Virginia State Bar

An agency of the Supreme Court of Virginia

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Family Law

A Section of the Virginia State Bar.



We extend an open invitation to not only join the section but also to consider how you may serve the profession by getting involved with the sub-committees within the Family Law Section. A brief description of each committee follows.

Awards Committee (formerly awards and nominations committee)

This Committee is chaired by the immediate Past Chair of the Section and shall include additional members.

Every year, the Board presents the Betty A. Thompson Lifetime Achievement Award to a Section member. Board may also present on an annual basis the Service Award to an individual or an organization. The Awards Committee oversees the awards process and recommends candidates to the Board of Governors for voting at the February meeting.

Committee Chair: Susan Butler
Members: Rich Orsino, Craig Sampson, Debra Powers, Melanie Peters, Pat Maurer

Nominating Committee (formerly awards and nominations committee)

This Committee is comprised of at least five active Section members, with no more than two Board members. The protocol is for the Committee to be comprised of the Vice-Chair, the Secretary, and the three previous Chairs.

Committee Chair: Pat Maurer
Members: Bob Henley, Susan Butler, Mary Commander, Larry Vance

The Nominating Committee shall submit at the Bar’s annual meeting nominations for any Board vacancies. Voting for new Board members shall be by the attending Section members by viva voce.

Educational Resources for the Public (previously called Communications Committee)

This Committee shall include at least three members.

Committee Chair: Bes Maiden
Members:  Debra Powers, Scott Darnell, Judge Bondurant, Judge Bryan

This committee advances the Section’s goals and objectives by providing appropriate and relevant information to the public. This is done by the production and distribution of well researched, well written, and easily understandable booklets and the production of the Spare the Child video. This committee should periodically consider its offerings and how those offerings are distributed.

CLE Committee

Each year the new Board members join this Committee for a two-year stint.

Members: Regina Amick, Carole Krogmann, Debra Powers, and Craig Sampson

This committee works hard all year to produce and present high quality continuing legal education seminars throughout the Commonwealth. The CLEs sponsored by this Section attract high profile speakers and are some of the most well attended in the state. This committee is responsible for the Advanced Family Law Seminar in April, the Annual Meeting proposal and Seminar (which is optional), and the Fall Family Law Seminar.

Courts Committee 

This committee is comprised of the judicial members from the Court of Appeals, Circuit Court and Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court.

Members: Judge Wes Russell, Judge Elliott Bondurant, Judge Debbie Bryan

The members of this committee are the liaison between the Board and each of the Courts where family law is practiced. They provide information on current trends and programs affecting those Courts.

Coalition Liaison Committee (formerly called Current Issues Committee)

This committee is chaired by the current liaison to the Family Law Coalition and consists of other Board members who also are on the Coalition.

Committee Chair: Steve Raynor
Members: Susan Butler, Brian Hirsch, Craig Sampson

This committee keeps the Board apprised of recent developments regarding Virginia family law legislation.

Law School Committee 

This committee is chaired by the Board Law School Liaison.

Committee Chair: Lynn Kohm
Member: Carole Krogmann

This committee serves as an intermediary between the Board and Virginia law schools to better serve Section members, students, the general public and the legal profession. The committee solicits students for the Legal Research Guild, coordinates research projects, and presents the Annual Family Law Award for the Outstanding Graduate at each of the law schools in Virginia.

Publications Committee

Committee Chair:  Brian Hirsch, Editor
Spare the Child Subcommittee:  Lynne Kohm

Editor Brian Hirsch solicits, compiles and edits good and useful articles to create the Virginia Family Law Quarterly which contains practical and informative instruction, guidance and insight for our Section members.

An Index for the Quarterly is also maintained. The electronic version of the Index on the Section’s website is updated regularly and emailed to the membership. A paper copy of the Index may be periodically mailed to the membership.

Website Committee

Committee Chair: Steve Raynor
Member: Debra Powers, Regina Amick

The website committee is responsible for maintaining, updating and improving the Section’s website. The website is one of the primary ways in which the Board communicates with and makes information available to Section members, Virginia family law attorneys, and members of the public interested in family law issues.

The website contains Section news and a calendar of upcoming events, family law court forms, and other information of interest to practitioners and members of the public. The Virginia Family Law Quarterly is available to Section Members.