Henrico Bar News
May 2019
Henrico County Bar Association
P.O. Box 70147
Richmond, Virginia 23255
From the Desk of Ryan C. Young, HCBA President
 
It is a privilege to serve as the new president of the HCBA. This is such an amazing group of lawyers and judges. I felt welcome in the HCBA from the very first event I attended. All our Board certainly hopes you feel the same way. Having been involved in other bar associations in the past, I appreciate the camaraderie and professionalism of the HCBA. It is easy to get lost in the crowd of other bar associations.

In the coming year, we would certainly welcome input on how we can provide more value to our members. Is there an event you have seen at another bar association? Do you value CLE over social events? Is there something we are missing entirely? Your input is important to us.

During the past year, we have also made a push to post our events on Facebook. If you have not already done so, I would suggest that you follow us at www.facebook.com/henricobarva/. As an example of additional events, we tried informal happy hour meet-ups for the first time. Those were largely advertised through email and the Facebook page. Keep an eye out for those emails from us!

I want to thank all of you for the trust you have placed in me. I also want to thank our volunteer Board of Directors. They truly put in a great deal of work to make this organization so exceptional.

All the best,
Ryan C. Young
President

From the Desk of Natalie T. McClearn, HCBA Immediate Past President

I am grateful for having had the opportunity to serve as President of the Henrico County Bar Association over the past year. I have always valued the collegiality, professionalism, and warmth of our organization and I thank you for your role in creating that reputation in the community.

As I reflect over the bar year, I am proud of the innovation we incorporated into our organization. For the first time, we offered casual fall happy hours, which gave members an opportunity to mingle at a come-as-you-are event. We held our Annual Holiday Party this year at a fun new location, the Wine Loft, where members enjoyed sampling innovative treats in a festive setting. Our Spring Luncheon showcased member Jeff Everhart regaling his experiences in representing the Southside Strangler upon the 30th anniversary of the trial. With the leadership of our new President, Ryan Young, we adopted a new logo that appropriately and attractively reflects the identity of our organization.

In keeping with tradition, we also offered the same great favorites. We enjoyed sharing donuts and bagels with the judges of Henrico courts at the annual Breakfasts with the Judges. We presented an Ethics CLE on the issue of lawyer impairment. We organized a Bench Bar CLE on trial preparation. We planned our annual Legislative Update. We continued to educate Henrico eighth graders about the practice of law through the Court Docent Program. Thank you to our board members for planning these events. They take a significant amount of planning and coordination. Also, a huge thank you to Mary Lou Wellman, our organization Administrator, for her assistance in planning each of our events. We could not do it without you.

I look forward to Ryan's direction of our organization. He has already played an instrumental role in the innovation of our organization, and I know he will serve you well. Thank you.

Sincerely,
Natalie T. McClearn
Immediate Past President

Annual Spring Reception

On May 7th, 2019, the HCBA held its annual Spring Reception at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. It was an evening of good music, drinks, food, and fellowship. During the event, our new Board of Directors was sworn in by Judge Wallerstein. We want to thank Judge Wallerstein for his continued support and involvement in the HCBA. We also want to thank our sponsors of the event: Juridical Solutions and Planet Depos.

Eli DeJarnette, Mike Huberman, Shannon Taylor,
Sarah Ulmer and David Stock

Brandon and Megan Watkins

Judge Balfour, Stan Wellman and
Judge Wallerstein

Judge Hughes, Judge Yoffy and
Michelle and Mike Harman

Andrew Newby, Natalie McClearn, Sam Bernier,
Matt Long and Ryan Young

Dan Rosenthal, Eddie Whitlock,
Jennifer Wheeler and Beth Rosenthal

Judge Balfour, Judge Hughes and Judge Hammond
of Juridical Solutions

Judge Wallerstein swears in the
2019-2020 Board of Directors
       
For more pictures from the reception, please  visit  our website at www.henricobar.org.

Legislative Update
 
Just as spring harkens the annual return of the swallows to San Juan Capistrano, so too does the end of the legislative session signal the return of Virginia's citizen-legislators to their home districts. Henrico County is no exception, and on April 29, we welcomed two stars of the Henrico County delegation to the Westwood Club for our annual Legislative Update, generously sponsored by the McCammon Group.
            
Senators Jennifer McClellan and Siobhan Dunnavant were kind enough to lend their evenings to the Association. They each delivered remarks addressing a variety of the legislation they worked on this past session, and discussed additional work remaining to be done in several areas. We covered the school-to-prison pipeline, health care reform, criminal justice reform, and touched on family law issues, among other topics. After the opening remarks, the Senators had time to field a number of thought-provoking questions from our members, which highlighted just how knowledgeable and prepared our Senators are on a host of subjects. The questioning ranged from a discussion of the difficulties of school discipline and the relevant criminal provisions, to a detailed question on health care coverage, and wrapped up with some thoughts on the current and future state of marijuana law in the Commonwealth.
            
After the conclusion of the one-hour panel discussion, our members enjoyed refreshments, courtesy of the McCammon Group, and continued the topical discussions with everyone that was able to stick around.
            
We want to thank Henrico's Senators - Senator Jennifer McClellan and Senator Siobhan Dunnavant - for generously providing their time and expertise to our members. We also want to thank the members that came out this year to make this yet another successful Legislative Update. We look forward to seeing you all at the next event!

Jeff Miller, Sen. McClellan and Sen. Dunnavant

Sue Dobbs, Margaret Ransone and Sharon Jacobs

Eli DeJarnette, Lauren Caudill and Stephen Mutnick

Marissa Mitchell and George Somerville

Hunter Harrell, Mark Rubin and Sen. Walter Stosch
of The McCammon Group

For more pictures from the Legislative Update, please 
visit our website at www.henricobar.org.

Member Spotlight
  
 

 
Full Name:   Stephanie E. Grana
 
Employer and Position:   Breit Cantor Grana Buckner, PLLC / Partner
 
College:   University of Richmond
 
Law School:   T.C. Williams School of Law, University of Richmond
 
Years in Practice:   26
 
Hobbies and Interests:   My 3 kids, gardening, being outside, and travel
 
Favorite Movie:  I do not really have a favorite movie. As long as I leave the theater in a positive mood or more refreshed and relaxed, it was a great escape. That said, I have recently enjoyed Hidden Figures.
 
Favorite Book:   All-time favorite: Gone with the Wind / Most recent favorite: Becoming by Michelle Obama
 
Favorite Pro and College Sports Team:   My kids have all been active in sports, so the majority of my weekend time is spent watching them play - which I thoroughly enjoy. And now, we love watching the University of Georgia basketball games live or on TV as our oldest daughter is a UGA dancer - Go DAWGS!
 
One Thing You Might Not Know About Me:   I have flown on a trapeze next to the East River in NYC.
 
Best Thing About Practicing Law in Henrico:   I really enjoy the small, collegial bar that we have and getting to know new people. Also, I have enjoyed working with Craig and Marissa on VSB council.
 
Funniest Experience as an Attorney:   I was representing a court-appointed client in a criminal case many years ago in Circuit Court. Things did not go as well as expected and she was taken from the seat right next to me in the courtroom, placed in handcuffs by a bailiff and led away. I felt awful and turned to her to say something philosophical and up-lifting about getting her released soon. Instead she turned to me and said - it's okay Ms. Grana, I brought my toothbrush ... which she did show me was in her back pocket!
 
Advice to Young Attorneys:    
       -   Be nice to your legal assistant and the Court clerks.
       -   Leave the office to get lunch.
       -   Be active within the law and within your                               community - you will benefit both personally and                 professionally.
       -   Every outing or activity is a networking opportunity.
       -   Exercise your mind and your body!
 



Full Name:  Sarah Elizabeth Ulmer  
 
Employer and Position:  Assistant Commonwealth Attorney for Henrico County
 
College:  University of Virginia
 
Law School:  University of Virginia
 
Years in Practice: 5 
 
Hobbies and Interests:  I enjoy traveling with my friends out of the country. My favorite trips are Italy and Iceland.
 
Favorite Movie:  12 Angry Men
 
Favorite Book:  The Harry Potter Series
 
Favorite Pro and College Sports Team:  Virginia Cavaliers
 
One Thing You Might Not Know About Me:  I do not post on social media.
 
Best Thing About Practicing Law in Henrico:  The people. We have a great group of smart and professional attorneys in Henrico. It is nice to practice in a cordial, yet challenging environment.
 
Funniest Experience as an Attorney:  The receptionist at our front desk used to tell people that I looked like I was in high school when describing me to new attorneys or witnesses. People always found me.
 
Advice to Young Attorneys: Your reputation is everything. No case is worth getting a bad reputation.  

   
Save the Date

Your new board is hard at work planning events for the upcoming year.

Please check the Calendar of Events on our website at www.henricobar.org for the most up to date information.

In This Issue
Spring Luncheon 

On March 21, 2019, the HCBA held its annual Spring Luncheon at the Westwood Club. Our guest speaker, Henrico criminal defense attorney Jeff Everhart, spoke to a packed room of HCBA members about his work on the  South Side Strangler case. The case involved a serial killer who terrorized Richmond, brutally raping and murdering women in their homes. Timothy Spencer was dubbed "The South Side Strangler" and ultimately became the first capital murder defendant in U.S. history to be caught using DNA evidence.

Jeff described the challenges of representing Timothy Spencer, who he described as mild-mannered and respectful to his attorneys - not seeming like a monster who could be responsible for such heinous crimes. Those crimes, Jeff said, are something he will never forget, along with the victim's families who described their lost loved ones at trial.

Jeff also spoke at length about the DNA evidence that played a critical role in the state's evidence and cemented the historical significance of the case. Jeff and his trial partner had a difficult time mounting a defense to the DNA because there were only a handful of experts in the U.S. and none wanted to put their reputations on the line to work on the defense of this groundbreaking case. He attacked it from every available angle, but, in the end, the DNA links, along with other key pieces of evidence were too overwhelming to overcome.

Mr. Everhart was an outstanding guest speaker and we appreciate him spending the time with our group and sharing his stories about his work on the case. We would also like to thank our sponsor, SELTEK, Inc., for making the luncheon possible.

Jeffrey L. Everhart, Esq.,
educates and entertains
the bar

For more pictures from the Spring Luncheon , please visit our website at www.henricobar.org.


Wills for Heroes Program

The HCBA is soliciting volunteer attorneys to assist in the creation of a Wills for Heroes program for the benefit of Henrico County first responders. In recognition of the services and sacrifices first responders make, the Wills for Heroes program provides them free basic legal estate planning services. Eligible first responders and their spouses can create a basic will, advanced medical directive, and/or power of attorney. Volunteer attorneys will draft the estate planning documents using a document assembly program, the first responder will execute the documents upon completion, and the legal representation provided under the program terminates, all typically occurring the same day. If you are interested in more information about how you can help the HCBA assist first responders in our community, please contact Pro Bono Coordinator, Mary Hunt, at  mhunt@flaor.com


HCBA Seeking Volunteers for Court Docent Program

As the Henrico County Bar Association gears up for a new bar year, it seeks volunteers for the upcomimg school year's HCBA Court Docent Program. The program provides an opportunity for eighth grade Henrico County students to tour the Henrico County Courts Complex. During these visits, the students learn an overview of the judicial process, observe the roles of various court officers, and usually have the opportunity to witness a proceeding. The visit also introduces students to possible career opportunities in the legal justice system. Many of the Henrico judges set aside time to speak to the students about the Virginia court system and provide guidance in the merits of adopting law-abiding lifestyles.

During these visits, attorney volunteers serve as guides through the Circuit Court, General District Court, and Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court. Volunteering for the program is not a longstanding obligation; each volunteer is assigned only one morning visit lasting from approximately 9:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. The visits begin in the morning at the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court, where one of the judges speaks to the students about the jurisdiction of the court and how trials are conducted.  Then the students take a tour of the Juvenile Detention Center. While the students visit the Detention Center, the attorney volunteer selects an active docket in Circuit Court or General District Court for the students to observe. After the tour of the Detention Center, the students observe a hearing in in General District or Circuit Court and hear from one of the judges. Then the students have lunch and finish the visit with a tour of the jail. 
               
Having an attorney volunteer is not only essential for guiding the students through the courthouses and ensuring the visits run smoothly. The attorney also keeps the students engaged by questioning them about their observations and providing an opportunity for them to voice their own aspirations and experiences. If you are interested in volunteering one morning for the Court Docent Program, please contact Susan Parrish at  par082@henrico.us for available dates this fall.
 

Clerk's Corner

Henrico J&DR Court

Please check out the Twitter page for the Henrico Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court
@HenricoJDRCourt

Pro Bono Award -
Daniel L. Rosenthal

Please join us in congratulating Daniel L. Rosenthal, our 2018-2019 recipient of the Pro Bono Award. For years, Dan has been an active volunteer on our organization's requests for pro bono services. He has helped countless pro bono clients in the areas of Fair Housing, Landlord-Tenant, and Wills. Thank you Dan for your service to our community and for helping to close the justice gap.

Daniel L. Rosenthal, Esq., receives Pro Bono Award


Welcome New Members

Donna Berkeley
Sarah M. Collie
Carolyn Dahlberg
Elliott H. DeJarnette, V
Brielle M. Hunt
M. Christine Maggard
Soroush  N. Moghaddassi
Corey M. Nicholson
Edward K. Nickel
Jonathan Petty
Michael G. Phelan
Jacob E. Smith
James W. Walker
Charles D. Waters
Breanna West


Members on the Move   

Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman  welcomes Michael C. Litman and Soroush "Surge" Moghaddassi to the firm's Richmond office as Associates.  Mike focuses his practice on the defense of lawsuits involving local governments and public entities, premises and products liability, motor vehicle liability, and commercial disputes. Surge primarily defends cases involving motor vehicle liability, premises and products liability, and commercial litigation.     

Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman welcomes Kenneth C. Hirtz to the firm's Richmond office as Of Counsel. Ken will focus his practice on the defense of motor vehicle, premises, and professional liability, commercial litigation and medical malpractice defense.  

Stiles Ewing Powers welcomes Natalie T. McClearn and Clayton A. Worthington as Associates. Natalie and Clayton focus their practices on Family Law.

If you have recently changed jobs or been promoted, please share your news with the Henrico Bar. We would like to post your announcement in our newsletter and update your member profile.  Announcements can be emailed to Mary Lou Wellman at 
admin@henricobar.org . Please include your name, firm or employer's name, new title and areas of concentration.  

Officers and Directors
 
President
Ryan C. Young

President-Elect
Emily P. Bishop

Vice President
A ndrew R. Newby

Secretary
Susan L. Parrish

Treasurer
Jeffrey P. Miller

Immediate Past-President
Natalie T. McClearn

Directors 
Samuel T. Bernier
K. Matthew Long
David A. Stock
Sarah E. Ulmer
Jennifer S. Wheeler
 
Administrator
Mary Lou Wellman