Award winners announced, Annual Meeting updates, DRI crash tests, and more.

VADA Defense Line August 2019

President's Welcome

Welcome to the August Defense Line. Tidewater region members, we hope to see you at our Regional Happy Hour on September 5 at 6:00 at Brick  Anchor Brew House -- RSVP here.  Don't miss this opportunity to network with VADA members and visit with old friends. Many thanks to our sponsor, Planet Depos.

Our Blue Ridge region members enjoyed their happy hour last week at Zocalo.

Tate Love, Marc Peritz & Bob Yates were big winners in Charlottesville

Have you registered yet for our Annual Meeting? We have added many new activities this year including dine arounds, a 2nd late night, a fitness challenge and even karaoke. You don't want to miss this one! Register today here.

Many of your paralegals joined us in Richmond for our Paralegal Seminar. Thank you to Taylor Brewer, Jim Cales, Ashley Calkins, Melissa Katz, Julie Palmer and Saemi Murphy for coming over to speak to participants.

I hope you enjoy the last few weeks of summer.

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

VADA Award for Excellence in Civil Litigation

Walter H. Peake III

The board of directors of the VADA is pleased to announce that this year’s Award for Excellence in Civil Litigation will be awarded posthumously to Walter H. Peake III.  The award will be presented to Walt’s family at the 2019 Annual Meeting in Norfolk on October 3.

Walt was a masterful trial lawyer who specialized in the defense of medical professionals. Walt was known not just for his keen intellect, skillful advocacy, unyielding concern for and devotion to his clients, but also for his adherence to the highest standards of ethics, integrity, and professionalism.

VADA-VTLA Civility and Professionalism Award

This year, VADA will bestow its VADA-VTLA Civility and Professionalism Award to Stephanie E. Grana of Breit Cantor Grana BucknerThis year marks the fourth year of the joint award given to a member who exhibits the highest degree of civility and professionalism in dealing with litigation opponents. The award will be presented at our Annual Meeting. 

Earlier this year, the VTLA honored Michael E. Harman with its 2019 VADA-VTLA Civility and Professionalism Award.

Learn more about the winners on the VADA Awards webpage.

Annual Meeting

Effective July 1, 2019, the Virginia General Assembly has modified Virginia law pertaining to spoliation of evidence.  This new statute comes on the heels of the Supreme Court of Virginia’s opinion in Emerald Point, LLC v. Hawkins and marks a sea change regarding the nature and extent of a party’s duty to preserve.  At the VADA’s Annual Meeting in Norfolk October 2-4, a powerhouse panel will take you through the ins and outs of the new statute. You will learn tips for issuing and responding to preservation letters and will get the inside track on how we as defense attorneys can use the new law to our advantage. Click here to register for the meeting.  Hope to see you there!

VADA/VTLA Frank N. Cowan Civility Golf Tournament!

We’re still filling out our team for the annual VADA/VTLA Frank N. Cowan Civility Golf Tournament! This year’s tournament is on September 26, 2019, at Independence Golf Club in Midlothian. Limited spaces remain for Team VADA. If you’re a VADA member and would like to participate, please contact John Owen,

Tidewater Happy Hour

Join us September 5 as we kick off our time in Norfolk with a Tidewater Regional Networking Happy Hour at Brick Anchor Brew House.  We'll be there from 6:00-7:30 and registration is free but RSVPs are appreciated.  Come join us!

Upcoming VADA Events

September 5
Tidewater Happy Hour, Norfolk

September 26
VADA/VTLA Frank N. Cowan Civility Golf Tournament, Midlothian

October 2
VADA Board Meeting, Norfolk

October 2-4
Annual Meeting, Norfolk

December 13
Young Laywers Boot Camp, Richmond

Journal of Civil Litigation

The summer 2019 edition of the Journal of Civil Litigation is out, and it includes three excellent articles, all written by VADA members.  Catherine Donnelly of the MitchellBanks, PC, examines the viability of informed consent claims by minors, and discusses strategies to defeat such claims.  Alexandra Dare Essig of Goodman Allen & Donnelly explores the availability of sovereign immunity as a defense for academic medical centers.  Finally, Guy M. Herbert, III, of Gentry Locke and Alexander S. de Witt of Freeborn Peters, provide an excellent overview of the law of insurance bad faith liability in Virginia.  There is also the usual selection of judicial opinions on topics as diverse as adultery and the 5th amendment to what damages should be available for defamation in a 10-second television interview.  Many thanks to Kent Sinclair (Editor in Chief), Molly Terry (Managing Editor) and John D. Eure (Chair of the Board of Editors) for their tireless work in providing us with the Journal.   If you have not checked out this most recent edition,read it now here. 

Member Spotlight

This VADA Past President’s loves include travel, small batch bourbon, and spending time with his family.  His real life hero?  His wife Jacqueline.  To learn more about this month’s VADA Spotlighted Member, click here.

DRI-Strictly Automotive

Join your DRI colleagues and peers at the Strictly Automotive Seminar in Columbus, Ohio on September 12-13.  Hear directly from vehicle manufacturers on what is important right now in automotive litigation and what is on the horizon with the advancement of new technology.  For the first time ever, participants will travel off-site to attend a live crash test and learn alongside experts as they show the latest ways to help defend your automotive cases. Register today on the DRI Website.  Questions? Contact John Peterson and/or Lindsay Rollins.

Young Lawyers Corner

What does it mean to “build a practice?" Can a young lawyer really take steps to build a practice—or is it simple dumb luck that ten years from now the associate next door (now a partner) will have a thriving book of business with sought after clients and you … perhaps not so much?

VADA President John Mumford recently answered these questions, and more, in the DRI publication Raising the Bar.  Read his article, "Thoughts on Building a Practice" to learn the secrets to success.

Mark Your Calendar

Be sure to save the date for our December 13 Young Lawyers Boot Camp in Richmond.  This training is perfect for newer associates. 

Sneak Peek

Mark March 13-14, 2020 on your calendar.  We'll be offering a brand new Trial Skills program focused on working with experts. Further details coming soon so watch your email.

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