One-day seminar where newer attorneys learn the practical information needed to practice defense law. Sessions taught by experienced members of the defense bar. Different agenda than 2018 so plan to attend again.
Free one-year VADA membership for 2020 is available with registration. No membership bill sent until January 2021.
Cancellations accepted through November 22, minus a $25 administrative fee. No refunds after November 22, but substitutions accepted at any time.
8:55-9:00 Opening Remarks
9:00-10:00 Ethical Issues in a Civil Defense Practice Speaker TBD
This session will give an overview of the tripartite relationship between defense counsel, insured and insurer; a consideration of conflict issues arising from the dual representation of the insured and insurer; defending a case in which the ad damnum does not exceed the amount of coverage; defending a case in which the ad damnum exceeds the amount of coverage; defending under a reservation of rights; how the excess carrier and reinsurer affect the tripartite relationship; and, issues faced in settlement. The session will end with a discussion of hypothetical ethical situations and possible strategies and resolutions.
10:00-11:00 The Survivor's Guide to Expert Witnesses John E. Peterson, Jr., Piedmont Liability Trust
This session will define a testifying expert witness, identify when an expert is needed, explore what type of litigation may benefit from the use of expert, define in what ways an expert witness can help, share how to go about identifying the best expert for your case and finish with a discussion on how best to work with your expert.
11:15-12:00 Navigating Your Way through Virginia General District and Circuit Courts and other Practical Tips in Civil Litigation
Melissa H. Katz, Bancroft McGavin Horvath & Judkins
This topic is designed to educate a new attorney about handling new cases in either general district and circuit court to include verification of jurisdictional basis, service, venue; noticing your appearance; what to do if case filed improperly against corporate client in small claims court; how to check service of process; what to expect and how to prepare for the first return in general district court; what to do at the first return in general district court; handling motions in general district court; what to expect and how to prepare for first trial in general district court; how to appeal a general district court case; taking the case to circuit court; addressing whether ad damnum can be amended; use of evidence presented in general district court in the circuit court case; preparation for appearance in circuit court; how to set the trial date; motions practice in circuit court; how to obtain jury pool information; jury size in circuit court if case appealed; how to determine the procedures of the jurisdiction where your case is pending; available resources to assist in navigation
11:30 Mediation in Civil Litigation
The Honorable Robert S. Brewbaker, Jr. (Ret.), The McCammon Group
This session will explore when and why to choose mediation along with the ethical underpinnings. We will provide a definition of mediation, explain the stages of mediation and benefits of mediation. Next, we will explore principles such as collaborating with your client, collaborating with the other side, negotiation as a required skill and evaluative techniques.
12:50 Written Discovery
Taylor Brewer, Moran Reeves Conn
This session will explore the purpose of discovery, the general provisions of discovery, and what to do about claims or privilege and protective orders. Next, we will explain the obligations of counsel, discovery tactics and timing, how to create a discovery plan and what should be in it along with the methods of obtaining the information. Finally, the speaker will explain what to do when you don’t receive discovery, how to handle follow-up and supplemental responses and how to coordinate pre-trial scheduling orders.
1:40 Insurance Coverage in Automobile Cases
The scope of this presentation focuses on liability, uninsured and underinsured motorist provisions of the automobile liability policies, including voluntary, assigned risk, and certified policies as well as personal and commercial policies. It will explore statutory regulation of auto policies and which vehicles are covered, the persons insured and covered risks. We will discuss the amount owed under the liability policies, primary and excess liability coverage, duties of insured to defend, policy defenses and non-waiver agreements, exclusions, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage and cancellation of policies.
2:50 Judicial Advice for New Lawyers-Panel Discussion Judges TBD
Moderator: Melissa H. Katz, Bancroft McGavin Horvath & Judkins, VADA President
The judges will explain pre-trial matters such as scheduling orders, pre-trial motions, discovery issues and pre-trial conference and settlement conferences. Next, they will discuss brief writing, including filing deadlines and suggestions for formatting. Then, they will discuss parts of trial including voir dire, opening statements, direct and cross, motions to strike, jury instructions and closing. Finally, they will explore post-trial motions, miscellaneous trial issues and offer specific tips for young lawyers.