Virginia Lawyer

VaLawyer_June/July 2013

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75th Annual Meeting ATTENDANCE WAS UP and so was the temperature, both inside and outside, at the Virginia State Bar's Annual Meeting in Virginia Beach. The outside heat, with temperatures well into the 90s on Wednesday and Thursday, was thanks to the weather. The inside heat was provided by attorney general candidates Mark R. Herring and Mark D. Obenshain who met in their first debate since winning their party's nominations. The annual meeting, June 13–15, was the 75th for the bar, and the jury is out on whether it will be the last held at the Cavalier Hotel. The annual meeting has been there for thirty-five years, but the hotel has been sold and it is unclear whether it will be available next year. This year, Sharon D. Nelson was sworn in as president, succeeding W. David Harless. Kevin E. Martingayle became president-elect. Three special programs were a big draw. More than 300 people turned out for the Showcase CLE on "Cocktail Party Advice: How to Answer Basic Legal Questions from Friends, Neighbors, Clients and Partners," sponsored by the Senior Lawyers Conference. The attendees were handed a list of fifty theoretical situations or questions that might come up in informal situations. The panel spoke to about a quarter of them, and distributed answers to the rest. Friday's special forum on "Diversity and the Rule of Law: Complementary or Contradictory?" also drew an overflow crowd and generated plenty of friction. Roger Clegg, president of the Center for Equal Opportunity, argued that programs to promote racial and ethnic preferences and diversity are discriminatory. Jonathan R. Alger, president of James Madison University, and Freeman A. Hrabowski, president of the University 1 2 1. The Original Cavalier Hotel was the site for the annual Reception on the Hill. It remains to be seen whether the bar will have its annual meeting at the Cavalier next year. 2. Among those celebrating at the annual meeting were VSB President-elect Kevin E. Martingayle (left), President Sharon D. Nelson, and Past-president W. David Harless. of Maryland — Baltimore County, took the opposite position. The forum was cosponsored by the VSB Diversity Conference and the Virginia Women Attorneys Association and moderated by the Honorable Barbara M. Keenan, U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Before the discussion began, the Diversity Conference gave its Clarence M. Dunnaville Diversity Conference Award to Darrell Tillar Mason. Saturday morning's debate between Democrat Herring and Republican Obenshain drew another large crowd. Both took aggressive postures and hammered home their well-established positions on so-called women's issues such as abortion and contraception, transportation funding, government regulations, guns, gay marriage, voter identification laws, privacy, and taxes. About the only thing the candidates agreed on was that voters will have a stark choice to make this fall. Sandwiched among the multiple CLEs, workshops, and business meetings, was a parade of award winners. They included the Rakes Leadership in Education Award, the Conference of Local Bar Associations awards of merit and two Local Bar Leaders of the Year Awards, the R. Edwin Burnette Jr. Award, the Access to Legal Services Award, the Tradition of Excellence Award, and eighty-eight Fifty-Year Awards. Throw in the Council Reception and Dinner, the Friday night President's Reception and Annual Banquet, the Reception on the Hill, a slew of breakfasts and lunches, the Lawyers Expo, raffles for a television and a free trip to the Midyear Seminar in Paris, a sandcastle contest, and bingo, and a good time was had by all. VIRGINIA STATE BAR • 75TH ANNUAL MEETING 66 VIRGINIA LAWYER | June/July 2013 | Vol. 62 www.vsb.org

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