Conference of Local Bar Associations

Mary M. Benzinger, Chair

The CLBA Executive Committee is proud to have completed another successful year.

The first Solo & Small-Firm Practitioner Forum of this year was held on Friday, March 20, 2015, at George Mason University’s Prince William campus. Justice LeRoy F. Millette Jr. led a Town Hall Meeting after lunch. The program offered five hours of CLE, including three hours of Ethics. Although we did see a little bit of snow that morning, approximately 300 attended this event.

The next Solo & Small-Firm Practitioner Forum was held on Friday, April 24, 2015, at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Williamsburg. Once again, Justice LeRoy F. Millette Jr. led the Town Hall Meeting. The agenda for this program mirrored that of the GMU-Prince William program. There were approximately 200 in attendance.

On Monday, May 18, 2015, the Danville Bar Association presented their first Solo & Small-Firm Practitioner Forum/Bench-Bar Conference at Averett University in Danville. The VSB Bench-Bar Committee and CLBA offered their assistance in the planning of the event. The Danville Bar handled all of the logistics. There were approximately 75 in attendance.

The CLBA hosted its third Solo & Small-Firm Practitioner Forum/Regional Bench-Bar Conference in Harrisonburg at James Madison University on June 12, 2015, in conjunction with the 16th, 24th, 25th and 26th Judicial Circuit Courts and bar associations. Once again, many thanks to David Harless for his vision to create these events and to the VSB Bench-Bar Relations Committee and local steering committee for their planning of the Bench-Bar portion of the program. A town hall meeting was led by Chief Justice Donald W. Lemons, who was joined by Judge Robert J. Humphreys of the Court of Appeals of Virginia. There were approximately 175 in attendance.

The local bars of the 28th, 29th, and 30th Judicial Circuits hosted their second Solo & Small-Firm Practitioner Forum/Bench-Bar Conference on Friday, June 26, 2015, at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center in Abingdon. All of the planning was handled by the local bars. A lunch with the judges was added to the agenda this year. Approximately 115 attended.

This year’s CLBA Annual Meeting and Breakfast took place on Friday, June 19, at 7:30 a.m. at the Sheraton Virginia Beach Oceanfront Hotel. As always, we had a great turnout. This year’s Local Bar Leader of the Year Award recipient was Thomas H. Miller, past president of the Roanoke Bar Association. The winner of this year’s Bar Association of the Year Award was The Prince William County Bar Association. There were six (6) Awards of Merit, two (2) for sustained projects, presented this year. The CLBA nominating committee report was read and approved unanimously.

The So You’re 18 handbook has been distributed to schools, J&DR Courts, departments of social services, juvenile detention centers, and other groups/organizations as requested. The CLBA Executive Committee is currently working on updates for the coming year.

We welcomed the Criminal Defense Bar Association of the 28th Circuit as a new member of the CLBA this year.

The CLBA continually seeks to improve its efforts to better serve the needs of Virginia's local, statewide and specialty bar associations, to identify best practices and inform bar leaders of developments and trends on issues of importance to association leadership.

We look forward to another successful year under the guidance of the new chair, Jack W. Burtch Jr.

Updated: Jul 22, 2015