Awards Nominations Deadline Extended, Legislative Update, Member Spotlight and more.

VADA Defense Line March 2019

President's Welcome

Welcome to the 3rd edition of Defense Line. I hope that you find this new publication valuable and insightful.

Don't miss the many important items in this issue like our recent award winner, legislative update, upcoming events and a new Member Spotlight. Can you guess who it is? 

Feel free to send submissions for future editions of Defense Line to Amy Gilbody at

Our Capitol Region hosted a fantastic Happy Hour last month at Bingo Beer in Richmond. Many thanks to our sponsor, Planet Depos.

(Terrance Graves and Robert Delano of Sands Anderson with Mark Pachucki of Nationwide)

Southwest Region members, did you mark your calendar for your Networking Reception on May 21st at Billy's? Other regions, your receptions will be coming soon.

We are still taking registrations for our Trial Tactics Workshop March 15-16 at the University of Richmond. 

Please continue to let me know your thoughts on the new design & initiatives at Thank you for your support of VADA.

John B. Mumford, Jr.
President, VADA 2018-2019

VADA-VTLA Civility and Professionalism Award

We are excited to announce that Michael E. Harman of Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman will be awarded the VTLA-VADA Civility and Professionalism Award in March at the VTLA Annual Convention at the Homestead.  Congratulations Michael.

Awards Nominations Deadline Extended

We have extended the nominations deadline to March 15 for our awards.

The Excellence in Civil Ligation Award honors a distinguished jurist, civil litigator, or other who demonstrates exemplary conduct inside and outside of the courtroom, as well as courtesy and fairness in dealing with others. 

The VADA-VTLA Civility and Professionalism award honors a member of each association for their civility and professionalism. This award commends civility, professional integrity, personal dignity, candor, diligence, respect, courtesy, and cooperation.

No form is needed for either award nomination. Send your letter of recommendation with the nominee's resume (if possible) before March 15 to Sherma Mather at

Upcoming Events

Trial Tactics Workshop

We are still accepting registrations for the March 15-16 Trial Tactics Workshop at UR. New registrants will serve as witnesses or jurors and can still earn CLE credit. Don't miss out as this program is not scheduled to be offered again until 2022.

VADA Board Meeting

April 19 at noon at Garden Grove Brewing, 3445 Cary Street in Richmond.

Spring Sections Seminar

Save the date -- May 8-10 for our Spring Sections Seminar. New this year is a welcome reception on Wednesday night and programming specific to our new Local Government section. Sample sessions include:

Lights, Sirens, & Sovereign Immunity

What Defense Attorneys Need to Know About Opioids 

Virginia’s Uninsured Motorist Statute – Practice Pointers & Coverage Considerations

Registration will open soon, but the hotel reservation link is available on the meeting website now.

Southwest Region
Happy Hour

May 21 at 5:00 PM at Billy's

Annual Meeting

Dine arounds, an evening at The Harbor Club at Waterside, and … dare we say it, karaoke.  All of this and more awaits at the VADA’s 2019 Annual Meeting on October 2-4 at Hilton Norfolk The Main! Registration begins in a few short months.

Creation of a Business/Complex Litigation Specialty Docket

The VADA is participating, as one of many bar organizations, on a committee, requested by Chief Justice Donald Lemons, to investigate whether a business/complex litigation case specialized docket should be created in Virginia.  The committee is discussing, among other items, the benefits,  the need for the creation of such a docket, proposed criteria, location, judges, and the manner and method of placement on a specialty docket. Presently, complex business litigation involving extensive motion practice and discovery is the genesis for the discussion about creating such a docket.  Other issues being discussed include whether there should be a threshold amount in controversy and what other areas of law warrant placement on a specialty docket.  Such a specialty docket would be created to address issues which are complex, pose a burden to the specific court, and require more significant case management. The committee is meeting on March 26.  If you would like to share any examples of cases you believe would be more appropriately handled on a specialty docket or if you want to provide any input on whether a specialty docket should be created, please contact Melissa Katz at

Legislative Update

SB 1117 seeking to penalize UIM/UM carriers not paying “within a reasonable time” of demand was tabled.  SB 1293 denying release of any party beyond the liability insurer and underinsured motorist is before the Governor.  The spoliation bill (SB 1619)  passed both houses, but was amended in conference allowing the court to consider the “totality of circumstances” to which the party was on notice that the evidence would be relevant and whether the actions of the party were reckless in disregard.  The bill is before the Governor.

Member Spotlight

What do Ernest Hemingway, a love of history, and a magical night in Colorado have in common?  This month’s VADA Member Spotlight, that’s what. Find out here which member we've highlighted this month.

Recent Rulings

Did you hear about City of Va. Beach v. Hamel or Brush Arbor Home Construction, LLC v. Alexander?  If not, you must not be a member of the VADA Members-Only Facebook Group. Don't miss out on timely updates about decisions, events, new members and more. This member-only group is different than our public VADA Facebook page. Join here.  

Journal of Civil Litigation

Have you seen the latest edition of the Journal? The Winter 2018-2019 issue of the VADA Journal of Civil Litigation is hot off the presses and was mailed last month. Check your mailbox for your copy.

Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys
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Richmond, VA  23235