Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Sign In   |   Join the VBA
Jan2000
Share |
Table of Contents
Free for All: Still Holding Fast
The VBA Annual Meeting: A Millennial Homecoming
Poston becomes VBA president
Members to receive honors
Sponsors & exhibitors
Practice Pointers: Creating Firm Esprit de Corps and Helping Children
VBA Proposals in the 2000 General Assembly
Practice Tips: Coordinate Your Client's Trademarks and Domain Names !!! By Marshall M. Curtis
Across the Commonwealth
News in Brief
Young Lawyers Division: Farewell from the 1999 Chair, Philip W. Parker
Features

Free for All: Still Holding Fast

Well, it's here. The Year 2000. And if you're sitting here reading this, then somehow we have survived the Big Flip (as in "flip the calendar page") to land in what is technically not yet the 21st century.

All of us have anxieties about this new year, thanks to superstitions, soothsayers and our own fears of the unknown. It has seemed to many that the world has grown meaner and more chaotic in recent years, what with school shootings, natural disasters, plagues, wars, bizarre occurrences, and worldwide tension.

It's always been like this. It just hasn't been on CNN 24 hours a day.

Those of us who remain anxious about what lies ahead should take inspiration from Pope Leo the Great, who lived during the calamitous 5th century, when barbarians were at the gates of Rome and everything, everywhere, seemed to be collapsing.

History buffs will recall that Leo was the courageous pontiff who, armed with nothing but faith, confronted Attila the Hun near Mantua in 452 and persuaded him to abandon his planned invasion of Rome. In 455, Leo was unable to prevent the Vandals from sacking Rome, but he was successful in convincing them not to obliterate the city and its people.

Leo lived during a time of uncertainty, in which the old order was swept away. No longer could people depend on the might of the Roman Empire to save them from foreign attacks, and Rome's moral and social decay had shown them that overindulgence without self-discipline was internally dangerous.

Among Leo's writings is found a short meditation in which he asks to learn not to care about earthly things, but to prize intangible things, so that "while all things around us pass away, we even now may hold fast those things which last forever."

Probably, Leo would have approved of The Virginia Bar Association's mission statement and its emphases on service, professionalism, integrity and collegiality — all intangible things which have stood the tests of time. Since its inception 110 years ago, the VBA has held these qualities out to its members, and to the legal profession, as aspirational ideals.

And we plan to continue doing so as long as the Association exists.

We have learned that lawyers and judges welcome education and training in civility and ethics, as well as in substantive legal issues.

We have discovered that when we see a need for service and strive to meet it, we not only make the VBA and the legal profession look good, but we also make people's lives easier and better.

We have realized that we have an effective voice in strengthening the laws of the Commonwealth and improving the administration of justice.

And we have found that when we get to know our colleagues outside of the courtroom, our work becomes less adversarial and more pleasant.

Few tangible items have survived the 16 centuries since Leo's lifetime, but the intangible values remain vital and universal, now as then. Let us hope that at the next Big Flip, The Virginia Bar Association will still be holding fast to its mission and ideals, guiding lawyers to seek the highest standards of excellence.

Happy New Year, everyone.
—The Editor

Return to top

The VBA Annual Meeting: A Millennial Homecoming

Anita Poston of Norfolk will become the VBA's first woman president

Anita O. Poston of Norfolk, the first woman president-elect of The Virginia Bar Association, will become the Association's first woman president on January 15 during the 110th VBA Annual Meeting in Williamsburg.

Poston is a partner in the firm of Vandeventer Black, L.L.P., in Norfolk, practicing in the areas of business law, health law, trusts and estates, and real estate law.

She is a graduate of the University of Maryland and the Marshall-Wythe School of Law of the College of William and Mary. She was admitted to the Virginia State Bar in 1974.

Poston was elected to the VBA Executive Committee in 1996. She chaired the VBA Executive Committee in 1998, headed the Membership Task Group in 1997, and is a member of the VBA Business Law and Health Law Sections.

She is the immediate past president of the Norfolk and Portsmouth Bar Association, has served on the State Board of Bar Examiners since 1990, and is a Fellow of the Virginia Law Foundation. Poston is also a member of the Virginia Women Attorneys Association, the American Association of Hospital Attorneys, and the American Inns of Court.

Among her numerous civic activities, she is the current chair of the Norfolk School Board.

Return to Top

Meador, Olson & Hettrick to receive honors at meeting

Professor Daniel J. Meador of Charlottesville and Richmonders Nina E. Olson and George H. Hettrick will receive special honors during The Virginia Bar Association's 110th Annual Meeting.

Meador, the James Monroe Professor of Law Emeritus at the University of Virginia School of Law, will receive the William B. Spong Jr. Professionalism Award, in recognition of exemplary professionalism throughout his career.

Meador recently served as director of a United States Senate commission studying the appellate court system. He has also been an assistant attorney general for the United States Department of Justice and the dean of the University of Alabama School of Law. In addition to writing a number of books on scholarly legal subjects ranging from the executive branch of the United States government to the legal system of the former East Germany, he is the author of the novels His Father's House and Unforgotten.

The Pro Bono Publico Award, which honors exceptional public service by VBA members, will go to Olson, founder and executive director of the Community Tax Law Project.

The Community Tax Law Project was established in 1992 to provide low-income Virginians with pro bono legal representation in tax disputes, to increase public awareness and encourage informed debate about policy and practice issues impacting on low-income taxpayers, and to educate low-income individuals about their rights and responsibilities as taxpayers. The project offers an annual CLE program and publishes The Community Tax Law Report, of which Olson serves as editor-in-chief.

Hettrick, a former chair of the VBA Substance Abuse Committee, will receive the James R. Treese Award in recognition of his leadership in the Lawyers Helping Lawyers Program's efforts to address and overcome substance abuse within the legal profession.

Hettrick, a partner in the business practice group of Hunton & Williams, chairs the firm's community service team and serves as managing partner of the firm's pro bono office in Richmond's Church Hill. He has been an active member and leader of the VBA Substance Abuse Committee.

The VBA Young Lawyers Division will also honor two of its members with the YLD Fellows Award, presented in recognition of outstanding work and long-term service to the YLD, and the Emerson G. Spies Award, which honors enthusiasm, loyalty and dedication to the Association.

Return to top

SPONSORS as of December 22, 1999

American National Lawyers Insurance Reciprocal
(Risk Retention Group)
Cable & Wireless, Inc.
Colonial Williamsburg
Hunton & Williams
Lawyer's Staffing, Inc.
LEXIS Law Publishing
MBNA America Bank, N.A.
The McCammon Group
McGuire, Woods, Battle & Boothe
SunCom, Member of the AT&T Wireless Network
Wachovia Bank, N.A. — Private Financial Advisers

EXHIBITORS as of December 22, 1999

ACS
American National Lawyers Insurance Reciprocal
(Risk Retention Group)
Arbitration Associates, Inc.
Attorneys Advantage, Inc.
Cable & Wireless, Inc.
Framing Success, Inc.
Lexis Publishing
Local Counsel Network
Loislaw.com, Inc.
McCammon Mediation Group, Ltd.
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter
Patrick and Associates
Virginia Lawyers Weekly
West Group

Return to top

Practice Pointers:

Creating Firm Esprit de Corps and Helping Children

By The Honorable Mark L. Earley, Attorney General of Virginia

If you are like most lawyers, you lead a busy life, full of challenges. You would like to give more back (after all, that is why many of us wanted to be lawyers), but too often the crush of so many responsibilities gets in the way. While you would like an opportunity to contribute meaningfully, and even create better relationships with your colleagues and staff outside the office, you worry about becoming over-committed.

I would like to tell you about something our law firm — the Attorney General's Office — has found that meets those concerns squarely, while offering an opportunity to help change the life of a child for the better... Mentoring. The starting commitment? One lunch time a month — with even greater involvement later if the mentor and student desire.

You do not need to read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People to know how important a meaningful work environment is for yourself, your colleagues and staff. Indeed, as important as that is to us, mentoring is even more important to a child's life. Young people with mentors are 46 percent less likely to begin using illegal drugs and 53 percent less likely to skip school.1

Students' self-confidence and school behavior often improve sharply as well.2

Think about those numbers for just a moment. The children and their circumstances remain the same in all respects but one. Someone shows a child that he cares for him. Soon his chances to lead a positive life, rather than to victimize or be victimized, tend to rise dramatically.

Mentoring programs do not ask you to be a substitute parent, disciplinarian or money giver. They only ask that you join a child, perhaps for lunch, and show that, as an individual, he or she is important to you.

If you would like to be that person who makes the difference, you can start by sharing just one lunch a month with a child through a program called "Lunch Buddies." When I first considered this commitment, it occurred to me that, on the last Friday of every month (when I would be scheduled to have lunch with my student), I would almost surely take time to eat lunch, whether or not I joined the Lunch Buddies mentoring program. The only question was whether I would be putting that lunch to its best use.

For our first lunch, my child and I spun a "conversation wheel" with topics on it. The categories read "favorite movies," "favorite food," and so on. The boy also brought along some homework. Math! I suggested we just keep talking and get to know each other better — and work on homework next month! Every month when I see the child I mentor, he lights up, and frankly, so do I.

You may decide to offer employees in your firm the opportunity to get involved in mentoring, as we did. Voluntary participation in a mentoring program like Lunch Buddies is a good way to improve office teamwork and morale. You may have noticed that your closest friends and allies are often those with whom you associate outside the office — in the gym, at your church or synagogue, or on purely social occasions. In the same way, providing a long lunch hour once a month for anyone in the firm who wants to be involved in a mentoring effort can not only help children but also build morale in your office.

Partners and paralegals, associates and secretaries can all, through mentoring, contribute on an equal level to helping a child. We wanted everyone to feel welcome to become mentors and lunch buddies, without feeling coerced in any way. At my office, there is a certain esprit de corps generated in simply going together over to the school, and having lunch with our kids. New friendships are built, morale goes even higher, and we become better unified and ready to charge — and take — the next hill.

The only cost to the office has been the use of flextime once a month for a longer lunch hour, and this has not led to any difficulties. I am convinced, rather, that the shared sense of mission our team develops during these monthly lunches can only benefit our law firm — as well as provide a useful, helpful ear to some children who seem to have as good a time as we do.

If you or your firm would like the opportunity to join with Attorney General Mark Earley in raising 2,000 mentors for 2000, all the preliminary work has already been done. Simply call the Virginia's Future toll-free line at 1-877-206-9526, with the names, phone numbers and addresses of those interested. We will find you or your firm an opportunity to help change a child's life for the better, in the time you have available.

Endnotes

1. Jean Baldwin Grossman and Eileen M. Gary, Mentoring—A Proven Delinquency Prevention Strategy, OJJDP (Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Department of Justice), April 1997, http://bbbsa.org/ppv.html.
2. Id.

This article is part of a continuing series created by members of the Law Practice Management Section Council as a service to VBA members. Please contact Steve Edmonds with any comments or topic suggestions for future articles at stevee@caevalaw.com.

Return to top

VBA Proposals in the 2000 General Assembly

As of mid-December, the Association is generating a typically progressive slate of law reform initiatives for the 2000 General Assembly session. Some 30 advocacies, propounded by VBA sections and committees and cleared by the Executive Committee, will be shepherded by VBA staff and retained counsel in lobbying before the Assembly. The workload will undoubtedly be enriched as measures deserving VBA support or opposition appear from other sources. Additionally, there will be important appointments and budget amendments requiring VBA involvement.

Proposals include the HJR 680 Study and bills from the Business Law, Construction and Public Contracts Law, Criminal Law, Domestic Relations, Health Law, Intellectual Property Law, and Wills, Trusts & Estates section, as well as budget matters and Judiciary Committee and Civil Litigation Section/Boyd-Graves Conference recommendations.

Return to top

Practice Tips

Coordinate Your Client's Trademarks and Domain Names !!!

By Marshall M. Curtis, Chair, VBA Intellectual Property Law Section

It has now been several years since the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) recognized that Internet domain names were an emerging form of intellectual property. In the last few years, numerous conflicts have arisen from the use of the text of trademarks as domain names, particularly in view of recognition of the possibility of dilution of famous marks in recent revisions to the federal trademark statute. Court decisions have held that domain names are not trademarks (and vice versa), there is no obligation for a domain name registrar to police the mark of a third party in the process of registration of domain name and, most recently, that the registration and use of a domain name, by itself, does not necessarily dilute or infringe a trademark. See, for example, Hasbro, Inc. v. Clue Computing, Inc., No. 97-10065-DPW (D.Mass Sept. 2, 1999) and Avery Dennison v. Sumpton, No. 98-55810, 1999 WL 635767 (9th Cir. Aug. 23, 1999). Moreover, there has been a growing theory of trademark misuse in domain name cases (See, "The Growing Defense of Copyright Misuse and Efforts to Establish Trademark Misuse," G.G. Davis III, Derivative Copyright 1997-98, G.G. Davis III, Copyright 1995, Stephen J. Davidson, Nicole A. Engisch).

While the Internet was not initially envisioned as a vehicle for electronic commerce, the dawning of the "Information Age" has forced that inevitable role upon it. By the same token, the burgeoning perceived potential and actual development of electronic commerce has clearly shown that domain names clearly complement trademarks in a number of ways in the arena of electronic commerce and should be considered simultaneously with trademarks (and possibly copyrights) in an overall strategy for new and emerging businesses. While large sums occasionally have changed hands for custom toll-free telephone numbers, the value which may be accorded to domain names in connection with trademarks has not been approached.

The number of disputes between trademark owners and domain name registrants alone should be considered as an indicator that these two forms of intellectual property are highly complementary in both function and practice. It was inevitable that the text of some existing trademarks would be duplicated, included in or approximated by domain names, either innocently or in view of potential gain to the domain name registrant from the lack of vigilance or perspicacity of the trademark owner.

Now that the number of registered domain names is more than an order of magnitude larger than the number of trademarks registered in the United States, a new level of sophistication has arisen. The fact of the matter is that the potential of electronic commerce is such that a trademark (or a trade name registered with the State Corporation Commission) is considerably less valuable without a registration of the corresponding domain name and considerably more valuable with a corresponding domain name registration. This should be understood as a basic fusion between the circumstances of an owner of a long-existing trademark seeking to obtain a corresponding domain name, whatever the cost (which also can serve to strengthen the mark in a manner not otherwise available) and the new business or company which wishes to develop the greatest potential value for its intellectual property in whatever form it may be protectable.

Consider now the relationship between federal trademarks and state trademarks. An application for federal registration can be filed to obtain benefit of priority based on a bona fide intent to use the mark in commerce that the United States Congress can regulate and thus can effectively "tie up" the mark for a number of years while not obtaining any substantive, enforceable rights in the mark. At the same time, if use has occurred, as it often does within the Commonwealth, genuine and enforceable trademark rights may be registered and asserted prior to federal registrability. Further, state trademark registration is much less adversarial and much more timely. Moreover, a person developing a new mark is not likely to choose a mark which cannot be used in one or more states.

In a similar manner, additional and strategically important advantages may be derived from registration of a domain name. The domain name (assuming no prior registration of the exact text) is registrable online from its conception and without the necessity of use or intent to use for a nominal fee. Since it is thereafter instantly accessible in searches, domain name registration should serve as a further and even more timely deterrent to other parties seeking to develop a trademark.

No question of likelihood of confusion is raised in the process of registration of a domain name for similar but not identical text. The goods or services need not be specified (and may not, in fact, be accurately known) for registration of the domain name. Further, generic and descriptive terms are registrable as domain names, although they cannot be registered as trademarks. In regard to descriptive terms, registration and use of the domain name should be useful in the development of secondary meaning which could later result in registrability as a trademark on the principal register.

There are also circumstances where the registered trade name of a business is never used directly in connection with a service or goods and thus would not be registrable as a trademark even though the trade name is duly registered with the State Corporation Commission and the client wants to do business in connection with the trade name. Registration of the trade name as a domain name would afford some degree of protection and may, as the business develops, become a "trademark use."

In other circumstances, it may be advantageous to register numerous domain names and provide links to the e-commerce site. Registration in other countries or including different top-level domain names may provide a desired domain name not available from a United States registrar. Conversely, a client may wish to register a domain name in numerous foreign countries and/or with different top-level domain names (e.g., .com, .org, .net) in the United States to increase the degree of exclusivity of the domain name. Variations of the domain name can be registered, for a fee, to simulate a range of variation similar to the range that might give rise to a likelihood of confusion. Be aware that the existence of different country designations and top-level domain names may complicate your search and require special search strategies.

In summary, both trademark and domain names should be considered and cleared or searched together in the development of new businesses. Value of terms used are maximized when both trademark protection and domain name protection are available. Each form or registration provides different timing and different information as notice to the public. The degree and form of protection sought should always be tailored to the client's objectives. Domain name searches are not required but are highly recommended before seeking to register a trademark and may be useful in developing the best value to the client.

Copyright 1999, all rights reserved.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Marshall M. Curtis is a partner in the law firm of Whitham, Curtis & Whitham, P.C., in Reston, and is the chair of the VBA Intellectual Property Law Section. He received a B.S.E.E. degree from Washington University and received his J.D. degree from Catholic University. He is a former patent examiner for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and is an instructor and lecturer for the USPTO Patent Academy. In addition to the VBA, Mr. Curtis is a member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association, the Washington Foreign Law Society, and the U.S. Section of the International Federation of Industrial Property Attorneys. He practices in the areas of patents, patent prosecution, trademarks and trademark prosecution.

This is the eighth in a series of "Practice Tips" articles featuring intellectual property issues which may be encountered in general law practice. The intent of this series, developed by the VBA Intellectual Property Law Section, is to increase awareness of intellectual property law issues as the pace of business, communication and technological progress increases. Previously published articles may be found on the Intellectual Property Law Section's publications page.

Return to top

Across the Commonwealth

VBA leaders gather to discuss legislative proposals for upcoming Assembly session

The Virginia Bar Association's Executive Committee met with chairs of the Association's committees and substantive law sections in Richmond on December 2 to discuss various and numerous legislative proposals for the 2000 General Assembly.

VBA Executive Committee Chair Jeanne Franklin of Alexandria conducted the meeting, held at the Richmond office of Hunton & Williams. Although several proposals had been discussed and endorsed at the October meeting of the Executive Committee, a number were presented for the Committee's consideration at the December meeting. (For an overview, please see the VBA's online legislation page at www.vba.org.)

Following the meeting, the group traveled to the Virginia Historical Society for a reception and dinner highlighted by a program on the life of George Washington, presented by William M.S. Rasmussen, the Virginius C. Hall Jr. Curator of Art for the Society.

Return to top

Virginia Law Foundation will induct Fellows Class of 2000 on January 13

The Virginia Law Foundation will induct its newest class of Fellows at a dinner meeting at the Williamsburg Lodge & Conference Center on Thursday, January 13, during The Virginia Bar Association's 110th Annual Meeting.

VBA members among the inductees include Grady K. Carlson, McLean; Henry P. Custis Jr., Accomac; G. Franklin Flippin, Roanoke; Leslie A. Grandis, Richmond; John A.C. Keith, Fairfax; Donald H. Kent, Richmond; Heman A. Marshall III, Roanoke; George Keith Martin, Richmond; Sharon E. Pandak, Prince William; Harry Shaia Jr., Richmond; and Eva S. Tashjian-Brown, Richmond.

Induction as a Fellow of the Virginia Law Foundation is a special honor conferred by the Foundation Board on selected Virginia attorneys, law professors, and retired members of the judiciary who are deemed to be outstanding in their profession and in their community. Selection is limited to one percent of the active and associate membership of the Virginia State Bar.

Return to top

Help is still needed...

Lawyers in Southside Virginia continue working to rebuild their practices, but funds are still needed to help them deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Floyd's damages.

Persons and law firms wishing to contribute to the flood relief effort may send donations to The Virginia Bar Association Foundation, 701 East Franklin Street, Suite 1120, Richmond, VA 23219. Questions may be directed to the VBA office at (804) 644-0041.

Return to top

Flood relief funds top $30,000 as needs assessment continues

As of December 6, contributions to The Virginia Bar Association's flood relief fund, established to assist Southside Virginia lawyers whose practices were hard hit by Hurricane Floyd's flooding this fall, had exceeded $30,000.

Meanwhile, Edward C. "Ted" Minor of Franklin, the field coordinator of the VBA relief effort, continues to assess the needs of attorneys whose practices were adversely affected by the flood. Most were located in Franklin, but lawyers in other areas of Southampton County also felt the effects of Floyd's floods.

The Virginia Law Foundation contributed $25,000 to the fund, and a number of Virginia attorneys and law firms have made donations. Potential donors may read the "Help is still needed..." article on the opposite page for guidelines on sending monetary gifts to the fund.

In addition to the Virginia Law Foundation and the VBA, the following persons and firms have contributed to the flood relief fund: Hon. Hunter Andrews, Hampton; C.B. Arrington Jr., Richmond; Thomas C. Brown Jr., Alexandria; Joseph Condo, Vienna; Glasser & Glasser, Norfolk; John D. Hooker Jr. & Associates, Virginia Beach; David Craig Landin, Richmond; Glenn Lewis, Fairfax; Harry Shaia Jr., Richmond; Snook & Haughey, P.C., Charlottesville; Stallings & Richardson, Virginia Beach; and W. Scott Street III, Richmond.

Return to top

W&M wins Moot Court honors

Cameron Cobden, Terry Driskill and Laura Ruggles of William & Mary won the Region IV honors in the National Moot Court Competition in Richmond November 19-20, with second place going to Duke's team of Sarah Schott, Joshua Stokes and Jennifer Larsen.The two teams will advance to the national competition in New York City. W&M's Driskill also was named Best Oralist, and the Best Brief award went to Amanda Amert, Jill Dash and Evans Rice of Duke.

This year marked the 50th anniversary of the competition, which is sponsored by the Young Lawyers Committee of the Bar of the City of New York and the American College of Trial Lawyers. The VBA Young Lawyers Division sponsors the regional contest for law schools in Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia and Kentucky.

Final-round judges included Virginia's Chief Justice Harry L. Carrico; Hon. Robert B. King, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit; Hon. Robert E. Payne, U.S. District Court (E.D.Va.); Hon. William T. Prince, magistrate judge, U.S. District Court (E.D.Va.); and Hon. James C. Turk, U.S. District Court (W.D.Va.)

Competition sponsors were as follows: Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen; Carter & Shands, P.C.; Christian & Barton, L.L.P.; GEICO Philanthropic Foundation; Gentry, Locke, Rakes & Moore; Hirschler, Fleischer, Weinberg, Cox & Allen, P.C.; Hunton & Williams; Little, Parsley & Cluverius, P.C.; Mays & Valentine, L.L.P.; McCandlish & Lillard, P.C.; McGuire, Woods, Battle & Boothe, L.L.P.; Midkiff & Hiner, P.C.; Mundy, Rogers & Frith, L.L.P.; PennStuart; Reed Smith Hazel & Thomas, L.L.P.; Smith, Pachter, McWhorter & D'Ambrosio, P.L.C.; Taylor & Walker, P.C.; Williams, Mullen, Clark & Dobbins; Williamson & Lavecchia, L.C.; Womble, Carlyle, Sandbridge & Rice; and Woods, Rogers & Hazlegrove.

Return to top

Lawyers Helping Lawyers receives $15K from ANLIR

The Lawyers Helping Lawyers Program received a check for $15,000 toward its 2000 operating expenses from the American National Lawyers Insurance Reciprocal on December 7. Holding the "check" are Wendy Inge, ANLIR's assistant vice president of risk management, and VBA Substance Abuse Committee Chair Tom Bondurant. Standing behind them, L-R, are Lawyers Helping Lawyers Program Director Susan Pauley, VBA Executive Vice President Breck Arrington, and ANLIR Vice President of Professional Services Donna Lange.

Return to top

News in Brief

Bells (wedding variety, that is) rang when VBA Executive Committee member Hon. John J. "Butch" Davies III and Marty Moon were married Thanksgiving weekend. Best wishes!

Dues will soon be due, and if you are among those VBA members who have recently moved, please notify the VBA office (contact information is on page 4 of this issue) as soon as possible if any of the following information has changed for you: name, title, firm/employer, street address, mailing address, telephone number, fax number or e-mail address.

The VBA News Journal seeks articles from Association members for upcoming issues in 2000. We are looking for short (1,000 words), practice-related articles on a variety of topics. Suggestions for personal profiles of VBA members, or articles on the special heritage of the legal profession in Virginia, are also welcomed. For more information, visit the "Writers' Guide" on the VBA website at www.vba.org, or contact Caroline Bolte at (804) 644-0041.

Get more involved with VBA activities this year! You can become a Patron (see page 11) or encourage your firm to become a VBA Leadership Firm. You can join a section or volunteer to serve on a VBA committee or section council. If you are a young and/or new lawyer, consider participating in a VBA Young Lawyers Division committee project. Visit www.vba.org for more details, or call the VBA office at (804) 644-0041.

Return to top

Young Lawyers Division: Farewell from the 1999 Chair

By Philip W. Parker

As I look back on the activities of another VBA year, I am struck by an overriding reminder of the countless volunteer hours contributed by young lawyers throughout the Commonwealth toward projects that serve the public and the bar alike. Virginians should be proud of the many young lawyers who donate significant time to bar projects, all while managing their many other time commitments.

Unfortunately, the extent of such service work on the part of lawyers is not sufficiently recognized by the public at large. There is comfort, however, in knowing that it does not go unnoticed by the people who receive assistance through Pro Bono Hotlines, Disaster Legal Assistance or Lawyers Helping Lawyers, and the many other bar projects. Keeping young lawyers involved in bar projects, given increasingly tighter time constraints, and recognition of the bar's work by the general public, will continue to be a significant challenge facing the YLD and other bar organizations in the coming years.

Thanks to the many young lawyers who volunteered their time, we have enjoyed a dynamic year. In addition to maintaining existing projects, new ideas and initiatives have been undertaken. I will cover a few of them here.

Eric Nowak (Hunton & Williams) and Kim Ramsey (Florance, Gordon & Brown) have successfully guided the YLD's component of the Attorney General's Child Support Enforcement project in Richmond. Along with the Richmond Bar Association and the Attorney General's office, the YLD helps recruit and train young lawyers to act as pro bono special counsel to the Attorney General in collecting child support payments. Having had a successful first year in Richmond, Eric and Kim are now working on an expansion of the project in the Tidewater area.

Stacy Taylor (Hunton & Williams) along with her other bar duties, has continued to work on launching a Division of Motor Vehicles initiative tasked with making effective presentations at Virginia's unique court license ceremonies for juvenile drivers.

Attison Barnes and Tara Vold (Gardner, Carton & Douglas) have been initiating a new immigration project in the Northern Virginia area to assist foreign-born individuals. Several phases are planned, but the initiative will begin with the creation and distribution of pamphlets containing information important to the immigrant population. In the future, Attison and Tara expect to coordinate pro bono assistance as well as educational opportunities for lawyers working on issues unique to this area.

Ed Walker (Mundy Rogers & Frith), in Roanoke, is laying the groundwork for YLD Town Hall Meetings in the Abingdon and Charlottesville areas, which should take place next year. With Fred Watson's help (Caskie & Frost) the YLD's Mentor Program, which places mentor lawyers in classrooms to help children learn about our justice system, will be starting up soon in Lynchburg.

The YLD's longstanding projects have been active, as well. Sherrill Wood (Office of Staff Counsel, U.S. Court of Appeals) and Elizabeth Mason Horsley (Williams Mullen Clark & Dobbins), along with their committee, hosted 12 law schools for another successful National Moot Court Competition in Richmond in November.

The Hampton Town Hall Meeting Committee, with Chairs Chris Boynton (Cooper Spong & Davis) and Brandon Zeigler (Stallings & Richardson), held a Town Hall Meeting in October on the Standards of Learning. The Richmond Town Hall Meeting with Chairs Dutch Bumgardner (Virginia Power) and Jennifer McClellan and Maya Eckstein (Hunton & Williams), staged a forum in November on issues relating to the Hugh Finn case. Sean McDonough (Hudgins Law Firm) and the Northern Virginia Town Hall Meeting Committee continued their involvement in co-sponsoring political debates again this year.

Unfortunately, Steve Otero (Mays & Valentine) and the Disaster Legal Assistance project were mobilized in response to the hurricanes and flooding this fall, but many volunteers joined their efforts to help Southside residents and lawyers alike.

Lori Thompson (Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore) in Roanoke and Maureen Matsen (State Council of Higher Education) and John West (Mays & Valentine) in Richmond have begun the Mentor Program in schools in their respective areas this fall.

Finally, Mary Zinsner (Mays & Valentine) did an excellent job, again, coordinating the YLD Roundtable at the Virginia Poverty Law Conference in Williamsburg. The roundtable offered an opportunity to discuss issues relating to the Pro Bono Hotlines, as well as information on other YLD projects, with conference attendees.

I have been extremely proud to have had the opportunity to serve as Chair of the YLD. I want to take this opportunity to thank my firm, Woods, Rogers & Hazlegrove, for making it possible for me to work with the YLD for the many years of my involvement.

I also want to thank Jim Ingold (Chadwick, Washington, Olters, Moriarity & Lynn), Chair-Elect, and David Anthony (Kaufman & Canoles), Secretary/Treasurer, for their dedication and responsiveness throughout the year. With Jim's and David's enthusiasm for the work of the YLD, I am excited about the YLD's prospects under their continued guidance. As I mentioned in my first Chair's Report this year, working with the VBA and the YLD has been a uniquely rewarding time for me.

I encourage you to stop in on the VBA's website at www.vba.org, and to contact members of the VBA and YLD leadership so you can learn more about opportunities for you to become involved.

Return to top

Association Management Software Powered by YourMembership.com®  ::  Legal