted in the article titled "Honor & Compassion," which begins on page 65: Tom Bagby, Hugh Fain III, Yvonne McGhee, Matt Kapinos, Bob Barrett and Chris Gill.
The Virginia Bar Association is the largest statewide voluntary group for lawyers, judges and law professors.
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