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Any questions about these meetings can be directed to Amy Gilbody, Director of Meetings, at agilbody@vada.org.

Upcoming events

    • 12 Oct 2022
    • 6:00 PM
    • 14 Oct 2022
    • 1:00 PM
    • Hotel Roanoke

    Don't miss out on three days of learning and networking with fellow civil defense attorneys.  Additional optional activities include:

    DINE AROUNDS: Join your colleagues Wednesday night for a fun Dutch-treat dinner after the Welcome Reception and enjoy networking with colleagues at your restaurant of choice. Click here to sign up. Don't forget to make reservations for your Thursday dinner as well. 

    WOMEN'S SECTION DINNER: Our Women’s Section will be hosting an optional dinner at Billy's on Thursday after the networking reception. This dinner will offer an informal setting to discuss issues women attorneys confront in our practices.  The fee for the dinner is $25 and includes a meal of your choice from a limited menu, and two drink tickets.  You can add this option to your online registration form before September 23

    COMMUNITY SERVICE: With the autumn and winter chill just a few months away, many students lack the clothing they need to stay warm this cold weather season.  In addition to its effect on overall wellness, this lack of appropriate winter gear can have a detrimental effect on students’ self-confidence, attendance, and performance.

    From now until October 14, we are collecting new and gently used winter coats, children through teen.  Cash donations, too, are both welcome and appreciated!  All coats and funds collected benefit the students of Roanoke City Public Schools.  We will collect all coats and cash donations at the Annual Meeting. See all the details on this printable flyer.

    If you will not be making the trip to Roanoke, or if you would rather deliver your donation ahead of time, please contact our Executive Director, Sherma Mather, at (804) 649-1002 or smather@vada.org.  Monetary donations may be made by cash or check.  Please make all checks payable to “Roanoke City Public Schools” and include “VADA Winter Coat Drive” on the memo lineOn behalf of the Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys, we thank you for your generosity and your support!

    WELLNESS CHALLENGE: Annual Meeting registrants, as well as members not attending, were invited to Join our VADA Wellness Challenge. The challenge runs from September 10 - October 7 and is sponsored by VADA's Wellness Committee. The Leaderboard Challenge will track the greatest number of steps over the challenge and the Streak Challenge will track the greatest number of days a participant reaches 7,500 steps. We have exciting prizes for both Leaderboard & Streak Challenge winners:

    1st Place - Apple Air Pods Pros2nd Place - $120 Hello Fresh Gift Card
    3rd Place - $50 Nike gift card

    Winners must also complete all daily wellness challenges to qualify for the prizes. In the event of a tie, a winner will be randomly picked from those qualified. Challenge winners will be announced at the Annual Meeting.

    Planning Committee

    Chair, Lindsay Rollins, The Progressive Group, Richmond

    Jacob Adams, McGavin Boyce Bardot Thorsen & Katz, Fairfax

    Kathryn Bonorchis, Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, Baltimore

    Sophia Brasseux, Moran Reeves & Conn, Richmond

    Taylor Brewer, Moran Reeves & Conn, Richmond

    William Fussy, Gentry Locke, Roanoke

    Gerald L. Harris, Office of the City Attorney of Virginia Beach, Virginia Beach, (Wellness Committee Liaison)

    Rachel Horvath, Smith Bain Manuel & Horvath, Charlottesville (Women’s Section Liaison)

    Drake Hudgins, Hudgins Law Firm, Alexandria

    Sarah Jessee, Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, Roanoke

    Karissa Kaseorg, Sands Anderson, Richmond

    Sarah Knarzer, McCandlish Holton, Richmond

    Laura Lee Miller, Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman, Richmond

    Victoria Pretlow, Byrne Canaan Law, Richmond

    Brittany Shipley, TimberlakeSmith, Staunton

    Vivek Subramanyam, McGavin Boyce Bardot Thorsen & Katz, Fairfax

    Lindsey Sweetgall-Brock, MGC Law, Richmond

    Hotel Information

    Our discounted room block at the Hotel Roanoke has expired, but you may still be able to book directly with the hotel at current room rates.  


    The registration fee is $475 and includes all CLEs, meals and receptions. New members joining VADA will have their first-year membership fee waived for 2023.  First membership bill will be sent January 2024.

    Guest registration fee of $125 includes Wednesday and Thursday receptions.  For guest ticket information for Thursday's Awards lunch, please contact Amy Gilbody at agilbody@vada.org. 

    Cancellations accepted until 9/30, minus a $25 processing fee.  No refunds after 9/30, but substitutions welcome anytime. Email Amy Gilbody at agilbody@vada.org for further information.



    Requesting 9.0 CLE HRS (2.0 Ethics)

    Wednesday, October 12

    5:30 PM                   New Members' Reception (By invitation only)

    6:00 PM                   President’s Welcome Reception
                                     Sponsored by Metadata

    7:30 PM                   Dine Arounds

    9:30 PM                   VADA “Late Night”

                                           Sponsored by Beacon Forensic and MW Forensic Engineering

    Thursday, October 13

    6:30 AM                   Wellness Committee Walk and Run

    8:00 AM                   Registration & Buffet Breakfast
    Sponsored by Broughton Associates

    8:00 AM                   Past Presidents’ Breakfast

    8:55 AM                   Welcome & General Session

    9:00– 10:00 AM       The Future of the Defense Bar: Growing the Next Generation of Defense Attorneys (1.0 HR)               

    Martin Conn, Moran Reeves & Conn

    10:00-11:00 AM          A Plaintiffs’ Attorneys’ Guide to an Effective Defense (1.0 HR)

    Tom Curcio, Curcio Law
    Lauren Ellerman, Frith & Ellerman
    John Lichtenstein, Lichtenstein Law
    Moderator: John R. Owen, Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman

    11:00-11:15 AM             Break

    11:15 AM-12:15 PM       So You’re a Lawyer? Tell Me More About ______. (1.0 HR)

    Domestic Relations - Sandra Bowen, Bowen Ten Long & Bal
    Trusts and Estates - Susanna JonesFlorance Gordon Brown
    Traffic/Criminal Law - Brandon Nexsen, Winslow, McCurry & MacCormac
    Moderator: Tate C. Love, TimberlakeSmith

    12:15-12:30 PM             Break

    12:30 PM                       Awards Luncheon 
                                           Sponsored by The McCammon Group

    2:30–4:30 PM                Sections Breakouts

    4:30-6:00 PM                 Break    

    5:00-6:00 PM                 Friends of Bill W. 

    6:00 PM                         Networking Reception-Penthouse at Center in the Square, Sponsored by MDD

    7:30 PM                         Dinner (On your own)/Optional Women’s Section Dinner, Sponsored by Planet Depos

    9:30-11:00 PM                VADA “Late Night”
                                            Sponsored by Planet Depos and S-E-A

    Friday, October 14  

    6:30-7:15 AM                  Wellness Committee Chair Yoga

    7:30 AM                          Breakfast Buffet

    8:00–8:45 AM                 Breakfast Honoring the Virginia Judiciary
                                           Sponsored by Inquis Global

    (Attendees subject to change)

    Hon. Steven G. Agee, U.S. Court of Appeals
    Hon. Dominique Callins, Court of Appeals of Virginia
    Hon. Vernida Chaney, Court of Appeals of Virginia
    Hon. Frank K. Friedman, Court of Appeals of Virginia
    Additional judges TBD

    8:50-9:00 AM                  Wellness Challenge Awards Presentation, Community Service Project Presentation, and Sponsors Raffle

    9:00-9:45 AM                  Restoring Jurors’ Faith in Science and Authorities: How to Cultivate Trustworthiness at Trial (1.0 HR)

    Matthew Wagenhofer, MW Forensic Engineering
    Paul Kuhnel, Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith
    Hon. James F. Watson, Lynchburg Circuit Court

    9:45-10:45 AM              To All the Defense Attorneys I’ve Loved Before: What In-House Counsel Wants You to Know (1.0 HR)

    Lynn Chapman, Virginia Farm Bureau Insurance Company
    Audra Dickens, The Progressive Group
    William Robinson, National General Insurance
    Moderator: Brian Brydges, Johnson Ayers & Matthews

    10:45-11:00 AM Break

    11:00 AM-12:00 PM       A Nuts and Bolts Guide to Handling Appeals Before the Court of Appeals of Virginia (1.0 HR)

    Nash Bilisoly, Woods Rogers Vandeventer Black
    Hon. Frank K. Friedman, Court of Appeals of Virginia
    Missy York, Harmon Claytor Corrigan and Wellman 
    Moderator: Tracy Taylor Hague, Woods Rogers Vandeventer Black

    12:00-1:00 PM              Confronting Bias in the Courtroom and Beyond (1.0 HR ETHICS)

    Terrence Graves, Sands Anderson
    Toyja Kelley, Locke Lord
    Kathleen M. McCauley, Moran Reeves & Conn
    Moderator: Rachel D. G. Horvath, Smith Bain Manuel & Horvath

    1:00 PM                         Adjourn and Box Lunch
                                          Sponsored by MLM





    Contact Amy Gilbody at agilbody@vada.org for sponsorship information

    • 02 Dec 2022
    • 9:00 AM - 6:30 PM
    • Drive Shack Short Pump at 1647 Four Rings Drive Richmond, VA 23233

    This is a must-attend event for newer attorneys, who will learn the practical information needed to practice civil defense law.  Sessions are taught by experienced members of the civil defense bar and the judiciary. 

    We are offering a different agenda than 2021, so attend again and don't miss the networking reception and golf fun at the end of our program. 

    Draft Agenda

    8:55 – 9:00             Introduction & Opening Remarks

                                    Julie Palmer, VADA President, Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman

                                   Alexandra Ellmauer Hamm, VADA Young Lawyers Division Chair, Byrne Canaan Law

    9:00 – 10:15          Your Role as Second Chair

                                    Stanley P. Wellman, VADA Past President, Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman

    10:15 - 11:30         Your First Jury Trial

                                    Carlyle (Randy) Wimbish III, VADA Past President, Wimbish Gentile McCray & Roeber

    11:30 – 11:45        Break

    11:45 - 12:45         Tips for Practice in the Eastern District of Virginia

                                    John B. Mumford, Jr., VADA Past President, Hancock Daniel

    12:45 - 1:15           Lunch

    1:15 – 2:15            How to Try a Case in General District Court

                                   Madelaine Kramer Katz, VADA Board Member, Rifkin Weiner Livingston

    2:15 – 3:00            What the Insurance Adjustor Needs from You: Teamwork in Insurance Claims

                                   Melissa H. Katz, VADA Past President, McGavin Boyce Bardot Thorsen & Katz

    3:00 – 3:15           Break

    :15 – 3:45             Spoliation       

                                  Audra Dickens, VADA Board of Directors, The Progressive Group

     3:45 - 4:45           Judicial Advice for New Lawyers Panel Discussion

                                  Hon. Donald C. Blessing, Halifax County Circuit Court
                                  Hon. Randall G. Johnson, Jr., Henrico County Circuit Court
                                  Moderator: Julie Palmer, VADA President, Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman

    4:45 – 6:30            Networking Reception and Golf Games

    Printable Detailed Agenda


    The registration fee is $250 and includes all CLEs, lunch, networking reception and golf games. New members joining VADA will have their first-year membership fee waived for 2023.  First membership bill will be sent January 2024.

    Meeting Sponsors


    To learn about meeting sponsorship, contact Amy Gilbody at agilbody@vada.org.

    • 03 Mar 2023
    • 10:00 AM
    • 04 Mar 2023
    • 12:00 PM
    • Jepson Alumni Center at University of Richmond

    This two-day workshop will teach you the skills needed to (1) face down a bullying senior plaintiffs’ attorney; (2) handle a lying deponent; (3) pull the information you need out of a reticent deponent; (4) ensure that what you discover in depositions is admissible in court; (5) use the latest in technology to build an air-tight case; (6) depose experts effectively; (7) handle sympathetic or minor deponents; and more!

    The second day will be spent in four-person breakouts in which each new attorney will play the parts of deponent, defense attorney, plaintiffs’ attorney, and observer. At each stage of the depositions, senior coach-attorneys will critique performances and suggest approaches to use.


    Contact Amy Gilbody at agilbody@vada.org for sponsorship information.

    • 03 May 2023
    • 6:00 PM
    • 05 May 2023
    • 12:00 PM
    • Hotel 24 South, 24 S. Market Street, Staunton, VA 24401

    Spring Sections Seminar
    May 3-5, 2023
    Hotel 24 South

    Mark your calendar for our specialized litigation sections training.


    Coming Soon


    For sponsorship information, please contact Amy Gilbody at agilbody@vada.org.

    • 25 Oct 2023
    • 6:00 PM
    • 27 Oct 2023
    • 1:00 PM
    • Marriott Virginia Beach Oceanfront

    Information coming soon.

    Contact Amy Gilbody at agilbody@vada.org for sponsorship information.

Past events

28 Sep 2022 Potomac Region Networking Reception
06 Sep 2022 Tidewater Region Networking Reception
09 Aug 2022 You Don't Need to Do It All Lunch & Learn
08 Aug 2022 2022 Paralegal Seminar
03 Aug 2022 Southwest Region Networking Reception
29 Jun 2022 Meet the Author Lunch & Learn
23 Jun 2022 Capitol Region Networking Reception
24 May 2022 Foundational Requirements for the Life Care Plan Lunch & Learn
04 May 2022 2022 Spring Sections Seminar
31 Mar 2022 Why Do Bad Things Happen to People In “Good” Cars?
18 Mar 2022 2022 Trial Tactics Workshop
28 Feb 2022 Productivity and Pandemic Practice Lunch & Learn
15 Feb 2022 Virtual Scavenger Hunt
12 Jan 2022 Utilizing Forensic Engineers Lunch & Learn
15 Dec 2021 Meet Your Executive Committee Lunch & Learn
03 Dec 2021 2021 Young Lawyers Boot Camp
30 Nov 2021 New Appellate Landscape Lunch & Learn
20 Oct 2021 2021 Annual Meeting
06 Oct 2021 Southwest Region Networking Reception
08 Sep 2021 Retaining, Developing, and Safely Navigating Expert Witness Testimony Lunch & Learn
25 Aug 2021 Memory Skills for Lawyers Lunch & Learn
28 Jul 2021 2021 Paralegal Seminar
21 Jul 2021 Biomechanics Lunch & Learn
23 Jun 2021 Balancing the Billable and the Non-Billable Lunch & Learn
19 May 2021 Of Courtiers and Princes Lunch & Learn
05 May 2021 2021 Spring Sections Seminar
14 Apr 2021 Through the Eyes of the Insured Lunch & Learn
17 Mar 2021 How to be a Valuable Asset to Your Firm Lunch & Learn
16 Mar 2021 Young Lawyers Virtual Social Hour
12 Mar 2021 Deposition Workshop
24 Feb 2021 Client Development and Client Maintenance: Thriving in the New Normal
16 Feb 2021 Virtual Scavenger Hunt
10 Feb 2021 Voir Dire Lunch & Learn
13 Jan 2021 How to Effectively Bill Your Time
15 Dec 2020 POSTPONED TO 2021 - Virtual Bingo
04 Dec 2020 2020 Young Lawyers Boot Camp WEBINAR
17 Nov 2020 Fall Webinar
14 Oct 2020 2020 Annual Meeting
15 Sep 2020 VADA Virtual Trivia Night
07 Aug 2020 2020 Advanced Expert Witness Workshop (NEW DATE)
01 Jul 2020 2020 Paralegal Seminar (Postponed to 2021)
03 Jun 2020 VADA Virtual Trivia Night
21 May 2020 Coronavirus and Insurance Coverage - What Attorneys Need to Know
20 May 2020 MOVED TO JUNE 3 - VADA Potomac Virtual Trivia Night
14 May 2020 2020 Spring Sections Seminar Webinar
13 May 2020 Mindfulness and Meditation for Pandemics and Skeptics
30 Apr 2020 Cloud Services: Avoid Security Pitfalls Without Compromising User Experience
23 Apr 2020 2020 Southwestern Region Virtual Happy Hour
22 Apr 2020 Working from Home in a Defense Practice
16 Apr 2020 Remote Mediation and Arbitration
09 Apr 2020 COVID-19: Important Employment Issues for Your Firm
04 Apr 2020 VADA VTLA Joint Letter
19 Mar 2020 A Look At Remote Deposition Capabilities Webinar
27 Feb 2020 2020 Capitol Region VADA & ACC Networking Reception
13 Dec 2019 2019 Young Lawyers Boot Camp
02 Oct 2019 2019 Annual Meeting
10 Sep 2019 Tidewater Region Networking Reception - Rescheduled Date
05 Sep 2019 Tidewater Region Networking Reception
08 Aug 2019 Blue Ridge Region Networking Reception
07 Aug 2019 2019 Paralegal Seminar
21 May 2019 Southwest Region Networking Reception
16 May 2019 Potomac Region Networking Happy Hour
08 May 2019 Guest Speakers for 2019 Spring Sections Seminar
08 May 2019 2019 Spring Sections Seminar
15 Mar 2019 2019 Trial Tactics Workshop
06 Feb 2019 Capitol Region Networking Reception
07 Dec 2018 2018 Young Lawyers Boot Camp
10 Oct 2018 Annual Meeting and 50th Anniversary Celebration
10 May 2018 2018 Spring Sections Seminar
16 Mar 2018 2018 Deposition Workshop

Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys

1915 Huguenot Road, Ste 301

Richmond, VA, 23235


Executive Director: Sherma Mather

Director of Meetings: Amy Gilbody

Journal of Civil Litigation Managing Editor: Molly Terry

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