News and Information
September 26, 2020

Meet the President-Elect Candidates

Stephanie Grana and David Neumeyer are running for president-elect of the VSB. Please watch their introduction videos and read what they have to say. 
 

Candidate Videos

 

 

Stephanie E. Grana


https://www.stephaniegrana.com/

It is a sign of quarantine times that we have to “meet” like this.   

I am Stephanie Grana–double U of R Spider, proud Virginia lawyer for 27+ years, and partner with Breit Cantor Grana Buckner. Minus a brief stint at age nine when I aspired to be a veterinarian, I always wanted to be a lawyer. I developed a passion for oral argument while on my high school debate team in New York. I loved to argue a position, substantiate it with facts, and prove a point!

My husband, Scott Bemberis, also an attorney, and I have three incredible children–two in college and one high school junior at home . . . for now. My family is my greatest accomplishment and means the world to me, but being a lawyer is my calling. I love representing clients and embrace the role of counselor while supporting them through their legal journey. I am appreciative and humbled to have a significant role in my clients’ lives. I became a plaintiff following the tragic deaths of my father and brother in a plane crash. I know how it feels to be deposed and to face a jury. That made me more empathetic and, ultimately, a better lawyer. Receipt of awards and recognitions for my work reinforces that my career choice was spot-on!

My parents instilled the importance of service. I serve on the Community Brain Injury Services board, am President-Elect of the Commonwealth Community Trust board, lead our law firm’s “Boys/Girls in Blue” school outreach program, and volunteer for my children’s schools and sports teams. I am inspired by the words of Mic Jagger: “Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.” This is especially true in my bar service. My experience as President of VTLA, American Board of Trial Advocates–Virginia chapter, Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Inn of Court, and Metropolitan Richmond Women’s Bar Association will prove invaluable. I am a member of the Boyd-Graves Conference and was selected by the Virginia Supreme Court to serve on the Virginia Model Jury Instructions Committee and the “Working Group” to study expansion of the Court of Appeals. I am active with VTLA’s and AAJ’s Women Lawyers Caucus. Within the Virginia State Bar, I served on the Future of Law Practice Study Committee and the 3rd District Disciplinary Committee.  I currently serve on the VSB Executive Committee, Council for the 14th Circuit, the Budget & Finance Committee, and the Nominating Committee.

When VLW announced my VSB President-Elect candidacy in February 2020 (a lifetime ago, it seems), I was asked to share my platform. My answer: The VSB leadership and staff is impressive. I was not running to change the system, as I don’t plan to fix what is not broken.  Nevertheless, improvement should always be pursued. As a leader of other bar organizations, I learned the hard way that you cannot predict what challenges lie ahead. You must be prepared to pivot. Recent events demonstrate this lesson far too well.  My VSB goals include:

  • Promoting professionalism
  • Increasing diversity among VSB leadership and committees
  • Recognizing bias
  • Working with judges to enhance bench/bar relations
  • Continuing the work of prior presidents for improved access to justice
  • Encouraging wellness and mindfulness
  • Expanding outreach to better serve our members’ needs

I want to promote a communicative and engaging environment to foster heightened collaboration among all VSB attorneys. My receipt of the VADA-VTLA Civility/Professionalism Award proved that zealous representation is possible without compromising your ethics or sacrificing collegiality. I look forward to bringing that spirit to my continued work with the VSB.

I believe I am the right candidate for these times, and respectfully seek your vote!

Virginia State Bar (‘93):

Breit Cantor Grana Buckner, Partner

Executive Committee

Bar Council 14th Circuit Rep, 

Budget and Finance Committee

3rd District Disciplinary Committee

Study Committee on the Future of Law Practice

Committee on Women and Minorities

Other Bar Admissions and Activities:

Fourth Circuit

EDVA

VTLA: Past-President and member / Women’s Caucus

Metropolitan Richmond Women’s Bar Association Past-President

VA Model Jury Instructions Committee

Supreme Court of Virginia – Court of Appeals Study Committee

American Board of Trial Advocates Past-President

Boyd-Graves Conference Committee

Virginia Law Foundation Fellow

Lewis F. Powell American Inn of Court Past-President

John Marshall American Inn of Court Member

American Association for Justice (AAJ)

Greater Richmond Bar Foundation Member

Henrico County Bar Assn.

Richmond Bar Assn.

Chesterfield – Colonial Heights Bar Assn.

Community Brain Injury Services Board member

Brain Injury Association of Virginia (BIAV)

Commonwealth Community Trust: President-Elect and Board member

Education:

University of Richmond, BA

T.C. Williams School of Law, JD

Family:

Married to Scott Bemberis, Esq.

Mom to Nicole (20), Garrett, (19) and Dakota (16)

Adopted mom to Beau Grana, Morkie extraordinaire

 

David  B. Neumeyer


www.VaA2J.net

The mission of the Virginia State Bar is to protect the public, regulate the legal profession of Virginia, advance access to legal services, and assist in improving the legal profession and the judicial system. Because the bar staff does a very able job of protecting the public and regulating the profession, a principal role of the bar president is to help advance the second two goals of the mission: advancing access and improving the profession and system.

I am running for the office of president-elect because access to legal services, i.e. justice, does not exist for many Virginians; because access is declining for most rural residents as the number of rural lawyers declines; and because all bar members need to respond to the rapidly changing nature of law practice. Solutions exist for these challenges, and the bar president can help the bar identify and adopt solutions.

Why would I want to take on these challenges?  John F. Kennedy said, paraphrasing the Book of Luke: “For of those to whom much is given much is required.” I have devoted much of my life to public service, and I credit my mom for helping guide me to my calling.

My mom and her brother grew up poor, raised by a single mother who worked as a secretary. Mom did well in college, earning an Sc.B in chemistry in 1948, and she and my dad were fortunate to create a comfortable life for their three children. Mom always volunteered to help those less fortunate while I was growing up, and she pushed my sisters and me to volunteer as soon as we could be helpful to others.

I discovered my vocation as a legal aid attorney by working as an ACTION Community Volunteer, similar to a VISTA Volunteer, after college. I worked in a legal aid office, helping clients who faced utility shutoffs, negotiating with utility credit managers, and representing clients in hearings before the public utilities commission, and loved the work, my clients, and my colleagues. I went to law school to become a legal aid lawyer and returned to legal aid after law school as a Reginald Heber Smith Community Lawyer Fellow in the same office. I met my wife there, and after two and a half years, became a Minority Counsel on the U.S. Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources, working for Senator Claiborne Pell (D-R.I.)  Later in Washington I worked as lobbyist and litigator for public health and food program policy groups, returned to legal aid practice as a manager, and became executive director in my current legal aid program in Lynchburg in 1990. My legal aid work and community volunteer work have continued without pause since then. I ran for Bar Council because attorneys in my circuit never heard a word about the issues faced by Bar Council once we elected a new representative; I wanted to change that, and I did by communicating to my circuit in advance about the agenda of every upcoming Bar Council meeting during my two terms.

Please visit my website, VaA2J.net (short for Virginia Access to Justice) for more about the issues I described at the start of this piece. I ask that you share your comments and work with me to make justice accessible and real for our fellow citizens. Thank you for what you already do, and for what we can do together.

 I can be reached at davidn@vlas.org; or (434) 455 -3090.

Virginia State Bar (‘85):

Virginia Legal Aid Society, Executive Director

Carrico Professionalism Course Faculty

Bar Council 24th Circuit Rep

Committee on the Future of Law Practice

Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law

Diversity Conference

Other Bar Admissions and Activities:

Virginia Bar Association

VBA Pro Bono Council

VBA State of Pro Bono Report Editor

Old Dominion Bar Association

Access to Justice Commission of the Supreme Court of Virginia

Committee on Access by Self-Represented Litigants

Legal Services Corporation of Virginia Board of Directors

Education:

Brown University, A.B.  

University of Maine School of Law, J.D. 

Family:

Spouse: Mary Barney, Associate General Counsel, Genworth

Children: Benjamin Neumeyer, B.A., J.D.  Policy Manager for Data Privacy, Facebook Inc., San Francisco

Joy Neumeyer, B.A., Ph.D., E.U. Institute Fellow, Florence Italy

Rescue Terriers:  Annie, Portia, Esther, Mookie Betts

     

 

Updated October 22, 2020, to include videos.

Updated: Oct 26, 2020