Bench-Bar Conference 2023

Event Details

Bench-Bar Conference 2023

The Bench-Bar Conference is designed to promote discussion on issues of interest to judges and lawyers and provide an opportunity for each to offer their reactions and feedback. The format features breakout sessions allowing groups of judges and lawyers to actively discuss topics of interest in their individual areas of practice. Included in the cost of the conference is admission to the Richmond Bar luncheon and a continental breakfast reception with members of the judiciary.

Date: October 19, 2023
Location: Greater Richmond Convention Center, 403 N. 3rd Street, Richmond
Registration and Breakfast with the judges: 8:00 a.m. – 8:55 a.m.
Conference: 9:00 a.m. Р12:15 p.m

Cost: $130 ($140 after October 6th)
Special rate for lawyers practicing less than 6 years – $110 ($120 after October 6th)
Public sector attorney $110 ($120 after October 6th)

This program has been approved by the VA MCLE Board for 3.0 hours of credit. CLE materials be e-mailed to attendees approximately one week prior to the conference.







8:00 – 8:55 a.m. – Registrations/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 MCLE credit)
State & Federal Civil Practice – “Expert Reconnaissance and Strategic Opposition”
In this session, the panelists will focus on cross examining experts, motions in limine, motions to disqualify experts, and attacking an expert’s CV & qualifications.
Panelists: Christopher J. Toepp, Esq.; Meredith M. Haynes, Esq.; Justin M. Sheldon, Esq.
Moderator: Hon. William R. Marchant

Criminal Practice – “Bridging the Gap: How the Criminal Justice System Addresses Mental Illness”
This session will include a discussion on changes in Virginia law to include diminished capacity and deferred dispositions, competency evaluations and NGRI defenses; and the function of mental health dockets.
Panelists: Stephen A. Mutnick, Esq.; Dr. Susan W. Schaffer; Helen C. Greenbacker of Central State
Moderator: Hon. Lauren A. Caudill

Domestic Relations Practice – “Mental Health Before and After COVID – What Issus Are We Seeing Today?”

Dr. Nelson will discuss post-covid effects on juveniles; suggestions for securing mental health professionals considering appointments are limited; and providing alternative resources for juvenile pending appointments with a mental health professional.
Speaker: Dr. Michelle K. Nelson
Moderator: Julie M. Cillo

10:30 – 10:45 Coffee Break Break (Sponsored by Family Insight, PC)

10:45 – 12:15 p.m. – Break-Out Sessions (1.5 hrs of MCLE credit)

State & Federal Civil Practice – “Deposition Damage Control”
This session will explore how to exclude harmful deposition testimony through pre-trial motions and during trial, plus a primer on relevant objections and the discovery rules governing depositions in state and federal court.
Panelists: W. Rand robins, Esq.; Brendan D. O’Toole, Esq.; Patricia B. Turner, Esq.
Moderator: Hon. Jayne A. Pemberton

Criminal Practice – “Jury Trial Skills: How to Best Take Care of Your Client and Yourself”
In this session panelists will discuss judges’ perspectives on best practices; how to present the most effective sentencing, including effective use of sentencing memorandum, mitigation specialists, victim impact, etc.; and how lawyers can take care of their own mental health and abide by the rules of ethics while handling increased workloads necessary for the increased number of jury trials.
Panelists: Hon. Lee A. Harris, Jr.; Hon. David E. Johnson; Hon. Bradley B. Cavedo; Jennifer Quitiquit, Sentencing Advocate; Molly O’Rourke, Mitigation Specialist; Krista M. Samuels, Bar Ethics
Moderator: Hon. Jacqueline S. McClenney

Domestic Relations Practice – “We Can’t Agree on the Child’s Treatment – Help Me Convince the Judge to Grant Me Final Decision-Making Authority!”

The panelists will discuss the issue of how to convince the judge to grant (or not) one parent the authority to make the final decision on legal decisions affecting the child, particularly where the bench seems to be moving away from awarding one parent any such authority. This panel will tie in the questions of whether a GAL should be appointed, whether an independent mental health evaluation or psychological evaluation is desirable, and best practices for preparing for a trial on the issue.
Panelists: Hon. Brice Lambert, Jennifer M. Newman, Esq.; Mary B. Owens, Esq.; Adrienne G. Eliades, Esq.
Moderator: Melanie A. Friend, Esq.

12:30 – 1:45 Richmond Bar Association Luncheon – remarks by the Hon. David B. Albo (no MCLE credit offered) (Sponsored by The McCammon Group)


Thank you to our Law Firm Sponsors. Click on their logo to visit their site.

2023-10-19 9:00:00
2023-10-19 12:15:00
Bench-Bar Conference
Bench-Bar Conference
Richmond Convention Center
Sharon Potter