Senior Lawyers Conference

John H. Tate Jr., chair

The membership of the Senior Lawyers Conference is generated by automatic membership of all attorneys in the Virginia State Bar who reach the age of fifty-five. In April, 2011, there were 14,931 registered members of the conference. No dues are required to participate in the activities of the conference.

The budget for fiscal 2010-11 totaled $25,000. Budgeted expenses include reimbursements for volunteer expenses and mileage, printing of the Senior Citizens Handbook, hosting a continuing legal education program at the VSB Annual Meeting, and awarding of fifty-year certificates to members of the VSB.

At the annual meeting, the conference cosponsored with the General Practice Section a two-part program for CLE credit, titled “The Devil Wore Green: Basics of Attorney Trust Accounts,” about the pitfalls of sloppy trust accounting by lawyers, and “Making Sense of the Numbers in Accounting and Finance: An Accounting and Finance Primer for Attorneys.” This part of the program was presented by a certified public accounting firm from Richmond.

Frank Overton Brown Jr. of Richmond served as the editor of the webpage for the Senior Lawyers Conference and has been a very active member of the conference. The webpage posts many publications of the conference, including the Senior Citizens Handbook. Our State Bar liaison, Paulette J. Davidson, kept the membership up-to-date by electronic means, and the attendance at our normal meetings, usually held in Charlottesville, was excellent.

During this year, the conference’s Senior Law Day Programs were very successful. At these programs, members of the conference distributed the Senior Citizens Handbook to the participants and lunch was provided. There were well-attended programs in several areas of the commonwealth, including Charlottesville; Leesburg; Harrisonburg; the Northern Neck; the Allegany, Bath, and Highland Counties area; and Smyth County.  In the final two programs of the year, more than 200 seniors attended the Allegany-Bath-Highland program and around 150 were in attendance at the Smyth County program.

The conference initiated an environmental green program for Virginia. With donations, and the help of the Virginia Department of Forestry, the conference members, and other volunteers, initiated a tree-planting program that resulted in more than 2,600 seedlings being distributed across Virginia for planting by other volunteers.

The planting effort began in the Shenandoah Valley, from Leesburg to Norfolk, the Richmond and Charlottesville areas, and as far west as Covington and Marion. There were many participants in addition to members of the conference, and everyone was very supportive of this project. Those who participated were pleased with the effort and the results of our program to help the environment by planting more trees across Virginia.

Officers elected for 2011-12 are Robert L. Calhoun of Alexandria, chair; F. Warren Haynie Jr. of Lottsburg, chair-elect; Edwin A. Bischoff of Richmond, secretary; and Renae R. Patrick of Winchester, treasurer.  Stephanie G. Blanton became the new liaison to the conference on July 1, 2011. Updated: Jul 26, 2011