Special Committee on Technology and the Practice of Law

Sharon D. Nelson, chair

The Special Committee on Technology and the Practice of Law is made up of lawyers with expertise and interest in legal technology. The committee works to educate and advise the bar and the public in areas where law and technology intersect.

It maintains and updates a website (https://www.vsb.org/committees/special/tech/index.htm) that includes its meeting minutes and articles that are published by members in Virginia Lawyer magazine. The committee shared responsibility for writing the articles.

The committee developed and sent to bar members a survey to help the bar understand how technology is used by lawyers and to aid in formulating recommendations to members about minimum technology skills. A report of the results was also sent to the membership.

The committee discussed and reaffirmed its mission statement at the request of Virginia State Bar President Manual A. Capsalis.

Members of the committee sent a letter to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia opposing the Court’s instructions to the VSB in early 2008 to discontinue website postings of public disciplinary information about individual lawyers until the Court issues a mandate or order or until the appeal time has expired. In February 2009, the Court authorized the bar to resume its practice of posting public information when a probable cause determination has been made.

At the June 2009 annual meeting, the committee presented a continuing legal education program in two parts: “The Legality and Practicality of Remote Witness Testimony” by Frederic I. Lederer and “The Admissibility and Authentication of Electronic Evidence” by Judge Leslie D. Alden, Sharon D. Nelson and John W. Simek.

Members of the committee in 2008-09 were: Sharon R. Nelson, chair; Blackwell N. Shelley, Jr., vice chair; Elizabeth K. Barnes; James E. Bowman II; F. Hayden Codding; Alan S. Goldberg; Gail K. Gordon; Professor Fredric I. Lederer; Olivier D. Long; John L. Lumpkins; and Walton E. Lupton. VSB Ethics Counsel James M. McCauley sat on the committee ex officio, and Rodney A. Coggin served as the VSB liaison.

Officers for fiscal 2010 will be Blackwell N. Shelley Jr., chair, and Alan S. Goldberg, vice chair.


Updated: May 20, 2010