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Cardwell takes helm as VBA president

Roanoke attorney Victor O. Cardwell

Roanoke attorney Victor O. Cardwell was installed as president of the Virginia Bar Association on Jan. 21, according to a release from the VBA.

Cardwell is the first Black president in the VBA’s 134-year history. He was sworn in by his sister, retired Philadelphia trial judge Renée Cardwell Hughes.

“Make no mistake, I know how many great lawyers, Black and otherwise, have deserved this honor in the past and my goal is to make sure that more diverse attorneys become involved in the VBA and take advantage of the benefits as have I,” Cardwell told VBA members and guests in a Zoom call.

In order to accomplish this goal, Cardwell will appoint members to the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee of the VBA, which was established by Cardwell’s predecessor, Vandeventer Black partner Richard H. Ottinger.

“During my 365 days in office, I want the VBA to be seen as the most welcoming and open bar association in the commonwealth,” Cardwell said. “The VBA must be the bellwether for all lawyers in Virginia.”

In his farewell comments, Ottinger mentioned how the COVID-19 pandemic has forced lawyers and judges to adapt, adding “that is what the VBA has continued to work hard to do during the past year.”

Cardwell, a labor and employment law attorney at Woods Rogers, is the seventh attorney from the firm to become VBA president. He co-chairs the firm’s labor and employment law section and is chairman of the firm’s board of directors.

“The entire firm is proud to call Victor our colleague and friend. I can’t think of an attorney more suited to serve the VBA as its 134th President,” Dan Summerlin, Woods Rogers president, said in a statement.

Friend and fellow Woods Rogers attorney Thomas M. Winn III said, “In addition to Victor’s magnetic charisma, his thoughtfulness and intelligence attract people to him and make him a very effective leader.”

Other leadership changes

In addition to Cardwell, the VBA announced several more leadership changes in the Jan. 24 news release:

Leesburg attorney Benjamin D. Leigh was elected VBA president-elect.

Norfolk attorney W. Ryan Snow began a one-year term as chair of the VBA Board of Governors.

Virginia Beach attorney Kristen R. Jurjevich was elected chair of the Young Lawyers Division.

R. Patrick Bolling of Lynchburg was elected chair-elect of the Young Lawyers Division.

Richmond attorneys Steven D. Brown and Lonnie D. “Chip” Nunley III, Lynchburg attorney William E. Phillips and Fairfax attorney Donna M. Rostant were elected to three-year terms on the Board of Governors.

Del. Jeffrey Bourne, D-Richmond, started a one-year term that can be extended to up to three years. Bourne will advise the Board of Governors on legislative matters.

B. Keith Faulkner, dean of the Appalachian School of Law, started a one-year term that can be extended to up to three years. Faulkner will advise the Board of Governors on law school matters.

Ryan W. Boggs, director of ethics and compliance at Dominion Energy, was named volunteer general counsel by the VBA.

The full Virginia Bar Association 2022 leadership slate can be viewed on the VBA’s website.