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VADA Member Spotlight

Tate LovE
Timberlake Smith

This month’s spotlighted VADA member is Tate Love of Timberlake Smith in Staunton.  Tate is a graduate of the College of William and Mary and the William and Mary Law School.  He is the Immediate Past President of VADA.  In addition to his service on VADA’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors, Tate has served as Chair and Vice-Chair of VADA’s Auto & Transportation Liability Section.

1.         Where were you born?

Waynesboro, Virginia

2.         Tell us about your spouse. Children? Pets?

Shannon and I have been married for 18+ years.  We have two sons: Stuart (14) and Duncan (11).  Right now, we have 3 dogs: Kayla, a Yorkie Duncan talked us into for Christmas a few years ago; Egan, a Corgi Stuart talked us into for his birthday last year; and Kingston, an incredibly sweet dog we “inherited” and whom we call either a Staffordshire Terrier or a pit bull depending on how fancy we are feeling on the given day.

3.         What type of law do you practice?

A pretty standard civil defense practice, though I am probably different from many of our members in that I have also maintain a criminal and traffic defense practice as a supplement.

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

Cannot honestly remember when joined.  About 15 years?

5.         What do you like most about practicing law?

I guess you would call it the “problem solving” aspect.  I feel very lucky to have a job that I find intellectually stimulating, that I enjoy going to, and that pays the bills.

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

As cliched as it may sounds, the friendships I have made.

7.         What was your undergraduate major?

Government.  Not “Political Science.”  We keep it old-school at William and Mary.

8.         What was your first job?

Arby’s in Staunton.

9.         If you were in my office, one of the first things you would notice would be …

My huge whiteboard where I plan my life.

10.       What is the last movie or TV show you binge watched?

Ozark Season 4, Part 1.  Ozark has a little higher body count than shows I’m normally drawn to, but it was one of the ways I passed time in the early pandemic.  Right before that was Season 4 of Cobra Kai.

11.       What TV or movie line do you find yourself quoting most often?

“How can you not be romantic about baseball?” Billy Beane, Moneyball.

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

Rushing the court, hopefully with one or both of my sons at my side, after William & Mary finally wins a conference championship to make the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, aka March Madness.

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

Watch my kids do most anything (sports, theater).  Watch sports.  Coach Bible quizzing.

14.       What was the year, make, and model of your first car?

I can’t remember the year, but I learned to drive, and drive stick shift, on my mom’s blue Toyota truck.  It led to me purchasing my own Toyota Tacoma later in life, which was my favorite vehicle.

15.       What is the most memorable live concert you ever attended?

Probably any of the four Garth Brooks concerts I’ve been to.  He can put on a show.

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

I haven’t identified a lot of other skills I have, so I’d probably be screwed.  Maybe a sports journalist?  Or in an alternate universe where Bible quiz coaching is a full-time profession, I’d be doing that.

17.       What is your courtroom walk-up music?

There are a few options, but you can’t go wrong with Eye of the Tiger.

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


19.       What quality do you admire most in other attorneys?

Seeing the big picture and/or unwillingness to argue over things that don’t matter.

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

Keep searching until you find a job in law that you enjoy going to every day.  You’ll spend a lot of time at work and life is too short.

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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