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  • 2023 Annual Meeting

2023 Annual Meeting

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


(depends on selected options)

Base fee:
  • Email agilbody@vada.org for registration code.
  • You may add a guest registration for $125. Guests are invited to join us at the Wednesday and Thursday receptions.
  • You may add a guest registration for $125. Guests are invited to join us at the Wednesday and Thursday receptions.

Registration is closed

Join us for three days of learning and networking with fellow civil defense attorneys. 

Planning Committee

Chair Matthew Kelley, Frith Anderson + Peake

Sam Bernier, Frith Anderson + Peake

Sophia Brasseux, Moran Reeves Conn

Lindsey Brock, MGC Law

Johnita M. Coston, Portsmouth City Attorney’s Office

Gifford “Giff” V. Hampshire, McGavin, Boyce, Bardot, Thorsen & Katz

Sarah Knarzer, McCandlish Holton

Angela MacFarlane, Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman

William “Will” Miller, McGavin, Boyce, Bardot, Thorsen & Katz

Sally Moore, Babcock & Moore

Katherine Morley Schwieder, Moran Reeves & Conn

Quinn B. Novak, FloranceGordonBrown

Kerrigan C.K. O’Malley, Carter & Shands

Phylicia A. Preston, Byrne Canaan Law

Nia White, Gentry Locke

Glenn Williams, Frith Anderson + Peake

(Requesting 9.0 HRS, 2.0 Ethics)



President’s Welcome Reception
Seaside Lobby


Dine Arounds
Various locations


Late Night
Raleigh Room at the Cavalier




Registration and Buffet Breakfast
Seaside Lobby 


Decoding the Gen-Z Jury, 1.0 HR
Seaside Ballroom
Leslie Ellis, The Caissa Group
Pamela Hutchens, William & Mary School of Law
Carlyle (Randy) Wimbish III, Wimbish Gentile McCray & Roeber 


Appeals as a Matter of Right – How is it Going One Year In? 1.0 HR
Seaside Ballroom
Alicia M. Penn, McGuireWoods
S. Virginia Bondurant Price, McGuireWoods 


Daubert, 1.0 HR
Seaside Ballroom
Brian Casey, Clarke Dolph Hull & Brunick
Gerald “Jerry” Harris, City of Virginia Beach 


Awards Luncheon


Litigation Section Breakouts



5:00-6:00 Young Lawyers Informal Gathering
Tulu Seaside Bar 


Networking Reception
Seaside Terrace 


Dinner on Your Own


Late Night
Cavalier Beach Grill 


Oceanside Yoga
West Lawn


Breakfast with the Judiciary
Seaside Ballroom


Direct Negotiation Strategies for Resolving Cases, 1.0 HR
Seaside Ballroom
Bryn L. Clegg, Willcox Savage
Joseph Moriarty,
Willcox Savage


Common Trial Mistakes & How to Avoid Them: A Judge’s Perspective, 1.0 HR
Seaside Ballroom
Hon. David B. Carson, Roanoke City Circuit Court
Hon. Mary Jane Hall, Norfolk City Circuit Court
Hon. John M. Tran, Fairfax County Circuit Court
Moderator: Matthew E. Kelley, Frith Anderson + Peake


Preventing Nuclear Verdicts 1.0 HR
Seaside Ballroom
Robert F. Tyson, Jr., Tyson and Mendes


Remote work is Here to Stay: Maintaining Data Security, Ethics and Your Wellbeing in the New Era of Practicing Law, 1.0 HR Ethics
Seaside Ballroom
Taylor Brewer, Moran Reeves & Conn
Matt Daly, MGC Law
Shyrell Reed, Moran Reeves & Conn
Hon. Beverly Snukals (Ret.), The McCammon Group


Adjourn and Box Lunches
Seaside Lobby





The registration fee includes all CLEs, meals and receptions. New members joining VADA will have their first-year membership fee waived for 2024.  First membership bill will be sent January 2025. For further details, contact Sherma Mather at smather@vada.org.

Guest registration fee 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 October 10, 2023, minus a $25 processing fee.  No refunds after October 10, but substitutions welcome anytime. Email Amy Gilbody at agilbody@vada.org for further information.

Wednesday Night Dine Arounds

Enjoy dinner while networking with new or long-time VADA friends. See the restaurant choices and sign up here. It is Dutch treat, with each participant paying for their own meal. If your plans change, please edit your Sign Up, or contact your meal host listed.

Bon Appetit!


Marriott Resort Virginia Beach Oceanfront

Our hotel block has expired, but you may find availability at the Marriott at their regular rates, or there are plenty of nearby alternatives, including the new Embassy Suites next door. 

Womens' Section Dinner

The Women's Dinner is full.  You can join the wait list on your registration form.

Join the Women’s Section for dinner during the Annual Meeting!  Following the Rooftop Reception on Thursday, October 26, please join the Women’s Section at Cobalt Grille at 7:30 pm for an evening of fine dining among friends.  Cost to attend is $50 per person and you can add it to your online registration. 

Community Service Project

In conjunction with our meeting, VADA is collecting monetary and in-kind donations for Connect with a Wish. Connect With a Wish connects the wishes and needs of children in Virginia Beach foster care with the generosity of our community and provides the resources and support needed to give these children the opportunity to grow into positive and productive members of our community. See our flyer for requested items.

Wellness Committee Activities

Wellness Challenge
September 23 - October 20

The VADA 2023 Wellness Challenge began September 23. VADA members are participating in a fun and friendly competition while enhancing their overall well-being. Prizes will be awarded at the Annual Meeting.

Young Lawyer's Section

The Young Lawyers Section is planning an informal get-together on Thursday before the Networking Reception. Join the fun starting at 5:00 PM at Tulu Seaside Bar. This event is self-pay. 


VADA Award for Excellence in Civil Litigation

John D. McGavin
Boyce, Bardot, Thorsen & Katz, P.C.

The Board of Directors of the Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys is honored to announce John D. McGavin of McGavin, Boyce, Bardot, Thorsen & Katz, P.C., as this year’s recipient of the VADA’s Award for Excellence in Civil Litigation! The Award honors a distinguished jurist, civil litigator, or other appropriate person who exhibit the highest standards of ethics, demeanor and temperament; exemplary conduct inside and outside the courtroom; courtesy and fairness in dealing with others; and work of the highest quality. 

We will present John with this Award during the Annual Meeting on October 26. Congratulations, John, on an honor well deserved!

VADA/VTLA Award for Civility and Professionalism

Thomas J. Curcio
Curcio Law

The VADA Board of Directors is pleased to announce Thomas J. Curcio of Curcio Law as the recipient of the 2023 VADA-VTLA Civility and Professionalism Award! Now in its eighth year, this Award, which is given each year by the VADA to a member of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association and by the VTLA to a member of the VADA, honors an attorney who exhibits the highest degree of civility and professionalism in the practice of law and, through his or her interaction with others, promotes the highest levels of competence, integrity, and ethical conduct in the legal profession.

We will present Tom with this Award during the Annual Meeting on October 26. Congratulations, Tom, on an honor well deserved!


If you have any questions about the Annual Meeting, please contact VADA Director of Meetings, Amy Gilbody, at agilbody@vada.org.


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

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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