About the Bar

70th Annual Report - Part I

 

Table of Contents

Administrative/Governing

Report of the President

Report of the Executive Director/Chief Operating Officer

Report of the Treasurer

Virginia State Bar Organizational Chart

Report of the Office of Bar Counsel

Minutes of the Seventieth Annual Meeting

In Memoriam

Reports of the Sections

Reports of the Conferences

Local Bar Associations

Senior Lawyers

Young Lawyers

Reports of the Standing Committees

Budget and Finance

Lawyer Advertising and Solicitation

Lawyer Discipline

Legal Ethics

Professionalism

Unauthorized Practice of Law

Reports of the Special Committees

Access to Legal Services

Information Technology

Lawyer Malpractice Insurance

Lawyer Referral

Personal Insurance for Members

Publications and Public Information

Resolution of Fee Disputes

Special Boards & Task Forces

Clients’ Protection Fund Board

Multi-Jurisdictional Practice Task Force

 

Report of the President

Howard W. Martin, Jr.

I began my term as president of the Virginia State Bar on June 15, 2007, with a celebration of the Magna Carta, the “Great Charter” from which our state and our nation derive the Rule of Law.  During the year I served, we paused on a number of occasions to reflect upon the value and the meaning of the Rule of Law.  Visiting Little Rock’s Central High School, we remembered the process that ended “separate but equal”; we reacted in shock to the imprisonment of judges and attorneys in Pakistan; thanks to a wonderful article by Frank Overton Brown, we recalled the amazing story of the SS Quanza and its Jewish passengers finding berth in Norfolk during World War II; we were intrigued to learn that the U.S. Department of Justice was accused of firing seasoned prosecutors for political reasons; and we followed the continual and unfolding questions of the rights of noncitizens suspected of terrorism and housed at Guantanamo Bay.

In commemoration of the Rule of Law, we produced “Rule of Law” bookmarks that I was able to distribute at various bar meetings around the state.   I learned that one of the bookmarks was given to a Chinese citizen in China, and she cherished it for its definition of the Rule of Law.

Public protection
The subject of public protection was a key focus during my year as president.

The Consumer Real Estate Settlement Protection Act (CRESPA) was amended by the 2008 General Assembly at the request of the VSB.  The amendment increased, from $100,000 to $200,000, the surety bond that settlement agents (both attorneys and laypersons) must carry.  This measure had been recommended by the VSB's Task Force on Public Protection.

Defalcations allegedly totaling over $4 million from more than three hundred clients by former attorney Steven Thomas Conrad of Prince William County focused VSB scrutiny on how we carry out our public protection mission.  Discovery of these defalcations and the revocation of Mr. Conrad’s license in December 2007 followed, by only a month and a half, the rejection by the VSB Council of a suggested “payee notification” requirement (under which plaintiffs would be sent letters from insurance companies to advise them that settlement checks had been sent to their attorneys). The bar’s Task Force on Public Protection was then asked to revisit the issue of payee notification, as well as any other measures that might be taken to prevent or discourage lawyer defalcations. The work of the Task Force is ongoing.

In a related development, based on newspaper reports of more than $10 million in defalcations in recent years, the bar’s Standing Committee on Lawyer Discipline was asked to look at whether the bar should implement a program of random audits of attorneys’ trust accounts. Such a program exists in about a dozen states. The committee’s research and analysis continue, and a report on the issue is expected to be delivered to Bar Council in early 2009.

The Special Committee on Lawyer Malpractice Insurance (LMI Committee) continued its study of mandatory malpractice insurance.  At its October, 2007 meeting Bar Council, by a vote of 38 to 21, directed the LMI Committee to develop a proposal "for mandatory malpractice insurance for Virginia attorneys engaged in private practice drawing clients from the general public." The proposal is to be considered and voted on at the October, 2008 Bar Council meeting.

The Supreme Court of Virginia, by letter dated March 21, 2008, directed the VSB to discontinue posting on the VSB website the disposition of disciplinary complaints until appeals are completed or the time for appeal has passed.   The letter told the bar not to

… post any information about disciplinary complaints filed against lawyers on the Virginia State Bar’s website until a decision has been made adverse to the lawyer and the time for filing an appeal from that decision to the Supreme Court has expired.  If the lawyer who is the subject of the complaint has filed an appeal, the Virginia State Bar should not post any information on its website about the complaint until the date that the Supreme Court issues a mandate or order.

The Court ordered immediate implementation of this new procedure. The VSB complied with the order of the Court. However, we have by letter asked the Court to reconsider its decision on this issue, since the decision would appear to be contrary to the bar’s public protection mission, as well as to the 2000 decision to open the disciplinary process to the public.  The bar awaits the Court’s response on this matter.

Oliver Hill and the Rule of Law
On August 5, 2007, Virginia lost Oliver White Hill, one of the giants of civil rights law. His name lives on at the Virginia State Bar in the Oliver W. Hill Pro Bono Award given to law students by the Standing Committee on Access to Legal Services, and in the Oliver Hill/Samuel Tucker Prelaw Institute — a program sponsored by the Young Lawyers Conference for high school students.

Mr. Hill’s passing reminded us once again of the nobility of the members of our profession who devote their intellect and passion to our American treasure, the Rule of Law, and who strive to give the Rule of Law an effective application for all citizens.

Reduction of deficit
Bar leaders and staff have paid careful attention to the 2007-08 budget.  In an effort to postpone the inevitable need for a dues increase, cost-cutting measures were put in place.  As a result, at the end of the fiscal year regular operating expenses had been reduced by approximately $600,000, as compared to the 2007-2008 budget.  Had it not been for the extraordinary receivership expense arising from the Conrad defalcation mentioned above, income would have exceeded expenses by $100,000.

Bar staff
Thomas A. Edmonds retired on December 31, 2007, after more than 18 years of remarkable service as executive director.  Karen A. Gould, a past president of the VSB (2006-07), was selected after an extensive search, approved unanimously by the council, and appointed by the Supreme Court of Virginia to be the new executive director, effective January 1, 2008.

George W. Chabalewski, bar counsel for two years, resigned effective July 9, 2008.  The search committee recommended that Edward L. “Ned” Davis, a fifteen-year assistant bar counsel, be appointed as the new bar counsel, and this appointment was made by the council at its June 2008 meeting.

Conclusion
The bar year has been a wonderful experience for me. It has been more rewarding and has produced more “psychic income” than any experience I have had in my legal career. It has reinforced my confidence in our profession and its members, both in Virginia and out of state.  I am sure there is no finer bar than Virginia’s anywhere in these United States.

In speaking of this superlative Virginia bar, I would be remiss if I did not mention the bar members who volunteer countless hours in many roles, all contributing to the efforts of the VSB to accomplish its missions.  Our volunteers are a credit to the bar, to our communities, and to the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The VSB would never come close to achieving what it does without the solid support of the bar staff, some of whom have been with VSB for more than thirty years. In my opinion, no bar anywhere has a finer group of employees. As attorneys, the members of the Virginia State Bar know that the Rule of Law is the common thread so important to our experience at the bar. We know that we cannot stand by and see the denial or abuse of the Rule of Law — our lifeline to social order, to liberty, and to justice for all. How fortunate that it falls to us, the attorneys, to be the standard-bearers for the Rule of Law.

Respectfully submitted,

Howard W. Martin Jr.

 

Report of the Executive Director/Chief Operating Officer

Karen A. Gould

The membership of the Virginia State Bar continued its steady growth in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2008. Total “in good standing” membership increased to 41,788, an increase of 1,044 members, or 2.56 percent more than the previous year’s count of 40,744.

 

2007-08 2006-07
Active 26,726 26,238
Corporate Counsel Admittees 792 699
Corporate Counsel Registrants 391 429
Associate 11,112 10,699
Judicial 1,054 1,043
Retired/Disabled 1,713 1,636
Total 41,788 40,744

Officers, bar activities during 2007-08, and new executive committee and council members
Thomas A. Edmonds, executive director and chief operating officer of the bar since 1992, retired on December 31, 2007. Karen A. Gould, immediate past president, became the new executive director on January 1, 2008.

Howard W. Martin, Jr. of Norfolk served as president of the bar from July 1, 2007, until June 30, 2008. Mr. Martin focused his presentations to local bars on the Rule of Law and its importance in our society. Because of media attention directed to several lawyers who had defrauded their clients of substantial sums of money, the topic of public protection became a prime focus during this bar year. President Martin asked the Standing Committee on Lawyer Discipline to study the issue of random trust account audits and whether a rule should be adopted requiring random audits in Virginia. The Public Protection Task Force was asked to restudy the issue of payee notification, as well as other options that might be available to prevent defalcations by attorneys.

Manuel A. Capsalis of Arlington became president of the Virginia State Bar at its annual meeting on June 19, 2008. He was sworn in by retired chief judge Paul F. Sheridan of the Arlington County Circuit Court. Jon D. Huddleston, president-elect, was unopposed in the 2007 election for that office to serve during 2008-09.

The Multijurisdictional Practice Task Force proposed amendments at the February 2008 VSB Council meeting to Rules of Professional Conduct 5.5 and 8.5, as well as a new Supreme Court Rule governing the activities of foreign legal consultants. Almost half of the states in the country now have temporary practice and foreign legal consultant accommodations for lawyers from other countries who want to work in a limited way or for a short period of time in their states. Virginia will join the ranks of these states if the Supreme Court adopts the rule changes, which were submitted to the Court in April of 2008.

A task force composed of members of the council recommended that the number of council members be capped as follows:

Any circuit having as of the 1st day of February in any year more than 500 active members in good standing who are domiciled or principally practice their profession in such circuit shall be entitled to one additional member of the council for each additional 500 members or major fraction thereof.

At its March 1, 2008 meeting, the council approved this amendment to its bylaws, effective July 1, 2008, with the number of council members existing as of July 1, 2008, established as a baseline minimum. The proposed rule change is pending before the Supreme Court of Virginia.

The subject of requiring malpractice insurance of all active members engaged in the private practice of law continued to be discussed during the year. At the June 2007 council meeting in Virginia Beach, a proposal to simply strengthen the existing malpractice insurance certification now contained on the dues statement was withdrawn after debate indicated it was not well received. It was agreed that there would be further debate on the subject at the October 2007 meeting of council. After spirited debate at that meeting, the council directed the Special Committee on Lawyer Malpractice Insurance to draft a proposal requiring lawyers to carry malpractice insurance. In March 2008, the council voted that the proposed rule change developed by the LMI Committee not be published for public comment, but agreed to discuss the proposal at the June 2008 meeting. The council elected at the June meeting to publish the proposed rule change for comment with a disclaimer indicating that the council had not yet decided the issue of whether mandatory malpractice insurance should be required.

On the basis of an actuarial study that determined the bar needed to significantly increase the corpus of its Clients’ Protection Fund in order to continue to be able to respond to future claims, the bar secured legislative and Supreme Court of Virginia approval in 2007 for a $25 per year special assessment to be paid by all active members of the bar, with the entire proceeds of the assessment to be placed in the Clients’ Protection Fund. The special assessment went into effect on July 1, 2007. As a result of the assessment, the sum of approximately $670,000 was added to the corpus of the fund during FY2007-08. With the collection of the $25 assessment, the corpus of the fund should go from its 2007 level of $3.3 million dollars to approximately $9 million dollars, and it is hoped that the income from the fund will then be sufficient to honor all valid claims which are presented in the future.

Bar member use of the Fastcase online legal research system continued to increase during the year, and the bar also conducted in Richmond a Solo and Small-Firm Practitioner Forum designed to provide law practice management insights and information to lawyers. The bar worked with the Supreme Court on a fourth highly successful Indigent Defense Training Seminar, once again held in Richmond and simulcast to lawyers from Southwest Virginia who gathered in Abingdon.

Jon D. Huddleston will serve ex officio on the VSB Executive Committee next year as president-elect. M. Janet Palmer was elected by the council as a new member of the 2007-08 Executive Committee, replacing Edward L. Chambers Jr. Irving M. Blank, Jan L. Brodie, Michael C. Guanzon, Judith N. Rosenblatt, and Theophani K. Stamos were re-elected to one-year terms.

Because of an increase in the size of Circuits 2 and 14, two additional members were elected to the VSB Council effective July 1, 2008, causing the council to grow to a total size of eighty. Council presently consists of three officers, three conference chairs, nine at-large members appointed by the Supreme Court, and sixty-five elected members.

The following new members were elected to the VSB Council for three-year terms beginning July 1, 2008:

2nd Circuit William Drinkwater
4th Circuit Ray W. King
9th Circuit John Tarley Jr.
10th Circuit Robert E. Hawthorne
13th Circuit Guy C. Crowgey
14th Circuit William J. Viverette
15th Circuit Grayson S. Johnson
18th Circuit Kenneth E. Labowitz
19th Circuit Susan M. Butler
Daniel B. Krisky
William L. Schmidt
21st Circuit Philip G. Gardner
26th Circuit George W. Shanks

The following incumbents were re-elected to council for three-year terms beginning July 1, 2008:

1st Circuit David W. Bouchard
2nd Circuit Anne K. Crenshaw
7th Circuit Kenneth B. Murov
11th Circuit Elizabeth M. Allen
19th Circuit Joseph A. Condo
19th Circuit Paul W. Hammack Jr.
19th Circuit Edward V. O’Connor Jr.
20th Circuit Gary M. Pearson
25th Circuit Robert C. Hagan Jr.

Edna Ruth Vincent and D. Susie Baker Cox were appointed by the Supreme Court of Virginia to three-year terms as council members at large beginning July 1, 2008. Alexander N. Levay Jr. of Leesburg was reappointed to a three-year term as a council member at large. William T. Wilson of Covington became president of the Conference of Local Bar Associations, Jennifer L. McClellan of Richmond became president of the Young Lawyers Conference, and Homer C. Eliades of Hopewell became president of the Senior Lawyers Conference. They will all serve as ex-officio members of council and the executive committee during 2008-09.

Bar operations and staff
George W. Chabalewski, bar counsel, resigned in March 2008, effective July 9, 2008. Edward L. Davis, an assistant bar counsel for the last fourteen years, was appointed by Council to succeed him as of June 19, 2008.

Work continues on refinements to IBIS, the bar’s internal database. The Clients’ Protection Fund system was successfully implemented on March 6, 2008. The bar’s new telephone system was successfully implemented as scheduled on April 2, 2008. A Web project to allow members to update their demographic information and certify mandatory continuing legal education online was implemented on June 10, 2008, with forty members utilizing the new services in the first twelve hours before any announcements had been made regarding the new capabilities. Work continues on remote access for staff, as well as network and security changes.

Substantial time has been spent by the bar’s fiscal staff this year in developing processes and transaction-level internal control assessment to comply with Stages 1 and 2 of the Commonwealth’s Agency Risk Management and Internal Control Standards. State auditors determined that the bar still has work left to do to on the Commonwealth’s Information Technology Security Standards COV ITRM Standard SEC 501-01 and 500-02. William H. Dickinson, director of information technology, has been tasked with completing this project by October 15, 2008.

 

Report of the Treasurer

VIRGINIA STATE BAR
CASH WITH THE TREASURER OF VIRGINIA AS OF JUNE 30, 2008

Cash with the Treasurer of Virginia as of July 1, 2007: 2,795,304
Revenue:
Membership Dues 8,946,506
Clients' Protection Fund Assessment 672,375
Professional Corporations 92,650
Section Dues 359,240
Virginia Lawyer and Virginia Lawyer Register 63,794
Virginia Lawyer Referral Service 282,855
Mandatory Continuing Legal Education 676,995
Professionalism Course 221,965
Cost Taxing & Bonds 58,762
Seminars and Miscellaneous 357,056
CRESPA Registration 93,965
Administration and Finance 136,147
Grants 14,160
Total Revenue 11,976,470
Operating Expenditures:
Salaries, Wages and Benefits 7,744,630
Receivers 513,474
Office Rent 315,554
Furniture and Equipment 71,329
Repairs and Maintenance 18,877
Supplies, Stationery and Forms 83,382
Printing and Copying 198,906
Postage 234,790
Telephone 88,626
Staff Travel 91,774
Computer 260,474
Council, Committees and Board 329,012
Professionalism Course 173,362
Sections & Conferences 354,003
Attorney General's Office Fees 98,688
Chief Justice's Programs and Projects 183,075
Other Operating Expenditures 226,746
Total Operating Expenditures 10,986,701
Other Disbursements and Transfers:
Other Technology Projects 283,242
Lawyers Helping Lawyers 100,000
Administration and Finance Account Transfers 135,252
Clients' Protection Fund Transfers 672,375
Grant Expenditures 9,381
Transfers per Legislature 266
Total Other Disbursements and Transfers 1,200,516
Cash with the Treasurer of Virginia as of June 30, 2008:
2,584,557

 

Virginia State Bar Organizational Chart

Organizational Chart

 

Report of the Office of Bar Counsel

Edward L. Davis

The following is the annual report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2008.

Overview
The Office of Bar Counsel [OBC] comprises the following components: intake, ethics, and discipline. The intake department initially receives and screens all inquiries to the bar about attorney conduct and proactively handles inquiries involving minor misconduct. It also performs preliminary investigations in a limited class of cases. The ethics department provides ethics advice to Virginia lawyers through the bar’s ethics hotline. It supports the Standing Committee on Lawyer Advertising and Solicitation in issuing advertising opinions and reviewing lawyer advertising. It supports the Standing Committee on Legal Ethics in the issuing of legal ethics opinions and the development of proposed changes to the Rules of Professional Conduct. Finally, it supports the Standing Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law (UPL) in the issuing of UPL opinions and the investigation of UPL allegations. The discipline department receives complaints forwarded from the intake department and conducts the investigation and prosecution of such cases before Virginia State Bar District Committees, the Disciplinary Board and three-judge disciplinary panels sitting in circuit courts. It also petitions the circuit courts for injunctions and the appointment of receivers when such relief is necessary to prevent the loss of client property by dishonest lawyers, or when needed to wind up the practices of disabled, deceased, or disbarred attorneys if no other person is reasonably able to do so.

In FY 2008 there were several personnel changes and, statistically speaking, the bar made significant gains in productivity over FY 07, although further gains are necessary to meet or exceed the heights of previous years. As in most years there was a “bubble” in the system. In FY 08 that bubble was in the number of district committee cases still in the open investigation stage or awaiting trial.

Personnel
Bar Counsel George W. Chabalewski resigned from the position effective July 9, 2008, after two years of service and returned to the office of the Attorney General of Virginia. During Mr. Chabalewski’s tenure, the professional regulation department was integrated into the bar’s new IBIS computer system, while continued emphasis was placed on the goals of increased OBC effectiveness and efficiency, along with fairness.

Effective June 19, 2008, Edward L. Davis became the bar counsel. Mr. Davis served as a VSB assistant bar counsel from December 1, 1993, until his new appointment. Prior to joining the OBC, he served six years in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps and was deputy commonwealth’s attorney for York County and the city of Poquoson. From 1991 to 1993, he had a general practice with Stuart A. Simon & Associates in Richmond, with a focus on criminal defense and domestic relations law. A colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve, he is the chair of the VSB Military Law Section.

There were some additional personnel changes in the OBC. Assistant Bar Counsel J. Scott Kulp resigned, and Renu Mago was hired to fill the position. The intake department experienced turnover in an intake assistant position when Elizabeth Miller resigned and Nicole L. Ford was hired in her place. Finally, the Northern Virginia office lost one administrative assistant when Maytee Hall resigned. As a cost saving measure, that position will not be refilled.

Discipline statistics
The number of active members of the bar in good standing increased to 27,562, continuing an annual trend.

The year began with a carry over of 17 percent more cases from FY 07 than carried over from FY 06. In FY 08, the number of initial inquiries that ended in the intake department totaled 3,134, compared to 2,987 in FY 07. In addition, the intake department opened 1,143 new cases, compared to 1,058 during the prior year. The bar counsel staff dismissed a total of 641 cases in the preliminary investigation stage, an increase of 56 percent over the prior year’s figure of 410. The bar counsel staff also referred 520 cases to district committees during the fiscal year compared to 465 the prior year, an increase of 12 percent. At the end of the fiscal year, a total of 469 cases were on the district committee open investigation dockets over 180 days old, compared to 410 cases in FY 07, a 14 percent increase. The number of cases ended by agreed disposition at all levels totaled 131, an increase of 52 percent. The number of trials held at all levels totaled 62, an increase of 24 percent over the prior year. Taken together, the number of cases ended by agreed dispositions and trials totaled 193, an increase of 41 percent over the prior year.

By the end of the fiscal year, 239 cases involving 153 respondents ended with sanctions imposed, a 33 percent increase over FY 07. The total number of cases closed for the fiscal year totaled 1,148, a 26 percent increase.

The areas of law in which the most inquiries were received by the bar were first, criminal law, and second, family law.

Immediately upon assuming his tenure, Bar Counsel Davis implemented a series of new policies designed to shift the staff’s focus away from nonessential tasks to its top priority, the processing and trial of disciplinary cases. Among these policies are the immediate scheduling of district committee trials upon cases being set for hearing by subcommittees, advancing one pre-2008 case per week to the next level, drafting one subcommittee certification per week as needed, opposing requests for continuances except when unavoidable, the elimination of mandatory vetting, and mandatory conferences between the attorneys, district committee chairs, and Standing Committee on Lawyer Discipline (COLD) liaisons to discuss each assistant bar counsel’s progress on the committee docket each month.

Legal ethics
During FY 08, the ethics counsel department handled an average of 401 calls per month from Virginia lawyers seeking legal ethics advice. In addition, they aided the Standing Committee on Legal Ethics in the issuance of three legal ethics opinions (numbers 1840, 1841, and 1843) and the promulgation of several proposed amendments to the Rules of Professional Conduct. Ethics counsel aided the UPL Committee in the issuance of UPL Opinion 213, 214, and 215, and the investigation of complaints alleging the unauthorized practice of law. Out of 92 UPL cases, 79 percent were concluded in FY 08. Ethics counsel also staffed the lawyer advertising committee to review lawyer advertising. This led to the issuing of 70 noncompliance letters in FY 08, resulting in a 100 percent compliance rate by the recipients.  In addition, the committee proposed one new advertising opinion and referred another opinion request to the ethics committee.

Procedural rule changes
The bar’s disciplinary system operates pursuant to Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia, Part Six, Section IV, Paragraph 13 (Paragraph 13), as well as other statutes and case law.

Paragraph 13.A., Definition of “Certification,” was amended by substituting the phrase “allegations of Misconduct” for “Charges of Misconduct”.

Paragraph 13.H.1, H.4, I.1, and I.5 were amended to clarify that when a respondent makes a timely demand for a three-judge circuit court panel and is required, inter alia, to provide available hearing dates within a 30-120 day window from the date of the demand, the 30-120 day window is not a mandatory period of time within which the hearing must be held. The amendment also addresses a respondent’s right to demand a three-judge circuit court hearing and makes the right to demand such a hearing consistent throughout Paragraph 13.

Paragraph 13.H.2 was amended to clarify that an appeal is possible from any district committee determination imposing discipline, including dismissals de minimis and dismissals for exceptional circumstances. In addition, the amendment resolves problematic use of the word “notice” with respect to providing a respondent with a district committee determination, as opposed to “service” of the determination on the respondent.

Summary
The Office of Bar Counsel constantly strives to improve its effectiveness and efficiency while maintaining fairness in the investigation and prosecution of bar complaints. The annual statistical results for FY 08 show improvement in a number of areas compared to the prior year. The challenge for the coming year is to increase those gains to the point that they exceed the numbers of previous years while substantially reducing the number of older cases on the district committee dockets.

Documents Attached
The following charts document case numbers and trends in disciplinary activity.

2008 Professional Regulation Statistics

 

Minutes of 70th Annual Meeting

President Howard W. Martin Jr. called the General Session of the Seventieth Annual Meeting of the Virginia State Bar to order at 9:15 a.m. on Saturday, June 21, 2008, at the Cavalier Hotel, Virginia Beach.  He introduced Manuel A. Capsalis, the incoming president, who had been sworn in the previous evening by Paul F. Sheridan, retired chief judge of the Arlington Circuit Court. Mr. Capsalis reported on the actions of the VSB Council at its meeting on June 19.

Introduction of President-elect Huddleston
Mr. Capsalis introduced Jon D. Huddleston of Leesburg, incoming president-elect.  Mr. Huddleston made brief remarks.  On motion made, seconded and unanimously approved, Jon D. Huddleston was formally elected as president-elect for the 2008-09 bar year.

Tradition of Excellence Award
Roger C. Wiley Jr. of Richmond received the General Practice Section Tradition of Excellence Award.  Elizabeth K. Dillon, secretary of the General Practice Section, made introductory remarks regarding Mr. Wiley.  Jan L. Proctor, president of the Local Government Attorneys of Virginia, made additional remarks.  The award is given each year by the General Practice Section to a lawyer who exemplifies outstanding professional and public service.

David T. Stitt Memorial Volleyball Tournament
William D. Dolan III, a past president of the Virginia State Bar, announced the renaming of the Young Lawyers Conference Volleyball Tournament in memory of Judge David T. Stitt, who died on May 10, 2008.  A resolution honoring Judge Stitt was approved at the meeting.  An endowment fund was established by Mr. Dolan to underwrite the expenses in perpetuity for the tournament.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:50 a.m.

 

In Memoriam

In Memoriam 2007-2008

 

REPORTS OF THE SECTIONS

Administrative Law

Brian R. Greene, chair

26th National Regulatory Conference
The Twenty-sixth National Regulatory Conference (NRC) was held on May 13 and 14, 2008, in Williamsburg. The program — “Regulation and Technology: A Scientist, an Economist, and a Regulator Walk into the Virginia State Bar …”  — examined diverging regulatory trends that face the energy and telecommunications industries. The conference included panels on, among other topics:

  • Energy efficiency and conservation issues.
  • Construction of new generation projects and the various types of technologies behind them.
  • Legislative approaches to address greenhouse gas emissions and the regulation of carbon and carbon dioxide.
  • A look at how new technologies are bringing new services, new applications, and new competition to Virginia telecom customers, and how and whether those new developments should be regulated.

W. Taylor Reveley III, interim president of the College of William and Mary, welcomed the attendees and moderated the panel on electricity conservation. Our keynote speaker was James Yancey Kerr II, commissioner and chair of the North Carolina Utilities Commission.

The NRC was a success, due in large part to the efforts of program committee Chair Kiva B. Pierce and volunteers from the Administrative Law Section. The NRC panels continued the recent trend toward an increasingly interactive debate format and away from the traditional PowerPoint presentations. The continued conference has almost outgrown its current venue at W&M’s Marshall-Wythe School of Law.

Newsletter
Ashley C. Beuttel continued her wonderful service as editor of the Administrative Law News for the past year. The Spring 2008 issue featured an analysis of the Virginia State Corporation Commission’s consideration of several applications to approve new electric transmission projects, as well as an article about the General Assembly’s new legislation to allow natural gas utilities to decouple their retail rates.

Luncheon for the Hon. Theodore H. Morrison
In January 2008, the section board of governors hosted a lunch for retiring SCC Commissioner Theodore H. Morrison. We honored him by giving him a collage of pictures that dated back to the 1960s, during his tenure in the House of Delegates. The event was at BlackFinn Restaurant in downtown Richmond.

VSB Annual Meeting CLE Program
Vishwa B. Link spearheaded the section’s support of a successful continuing legal education program at the VSB’s Seventieth Annual Meeting in Virginia Beach. The program — “How to Manage Issues Surrounding Multijurisdictional Investigations: A Case Study” — was cosponsored by the Corporate Counsel, Administrative Law, and Antitrust, Franchise and Trade Regulation sections. The program analyzed the relationships between federal and state agencies and courts in considering Dominion Resources Inc.’s proposed sale of its Pennsylvania natural gas local distribution company.

Annual Meeting
The section’s annual meeting was held during the NRC for the third consecutive year, and attendance continued to climb from previous years. The business meeting included the annual election of officers and new board members. Officers for 2008-09 are:

Kiva B. Pierce, chair
Vishwa B. Link, vice chair
T. Borden Ellis, secretary
Thomas C. Walker and Lydia R. Pulley were elected to the board, and Ashley C. Beuttel continues as newsletter editor.

 

Construction Law and Public Contracts

Jack Rephan, immediate past chair

This year marks the twenty-ninth anniversary of the Construction Law and Public Contracts Section. On November 3, 2007, the section held its twenty-eighth annual seminar. Its membership has grown to 1,627, and it is now the sixth largest section of the Virginia State Bar.

Moving the annual seminar from the Boar’s Head Inn in Charlottesville to the Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg was a first for the section, as was having exhibitors at the seminar. Those who attended the November 3, 2007, seminar rated the speakers overall 4.63 points out of a possible 5.0.  While many of the attendees said that Kingsmill was a welcome change in location, others opted for moving the fall seminar back to Charlottesville.  However, because the new convention facilities at the Boar’s Head Inn are still under construction, arrangements have been made to have the fall 2008 seminar at the Williamsburg Lodge, which has new conference facilities well-suited for the seminar.

In addition to the regular activities of our section -- such as the summer and fall seminars, its handbook, and its newsletter -- the board of governors, officers, and members of committees were involved in a number of other important projects.

With the sponsorship of Virginia CLE and with the hard work and stewardship of Richard F. Smith, board members and section volunteers wrote chapters for an exciting first-of-its-kind publication: a handbook on Virginia Construction Law, which will be published this summer.  The section has also been updating its website to make it more useful to members.  In the past, our handbook has been published and updated annually on CDs mailed to the members.  This year, it was decided to try publishing the handbook on the section’s website, where it will be accessible to section members with the a savings in the cost of producing and mailing the CDs.

The October 2008 edition of Virginia Lawyer will be devoted to construction law topics, and volunteers from the section have already agreed to write the articles.

For the fiscal year ending 2008, the section’s budget was a total of $11,695.  Expenditures through May 31, 2008, were $3,842.17, leaving a balance of $7,852.83.

The section’s program at the VSB Annual Meeting on June 20, 2008, was conducted jointly with the Environmental and Local Government law sections and addressed the topic of the authority of local governments for the implementation of “green,” or environmentally friendly, development and construction programs.

At the section’s annual meeting June 20, 2008, the following members were elected as officers and members of the board of governors for the 2008-09 fiscal year:

Richard F. Smith, chair
Gregory T. St. Ours, vice chair
Todd R. Metz, secretary
Stephan F. Andrews, board member (three-year term)
Stephen G. Test, board member (three-year term)
Jennifer A. Mahar, board member (one-year term to fill unexpired term of Todd Metz)

 

Corporate Counsel

Douglas D. Callaway, chair

Number of Members:
1,275

Budget (fiscal year ending 2008):
$18,590

Activities: The Corporate Counsel Section of the Virginia State Bar was established in 1989 and has more than twelve hundred members.  The section’s primary goals are to facilitate communication and exchange of information and ideas among Virginia attorneys who work in an in-house setting, and to represent in-house attorneys’ interests with the Virginia State Bar.  The section sponsored a number of seminars on the topic of in-house practice of law with various state law schools.  The section hosted a number of regional luncheons for its members in the spring.

At the VSB’s Annual Meeting in June 2008, the section cosponsored a continuing legal education program, “Managing Issues Surrounding Multijurisdictional Investigations: Case Study.”  Other sponsors were the Administrative Law and Antitrust, Franchise and Trade Regulation sections.

2007-08 officers:
Douglas D. Callaway, chair
Mary Christina Floyd, vice chair
Noreen M. Tama, secretary


2008-09 officers:
Chair: Mary Christina Floyd
Vice chair: Noreen M. Tama
Secretary: Gregory S. Karawan
New member of section board of governors: Ronald E. Kuykendall

 

Criminal Law Section

Robert B. Beasley Jr., chair

The Criminal Law Section enjoyed a successful 2007-08 fiscal year, which concluded June 30, 2008. The section continued to receive the enthusiastic support of criminal law defense practitioners, prosecutors, and judges from across the commonwealth. The section is a forum in which these often separate groups effectively work together for the good of Virginia’s criminal justice system.  With more than two thousand members, the Criminal Law Section is one of the Virginia State Bar’s largest sections.

The section continued to provide a forum for the improvement of the criminal justice system through our newsletters, seminars, and website — http://www.vsb.org/site/sections/criminal/.

Our Thirty-eighth Annual Criminal Law Seminar, held in Charlottesville and Williamsburg, continues to be one of the largest continuing legal education programs in Virginia. It drew approximately six hundred attendees for the two live locations (Charlottesville and Williamsburg), and more than three hundred for videotape replays around the state.

The section’s Harry L. Carrico Professionalism Award was presented to Professor Ronald J. Bacigal of T.C. Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond, for his exemplary service to the bar and the commonwealth.

The section continued its perennial efforts to improve the funding and quality of the indigent defense system in Virginia. It monitored the newly established procedures for submission, review, and approval of attorney fee waiver claims. In particular, the board invested time and effort to educate section members about the new procedures and encouraged attorneys to complete the fee waiver applications as an important first step in improving the system.

At the VSB Annual Meeting in June 2008, the section sponsored a lively and interesting program, The Dos and Don’t of Dealing with the Media in High-Profile Cases. The program featured David B. Freedman of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, who represented Michael Nifong in his disbarment proceedings before the North Carolina State Bar; William R. “Billy” Martin, of Washington, D.C., who most recently represented Michael Vick; and former section chair Craig S. Cooley, who moderated the discussion and offered his own insights on the Malvo case.

During the section’s annual business meeting in June, the following officers were elected for the 2008-2009 bar year: David P. Baugh of Richmond, chair; John R. Doyle III of Norfolk, vice chair; and Carolyn V. Grady of Richmond, as secretary. The following lawyers were elected to the section board of governors for four-year terms: Lisa K. Caruso, commonwealth’s attorney in Dinwiddie County; Francis McQ. Lawrence, a partner at St. John, Bowling, Lawrence & Quagliana in Charlottesville; and Judge Ashley K. Tunner of the Richmond Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court in Richmond. Dennis W. Dohnal, U.S. magistrate judge for the Eastern District of Virginia, was also reelected to a four-year term.

My term on the board has been a wonderful experience, and I appreciate the many contributions of my fellow board members. I am especially grateful to Professor Robert E. Shepherd Jr. and Reno S. Harp III for their continued thoughtful guidance and participation on the board. I am sure that the Criminal Law Section will continue to be vitally committed to protecting and improving the criminal justice system in Virginia in future years.

Education of Lawyers in Virginia

Professor Henry L. Chambers Jr., chair

Among the purposes of the Section on the Education of Lawyers are to:

  • Provide a vehicle for continuing dialogue and communication on legal education issues among the academic community, the judiciary, and the practicing bar in Virginia;
  • Sponsor projects of special interest and relevance regarding the education and training of lawyers, from their entry into law school and throughout their careers;
  • Conduct programs, publish and distribute educational and professional materials, and undertake other activities that will enhance cooperation and interaction among the law schools, the bench, and the practicing bar in Virginia.

Professor James M. Boland of Regent University School of Law continued as editor of the section’s newsletter. The section published two issues this year that focused on the American Bar Association Conclave on Legal Education cosponsored by the section in 2007 and the aftermath of the conclave. The newsletter contained articles about the lawyer as public citizen, educating lawyers for the twenty-first century, and attempts to increase diversity in the profession and bar organizations. The newsletter also contained information regarding events at Virginia’s law schools. Professor Boland will continue as newsletter editor during the upcoming year.

The Professionalism Program for Law Students, developed by the Education of Lawyers section and the Virginia State Bar’s Standing Committee on Professionalism, was offered to first-year students at each of Virginia’s accredited law schools. Most of the sessions were well-attended and student evaluations were strongly positive. Circuit Judge J. Martin Bass and U.S. Magistrate Judge B. Waugh Crigler served as cochairs of this annual project. William E. Glover will serve as chair of this project for the upcoming year. The section thanks Judge Bass for his past service and Judge Crigler for his continued service.

The section cosponsored a continuing legal education program with the Virginia Alternative Dispute Resolution Joint Committee on June 20, 2008, at the VSB annual meeting in Virginia Beach. The program, Solutions for the Future – Interest Based Negotiation, was presented by Dean John G. Douglass of the University of Richmond School of Law. The section owes thanks to Vice Chair Lawrence H. Hoover Jr. for coordinating this program.

The section cosponsored the annual Pro Bono and Access to Justice Conference with the VSB Special Committee on Access to Legal Services. The conference was held on May 22-23, 2008, at Washington and Lee University in Lexington. The program included talks and panels about the evolving role of clinical legal education, economic development partnerships, cultural literacy and document translations, and predatory lending and the housing crisis. ABA past president Robert J. Grey Jr. was the featured speaker at the Pro Bono Award Ceremony and Reception.

The section was pleased to see the successful result of its initiative on the third-year practice rule. The section, through the VSB, had asked the Supreme Court of Virginia to amend the third-year student practice rule, which required qualified law students to obtain written approval from a court or administrative tribunal ten days prior to appearing. The ten-day requirement was thought to be too restrictive. On October 26, 2007, the Supreme Court removed the ten-day restriction. This allows an eligible student to obtain written approval from a court or administrative tribunal at any time prior to the student’s appearance.

Judge Rossie D. Alston Jr. served as chair of the section’s nominating committee, with members who included Professor Margaret I. Bacigal, Sharon K. Eimer, Cynthia E. Hudson, Gregory T. St. Ours, and George A. Somerville.

The officers for 2008-09 are:
Henry L. Chambers Jr., chair
Lawrence H. Hoover Jr., vice chair
Anita O. Poston, secretary

New board members serving their first term are William E. Glover, Professor A. Benjamin Spencer, and Jeffrey M. Summers. Returning board members serving a second term are Judge G. Steven Agee, Judge Walter S. Felton Jr., and Anita O. Poston.

The section thanks its outgoing secretary, Associate Dean Winston S. Moore, for his service. Departing members of the board of governors are Judge J. Martin Bass, Associate Dean Winston S. Moore, and Professor Joan M. Shaughnessy. The section thanks them for their service.

 

Family Law

Craig E. White, chair

The Family Law Section continued its service to its members through continuing legal education, a newsletter, and a website.

In October 2007, our section partnered with Virginia CLE to present “Protective Orders, Jurisdictional Issues, and New Developments in Family Law plus Insights from the Bench.”  The continuing legal education program was presented in four locations throughout the commonwealth: Northern Virginia, Richmond, Hampton Roads, and Roanoke. In November 2007, the section sent Richard Crouch and Cheshire I’Anson Eveleigh to Florence, Italy, to present a family law program at the Virginia State Bar’s Midyear Legal Seminar. In April 2008, our section cosponsored with Virginia CLE the Twenty-fourth Annual Advanced Family Law Seminar: “The State of Spousal Support,” at the Jefferson Hotel in Richmond.

At the VSB Annual Meeting in June 2008, our section cosponsored with the Virginia Alternative Resolution Joint Committee a CLE workshop, “Collaborative Law with a Capital C: Lawyers As Healers of Conflict.” All of the programs were well attended and a tremendous amount of positive feedback was provided. One attorney who attended the Annual Advanced Family Law Seminar wrote on his evaluation form that it was the best CLE program he had seen in twenty-plus years.

This year the Family Law Section produced four quarterly issues of our newsletter, the Family Law News, edited by Richard Crouch. Each issue of the Family Law News contains well-written articles on family law topics and case summaries of noteworthy family law cases decided by the appellate courts during the quarter. Each section member receives a copy of the Family Law News.

Due largely to the efforts of board of governors member Mitchell D. Broudy and section liaison Madonna G. Dersch, our section website was greatly improved this year. Our section now has online digital forms for award nomination submissions, and we have begun using e-mail blasts to provide important information to our members in a timely and cost- effective manner. The website was also used to promote National Adoption Day.

This year we continued to fulfill our mission to help public understand their rights and obligations with respect to family, domestic relations, and juvenile law. This spring, with a grant from the Virginia Law Foundation, we had the popular pamphlet Children and Divorce translated into Spanish. We also collaborated with the Senior Lawyers Conference on the Senior Citizens Handbook and contributed material to provide family law information of interest to senior citizens. The section has received feedback that the frequently used video Spare the Child has become dated. Because the message in the Spare the Child presentation is so important, our section formed a subcommittee to update the video.

 

Litigation

R. Lee Livingston, chair

Membership: The Litigation Section had a membership of 3,021 for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2008.

CLE program: “The Law and Art of Persuasion: From Voir Dire to Closing Argument” was presented in Danville, on October 31, 2007, and orchestrated by Sandra T. Chinn-Gilstrap. The program was worth 3 continuing legal education credits.

2008 annual meeting workshop: “The Bermuda Triangle of New Litigation Pitfalls: Sanctions, Waivers & Pleadings.” Cosponsored with the Bench-Bar Relations Committee on June 20, 2008.

Midyear Legal Seminar: The Seminars Committee selected our proposal for presentation at the 2008 Midyear Legal Seminar to be held in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Speakers are R. Lee Livingston and L. Steven Emmert. “Benitez Bluffing and Bashing: Use and Misuse of Civil Sanctions in Light of New Guidance from the Virginia Supreme Court.” 3.0 MCLE credits, including 1 ethics credit.

Newsletter: The newsletter, except the first issue of 2007-08, was sent electronically.

Law in Society Award: Provided financial support required for the 2007-08 Law in Society Award essay competition for high school students in Virginia.

Appellate subcommittee: In October, L. Steven Emmert, chair, and the appellate subcommittee sponsored symposia for the Attorney General’s Office on preserving appellate error and related issues.

Fiscal 2009 officers:
Jennifer Lee Parrish, chair
Gregory J. Haley, chair-elect
Robert L. Garnier, secretary
Joseph M. Rainsburg, newsletter editor

New 2009 board members: Sandra T. Chinn-Gilstrap, William E. Glover, Timothy E. Kirner, and Hon. Elizabeth B. Lacy (judicial member)

 

Real Property

Jean D. Mumm, chair

The board of governors and representatives of the Real Property Section met four times during fiscal 2008 to discuss real property law and legislation, so as to provide notice to section members of legal issues and changes in statutes. Board meetings were held in Charlottesville on September 28, 2007, in Williamsburg on January 18, 2008, and February 22, 2008, and in Virginia Beach on June 20, 2008. Important issues were then brought to the attention of the section’s membership through the section’s semi-annual publication, the Fee Simple, and at section-supported seminars conducted by Virginia CLE.

In support of Virginia CLE, the section participated in the Twelfth Annual Advanced Real Estate Seminar in Williamsburg on February 22, 2008, and the Twenty-sixth Annual Real Estate Seminar at four locations around the commonwealth in May 2008. Both seminars were well-attended.

In conjunction with the VSB Trusts and Estates Section, the Real Property Section presented a panel discussion on June 20, 2008, during the VSB Annual Meeting, titled “Death and Dirt: Real Estate and Trust Attorneys Look at the Same Issues.”

During fiscal 2008, the section began to study the role of the section’s area representatives. Each of the section’s subcommittees was tasked with communicating with each of their members at least once during the year. Also, an eminent domain subcommittee was established.

Overall, the activities of the section seemed to be enthusiastically received by our membership. It is hoped that the goals of the section will continue to provide value to its members.

The officers for fiscal 2009 are:

Randy C. Howard, chair
Joseph M. Cochran, vice chair
Paul Bellegarde, secretary


Trusts and Estates

Victoria J. Roberson, immediate pat chair

The Trusts and Estates Section is one of the largest sections of the Virginia State Bar, with 1,518 members. Our anticipated budget for the fiscal year 2009 is $12,704.

The T&E Section presented two educational programs in fiscal 2008. In October 2007, the Twenty-sixth Annual T&E Section seminar took place in Roanoke, Norfolk, Richmond, and Fairfax, cosponsored by Virginia CLE. The topics included recent developments in federal and Virginia state law, planning using a second home, generation skipping transfer tax planning, funding the revocable trust, and ethics.

In June 2008, at the VSB Annual Meeting, the section copresented a program with the Real Property Section titled “Death and Dirt: Real Estate and Trust Attorneys Look at the Same Issues.” The panel’s speakers included Ronald D. Wiley Jr, J. Page Williams, Paul H. Melnick, Martha L. Sotelo, and John T. Midgett.

The section also implemented two new projects in fiscal 2008. First, our section website, http://www.vsb.org/site/sections/trustsandestates/, was created.

We also implemented a Virginia Law Student Writing Competition, open to part- or full-time students who attend a Virginia law school. Students wrote about a trust and estates topic of their choice. The Section sponsors a first prize of $1,000, second prize of $500, and third prize of $250. The first-place winner this year was a University of Richmond student, Katie Wallmeyer Payne, whose article was titled “Skirmish in Session: Revising the Definition of ‘Slayer’ in Virginia’s Slayer Statue.” Katie was awarded $1,000. Second and third places were not awarded.

The section published a Winter 2008 edition of Trusts and Estates Newsletter. Articles included “Protecting Inherited IRAs from the Claims of Beneficiary Creditors,” “The Effects of Marriage and Divorce on Existing Estate Plans,” and “Living with the Virginia Uniform Trust Code: Beyond Notice Issues.”

At the VSB Annual Meeting, John T. Midgett was elected chair; Julie A. King, vice chair; Neal P. Brodsky, secretary; Martha L. Sotelo, newsletter editor; and Southy E, Walton, assistant newsletter editor. New members, Southy E. Walton, of Reston, Virginia, and Helen “Missy” Blackwell, of Richmond, Virginia, were added to the Board.

 

 

REPORTS OF THE CONFERENCES

Local Bar Associations

William T. Wilson, 2008-09 chair

The Conference of Local Bar Associations (CLBA) had a great year in fiscal 2007-08 under the able leadership of Chair John Y. Richardson Jr.. The CLBA conducted a Solo & Small-Firm Practitioner Forum at the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond on May 1, 2008. We also had a Bar Leadership Institute on May 16, 2008, at George Mason University, where bar leaders from all over the state were told how best to run their bar associations. At the CLBA Annual Meeting and breakfast on June 20, 2008, Jeannie P. Dahnk was presented with the Local Bar Leader of the Year Award. Five Awards of Merit and eight Certificates of Achievement were presented to bar associations throughout the commonwealth for their accomplishments. John Richardson and the rest of the CLBA committee are to be commended.

Since I took over as chair of the CLBA, we have continued to be very active. On July 21, 2008, at Regent University School of Law in Virginia Beach, we presented a Solo & Small-Firm Practitioner Forum. We were privileged to have our Virginia State Bar president, Manuel A. Capsalis, there, as well as Karen A. Gould, our new VSB executive director. Many issues of interest to solo and small-firm practitioners were discussed, and at lunch we were privileged to hear from former Virginia governor Gerald L. Baliles, who talked about the responsibility of lawyers to be civic and political leaders. His speech was later sent out via the VSB E-News to members of the bar, and the text of his speech was printed in the December 2008 issue of Virginia Lawyer magazine. That afternoon, Virginia Chief Justice Leroy R. Hassell Sr. conducted one of his famous Town Hall Meetings with the lawyers.

At a recent meeting of the CLBA Executive Committee, it was agreed that we would sponsor a statewide program patterned after a program that was put on by the Alleghany-Bath-Highland Bar Association in Covington on May 29, 2008. The program was a panel discussion at Alleghany High School presented to juniors and seniors about the So You’re 18 handbook which was produced by the CLBA. The panel consisted of a general district court judge, the Alleghany-Bath-Highland Bar Association president, the sheriff of Alleghany County, a Covington City Police patrolman, a local defense attorney, and an Alleghany County assistant commonwealth’s attorney. I moderated the program. The success of that program led the CLBA to adopt it as a statewide program. A blueprint has been prepared that summarizes the steps taken by the Alleghany-Bath-Highland Bar in putting on the panel discussion. It will be sent to local bar associations throughout Virginia with a request that they put on similar programs. Copies of the blueprint may be obtained by contacting Paulette J. Davidson at (804) 775-0521 or davidson@vsb.org. The Alleghany-Bath-Highland Bar patterned its So You’re 18 panel discussion after its Senior Citizens Law Day program which it presented in May of 2004. When lawyers help senior citizens and young people their image is on the rise.

In addition to promoting So You’re 18 panel discussions the CLBA plans to continue producing the handbooks and hopes to develop a more effective and efficient plan for distributing the So You’re 18 handbooks. Approximately twenty-five thousand handbooks are circulated each year. Some juvenile and domestic relations courts distribute them at their driver’s licensing ceremonies. Schools use them as tools in the classrooms and also hand them out at social events. Social services departments, libraries, legal aid clinics, and other groups distribute them as well.

With regard to other programs for the fiscal year, the CLBA plans to continue with its Solo & Small-Firm Practitioner Forums and its Bar Leaders Institute programs. We will also continue to present awards to bar associations for exceptional projects and the Local Bar Leader of the Year Award to outstanding bar leaders when appropriate.

The CLBA is designed to help bar associations with their structures and programs. The VSB liaison is Paulette J. Davidson, who can be helpful with almost any bar association endeavor. Her telephone number is (804) 775-0521. If you have questions, please call Ms. Davidson or if she is not available, I will be glad to try to help. My telephone number is (540) 962-4986. If you have suggestions as to how the CLBA can better function, please let me know or write directly to Ms. Davidson at 707 East Main Street, Suite 1500, Richmond, Virginia 23219. We are always a work in progress, so helpful suggestions are welcome. I thank you for letting me serve as the CLBA chair.

 

Senior Lawyers

George W. Shanks, chair

Board of Governors meeting — April 22, 2008
The board of governors will meet on Tuesday, April 22, 2008, at the Farmington Country Club in Charlottesville.  The board has added members Bonnie L. Paul, Joseph W. “Rick” Richmond, and Robert T. Vaughan Jr.  James E. Leffler, executive director of Lawyers Helping Lawyers, will present a program during our meeting.

Annual Meeting
The Senior Lawyers Conference continuing legal education workshop will be presented on June 20, 2008, at the Virginia State Bar’s Seventieth Annual Meeting.  The workshop’s topic will be “When and How to Use Mediation in Cases Involving Elderly Clients:  Nursing Home Issues, Estate Settlement and Trust Disputes, Power of Attorney, Conservatorship, Guardian Matters, and More.”  The General Practice Section and the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee will jointly sponsor the workshop with us.  The panel members are Robert L. Harris Sr., William H. Oast III, and Edward E. Zetlin.  Frank O. Brown Jr. will be the moderator.     

Virginia Lawyer
The April 2008 edition of Virginia Lawyer magazine will feature the SLC.  Frank O. Brown Jr., Jack W. Burtch Jr., Manuel A. Capsalis, and Robert Walker have written articles, and George W. Shanks wrote the chair’s column.

Senior Lawyer News
The SLC’s Spring 2008 edition of the Senior Lawyers News will be mailed in May. Our newsletter editor, Frank O. Brown Jr., publishes an outstanding newsletter.  The newsletter receives approximately eight thousand downloads per year.

“Protecting Lawyers” programs
On April 2, 2008, Frank O. Brown Jr. presented the program “Protecting Lawyers’ and Clients’’ Interests in the Event of the Lawyers’ Disability, Death, or Other Disease” to the Fairfax Bar Association.  Frank has traveled throughout the state each year, presenting programs at various bar associations and legal groups.  The program has received excellent reviews and is worth two hours of CLE ethic credits.

Senior Citizens Handbook
The handbook is undergoing an extensive revision and should be completed before the close of FY 2008 in June.  The handbook is the centerpiece of the Senior Citizens Law Day programs as well as being the VSB’s most requested publication.

Senior Citizens Law Day Program
The SLC is working with the Senior Citizens Law Day Program chair of the Henrico County Bar Association on the program, which is cosponsored with J. Sargent Reynolds Community College on campus. The Northern Neck Bar Association in March presented programs in Lancaster, Richmond, and Northumberland Counties.  Miscellaneous information

  • The SLC has approximately thirteen thousand-plus members.
  • The public informational booklet Guardianship and Conservatorship Proceedings Regarding Incapacitated Adults, which the SLC prepared for the VSB, is the fourth-most-downloaded file from the bar’s website.

 

Young Lawyers Conference

Daniel L. Gray, president

Membership: Approximately 9,000

Budget (Fiscal 2008): Approximately $100,000 (including budget amendment authorized by Executive Committee in October 2007)

Officers for Fiscal 2008:
Jennifer L. McClellan, president
Lesley A. Pate, president-elect
Carson H. Sullivan, secretary

Activities in Fiscal 2007
Throughout the 2007-08 bar year, the Young Lawyers Conference completed the following sample projects, among others:

Minority Prelaw Conference: The YLC hosted the Minority Prelaw Conference, encouraging minority undergraduates to consider the legal profession as a career.  The YLC held two Prelaw Conferences.  The first conference took place at the George Mason University School of Law on February 22-23, 2008.  Two hundred twenty undergraduate students registered to attend.  The Southern Virginia Minority Prelaw Conference took place on April 4, 2008, at the Washington and Lee School of Law.

Domestic Violence Safety Project:
This committee conducted several CLE presentations on protective orders across the commonwealth, including in Virginia Beach on April 4, 2008, Rockingham County on May 1, 2008, Roanoke in June 2007, Winchester on November 15, 2007.  The CLE provided three free CLE credits to attorney attendees.

Immigrant Outreach Committee: This committee implemented a CLE on April 14, 2008 at the Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court regarding the immigration consequences of criminal convictions.  Over 120 attorneys attended the CLE, which was recorded and is now available on DVD.  It will also be podcast on the YLC website.  The CLE provided 6 CLE credits for attorney attendees.  This committee also addressed the mandatory meeting of juvenile and domestic relations district court and general district court judges in Virginia Beach on August 10, 2007, presenting on the impact of immigration issues on court functioning.

Emergency Legal Services: This committee revised the training manual available to attorneys assisting pro bono clients in natural disasters.  The committee helped coordinate a CLE attended by 62 participants volunteering to provide legal assistance in the aftermath of tornadoes in Suffolk, Virginia.

 

70th Annual Report - Part II

 

Updated: Jul 29, 2009