News and Information
June 28, 2011

W. David Harless of Richmond Is President-elect of Virginia State Bar


HarlessWarren David Harless of the Richmond firm Christian & Barton LLP is the Virginia State Bar’s new president-elect. He will serve for a year, then succeed George Warren Shanks for the 2012-13 term as president of the agency that regulates and supports 45,000 Virginia lawyers.

Harless, 55, took the office June 17 during the VSB’s annual meeting in Virginia Beach.

A native of Jonesville in Lee County, Harless earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Kentucky and a law degree from the University of Virginia. He served a clerkship for U.S. District Judge Glen M. Williams, now retired, of the Western District of Virginia before joining Christian & Barton.

He is a partner in the firm’s litigation department, is head of the firm’s employment practice group, and serves on the firm’s executive committee. He has authored or co-written numerous publications and continuing legal education materials within his practice areas of expertise, and serves frequently as a speaker at continuing education seminars within the profession. He has been a faculty member of the VSB’s Mandatory Professionalism Course and the panel that trains the faculty. He also has taught in the National Trial Advocacy College at the University of Virginia.

Harless currently is on the Virginia State Bar Council and Executive Committee. He has also chaired the Bench-Bar Relations Committee, serves as a member of the Budget and Finance Committee, and served on the task force that established the Diversity Conference.

He is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the Virginia Law Foundation and a member of the Lewis F. Powell Jr. American Inn of Court, the Virginia Bar Association and its Boyd-Graves Conference, the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, and the Bar Association of the City of Richmond, for which he served as its president in 1999-2000.

Harless’s father, Warren Yokely Harless, was a Virginia state trooper who was killed in the line of duty in 1968. From 1992 until 2006, David Harless was a director of the Virginia Public Safety Foundation, which provides financial assistance and scholarships to families of Virginia public safety officers killed in the line of duty. He was president of the foundation in 1997-98, and the foundation recognized him for distinguished service in 2001. He is a former member and chair of the Commonwealth Public Safety Medal of Valor Review Board, and he has served on the Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America Heart of Virginia Council.

Harless is married to the former Deborah Ann Young of Richmond. Between them they have five children ranging in age from 13 to 26.

Updated: Jun 28, 2011