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VADA Member Spotlight

Robyn Ayres
Goodman Allen Donnelly

This month’s spotlighted VADA member is Robyn Ayres of Goodman Allen Donnelly, PLLC, in Richmond.  Robyn is a graduate of Virginia Tech and the University of Richmond School of Law.  She has been repeatedly recognized as a Virginia Super Lawyer "Rising Star" in medical malpractice defense.  She was also the recipient of the 2013 Chappell-Morris Award by the Virginia State Committee of the American College of Trial Lawyers for her trial skills, professionalism, ethical and moral standards, and character.

1.     Where were you born?

St. Mary’s Hospital in Richmond.

2.         Spouse? Children? Pets?

Married 16 years.  We have one son, Curtis, who was named after my grandfather, a WWII vet.  We also have a cat that we adopted the day we got back from our honeymoon 16 years ago.

3.         What type of law do you practice?

Medical/dental/hospital malpractice, licensing board actions, and privileging and credentialing matters.

4.         How long have you been a member of VADA?

At least 17 years.

5.         What do you like most about practicing law?

Hands down, trial work.  I love the adrenaline rush.

6.         What have you enjoyed most about your time in VADA?

Definitely the Spring and Fall meetings – I like seeing my favorite lawyers all in one place. 

7.         What is the one app on your phone you cannot live without?

Pandora – I’m addicted to the thumbs up/thumbs down feature.

8.         Do you have a favorite movie or television quote?

From “Office Space” when the consultant tells Peter that he’s been missing a lot of work lately.  Peter responds, “I wouldn’t say I’ve been it missing it, Bob.”  I try to work that quote into my everyday life now and then.  Seems to fit. 

9.         What movie or TV show can you watch over and over again, no matter how many times you have seen it?

Currently, Ted Lasso.  I watch each episode at least 2-3 times.   Movie-wise, probably any of the Harry Potter movies.

10.       What is at the top of your bucket list?

A visit to the Greek Islands.

11.       What was your undergraduate major?

Political science.

12.       What was your first job?

Hostess at Chi-Chi’s (with the big skirt, the ruffles and all).

13.       When I am not at the office, I like to …

Visit wineries, go hiking, and spend time with my son (not in that order).

14.       If I wasn’t practicing law, I would be …

Stepping into my shoes back then, had I not chosen law school, I probably would have gone to medical school.  If I chose something different today, I probably would go to pastry school and open a bakery.  (Although my husband constantly reminds me how early I would have to get up …).

15.       What would your courtroom walk-up music be?

As a Hokie, I’d have to go with Metallica’s “Enter Sandman.”

16.       What is your favorite travel spot?

Sonoma, California.

17        What is the last live concert you attended?

Garth Brooks at the Richmond Coliseum a few years back.

18.       What book is currently on your bedside table?

Kristin Hannah’s “The Nightingale.”

19.       Who is the most famous or interesting person you have ever met?

I’ve never actually met anyone famous (other than seeing someone from afar), but the most interesting person I’ve ever met is probably my grandfather.  He left to serve in WWII when my grandmother was pregnant with my mom.  He served in General Patton’s Third Army and in the Battle of the Bulge.  When he came home, he raised carrier pigeons in a little house on Patterson Avenue.   I remember him speaking of the war only occasionally, but he was incredibly proud of his service, and my mother absolutely adored him. 

20.       What advice would you give to someone who just passed the bar?

Treat everyone around you in the legal profession, from administrative assistants to paralegals to clerks, respectfully and kindly.

Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys

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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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