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

Upcoming events

    • 13 Dec 2019
    • 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
    • Bank of America Building, 1111 E. Main Street, Richmond, VA

    One-day seminar where newer attorneys learn the practical information needed to practice defense law.  Sessions taught by experienced members of the civil defense bar.  Different agenda than 2018 so plan to attend again.

    Begin to build your network and meet other newer attorneys.  Join us for a Networking Happy Hour immediately following the program across the street at the Tobacco Company Restaurant. 

    Registration Information

    $200 Registration Fee (After November 22)

    Registration includes written materials and lunch. 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.


    6.5 HRS (1.0 Ethics) CLE Approved (#VDHH001)

    CLE Form (Attendee)  CLE Form (Teacher)

    PDF Agenda

    8:30                    Registration/Coffee                                                        

    8:55-9:00           Opening Remarks

    9:00-9:55         Ethical Issues in a Civil Defense Practice                           

    Tate C. Love, TimberlakeSmith

    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.

    9:55-10:50       The Survivor's Guide to Expert Witnesses

     John E. Peterson, Jr., Piedmont Liability Trust

    Walter Laird, Forcon

    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.

    10:50                   Break

    11:00-11:55         Navigating Your Way through Virginia General District and Circuit Courts  and other Practical Tips in Civil Litigation 

    Melissa H. Katz, Bancroft McGavin Horvath & Judkins
    Anna Zick. 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

    11:55-12:45         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.

    12:45         Working Lunch

    1:05-1:55          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.

    1:55-2:40            Insurance Coverage in Automobile Cases

    Donald E. Morris, Robert Harrington & Associates

    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.

    2:40         Break and Sponsors Raffle

    2:50         Judicial Advice for New Lawyers-Panel Discussion                   

    Hon. William Glover, Circuit Court of Spotsylvania
    Hon. Kimberly Irving,
    Circuit Court of Prince William
    Hon. Randall G. Johnson, Jr., Circuit Court of Henrico
    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.

    4:00                 CLE Adjourn

    4:00-5:30       Networking Happy Hour (The Tobacco Company Restaurant, 1201 East Cary Street – exit the Bank of America building, via the Cary Street exit, then head left and cross the street)


    • 13 Mar 2020
    • 1:00 PM - 7:30 PM
    • University of Richmond School of Law

    We are pleased to offer a CLE program and new educational opportunity for the more experienced practitioner, although young lawyers are also encouraged to sign up.  


    The Advanced Expert Workshop on Cross-Examination will be held at the University of Richmond Law School from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. (up to 5 CLE credit hours pending) followed by a reception.   The agenda is focused on effective cross examination of a variety of experts, preparing your experts for cross examination, and practical tips to combat some vexing expert discovery issues.   The agenda includes, with more speakers and topics to be announced, the following:  

    ·       Stop Harassing My Experts!  How to Defend Experts from Onerous Financial Disclosure Requests and How to Prepare your Expert for Cross Examination on Financial Interest and/or Bias. 

    Tate C. Love, Timberlake, Smith, Thomas & Moses, P.C.

    ·       When to Use Vocational Rehabilitation and Life Care Planner experts and Effective Cross Examination

    Sean Workowski, Frith Anderson & Peake
    Susan Wirt, MSN, Wirt & Associates

    ·       Cutting the Malarkey in Premises Liability Cases:  How to identify when plaintiff’s liability experts erroneously claim violations of inapplicable codes and voluntary standards, what to do, and how to effectively use your own liability expert. 

    Nicholas J. Lawrence, Bancroft, McGavin, Horvath & Judkins, P.C. 

    ·       Effective Use of Accident Reconstruction Experts in Virginia

    David Drash, Teumer, Kimbrell &Drash
    Matt Dwyer, President, Accident Technology, Inc.

    ·       Expert War Stories and Tips on Effective Cross Examination of Engineering Experts 

    Panel of Expert Engineers   

    Stay tuned for detailed agenda.


    Limited VADA-discounted hotel rooms are available at the Westin Richmond (6631 W. Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23230).  Call 888-627-7786 and mention "VADA" before February 22 for the $137 discounted rate.


    Registration for this unique event is limited and fills quickly. 

    $175 - Early Bird Registration (Discounted registration fee ends February 21)
    $200 - Regular Registration (After February 21)

    New members, registration includes your first year membership in VADA.  No membership bill sent until 2021.  Contact Sherma Mather at smather@vada.org for details. 

    • 13 May 2020
    • 9:00 AM
    • 15 May 2020
    • 12:00 PM


    Specialized litigation sections training. Includes Networking Reception Thursday Night and Young Lawyers Late Night.

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

    • 01 Jul 2020
    • 10:00 AM
    • 28 Aug 2020
    • 4:30 PM
    • Location & Summer 2020 Date TBD

    A must-attend event for paralegals of all levels working in civil defense firms. This one-day seminar is designed to hone your skills as a valuable member of your legal team. Instructors include attorneys and senior paralegals from several Virginia defense firms. Space is limited, so register today.

    Draft Agenda

    Sessions similar to: 

    • The Rules of Engagement: Primer on Federal and State 
    • Who’s Who? How to Effectively and Efficiently Research 
    • Tips and Best Practices for Assisting with Document Review & Production
    • Trials 101: A Paralegal’s Role in Trial Prep and Trial

    Final agenda coming Spring 2020.


    Opening Spring 2020.

    • 14 Oct 2020
    • 16 Oct 2020
    • The Homestead Resort


    VADA's 52nd Annual Meeting at the beautiful Homestead Resort. Further details and registration coming in 2020.

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

    • 20 Oct 2021
    • 22 Oct 2021
    • Marriott Virginia Beach Oceanfront

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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