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Event Calendar

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

Upcoming events

    • 27 Feb 2020
    • 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
    • Slingshot Game Club, 3301 W. Clay St. Richmond, VA 23230

    Registration is now open!

    Don’t hibernate this winter! Bundle up to come out and play with your friends. Join the VADA and Richmond in-house colleagues from ACC National Capital Region Chapter for a fun night of food, beer and vintage arcade games at SLINGSHOT in Scott’s Addition.

    Enjoy duckpin bowling, skeeball, bocce ball, and much more! Grab your coat and head over for a rollin' good time. The event is free of charge for VADA and ACC members, thanks to our sponsors.

    We hope to see you there!

    • 13 Mar 2020
    • 1:00 PM - 6:00 PM
    • University of Richmond School of Law

    We are pleased to offer a CLE program and new educational opportunity for the more experienced practitioner, although young lawyers are also encouraged to sign up.  

    The Advanced Expert Witness Workshop will be held at the University of Richmond Law School from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. (4.5 CLE hours approved) followed by a reception.   The agenda is focused on effective cross examination of a variety of experts, preparing your experts for cross examination, and practical tips to combat some vexing expert discovery issues.   

    Agenda (4.5 CLE HRS Approved)

    Printable Agenda (PDF)

    ·       Stop Harassing My Experts!  How to Defend Experts from Onerous Financial Disclosure Requests and How to Prepare your Expert for Cross Examination on Financial Interest and/or Bias. 

    This section will address the discovery mechanisms which attorneys can use to obtain expert information.  Rule 4:1 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia governs discovery pertaining to expert witness information.  Leave of court is required if discovery is sought from the expert beyond that permitted by this rule.  Often, parties may use Rule 4:9 and issue a subpoena directly to the expert.  This subpoena may seek the disclosure of financial information which the expert may seek to protect, such as tax returns.  The section will focus on the appropriate objections to raise and how to protect the disclosure of expert information which may be overly broad, unduly burdensome, or not relevant to the issues.  Additionally, when experts testify, they may be attacked because of financial interest and/or bias.  This section will focus on the various methods which may impact an expert’s credibility such as establishing either financial interests, bias, or lack of qualifications.

    Danielle Giroux, Harman Claytor Corrigan Wellman
    Tate C. Love, Timberlake, Smith, Thomas & Moses, P.C.

    ·       When to Use Vocational Rehabilitation and Life Care Planner experts and Effective Cross Examination

    This section pertains to more complex cases involving personal injury with significant injury.  In order to prove damages, and in cases where long-term care is necessary, experts are often used to project future costs.  This includes future medical care, lost wages, and/or loss of earning capacity.  Experts are also used to establish whether someone is capable of returning to their former employment and/or establishing their work limitations.  This section will focus on the experts used to lay the foundation for this information and damages and how to either strike such testimony if the proper foundation is not laid as well as to discuss effective cross-examination when these types of experts are used.

    Sean Workowski, Frith Anderson & Peake
    Susan Wirt, MSN, Wirt & Associates

    ·       Cutting the Malarkey in Premises Liability and Construction Cases:  How to identify when plaintiff’s liability experts erroneously claim violations of inapplicable codes and voluntary standards, what to do, and how to effectively use your own liability expert. 

    This section focuses on liability experts used in either premises liability and/or construction cases.  These experts (usually engineers) may focus on whether the premises at issue or construction was compliant with certain applicable codes.  This section will address how to determine whether the codes the opposing party’s expert relies upon are truly applicable, how to determine what codes are applicable under Virginia law, and what to do when the other party identifies an expert who is expected to testify on codes that are not applicable.  This section will address what information should be gathered during the course of discovery, deposition, when a motion to exclude is appropriate and effective cross examination.

    Nicholas J. Lawrence, Bancroft, McGavin, Horvath & Judkins, P.C. 
    Jim Schofield, CED Technologies

    ·       Effective Use of Accident Reconstruction Experts in Virginia

    This section will discuss case law pertaining to whether Virginia allows accident reconstruction testimony in Virginia.  A brief history and case law development will be provided along with examples of how accident reconstruction testimony can be used effectively in Virginia.  This section will focus on case studies and how to combat the general belief that accident reconstruction testimony is not admissible.

    David Drash, Teumer &Drash
    Matt Dwyer, President, Accident Technology, Inc.
    H. Robert Yates, O'Hagan Meyer

    ·       Expert War Stories and Tips on Effective Cross Examination of Engineering Experts

    This section will focus on laying the appropriate foundation for use of engineering experts and effective cross-examination to address qualifications and whether the basis of the opinion is sound.  Examples will be utilized with regard to exclusion of engineering experts and information will be provided regarding how to prevent your engineering expert from being excluded.  This segment will include case studies and practice tips from the standpoint of the attorney and the expert. 

    Moderator: Madelaine Kramer, Sands Anderson
    Marty Conn, Moran Reeves & Conn
    Michael Garnier, Garnier & Garnier
    Keith Madigan, JS Held
    Emily Skow, Exponent
    Sam Sudler, S-E-A


    Limited VADA-discounted hotel rooms are available at the Westin Richmond (6631 W. Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23230).  Call 888-627-7786 and mention "VADA" before February 22 for the $137 discounted rate.


    Registration for this unique event is limited and fills quickly. 

    $175 - Early Bird Registration (Discounted registration fee ends February 21)
    $200 - Regular Registration (After February 21)

    New members, registration includes your first year membership in VADA.  No membership bill sent until 2021.  Contact Sherma Mather at smather@vada.org for details. 


    • 21 Mar 2020
    • 10:30 AM
    • The Boulders at 1115 Boulders Parkway, Richmond, VA 23235

    Who’s ready for a little friendly competition with the VTLA with the extra bonus of benefiting ourselves and helping our community?  That’s right – a competition!  We are excited to announce our first 5k race between the VADA and VTLA! 


    Both organizations are gold sponsors of the 2020 HCA Va. Sports Med. 5K, which is in its third year.  This race also raises money for the charitable cause of “Feed More Richmond”, an organization providing food to the homeless.   The news is even better since you don’t have to run to participate!   Whether you walk, jog, run, or race – you can still take part in the fun, camaraderie, and community spirit (and of course, the opportunity to claim some bragging rights over the VTLA). 

    Race day arrival is 9:30 with a race start time of 10:30am. There will be a group warm-up prior to race and the race is chip timed.

    Vendors, activities and kids games will all take place inside facility and be sure to bring cash for the breakfast food truck. Plenty of parking.

    Course Map (The course is stroller friendly and you can walk or run)
    Event Flyer (Print or save to share with colleagues, friends & family)        

    Registration Info

    Early Bird Registration: $20 (By January 31)
    Regular Registration: $25 (After January 31)
    Late Registration: $30 (After February 29)

    Registration in done directly via the HCA VA Sports Med 5K webpage.  Please sign up here under the VADA team.  The VADA team can also be comprised of staff and family members!  VADA can win in multiple ways to include having the largest team, best race times, and largest group contribution to the race charitable cause of “Feed More Richmond.”   After the race, there will be live music and other festivities!

    The Wellness Initiative is designed to promote fitness and well-being in our legal community.   The benefits of exercise in our demanding profession include decreasing stress, improving mood, and increasing longevity.  There is no time like the present to prioritize your health.  So, dust off those running/walking shoes and inspire your firm and family by SIGNING UP to participate in this fun event.   This also complements all those 2020 New Year Resolutions!  Google the “from Couch to 5k programs” to get moving and/or check out this link.

    • 23 Apr 2020
    • 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
    • Stellina (Speakeasy Bar at Fortunato) 104 Kirk Ave SE, Roanoke VA 24011

    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,

    • 13 May 2020
    • 6:00 PM
    • 15 May 2020
    • 12:00 PM
    • Hotel Madison, 710 S. Main Street, Harrisonburg, VA 22801

    New Location

    The 2020 Spring Sections Seminar will be held
    at the new Hotel Madison on the JMU campus.


    Specialized litigation sections training. Registration includes 2 Networking Receptions, including a Wednesday Welcome Reception at the historic Joshua Wilton House and popular VADA Late Night. Agenda coming soon.


    Call 540.564.0200 or click here to use the online booking tool to book your room today for the VADA-discounted rate of $109. Discounted rate is guaranteed before April 17 or the room block fills, whichever is first. Book soon, as this is a busy week in Harrisonburg. Cancel by 4:00 PM local hotel time at least 2 days prior to arrival to avoid a 1 night(s) cancel penalty charge.


    The registration fee is $125 per section(s) session.  Medical Malpractice is offered in 2 parts for a $250 fee. Guests are welcome and invited to attend both receptions for a $100 guest fee.  Cancellations are accepted through April 30, minus a $25 administrative fee.  No cancellations after April 30, but substitutions are welcome at any time.  Dress is business attire. 

    New members, your registration includes your first year of membership in VADA. No membership bill sent until 2021. Contact Sherma Mather at smather@vada.org.






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

    • 01 Jul 2020
    • 10:00 AM
    • 28 Aug 2020
    • 4:30 PM
    • Location & Summer 2020 Date TBD

    A must-attend event for paralegals of all levels working in civil defense firms. This one-day seminar 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. Space is limited, so register today.

    Draft Agenda

    Sessions similar to: 

    • The Rules of Engagement: Primer on Federal and State 
    • Who’s Who? How to Effectively and Efficiently Research 
    • Tips and Best Practices for Assisting with Document Review & Production
    • Trials 101: A Paralegal’s Role in Trial Prep and Trial

    Final agenda coming Spring 2020.


    Opening Spring 2020.

    • 14 Oct 2020
    • 16 Oct 2020
    • The Omni Homestead Resort, 7696 Sam Snead Hwy, Hot Springs, VA 24445

    VADA 52nd Annual Meeting
    October 14-16, 2020
    The Omni Homestead Resort 

    Your Planning Committee is working hard to plan an amazing program - please check back soon for the details. 

    2020 Annual Meeting Planning Committee!

    Chair, Julie Palmer, Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman, Richmond
    Sam Bernier, Frith Anderson + Peake
    Kathryn Bonorchis, Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith, Northern Virginia
    Donna J. Hall, Goodman Allen Donnelly, Norfolk
    Abigail Johansen, Bancroft, McGavin, Horvath & Judkins, Fairfax
    Macel H. Janoschka, Frith Anderson + Peake, Roanoke
    Angela London, Bancroft, McGavin, Horvath & Judkins, Fairfax
    Surge Moghaddassi, Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman, Richmond
    Jessica Swauger, Hancock Daniel, Richmond
    Britton Wight, Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman, Alexandria
    Andrew Willis, Hancock Daniel, Richmond


    Registration fee of $450 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 2021.  First membership bill will be sent January 2022.

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

    Cancellations accepted until 9/25, minus a $25 processing fee.  No refunds after 9/25, but substitutions welcome anytime. Email Amy Gilbody at agilbody@vada.org for further information.

    Business attire is recommended for the meeting. Business casual is appropriate for the Thursday reception.

    Hotel Information

    Use this reservation link to take advantage of the VADA-discounted rate of $180/night.  Book soon, as this rate is guaranteed until September 11 or the room block fills, whichever is first.

    Fitness Challenge

    Back again this year! Annual Meeting participants are invited to Join our VADA Fitness Challenge and compete for exciting prizes. 

    Dine Arounds

    Join your colleagues Wednesday night for a fun dinner after the Welcome Reception. Choose from restaurants within walking distance of the hotel for this fun “Dutch treat” event and enjoy networking with colleagues over dinner at your restaurant of choice. 

    Optional Free Time Activities

    Activity minimum must be met by September 12 to confirm the activity.  You can register for these events through VADA, but once the activity is confirmed after 9/9, the non-refundable activity fee will be charged to your onsite hotel bill.

    Thursday, October 15 from 4:00 PM - 6:00




    $45 PP

    Waterfall Wellness Hike

    $23 PP

    Trail Ride (one hour)

    $105 PP

    Red Tail Racer Zipline

    $35 PP

    Mixology Class

    $75 PP

    Golf (9 holes)

    $75 Cascades Course $50 Old Course 



    Skeet Shooting (Wednesday 10/14 at 4:15 PM)


    In addition to these VADA group activities, the resort offers many additional activities like the spa, serenity garden, game room, indoor and outdoor pools, fitness center and more.  Fees may apply.  Visit the Homestead webpage for additional information.


    Coming soon.


    Thank you to our sponsors,



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

    • 04 Dec 2020
    • 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
    • Bank of America Building, 1111 E. Main Street, Richmond, VA

    One-day seminar 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 2019 so plan to attend again.

    Begin to build your network and meet other newer attorneys.  Join us for a Networking Happy Hour immediately following the program.

    Registration Information

    $175 - Early Bird Registration (Before November 13)

    $200 - Registration Fee (After November 13)

    Registration includes written materials and lunch. Free one-year VADA membership for 2021 is available with registration.  No membership bill sent until January 2022. Cancellations accepted through November 20, minus a $25 administrative fee.  No refunds after November 20, but substitutions accepted at any time.


    Coming Soon

    • 20 Oct 2021
    • 22 Oct 2021
    • Marriott Virginia Beach Oceanfront

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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