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John M. Claytor

The Board of Directors of the VADA is honored to announce John M. Claytor of Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman as this year’s recipient of the VADA’s Award for Excellence in Civil Litigation.

A graduate of the University of Virginia and the University of Richmond School of Law, John has distinguished himself over his more than 40 years in practice as one of the premier insurance coverage attorneys in Virginia, if not the United States.  Among his many professional accomplishments, John has been both a Virginia Super Lawyer and listed among the Best Lawyers in America every year since 2007.  He is generous with his time, courteous to a fault, and deeply respected both inside and outside the courtroom.  John’s temperament, high ethical standards, and sense of fairness in dealing with others are beyond reproach.  Countless young attorneys have benefitted from his wisdom and his example.  John has been an active and dedicated member of VADA.  He has served on our Finance Committee, as a frequent writer and speaker, and as President of our Association in 1993-94.  The Board of Directors can think of no one more fitting than John for this Award.  In the words of the VADA member who nominated him for it, John, quite simply, is “the epitome of what every VADA lawyer should strive to be.”

We will present this Award to John on October 21 during our Annual Meeting in Virginia Beach. Please join us in congratulating John!

Award Criteria

More than twenty years ago, the VADA Board of Directors instituted an award entitled the "VADA Award for Excellence in Civil Litigation."  The Award honors a distinguished jurist, civil litigator, or other appropriate person who exhibits the following: 

1.         The highest standards of ethics, demeanor and temperament;

2.         Exemplary conduct inside and outside the courtroom;

3.         Courtesy and fairness in dealing with others; 

4.         Work of the highest quality; and

5.         Such other criteria as the Board may determine are appropriate, such as community involvement; judicial, bar-related and educational activities; and participation in activities that improve the civil justice system.

Past recipients of this Award include:

Phillip C. Stone – 1994

James W. Morris, III – 1995 

Chief Justice Harry L. Carrico – 1996 

The Hon. Albert V. Bryan, Jr. – 1997 

Ronald D. Hodges (posthumously) – 1998 

The Hon. Nicholas E. Persin – 1999

John M. Oakey, Jr. – 2000 

Frank B. Miller, III – 2001 

Russell H. Roberts – 2002 

William B. Poff – 2003 

The Hon. Robert R. Merhige, Jr. – 2004 

The Hon. R. Terrence Ney – 2005 

Henry H. McVey III – 2006 

James Rudy Austin – 2007 

James E. Brydges, Jr. – 2008

Colin J. S. Thomas, Jr. – 2009 

The Hon. Paul F. Sheridan (Ret.) – 2010 

John H. OBrion, Jr. – 2012 

George W. Wooten – 2013

James W. Jennings, Jr. – 2014

Frank N. Cowan – 2015

Mary M.H. "Molly" Priddy – 2016

M. Pierce Rucker II – 2017

Stephen A. Horvath – 2018

Walter H. Peake III (posthumously) – 2019

The Hon. R. Edwin Burnette, Jr. – 2020


William B. Kilduff

The Board of Directors of the VADA is pleased to announce William B. Kilduff of Emroch & Kilduff, LLP, as the recipient of the 2021 VADA-VTLA Civility and Professionalism Award!  Now in its sixth 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.

A graduate of Randolph-Macon College and the University of Richmond School of Law, Bill has been practicing law since 1977.  He is a member of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, the American Association for Justice, and the American Board of Trial Advocates.  Among his many accomplishments, he has been named a Virginia Super Lawyer every year since 2006.  He was listed in Best Lawyers from 2010-2017.

We will present Bill with this Award during our Annual Meeting in Virginia Beach on October 21.  Congratulations, Bill, on an honor well deserved!

Terrence L. Graves

VADA member and Past President Terrence Graves was honored by the VTLA when they awarded him their  VTLA-VADA Civility and Professionalism Award at the VTLA’s 2021 Annual Convention earlier this year. Congratulations Terrence!

Award Criteria

Beginning in 2015, the VADA and VTLA agreed to create an award which each year will recognize and honor a member of each organization for their civility and professionalism in the practice of law.

Both associations believe that their members have an obligation to be professional with clients, other parties and counsel, the courts and the public. This obligation includes civility, professional integrity, personal dignity, candor, diligence, respect, courtesy, and cooperation. Some go above and beyond obligation, and their conduct sets the standard.

Past VADA honorees have been:

Richard E. Ladd, Jr. – 2016

C. J. Steuart Thomas, III – 2017

Mary M. H. (Molly) Priddy – 2018

Michael E. Harman – 2019

Kathleen M. McCauley – 2020

Terrence L. Graves – 2021

Past VTLA honorees have been:

Thomas E. Albro – 2016

John E. Lichtenstein – 2017

Thomas G. Smith – 2018

Stephanie E. Grana – 2019

Irving M. Blank – 2020


Alexis Romero

The Board of Directors of the VADA is proud to announce Alexis Romero as the recipient of the VADA’s 2021 Diversity Scholarship!  A cum laude graduate of the University of North Texas, Alexis is in his second year at the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University.  There, in addition to his many other accomplishments, he serves as Articles Editor of the George Mason Law Review.  This summer, Alexis will be clerking with VADA member firm Bancroft McGavin Horvath & Judkins, P.C., in Fairfax.  Congratulations, Alexis!

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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