The latest news and information from your law partner for life

The independent voice of Virginia lawyers               Sept. 6, 2017
Dear ,
As the summer of 2017 fades into memory, the VBA is making way for the next great adventure for members and soon-to-be members - the creation of a full-featured member work center in downtown Richmond. Step one: office move. Step two: finish outfitting your professional hub. It's all coming soon! Read on.
VBA staff office moves Sept. 15

This month, the VBA staff will leave the only office location they've ever known, the Seventh and Franklin Building, for dashing new digs in the Bank of America Center in downtown Richmond. Please pardon any delays in serving you as we purge and pack leading up to moving day, Sept. 15, and unpack and settle in the rest of the month.

How will the move affect members and fall conference registrants?
VBA on Main completion delayed; expect opening in Nov.

Sept 2017 VOICE
Sept 2017 VOICE
Sept 2017 VOICE

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Your professional hub has flooring finishes. Millwork was to begin last week, as was the installation of ceiling tiles. Furniture will soon arrive in both VBA on Main and in the staff office space next door.

When VBA on Main becomes available, you'll find a work space unique among Virginia's bar associations. However, contractors have alerted us that certain elements of your new member center and common areas on the ninth floor may not be fully ready for use immediately after the staff moves in Sept. 18. We want your first impression to be as favorable as possible. Therefore, the VBA will hold off showing VBA on Main as a member working and meeting space until all building projects are completed. Look for notices about a grand opening in November. The member center is part of the VBA's initiative to be your law partner for life. What would you like to know about VBA on Main?     
Next YLD Town Hall debate will feature Lt. Gov. candidates

Lt. Gov. candidate
Lt. Gov candidate
The Young Lawyers Division Town Hall Project will hold a debate in Richmond Oct. 5 featuring the attorneys seeking the job of lieutenant governor of Virginia. Details will be provided when they are known.

Democrat Justin Fairfax, a former assistant U.S. attorney, and Republican Jill Holtzman Vogel, a state senator from Fauquier County, will be on the November ballot.
YLD Credit Issues Project launches with TV appearance

NBC TV 12 News logo
Set your DVR or create a reminder for Sept. 27 from 4:45-6:30 p.m. to catch YLD members of the Credit Issues Project in the Call 12 segment on NBC-Channel 12 News in Richmond. Project Chair-elect Ann Kossachev will be interviewed and members of the YLD project will answer calls from viewers.

The project seeks to educate young adults and teens about the importance of responsible credit and debt management. Federal and Virginia laws protect their rights as consumers. Listen in for information on credit options available to consumers and how to avoid pitfalls surrounding the misuse of credit.

Interested in getting involved, either taking calls on TV or in informing Virginia's teens and young adults? Contact project Chair Alex Chudoba.
Orange you part of the solution to hunger in Virginia?

Sept 2017 Voice
Time to find your favorite orange gear and get your team to Wear Orange on Sept. 14. Why? If your office takes a photo in your blaze of orange and share it with by Sept. 20, you start off the 2018 Legal Food Frenzy with 100 bonus points and you can bring attention to the hunger needs of Virginians. The 12th annual Legal Food Frenzy will occur April 16-27, 2018. The Legal Food Frenzy is an opportunity for the legal community statewide to compete with like-sized offices in a friendly way to raise food and funds for their neighbors.
Interested in helping Texas residents affected by Harvey?

Attorneys - even those not licensed in Texas - can lend a hand by answering civil legal questions online for victims of the recent hurricane. Interested volunteers can sign up in a few simple steps.

Find those steps here
What are your views on lawyer well-being?

VBA President David S. Mercer strongly urges the membership to review an ABA task force report and a resolution by the Conference of Chief Justices about lawyer well-being. Then he requests that you share comments, suggestions or questions via a form provided on the VBA website. Your input will be used to develop the VBA's response on this subject, requested by Chief Justice Donald W. Lemons, who plans to appoint a committee to investigate and support well-being in Virginia.

Read the report and resolution and respond
New talent joins the VBA staff

New staff-Sept2017 VOICE
Erin Madden and Maurice Robinson have joined the VBA staff. Madden is the new membership coordinator. Robinson is events associate and staff liaison with the young lawyers and law practice management divisions.

Madden ( previously worked as a legislative assistant in Oklahoma and as a legislative and political organizing center assistant with the Oklahoma Education Association. A 2009 graduate of the University of the South, she is pursuing a master's degree in public administration at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Sept 2017 VOICE
Robinson ( has AmeriCorps Volunteers In Service To America (VISTA) experience with Virginia Housing Alliance in Richmond, Pathways in Petersburg and Henrico County Public Schools. He has coordinated and assisted in event planning and promoted fundraising events. He also founded and led a student organization focused on addressing youth violence and mentoring. He graduated in 2013 from the University of Richmond.

Robinson succeeds Kylie Hinson. She is now events manager and section and committee liaison, filling the role formerly held by Caitlin McKelway.
Calling all candidates for the U.S. Eastern District of Va. bench

U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner and Timothy M. Kaine have asked Virginia bar groups to recommend individuals to succeed Judge Gerald Bruce Lee, who is retiring from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The VBA's Committee on Federal Judgeships - Eastern District will evaluate candidates.

By Sept. 20, nominees seeking consideration by the VBA committee should submit a resume, brief writing sample and responses to the Virginia State Bar questionnaire to Candidates also should download and complete a mandatory questionnaire found on Sen. Warner's website.
How do federal judges make it to the bench?

VBA members are invited to attend the Women's Bar Association of the District of Columbia program "Pathways to the Bench: The Federal Court System" at the WBADC member rate. The program Sept. 18 at the American University Washington College of Law will feature U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema (EDVa) and Judge Barbara M. Keenan of the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. Your promo code to receive the discount is: Judge. Fees rise after Sept. 13.

Learn more and register here
The VBA benefits from donations to The VBA Foundation

Support VBA charitable and educational pursuits through The Virginia Bar Association Foundation. If you haven't contributed yet this year, please consider doing so this fall. Your support of The VBA Foundation makes it possible to enhance several VBA activities. Thank you for your generosity.
Upcoming events

SEPT. 14-16 - Earn 13.5 MCLE Credits (2.5 Ethics) at the 47th Annual Conference on Labor Relations and Employment Law. This multiday event will take place at the Hilton Norfolk The Main. 

SEPT. 15 - The Real Estate Section will present a one-hour CLE program with its free fall social with cash bar in Charlottesville. It all happens from 3:30-6 p.m. at Michael Shaps Wineworks Extended. RSVP today.

SEPT. 25 - Register for the Joint ADR Committee symposium in Richmond that seeks to offer 5 hours of CLE and CME credit. See what's on the agenda for "A Place at the Table."

SEPT. 27 - VBA Legislative Day is when section and committee representatives, the lobbying team and the VBA Board of Governors gather to present and hear 2018 legislative proposals. Proposal forms for law changes should be submitted to Yvonne McGhee by email no later than Sept. 13.

SEPT. 28 - Register for the one-day 19th Annual Corporate Counsel Fall Forum at The Omni Richmond Hotel, where approval is anticipated for 7.0 MCLE Credit Hours (2.0 Ethics).

Please note: If you plan to attend a September event requiring registration but haven't yet signed up, please do so online anytime before the event, or mail or fax with delivery to the VBA office before Sept. 13. Online registration will avoid any delays in mail delivery because of the staff move to new headquarters mid-month.
Find more fall CLE opportunities by clicking the Calendar button below. And remember that VBA Online CLE is another way to enjoy VBA presentations and earn MCLE credits when and where you want to learn.
Insurance corner: Did you know?

Virginia Barristers Alliance Inc. logo Did you know that buy-sell agreements funded with life insurance need to be reviewed regularly? Changes in a law firm's value, ownership, partnership or shareholder status, or even changes in the personal lives of the firm's owners could trigger the need to modify elements of the life insurance that funds the buy-sell agreement.
Have you reviewed your coverage recently? Virginia Barristers Alliance, Inc. (VBAI) offers access to more than 50 A-rated life insurance carriers. Call VBAI today at 1-800-358-7987 for a comprehensive review.

I n case you missed them

Emails about some events are sent to targeted audiences only, such as section members. You can add your email address to get notifications about one or more upcoming conferences. It's easy. Here are some email notices that have gone out:
Attendance high at reception for justices in Fairfax County

More than 70 people attended a reception Aug. 23 honoring the justices of the Supreme Court of Virginia at the Fairfax County Courthouse. Co-hosts of the event were the VBA Appellate Practice Section and the Fairfax Bar Association.  Justices Goodwyn and Kelsey and Senior Justice Millette attended along with many area judges and attorneys.
Scam alert involving VBA members

One VBA member alerted us to what was referred to as "a very aggressive scam effort" for payment from someone who may have hacked another member's email. We want to alert you to this potential situation for your security. The emails cited used the subject line Vendor Reimbursement and a member's name but an email address of "" Should you ever have questions about whether an email came from the VBA, please call us at 804-644-0041.
Member news

Sept 2017 VOICE
Stuart A. Raphael has stepped down from the position of Virginia solicitor general. He plans to return to private practice. Before then-Attorney General-elect Mark Herring appointed him to be Virginia's fifth solicitor general in 2014, the Arlington resident was a partner in the McLean office of Hunton &
Sept 2017 VOICE
Williams LLP. Trevor S. Cox is acting solicitor general. Cox previously served as deputy solicitor general and executive division counsel. Before joining the Office of Attorney
Sept 2017 VOICE
General, he worked in the Richmond office of Hunton & Williams LLP. Matthew R. McGuire serves as acting deputy solicitor general and executive division counsel. He previously served as assistant solicitor general. Before joining the Office of Attorney General, he worked in the Washington, D.C., office of the law firm Jones Day.

Michael K. Kim has joined the Fairfax law firm of Blankingship & Keith, P.C., where he will practice with the firm's civil litigation; education law and litigation; legal malpractice defense; and wills, trusts and estates groups.

Lori D. Thompson was named a trustee of the Roanoke Law Foundation for 2017-18. She joins sitting trustees Roy V. Creasy, Kevin W. Holt, and J. Lee E. Osborne at the charitable organization.

Paul E. Fletcher III
, editor-in-chief of Virginia Lawyers Weekly, earned first- and third-place awards from the National Federation of Press Women for columns in the print publication. The top honor, in general columns, recognized two entries from 2016. The other honor came in the humor category.

Thomas T. Cullen is one of two Roanoke lawyers that Virginia's U.S. senators have recommended for U.S. attorney for the Western District of Virginia. Cullen is a partner with Woods Rogers PLC and served as deputy criminal chief with the U.S. attorney's office. According to the Roanoke Times, the regional Republican congressional delegation submitted to the White House both names that the senators proposed as well as two others. One is Tom Scott, an attorney in Grundy. The next appointee will fill the vacancy left when John P. Fishwick Jr. resigned in January.

Half of the Virginia Lawyers Weekly 2017 class of Up & Coming Lawyers are VBA members. They are: Faith A. Alejandro, Sands Anderson in Richmond; Lindsey A. Coley, Gentry Locke in Roanoke; Stacey C. Forbes, Reed Smith LLP in McLean; Helen O'Beirne Hardiman, Housing Opportunities Made Equal in Richmond; Jeremy R. Moss, Vandeventer Black LLP in Norfolk; Cartwright R. "Cart" Reilly, Williams Mullen in Virginia Beach; and Elizabeth Burgin Waller, Woods Rogers PLC in Roanoke . They will be celebrated at a reception Oct. 26 in Richmond and profiled in a special supplement to be distributed at the event.

VBA members also once again make up about half of this year's Leaders in the Law awards program for attorneys who set the standard for changing the law, changing practice or improving Virginia's justice system. VBA members in the class of 2017 named by Virginia Lawyers Weekly are: William "Bill" Fralin, The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm PC in Arlington; Howard E. Gordon, Williams Mullen in Norfolk; Immediate Past President James Patrick Guy II, LeClairRyan in Richmond; Del. Gregory D. Habeeb, Gentry Locke in
Leaders in the Law-Sept17 Voice
James Lang
Roanoke; Brian M. Hirsch, Hirsch & Ehlenberger PC in Reston; James "Jim" T. Lang, Pender & Coward PC in Virginia Beach; Kimberly C. MacLeod, Hunton & Williams LLP in Richmond; Michele A.W. McKinnon, McGuireWoods LLP in Richmond; Stephen Otero, Capital One in Richmond; Elizabeth Guilbert Perrow, Woods Rogers PLC in Roanoke; Past President Anita O. Poston, Vandeventer Black LLP in Norfolk; Lewis T. Stoneburner, Cantor, Stoneburner, Ford, Grana & Buckner in Richmond; Shannon L. Taylor, commonwealth's attorney in Henrico; and Michael H. Terry, Hirschler Fleischer in Richmond. They, too, will be celebrated at a reception in Richmond Oct. 26, where the honorees will choose one of their number as Leader of the Year. 

Geoff McDonald
, the principal with Richmond personal injury law firm Geoff McDonald & Associates, held the fifth season of the Brian Derby Offensive Lineman Football Camp in Richmond in July. McDonald, who played lineman with the University of Hawaii and the University of Virginia teams, volunteers time each summer as camp director and coach. He and Derby were scholarship players and roommates at Hawaii.
Say hello to the 9 new or reactivating members who joined the VBA in August . Welcome!
The Virginia Bar Association is the first and largest statewide voluntary bar for lawyers, judges and law professors.
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