Senior Lawyers Conference
Homer C. Eliades, chair
The Virginia State Bar Senior Lawyers Conference is the largest VSB conference, with 13,473 members, all lawyers fifty-five years of age and older. Its accomplishments for the 2008–09 year include the following:
Program for planning practice closure
Newsletter editor and former chair Frank O. Brown Jr. presented “Protecting You and Your Clients’ Interest in the Event of Your Disability, Death, or Other Disaster” before lawyer groups throughout the commonwealth. The program has received excellent reviews and is worth two hours of continuing legal education ethic credits. Through these programs, the SLC provides education and encouragement to lawyers to properly plan for their own disability or death. More information is available through an online brochure at http://www.vsb.org/site/publications/planning-ahead.
Senior Citizens Handbook
The handbook underwent an extensive revision and redesign. Distribution of the updated edition of the handbook began April 1, 2009. It remains the VSB’s most sought-after publication. From April 1 through June 30, 2009, five thousand copies were distributed to nonprofits, the legal community, and the public, and the handbook is the centerpiece of Senior Citizens Law Day programs. It is available for download at http://www.vsb.org/site/publications/senior-citizens-handbook.
Senior Citizens Law Day program
Many local bar associations and civic organizations throughout the state continued to hold Senior Citizens Law Day programs through local bars, churches, and civic organizations. The programs are a prime example of the conference’s desire to achieve a core mission of the SLC: “To…promote the welfare of seniors generally.” Anyone is invited to schedule a program, or to order copies of the Senior Citizens Handbook, by calling (804) 775-0576.
Board of Governors meetings
The board of governors met five times during 2008-09. In September, December, February, and April, the board met in the Jefferson Room of Westminster-Canterbury of the Blue Ridge in Charlottesville. The June meeting took place in Virginia Beach at the VSB Annual Meeting, at which time the officers for the 2009–10 year were elected.
New officers include John G. Mizell Jr., chair; John H. Tate Jr., chair-elect; Robert L. Calhoun, first vice chair; F. Warren Haynie Jr., second vice chair; Samuel W. Meekins Jr., secretary; Judge Janine M. Saxe, treasurer; and Homer C. Eliades, immediate past chair. Judge Bonnie C. Davis’s and William H. Oast III’s terms expired on June 30, 2009.
The Senior Lawyers Conference, in conjunction with the Litigation Section and the Bench-Bar Relations Committee, presented a continuing legal education workshop on Friday, June 19, 2009, at the Virginia State Bar’s Seventy-first Annual Meeting. The workshop’s topic was “Stop Talking like a Lawyer: The Lost Art of Communication in Mediation, Negotiation, and Litigation” The General Practice Section and the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee sponsored the workshop with us. Retired judges Joanna L. Fitzpatrick and Diane M. Strickland and attorney Robert L. Garnier were panel members. Charles J. Zauzig III moderated the 1.5-credit CLE program. Additionally, the conference sponsored a breakfast in honor of lawyers who received certificates to commemorate their fiftieth anniversaries as VSB members. Approximately seventy persons were in attendance, including families and friends of the honorees.
The April 2009 edition of Virginia Lawyer magazine featured the SLC with articles written by Frank O. Brown Jr., Jack W. Burtch Jr., and William H. Ledbetter Jr.
Senior Lawyer News newsletter
The SLC’s Spring 2009 edition of the Senior Lawyers News mailed in June and was also available at the annual meeting. SLC newsletter editor Frank O. Brown Jr. publishes an outstanding newsletter, which receives approximately eight thousand downloads per year at http://www.vsb.org/site/conferences/slc/view/newsletters.
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.
The SLC website was updated this year. The revised website is now on the Virginia State Bar’s template for better integration into the site’s system and ease of use and navigation for bar members. All previous links have been automatically redirected to the new site: http://www.vsb.org/site/conferences/slc/.
I would like to thank the SLC Board of Governors for making this year a success. It has been a pleasure and honor to serve as chair.