Paralegal Seminar Registration Opens, Legislative Update, Lunch & Learns, and more... 

VADA Defense Line June 2022


Where to begin!  June 17 marked our third Board Meeting of the year.  Many thanks to all who made the trip to Virginia Beach!  Thanks, too, to all who joined us at the Princess Anne Country Club for our annual Summer Party the evening of June 16!  It was great being together and celebrating all that we are as an Association!

While in Virginia Beach, I had the honor of representing VADA at the Virginia State Bar’s 2022 Annual Meeting.  Thank you to the VSB for the invitation!  Congratulations to new VSB President Stephanie Grana!  We look forward to working with you and VSB leadership in the coming year.

Earlier this month, I had the honor, too, of representing our Association at the investiture of Chief Justice S. Bernard Goodwyn as the 27th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia.  Congratulations, Mr. Chief Justice!

A tip of the hat to all who joined us at The HofGarden in Scott’s Addition June 23 for our Capitol Region Networking Reception!  Thank you to our Capitol Regional Director, Taylor Brewer, and all involved for a terrific evening!  Thank you, too, to our sponsor Planet Depos!  Hopefully, everyone has on their calendar our Southwest Region Networking Reception, which is slated for August 3 at Fork in the Alley in Roanoke.  Plans for events in our Potomac, Blue Ridge, and Tidewater Regions are in the works.  Stay tuned to the VADA website, Defense Line, and our social media channels for more details!

Our popular Lunch & Learn series continues this month with VADA member Jeff Barnes and a discussion of his critically-acclaimed novel Mingo on June 29.  A signed copy of the book, courtesy of the author, awaits one lucky attendee!  On August 9, our Lunch & Learn series features Kristin Richardson, founder of Sherah, with ways to help working women take things off your “to do” list, so you can focus on the important things in life.  Thank you to our Women’s Section for sponsoring this event!  August 8 marks the return of our popular Paralegal Seminar.  To all of our members, please encourage the paralegals in your firm to attend!  Last, but certainly not least, anticipation is building for our 2022 Annual Meeting, which is coming up on October 12-14 at the Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center.

Until next month, I hope each of you has a safe and enjoyable Summer.  Thank you, as always, for your support of VADA!

Jason Moyers
VADA President 2021-22

Meet the Author of Mingo

June 29

W. Jeff Barnes
Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman

Join VADA member, W. Jeff Barnes, Esq. of Harman, Claytor, Corrigan & Wellman, who will discuss his recently-published novel, Mingo. Set against the backdrop of coal-rich, hard-scrabble West Virginia and "civilized," segregated Virginia, Mingo reveals the deep divide between corporate might and those seeking a fair wage for an honest day's work. 

Jeff will share and answer questions about the process of writing and publishing the book, as well as the novel itself. If you’d like to purchase a copy in advance, you can purchase Mingo from your local bookseller, Amazon, or wherever you prefer to buy books. We will also raffle off a signed copy of the book to one lucky attendee!

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

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.

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. 

The 2022 Regular Session of the Virginia General Assembly ended without a budget.  On March 23, 2022, Governor Glenn Youngkin issued a proclamation summoning Virginia’s legislators back to Richmond to convene a Special Session beginning April 4, 2022, for the sole purpose of completing the biennial budget. 

After two months of debate and markup, a budget was sent to the Governor on June 9, 2022.  The budget passed by the General Assembly included a 10 percent pay raise for teachers and other government employees, but it did not include the Governor’s suggested gas tax holiday.  Governor Youngkin returned the budget to the General Assembly with 38 proposed amendments, and on Friday, the General Assembly weighed in.  The rejected amendments included the gas tax holiday and the creation of a new felony for attempting to intimidate judges and jurors.  The adopted amendments included a limitation on earned sentence credits for those convicted of certain violent crimes and increased funding for laboratory schools.

After months of inaction, General Assembly has finally selected the successors of Justice Mims and Justice Lemons who both retired from the Supreme Court earlier this year.  Judge Wesley G. Russell, Jr. from the Court of Appeals will be elevated to the Supreme Court on July 1, 2022, and Judge Thomas Mann from the Fairfax County Circuit Court will be elevated to the Supreme Court on August 1, 2022.  Circuit Court Judge Kimberly White, who presently sits in the 10th Circuit, will replace Judge Russell on the Court of Appeals.  General District Court Judge Manuel Capsalis will replace Judge Mann on the Fairfax County Circuit Court and Dipti Pidikiti-Smith, Esq., Deputy Director of Advocacy at Legal Services of Northern Virginia, will succeed Judge Capsalis on the Fairfax County GDC bench.  The General Assembly has not named a replacement for Judge Kimberly White.

Capitol Region Networking Reception
The Hof Garden

We had an awesome time in Richmond earlier this month at our 2022 Capitol Region Networking Happy Hour! Thank you, Planet Depos, for sponsoring and to The HofGarden in Scott's Addition for being the perfect host! Thanks, too, to our Capitol Regional Director Taylor Brewer and all involved in the planning of this event!

Virginia Young Lawyers
Virtual Blood Drive

Many lawyers might be Type A but, in this case, it also takes B, O, positive, negative – it really does take ALL types! It doesn’t matter what your blood type is or what type of lawyer you are – plaintiff, defense, family, corporate – again, all types!

After watching the terrible bloodshed in New York, Texas and Oklahoma lawyers from across our Commonwealth are looking to make a difference here at home. Give blood this month – regardless of the “type” of lawyer you are and save a life.

The young lawyer sections of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association (VTLA), Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys (VADA) and the Virginia Bar Association (VBA) are collectively hosting a Virtual Blood Drive Campaign across Virginia. Please consider making (and keeping!) an appointment to give blood to the American Red Cross sometime in June and help us reach our goal of at least 50 donors. Click here for further details. All ages welcome and encouraged to donate!


We are proud to recognize Sarah C. Jessee as the Roanoke Bar Association's Young Lawyer of the Year. Congratulations, Sarah, on this very well-deserved honor! We look forward to seeing what you accomplish in the future!

Premises Liability & The Building Codes: The Role of Codes in Making Premises Safe

When accidents involving premises liability occur, investigators rely on codes, ordinances, and, in some cases, special equipment when helping attorneys, adjusters, claimants, and property owners determine whether a building or its premises contributed to the accident.

In this article, premises liability and building code experts discuss the role building codes play in premises liability investigations and the gathering of critical information to analyze these matters. Factors such as slips, trips, and falls; lighting concerns; stairs, and the mechanics of humans traveling on them; the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and its relation to premises liability; and concerns related to snow and ice and their proper removal from pathways during winter months will be discussed.

To continue reading, please visit the J.S. Held website.


VADA is proud to count a number of our former leaders as members of our state and federal judiciary! Among them, pictured below, are Chief Justice S. Bernard Goodwyn of the Supreme Court of Virginia, who served on our Board of Directors from 1992-95; Chief Judge Roger L. Gregory of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, who served on our Board from 1997-99; the Honorable F. Bradford Stillman (Ret.), former United States Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of Virginia, who served as President of our Association from 1996-97, as a member of our Executive Committee from 1993-98, and on our Board of Directors from 1985-88 and again from 1989-93; the Honorable John T. Cook, Judge of Virginia’s 24th Judicial Circuit, who served on our Board of Directors from 1998-2001; and the Honorable Jayne Pemberton, Judge of Virginia’s 12th Judicial Circuit, who served as Chair of our Legislative Committee from 2012-14.  We thank each of you for your leadership and your service to VADA!

Board of Directors

The VADA Board of Directors met June 17 in Virginia Beach for our quarterly meeting. Many thanks to all who attended! Our next Board meeting will be at the Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center this October, when we gather for our 2022 Annual Meeting.

The Princess Anne Country Club was the setting for an evening of fun and fellowship at our annual Summer Party in Virginia Beach! Many thanks to all who attended!

VADA's Women’s Section is hard at work planning a dinner at the Annual Meeting as well as a Lunch & Learn Webinar in August.  Watch the VADA website for details.

 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.

June 29
Meet the Author of Mingo
Lunch & Learn Zoom

August 8
Paralegal Seminar

Via Zoom

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

October 12-14
Annual Meeting
Hotel Roanoke

This Rockbridge County native (by way of Leesburg) is an avid runner who loves music, the outdoors, and spending time with his family (dogs, too!). Among his other favorites: James Lee Burke novels and Pilot truck stop corn dogs.  For this and a whole lot 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 on 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.

Last call for renewals – we don’t want to lose you! If you have not renewed your membership by June 30, your membership will lapse! If you are unsure of your status, please reach out to VADA Executive Director Sherma Mather at for more information.

Michael Arthur
Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman

Helen Clemens
Alexandria City Attorney’s Office

Cindy Foster
Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman

Christina Hamilton
Alexandria City Attorney’s Office

Nicholas Johnson
Berenzweig Leonard

Dean Kime
Alexandria City Attorney’s Office

Declan Leonard
Berenzweig Leonard

Robert Porter
Alexandria City Attorney’s Office

Kristin Pywowarczuk
Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman

Gary Reinhard

Macel H. Janoschka
Frith Anderson + Peake PC

Paying it forward this month is VADA member Macel Janoschka of Frith Anderson + Peake PC in Roanoke.  A partner with Frith Anderson + Peake since 2014, Macel has a deep commitment to service and giving back to her community.  She has served on numerous nonprofit boards throughout the Roanoke Valley.  Among them are the Mill Mountain Theatre’s Board of Directors, where she distinguished herself as President from 2020-2021 and as Personnel Chair and a member of MMT’s Education Committee.  From 2015-2018, she served on the Board of Family Service of Roanoke Valley.  From 2013-2014, she served as President of the Junior League of the Roanoke Valley, where she also has served as the Sustaining Advisor to the President, Finance Vice President, and Chair of JLRV’s Stocked Market fundraiser.  For ten years, Macel volunteered with the Pro Bono Hotline of Blue Ridge Legal Services.  She continues to assist BRLS by taking on pro bono guardianship cases.

A proud mother of two sons who attend Salem City Schools, Macel also has given of her time as Treasurer of the South Salem Elementary School PTA and as President of the Salem Council of PTA’s.  This year, she split time between South Salem and Andrew Lewis Middle School by serving as President of the Andrew Lewis Middle School PTSA.  From 2011-2017, Macel was a frequent presence at Morningside Elementary School as a “Barrister Book Buddy” with Roanoke City Public Schools.

Active as well in her state and local bar, Macel earlier this month completed a successful term as President of the Roanoke Bar Association.  A member of RBA’s Board since 2014, Macel has served the RBA as Membership Chair, Community Service Chair, Co-Chair of the Rule of Law Committee, and as the Board’s Young Lawyer Representative.  In 2017, the RBA recognized Macel as its Young Lawyer of the Year.  Before joining the RBA Board, Macel served for four years on Board of Governors of the Young Lawyers Conference of the Virginia State Bar.  She served as Chair of the YLC’s Minority Pre-Law Conference and as Chair of the YLC’s Commission on Women and Minorities in the Profession.  The YLC honored Macel with itsOutstanding Service Award in 2009.  Macel currently serves on the faculty of the Virginia State Bar’s Harry L. Carrico Professionalism Course.

Always a “yes” when asked to serve, Macel strives to set a good example for the next generation of local leaders.  “My hope,” she says, “is that my passion will pass along to my two sons as they grow.  If I can inspire them to help others, then I believe I will have made a huge impact on our community.”

VADA thanks you, Macel, for touching the lives of so many with your time and your talents!  Thank you for making such a positive, real world impact in our community!

Tips to Get a Second Wind

By Melissa H. Katz
McGavin, Boyce, Bardot, Thorsen, & Katz

Each weekday, at approximately 4 p.m., I start looking for my “second wind.”    This is usually because my brain slows, my focus wanes, and/or my productivity drops.   This is when it is time to recharge my battery so that I can squeeze in a few more billables.  I have several “tried and true” methods which involve both consuming food and beverage; becoming active; and/or simply resting.   If you, too, find yourself in need of some extra energy, I offer the following tips: 

1.       Food and Drink

When the witching hour strikes, and I need the fastest recharge, I may gravitate to the closest candy dish, which some of our employees graciously keep stocked on their desks.  I will grab a few pieces, along with a cup of coffee, return to my desk, and I am good to go for at least another two hours as my temporary fix of sugar and caffeine works its magic.   When I am trying to keep my sweet tooth and glucose spikes at bay, I opt for a healthier snack accompanied by some caffeine.   For those sensitive to caffeine – try green tea.   An internet article recommended eating something spicy – such as “a cucumber with chili powder or spicy beef jerky.” 

2.       Becoming Active

Getting up from your desk and moving is also a sure fire way to get back on track.  There are all sorts of variations on becoming active to include:

  • Walk and talk --  go outside and catch up on phone calls while getting your steps in
  • Go outside and breathe some fresh air
  • Walk up and down a few flights of stairs
  • Walk the halls of your office and talk to your co-workers (assuming they too are in need of a short break)
  • Close your office door and jam out to a favorite song – definitely guaranteed to increase your blood flow and endorphin levels.  Air pods and windowless offices are necessary for this one.  Or do some push-ups or jumping jacks if you don’t want to bust a move.
  • Call one of your parents, siblings, children or best friend and find something to laugh about – laughter is a good tool to re-energize.
  • Get up and clean off your desk and organize your files. 
  • Another internet tip for a quick pick up is taking a whiff of peppermint oil.
  • To encourage yourself to keep working after your break, shop online.
3.       Resting

When a quick fix, like a snack or caffeine rush, or activity isn’t in your wheelhouse, then resting for a short period may be a good option.  This can range from taking a “cat nap” by putting your head on your desk or leaning back in your chair and closing your eyes for a few minutes.  My favorite, although more of a weekend recharge, is the “napacchino”.  This involves starting off by drinking a cup of coffee, putting in the air pods, listening to the Brain FM app Focus/Recharge, closing your eyes and resting for 15 minutes.  Don’t exceed 25 minutes since that exceeds optimal effectiveness from a recharge nap.  

If naps are not your style, then try a 15 minute brain break.   Surf the net, watch some Tik-Toks, like some posts, or play Wordle.  

Please feel free to email me ( if you have some other “second wind” tips as we will be offering a variety of Wellness tips at our upcoming annual meeting in October.  

A “second wind” is defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary as “renewed energy or endurance.” 

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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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