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Events Calendar

Any questions about VADA meetings can be directed to Amy Gilbody, Director of Meetings, at agilbody@vada.org.

Upcoming events

    • 05 Oct 2021
    • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
    • Zoom Meeting

    Utilizing Forensic Engineers:
    Value Added from Date of Loss through Trial

    Matthew Wagenhofer, PhD, PE, CFEI
    MW Forensic Engineering

    Forensic Engineers provide unbiased investigations into, analyses of, and opinions about engineering issues relevant to a loss.  But did you know that in performing these functions they can add value at all stages of a loss investigation?  Using the scientific method as a framework, loss investigations are discussed in terms of discrete steps and activities corresponding to the method.  Along the way, real-world examples are presented that illustrate how incorporating Forensic Engineers into your team as trusted expert resources can enhance your efforts to advocate on behalf of your clients.

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

    • 06 Oct 2021
    • 5:00 PM - 7:30 PM
    • Billy's at 102 Market Street, SE

    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. Bring a colleague, who is not yet a VADA member, for an extra raffle ticket. Registration is free, but RSVPs are requested.  

    Many thanks to our sponsor,

    • 20 Oct 2021
    • 6:00 PM
    • 22 Oct 2021
    • 1:00 PM
    • Marriott Resort Virginia Beach Oceanfront


    Marriott Resort Virginia Beach Oceanfront
    October 20-22

    September 20, 2021 Update
    We have updated our COVID-19 protocols.  Please see below or click here for important information about our new COVID-19 vaccine or 72-hour negative COVID-19 test requirement. 

    2021 Annual Meeting Planning Committee

    • Jim Cales, ChairFurniss Davis Rashkind and Saunders, Norfolk
    • Lauren Bohdan, TimberlakeSmith, Staunton
    • Cameron Ervin, Frith Anderson & Peake, Roanoke
    • Brittany McGill, Office of the Virginia Attorney General, Richmond
    • Danielle Smith, Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman, Richmond
    • Megan Wagner, Kalbaugh Pfund & Messersmith, Richmond 
    • Melissa Wiles, Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman, Alexandria
    • Glenn Williams, Frith Anderson & Peake, Roanoke
    • Ben Woody, Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman, Alexandria


    2021 VADA Annual Meeting Draft Agenda

    Wednesday, October 20 

    6:00 PM                           President’s Welcome Reception

    7:30 PM                           Dine Arounds

    9:30 PM                           VADA “Late Night”

    Thursday, October 21 

    6:00 AM                          Wellness Committee Run or Walk

    8:00 AM                          Registration & Buffet Breakfast

    8:00 AM                          Past Presidents’ Breakfast 

    8:55 AM                          Welcome

    9:00– 10:00                    Being a Defense Lawyer
    Stanley P. Wellman, VADA Past President, Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman

    10:00-10:15                    Break

    10:15-11:15                    Post-COVID Jury Trials
    Brian Casey, VADA Past President, TaylorWalker
    Jeffrey Frederick, PhD, Jeffrey Frederick Trial Consulting Services, LLC
    Hon. Leslie L. Lilley, 2nd Judicial Circuit Court

    11:15-12:15                    Technology in the Courtroom
    Joseph D. Cohen, Porter Hedges (Courtesy DRI)

    12:15-12:30                    Break

    12:30 PM                        Awards Luncheon 

    2:30–4:30 PM                SECTIONS BREAKOUTS 

    4:30-6:00 PM                 Break

    6:00 PM                           NETWORKING RECEPTION

    7:30 PM                           Dinner (On your own) or Optional Women’s Section Dinner

    9:30 PM                           VADA “Late Night”

    Friday, October 22 

    6:00 AM                          Wellness Committee Yoga

    7:30 AM                          Breakfast Buffet Opens

    7:45–8:40                       Breakfast Honoring the Virginia Judiciary

    8:40-8:50                       Break

    8:50-9:00                       Wellness Challenge Awards Presentation, Community Service Project Presentation, and Sponsors Raffle

    9:00-9:45                         Mediation and ADR
    Hon. Catherine C. Hammond (Ret.), Juridical Solutions
    Hon. Jane Marum Roush (Ret.), The McCammon Group
    Hon. Randall D. Smith, (Ret.), The McCammon Group

    9:45-10:45                       Using Social Media in Discovery and at Trial
    Jonathan Hyslop, VADA Board of Director, Furniss Davis Rashkind & Saunders
    Coreen Silverman, Hancock Daniel

    10:45-11:00                    Break

    11:00-12:00                    Effective Motions Practice and Oral Advocacy
    Hon. David B. Carson, 23rd Judicial Circuit Court
    Hon. Bradley B. Cavedo, 13th Judicial Circuit Court 
    Hon. Roderick C. Young, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia

    12:00-1:00                       Attorney Mental Health
    Samuel T. Bernier, VADA Board Member, Frith Anderson & Peake
    Barbara Mardigian, Virginia Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program
    Janet Van Cuyk, The Virginia Judges & Lawyers Assistance Program 

    1:00                                   Adjourn and Box Lunch 

    Annual Meeting COVID-19 Statement

    VADA remains committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for all who attend our 2021 Annual Meeting. We continue to monitor current guidance from federal, state, and local health authorities and government agencies relative to the COVID-19 pandemic. We continue, too, to work closely with the Marriott Resort Virginia Beach Oceanfront to promote appropriate health and safety measures for the benefit of those who attend.

    The Marriott Resort Virginia Beach Oceanfront has implemented a variety of new protocols and elevated practices in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. All of these protocols and practices are designed to enhance the health and safety of hotel guests. At last report, the Marriott has been hosting conferences with hundreds of attendees each week, with no outbreaks.

    In furtherance of our commitment, VADA will follow all COVID-19 safety protocols and mandates that are in place at the time of our Annual Meeting. We are requiring all attendees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or, alternatively, to have tested negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours prior to the start of our Annual Meeting. Hand sanitizer stations will be provided throughout the venue. Social distancing will be required. We further strongly encourage the wearing of masks by all in attendance, regardless of vaccination or test status, during all indoor portions of the event.

    The health and safety of our members, sponsors, speakers, and other Annual Meeting attendees remains our top priority. We recognize that the decision to attend our Annual Meeting, as with any in-person event, is a personal one involving many factors. While we look forward to seeing everyone at the Marriott Resort Virginia Beach Oceanfront this October, we encourage you to make the choice that best fits your personal comfort level and individual circumstances. Should circumstances require us to modify the schedule or format of our Annual Meeting, we will advise accordingly.

    VADA 2021 Annual Meeting COVID-19 Statement (PDF)

    Registration Information

    Registration fee of $425 includes all sessions, breakfasts & lunches, networking receptions, late nights, and written materials. New members joining VADA will have their first year membership fee waived for 2022.  First membership bill will be sent January 2023.

    Guest registration fee of $125 includes Wednesday and Thursday receptions. For guest ticket information for Thursday's Awards lunch, please contact Amy Gilbody at agilbody@vada.org. 

    Cancellations accepted until 10/1 minus a $25 processing fee.  No refunds after 10/1, but substitutions welcome anytime. Email Amy Gilbody at agilbody@vada.org for further information. Business attire is recommended.

    Hotel Information

    A block of rooms has been reserved at the VADA-discounted rate of $149 - $169, depending on room type.  The room block is scheduled to be released September 27 or when the block is full, whichever is first, so book today.   Click here to use the online booking tool.

    The Marriott has implemented a variety of new protocols and elevated practices, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and keeping with their high standards of cleanliness and commitment to providing excellent service.  They have also made a few adjustments to the services, amenities, and facilities available during your stay.  Please click here to learn more about what to expect during your stay at Marriott Virginia Beach Oceanfront.

    Optional Activities

    DINE AROUNDS: Join your colleagues Wednesday night for a fun dinner after the Welcome Reception. Sign ups for this fun “Dutch treat” event will be sent to meeting registrants before October. Plan now to enjoy networking with colleagues over dinner at your restaurant of choice. 

    WELLNESS CHALLENGE: Annual Meeting participants are invited to Join our VADA Wellness Challenge, which will run from September 19-October 18 and is sponsored by VADA's new Wellness Committee. We will announce the challenge winners at the Annual Meeting. To learn more and to join the challenge click here.

    WOMEN'S SECTION DINNER: The newly formed Women’s Section will be hosting its first event, a three-course prix fixe dinner at Mannino’s (3420 Atlantic Ave, Virginia Beach, VA 23451). This dinner will offer an informal setting to discuss issues women attorneys confront in our practices, as well as the recent controversial article published by the ABA, Are Women Lawyers Paying Enough Attention to Upward Mobility? 

    The dinner fee is $75 and includes 2 drinks. To reserve your seat, please add this option on your registration page. Due to the restaurant’s capacity, this event will be capped at 50 attendees and you must register for this event by October 4, 2021. The restaurant is about .5 miles from the hotel. If you want to walk to the restaurant, please meet in the hotel lobby at 7:10.

    CHILDREN'S BOOK DRIVE:  Please join us as we collect new or gently used children’s books, infant through young adult.  All books collected benefit the public libraries in Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Newport News, Hampton, Norfolk, Chesapeake, and Suffolk.  As an added incentive, we are offering special recognition to the INDIVIDUAL who donates the most titles, as well as to the FIRM who donates the most books.  We will present these recognitions when the directors of the seven area libraries join us at the Marriott on Friday, October 22.  Learn all the details here.


    Contact Amy Gilbody at agilbody@vada.org for sponsorship information.

    • 03 Dec 2021
    • 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
    • Westin Richmond, 6631 W. Broad Street, Richmond

    This one-day seminar is where newer attorneys learn the practical information needed to practice defense law.  Sessions taught by experienced members of the civil defense bar and the judiciary.  Different agenda than 2020, so plan to attend again. 


    Requesting 6.0 HRS (1.0 Ethics) CLE

    8:30 Registration/Coffee

    8:55-9:00 Opening Remarks
    Jason G. Moyers, Frankl Miller Webb & Moyers, VADA President
    Raymond Escobar, Woods Rogers, VADA Young Lawyers Chair

    9:00-10:00 Ethical Issues in a Civil Defense Practice (1.0 HR Ethics)
    Tate C. Love, TimberlakeSmith

    This session will give an overview of the tripartite relationship between defense counsel, insured and insurer; a consideration of conflict issues arising from the dual representation of the insured and insurer; defending a case in which the ad damnum does not exceed the amount of coverage; defending a case in which the ad damnum exceeds the amount of coverage; defending under a reservation of rights; how the excess carrier and reinsurer affect the tripartite relationship; and, issues faced in settlement. The session will end with a discussion of hypothetical ethical situations and possible strategies and resolutions.

    10:00-11:00 The Survivor's Guide to Expert Witnesses
    Speaker TBD

    This session will define a testifying expert witness, identify when an expert is needed, explore what type of litigation may benefit from the use of expert, define in what ways an expert witness can help, share how to go about identifying the best expert for your case and finish with a discussion on how best to work with your expert.

    11:15-12:00 Navigating Your Way through Virginia General District and Circuit Courts and other Practical Tips in Civil Litigation
    Melissa H. Katz, Bancroft McGavin Horvath & Judkins

    This topic is designed to educate a new attorney about handling new cases in either general district and circuit court to include verification of jurisdictional basis, service, venue; noticing your appearance; what to do if case filed improperly against corporate client in small claims court; how to check service of process; what to expect and how to prepare for the first return in general district court; what to do at the first return in general district court; handling motions in general district court; what to expect and how to prepare for first trial in general district court; how to appeal a general district court case; taking the case to circuit court; addressing whether ad damnum can be amended; use of evidence presented in general district court in the circuit court case; preparation for appearance in circuit court; how to set the trial date; motions practice in circuit court; how to obtain jury pool information; jury size in circuit court if case appealed; how to determine the procedures of the jurisdiction where your case is pending; available resources to assist in navigation

    12:00-12:45 Mediation in Civil Litigation
    Speaker TBD

    This session will explore when and why to choose mediation along with the ethical underpinnings. We will provide a definition of mediation, explain the stages of mediation and benefits of mediation. Next, we will explore principles such as collaborating with your client, collaborating with the other side, negotiation as a required skill and evaluative techniques.

    12:45 Box Lunch

    1:15-2:00 Written Discovery
    Taylor Brewer, Moran Reeves Conn

    This session will explore the purpose of discovery, the general provisions of discovery, and what to do about claims or privilege and protective orders. Next, we will explain the obligations of counsel, discovery tactics and timing, how to create a discovery plan and what should be in it along with the methods of obtaining the information. Finally, the speaker will explain what to do when you don’t receive discovery, how to handle follow-up and supplemental responses and how to coordinate pre-trial scheduling orders.

    2:00-2:45 Insurance Coverage in Automobile Cases
    Speaker TBD

    The scope of this presentation focuses on liability, uninsured and underinsured motorist provisions of the automobile liability policies, including voluntary, assigned risk, and certified policies as well as personal and commercial policies. It will explore statutory regulation of auto policies and which vehicles are covered, the persons insured and covered risks. We will discuss the amount owed under the liability policies, primary and excess liability coverage, duties of insured to defend, policy defenses and non-waiver agreements, exclusions, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage and cancellation of policies.

    2:45 Break

    300-4:00 Judicial Advice for New Lawyers-Panel Discussion
    Hon. M. Hannah Lauck, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
    Hon. Joseph W. Milam, Jr., Virginia’s 22nd Judicial Circuit
    Hon. James F. Watson, Virginia’s 24th Judicial Circuit
    Moderator: Jason G. Moyers, Frankl Miller Webb & Moyers, VADA President

    The judges will explain pre-trial matters such as scheduling orders, pre-trial motions, discovery issues and pre-trial conference and settlement conferences. Next, they will discuss brief writing, including filing deadlines and suggestions for formatting. Then, they will discuss parts of trial including voir dire, opening statements, direct and cross, motions to strike, jury instructions and closing. Finally, they will explore post-trial motions, miscellaneous trial issues and offer specific tips for young lawyers.

    4:00 Sponsor Raffle & CLE Adjourn

    4:00-5:30 Networking Happy Hour


    $250 Registration includes written materials, lunch and reception. Free one-year VADA membership for 2022 is available with registration.  No membership bill sent until January 2023. Cancellations accepted through November 22, minus a $25 administrative fee.  No refunds after November 22, but substitutions accepted at any time.

    • 04 May 2022
    • 6:00 PM
    • 06 May 2022
    • 12:00 PM
    • Boar's Head Inn, Charlottesville

    Specialized litigation sections training with sessions related directly to the our litigation sections. 


    Coming soon.


    Registration will open Spring 2022


    For sponsorship information, please contact Amy Gilbody at agilbody@vada.org.

    • 12 Oct 2022
    • 14 Oct 2022
    • Hotel Roanoke

    VADA Annual Meeting 2022

    The Hotel Roanoke

    Details to come...

    For sponsorship information, please contact Amy Gilbody at agilbody@vada.org.

Past events

08 Sep 2021 Retaining, Developing, and Safely Navigating Expert Witness Testimony Lunch & Learn
25 Aug 2021 Memory Skills for Lawyers Lunch & Learn
28 Jul 2021 2021 Paralegal Seminar
21 Jul 2021 Biomechanics Lunch & Learn
23 Jun 2021 Balancing the Billable and the Non-Billable Lunch & Learn
19 May 2021 Of Courtiers and Princes Lunch & Learn
05 May 2021 2021 Spring Sections Seminar
14 Apr 2021 Through the Eyes of the Insured Lunch & Learn
17 Mar 2021 How to be a Valuable Asset to Your Firm Lunch & Learn
16 Mar 2021 Young Lawyers Virtual Social Hour
12 Mar 2021 Deposition Workshop
24 Feb 2021 Client Development and Client Maintenance: Thriving in the New Normal
16 Feb 2021 Virtual Scavenger Hunt
10 Feb 2021 Voir Dire Lunch & Learn
13 Jan 2021 How to Effectively Bill Your Time
15 Dec 2020 POSTPONED TO 2021 - Virtual Bingo
04 Dec 2020 2020 Young Lawyers Boot Camp WEBINAR
17 Nov 2020 Fall Webinar
14 Oct 2020 2020 Annual Meeting
15 Sep 2020 VADA Virtual Trivia Night
07 Aug 2020 2020 Advanced Expert Witness Workshop (NEW DATE)
01 Jul 2020 2020 Paralegal Seminar (Postponed to 2021)
03 Jun 2020 VADA Virtual Trivia Night
21 May 2020 Coronavirus and Insurance Coverage - What Attorneys Need to Know
20 May 2020 MOVED TO JUNE 3 - VADA Potomac Virtual Trivia Night
14 May 2020 2020 Spring Sections Seminar Webinar
13 May 2020 Mindfulness and Meditation for Pandemics and Skeptics
30 Apr 2020 Cloud Services: Avoid Security Pitfalls Without Compromising User Experience
23 Apr 2020 2020 Southwestern Region Virtual Happy Hour
22 Apr 2020 Working from Home in a Defense Practice
16 Apr 2020 Remote Mediation and Arbitration
09 Apr 2020 COVID-19: Important Employment Issues for Your Firm
04 Apr 2020 VADA VTLA Joint Letter
19 Mar 2020 A Look At Remote Deposition Capabilities Webinar
27 Feb 2020 2020 Capitol Region VADA & ACC Networking Reception
13 Dec 2019 2019 Young Lawyers Boot Camp
02 Oct 2019 2019 Annual Meeting
10 Sep 2019 Tidewater Region Networking Reception - Rescheduled Date
05 Sep 2019 Tidewater Region Networking Reception
08 Aug 2019 Blue Ridge Region Networking Reception
07 Aug 2019 2019 Paralegal Seminar
21 May 2019 Southwest Region Networking Reception
16 May 2019 Potomac Region Networking Happy Hour
08 May 2019 Guest Speakers for 2019 Spring Sections Seminar
08 May 2019 2019 Spring Sections Seminar
15 Mar 2019 2019 Trial Tactics Workshop
06 Feb 2019 Capitol Region Networking Reception
07 Dec 2018 2018 Young Lawyers Boot Camp
10 Oct 2018 Annual Meeting and 50th Anniversary Celebration
10 May 2018 2018 Spring Sections Seminar
16 Mar 2018 2018 Deposition Workshop


Many past meetings were recorded and can be found on the members-only area 
of our website here (login required).  

Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys

1915 Huguenot Road, Ste 301

Richmond, VA, 23235


Executive Director: Sherma Mather

Director of Meetings: Amy Gilbody

Journal of Civil Litigation Managing Editor: Molly Terry

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