Virginia Lawyer

VaLawyer_June/July 2013

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Noteworthy > VSB NEWS Abingdon Conference Draws 265 Judges and Lawyers by Gordon Hickey Virginia Supreme Court Chief Justice Cynthia D. Kinser offered up an observation and a little advice for the 265 judges and lawyers at the recent Regional Bench-Bar Conference in Abingdon. The most common mistake lawyers make when appearing before her court? They don't listen. "Listen to the question and respond," she said. Chief Justice Kinser was chief among a dozen judges who spoke at the joint Solo and Small Firm Practitioner Forum and Regional Bench-Bar Conference for the 28th, 29th and 30th Judicial Circuits on April 26. She offered up a few other tidbits during the centerpiece town hall meeting. • How is the justice picked to write the court's opinion? Out of a hat. • When will the court apply the "ends of justice" exception? Almost never. • When assigning error in a brief, put it under the heading "assignment of error." • When will electronic filing be allowed? "We are moving in that direction…. I'm anxious for it to be full-fledged across the commonwealth." Chief Justice Kinser was joined on the stage by Elizabeth A. McClanahan, justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia, and Teresa M. Chafin, judge of the Virginia Court of Appeals. Kevin E. Martingayle, Virginia State Bar president-elect designate, moderated. The judges touched on many areas during the hour-long meeting. Among them: emotional appeals (don't bother); petitions for rehearing (do bother); brevity in briefs; moving on when an argument is lost; the Court's budget restrictions. The judges were all asked for their suggestions for improving the practice of law. Justice McClanahan said lawyers appearing in the Court should remem38 VIRGINIA LAWYER | June/July 2013 | Vol. 62 Leading the discussion at the Town Hall Meeting were (top, left to right) Elizabeth A. McClanahan, Justice, Supreme Court of Virginia; Cynthia D.F. Kinser, Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Virginia; and Teresa M. Chafin, Judge, Virginia Court of Appeals. The panel on "eDiscovery: How Is it Changing the Way We Practice Law?" (middle photo) was moderated by Thomas R. Bagby and included panelists the Honorable Michael F. Urbanski, U.S. District Court; the Honorable Pamela M. Sargent, U.S. Magistrate; John W. Simek, Sensei Enterprises Inc. vice president; and the Honorable C. Randall Lowe, 28th Judicial Court. The panel "Recent Developments in State/Federal Criminal Law and Procedure Law" (bottom photo) featured Kenneth F. Lammers Jr., Wise County deputy commonwealth's attorney; Zachary T. Lee, assistant United States attorney; Dean Lucy S. McGough of the Appalachian School of Law; the Honorable Michael L. Moore, 29th Judicial Circuit; and the Honorable Chadwick S. Dotson, 30th Judicial Court. VSB President-elect Sharon D. Nelson introduced the panel.

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