Register now for Spring Meeting, Diversity Scholarship, Legislative Update, and More.

VADA Defense Line April 2019

President's Welcome

Welcome to the April Defense Line.  Have you signed up for the Spring Sections Seminar at the newly remodeled Stonewall Jackson Hotel in Staunton?  We have a new general session this year on the inner workings of an insurance carrier. Register here today.  Our hotel room block will expire April 10 so reserve your room from the website today.

Our Trial Tactics Workshop at the University of Richmond was a huge success.  Thanks to our coaches, judges, sponsors and the University of Richmond School of Law for hosting.

 A special thank you to Judge David B. Carson, Judge John M. Tran, Judge Archer L. Yeatts, III (Ret.), and Judge John W. Brown for presiding. 

Check out this issue of Defense Line for additional information about VADA activities and updates.

John B. Mumford, Jr.
VADA President, 2018-19

Spring Sections Seminar

Register today for our specialized litigation sections training. We will be meeting at the newly-remodeled Stonewall Jackson Hotel May 8-10. 

Reserve your hotel room before April 10 using the link on the meeting website.

New This Year

Wednesday Night Welcome Reception

Local Government-Specific Programming

General Session on "Insurance Company Operations." Courtesy of DRI, we will have an in-house insurance company lawyer who will provide a session on what insurance company claims professionals and attorneys want from in-house counsel.  This session will be a great value for new and experienced attorneys.

Upcoming Events

Mark your calendar now for these upcoming meetings.

April 19 
ADA Board Meeting
arden Grove Brewing

May 8-10
Spring Sections Seminar
Stonewall Jackson Hotel

May 16
Potomac Region Happy Hour
Mad Fox Brewing 
Falls Church

May 21
Southwestern Happy Hour

August 7
Paralegal Seminar
The Place at Innsbrook

October 2-4
Annual Meeting
Hilton Norfolk The Main Norfolk

December 13
Boot Camp
Bank of America Building

Recent VADA Journal Articles

In “Who Gets the Money?” former VADA President Robert B. “Chip” Delano, Jr., addresses the issue of whether divorce nullifies the designation of a former spouse as a beneficiary in a life insurance policy or other death benefit contract (retirement plan, annuity, etc.).  Delano traces Virginia law on this subject from its common law roots to the enactment of Va. Code §20.111.1 in 1993, which changed the paradigm in this area of the law.  However, the enactment of this section did not solve all issues, and Delano walks JCL readers through the amendments to the statute, and various cases interpreting the statute. 

VADA’s current Auto & Transportation Liability Section Chair, Audra M. Dickens, looks at a current hot topic in her article, “Consequences of Spoilation in Virginia and the March Toward Adopting the Federal Spoilation Rules.”  The issue of spoliation came to the forefront in Virginia in the Virginia Supreme Court’s 2017 decision. Emerald Point, LLC, v. Hawkins.  Dickens examines the history of Virginia law on spoliation, the Emerald Point decision, concurrent developments in Federal law, and potential legislative changes that have and are brewing in the Virginia General Assembly.

H. Robert Yates, III, current Chair of the VADA’s Professional Liability Section, and his associate, Laura K. Musick, look at the tort of intentional interference with parental rights (IIPR) in their article, “The Unintended Consequences of Wyatt v. McDermott: Its Use as a Sword Against Professionals in Custody Cases.”  The Supreme Court of Virginia recognized the common law tort of IIPR in the Wyatt case.  However, as Yates & Musick describe, since then “litigation-hungry parents and guardians continue to test the boundaries of IIPR, using it as a sword in civil litigation against guardians ad litem, psychologists, and counselors to challenge their recommendations to family court judges as the ‘cause’ of adverse custody rulings.”  The article outlines numerous defenses that are available to defeat these types of suits.

Online access to these Journal articles and past editions can be found here.

Legislative Update

Governor Northam signed a bill amending Section 38.2-2206 providing that any release of a liability insurer for limits shall not be a release to any other parties other than that liability insurer and the underinsured motorist.  Also signed into law is Section 8.01-379.2:1 on spoliation of evidence which establishes that a party or potential litigant has a duty to preserve evidence relevant to reasonably foreseeable litigation.  These become effective July 1, 2019.

Diversity Scholarship

We are still accepting applications for our Diversity Scholarship. In 2018, the VADA was pleased to support the development and training of a diverse population of law students by launching the VADA Diversity Scholarship Program.

This program offers a $3000 stipend for a diverse law student who pursues summer employment or an internship with a Virginia firm or legal organization involved in civil litigation defense.

We continue to solicit applications until April 15. To apply, we ask them to submit a resume and brief personal statement directly to

Recent Rulings

Did you know that you can stay up to date on recent rulings on the VADA Members-Only Facebook Page?  This is different from our VADA public Facebook page. Join here.

2019 Annual Meeting

With March Madness at a fever pitch, ever wonder how many teams would like to take a peek at their opponent’s playbook?  At our 2019 Annual Meeting, VADA will give you an opportunity to do just that! 

On Thursday, October 3, we will lead off a full day of CLE with an all-star panel of plaintiff’s attorneys, moderated by our own John Mumford.  These panelists will share with you things from the pages of their playbooks that, to be honest, they would just as soon you not know about. 

Make plans today to join us at Hilton Norfolk The Main October 2-4, 2019, for the VADA’s 2019 Annual Meeting.  Hope to see you there!

Eggleston/I’Anson Professionalism Award

Congratulations to longtime VADA member Alan Rashkind, the 2019 Eggleston/I’Anson Professionalism Award winner!

The Eggleston/I'Anson Professionalism Award is named after former Supreme Court of Virginia Chief Justices John W. Eggleston, of Norfolk, and Lawrence W. I'Anson, of Portsmouth. The award honors present and former members of the Norfolk Portsmouth Bar Association who have exemplified the highest standards of professionalism throughout their careers.

A very well-deserved honor!

VADA Member Spotlight

When she is not in the office, this North Carolina native enjoys running, hiking, and spending time with family and friends. 

A skilled insurance coverage attorney and commercial litigator, she loves animals and has dreams of one day opening a companion animal rescue.  To learn more about this month’s VADA Spotlighted member, please click here.

Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys
1915 Huguenot Road, Ste 301
Richmond, VA  23235