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2020 Annual Meeting

  • 14 Oct 2020
  • 15 Oct 2020
  • The Omni Homestead Resort & via Webcast, 7696 Sam Snead Hwy, Hot Springs, VA 24445


  • Contact Amy Gilbody at agilbody@vada.org for assistance with registration code.
  • Lunch-only ticket for those not registered for the Annual Meeting.
  • Contact Amy Gilbody at agilbody@vada.org for assistance with registration code.
  • Registration code required - contact Amy Gilbody at agilbody@vada.org for assitance.

Registration is closed

VADA Annual Meeting 2020:
Sharpen your Litigation Focus


October 14-15, 2020
The Omni Homestead Resort & Via Webcast    

Many of our members, sponsors, and friends have been looking forward to gathering again for in-person VADA meetings. Others among us, however, are uncomfortable doing so. Understanding and respecting both of these perspectives, we are modifying our 2020 Annual Meeting to a quasi-hybrid format. In addition to trimming our CLE content to a single day, October 15, with opportunities for networking both that day and evening and the evening before, all of our CLE offerings will be presented virtually, via webcast with speakers presenting either from the Homestead and remotely. General session topics no longer on this agenda will be presented at a separate webinar on November 17 (tentative date).

For those who feel comfortable doing so, we invite you to come to The Homestead for in-person events and to view the webcast stream either together in the meeting room or from the comfort of your guest room. For those who do not wish to travel, you may attend our Annual Meeting via webcast from the comfort and security of your home or office.

Safe and Clean

The Omni Homestead has made the health and safety of their guests a top priority. In an effort to help keep their guest safe, they have updated their already thorough cleaning guidelines and implemented additional processes and procedures to ensure your health, safety and comfort.

Guests can expect to see many new safety protocols implemented. These protocols will allow The Homestead associates to provide exceptional service in a safe environment. All processes and procedures follow the guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local and/or federal mandates. You can find a copy of their “Stay a Part of Safety” plan here.

To ensure a safe environment for all participants, please adhere to the following guidelines.

  • -- Participants are asked to bring their own face covering, as they will be required to wear it at all times except when eating or drinking.
  • -- Our meeting space will be set up to comfortably allow for 6-foot social distancing between all participants.
  • -- The best practice to prevent any illness is to wash your hands frequently using the proper technique: wet-lather-scrub-rinse-dry.
  • -- Use hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available.
  • -- Avoid touching your face, specifically your eyes, nose, and mouth, as this is how germs enter your body. Cough into your elbow, NOT your hand.
  • -- Stay home if you’re feeling sick.

Hotel Information

Our room block at The Homestead was released October 1.  Some amenities and restaurants at the hotel are closed due to COVID - please visit the Homestead website to see current operations.  Dinner reservations are strongly encourage.  See our list of local restaurants here.

VADA guests enjoy:

--10% discount on all retail purchases.

--Special golf rates of $130 for Cascades/$100 for Old Course -- contact John Mumford if interested in putting together a foursome.

--Complimentary parking (self or valet).


The registration fee is $275 for in-person and webcast attendees. New members joining VADA will have their first year membership fee waived for 2021.  First membership bill will be sent January 2022.

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

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

Business attire is recommended for the meeting. Business casual is appropriate for the Thursday reception.


Many thanks to our Annual Meeting Planning Committee!

Chair, Julie Palmer, Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman, Richmond
Sam Bernier, Frith Anderson + Peake
Kathryn Bonorchis, Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, Northern Virginia
Donna J. Hall, Goodman Allen Donnelly, Norfolk
Abigail Johansen, Bancroft, McGavin, Horvath & Judkins, Fairfax
Macel H. Janoschka, Frith Anderson + Peake, Roanoke
Angela London, Bancroft, McGavin, Horvath & Judkins, Fairfax
Surge Moghaddassi, Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman, Richmond
Jessica Swauger, Hancock Daniel, Richmond
Britton Wight, Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman, Alexandria
Andrew Willis, Hancock Daniel, Richmond

Approved for 5.50 CLE HRS (1.0 ETHICS)

Wednesday, October 14  

10:00 AM          Executive Committee Meeting

1:00 PM             Board of Director’s Meeting

6:00 PM             President’s Welcome Reception

6:30 PM             Webcast Virtual Reception

7:30 PM             Dinner on Your Own
    (Local Restaurants List -- Reservations Suggested)

9:30 PM             VADA “Late Night”

Thursday, October 15  

7:45 AM            Registration & Breakfast Opens

7:45 AM            Past Presidents’ Breakfast

8:25 AM            Welcome & Announcements

8:30 – 9:30 AM       Writing to Win: Practical Advice About Legal Writing From the Bench and Bar, 1.0 HR

Erin Ashwell, Office of the Attorney General of Virginia

Hon. David B. Carson, Roanoke City Circuit Court

Hon. Stephen R. McCullough, Supreme Court of Virginia

Moderator: Jay O’Keeffe, Johnson, Rosen & O'Keeffe

9:30 – 10:15 AM           Legislative Update, .75 HR

Sam Bernier, Frith Anderson + Peake

Stephen Marshall, Two Rivers Law Group

Alexander Macaulay , Macaulay Jamerson

Lindsay Sessa , Macaulay Jamerson

10:15 – 10:30 AM        Networking Break/Sponsor Visits 

10:30 – 11:15 AM           Defending COVID-19 Personal Injury Claims, .75 HR

Stewart Pollock, Moran Reeves & Conn

11:15 – 12:15 PM          The Power of Compassion: Empathy, Sympathy & Kindness From a Defense  Perspective, 1.0 HR

John W. Bell, Johnson & Bell (Courtesy DRI)

12:15 PM                        Awards Luncheon 

1:45 – 2:00 PM              Networking Break/Sponsor Visits 

2:00 – 3:00 PM              Perfect Persuasion: Effective Oral Advocacy, 1.0 HR

Erin Ashwell, Office of the Virginia Attorney General

Hon. S. Bernard Goodwyn, Supreme Court of Virginia 

Hon. Ricardo Rigual, Spotsylvania Circuit Court 

Hon. Michael F. Urbanski, U.S. District Court for the Western District

3:00 – 4:00                      Ethics and Professionalism in the Heat of Battle: Taming a Tricky Adversary, 1.0 HR ETHICS

Hon. Randall G. Johnson, Jr., Henrico Circuit Court

Paul Kuhnel, Lewis Brisbois

Hon. Deborah Welsh, Loudoun County General District Court

4:00-6:00 PM                 FREE TIME - The resort offers many activities. Visit the Homestead webpage for additional information. Fees may apply. 

6:00 PM             NETWORKING RECEPTION (Business Casual)

7:30 PM             Dinner on own
        (Local Restaurants List -- Reservations Suggested)

9:30 PM             VADA “Late Night”  


Thank you to our sponsors,






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

Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys

11533 Busy Street, #327

N. Chesterfield, VA 23236


Executive Director: Sherma Mather

Director of Meetings: Amy Gilbody

Journal of Civil Litigation Managing Editor: Molly Terry

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