Fall Webinar November 17, Young Lawyers Boot Camp December 4, Fall Journal, and more. .

VADA Defense Line October 2020

President's Welcome

I am so excited and honored to have the opportunity to serve as VADA President this year. I thank Melissa Katz, our Immediate Past President, for her leadership this past year. COVID-19 has changed the way we work and meet. Like organizations everywhere, the VADA continues to adapt its practices and procedures to meet this challenge. The 2020 Annual Meeting at The Homestead and via webcast was an excellent example of this and was a huge success with a robust agenda of informative presentations. We extend thanks to our attendees, sponsors, speakers and judges who joined us either in person or virtually.

We also look forward to the upcoming 2020-21 year which includes our new Fall Webinar on November 17, our annual Young Lawyers Bootcamp on December 4 in Richmond (in person and via webcast), our popular Deposition Workshop at our new location of Liberty University School of Law on March 12-13 and our Spring Section Seminar May 5-7 at the Boar’s Head Inn. Please go to www.vada.org for more information.

My goal for the coming year is that the VADA work with the VTLA, VSB, VBA, Supreme Court and other bar organizations and stakeholders to learn to practice law effectively and safely in the midst of a pandemic. I hope the VADA can be a leader in helping Virginia to resume safe and fair jury trials.

Thank you for your continued support of VADA. I hope to see you soon, either in person or on a Zoom screen.

Tate C. Love
VADA President, 2020-21


Register today for our new Fall Webinar, which features sessions originally slated for the Annual Meeting and were shifted to a later date due to COVID. 

You’ll hear from VADA past president Randy Wimbish of Wimbish Gentile McCray & Roeber about the timely topic of Live Streaming Testimony. Nancy Reynolds of Woods Rogers will discuss the long and rich history of Motions Craving Oyer in Virginia jurisprudence, as well as the recent Virginia Supreme Court opinion bolstering oyer motions. Douglas Penner from Goodman Allen Donnelly will examine Subpoenaing Substance Abuse Treatment/Mental Health Records and will focus on the unique challenges of issuing subpoena duces tecum for mental health and substance abuse treatment records and the applicable legal standard under 42 C.F.R. Part 2 and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Finally, Hall & Sethi’s Robert Hall will share the Innocence of Earl Washington, a Virginia death-row inmate who was exonerated in 2000, in part due to Mr. Hall’s efforts in defending against the use of DNA evidence.

With the CLE deadline now extended to the end of December, you still have time to get in those final few hours, so register here today.

This one-day seminar on December 4 is where newer attorneys learn the practical information needed to practice defense law. Sessions will be taught by experienced members of the civil defense bar and the judiciary. 

We have a different agenda than 2019, so plan to register again. We'll discuss:

  • Your Role as Second Chair
  • What the Insurance Adjustor Needs from You: Teamwork in Insurance Claims
  • Tips for Practice in the Eastern District of Virginia
  • How to Try a Case in General District Court
  • Reptile Theory Update
  • Your First Jury Trial
  • Judicial Advice for New Lawyers Judges Panel Discussion

The program will be offered both in-person and via webcast. Register today here.

Journal of Civil Litigation

The Fall edition of The Journal of Civil Litigation is now available. Hard copies have been mailed. As always current and past editions of the Journal can be searched in the “Members Only” section of the VADA webpage.

The Fall 2020 edition includes five feature articles:

  • Gregory Bean’s article on the history of quantum meruit in Virginia.
  • An article by Jim Cales, our newly minted secretary, and Brittany McGill on the history and future of qualified immunity.
  • An article by Judge Everett A. Martin, Jr., on pleas in bar.
  • Stewart R. Pollock’s article on defending COVID-19 personal injury claims.
  • Nancy F. Reynold’s article on Virginia Consumer Protection Act Claims in medical malpractice actions.

Also included in the Fall 2020 journal are fifteen (15) recent court opinions, including one that will enlighten us as to whether Captain Jack Sparrow can be defamed in an op-ed piece.

Few state level defense organizations have a journal, let alone one of this quality. It is one of the many excellent benefits of being a VADA member.

Special thanks to our entire Journal Editorial Board, including John D. Eure (Chair), Ken Sinclair (Editor-in-Chief) and Molly Terry (Managing Editor).

Finally, congratulations to Lauren Kadish. Lauren’s article in the 2020 Summer edition of the Journal -- “HEALTHCARE PROVIDER LIABILITY FOR PRIVACY BREACHES UNDER FEDERAL AND STATE PRIVACY STATUTES” – was selected by the Journal’s Editorial Board as it’s article of the year for 2019-2020. John Eure presented Lauren her award remotely as part of this year’s Annual Meeting Luncheon.

We are pleased to introduce the members of VADA’s Executive Committee for 2020-21! Pictured below, beginning in the top row from L to R, are: President, Tate Love of Timberlake, Smith, Thomas & Moses, P.C.; Immediate Past President, Melissa Katz of Bancroft, McGavin, Horvath and Judkins, P.C.; President-Elect, Jason Moyers of Frankl Miller Webb & Moyers, LLP; Treasurer, Julie Palmer of Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman; and Secretary, Jim Cales of Furniss, Davis, Rashkind and Saunders, P.C.

The General Assembly still has unfinished business and is expected to reconvene after election day. HB5013 and SB5065 removing qualified immunity for law enforcement officers as defendants in civil actions were both tabled this session, but will likely return for the 2021 Session. HB5066 which defined COVID-19 as a presumed occupational disease for workers’ compensation benefits for firefighters, emergency medical services personnel, law enforcement officers, first responders, and health care providers was left in Senate Appropriations after reporting from Commerce and Labor. HB5059, which grants immunity from civil liability to certain hospices, home care organizations, private providers, assisted living facilities and adult day care centers, was passed by both houses, approved by the Governor, and became effective October 13.

2020 Frank N. Cowan Civility Cup

Congratulations to Team VADA for bringing home the 2020 Frank N. Cowan Civility Cup! Many thanks to The McCammon Group for sponsoring this year’s Tournament! Thanks, too, to all those who participated and to all involved in the planning of this year’s event!

Deposition Rule Refresher

Issue: Can a “consulting” expert attend a deposition of another deponent and the other party doesn’t agree?

Answer: No. However, if it is a “designated” expert, the “designated” expert can attend the deposition. See rule set forth below.

Rule 4:5(b)(4) Unless otherwise agreed to by the parties or otherwise provided by court order or by law, only the witness, the parties, their respective counsel including such counsel's staff, experts identified pursuant to Rule 4:1(b)(4)(A), and those involved with the administration of the deposition (such as court reporters and translators) may attend the deposition, given the private nature of discovery. Counsel of record for the parties and counsel for any non-party deponent must timely confer regarding any other attendees who are requested by a party or by the deponent to be present at the deposition. A party seeking to exclude any person from attending a deposition -- or seeking authorization for any person to attend a deposition -- must move for an order in the discretion of the circuit court.

Annual Meeting Wrap-Up

We would like to thank all of our members, sponsors, and friends who made this year’s Annual Meeting at The Homestead a great success. For the first time ever, the meeting was presented in a hybrid format. All those who attended – either live or remotely – benefitted from our first-class CLE presentations and attended our Thursday Awards Luncheon, which was live-streamed. Those who attended in-person safely enjoyed the resort’s beautiful grounds and our social events.

Our theme for this year’s meeting was “Sharpen Your Litigation Focus.” It would not have been possible to put on a successful meeting during a pandemic without the hard work and flexibility of our Annual Meeting Committee, our speakers, our Director of Meetings, Amy Gilbody, and our Executive Director, Sherma Mather. We thank them for their dedication to the VADA. We would also like to recognize and thank our sponsors, without whose generosity and support events like our 2020 Annual Meeting would not be possible.

Please mark your calendars now for our 2021 Annual Meeting, which will be held October 20-22, 2021 at the Oceanfront Marriott in Virginia Beach. We hope you see you there!

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

November 17
Fall Webinar

December 4
Young Lawyers Boot Camp
Richmond & via Webcast

March 12-13
Deposition Workshop
Liberty University & Webcast

May 5-7
Spring Sections Seminar 
Boar's Head Inn, Charlottesville

October 20-22
Annual Meeting
Virginia Beach

Veteran’s Day is Wednesday, November 11.  To mark the occasion, VADA will be presenting a tribute to those VADA members who have served in the United States military.  If you would like to be included in this tribute, please email a photo to Sherma Mather at smather@vada.org or Jason Moyers at moyers@fmwm.law.  Please include in your email your branch of service.  We will publish in our November Defense Line and on our social media platforms on November 11 our tribute to those who have served.

This Star City native and longtime VADA member worked as a service station attendant and as an AM radio DJ before embarking on his legal career.  In addition to his skills as a litigator, he is known for his sense of humor and his being one of VADA’s most popular speakers.  To learn more about this month’s VADA Spotlighted Member, click here.

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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