Virginia State Bar

An agency of the Supreme Court of Virginia

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Military Law

A Section of the Virginia State Bar.

Military Law Newsletter - Spring 2012

Military Law News

In this issue:


Message from the Chair

In his inaugural address, President John F. Kennedy set the tone for his administration by stating: “Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” We in the Military Law Section are keenly aware that it is our servicemember clients and their families who are often called upon to make the sacrifices our country needs to ensure the preservation of liberty the president promised. It is our privilege to serve those who serve.

It has been a busy year for our section. Thanks to effective collaboration with other organizations, we were able to triple our usual CLE offerings. On 14 October 2011, we co-sponsored a 3 hour phone CLE with the Family Law Section on issues where military and family laws overlap. Then on 15 March 2012 we worked with the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Legal Assistance for Military Personnel (LAMP) to provide a 6 hour CLE that featured extensive consumer law briefs, family law issues with the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, military boards, and avoiding ethics complaints. At 159 registered attendees, this was most likely the largest such event in our history. Additionally, we co-hosted an icebreaker with LAMP and the Judge Advocate’s Foundation the evening before that was attended by many of the senior leaders of the service JAG corps. We are extremely grateful to the George Mason School of Law for hosting both events.

Increasing our membership has been a major focus of this year. We changed our admission policy to allow attorneys in their first year of practice and active duty Judge Advocates in their first five years of practice to join our section at no cost. Thanks to this change, along with our increased CLE credits (which are free for section members) and other initiatives, our ranks have grown by about 20% this year. We look forward to the fresh perspective our new members will provide.

Finally, I would like to thank our bar liaison, Dolly Shaffner, for her constant dedication and support. It is Dolly’s knowledge of the inner workings of the Bar that allows us to accomplish much of what we do.

Christopher Dunne
Chairman, Virginia State Bar Military Law Section