News and Information
June 21, 2018

We Came, We Saw, We Mingled: 2018 Annual Meeting Recap

The 2018 Annual Meeting in Virginia Beach drew over 600 attendees and their families including three Supreme Court of Virginia justices, as well as members of the judiciary from all levels and lawyers from across the commonwealth. Unlike the previous two years, the meeting featured beautiful weather and sunny skies.

Leonard C. Heath Jr. of Newport News was inducted as the new VSB president and Marni E. Byrum of Alexandria became president-elect. Doris Henderson Causey of Richmond passed the baton to Heath at the Friday evening banquet where Heath told the crowd that lawyer well-being would be the focus of his year as president because, “To be a good lawyer, one has to be a healthy lawyer.”

Heath went on to quote Lawrence J. Fox, a former chair of the ABA ethics committee who said in 1999:

"Each of us is an officer of the court, each of us is licensed with power to start law suits, subpoena witnesses, opine regarding transactions, stand between our clients and the awesome power of the state. It is we who are charged with undertaking pro bono services, defending the independence of the judiciary, accepting court appointments, providing volunteer services for our bar associations, recommending discipline of our own, teaching continuing legal education courses, explaining our system to the public and working to improve the laws and legal institutions."

These powerful responsibilities, concluded Heath, require “good lawyers who are in good health.”

At the General Session, Heath reviewed council and Supreme Court of Virginia actions and emphasized the importance of all lawyers submitting comments on issues when comments are sought by the court or the VSB. Said Heath, “Every single comment is reviewed by members of council and ultimately the Supreme Court, and your comments can make the difference in deciding issues affecting law in the commonwealth.”

Meeting attendees were capable of acquiring up to eight CLE credits, and none was more popular than “Lawyer Feud” on Saturday which featured a game show style panel comprised of judges from around the state, including Justices Cleo E. Powell and S. Bernard Goodwyn of the Supreme Court of Virginia. Hosted by the Young Lawyers Conference (YLC), the game show featured the Honorable Rossie D. Alston Jr. as the host and teams from the Young Lawyers’ Conference, the Diversity Conference, and VSB past presidents. It is perhaps the only forum in the commonwealth where one judge would refer to another as Game of Thrones character “Khaleesi, with her twin dragons, Reversed and Remanded.”

Other fun was had during the 5k race, sponsored by the YLC and Virginia Lawyers Weekly, the David T. Stitt Memorial Volleyball Tournament, the Fore Diversity golf tournament, the opening reception and the banquet, sponsored by the McCammon Group. Check out the flickr album of photos here.

If you have suggestions or ideas for improving the Annual Meeting or would like to get involved, please contact Maureen Stengel at or 804-775-0517. We sincerely hope to see you next year in Virginia Beach!

            Captions (from top to bottom): 

  1. VSB President-elect Marni E. Byrum, 2018-19 President Leonard C. Heath Jr., and Immediate-past President Doris Henderson Causey.
  2. Attorney General Mark Herring (left) and Congressman Bobby Scott (right) attend the President’s Reception before the banquet. 
  3. Some of the many awards given out at the meeting included the Virginia Legal Aid Award and the Oliver Hill Law Student Pro Bono Award. From left to right, Priya Pidikiti, Legal Aid Award winner Dipti Pidikiti-Smith, student award winner Charu Kulkarni, Neeraja Kulkarni, Sulekha Kulkarni.
  4. The 5k Run in the Sun participants on their mark. 



2018 Annual Meeting

Updated: Jun 27, 2018