Litigation Section

Jennifer Lee Parrish, chair

Number of Members: 2,858

Budget Allotment: $38,205

Special activities, significant issues and CLE programs:

Midyear Legal Seminar

In November 2008, the Litigation Section sent two of its members, R. Lee Livingston and L. Steven Emmert, to the Virginia State Bar’s Midyear Legal Conference in Puerto Rico, where they presented “The Bermuda Triangle of New Litigation Pitfalls: Sanctions, Waivers, and Pleadings.” The section was chosen this present another Midyear seminar, in November 2009 in Marbella, Spain, on “Winning Discovery Strategies.”


Under the direction of our new Newsletter Editor, Joseph M. Rainsbury of Roanoke, the section published three issues of the Litigation News, made up primarily of articles written by our board members.

In February 2009, the Litigation Section provided articles for publication in Virginia Lawyer magazine.

Five-year strategic plan

In April 2009, the Litigation Section completed its five-year strategic plan. The long-range planning committee was headed up by Gregory J. Haley, vice chair of the section.

Bylaws amendments

The Litigation Section amended its bylaws this year. Major changes were creating a position of treasurer, separate from the secretary’s position, and changing of the appellate practice subcommittee to a committee.

Law in Society Award contest

In conjunction with the Virginia State Bar Publications Department, and with invaluable assistance from Rodney A. Coggin, we had another successful year with this high school essay contest. We received 113 entries from twenty-two high schools across the state. The grand prize winner and his family attended the annual meeting in June 2009 and received his prize at the conclusion of the section’s CLE presentation.

Annual meeting workshop

At the VSB Annual Meeting in June 2009, the Litigation Section, led by its secretary, Robert L. Garnier, put on an outstanding seminar, “Stop Talking Like a Lawyer: The Lost Art of Communication.”

Appellate practice committee

After numerous years of diligent service from Steve Emmert, we appointed Monica T. Monday of Roanoke as chair of the appellate practice committee, Under Mr. Emmert’s leadership, the committee put on an appellate symposium for which participants were awarded four hours of CLE credits.

Officers and new members for 2009-10

New members of the board of governors are:

  • Gary A. Bryant, elected to a second three-year term
  • Mark D. Stiles, elected to a three-year term.
  • U.S. Magistrate Judge B. Waugh Crigler, elected to a three-year term.


  • Gregory J. Haley, chair
  • Robert L. Garnier, vice chair
  • Scott C. Ford, secretary
  • Gary A. Bryant, treasurer
Updated: Aug 27, 2009