ODBA President Attends the Congressional Black Caucus Black Women's Agenda
Sept. 22, 2017

ODBA President attended The Black Women's Agenda, Inc. on Sept 22, 2017. BWA is comprised of 21 national collaborating women's organizations – sororities, civic, service, and faith-based – representing millions of women worldwide.

“The Black Women's Agenda, Inc. (BWA) celebrated its 40th anniversary, hosting its Annual Symposium Workshop & Awards Luncheon in the nation's capital and encouraging the more than 1,200 elected officials, journalists, corporate and community leaders and members of its National Collaborating Organizations who attended the event to help chart a path for the future. The notable members, panelists and honorees included:

Starlet Marie "Star" Jones (born March 24, 1962) — an American lawyer, journalist, television personality, fashion designer, author, and women's and diversity advocate. She is best known as one of the original co-hosts on the ABC morning talk show The View, on which she appeared from 1997 to 2006.

The Honorable Kamala D. Harris — Dynamic U.S. Senator representing the State of California and a lifelong public safety and civil rights leader.

April Ryan — White House Correspondent and Washington Bureau Chief for American Urban Radio Network and a political analyst for CNN, accepted BWA's Education Award.

Cadet Simone Askew— The first African-American woman to lead the 4,400 Corps of Cadets at the United States Military Academy at West Point received BWA's Pinnacle Award.

Patricia A. Maryland, Dr.PH— Executive Vice President Ascension and President and Chief Executive Officer Ascension Health Care, was the recipient of BWA's Health Award.

Dr. Hazel N. Dukes — President, NAACP New York State Conference, was introduced as the organization's Economic and Business Awardee.

Briana Richardson— A freshman at Spelman College, majoring in political science received BWA's Bright Future Award, which recognizes a student or group of students whose academic achievements and service to school and community distinguish them as future leaders and success stories.

ODBA President attends The Links Inaugural Legislative Luncheon: Saluting Our Link Sisters On the Hill at Marriott Marquis

September 21, 2017

The ceremony was hosted by the 16th National President of The Links, Incorporated and The Links Foundation, Incorporated. The honorees included Congresswoman Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Congresswoman Val Demings (D-FL), Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge (D-OH), Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), and Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson (D-FL). 

ODBA President and Secretary Attend Judicial Conference
 August 27-30, 2017

President Jane Reynolds attended the Judicial Conference of Virginia for District Court Judges August 27-30, 2017, at the Williamsburg Lodge and Conference Center in Williamsburg, Virginia. Chief Justice Donald W. Lemons of the Virginia Supreme Court opened the conference with remarks. The substantive presentations included an update on Virginia civil statutory and case law, juvenile court case law, and a number of seminars relating to juvenile law and traffic and criminal law.

ODBA President and Numerous ODBA Members Attend the National Bar Association 92nd Annual Convention in Toronto, Canada

July 29 - August 4, 2017

The NBA was committed to “A Legacy of Service, A Promise of Justice” at the Convention in Toronto, Canada.  President Jane Reynolds along with ODBA members Congressman Bobby Scott, Judge Tanya Bullock, Judge Eileen Olds, Judge David Eugene Cheek, Pamela Boston, Kiah Spinks, Tamika Jones, Jackie Lucas, Dana Cheek, and other ODBA members were attendees at the convention July 29 - August 4, 2017, in Toronto, Canada.

Grammy-nominated Artist Angie Stone kicked off the opening session with her popular hits and concluded the performance by inviting people to join her by the stage dancing and singing. NBA members held receptions and/or parties every night.  A good time was had by all.

The convention offered numerous continuing legal educational seminars, to include a “Civil Trial Advocacy Bootcamp and luncheon,” “Learning From the Masters:  The Top 25 Things You “MUST” Do To Be Successful Before & After Trial,” a Criminal Law forum, a Civil Rights symposium and many other seminars.  Some of the top attorneys in the country were presenting, including Congressman Bobby Scott, Willie Gary, Benjamin Crump, Barbara R. Arnwine, Vanita Banks, Dean Alfreda Robinson, Clarence Davis, Keith Watters, and a host of other notables.  Jessie Jackson was also a presenter and honored at the President’s Reception.

Our very own member the Honorable Gerald Bruce Lee received the 30th Annual Fred David Gray Hall of Fame Award and was honored at a luncheon.  This award is given to individuals that not only have promoted the mission and professional endeavors of the NBA, but have made significant accomplishments in the legal community that exceed the normal imagination for lawyers and judges of our time. Judge Lee truly deserved this lifetime achievement award and we were honored to celebrate his accomplishments.

President Reynolds attended many receptions to include a reception for the Ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority Incorporated. There was a private screening of the movie “MARSHALL”, a film based on the true events surrounding a challenging case faced by NBA member Thurgood Marshall in his early days as an attorney for the NAACP. ODBA members were so impressed that we will have our own private screening of the film MARSHALL on October 12, 2017 at 7pm in Norfolk, Virginia for members, family and friends.

Elections for officers were held and President Reynolds attended the NBA Affiliate chapter Presidents’ and President-Elects’ activities. We witnessed the passing of the gavel from (immediate past) President Kevin D. Judd to our new President, Juan R. Thomas.  Mr. Thomas and other officers were sworn in during Thursday’s annual banquet.  Congratulations was also expressed to our newly elected President-Elect Joseph M. Drayton.

Please mark your calendars for the 93rd NBA convention that will be held in New Orleans, LA.  Remember, there is power in numbers (in attendance).

ODBA Past President Attends NAACP Annual CLE Seminar
June 2017

The NAACP 33rd Annual Continuing Legal Education Seminar was held on July 23 & 24, 2017 at the 2017 NAACP Annual Meeting in Baltimore, MD.  ODBA member and National NAACP Legal Committee member James Ghee, Jr.; ODBA member Congressman R. ""Bobby" Scott; and ODBA Immediate Past President Helivi Holland attended with several other attorneys from Virginia.  Two complete days of CLEs were provided free of charge. Congressmen R. Scott provided the federal legislative update CLE on July 23, 2017.  On July 24,  2017, former U S Attorney General Eric Holder was the speaker at the Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr. Memorial Luncheon. The Seminar was enjoyed by all that the attended. 

ODBA President Attends Virginia State Bar Meeting
June 2017

President Jane Reynolds attended the Virginia State Bar’s 2017 Annual Meeting at the Sheraton Oceanfront in Virginia Beach, which was held June 15-18, 2017.  

On Thursday, June 15th, President Reynolds was present at the opening reception and the VSB Diversity Conference 3rd Annual Law Student Mentor-Mentee Initiative Dinner.  Dinner was followed at Murphy’s Virginia Beach.  President Reynolds also attended the VSB Litigation section of the Board of Governor’s meeting Thursday evening where new members were voted on the board.

On Friday morning, June 16th, President Reynolds attended the Conference of Local Bar Associations’ (CLBA) 32nd Annual Awards of Merit where the Old Dominion Bar Association(ODBA), Prince William County Bar Association (PWCBA), and the Prince William Chapter of theVirginia Women Attorneys Association (VWAA) received the Multi Bar Project Award.  The ODBA, PWCBA and VWAA came together for their first joint event, a screening of the documentary,The Loving Story.” The film chronicled the lives and legal battle of Mildred and Richard Loving, a mixed race couple who were exiled from their home state of Virginia due to its law against interracial marriage. Bernard Cohen, one of the attorneys who fought and won the Loving v. Virginia case in Supreme Court addressed the audience after the film.  At the CLBA meeting, President Causey also shared her goals as incoming president.

The CLEs were all great and very informative. On Friday afternoon, President Reynolds attended the CLE Grace and Justice on Death Row with her mentee from Washington and Lee University School of Law.  All mentees and mentors were given free copies of the book Grace and Justice on Death Row. The Race against Time and Texas to free an Innocent Man by Brian W. Stolarz.  This book is based on a true story, is very well written and should be on the best seller list if it is not already.  Attorney/Author Brian W. Stolarz of LeClairRyan does an awesome job recounting his time spent on the case of a black man that he was ultimately able to get off death row and back with his family.

Thereafter, President Reynolds enjoyed lunch with the Diversity Conference members and mentees at the Hilton Oceanfront immediately after the Dunnaville Diversity Achievement Award was presented to Attorney Joseph A. Condo.

On Friday evening, June 16th, ODBA Executive Board Member Doris Henderson Causey of Richmond, and managing attorney of the Central Virginia Legal Aid Society Inc.’s (Richmond office) was sworn in as President at the Virginia State Bar’s Annual Meeting.  President Causey is the first African American President of the Virginia State Bar.  She heads a state agency that regulates and supports 50,000 Virginia lawyers.

President Causey served as the VSB Council’s 13th District representative from 2009 to 2015. She is a member of the Clients' Protection Fund Board and of the bar’s Budget and Finance Committee. She is a member of the Hill Tucker Bar Richmond Chapter, a Virginia Bar Association Fellow, a member of the Richmond Bar Association, and a past member of the Bench Bar Conference.

President Causey graduated from the University of Mississippi with a B.A. in mathematics and another in political science. She has a master of education degree from Tennessee State University and her Juris Doctorate from the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University.

Causey’s practice focuses on civil litigation, family law, landlord tenant, foreclosure defense, and poverty law.

ODBA had at least 40 members in attendance to witness this historical event.

On Saturday June 17th, President Reynolds attended the Virginia Attorney General Debate where the Honorable Mark R. Herring (Attorney General) and John D. Adams, Esq. (McGuireWoods LLP) debated current issues. Barbara Hamm Lee, the Executive Producer and Host of Another View, a weekly call in talk show on WHRV-FM served as moderator of the debate.

BLSA & Old Dominion Bar Association Awareness Program
March 20, 2017

On March 20, 2017, William & Mary's BLSA and the ODBA Awareness Program was held at William & Mary School of Law in their new wing.  ODBA Judicial Members Cressondra Conyers, Birdie Jamison, and Eileen Olds with Immediate Past President Helivi L. Holland enjoyed serving on a panel that discussed the benefits of ODBA membership.  Additionally, the more than 15 students in attendance asked a litany of questions relating to successfully completing law school and finding and keeping a job as an attorney.  All panelists were alumni of William and Mary School of Law so the night was a bit comical as they reminisced and shared stories of their attendance of the Law School.

Congratulations is extended to Mahlet MaKonnen, 2L, of Bloomington, MN who won the $200 Book Scholarship.  We thank Mary Pickford, 2L, for her leadership of the W&M BLSA Chapter as its President.  Also, a special thanks is given to Judge Conyers and Immediate Past President Holland for their financial contribution for the food for the reception.

ODBA President Attends the Virginia Women Attorneys Association Fall Conference and 35th Anniversary Celebration
October 7, 2016

President Jane M. Reynolds attended the Virginia Women Attorneys Association (“VWAA”) at the Boar’s Head Inn in Charlottesville, Virginia on October 7, 2016. The theme of the Conference was The Long & Winding Road: Progress in the Law. Janis L. McDonald, Esq. Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Cold Case Justice Initiative (“CCJI”) at Syracuse University College of Law and co-founder of the VWAA in 1981 was the keynote speaker. 

Professor McDonald spoke about the trials and tribulations that she encountered along with co-founder the late Dulcey Fowler, Esq. (1996) and the rest of the members of the VWAA in the early 80’s as they fought for recognition, equality and judgeships along with many other things. A great time was had by all as we honored a number of judges and women in the law making a difference.

ODBA President Attends Bar Council Meeting
October 7, 2016

President Jane M. Reynolds attended the Virginia State Bar Council’s Fall Meeting at the Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center in Roanoke, VA on October 7, 2016. While the majority of the members of the ODBA supported the proposal to amend Paragraph 18 of Part 6, Section IV of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia and the Comments to Rule 6.1 of the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct and make Virginia the eleventh state to adopt pro bono self-reporting by attorneys, the proposal failed by a very close vote. Additionally, the Council reported on a number of developments. Bar Council and ODBA Members in attendance included: Michael W. Robinson (VSB President), Doris H. Causey (VSB President-elect), Edward L. Weiner (VSB Immediate Past President), Chidi I. James, Bruce E. Robinson, Todd A. Pilot, Lorrie A. Sinclair, Karl A. Doss. For a complete summary of meeting highlights, please visit the Virginia State Bar website and select news/item/council-meeting.

ODBA Collaborates with the Links, Incorporated - Arlington (VA) Chapter
October 6, 2016

President Jane M. Reynolds along with Executive Board Member Kiah Spinks and Member Timothy Cherry attended The Encounter, A Community Forum on Youth and Law Enforcement in Arlington, Virginia on October 6, 2016 in Alexandria, Virginia. Panelist included The Honorable William T. Newman, Jr. (ODBA member), Master of Ceremonies, DJ EZ Street (radio show host), Moderator, Joe Madison (radio talk show host and civil rights activist), William R. “Billy” Martin, Esq. (Principal Attorney at Miles & Stockbridge, P.C.), Captain Donald Hayes (Alexandria Police Dept), Gene Rossi, Esq (Former Fed Prosecutor (2001-16)), Angela J. Davis, Esq. (Professor at American University, WCL), Reverend Taft Quincey Heatley (Sr Pastor at Shiloh Baptist Church), Maya Long (Eastern Region Teen President of Jack and Jill of America, Inc.), and Hadi Kamara (Jr at T.C. Williams HS). The Lee Recreation Center was packed with children and adults as an in-depth discussion took place on how one should act or react when encountering police officers. ODBA was proud to be one of the sponsors of this event.

The Loving Story Screening
September 20, 2016

The Old Dominion Bar Association, Prince William County Bar Association, and the Prince William Chapter of the Virginia Women Attorneys Association came together for their first joint event, a screening of the documentary, “The Loving Story.” The film chronicled the lives and legal battle of Mildred and Richard Loving, a mixed race couple who were exiled from their home state of Virginia due to its law against interracial marriage. Bernard Cohen, one of the attorneys who fought and won the Loving v. Virginia case in Supreme Court addressed the audience after the film. In addition to the three bar associations, the event was sponsored by the Center for the Arts of Greater Manassas/Prince William County, which kindly provided a venue for showing the film, and the law firm of Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian, P.C. Thanks to all who attended this historic, and very special screening event!

ODBA President Attends the 91st NBA Convention in St. Louis, MO

President Jane Reynolds attended the National Bar Association’s 91st Annual Convention & Exhibits in St. Louis, Missouri. The convention was held at the Marriott St. Louis Grand Hotel July 15-22, 2016, and opened with a prayer breakfast with Grammy Award Winning Gospel Artist, Yolanda Adams. The convention also consisted of performances at the President’s Black Party with Grammy Nominated Artist Kelly Price and the Gary Firm White Party with Frankie Beverly and Maze.

The convention offered a plethora of continuing legal education seminars and had several presidential showcases.

Presidential Showcase #1 featured the Father Movement, discussions with Michael Brown, Sr. (Father of Michael Brown); Ron Davis (Father of Jordan Davis); Bobby Johnson (Uncle of Oscar Grant); and Tracy Martin (Father of Travon Martin).

Presidential Showcase #4 included a Historic Trip to Ferguson, Missouri, where we walked the path of Michael Brown with Congressman Bobby Scott, the Rev. Jessie Jackson, Immediate past President Benjamin Crump, Michael Brown’s mother and many others.

The trip concluded at St. Mark Family Church where we were joined by Journalist and TV Host, Ed Gordon. Mr. Gordon served as moderator for the “Mothers of the Movement: Transforming Tragedy Into Triumph In and Out of the Courtroom."

The panelists included: Sybrina Fulton (Mother of Travyon Martin); Lucia McBath (Mother of Jordan Davis); Lesley McSpadden (Mother of Michael Brown); Collette Flanagan (Mother of Clinton Allen); and Marian Tolan (Mother of Robbie Tolan), along with many other mothers in the audience that lost loved ones at the hands of police officers. The Black Lives Matter movement continues on.

Presidential Showcase #5 featured the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Drum Major for Justice Advocacy Competition, which involved high school students competing for scholarships. This showcase was held on Thursday evening as we honored many high school students for their award winning essays. We also honored our very own Jamar Watkins, 11th grader from the 4th District (our district).

President Reynolds attended many receptions to include a reception for the Ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sorority Incorporated. Our very own Pamela Boston was present at the Convention and is also a member. Additionally, President Reynolds attended the Links Incorporated reception. Our very own Judge Eileen Anita Olds was in attendance and present at the convention.

Elections for officers were held and President Reynolds attended the NBA Affiliate chapter Presidents’ and President-Elects’ activities. New officers, including President Kevin Judd, were sworn in during Thursday’s annual banquet.

There were numerous great judges, trial attorneys, U.S. Representatives and speakers to include Carl E. Douglas, Esq. (O.J. Simpson defense team); Joey Jackson, Esq.(CNN & HLN Legal Analyst); Benjamin Crump, Esq. (Immediate Past President of NBA), and Travon Martin’s defense team (Parks & Crump); Monique Pressley, Esq. (Attorney for Bill Cosby); Willie E. Gary, Esq. (24 billion dollar man as he is often called); Paulette Brown, Esq. (President, American Bar Association); Valerie Jarrett (Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama); the Rev Jesse Jackson (President and CEO of Rainbow Push Coalition); Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA); Congressman Lacy Clay (D-MO); and our very own Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA), to name a few.

The 92nd convention will be held Toronto.

ODBA at VBA 126th Summer Meeting

ODBA Immediate Past President Helivi L. Holland attended the VBA 126th Summer Meeting held at The Homestead in Hot Springs, VA, July 21-24, 2016. 

The ODBA was a special guest of the VBA and Past President Holland enjoyed every extension of VBA hospitality. ODBA Member and VBA President James "Jim" Guy, II was a most gracious host of several events. Over 600 attendees enjoyed a litany of CLEs, receptions and dinner.

Past President Holland was honored to attend the meeting in the absence of President Jane Reynolds due to her attendance at the NBA Annual Meeting in St. Louis, MO. Details of the NBA Meeting will be coming soon.

ODBA’s First Webinars was a Success.

Thanks is given to all who participated on May 24, 2016, in the ODBA’s first hosted webinar with the Virginia State Bar (VSB) entitled: Making a Cast for Pro Bono: The Justice Gap, Rule 6.1, and Virginia’s New Online Pro Bono Website.  The webinar had more participants registered than other webinar of VSB this year.

A huge expression of gratitude is given to ODBA Member and VSB Director of Access to Legal Services Karl Doss for coordinating this collaboration between ODBA and VSB.  Karl and ODBA President Helivi L. Holland served as a panelist.  Participants received 1.5 free Ethics CLEs with a commitment to provide pro bono services. A copy of the presentation is here

ODBA members are asked to provide pro-bono services. Rule 6.1 says “a lawyer should render at least two percent per year of the lawyer’s professional time to pro bono public legal services.”  The VSB will launch Virginia.freelegalanswers.org in August of 2016.  This will be a site on which low-income Virginians can log onto the internet, file legal questions and get answers to their questions from volunteer lawyers licensed in Virginia.

As Virginia’s Advocates for Equal Justice we have an obligation to be actively providing pro bono services. The ODBA will provide more information regarding the ability to provide pro bono services soon.

ODBA serves as co-sponsor of the  IILP Washington D.C. Symposium on Diversity and Inclusion in the Legal Profession – 11/11/2015

The Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession (IILP) is having a  Symposium on the State of Diversity and Inclusion in the Legal Profession in Washington, D.C. at Baker & McKenzie on Wednesday, November 11th, from 1:00 PM – 6:00 PM.  The Old Dominion Bar Association has accepted the invitation to serve as a co-sponsor. This co-sponsorship entitles ODBA Members to register for the program at a 50% discount ($25 rather than $50).

The symposium provides an easy and convenient source for data and information about diversity in the legal profession, with IILP’s recent symposium in New York heralded as addressing "an old problem with a new approach!" The upcoming symposium in Washington, D.C. is no exception and will be a forum for discussing diversity and inclusion with the latest data, statistics, and perspectives on the issues.

The ODBA thanks Sarah Miller, Program Associate and University of Chicago Public Interest Program Fellow, and the Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession for extending this opportunity to the membership of ODBA.  For more information, you can reach Ms. Miller at:

321 South Plymouth Court
Chicago, IL 60604
FB/Twitter @TheIILP

"Meet the Professionals" with BLSA at W&M

On behalf of the undergraduate chapter of Black Law Students Association at the college of William and Mary, Jakim Aaron, President of the Undergraduate Chapter of BLSA William and Mary Class of 2018, extends this invitation.  The  primary purpose of the Chapter is to promote the academic, professional, and social needs of prospective law students, specifically but not exclusively, from a minority background, here at the college.

The undergraduate chapter of the Black Law Students Association in alliance with the African American Male Coalition, will be hosting a “Meet the Professionals” panel and lunch on Saturday, November 21, 2015, from 11 AM to 2 PM . This event will encompass a forum in which representatives from various aspects of the legal profession can share their experiences with our students, while also providing our students with the opportunity to network and receive guidance on further working towards their goals.

BLSA invites ODBA members to support this event.  Jakim writes that "as patrons who have built strong relationships with the community, if you are willing to dedicate some of your time or get us in contact with others who may be able to contribute, please forward all  information to Tiyrah Fields (ttfields@email.wm.edu), Secretary of the Undergraduate BLSA."

ODBA invited to press event of AG Herring launching impartial-policing initiative

Attorney General Mark Herring on Tuesday, September 29, 2015, launched a statewide training initiative to assist police in appropriately using force, de-escalating dangerous situations and recognizing potential biases they may bring to the job.  He appeared at press events held in Arlington, Richmond, and Norfolk on Tuesday.  Several legislators, state officials and law enforcement officers were present at each event.  ODBA Member and VA Delegate Joe Lindsey joined the AG at the Norfolk press event.

At a news conference, Herring said he was motivated to act over the last year after rioting in Ferguson, Missouri, and in Baltimore. He acknowledged that Virginia has had incidents of its own that have called into question whether police have used excessive force or might be targeting minorities.

In explaining the need for the training, Herring cited national statistics about the increased likelihood that African-Americans will be pulled over for traffic stops, among other data.

"It’s clear that, as a nation, we have more than a perception problem," he said. "It’s hard to acknowledge, but it’s even harder to experience."

Herring acknowledged the assistance of ODBA Member and Chief Deputy Attorney General Cynthia Hudson’s work on this imitative.

Speaking to ODBA President Helivi Holland, Herring thanked the ODBA for accepting his invitation to attend the event and was pleased that President Holland attended the Norfolk event and Secretary Stacy Lee attended the event in Richmond.  

For more information visit the VA AG's website.

ODBA Receives LexisNexis Award from VBA

The ODBA graciously and proudly accepted the Virginia Bar Association (VBA) LexisNexis Award at the VBA's Summer Conference on July 25, 2015, at the Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, VA.  This award was presented by VBA President Henry "Pete" Johnson III to ODBA President Helivi L. Holland.

The award was given to the ODBA "on the occasion of their 75th anniversary and in recognition of the ODBA's unwavering pursuit of justice through the rule of law."

Present for this auspicious occasion were some of ODBA newest  members, VBA President Henry "Pete" Johnson, III, VBA President-Elect James Patrick Guy, II and Virginia State Bar President Ed Weiner.

Expressions of gratitude were given to the members of the VBA with special recognition to VBA Executive Director Yvonne McGhee.

ODBA at NBA 90th Annual Convention

The NBA "Got Live in LA" and the ODBA was there to enjoy all of the events.  ODBA members, Judges Angela Roberts, Eileen Olds, Tanya Bullock, Gayle Carr, and Teresa Hammons, Congressman Bobby Scott and Pamela Boston joined ODBA President Helivi Holland, as attendees of the NBA 90th Annual Convention, July 18-July 24, 2015, in Los Angeles, CA.

CLEs were numerous and great. Very noteworthy was the session entitled "The Role of the Judiciary and Equality for All" with panelist of television and sitting judges and a commissioner of juvenile court.   On the panel were television Judges Mablean, Judge Kevin Ross, and Judge Faith, sitting Judge Allen J. Webster and Commissioner Catherine Pratt. 

The entertainment was really nice, as we were entertained by Grammy award winners and nominees, Johnny Gill, Chante Moore, Michelle, and Kenny Lattimore.

 The dancing took place with DJ Spinderella of Salt-N-Pepa.  A great performance was given by comedian Michael Conyers and there was a visit by Louis Gossett, Jr.

It was wonderful to see our 2015 ODBA Winter Meeting speaker and NBA President, Benjamin L. Crump, take his oath of office as the 73rd  President of the NBA. Congratulations was expressed to our newly elected President-Elect Kevin Judd from Washington  D.C.  Also, it was wonderful to see the ODBA 75th Anniversary Conference keynote speaker, ABA President-Elect Paulette Brown, receive the NBA’s highest award: the C. Francis Stadford Award. 

Current Immediate Past President, Pamela Meanes, the 72nd President of the NBA, was given much deserved accolades for her advocacy and her administrative accomplishments during her tenure.  It was magnificent to hear that she reduced the debt of the NBA by over $800,000 during her one year as President. 

Many future activities of the NBA were announced and the following dates were given:

  • September  16-19, 2015: Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Annual Conference – Washington, DC
  • September 17, 2015: NBA Constitutional Law Day
  • October 2-3, 2015: Wiley Branton Symposium – Raleigh, NC
  • December 4-6, 2015: 60th Anniversary Civil Rights Commemoration Tour – Selma, Montgomery, and Tuskegee, AL
  • January 15-18, 2016: NBA Judicial Council, Young Lawyers, and Small & Solo Practitioners Divisions Mid-Winter Conference – Las Vegas, NV
  • February 18-20, 2016: NBA Commercial Law Section Corporate Counsel– Scottsdale, AZ
  • March 31-April 3, 2016: NBA Mid-Year Conference and Gertrude Rush Dinner – Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • April 2016:  NBA Day on the Hill – Washington, DC
  • May 2016: NBA International Trip – Cuba & Haiti
  • July 16-22, 2016: NBA 91st Annual Convention – St. Louis, MO=

ODBA at VSB 77th Annual Meeting …Wonderful Days at the Beach

ODBA members had a wonderful time at the VSB 77th Annual Meeting, June 18 – 20, 2015 in Virginia Beach.  ODBA members were presenters, speakers, participants, registrants and served on committees.

The ODBA continued to get so many compliments from so many people in attendance of this meeting about its 75th Anniversary Meeting. ODBA thanks the VSB for the “special guest” invitation and the hospitality placed upon the ODBA President.

See all the fun the members and others had below.

ODBA, a proud sponsor of the 30th Anniversary Court of Appeals Celebration

The President and three other Executive Committee Members, Beverly A. Burton, Stacy Lee and Doris Causey, attended the celebratory activities of 30th Anniversary of the Court of Appeals of Virginia on June 2, 2015.  The celebration began with a special session of the Virginia Supreme Court convening with a history of the Court presentation given by the Hon. Johanna Fitzpatrick, Retired Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals and Professor John G. Douglass, University of Richmond School of Law.  A resolution that included the endorsement of the ODBA and other bar associations was present by the Virginia State Bar. ODBA served as a proud sponsor of the reception.  Court of Appeals Retired Judge Benton was one of the honorees.

Members of ODBA assist SHRBA “So You’re 18” presentation at Lakeland High School, Suffolk, VA

The Southampton Roads Bar Association (SHRBA) held a presentation of the VA State Bar’s (VSB) “So You’re 18” at Lakeland High School in Suffolk, VA on April 30, 2015. This presentation is designed to assist 18 year olds with the transition into adulthood.  Those in attendance learn the new rights and responsibilities that happen as a result of reaching the age of 18. Assistant Principal of Lakeland, Tina Paul,  was instrumental in coordinating the presentation to three 12thgrade Government classes.  SHRBA Member Tameeka Williams did an outstanding job coordinating the Suffolk attorneys and judge participation with ODBA and SHRBA Member Solomon Ashby,.  ODBA and SHRBA President Marcus Scriven was present with other members and student members of the SHRBA.  After the VSB produced video “So You’re 18” was seen, SHRBA member Denise Jackson (Deputy Public Defender for Suffolk), ODBA and SHRBA member Solomon Asbhy (Suffolk Assistant City Attorney) and ODBA Judicial Member Judge Alfred Bates (Suffolk General District Court) served as panelists.  Students were provided with the VSB “So You’re 18” pamphlet and were given an opportunity to ask questions.  Several questions were asked by the students about several legal matters.

SHRBA has made several presentations at high schools across Hampton Roads and looks forward to doing more.

ODBA Welcomed at the 2015 VTLA Annual Meeting

March 26-28, 2015 

The Virginia Trial Lawyers Association (VTLA) extended an invitation to the ODBA to attend its 2015 Annual Conference at the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulfur Springs, West Virginia.  The VTLA extended complimentary registration to the President of ODBA, Helivi Holland, to attend the conference in its entirety. Jack Harris, Executive Director of the VTLA, was a great host to President Holland.

The event was held March 26-28, 2015, and included informative CLEs, great speakers, and delicious meals.  Two ODBA Judicial Members, Judge S. Bernard Goodwyn and Magistrate Judge Roderick Young, served as speakers at the conference.  Also in attendance was ODBA Member Christopher Jones.  The ODBA extends its appreciation to the VTLA for the exceptional hospitality.

ODBA participates in the ABA Law Student 4th Circuit Division Spring Meeting

February 27-March 1, 2015

ODBA members, President Helivi L. Holland, City Attorney for the City of Suffolk, and the Honorable Randall G. Johnson, III, Henrico JDRC, served on panels during  the meeting.  President Holland served on the panel “Finding Your Legal Niche” and Judge Johnson served on the panel “Missed Manners and Courtroom Decorum.” The Spring Meeting took place at College of William and Mary, Marshall-Wythe School of Law from February 27 – March 1, 2015. Law school students in the Division from NC, SC, VA and WV attended.

ODBA Awareness and Award Reception at William and Mary School of Law

January 27, 2015

The ODBA held its third reception of its signature program of the ODBA Awareness and Award Reception at Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary on January 27, 2015. Eighteen William and Mary law school students attended to hear Judge Cassandra Conyers, Judge (Ret.) Gammiel Poindexter, Deputy City Attorney of Hampton Karen James and ODBA President/City Attorney for Suffolk Helivi Holland talk of the value of membership in the ODBA. The students engaged the members in conversation about the history of the ODBA and career choices. The Reception ended with awarding the ODBA Book and Other Materials Scholarship of $250 to Phillip Lecky, 3L.

ODBA Participates in VSB First Day and Beyond Seminar of New VA Lawyers

December 2, 2014

On December 2, 2014, for the first time ODBA manned an interest table at the VSB First Day and Beyond Seminar for attorneys that passed the July 2014 VA bar. The event was held at the Richmond Convention Center. ODBA welcomed seven new members who joined on the day of the event. The attorneys took their oath as VA's newest practicing attorneys the following day.

President Holland, Former President Burton and Secretary Lee served as greeters at the table and invited the attendees to become members. Judicial Member, The Honorable E. Cheeks, Judge, Richmond General District Court, was able to attend for a few minutes to meet with our newest members. The Honorable Margaret Spencer, Richmond Circuit Court (Retired) was a presenter of a CLE for the attendees.

Our newest members are: Anthony White, Liberty University; Jennifer Lunn, Catholic University of America; Robert Howard, Notre Dame; Debra Banqert, Wayne State: Tanishka Crua, Drexel; Carl Laroch, Columbia; and Kermit Mange, Florida Costal.

Second ODBA Awareness and Award Reception at University of Richmond School of Law

November 11, 2014

University of Richmond's BLSA students had a robust showing at the ODBA and University of Richmond Networking Social on November 11, 2014. BLSA students had an opportunity to speak with ODBA members about the purpose of the ODBA, networking and potential contributions to the legal community. ODBA board member Beverly A. Burton gave a brief welcome and invitation to service through membership in the ODBA. ODBA gave a book scholarship of $250 to the student who was able to give a well-reasoned answer to the question, "what is the difference between justice and fairness?" Jonathan Mark, a second year law student, won the book scholarship. ODBA members had a wonderful opportunity to meet and fellowship with tomorrow's legal leaders.

Special thanks is given to ODBA Executive Committee Member Shawri King-Casey and University of Richmond School of Law Arianna White for coordinating the well-attended reception.

First ODBA Awareness and Award Reception at Regent University School of Law

October 29, 2014

On October 29, 2014, ODBA had its first reception. 19 law schools students attended and eight ODBA members attended. ODBA Judicial Members Marjorie Arrington, Tanya Bullock and Teresa Hammons and ODBA Members Clarence Brooks, Darius Davenport, Helivi Holland, Marcus Scriven and Karla Williams served on a panel and discussed their legal career choices and at least one benefit of being a member of the ODBA.

The law students had a litany of questions and were so excited about having the opportunity to speak frankly with judges and lawyers. Most exciting was the drawing for the Book or Other Materials Scholarship. Judge Bullock drew the lucky number of 17 and Ms. Natasha Delille, a 1st year law student from New York City, NY received the $250 scholarship.

Special thanks goes to Sean Mitchell, a 3rd year law student and BLSA President, who coordinated the reception.


Former ODBA Presidents participate in Boyd-Graves Conference Meeting

October 24-25, 2014

Leonard L. Brown, Jr., Beverly A. Burton, Curtis Hairston, Robert Hagans, and S. Howard Woodson III, all members of the Boyd-Graves Committee, attended the invitation-only annual meeting in Richmond October 24-25, 2014. The group of lawyers, judges, and law professors recommended several changes: amendment to Rule 5A:30 to provide for attorney fees in domestic relations appeals; a new statute to require notice to the Virginia attorney general when civil litigants challenge a state constitutional provision; code amendment to allow establishment of jurisdiction by affidavit in divorce cases; a new form that allows personal representatives to sue for either personal injury, wrongful death or both; code change to allow petitions for temporary injunctions to be supported or opposed by affidavit or verified pleading.

ODBA President and Secretary Attend the VA District Court Judges Conference

October 1, 2014

ODBA President H. Holland and Secretary S. Lee attended the VA District Court Judges Conference from September 28 through October 1, 2014. The Conference was held at the Norfolk Marriott. The Supreme Court graciously paid for all of the expenses of the President and Secretary. Additionally, they received over nine hours of free CLEs. ODBA judicial members in attendance included the Honorables M. Goss, A. Roberts, R. Johnson, A. Talton-Harris,  T. Hammons, T. Bullock, B. Jamison, E. Cheeks, E. Olds, C. Congers, G. Carr, and others. 

ODBA President Attends VSB Bar Council Dinner and Meeting

October 23-24, 2014

President Holland attended the VSB Bar Council Dinner and Meeting on October 23 - 24, 2014. The events occurred at the Alexandria Hilton. Present were Bar Council members from across the Commonwealth, including ODBA executive committee member Doris Causey, who represents the 13th District. Various reports were given by various committees which included the report regarding the bar dues increase of $25 by the Supreme Court and the increase in the individual cap of the client protection fund from $50,000 to $75,000.

The three candidates for 2015 President-Elect, Michael W. Robertson, Tom Edmondson, and Ray Benzinger gave brief statements seeking support. A brief question and answer period was held.

VSB President Kevin Martingayle welcomed the ODBA throughout the reception and meeting. Additionally, it was announced that ODBA Executive Board Member, Doris Causey, announced her candidacy for the 2016 President-Elect election.

October 21, 2014

The Judicial Evaluation Committee of the ODBA interviewed 24 of the 25 judicial candidates for one vacancy on the VA Supreme Court and two vacancies on the VA Court of Appeals. The committee chair, Beverly Burton, and other committee members conducted interviews from 8:30 am to after 9:30 pm. Rankings will be published by November 3, 2014 as a benchmark date noted by the Senate and House Courts of Justices.

ODBA President represents Chapter at the 89th National Bar Association (NBA) Annual Conference

July 25 – August 1, 2014 in Atlanta, GA

Helivi L. Holland, President, represented the ODBA as an affiliate chapter of the NBA at the NBA’s 89th Annual Conference. The conference had close to 1000 registered attendees. The ODBA had 10 members present at the conference. Members in attendance included Judges E. Cheek, A. Talton-Harris, E. Olds, A. Roberts and K. Melvin and Attorneys H. Holland, A. Bowers, B. Telfair, R. Roberts, and A. Hill.

The ODBA was able to cast three votes for officers based on having the President as a member and the Chapter having 10 members in attendance. The elections results are as follows:
  • President- Elect: Benjamin Crump, FL
  • Vice -President B. Walker, OH (1 yr); C. Byrd, MD (2 yr); C. Moore, MS (2 yr)
  • Treaurer: M. Thompson, CA
  • Board of Directors: R. Anderson, NV (1 yr); J. Overstreet. TX (2 yr); A. Knighten, LA (2 yr); E. Douglas, IL (2 yr)

President for the 2014 – 2015 is Pamela Meanes of St. Louis, MO.

Many CLE(s) were offered and the President’s Showcase included Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and the head of the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund speaking on civil rights representation. Musical guest was Frankie Beverly and Maze.

Next year’s conference will be held in Los Angeles, CA.

ODBA participates at the Virginia Bar Association Conference

July 24-27, 2014 Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs, WV

The ODBA participated in many activities of the VBA Annual Conference. President-Elect Jane Reynolds was invited to attend the conference in its entirety as a special guest. She attended many of the CLE Programs offered. The Criminal Law and Domestic Relations Sections CLE consisted of a game of Legal Jeopardy: Family Feuds and Offenses. The moderator was Michael HuYoung, Esq. from Barnes & Diehl, P.C. in Richmond; however, the host was our very own Justice S. Bernard Goodwyn, of the Supreme Court of Virginia. The contestants were the Honorable Louis R. Lerner (Hampton), the Honorable Jane Marum Roush (Fairfax CC) and the Honorable Richard S. Wallerstein, Jr. (Henrico CC). While all of the judges were extremely knowledgeable, Judge Roush was a little quicker with the hands and became the Jeopardy Champion. A great time was had by all.

Reynolds also attended the Legacy Series Luncheon and the Black tie Banquet, which gave a tribute to VBA Honorees and recognized 2014 VBA Life Members. Reynolds was seated with some of the dignitaries and was recognized as a special guest of the VBA. There was live music, dancing and libations.

On Saturday, Reynolds attended the senatorial debate hosted by the VBA at the resort with an opportunity to meet the candidates after the debate (Senator Mark Warner and Ed Gillespie). The debate was both enlightening and intriguing.

The resort was shared with the New Orleans Saints and Reynolds and other VBA members bumped into the Saints quite a few times at the Resort, which made the conference more exciting.

ODBA participates at the Virginia State Bar Annual Conference

June 12 – 14, 2014 Virginia Beach, VA

The ODBA participated in many activities of the VSB Annual Conference. President Helivi Holland was invited to attend the conference in its entirety as a special guest. She attended the Bar Council dinner on September 11, 2014; and, she attended the Bar Council meeting and Diversity Section’s sponsored Golf Tournament on September 12, 2014 with ODBA member and Bar Council member Doris Causey. The ODBA co-sponsored two showcases with a monetary donation of $500 each for a human trafficking session and marriage session. Many members of the ODBA attended the Conference. President Holland attended the Closing Banquet with Former Presidents Beverly Burton and Vinceretta Chiles.

ODBA provides scholarships for NBA Region 4 MLK Justice Advocacy Competition

June 7, 2014 at Norfolk, VA

The ODBA approved the awarding of $1500 in prize money for winners of the Region 4 NBA MLK Justice Advocacy Competition at its Annual Meeting. The competition was held on June 7, 2014 at Norfolk State University. Three of the four judges were ODBA members, Helivi L. Holland, Esq., The Honorable Tanya Bullock and Wayne Scrivens, Esq. The winners and awards are as follows:

1st Place – Corinne Hilicke of Glen Allen, VA $550

2nd Place – Rhodesia Roberts of Gaithersburg, MD $550

3rd Place – Leah Woody of Lanham MD $400

Other sponsors contributed to the monetary awards, so the 1st place winner actually received an award of $1200.

Corinne Hilicki will represent the Region 4 at the NBA Annual Conference in Atlanta, GA at the end of this month. The President and other members will be present at the National competition July 23, 2014 to cheer Corinne to a national victory.

We extend expressions to our member Pamela Boston, Esq. who was the coordinator of the event and Norfolk State University for their hospitality. Also, we thank our member W. T. Mason for his attendance of the event and our “ODBA Mom” Col. (Ret.) Lula B. Holland for extending a welcome to us on behalf of the Norfolk State University as a member of their Board of Visitors.

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