The candidates for lieutenant governor of Virginia debated live in Norfolk on Oct. 2. The VBA YLD Town Hall Meetings/Capitol committee organized the event in conjunction with the Student Government Association at ODU. Republican E.W. Jackson, a minister, and Democrat Ralph S. Northam, a state senator, met on stage in the Diehn Fine and Performing Arts Center at Old Dominion University.
Candidates addressed questions posed by Virginian-Pilot reporter Julian Walker, who served as moderator, and political science professor Quentin Kidd of Christopher Newport University. The VBA Young Lawyers Division hosted a meet-the-candidates reception immediately after the debate in the atrium of the arts center. Listen to the lieutenant governor debate by downloading the audio via WHRV.
The VBA, sponsor firms and "PBS NewsHour" live streamed the July 20 debate of gubernatorial candidates Terry McAuliffe and Ken Cuccinelli with moderator Judy Woodruff. Financial assistance from LeClairRyan, MercerTrigiani, Sensei Enterprises Inc. and Spotts Fain PC made the live streaming possible. Watch a recording of The Virginia Bar Association/PBS NewsHour Internet feed of the debate via the “PBS NewsHour” UStream channel. Media coverage Tweeted under the #VBADebate hashtag. In addition to statewide and national media coverage, WCVE Public Radio broadcast the debate on July 21 on "WCVE Forum." VBA President Tom Bagby appeared on the "Morning Show" on WINA-1070 AM in Charlottesville as the VBA Summer Meeting began to talk about the debate.
See why the ABA YLD determined that our Opening Statement newsletter -- and the VBA Young Lawyers Division -- deserve national awards. For program highlights, opportunities to get involved, a testament to YLD ambition and generosity and other information, check out the first issue of Volume 2 (PDF) of the VBA YLD newsletter. View the archive.
After 22 years on the Court of Appeals of Virginia, and 27 years on the bench, Judge Larry G. Elder will retire on Oct. 1. The fall term of the court already is under way and Gov. Bob McDonnell plans to appoint a successor "in short order" -- by Oct. 1. Applications, due Sept. 16, and information are available at www.governor.virginia.gov/vacancies.cfm.
Some law offices in Virginia took part in Go Orange Day on Sept. 5 to raise awareness of hunger in Virginia. Thanks, McKenry, Dancigers, Dawson & Lake P.C. in Virginia Beach, for sending us a photo of your staff.
Plans are already in the works for next year’s Legal Food Frenzy, to be held from March 31 to April 11, 2014. But hunger is something many Virginians experience all year long. So, on September 5, 2013, VBA members are being asked to take part in “Go Orange Day,”by wearing orange to raise awareness of hunger in Virginia. Snap a photo of people in your office wearing orange and send it to email@example.com by September 12, 2013, and you will receive 100 bonus points toward next year’s Legal Food Frenzy competition!
Which lawyers are improving the law and law practice, contributing to their communities and enhancing the justice system in Virginia? Turns out they often are the same individuals who also belong to the VBA. Sixty percent of the 30 members of the Class of 2013 Leaders in the Law are members. They include Heidi W. Abbott, Matthew W. Broughton, S. Miles Dumville, James Hingeley, George K. Martin, John B. McCammon and Paula L. Peaden. Congratulations also to Sandra Chinn-Gilstrap, Jill A. Hanken, Patrick W. Herman, Thomas C. Kleine, John D. McGavin, and Jay B. Myerson. We appreciate the service of James V. Meath, U.S. Magistrate Judge David E. Novak, Mark E. Rubin, Thomas R. Scott Jr. and John R. Walk. The list was announced Aug. 21 by the publisher of Virginia Lawyers Weekly.
The ABA YLD Awards of Achievement recognized three of the many projects of The Virginia Bar Association Young Lawyers Division in its annual contest. The overall efforts of the VBA YLD garnered a second place in the comprehensive category. The YLD is a perennial placer against national competitors. The 2012-2013 honors include, in additional to the comprehensive award, second places in Service to the Bar, with the Backpack to Briefcase project; and in newsletter with Opening Statement. In the Service to the Public category, the judges gave special recognition to the Capitol Region Town Hall Committee for its Restoration of Rights meeting.
The Virginia Bar Association has become the latest of more than 30 bar associations to offer Clio as a member benefit. Clio provides cloud-based practice management, time and billing and client collaboration tools for small and mid-sized law firms. The partnership in the Clio Bar Association Affinity Program allows our members to subscribe to Clio at a discounted rate. Read more...
Starting Sept. 9, 2013, counsel in cases being argued before the Supreme Court of Virginia may use laptops, tablets or other personal computers during the presentation of oral argument. Written requests and permission will be required. Read more...
At the Summer Meeting banquet, 1999 VBA President David Craig Landin (photo, left) accepted the Walker Award of Merit, which recognizes and appreciates exceptional leadership within the bar. Landin’s service to the organization includes his contributions as an officer and his longtime leadership of the VBA Committee on Special Issues of National & State Importance.
W. David Harless (photo, right), immediate past president of the VSB, received a special resolution (PDF) of appreciation for his exemplary leadership of the Virginia State Bar. The resolution, approved by the VBA Board of Governors, applauds Harless' lasting contributions in fostering mutual respect and communication among bar associations. Harless has been a VBA member since 1983.
George Keith Martin, the managing partner of the McGuireWoods LLP office in Richmond, became rector of his undergraduate alma mater on July 1. He succeeds Helen E. Dragas as the leader of the university's Board of Visitors, its governing body. Martin, a VBA member since 1992 who is serving a second three-year term on the Law Practice Management Division Council, was appointed to the Board of Visitors by Gov. Bob McDonnell in July 2011.(Photo from McGuireWoods website.)
The Virginia State Capitol provided the backdrop for a gathering of key stakeholders in this year's flagship project of the VBA Law Practice Management Division. Called JDPlus, the project aims to provide ways to narrow or bridge the wide and growing gap between the costly training that law schools provide and the needs of legal graduates, employers and consumers of legal services. Three possible initiatives will be investigated further: developing more and alternative work experiences; creating a competencies compact between law schools and legal employers; and compiling a data library with information to inform and assist all constituents of legal services.
Legislative updates about reforms to the Code of Virginia are one benefit of joining the 19 specialty law sections of the VBA. Stay ahead of changes in the law. Join a section for $25 a year. VBA members can join online or via mail or fax.
Broadcast journalist Judy Woodruff will moderate the VBA-sponsored debate by gubernatorial candidates in July.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to have the co-anchor of ‘PBS NewsHour’ – and someone with Judy Woodruff’s experience in political coverage – as our moderator,” VBA President Tom Bagby said. “This debate is likely to receive national attention and certainly will be one to attend.” (Read the VBA member email.)
The debate between Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Ken Cuccinelli will take place at 11 a.m. July 20 at The Homestead resort in Hot Springs. The debate, a Saturday highlight of the 123rd Summer Meeting, is open to members, guests, the general public and the news media. The VBA invites all members to submit questions for possible use in the debate.
Watch history unfold during the VBA Summer Meeting when Virginia's major party candidates running for governor debate at 11 a.m. July 20 at The Homestead. Got a question you'd like posed to the candidates? Submit it for moderator consideration.
VBA member Sharon D. Nelson, who serves on the LPMD Council, became the 75th president of the Virginia State Bar on June 14. She succeeded 2012-2013 VSB President W. David Harless of Richmond, also a VBA member. A Fairfax lawyer, Nelson is president of Sensei Enterprises Inc. Another VBA member, Kevin E. Martingayle of Virginia Beach, is president-elect of the mandatory bar.
As president of the Virginia State Bar, W. David Harless has recognized the support of the VBA and its leadership to the Virginia State Bar. He has made special presentations to the VBA 2012 and 2011 presidents, Hugh M. Fain III of Spotts Fain and Lucia Anna "Pia" Trigiani of MercerTrigiani, respectively.
The 123rd Summer Meeting offers something for all VBA members. Find the details on the conference events page, vba.org/vbasummer13. Meeting registration is open and The Homestead is ready to make your room reservation(PDF). Save your seat (and $) by registering before July 8. Rooms must be booked via mail or fax by June 27 for the discounted group rate. See you in Hot Springs on July 18-21.
The Governance Committee of the VBA's statewide Board of Governors wants to hear from you. The committee this fall will recommend members to fill six seats on the board. Terms run three years and service begins in January 2014. Nominees will be considered from Tidewater (1 vacancy), Blue Ridge (1) and Capitol (3) regions, as well as for one (1) at-large position currently held by a member in the Southwest region. Submit nominations before June 21 by sending an email to Executive Director Yvonne McGhee. Please state why you are interested in serving the VBA and list your VBA involvement to date.
President Obama's nominees to fill three vacancies on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit include VBA member Patricia A. Millett. A VBA Appellate Section Council member, she is a partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP in Washington and leads the firm's Supreme Court practice and co-heads its national appellate practice. Washingtonian featured her in a blog post June 4, the day the news broke. The U.S. Senate holds hearings to determine whether to confirm such nominees.
The Supreme Court of Virginia welcomes comments on proposed changes to Rule 3A:11(PDF), related to discovery in criminal cases. Comments should be submitted by July 1. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and put "comment on criminal discovery Rule" in the subject line.
The campaigns of the Republican and Democrat seeking election as Virginia's next governor have acknowledged an invitation for the candidates to debate during the 123rd VBA Summer Meeting. Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Ken Cuccinelli are set to debate at 11 a.m. July 20 at The Homestead. For more than 25 years, the nonpartisan VBA has sponsored debates among candidates for statewide office. The events help fulfill the VBA’s commitment to serving the public and the legal profession. Through the debates, the VBA seeks to educate the electorate about candidate views on issues and to stimulate voter interest and participation in the election process.
The VBA Committee on Federal Judgeships -- Eastern District will review applicants to succeed Judge James Spencer, who plans to take senior status in March 2014. The committee's work follows a request by U.S. Sens. John Warner and Tim Kaine for statewide bar groups to provide input before they nominate a candidate. Interested individuals should submit the VSB questionnaire (vsb.org), a resume or CV, and a writing sample by email to VBA Executive Director Yvonne McGhee. The deadline for submissions was 4 p.m. June 7.
Candidates can apply to fill vacancies in six Judicial Circuits and submit their questionnaires to the governor. The openings are in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 20th and 25th Judicial Circuits. These seats were left unfilled when the General Assembly adjourned April 4. Any gubernatorial appointments to the bench will serve until 30 days after the 2014 General Assembly session begins. Continued service will require election by the General Assembly. Gov. Bob McDonnell said he "will be seeking out the most qualified candidates for these positions."
Changes to Rules 1A:1 and 1A:3, relating to the "foreign attorney" rules of court, have been proposed and are open for review. They address the admission of foreign attorneys to practice in Virginia without examination, and the procedure to revoke certificates issued to foreign attorneys. The Supreme Court of Virginia revised a proposed rules version in October 2012 after receiving comments. A new comment period was open until May 31, 2013.
A pilot program of the Virginia Judiciary E-Filing System started April 15 in Norfolk Circuit Court. Initially, a limited number of attorneys will be registered to use the automated system for filings in most civil cases. The system, developed by the Office of the Executive Secretary, is designed to improve the efficiency of the circuit court clerks' offices by integrating with the existing statewide case management, case imaging and financial management systems. The Office of the Executive Secretary expects other pilot programs to begin within six months. Eventually, the e-filing system will be expanded to all Virginia circuit courts.
Terry McAuliffe, the Democrat running for governor of Virginia, announced in April that he agreed to take part in five debates, including one on July 20 at the VBA Summer Meeting in Hot Springs. Republican challenger Ken Cuccinelli, currently attorney general, in mid-May proposed 15 debates before the November election. The VBA has a long history of presenting debates involving candidates for statewide office. The most recent was in 2012 with U.S. Senate candidates Tim Kaine and George Allen, moderated by CNN's Candy Crowley.
Pro bono attorneys affiliated with the Lewis B. Puller Jr. Veterans Benefits Clinic at the William & Mary Law School received the 2013 Lewis F. Powell Jr. Pro Bono Award from the Virginia State Bar Legal Services Committee. At the awards presentation on April 15, Dean Davison Douglas accepted the honor. Douglas served on the VBA Board of Governors as law school representative from 2010 to 2013. The VBA Veterans Issues Task Force raised more than $25,000 to support the Veterans Benefits Clinic. Those contributions enabled law students to assist more than 300 veterans and their families and for the clinic to carry an active caseload of more than 40 files. Many of those cases involved filing claims and appealing adverse decisions for disability compensation with the Department of Veterans Affairs.
The late Murray J. Janus and Roderick B. Mathews, both of whom had been VBA members, were honored at the Rule of Law Award reception and ceremony May 8 at the Virginia Holocaust Museum in Richmond. Constitutional scholar and University of Virginia School of Law Professor A.E. Dick Howard was the keynote speaker. The event was sponsored by the Nuremberg Courtroom Committee of the museum and the Virginia Law Foundation.
In six years, hundreds of law offices across Virginia have participated in a friendly little outside-the-courtroom competition that benefits Virginia communities. The contest is the Legal Food Frenzy. The 2013 version of this spring ritual began Monday, April 1. Share your office plans with the local news media, which has been notified of the April 1-12 contest dates. All attorneys, legal staff and clients who get involved by contributing food and funds are winners, but a special few who out-raise their peers will be recognized at a ceremony in the Executive Mansion.
When the forecast is "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs," only one choice of action is appropriate: a book tasting. On April 19, the Mentor Program/Capitol of the VBA Young Lawyers Division will serve up the title protein to second- and third-graders at Woodville Elementary in Richmond. They will choose their favorite flavor. Meanwhile, Judge Robert L. Gregory of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals will read the highly rated Judi Barrett story to the children.
Are you familiar with the Town Hall Meeting/Capitol Committee of the Young Lawyers Division? A packed house got acquainted at a free Law Over Lunch presentation at the University of Richmond Downtown campus on April 9. The committee co-sponsored a panel discussion on the issue of rights restoration for ex-offenders. The presentation qualified for 1.5 CLE hours.
Saying "It is critical that as our economy recovers that we fill some of our key judicial vacancies," Gov. Bob McDonnell proposed filling 11 more posts and creating a new 15th Judicial Circuit seat to alleviate a high caseload in that circuit. The General Assembly approved the additional funding at its reconvened session in April. Overall, the budget finances 32 of 49 vacancies. The General Assembly also elected eight circuit judges, 11 general district judges and six juvenile and domestic relations judges.
Eleven VBA members join the notable contributors in all career fields in the 2013 list of Influential Women of Virginia. The list is compiled by Virginia Lawyers Media, publisher of Virginia Lawyers Weekly. The fifth annual recognition of the outstanding efforts of women acknowledges Judge Teresa Chafin, Cassandra C. Collins, Quinn Feldmann Graeff, Judge Teena Grodner, Margaret F. Hardy. Also: Judge Lisa Mayne, Kathleen McCauley, Martha Medley, VBA Board of Governors representative Monica Taylor Monday, Judge Mary Grace O'Brien and Elizabeth G. Perrow. In May, the weekly newspaper will profile each honoree in a special supplement.
In his latest update on the 2013 legislative session (PDF), lobbyist and VBA member Jay Spruill reports that Gov. Bob McDonnell has approved two bills proposed by the Association and its affiliate groups. One allows State Corporation Commission attorneys to perform pro bono services, and the other clarifies the methods of long-arm service of process. Both become effective July 1. The governor's review of legislation that came out of the General Assembly term this winter continues.
"The VBA strongly supports filling as many judicial vacancies as possible," The Virginia Bar Association commented after the state House and Senate approved a budget that fills 20 judicial vacancies. Virginia Lawyers Weekly wrote about the matter in the VLW blog on Sunday. "The current unfilled judicial vacancies, and the resulting overload in our courts, adversely affects the administration of justice in the Commonwealth."
"While we would have liked to have seen more vacancies filled under the budget plan approved by the General Assembly on Saturday, we understand that certain legislators may have wanted to wait for the results of the weighted caseload study from the Supreme Court before filling more vacancies. We hope that after the study is completed, the Virginia General Assembly will do more to address the current critical shortage of judges."
As of the fifth full week of the 2013 General Assembly session, 13 of the 17 bills the VBA had introduced on behalf of its various sections and affiliated organizations had passed the House or Senate where introduced. VBA lobbyist Jay Spruill provides an update. Results of the continuing bill progress at the State Capitol is updated in table form every Monday, Wednesday and Friday during the session. The VBA also is actively supporting, opposing, or seeking to modify a host of other bills before state lawmakers.
The path leading to the Hon. John Charles Thomas's Carnegie Hall poetry recitation Feb. 23 reads like epic free verse. Distinction, the Hampton Roads lifestyle magazine, describes his journey in the article "Poetic Justice" in its Feb. 17 issue. His New York City appearance in "The Allure of the Muse" was featured on page 36 in this winter's VBA Journal.
The VBA's immediate past president, Hugh M. Fain III, and others talk about the importance of funding judicial positions in the February issue of Virginia Business. In the article, "Shortchanging justice?" Fain points out that judicial vacancies slow access to justice as caseloads grow.
"We have backlogs now that are bigger than before, and that affects our overall [standing] relative to other states, and that’s not good. So there’s a good business reason to fund our judiciary,” Fain is quoted as saying.
In budget discussions, Virginia Lawyers Weekly reports, lawmakers are considering funding levels that would fill more vacancies than initially proposed in the governor's budget.
The magazine article reiterates points Fain made in his president's column in the winter VBA Journal -- that Virginia's court system brings in two times what it costs to operate and staff, and that the judicial branch takes up less than 1 percent of the state budget.
The VBA highlighted the exceptional contributions to the bar and public by G. Michael Pace Jr. by presenting him with its top honor, the Gerald L. Baliles Distinguished Service Award. Former Gov. Baliles, who received the award in 2001 and for whom the honor is named, made the presentation at the VBA 123rd Annual Meeting in Williamsburg. Both men's comments are summarized in a news release about the recognition.
In addition, the VBA Young Lawyers Division Chair, Daniel E. Ortiz, presented Heather H. Lockerman with the Sandra P. Thompson Award for exceptional long-term service. Virginia B. Flynn and Andrew Stockment, co-chairs of the YLD communications committee, received the Emerson G. Spies Award for their dedicated contributions, including the creation of the newsletter Opening Statement.
These honors were bestowed during the winter meeting banquet Jan. 25, another highlight of which was the unveiling of the VBA-commissioned portrait of Justice Elizabeth A. McClanahan.
And perhaps you are! Images from the 123rd Annual Meeting can be viewed online in a photo album on the VBA Facebook page. You don't have to have a Facebook profile to take a look. But if you are on Facebook and "Like" what you see, tell your friends and colleagues.
More than three-quarters of the recent Fellows inductees are members of The Virginia Bar Association. The Virginia Law Foundation welcomed 17 Virginia lawyers into its 2013 Class of Fellows. The foundation board confers this special honor on selected attorneys, law professors and retired members of the judiciary deemed outstanding in their profession and community. Induction occurred in a ceremony Jan. 24 in Williamsburg during the VBA Annual Meeting.
“The Virginia Bar Association extends its sympathy to the family and friends of former Chief Justice Harry L. Carrico, who passed away January 27th,” VBA President Thomas R. Bagby said. “His long tenure as chief justice and as a senior justice and the many strides made by the judiciary during his time will long be remembered.”
Carrico was the state’s longest-serving chief justice (1981-2003) and the longest-serving member on the Supreme Court of Virginia.
The Virginia Bar Association installed Thomas R. Bagby of Roanoke as president on Jan. 26 during the 123rd Annual Meeting in Williamsburg.
Three other officers of the voluntary membership organization of attorneys and judges also began their terms:
• John L. Walker III of Richmond as president-elect,
• Harry M. “Pete” Johnson III of Richmond as chair of the Board of Governors, and
• Hugh M. Fain III of Richmond as immediate past president.
A news release details the backgrounds of officers as well as lists new and continuing representatives to the VBA Board of Governors. The seven new representatives are:
• Lori D. Thompson of Roanoke, shareholder and executive officer at LeClairRyan, as at-large representative;
• State Sen. John S. Edwards, D-21st (Giles County), as legislative representative;
• S. Miles Dumville, representing clients in the banking, construction and real estate industries at Reed Smith LLP in Richmond, as Capitol Region representative;
• Wendy Collins Perdue, dean of the University of Richmond School of Law, as law school representative;
• Judge Louis R. Lerner, who sits on Hampton Circuit Court, as judicial representative;
• David S. Mercer, principal of MercerTrigiani in Alexandria, as at-large representative; and
• Eric J. Sorenson Jr., a principal at Edmunds & Williams, P.C., in Lynchburg, as Southside Region representative.
Stephanie E. Grana of Cantor Stoneburner Ford Grana & Buckner, P.C., in Richmond is the 2012 recipient of the Women of Achievement Award from the Metropolitan Richmond Women's Bar Association. The honor recognizes an outstanding MRWBA member who not only excels in the legal arena but understands the importance of public service, mentorship and civic responsibility to the personal satisfaction and professional advancement of women in the legal profession.
The co-chairs of the VBA Pro Bono Task Force, Harry M. “Pete” Johnson III and Scott C. Oostdyk, will receive the 2013 John C. Kenny Pro Bono Award from The Bar Association of the City of Richmond. Read more…Speaking of Pete Johnson, he recently taped a "60 Seconds With..." video about the importance of pro bono legal services. It was featured in the Metro Business section of the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Kevin E. Martingayle of Virginia Beach, a VBA member who serves on the council of the Labor Relations and Employment Law Section, is president-elect of the Virginia State Bar. The Richmond native and University of Virginia law school graduate is owner and partner of Bischoff Martingayle. His margin of victory over Raymond B. Benzinger of Fairfax was less than 2 percent. Martingayle will assume the post in June. It was the first contested VSB president-elect race in 11 years, according to Virginia Lawyers Weekly.
Lawyers who accept credit card payments from clients are subject to a new requirement from the Internal Revenue Service. Under Section 6050W, all credit card processors and third-party aggregators must report the total gross amount credit card transactions to the IRS. The information will be provided on a Form 1099-K. Section 6050W also requires a precise match in federal tax ID number and legal name with the 1099-K and IRS records. More details or contact your tax adviser or visit the IRS website or the IRS Frequently Asked Questions page about this new regulation.
The Virginia Supreme Court is asking attorneys filing civil actions in Virginia to use a new cover sheet in circuit courts that have implemented a new statewide case management system. Form CC-1416 reorganizes the filing types into subject matter categories, which the Supreme Court of Virginia expects will improve the quality of data input by clerks into the Circuit Court Case Management System. Additionally, the use of the new cover sheet will assist in the weighted caseload study the Court is undertaking as a part of potential judicial boundary realignments.
“The accurate identification of cases and uniform use of filing types in CCMS is important for the ongoing workload evaluations that will occur once the weighted caseload system is implemented,” Executive Secretary Karl R. Hade wrote in a letter about the chan