Special Committee on Communications

Elizabeth M. Allen, chair

The Special Committee on Communications sought and gained a significant increase in prize monies from the Virginia State Bar Litigation Section for winners of its Law in Society Award competition, and established a liaison position with the section to better coordinate and promote the essay competition.
The Communications Committee reviewed summary reports by bar staff regarding outreach to public schools, private schools, and homeschoolers for the purpose of soliciting entries in the essay competition for 2011. More than fifty schools participated in the competition, which featured a hypothetical related to a proposed mosque near the Pentagon. Committee volunteers signed up to judge the essays.

After the committee’s drafting of a social media policy for the bar, and subsequent approval of it by the VSB Executive Committee and Council, the Communications Committee reviewed two section objections to the policy’s limitations on interactive communication among their members.  The Communications Committee discussed reasons for not modifying such restrictions, including the lack of bar staff to moderate and monitor such sites, the risk of inappropriate postings to forums under the VSB name, and the availability of other practice groups that have interactive electronic discussion groups. 

The Communication Committee reviewed a proposed publication by the VSB Real Property Section and asked that the section redraft the document and resubmit. The Communications Committee also reviewed a request for proposals by the VSB Litigation Section for editing of a model trial notebook.

It was the sense of the committee to support a bar staff proposal to include a requirement that sections, standing committees, special committees, and special boards write and submit annual reports to the bar before its annual meeting.

Members of the committee were Chair Elizabeth Morrell Allen, Vice Chair Elizabeth Armistead Andrews, Alfred William Bates III, Kristan Boyd Burch, Mary Louise Costello Daniel, Robert Leonard Flax, Robert Cameron Hagan Jr., David Alan Hirsch, Alexander Nicholas Levay Jr., Barrett Erskine Pope, Terry William Raney, and Robert Michael Tyler.

Rodney A. Coggin was liaison to the committee.

Updated: Jul 26, 2011