VBA Installs Officers, Including David S. Mercer as 129th President
Monday, January 23, 2017
The Virginia Bar Association installed David S. Mercer as its 129th president Jan. 21 in Williamsburg. Mercer is a principal of MercerTrigiani, an Alexandria-based law firm. He succeeds James Patrick Guy II of LeClairRyan in Richmond as VBA president.
“I am beyond proud to begin my tenure as president of The Virginia Bar Association,
a voluntary professional organization that has purposefully enhanced our legal system, promoted justice, educated the public and advanced professional excellence since its 1888 inception," Mercer said.
He was sworn in by Secretary of the Commonwealth Kelly Thomasson Mercer. She is the president's daughter-in-law.
Three other members of Virginia’s first and largest statewide voluntary organization of lawyers and judges also have begun one-year terms as an officer. Installed by the members at the VBA annual winter meeting in Williamsburg were:
- C.J. Steuart Thomas III of Staunton as president-elect,
- Richard E. Garriott Jr. of Virginia Beach as chair of the Board of Governors, and
- James Patrick Guy II as immediate past president.
These officers and the leader of the Young Lawyers Division, or YLD, make up the voting members of the VBA Executive Committee, which has the authority of the Board of Governors between board meetings. The YLD is a group of more than 1,200 attorney members age 37 or younger or otherwise new to legal practice. The YLD members elect a chair for a one-year term. In 2017, the division will be led by Jeremy S. Williams, a partner at Kutak Rock LLP in Richmond.
Mercer said, “I look forward to leading the VBA – an organization that has diligently served the full spectrum of our legal community including solo and small practitioners, mid-size and mega-firm attorneys, seasoned attorneys and emerging attorneys, members of the judicial and legislative communities, as well as the students and faculty studying
and teaching at Virginia’s outstanding law schools.
“This is a particularly exciting year for the VBA leadership as we prepare to greatly enhance our member services with the 2017 relocation of our Richmond headquarters," Mercer added. "At the Bank of America Center on East Main Street, we will unveil a new, innovative and state-of-the-art member business center called VBA on Main.”
About the officers
VBA President David S. Mercer is a principal of MercerTrigiani, an Alexandria-based law firm that specializes in common-interest ownership community associations. Mercer became a VBA member in 1974 and joined the Board of Governors in 2013. He is a past chair of the VBA Substance Abuse Committee and is a board member and past president of the assistance program Lawyers Helping Lawyers. A graduate of Hampden-Sydney College, he earned a law degree at the T.C. Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond.
C.J. Steuart Thomas III, president-elect of the VBA, is a partner at Timberlake, Smith, Thomas & Moses, P.C., in Staunton. He focuses his practice on medical malpractice defense and civil litigation. Since joining the VBA, he has served on the Committee on Federal Judgeships-Western District and on the Civil Litigation Section Council. He joined the VBA board in 2014. He is a Fellow of the Virginia Law Foundation and the American College of Trial Lawyers. Thomas graduated from the University of Virginia and earned a J.D. from Washington and Lee University School of Law.
Richard E. Garriott Jr., chair of the VBA Board of Governors, handles family law, civil matters, personal injury defense and employment issues at Pender & Coward, PC, in Virginia Beach. A VBA member since 1997, he joined the Board of Governors in 2015. Before that, he was Vice Chair of the Domestic Relations Section Council. He serves on the Virginia Family Law Coalition. Garriott is a Fellow in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and the Virginia Law Foundation. He earned a master's from Ball State, and undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Richmond.
James Patrick Guy II, immediate past president of the VBA, is an electric power lawyer at LeClairRyan and its energy industry team leader. A VBA member since 1991, he led the association’s Law Practice Management Division, its Administrative Law Section and served as its 128th president. He sits on the board of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Virginia Chapter. Guy is a past chapter president of the Energy Bar Association. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where he was an Echols Scholar, and of its School of Law.
Jeremy S. Williams, the Young Lawyers Division chair, is a partner at Kutak Rock LLP in Richmond. As a member of the firm's bankruptcy, restructuring and creditors' rights group, he represents debtors and creditors and other interested parties in various matters in federal and state courts. A VBA member since 2011, he served as chair-elect and secretary-treasurer of the YLD, and as co-chair of the George Mason University Law School Council. Williams is a member of the VBA Bankruptcy Law Section and is a graduate of the University of Virginia and the George Mason University School of Law.
New Board of Governors Members
VBA members also elected four Board of Governors representatives to three-year terms, and three new representatives to the board who reflect the interests of the judiciary, Virginia law schools and, for the first time, government attorneys. See the related article.