Free Chair Yoga Class Tuesday, Webinar on Working Remotely on Wednesday, Spring Sections Seminar moves online,  Award nominations sought, and more.

VADA Defense Line April 2020

President's Welcome 

Greetings!  We hope you and your family are well. We continue to monitor COVID-19 news and we assure you that the safety and well-being of our members remains a top priority. We are working to reschedule, via webinar, most of our cancelled and upcoming events and we will continue our partnership with Planet Depos to offer timely online webinars. We welcome suggestions, so please let us know if you have a webinar topic you'd like to share with our membership. Our Spring Sections Seminar will proceed forward, via webinar, on its original dates of May 14-15. Please see the calendar below for all upcoming programming, including virtual happy hours. 

As we navigate through uncharted territories and deal with court closings, please continue to use VADA resources if you need any assistance in a jurisdiction which is not close to your office. All of our VADA members are listed on our website. If there is any assistance that the VADA Board can provide, please feel free to reach out to us: Sherma Mather, Executive Director: (804) 649-1002 and/or contact our officers, regional directors, or directors listed here. We also invite you to join our social media sites where we post current court updates, legal developments, and relevant COVID-19 information The links to join are as follows:

These are extraordinary times that we all are facing.  We will provide as many resources to you as possible to help you and your colleagues adapt to a more virtual practice.  We will continue to be of service to you and encourage you to reach out to us and your fellow members.  We are stronger together. 

Melissa H. Katz
VADA President, 2019-20

Spring Sections Seminar Moves Online
May 14-15

Our popular annual specialized litigation sections training, the Spring Sections Seminar, has moved online this year. Sign up for as many sections as you wish and join from the comfort of your home or office. This year, we'll discuss hot topics such as Bankruptcy and Corporate Representation, Challenging the BAC Test Results in Civil Litigation, Hospital's Duty to Protect Patients and Control Other Violent Patients on the Premises, and more.  See the complete agenda and register on the meeting website.

Thank you to our speakers and section leadership for developing an excellent agenda and demonstrating great flexibility! We hope to see you online next month.

Wednesday, April 22
12:30 PM

Register online here.

Free for VADA members and their paralegals.

Working from Home in a Defense Practice

Many lawyers are now working from home. What does this look like and how can you be productive? Learn this, and more, when you join VADA Board Member Emeritus, James A. Cales III, of Furniss, Davis, Rashkind, and Saunders, PC for this webinar.

He will discuss three central topics:

  • How do I work from home and what do I need?
  • What legal resources are available to me?
  • What types of things can I work on?

Chair Yoga Webinar
April 21 at Noon

Take a break from the stress and uncertainty of your day from the comfort and stability of your chair!  Join your fellow VADA members and professional yoga instructor Kelly List Kemper for a FREE 30 minute Chair Yoga Class. This movement-based practice is perfect for alleviating back and neck stiffness.  It concludes with a guided, seated meditation that will ease your mind during this wild and uncertain time. 

This class will be presented via Zoom  No change of clothing is required!  No experience necessary! Register here.

 Mixology Class

April 23 at 6:00 PM
Via Zoom


Featuring Bartender Leslie Cadillac
from The River and Rail

Join us for an evening of networking and fun with fellow VADA members, from the comfort of your home. While we can't go to the restaurant, we will bring the bartender to you. Our guest bartender will join our virtual happy hour and host a mixology class for yummy cocktails and mocktails. Drinks and list of recommended ingredients will be sent via email ahead of the event. Register here.

Cloud Services: Avoid Security Pitfalls Without Compromising User Experience

COVID-19 has caused a sudden uptick in the use of remote-working tools such as video conferencing and online collaboration platforms. Now more than ever, it is important for companies to consider their security procedures for ensuring new services used by their employees are not exposing them or their data to unintended risks.

You are invited to join Exponent's Drs. Matthew Pooley and Christopher Williams, who will highlight some common security considerations, and discuss ways in which Cloud security can be implemented as default without causing user inconvenience. These topics may also have relevance to lawsuits involving unintended data leaks or privacy violations, and also to disputes between service providers and users regarding who is responsible for ensuring proper security configurations are implemented. The event is free to VADA members, but registration is requested here.

Cloud Services: Avoid Security Pitfalls Without Compromising User Experience

April 30
12:00 PM
Free Webinar


Past Webinar Recordings

Did you miss our webinars on Remote Depositions or the one on COVID-19 Employment Laws?  You can listen to our recordings of the webinars here

Call for Webinar Content

Do you have expertise in a specific area that you'd be willing to share with your fellow VADA members? We are always seeking new topic ideas for future webinars. Do you have a good idea? If so, please email your thoughts to Amy Gilbody at 

Suggested Practices for
Remote Mediation

Longtime VADA sponsor, The McCammon Group, has shared with us their "Remote Mediation Suggested Practices for Lawyers" document.  Read it here to learn how remote mediation provides disputing parties and their lawyers with the opportunity, throughout these troubled times, to resolve disputes without endangering the health of any participants with both time and cost savings.  

HCA Sports Med 5K 

The HCA Sports Med 5K has been postponed until 2021.  We will update you with the new date as soon as it is available.  

VTLA-VADA Civility and Professionalism Award

The VADA is still soliciting nominations for the VADA-VTLA Civility and Professionalism Award for 2020. The deadline has been extended to April 27. Both associations believe that their members have an obligation to be professional with clients, other parties and counsel, the courts and the public. This obligation includes civility, professional integrity, personal dignity, candor, diligence, respect, courtesy, and cooperation.

Congratulations to Kate McCauley, VADA Past President (2014-15) who was selected as the VTLA Civility Award honoree for 2020. She was honored with the award during their Annual Meeting March 26-28.

Please send nominations to Sherma Mather at There is no specific form to use, just email your nomination with a brief description of why the nominee is deserving.

Governor Northam has approved SB661/HB781, effective July 1, 2020, which provides that a diagnosis of nonmalignant asbestos injury or disease shall not accrue an action based upon the subsequent diagnosis of a malignant asbestos injury or disease. This is intended to reverse the findings in Kiser v. AW Chesteron, 285 Va. 12 (2013). HB1359, also effective July 1, 2020, concerns transfer of matters from circuit to general district court without dismissal or nonsuit. HB759 and SB375 regarding limitations of strategic lawsuits against public participation (SLAPP) failed to pass. HB46, also effective July 1, 2020, requires an employer to notify an employee of intent to accept or deny a claim for workers’ compensation or else notify the employee that further information is needed. 

New Journal of Civil Litigation

The Spring 2020 edition of the Journal of Civil Litigation is hot off the presses! Maybe you could use your time at home to enjoy this great read somewhere outside.

Remember, the Journal is available electronically in the “Members Only” section of the VADA website. In addition to reading the current edition of the Journal here, you can review and perform keyword searches on past versions of the Journal.

This month’s feature articles include:

  • Matthew Robertson, B. Patrick O’Grady and Matthew Dwyer discussing how accident reconstruction evidence can successfully be used in Virginia courts.
  • Tiffany Vrabac writing on the ethical considerations of the use of social media as a marketing tool by attorneys.
  • Victoria Pretlow updating us on developments in the law regarding the duty to indemnify in declaratory judgment actions.

In addition, the Journal, as usual, includes numerous case law updates from around the Commonwealth. But, remember, this amazing VADA benefit is available to members only.

Mark your calendar now for these upcoming VADA events.  Be sure to bookmark VADA Upcoming Events so you don't miss out.

Watch your email for updates on all upcoming events.

April 21
Chair Yoga

April 22
Working from Home

April 23
Southwest Region Happy Hour
Online Virtual Happy Hour

April 30
Cloud Security 

Rescheduled to 2021
HCA Sports Med 5K

May 14-15
Spring Sections Seminar 
Via Webinar

May 20
Potomac Region Happy Hour
Online Virtual Happy Hour

June 19
VADA Board Meeting

Member Spotlight

This Arlington, Virginia, native and avid coffee drinker fancies herself sometimes as Barbara Walters when taking a deposition. Tops on her bucket list? To visit each and every one of our National Parks. To learn more about this month’s VADA Spotlighted Member, click here.

The VADA is still encouraging members to renew for 2020. Dues reminders went out Jan 1, Feb 1, March 1 and April 1 electronically. Paper dues reminders were mailed in March and April to all non-renewed members, and reminders will continue to be sent monthly. The VADA offerings and VADA community all are shared in the belief that we are stronger, smarter and better attorneys when we work together and collaborate, share resources and ideas. If you are unsure of your membership status, please contact Sherma Mather at for more information.

We are pleased to welcome 26 new members who have joined since Jan 1, either joining independently or via a CLE event. Welcome to all our new members!

2019-20 At Large Directors

We are pleased to introduce our At Large Directors for 2019-20!  Beginning in the upper left are Michael Beverly, Taylor Brewer, Audra Dickens, Anna Zick, Daniel Sarrell, Chris Dadak, and Ally Sipes. Thank you for your service to our members!

Defense Line Archives

Did you know that past editions of Defense Line are available online?  See all past issues here. Feel free to share these with non-members when talking with them about the value of VADA membership. 

VADA’S Mission

The mission of the Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys is to assist Virginia attorneys in the professional and ethical representation of their clients in civil litigation through education, communication and fellowship.

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