Off to a Great Start!       

Our 125th Annual Meeting in Williamsburg was a tremendous success with strong attendance. On display throughout were the VBA's core principles: professionalism, advocacy, service, and collegiality.


Highlights included:

  • Programs commemorating the 800th Anniversary of Magna Carta,
  • The recognition and remarks of retired Chief Justice Cynthia D. Kinser, recipient of the Association's highest honor, the Gerald L. Baliles Distinguished Service Award,
  • The recognition and remarks of Professor Margaret Ivey Bacigal, recipient of the Robert E. Shepherd, Jr. Award for advocacy on behalf of children,
  • The launch of the VBA Leadership Series, which featured Attorney General Mark Herring and Denise F. Keane, General Counsel of Altria Group,
  • Creation of the Pro Bono Council, led by Scott C. Oostdyk of McGuireWoods LLP and Robert J. Stoney of Blankingship & Keith, PC,
  • High quality CLE programs with robust attendance, and
  • The debut of property and casualty lines from our insurance agency, Virginia Barristers Alliance, Inc., including professional liability and other business products.


In addition to many new Section and Committee Chairs, we also welcomed eight new members of the Board of Governors:

  • N. Thomas Connally III of Hogan Lovells US LLP,
  • Richard E. Garriott Jr. of Pender & Coward PC,
  • Jamie Baskerville Martin of McCandlish Holton PC,
  • Thomas M. Winn III of Woods Rogers PLC,
  • Steven P. Gould of Clement Wheatley, Chair-elect of the Young Lawyers Division,
  • Del. G. Manoli Loupassi, legislative representative,
  • Norfolk Circuit Judge Everett A. Martin Jr., judicial representative, and
  • A. Benjamin Spencer, Earle K. Shawe Professor of Law at the University of Virginia School of Law, law school representative.


The 2015 Leadership Slate (PDF) includes photographs and short biographical information about the officers and Board members. Latest News on the VBA website also features highlights from the meeting. Check out the photos from Williamsburg on the VBA Facebook page.  


Special thanks go out to my predecessor, John L. Walker, III, for his outstanding service and leadership over the past year. Last week's In A VBA Minute only begins to recount the VBA's achievements during his year as President. And, echoing John, I cannot thank enough our outgoing Board members, Section Chairs, and Committee Chairs for their service and support.  


Finally, let's all show our gratitude for the VBA staff who planned and executed such a fine meeting. It is amazing that a staff of eight can accomplish so much.


In future weeks, I will be laying out our 2015 agenda in more detail. But, for now, let's just take a VBA minute to reflect on a remarkable Annual Meeting.



 with The Virginia Bar Association
Harry M Pete Johnson III
Harry M. "Pete" Johnson, III
The Virginia Bar Association 
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