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Virginia Bar Association taps leaders, board for 2020

Paul Fletcher//February 6, 2020

Virginia Bar Association taps leaders, board for 2020

Paul Fletcher//February 6, 2020//

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VBAlogoWILLIAMSBURG–Virginia Beach lawyer Alison M. McKee took office as president of the Virginia Bar Association at the group’s winter meeting in Williamsburg Jan. 25.

McKee, who practices with Kaufman & Canoles, succeeds Richard E. Garriott Jr., also of Virginia Beach. Garriott, a partner with Pender & Coward, became immediate past president of the group.

McKee is the 132nd president of the association and the fourth woman to lead the group, following Anita Poston (2000), Jeanne Franklin (2001) and Lucia Anna “Pia” Trigiani (2011).

Behind McKee on the leadership ladder is Richard Ottinger of Norfolk, a partner at Vandeventer Black. He was tapped as president-elect.

While the VBA has been around since 1888, the group historically has been very attentive to geography and ensuring that its presidents come from all over Virginia. On two occasions, from 1923 to 1925 and from 2014 to 2016, the VBA had three straight presidents from Richmond. But the trio of Garriott, McKee and Ottinger will mark the first time that there will be three straight presidents from Hampton Roads.

The association is poised to make yet more history. Victor O. Cardwell of Wood Rogers in Roanoke was elected to serve as chair of the board of governors. This position, the first on the three-rung ladder, generally leads to election as president-elect, then service as president. Assuming a normal succession, Cardwell would become the VBA’s first African American president in 2022.

The VBA Young Lawyers Division is comprised of lawyers 40 and younger (the top age was changed from 36); about 1,200 VBA members fall into this category.

Madelaine A. Kramer, counsel with Sands Anderson PC in McLean, was elected YLD chair for a one-year term.

The group elected four board representatives to three-year terms:

  • Rosalie P. Fessier, of TimberlakeSmith in Staunton
  • Charles E. “Chuck” James Jr., of Williams Mullen in Richmond and Washington, D.C.
  • Robert E. Scully Jr., with Blankingship & Keith in Fairfax, and
  • Ryan Snow, of Crenshaw, Ware & Martin in Norfolk.

Ten other attorneys will continue to serve on the VBA board. They are:

  • Ryan W. Boggs, Richmond
  • David J. Gogal, Fairfax
  • Helivi L. Holland, Suffolk
  • The Honorable Cynthia D. Kinser, Pennington Gap
  • Benjamin D. Leigh, Leesburg
  • Eric H. Monday, Martinsville
  • Rhodes B. Ritenour, Richmond
  • Eric J. “Rick” Sorenson Jr., General Counsel [ex officio], Lynchburg
  • Dean Henry N. Butler, law school representative, George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School, Arlington, and
  • Travis G. Hill, government representative, Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority, Richmond.

The board appointed two new representatives to advise it on legislative and judicial matters, respectively:

  • Mark D. Obenshain of Harrisonburg, and
  • Fairfax Circuit Judge Daniel E. Ortiz.

Richmond lawyer Cliona Mary Robb, a director at ThompsonMcMullan, was tapped for a two-year term as chair of the Law Practice Management Division.

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