Bench-Bar Conference

The Richmond Metropolitan Area Local and Specialty Bar Associations present the 25th Annual Bench Bar Conference on Thursday, October 20, 2016, at the Omni Richmond Hotel.


8:00 – 8:55 a.m. Registration/Continental Breakfast Reception with the Judges
(Sponsored by Minnesota Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company)
9:00 – 10:30 a.m. Break-Out Sessions (1.5 hrs. of credit)
State and Federal Civil Practice – "General District Court Practice: Pointers & Pitfalls"
A panel of esteemed jurists and practitioners will share their knowledge and experiences regarding practice in general district court. Panelists will discuss best practices and offer advice on how to avoid common pitfalls by highlighting the distinguishing characteristics of this practice. This panel discussion will also provide insight into the benefits of selecting this venue.
Panelists: Hon. Barbara J. Gaden of the Richmond General District Court; Hon. Matthew Nelson of the Chesterfield General District Court; Michael B. Ballato, Esq. of Ballato Law Firm, PC; Marcel Slag, Esq. of Legal Aid Justice Center
Moderator: Hon. Roberts A. Pustilnik (Retired), City of Richmond General District Court Judge
Criminal Practice – "From Body Cams to SCRAMs: The Benefits and Pitfalls of Technology in DUI Cases"
Ever-changing technologies are reshaping DUI arrests, trials, and sentences in Virginia. This break-out will explore the benefits and the potential problems of Bod-Worn Camera, Ignition Interlock, and SCRAM.
Panelists: Hon. G. Barton Chucker of the Henrico General District Court; Bob Battle, Esq. of Bob Battle Law and Victoria L. Kesler, Executive Director of John Tyler ASAP; Jeffrey A. Parsons, Account Manger, Alcohol Monitoring System (SCRAM Systems)
Moderator: Melissa Hoy, Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney of the Chesterfield County Commonwealth's Attorney's office
Domestic Relations Practice – "Come Play the Family Feud: Mental Health Solutions in Custody/Visitation Disputes"
An interplay of the various mental health evaluations available to the practitioner to aid in the presentation of custody/visitation cases. A discussion by the mental  heal professionals about various visitation schedules, and their impact on common mental health diagnoses in children.
Panelists:  Laura E. Wert, PhD of the Westwood Group; Dr. Judith L. Cain-Oliver, Clinical Psychologist; John P. Dwyer, PhD of the Meridian Group of Chesterfield
Moderator: John K, Karanian, Esq. of Barnes & Diehl, P.C.
10:30 -10:45 a.m. Coffee Break
(Sponsored by Virginia Lawyers Weekly)
10:45-12:15 p.m. Break-Out Sessions (1.5 hrs. of credit)
State and Federal Civil Practice – "Mediation Preparation & Best Practices"
A panel of experienced mediators will provide practical advice on how to best prepare for mediation while discussing current trends and the advantages of early settlement. Panelists will explore various topics including the differences between court-ordered and private mediation, the mechanics of the mediation process, and various negotiation styles. Moderated by a federal court judge, these panelists will also provide helpful strategies to facilitate resolution.
Panelists: Hon. Michael C. Allen (Retired) of the McCammon Group, Ltd.; Hon. David J. Novak, U. S. Magistrate Judge, Eastern District of Virginia; Mark E. Rubin, Esq. of the McCammon Group, Ltd.
Moderator: Hon. Henry E. Hudson, U.S. District Court Judge, Eastern District of Virginia
Criminal Practice – "Cover Your… Appeal: How to Preserve Issues on the Record"
Appellate Jurists and Counsel will discuss preserving issues for appeal. Included in this discussion will be tips for properly identifying appellate issues, laying a foundation for them in trial, preserving an adequate record for the appellate process and the various practical considerations for trial and appellate actions.
Panelists: Hon. Stephen R. McCullough of the Supreme Court of Virginia; Virginia B Theisen, Esq. of the Office of the Attorney General and Cullen D. Seltzer of Sands Anderson PC
Moderator: Hon. Robert J. Humphreys of the Court of Appeals of Virginia
Domestic Relations Practice – “Wheel of Fortune: Highlighting Local Perspectives & Best Practice Tips on the topics of Protective Orders, the Appointment of Guardian ad litem and Support in the Juvenile Court"
A panel of experienced Juvenile Court jurists from the surrounding Richmond Metropolitan area will share their perspectives, preferences and experiences of best practices in their courtrooms. Panelist will cover the topics of protective orders, the use of guardian ad litems, and spousal support. Moderated by a seasoned family law practitioner, the panel and audience will partake in personal narratives to illustrate effective trial techniques and etiquette in these topic areas.
Panelists: Hon. Shannon O. Hoehl of the Hanover J&D Relations District Court; Hon. Denis F. Soden of the Henrico J&D Relations District Court; Hon. Richard B. Campbell of the Richmond J&D Relations District Court and Hon. D. Gregory Carr of the Chesterfield J&D Relations District Court.
Moderator: Michael S. Ewing, Esq. of Batzli Stiles Butler, PC
12:30-1:45 p.m General Session & Richmond Bar Association Luncheon – featuring remarks by the Honorable L. Douglas Wilder (no CLE credit offered)

A special thank you to Superior Document Services for providing Bench Bar Conference materials on flash drives for all registrants.

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