Nutrition Tips for Busy Attorneys Lunch & Learn, Annual Meeting Registration Opens, Paralegal Seminar, and more... 

VADA Defense Line 


With summer in full swing, I hope everyone is enjoying some travel, rest, and relaxation. Wherever you go this summer, stay connected with the VADA on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram!

Join us August 15 for our next Lunch & Learn, Nutrition Tips for Busy Attorneys. Sponsored by the Wellness Committee, this nutrition presentation is tailored for busy and stressed attorneys. Fitness and nutrition expert Jim White will explore essential tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle while constantly on-the-go. Register here

Our annual Paralegal Seminar will be held via Zoom on August 23, 2023. This must-attend program includes substantive presentations from attorneys and senior paralegals and is suitable for paralegals of all experience levels. Register here.

On September 14, 2023, join us for two VADA events. At noon, our Women’s Section will present a Lunch & Learn program for “Lawyer Moms,” a panel discussion of the joys and challenges of work-life balance for VADA mothers past, present and future. Register here. At 5:00 p.m., our Tidewater Region Networking Reception will be held at Grain Rooftop Beer Garden in Norfolk. Register hereThank you to Planet Depos and InQuis for sponsoring this event!

It's hard to believe, but our Annual Meeting is just around the corner. This year’s meeting is October 25-27 at the Marriott Virginia Beach Oceanfront. The theme is “Developing a Modern Defense Practice,” and our Meeting Chair, Matt Kelley, the Annual Meeting Committee, and Section Chais and Vice-Chairs have a fantastic agenda planned. Registration is now open, and you can learn more and register here.

Until next month, take care and thank you, as always, for your support of the VADA.

Julie Palmer
VADA President, 2022-23

Don't miss out on three days of learning and networking at the beach.  Topics include:

  • Decoding the Gen-Z Jury
  • Appeals as a Matter of Right
  • Daubert
  • Direct Negotiation Strategies
  • Common Trial Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
  • Preventing Nuclear Verdicts
  • Maintaining Data Security, Ethics and Your Wellbeing in the New Era of Practicing Law

We'll also have our popular Breakfast with the Judiciary, Networking Receptions, Late Nights, Wellness Activities, Women's Section Dinner, Litigation Sections Breakouts, and more.

Register and book your discounted hotel room from the meeting websiteThe room block will be released the earlier of September 22, or when the block fills, so book today. 

August 23
Via Zoom

A must-attend event for paralegals of all levels working in civil defense firms. This one-day webinar is designed to hone your skills as a valuable member of your legal team. Instructors include attorneys and senior paralegals from several Virginia defense firms. 

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

Tidewater Region
September 14
Grain at The Main in Norfolk

Watch your email for date and location for the Blue Ridge Region.

Nutrition Tips for
Busy Attorneys

Sponsored by the Wellness Committee
August 15

Jim White
Owner, Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studios

In this nutrition presentation, tailored for busy and stressed attorneys, we will explore essential tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle while constantly on-the-go. As lawyers often find themselves traveling for long hours to attend depositions or court appearances, we will discuss effective strategies for dieting on the road. Discover practical advice on making healthy food choices and maintaining balanced meals even during hectic schedules.

Additionally, we will explore ways to incorporate exercise into your office routine, ensuring you can stay active and relieve stress without compromising your work commitments. Lastly, we'll share valuable insights on stocking your desk drawer with nutritious options, enabling you to make healthy choices throughout the day. This presentation aims to provide helpful and actionable tips specifically designed for our attorneys on the go.

Lawyer Moms
September 14

Julie Palmer
Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman
VADA President 

Darlene P. Bradberry
Newport News City Attorney’s Office
Tidewater Regional Director

Phylicia A. Preston
Byrne Canaan Law

Noelle Quam

Rachel Horvath
Piedmont Liability Trust
Women's Section Chair

Taylor Brewer
Moran Reeves Conn
Women's Section Vice-Chair

“Lawyer Moms” is a panel discussion by and for VADA mothers past, present, and future.  This Lunch & Learn will explore the joys and challenges faced by attorney moms in civil litigation.  Speakers will share tips and tricks on how they juggle jobs and families and generally “do it all.” 

Sponsored by InQuis Global

Betsy Keesler, BSN, RN, CLCP
InQuis Global

Michael Fryar, M.S., CRC, RN, CCM, QRP, CLCP
InQuis Global

November 8

This presentation will examine the core foundations for building both an evidence-based pediatric life care plan and an earning capacity analysis. 

 A review of the necessary standards, guidelines, and/or consensus statements for these evaluations will be outlined.

DRI Seminars Coming to
Washington, DC this Summer!

DRI is excited to be bringing four valuable seminars to Washington, DC in August:

With these seminars taking place in our Mid-Atlantic region, this is the perfect time to experience the education and networking power of DRI’s in-person events, while also saving on travel and spending less time away from the office.

Learn more about DRI programing on the DRI website.

Not a DRI Member? Join now and save $300 on registration thanks to exclusive member pricing!

Please save the date for a Lunch & Learn, “Lawyer Moms,” on September 14, 2023.  “Lawyer Moms” is a panel discussion by and for VADA mothers past, present, and future.  This Lunch & Learn will explore the joys and challenges faced by attorney moms in civil litigation.  Speakers will share tips and tricks on how they juggle jobs and families and generally “do it all.”  The panelists are VADA President Julie Palmer of Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman, Darlene P. Bradberry of the Newport News City Attorney’s Office, Phylicia A. Preston of Byrne Canaan Law, and Noelle Quam of TimberlakeSmith.  Moderators are Women’s Section leaders Rachel Horvath of Piedmont Liability Trust and Taylor Brewer of Moran Reeves Conn. 

As always, if you have any suggestions or comments, please contact Rachel Horvath at or Taylor Brewer at

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

August 15
Nutrition Tips for Busy Attorneys Lunch & Learn

August 23
Paralegal Seminar

September 14
Lawyer Moms Lunch & Learn

September 14
Tidewater Region Networking Event

October 25-27
Annual Meeting
Marriott Resort Virginia Beach Oceanfront

November 8
Pediatric Life Care Planning and Earning Capacity Analysis Lunch & Learn

December 1
Young Lawyers Boot Camp
Drive Shack Richmond

This Suffolk, Virginia, native and VADA Past President loves family and the great outdoors.  His secret to success?  Elvis Costello sitting second chair!  For this and much more on this month's VADA Spotlighted Member, click here.

Save the date!

September 20, 2023 will be the Frank N. Cowan VADA-VTLA Annual Golf Tournament at Independence Golf Course. Our thanks to the McCammon Group for their continued support of this event!

For information on playing, please contact VADA Past President John Owen at or Sherma Mather at

Look forward to seeing you there!

Frank N. Cowan VADA-VTLA Annual Golf Tournament

September 20, 2023

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.

Virginia Torts Case Finder

Brien Roche, long-time VTLA member and author of the Virginia Torts Case Finder has reached out to his colleagues on the defense side with a generous offer.  Brien has had several inquiries over the years from lawyers who want to know whether or not the Virginia Torts Case Finder is still in print.  Sadly, it is not.  Lexis Nexis discontinued the supplement several years ago but in the finest tradition of being a student of the law, he still does an annual supplement. That supplement can be found, free of charge, on this website.  

Please join us in thanking Brien for continuing to provide this valuable resource for the profession.

Journal of Civil Litigation
Summer 2023 Edition

Do not miss the Summer 2023 edition of The Journal of Civil Litigation!  It includes nine judicial opinions and two feature articles:

  • Sean Mackin offers a coverage decision about the mold exclusion as a defense to a plaintiff’s attempt to exploit a covered water intrusion loss and require an insurance company to pay for a complete home remodel.
  • Joseph Rainsbury writes a comprehensive review of former Chief Justice Donald Lemons’s tenure on the Supreme Court of Virginia.  This article is part two of two and explores the development of substantive law relevant to civil litigation.

Many thanks to Managing Editor, Molly Terry; Editor-in-Chief, Kent Sinclair; the Board of Editors; and Chair of the Board of Editors, John D. Eure for consistently producing such a quality journal. 

VADA members receive the Journal as a benefit of membership and can search current and past journals, including by keyword, on our website.

Sean Barrick
McCandlish Holton

Karen McElhinny
Shuman Law

Kambria Lannetti
Hancock Daniel

Studies show that the quality and quantity of social relationships directly impacts both mental health and morbidity and mortality.  The longest in-depth longitudinal study on human life, the Harvard Study of Adult Development, has revealed that good relationships lead to health and happiness.   US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy stated, "When people feel they belong to one another, their lives are stronger, richer, and more joyful."

The importance of human connection is indisputable, but practicing law can feel lonely, even for litigators.  According to an article on lawyer loneliness, "Simply put, we all must create and maintain trusting relationships with other people." So how do we do it?  

1. Attend VADA events (and events of other professional organizations).

2. If it's a quiet week without much human interaction, meet a colleague for lunch.

3. Volunteer in the community and do pro bono work.

4. Share unsolicited, positive feedback with support staff and teammates. 

5. Nurture your relationships whenever possible.

6. Engage in marketing efforts that put you in front of people (hopefully current and prospective clients). 

The VADA Wellness Committee is committed to the mental and physical wellbeing of VADA members.  Please reach out - we'd love to meet for coffee. 

-Sophie Brasseux, Taylor Brewer, Jerry Harris, Melissa Katz, Juliane Miller, Nate Schnetzler.

Join our social media sites where we post current court updates, relevant legal developments, and much, much more!  

    VADA’S Mission

    The mission of the Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys is to develop and support Virginia attorneys engaged in a civil defense practice in the professional and ethical representation of their clients through education, communication and fellowship.

    Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys
    11533 Busy Street, #327
    N. Chesterfield, VA  23236
    804-649-1002 |

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

    If you no longer wish to receive these emails, you can unsubscribe at any time