Senior Lawyers Conference

Robert T. Vaughan, Jr. Chair

            As of June 1, 2016, the Senior Lawyers Conference had 18,914 members.  All members of the Virginia State Bar (VSB), in good standing, and who have reached the age of fifty five are automatically members of the Senior Lawyers Conference. 

            Officers of the Conference’s Board of Governors for the year 2015-2016 were Robert T. Vaughan, Jr., chair; Bruce Robinson, chair elect; Robert E. Hawthorne, secretary; Carrollyn C. Cox, treasurer and Renae Reed Patrick, immediate past chair.

            The budget for the Conference for the year 2015 and 2016 was $25,000.00.   The funds were used primarily to maintain and publish the Senior Citizens Handbook, sponsor the brunch held at the annual meeting of the VSB to honor members of the Virginia State Bar who have been members of the VSB for over fifty years, and to pay the general expenses of the Conference, including reimbursement of members of the Conference’s Board Governors for travel and related expenses for attendance at conference meetings

The Conference’s Board of Governors meets five times each year. Four meetings are regularly held on the second Tuesday of the months of September, December, February and April.  Four meetings take place at Westminster-Canterbury in Charlottesville, Virginia or at the Virginia State Bar offices in Richmond, Virginia as scheduling allows.  A fifth meeting is held at the annual meeting of the Virginia State Bar in June at Virginia Beach. 

            A brief summary of the programs and activities sponsored or supported by the Conference during the 2015-2016 fiscal year are as follows:

Each year at the annual meeting of the Virginia State Bar at Virginia Beach, the Senior Lawyers Conference sponsors a brunch and recognizes members of the Virginia State Bar who have reached their fiftieth year of membership during the preceding year.  One hundred ninety-nine members of the Virginia State Bar were be recognized, on Saturday, June 18, 2016, at the annual meeting.  Approximately thirty members, with their families and friends, attended the ceremony at the annual meeting of the VSB. 

The Senior Lawyers Conference maintains and publishes the Senior Citizens Handbook.  The latest edition was published in 2013.  Over 12,000 copies of the latest edition have been distributed.  An additional 10,000 copies of the Senior Citizens Handbook were printed for distribution in February 2015.  From that printing 5,400 copies of the Senior Citizens Handbook remained as of April 19, 2016. The publication is distributed free of charge in most cases, and is available online.

The Senior Citizens Law Day program continues to benefit the senior citizens of Virginia.  Each board member of the Senior Lawyers Conference is requested to contact local bar associations in their geographic areas to encourage them to sponsor Senior Law Day programs.  The Conference has developed a template with instructions for presenting these programs. While the format is flexible, the programs are geared to matters of general interest to senior citizens, and last half a day in most cases.  A copy of the Senior Citizen Handbook is given to each person who attends.

Frank Brown has developed a program titled “Protecting Your Annual Client’s Interests in the Event of Your Disability, Death, or Other Disaster”, which he presents around the state to members of the Bar, free of charge, when requested.  Although the program is entirely Frank Brown’s work, he presents it in connection with the Senior Lawyers Conference.  Since February 2016, Frank presented the program four times at various locations around the state from the Eastern Shore to Abington.    The program is pre-approved by Virginia MCLE and is presented as a one, a one and one-half hour, or a two hour program with full ethics credit. In addition, to assist lawyers with their planning, Frank Brown posts on the Senior Lawyers Conference website the following documents: Durable Special Power of Attorney Regarding Law Practice; Agreement Regarding Law Practice; Last Will and Testament Provisions with appropriate powers to the Executor; and a Checklist for Closing a Law Practice.

The Senior Lawyers Conference recognizes the importance of the availability of legal services to those who cannot afford them.  Members of the Conference are encouraged to provide legal services pro bono, and to serve as mentors for younger lawyers. 

Each year, a member of the Conference’s Board of Governors serves as the Senior Lawyers Conference liaison with the Litigation Section of the Virginia State Bar and reports to the Conference matters of common interest between the sections.  Alex Slaughter served as liaison during the year 2015-2016.

The April 2017 issue of The Virginia Lawyer will be dedicated to matters of interest primarily to senior lawyers.  Frank Brown will assist in obtaining articles and coordinate the publication of the issue.

The Conference sponsors “Trees for Virginia”.  The freeze on solicitation and receipt of donations pursuant to the Appropriations Act imposed in November 2015, slowed down the acceptance and delivery of orders for 2016.  However, the freeze was lifted in sufficient time for the Conference to deliver approximately 1200 trees in March of 2016.  The Conference plans to sponsor the program again in 2017.

            The Board of Governors of the Conference thanks Stephanie Blanton of the VSB staff for her continuing assistance and support of the Senior Lawyers Conference.

Updated: Aug 04, 2016