This month’s spotlighted VADA member is Past President Melissa Hogue Katz of McGavin, Boyce, Bardot, Thorsen & Katz, P.C., in Fairfax. Melissa is a graduate of the University of Virginia and the University of Richmond School of Law. She served as President of VADA from 2019 to 2020. Melissa also has served as a member of VADA’s Board of Directors, a member of the Board of Editors of The Journal of Civil Litigation, Chair and Vice-Chair of VADA’s Auto and Transportation Liability Section, and as the inaugural Chair of VADA’s Wellness Committee.
1. Where were you born?
2. Tell us a little about yourself. Spouse? Children? Pets?
I have been married to a wonderful (and patient!) husband for 25 years. We have two beautiful daughters and two very vocal dogs.
3. What type of law do you practice?
I primarily defend cases involving motor vehicle/common carrier accidents, construction defects or premises liability.
4. How long have you been a member of VADA?
Close to 30 years. When I started as an associate, it was not long before John McGavin strongly encouraged me to join. Being a member of this esteemed organization has been incredibly rewarding.
5. What do you like most about practicing law?
The challenge of seeking evidence to support a successful defense.
6. What have you enjoyed most about your time in VADA?
The members, being part of the Executive Board, and the Annual Meetings!
7. What is the one app on your phone you cannot live without?
For business – Waze – since I am directionally challenged. For fun/hikes/workouts - the Podcast App and Spotify!
8. Do you have a favorite movie or television quote?
“What we’ve got here is failure to communicate” - Cool Hand Luke.
9. What movie or TV show can you watch over and over again, no matter how many times you have seen it?
Unlike my better half, I am usually a one and done on movies and TV shows. However, I have been known to watch again parts of Seinfeld and Ted Lasso and, of course, my favorite Spaghetti Western - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
10. What is at the top of your bucket list?
Outdoor adventures in Alaska and Wyoming.
11. What was your undergraduate major?
12. What was your first job?
Cashier at Godfather’s Pizza and later a cook.
13. If you were to visit my office, one of the first things you would notice would be …
The walking treadmill which commands the right corner of my office.
14. When I am not at the office, I like to …
Enjoy the outdoors – hike or walk my dogs while listening to a crime podcast.
15. If I wasn’t practicing law, I would be …
A news reporter or psychologist.
16. What book is currently on your bedside table?
17 What is the last live concert you attended?
Imagine Dragons, February 2020.
18. What’s something even your friends don’t know about you?
I love Spaghetti Westerns. When I am at work, with my earbuds in, I am usually listening to music by Ennio Morricone, who is the musical composer of some of the classic Western theme songs.
19. Who is the most famous or interesting person you have ever met?
20. What advice would you give to someone who just passed the bar?
Find a good mentor to help guide and support you in your journey to become the best lawyer you can be.