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VADA Defense Line April 2022


Spring has sprung!  While Mother Nature continues to play her usual games with our April weather, the arrival of Spring has us looking forward to the warmth and rebirth that always accompanies this time of year.

As the calendar turns to April, we are just a few short weeks away from our 2022 Spring Sections Seminar!  The last time we were together in person for this event was in 2019.  For those who haven’t done so, please make plans to be with us at the Boar’s Head Resort in Charlottesville May 4-6!  Full details and registration are available on our website.  My hope is that each and every one of you are able to be with us!

Also on tap in the coming weeks is the first of our 2022 Regional Happy Hours!  Our Capitol Region leads things off on June 23 with a fun evening at The Hof Garden in Scott’s Addition.  Thank you to Planet Depos for sponsoring this event!  Details for this event, as well, are available on our website.  Stay tuned for additional Happy Hours as they are scheduled!

In addition to looking forward to our Happy Hours and Spring Sections Seminar, I want to thank Amy Courtney, Marc Paradiso, and Regan Lawson of Exponent for an outstanding presentation during our March Lunch & Learn!  For those who weren’t able to be with us, you can view Amy, Marc, and Regan’s presentation on the VADA website.  You can also register for our next Lunch & Learn, which is May 24, courtesy of InQuis Global, LLC.

In closing, it continues to be my singular honor to serve as your President.  Thank you, all, for your support of our Association!  Thank you, too, for all you do to promote and improve our civil justice system and to support and give back to the communities in which we work and live!

Jason Moyers
VADA President 2021-22

Don't miss our first in-person
Spring Meeting in two years!

Spring Sections Seminar
May 4-6
Boar's Head Resort

Registration is still open for our Annual Spring Sections Seminar, which will be May 4-6 at the Boar's Head Resort in Charlottesville.

Our section leaders have developed an excellent agenda.  Sample sessions include:

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Legal Profession

Data Extraction - What Is It, Can You Use It, and if So, How?

Liability Coverage for Towing Claims

Effective Appellate Advocacy in the New Appellate Landscape

COVID-19 Statute of Limitation Tolling Statutes

See the complete agenda on the meeting webpage.

In addition to excellent CLE programming, the meeting also offers a private wine tasting event hosted by our Women's Section, Wellness Committee activities, a "Doggy Play Time Break" combined with our pet supply and fund drive for the Charlottesville Albemarle SPCA, and two networking receptions.

Seminar Activities


Join our private wine tasting event hosted by our Women's Section at Stinson Vineyards in Crozet! Those who attend this event will enjoy beautiful views, wine, and casual conversation with other VADA women. Transportation to and from the event will be provided.  Sign up for this optional event when you register for the Spring Meeting. Attendance is limited, so please register early!

Thank you to Planet Depos for sponsoring this event!


Make plans to join us for a Group Run/Walk on Thursday morning, May 5, and Group Yoga on Friday morning, May 6! All are welcome! Sign up for these optional free events when you register for the Spring Meeting.

Thank you to our Wellness Committee and Metadata Forensics for these awesome opportunities for some healthy fun!


VADA is collecting donations of needed funds and supplies for the Charlottesville Albemarle SPCA (CASPCA), a nonprofit animal welfare organization dedicated to providing a safe environment for the lost, abandoned, and homeless animals of Charlottesville and Albemarle County and placing them in good homes.  VADA is proud to partner with CASPCA to help fulfill its mission and to say thank you to the Charlottesville / Albermarle County community for hosting us for our Spring meeting!  

Weather permitting, we will offer "Doggie Play Time" at the Boar’s Head Resort from 1-2 pm on Thursday, May 5! Compliments of the Charlottesville Albemarle SPCA, and sponsored by our Wellness Committee, this fun event is one you won’t want to miss!

To learn more about CASPCA and the great work they do, visit:  For a wish list of items the CSPCA can use, visit:

Click here for a printable flyer to post in your office. Please bring your donations with you to the Spring meeting.  We thank you for your support!

Foundational Requirements
for the Life Care Plan

May 24 at Noon

Michael A. Fryar, M.S., RN, CLCP, CCM, CRC, QRP

Betsy Keesler, RN, BSN, CLCP

Our panel of experts from InQuis will review published life care planning standards, tenets and consensus statements relative to seeking, gathering and establishing comprehensive foundation for the development an evidence-based life care plan.  Case scenarios will be utilized to illustrate appropriate and inappropriate methods/practices relative to foundational requirements.  Finally, the implications and risks inherent to breaching one’s professional scope of practice and/or other standards during the development of a life care plan will be addressed.  

Capitol Region Networking Reception
The Hof Garden
June 23
5:00 - 700 PM

Join us for an evening of networking and fun on the rooftop of The Hof with fellow VADA members.  Drinks, snacks, and exciting raffle prizes provided by our sponsor, Planet Depos.  For an extra raffle ticket, bring a colleague who is not yet a VADA member.  Registration is free, but RSVPs are requested.

Our Women’s Section is excited to announce that it will be hosting a special event at our Spring Sections Seminar in Charlottesville!  Please check out the details above for our private wine tasting event and plan to join us!  

We are still working on a listserv/communication option and hope to have something shortly.  If you have any suggestions for the Section, please contact Rachel Horvath at or Jodi Simopoulos at

We look forward to seeing you this Spring!


Be sure to bookmark VADA Upcoming Events so you don't miss out.

May 4-6
Spring Sections Seminar
Boar's Head Inn

May 24
Foundational Requirements for the Life Care Plan
Lunch & Learn Zoom

June 23
Capitol Region Networking Reception
The Hof Garden

June 29
Meet the Author of Mingo
Lunch & Learn Zoom

October 12-14
Annual Meeting
Hotel Roanoke

This Lexington, Virginia, native and proud mother of two has lawyering in her DNA.  Among her many interests are travel, Italian food, and 80’s music.  For this and a whole lot more on this month’s VADA Spotlighted Member, click here. 

By the Numbers

The VADA Board of Directors meets four times each year.  The first meeting is typically in Williamsburg in January, in conjunction with the Virginia Bar Association’s Annual Meeting.  The second is generally in Richmond in April, followed by the third in June in Virginia Beach, in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the Virginia State Bar.  The Board’s last meeting of the year is always in October, in conjunction with the VADA’s Annual Meeting.

We are pleased to announce the 2022 VADA/VTLA Frank N. Cowan Civility Golf Tournament. We will play during the afternoon of September 7 at Independence Golf Club.

To sign up to play, please contact John Owen at and cc Sherma Mather at

See you there!

Frank N. Cowan Civility Golf Tournament

MIssed A Webinar
or Meeting?

Did you know that many VADA Lunch & Learn webinars and online programs are available to watch on-demand? Click here to see the library of available content, which can be found in the members-only area of our website.

We are in dues renewal season! Email reminders continue to be sent to our non-renewed members, as well as paper reminders. If you have questions about your membership status, please reach out to VADA Executive Director Sherma Mather at or Membership Chair Todd Anderson at

A warm welcome to our newest member:

Christopher Hedrick
Mason, Mason, Walker & Hedrick

Sherma Mather
VADA Executive Director

Paying it forward this month is VADA’s Executive Director, Sherma Mather!  Since 2017, Sherma has volunteered with Richmond Animal Care and Control (RACC), Richmond’s only open admission animal shelter.  Her roles over the years with RACC have been many.  Sherma is a frequent dog walker.  She also assists with transporting dogs, whether it’s between shelters, to and from a rescue, or bringing them one step closer to their forever family.

As those who know her will attest, Sherma has an especially soft spot in her heart for senior shelter dogs, as well as those who are terminally ill or otherwise in need of special time and attention.  Fondly recalling each one, she has opened her heart and her home over the years to a number of special pups, giving each the opportunity to live their remaining years in a loving home, with proper care, and surrounded by as much love, comfort, and pampering as she and her husband Mike can muster. 

“I have been blessed with a lot,” Sherma says.  “With all of the fear, pain, and other unpleasantness in the world today, if I can give back and make that one dog’s life better, that, to me, is the most rewarding.”

Thank you, Sherma, for giving so freely and selflessly of your time and yourself in support of such a worthy cause!  Thank you, too, for paying it forward and making such a positive, real- world impact in our community!

The Benefits of Getting Outside
Sophia Brasseux
Moran Reeves & Conn

It is finally spring here in Virginia, and there is no better time to get outside. It is no surprise that getting outdoors has positive effects on wellbeing. Many of us might notice that after spending time outside in nature, we feel energized, calm, and happy. Though we know it is important to maintain our health and wellbeing, those things are often not prioritized over productivity in the legal profession. The good news is that taking just a half hour away from the computer to get outside not is only beneficial to your wellbeing but can also help improve productivity over time.

You don’t have to be a marathon runner or take on a backpacking expedition to reap the benefits of getting outside. A study out of the United Kingdom showed that productivity in workers improved 45% after spending just a half hour outside.* Forty percent of the employees surveyed felt more productive if they were able to break a sweat outside before or during the workday; however, around 60% of employees surveyed felt it was useful to just step outside during the day to just stretch their legs and clear their heads.**

As Richard Ryan, professor of psychology at the University of Rochester says, “nature is fuel for the soul.”*** A series of studies published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology found that getting outside in nature made people feel more alive. People with a greater sense of vitality, the feeling of “being alive,” do not just have more energy but are also more resilient to physical illness, making them healthier and more productive workers.

If getting outdoors isn’t an option for you, or you want to give yourself an extra boost of nature, perhaps try bringing nature indoors. A study out of the University of Michigan found that memory performance and attention spans improved around 20 % after individuals spent just one hour interacting with nature.****  Interestingly, the study found similar results in subjects who spent time looking at images of nature. Another option is to incorporate biophilic design into your workspace. This design concept, which incorporates things like natural light and plants into indoor settings, has been gaining popularity in part due to its positive effects on productivity and wellbeing.***** Studies have shown that having plants in your indoor space can improve productivity, reduce stress, and increase focus.

Though it can sometimes be hard to take that hour away from the desk mid-day or turn off the computer in the evening, taking a just a few moments away from your desk to get out in nature can help you be a more energized, healthy, and productive worker in the long run.




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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
    804-649-1002 |

    Executive Director: Sherma Mather
    Director of Meetings: Amy Gilbody
    Journal of Civil Litigation Managing EditorMolly Terry

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