Annual Meeting Registration Opens, Paralegal Seminar, Southwest Networking Reception, and more... 

VADA Defense Line July 2022


I begin this month by wishing everyone a Happy Independence Day!  While our dog Bentley could have done without the fireworks, it was great celebrating our nation’s 246th birthday and all that we as a country hold dear. 

With summer in full swing, I know many of you and your families are enjoying some much-deserved time away.  Whether you’re at the beach, one of our National Parks, or somewhere in between, I hope you have safe travels and a wonderful time together.  I’d be remiss if I didn’t invite you to stay connected with VADA while you are away.  Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram for all the latest VADA news and events!  VADA members can also access exclusive content on our “members-only” pages on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Thank you to everyone who joined us June 29 for our June Lunch & Learn and our conversation with Jeff Barnes on his novel Mingo!  Thank you, Jeff, for taking time to share with us details of the book, as well as a fascinating behind the scenes look at how it came to be.  Congrats to Ervin Reid, the lucky winner of an autographed copy of Mingo, courtesy of the author!

As we look forward to August, I want to remind you of a few upcoming events.  First, on August 3, we have our Southwest Region Networking Happy Hour at Fork in the Alley in Roanoke.  Many thanks to our sponsor Planet Depos and to our Southwest Regional Chair Chris Dadak for putting this together!  August 8 features our 2022 VADA Paralegal Seminar.  If you are a paralegal in a civil defense firm, this event is a definite must-attend!  On August 9, our Women’s Section presents our August Lunch & Learn.  Make plans to be with us as Kristin Richardson, founder of Sherah, shares strategies and tips to help working women take things off your plate, so you can focus on the things in life that really matter.  Visit our website for full details on these and all other VADA events!

We continue to look forward to October and the fun of our 2022 Annual Meeting!  I hope to see each of you at the Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center October 12-14.  Chaired by our Secretary Lindsay Rollins, our Annual Meeting Committee, along with our section chairs and vice-chairs, have a tremendous program on tap!  Registration and much, much more about our Annual Meeting are available on the VADA website.

Until next month, stay safe and stay well!  Thank you, as always, for your support of VADA!

Jason Moyers
VADA President 2021-22

August 3

Join us for an evening of networking and fun 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 here.

August 8
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. 

Based on feedback from previous attendees, this program will be offer virtually so that paralegals from across the Commonwealth can easily join. 

You Don't Need to Do It All
Sponsored by the VADA Women's Section

August 9

Kristin Richardson

Stop trying to do it all and learn to delegate! Join us August 9 for our Womens' Section Lunch and Learn, featuring Kristin Richardson, founder of Sherah. Sherah is a personal assistant service helping working women get their to do lists done! Kristin will talk about options to help take things off your plate, so you can focus on the important parts of life.

The event is fully virtual, via Zoom, and free to current and potential VADA members.


September 6
Grain Beer Garden at Hilton Norfolk The Main

Join us for an evening of networking and fun 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.

Don't miss out on three days of learning and networking with fellow civil defense attorneys. 

Sessions include:

  • The Future of the Defense Bar: Growing the Next Generation of Defense Attorneys
  • A Plaintiffs’ Attorneys’ Guide to an Effective Defense
  • So You’re a Lawyer? Tell Me More About ______
  • Restoring Jurors’ Faith in Science and Authorities: How to Cultivate Trustworthiness at Trial
  • To All the Defense Attorneys I’ve Loved Before: What In-House Counsel Wants You to Know 
  • A Nuts and Bolts Guide to Handling Appeals Before the Court of Appeals of Virginia 
  • Confronting Bias in the Courtroom and Beyond
  • Litigation section breakouts

Learn more and see the complete agenda on the meeting website.

Additional activities include: 

  • Breakfast with the Judiciary
  • Dine Around Dinners
  • Women's Section Dinner
  • New Members' Reception
  • President's Welcome Reception
  • Reception at the Penthouse at Center in the Square
  • Late Nights
  • Wellness Committee Activities
  • Community Service Project

Book your discounted hotel room at The Hotel Roanoke now, using the online book tool on the meeting website or click below. The discounted room block will be released the earlier of September 9 or when it fills, so book today.

Many thanks to our Annual Meeting Committee, chaired by our Secretary Lindsay Rollins. They have developed an amazing program!

Chair, Lindsay Rollins, The Progressive Group, Richmond

Jacob Adams, McGavin Boyce Bardot Thorsen & Katz, Fairfax

Kathryn Bonorchis, Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, Baltimore

Sophia Brasseux, Moran Reeves & Conn, Richmond

Taylor Brewer, Moran Reeves & Conn, Richmond

William Fussy, Gentry Locke, Roanoke

Gerald L. Harris, Office of the City Attorney of Virginia Beach, Virginia Beach, (Wellness Committee Liaison)

Rachel Horvath, Smith Bain Manuel & Horvath, Charlottesville (Women’s Section Liaison)

Drake Hudgins, Hudgins Law Firm, Alexandria

Sarah Jessee, Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, Roanoke

Karissa Kaseorg, Sands Anderson, Richmond

Sarah Knarzer, McCandlish Holton, Richmond

Laura Lee Miller, Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman, Richmond

Victoria Pretlow, Byrne Canaan Law, Richmond

Brittany Shipley, TimberlakeSmith, Staunton

Vivek Subramanyam, McGavin Boyce Bardot Thorsen & Katz, Fairfax

Lindsey Sweetgall-Brock, Furniss Davis Rashkind & Saunders, Norfolk

The Journal of Civil Litigation

              The Summer 2022 (Vol. 34, No. 2) edition of the Journal of Civil Litigation has been released.  All VADA members, unless they opt out, will receive a hard copy.   Members can always read the Journal, and search past issues by keyword, in the “Members Only” section of the VADA website.

              This quarter’s edition features four articles:

  • VADA member Phylicia Preston of Byrne Canaan Law, Chair of our Med Mal Section, writes on obtaining dismissal of cases against health care entities that are based on improper theories of liability.
  • VADA member Peter Schurig of Setliff Law, educates us on what business interruption losses due to COVID-19 are covered under an “all risks” property insurance policy.
  • VADA members Sam Bernier and Matt Kelley of Frith Anderson + Peake, discuss how to defend advanced practitioners in the times of telemedicine and expanding autonomy.
  • VADA member Darlene Bradberry of the Office of the City Attorney in Newport News outlines the developments in the law of sovereign immunity in Virginia.

The Summer 2022 Journal also includes nine case summaries, a welcome to our new VADA members and a preliminary agenda for our Annual Meeting in Roanoke in October.

Many thanks to those who make this Journal – which is the only law review quality journal produced by a state or local defense organization in the nation – possible:

  • Kent Sinclair, Editor-in-Chief
  • John D. Eure, Chair of the Board of Editors
  • Molly Terry, Managing Editor
  • All of the members of the Board of Editors


At our founding in 1968, VADA’s membership stood at a small, but dedicated, group of 35.  Today, we are proud to count 824 attorneys as active or honorary members of our Association!  By membership, VADA remains the largest statewide bar association in Virginia dedicated to the defense of civil litigation.

VADA's Women’s Section is sponsoring our August 9 Lunch & Learn Webinar, "You Don't Need to Do It All," featuring Kristin Richardson of Sherah. See the article above for details and we hope to see you there.

We will also be hosting an optional dinner Thursday night of the Annual Meeting.  We'll meet at Billy's to discuss issues women attorneys confront in our practices.  The fee for the dinner is $25 and includes a meal of your choice from a limited menu, and two drink tickets. Add this option when you register for the Annual Meeting  

If you have any ideas for our section, please contact Rachel Horvath at or Jodi Simopoulos at

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

August 3
Southwest Region Networking Reception
Fork in the Alley

August 8
Paralegal Seminar

Via Zoom

August 9
You Don't Need to Do It All
Lunch & Learn Zoom

September 6
Tidewater Region Networking Reception
Grain Beer Garden

October 12-14
Annual Meeting
Hotel Roanoke

December 2
Young Lawyers Boot Camp
Drive Shack Richmond


March 3-4
Deposition Workshop
University of Richmond

When she’s not in the office, this Fairfax native (and newlywed!) loves travel, DIY projects, and spending time with family.  For this and more on this month’s VADA Spotlighted Member, click here.  


Don't forget The 2022 VADA/VTLA Frank N. Cowan Civility Golf Tournament will take place the afternoon of September 7 at Independence Golf Club in Midlothian.

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.

Seth Fulton
Hancock Daniel

Brenda Howdershell
Allstate Staff Counsel

Jonathan Hogins
Thomas, Thomas & Hafer

Anne Ligon
Hampton City Attorney’s Office

Elaine McCafferty
Woods Rogers Vandeventer Black

Jill Verser
Williams, Negler, Verser & Lane


Melissa Katz
McGavin, Boyce, Bardot, Thorsen, & Katz

Yeti. Hydroflask. Vacuum insulated. Stainless Steel. Reusable hard plastic. With so many cool and readily available water container choices, there is no excuse not to be well hydrated.  Additional inspiration may also arise from a better understanding of some of the benefits of drinking water.   

Drinking water helps prevent dehydration.  Our body is composed of about 60% water.  We lose fluid continuously both day and night and these losses must be replaced. We become dehydrated when our water intake is less than output, which occurs from sweating, breathing, and going to the bathroom.  We even lose water content while we sleep.  When we are low on fluids, our brain actually triggers our body’s thirst mechanism.  Attention should be paid to those cues to hydrate.  

Drinking water helps us feel full and aids digestion.  

Drinking water helps energize muscles.  Muscle fatigue results when muscle cells do not have adequate fluids and can lead to poor performance.  Drinking sufficient fluids before exercising and at regular intervals during exercise is important.  This helps replace fluids lost by sweating. 

Drinking water improves the appearance of the skin.  While heavy consumption will not eliminate wrinkles, it will make the skin look better.  Dehydration makes skin look drier and more cracked.

Drinking water assists the kidneys.  Our kidneys “do an amazing job of cleansing and ridding [the] body of toxins as long as [the] intake of fluids is adequate.”  In fact, the color of urine is a good tell regarding adequate water consumption.  When fluid intake is sufficient, urine “flows freely” and is “light in color and free of odor.” When fluid intake is inadequate, “urine concentration, color and odor increases because the kidneys trap extra fluid for bodily functions.”  Additionally, poor hydration may put you at higher risk for kidney stones.

Drinking water also keeps the “pipes” from getting clogged or in other words, adequate hydration helps prevent constipation.  When fluid intake is insufficient, “the colon pulls water from stools to maintain hydration – and the result is constipation.”

Now that you are armed with a few reasons why water is the bomb diggity, here are some tips to help you improve your daily consumption:

1.       Drink a glass after waking.   Add some lemon and Himalayan salt for an extra boost.
2.       Take daily breaks and drink water.
3.       Drink water at meals.
4.       Put water in a water bottle and keep it with you – in your car, office, meetings, deposition, trial, and when you work out.  
5.       Change it up with some fizz (carbonated seltzer water, so many choices).
6.       Mix it up – ice cold water, room temp, or hot water. 

If you have questions about how much to drink, then check with your doctor.  Water needs vary.   There isn’t a magic number that we all have to attain.  There can also be issues with too much water consumption, so don’t go crazy.  Water should be a primary drink of choice because of all of its benefits.   

Souce: Steven Guest, MD, Kaiser Permanente nephrologist,

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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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