Awards Announced, Journal Recap, Lunch & Learns, and more...

VADA Defense Line May 2022


I begin this month with a well-deserved round of applause to everyone involved in our 2022 Spring Sections Seminar!  It was great being together in Charlottesville!  To our speakers, sponsors, Section Chairs and Vice-Chairs, Amy, and Sherma, thank you for making this year’s Seminar one of our best yet!  Thank you to the Boar’s Head Resort for hosting!  A special thank you, too, to all who donated to our fund and supply drive for the Charlottesville Albemarle County SPCA!

Another round of thanks goes out to the members of VADA’s 2022 Long-Range Planning Committee!  Chaired by Past-President Kate McCauley, the Committee met at the Boar’s Head Resort May 17.  We had a great discussion about where we are as an Association and what we can do to move forward in the years to come.

I invite you to mark your calendars for several upcoming VADA events.  An evening of fun awaits the members of our Capitol Region on June 23 at their Regional Happy Hour at The Hof Garden in Scott’s Addition.  Thank you to Planet Depos for sponsoring this event!  On June 29, VADA member Jeff Barnes of Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman joins us for our June Lunch & Learn with a talk on his new novel Mingo.  A signed copy of the book, courtesy of the author, will be awarded to one lucky attendee!  Plans are underway for our 2022 Paralegal Seminar, which will be coming up later this Summer.  We’ll wrap up the year with our 2022 Annual Meeting at the Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center on October 12-14.  Details on these and all other VADA events can be found on the VADA website.  

I close this month in recognition of Memorial Day and the brave men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of our nation.  Whether you ventured out or stayed close to home, I hope you and your family had a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend!  Thank you, as always, for your support of VADA!

Jason Moyers
VADA President 2021-22

Congratulations to VADA members Julie Palmer, Shyrell Reed, and Anne Scher for being named by Virginia Lawyers Weekly to the 2022 Class of Influential Women of Law! Julie, Shyrell, and Anne were celebrated along with this year's other honorees at a reception and awards program at the John Marshall Ballrooms in Richmond on May 25. Congratulations, again, Julie, Shyrell, and Anne on an honor well deserved!  Congratulations, too, to all of this year’s honorees!

Capitol Region Networking Reception
The Hof Garden
June 23
5:00 - 7:00 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.

Meet the Author of Mingo

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.

VADA Awards

Hon. Jane Marum Roush (Ret.)

The Board of Directors of the VADA is honored to announce the Honorable Jane Marum Roush (Ret.) as this year’s recipient of the VADA’s Award for Excellence in Civil Litigation! A graduate of Wellesley College and the University of Virginia School of Law, Justice Roush practiced law for 12 years before being appointed to the bench of Virginia's 19th Judicial Circuit in 1993. During her time as a circuit court judge, Justice Roush distinguished herself, in the words of one member of the bar, as "one of the premier judges in all of Virginia." In 2015, Governor Terry McAuliffe appointed Justice Roush to the Supreme Court of Virginia. The following year, Justice Roush joined The McCammon Group, where she has mediated more than 400 cases and has been recognized as one of Virginia's Legal Elite and a "Top Lawyer" in alternative dispute resolution. Justice Roush gives generously of her time and expertise to bar associations, pro bono organizations, and many others. She serves as a frequent lecturer at Virginia colleges and universities, presents at continuing legal education seminars, and speaks on panels focusing on the law and diversity in the legal profession. She also has been a frequent speaker at events of our Association, including, most recently, at our 2021 Annual Meeting. The Virginia State Bar honored Justice Roush in 2018 with its Civility in the Law Award. In 2021, Virginia Lawyers Weekly inducted Justice Roush in to its Virginia Lawyers Hall of Fame. In 2023, Justice Roush will become President of the Virginia Law Foundation. The VADA will present the Award for Excellence in Civil Litigation to Justice Roush on October 13 during our Annual Meeting at the Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center. Please join us in congratulating Justice Roush!

John C. Shea

The VADA Board of Directors is pleased to announce John C. Shea of Marks & Harrison, as the recipient of the 2022 VADA-VTLA Civility and Professionalism Award! This Award, which is given each year by the VADA to a member of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association and by the VTLA to a member of the VADA, honors an attorney who exhibits the highest degree of civility and professionalism in the practice of law and, through his or her interaction with others, promotes the highest levels of competence, integrity, and ethical conduct in the legal profession. We will present John with this Award during our Annual Meeting at the Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center on October 13. Congratulations, John, on an honor well deserved!

Tiffany Ngo

VADA congratulates Tiffany Ngo, recipient of the VADA's 2022 Diversity Scholarship! This Fall, Tiffany will be entering her third year at the University of Richmond School of Law. There, in addition to her many other accomplishments, she has served as a member of the Richmond Law & Business Forum and as Vice-President of the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association. Tiffany also has served as a volunteer with the Harry L. Carrico Center for Pro Bono & Public Service. This summer, Tiffany will be clerking with VADA member firm Carter & Shands, P.C., in Richmond. Congratulations, Tiffany!

Spring Sections Seminar Meets In-Person

On May 4-6, VADA gathered at the Boar’s Head Resort for our 2022 Spring Sections Seminar!  A tip of the hat to our speakers, our Section Chairs and Vice-Chairs, our Director of Meetings Amy Gilbody, and our Executive Director Sherma Mather for putting together a fantastic event! Thanks, too, to our sponsors and to all of our members and friends who made the trip to Charlottesville to be with us! Last, but certainly not least, thank you to the Boar’s Head Resort for being the perfect host!

The Judicial Conference of Virginia met May 9-12 in Virginia Beach. Comprised of the Chief Justice and justices of the Supreme Court of Virginia, the Chief Judge and judges of the Court of Appeals, all other judges of the circuit courts of the Commonwealth, and all retired justices and judges of those courts, the Conference counts among its honorary members the deans of the seven Virginia law schools and the president and secretary of a number of statewide bar associations, including VADA. VADA President Jason Moyers was honored to represent our Association at this event. Thank you to the Supreme Court of Virginia and the Office of the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court of Virginia for the invitation.

The Judicial Conference of Virginia

VADA Long Range Planning Committee

Chaired by Past-President Kate McCauley, the VADA Long-Range Planning Committee met May 17 in Charlottesville at the Boar’s Head Resort! The Committee took stock of where we are as an Association and identified opportunities for success as we move forward. To all who served on this year’s Long-Range Planning Committee,
we thank you!

VADA's Women’s Section enjoyed a lovely wine tasting at Stinson Vineyards at the Spring Meeting in Charlottesville.  We plan to have similar events at future meetings, and also aim to have a few events independent of meetings as well. We are still working on the listserv but hope to have something up and running.  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 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 Richmond native and Mercer Law grad finds his zen by working in his yardTops on his bucket list: a trip to the castles of his ancestral homeland. For this, and much more, on this month’s VADA Spotlighted member, click here.

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.

Journal of Civil Litigation

The Spring 2022 (Vol. 34, No. 1) 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 three articles:

  • Alison Feehan updates us on Virginia’s new law on the use of handheld communication devices while driving.
  • Christopher Spencer writes on the Virginia guidelines for proving a product defect.
  • David Tait explains how the economic loss rule and source of duty rules “serve to maintain the separation of contract and tort law in Virginia litigation.

The Spring 2022 Journal also includes twelve case summaries and a welcome to our new VADA members.

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

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

William F. Gogoel
Hudgins Law Firm, P.C.

Dustin J. H. Plumadore
Hancock Daniel & Johnson, P.C.

Gary Reinhardt

Wellness Committee Run Recap
Taylor D. Brewer
Attorney | Moran Reeves Conn

The Wellness Committee run on Thursday morning of the spring meeting was perhaps my favorite VADA experience ever. Several weeks before the meeting, I volunteered to lead the run, and a few days before, I emailed those who registered for it, promising 30 minutes at a 9:00ish minute per mile pace. We would meet at 6:30 am and run the Boar's Head property, returning with plenty of time for breakfast.

Chris Dadak and Noelle Quam showed up bright and early on Thursday morning. Chris was planning to run a 5K race that weekend, and Noelle (who runs marathons and whose husband runs ultramarathons!) was getting back into running after giving birth in January. I admit I was nervous - I did not know Chris or Noelle very well and I had promised a good run!

We decided to start on the main trail behind the pond, which the signs indicated would be 1.9 miles round trip. I did not anticipate that the trail would be unpaved, but Noelle and Chris were up for it, so we kept going. The trail diverged and we took the path we thought would keep us on the main course. Soon we slowed as we picked our way around tree roots and ducked under branches. Then the trail flattened out and we resumed running, only to stop again at the base of some aggressive hills. Used to running in Roanoke and Staunton, Chris and Noelle graciously reduced the pace for this Richmonder. The views were beautiful, and the temperature was perfect, so we kept up a run-hike, passing fields and flowers and the occasional stream. I admit we encountered several unmarked splits in the trail, but I [wrongfully] thought we were tracing a rough circle and would eventually return to the grounds. However, we did not. Recognizing that we were 40 minutes down, in the middle of a meadow, and no longer following any sort of trail, I admitted I had steered us wrong. We came upon a man walking his dog and asked him how to get back to the hotel, to which he replied, "What hotel?"

An hour and fifteen minutes and over five miles later, and thanks to the direction sense of my new running mates, the three of us emerged from the woods, our shoes caked with red clay and soaked to our socks with dew. It was not the run I had envisioned or promised my colleagues, but I venture to say it was far better. As we ran/hiked, we talked about everything from starting families to firm succession planning; from traveling to see our parents (in Poland for Chris) to marketability in insurance defense. We had so much in common, we easily chatted the entire time. I hope Chris and Noelle agree that good conversation and new friends made up for the poor navigation, and I promise next time I'll bring breadcrumbs.

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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.

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    Richmond, VA  23235
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    Executive Director: Sherma Mather
    Director of Meetings: Amy Gilbody
    Journal of Civil Litigation Managing EditorMolly Terry

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