Old Dominion Bar Association


          "Virginia's Advocates for Equal Justice"


I am honored to serve as the Old Dominion Bar Association’s 31st President and look forward to working with our membership to address the challenges that require the attention of  "Virginia's Advocates for Equal Justice”.  

We will work diligently to ensure the judiciary in Virginia continues to reflect the citizenry of Virginia. Under my leadership, and with your support, the Old Dominion Bar Association will not rest comfortably on the laurels of its rich legacy. Instead, we will build on that legacy by participating meaningfully as a National Bar Association Affiliate in partnership with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in the effort to monitor and correct voting irregularities in Virginia. We will build on that legacy by addressing the restoration of felons’ rights and participating meaningfully in the effort to reverse the disenfranchisement of those who are not permitted to participate fully in society after paying their debt to society. 

The Old Dominion Bar Association will be undergoing significant  structural and administrative changes.  The footprints we leave behind are important.  It is my goal to ensure that ours are made with purpose, direction and meaning.  Notwithstanding our legacy, the work continues.  I ask for your support in meeting  the challenges I described earlier as we forge ahead with renewed commitment to be the best we can be as VIRGINIA ’S ADVOCATES FOR EQUAL JUSTICE.


Vinceretta Taylor Chiles, Esq.

Upcoming events


                                        JULY 2012


ODBA President Vinceretta T. Chiles attended the Virginia Bar Association Conference at the Homestead  resort in Hot Springs, Virginia.  As part of its activities on July 21, 2012, the VBA hosted the first debate between the two former Virginia governors who are candidates--Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican George Allen.  CNN’s chief political correspondent, Candy Crowley, moderated the debate.


The General Assembly elected Randal Johnson, Jr., a senior Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney in the Richmond Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, to serve on the Henrico Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court.  He replaced Hon. Richard S. Wallerstein, Jr., who was elevated to Henrico Circuit Court.  President Vinceretta T. Chiles welcomed Johnson to the bench at his investiture ceremony on July 11, 2012.  Johnson earned his law degree from the Marshall Wythe School of Law at the College of William & Mary.

                       JUNE 2012


The Diversity Conference of the Virginia State Bar held its first annual meeting at the VSB Annual Meeting in Virginia Beach on June 15, 2012.  Michael HuYoung, Esq., the DC’s outgoing President, welcomed members and guests, who heard a perspective on global diversity from Dr.Bala Bhaskar Bodduhas, an engineer, economist, and former diplomat representing the government of India.  Retired Virginia Supreme Court Justice John Charles Thomas, now a senior partner at Hunton & Williams, was the keynote speaker.  ODBA President Vinceretta T. Chiles, Esq., Vice-President Beverly A. Burton, Esq., a member of the Diversity Conference Board of Governors, Doris Causey, Esq., ODBA Secretary and a member of Bar Council, and ODBA Executive Committee member Leonard L. Brown, Jr., Esq., attended the meeting along with other ODBA members.  A joint reception sponsored by the Virginia Association of Women Attorneys and the DC followed the meeting.


Clarence M. Dunnaville, Jr. is the first recipient of the Virginia State Bar’s Diversity Conference Achievement Award.  The award honors an individual for excellence in assisting the Conference in meeting its goals by fostering, encouraging and facilitating diversity in the bar, the judiciary, and the legal profession.  A Richmond lawyer, Dunnaville has devoted his life to civil rights as a participant in demonstrations during the 1950’s, as a Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCCRUL ) volunteer attorney, as the director of the Interracial Council for Business Opportunity in New York, and as co-founder of Workshops in Business Opportunities for minority entrepreneurs, among other things.

Dunnaville earned a bachelor’s degree from Morgan State University and his law degree from St. John’s University.  He was the Virginia State Bar’s 2009 Lewis F. Powell  Jr. Pro Bono Award recipient and the 2007 LCCCRUL Segal-Tweed Founders Award for outstanding leadership and service in the cause of equal  justice.  He is a member of the 2007 class of Virginia Lawyers Weekly’s Leaders in the Law.


Virginia Lawyers Helping Lawyers held its annual meeting on June 15, 2012 at the VSB Annual Meeting in Virginia Beach.  ODBA Vice-President Beverly A. Burton, Esq. was elected to a second term as Secretary of LHL, an organization dedicated to assisting members of the legal profession with substance abuse and mental health issues.  Ms. Burton has served on the LHL Board of Directors since 2008.

                        2012 ANNUAL MEETING

Old Dominion Bar Association held its 72nd annual meeting at the Doubletree by Hilton in Arlington, Virginia, May 30 to June 1, 2012.  The opening session on Friday began with continuing legal education seminars on debt collection, bankruptcies, and fair credit reporting.  Veteran debtor and creditor rights attorney Emmett Robinson, Esq. shared ideas on how to achieve financial success in this type of practice.  Afterwards Ed Walters, Esq., CEO of Fastcase, provided tips on advanced legal research techniques using Fastcase.  After being briefly interrupted by an accidental fire alarm, Presidential Luncheon speaker Kurt Schmoke, Esq., former mayor of Baltimore, Maryland, shared news about and accomplishments of Howard University and its law school, where he currently serves as Acting Provost and Dean of the law school.  Thomas Spahn, Esq. of McGuire Woods conducted an interactive seminar on litigation ethics. 

            Saturday’s session began with a presentation on the art of cross examination by Alexis Stackhouse, Esq. and Chidi James, Esq.  Timothy Sullivan, Esq. shared tips on government contracting, and Hon. Stephen McCullough of the Virginia Court of Appeals talked about making better oral arguments.  Judicial Luncheon speaker Hon. William T. Newman, Jr. shared his thoughts on professionalism, and Barbara Arnwine, Esq., Executive Director of Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, was the banquet speaker.  Ms. Arnwine highlighted voter protection issues and encouraged involvement in the non-partisan Election Protection program. 

New officers elected at Saturday afternoon’s business meeting were installed during the banquet.  For the first time in the history of ODBA, females will serve in all officer positions:  Vinceretta Chiles, Esq. was elected President, Helivi Holland, Esq. was elected President-Elect, Beverly Burton, Esq. was elected Vice President, Doris Causey, Esq. was elected Secretary, and Polly Chong, Esq. was elected Treasurer.  Members installed to serve on the executive committee were Clarence Brooks, Esq., Leonard Brown, Esq., Stacy Lee, Esq., Jane Reynolds, Johnda Scott, Jennifer Williams, Robert Williams, Esq., and Howard Woodson.  Tabrica Rentz, Esq. was also elected to serve on the executive committee, but was unable to attend the banquet due to family illness.  President Vinceretta Chiles held a reception immediately following the banquet after which members, guests, and friends retired to the hospitality room.

          After an Executive Committee meeting Sunday morning, members and their guests enjoyed breakfast together before heading home.


          ODBA Vice-President Beverly Burton manned the Virginia State Bar's Diversity Conference table at the Virginia Supreme Court's Admission and Orientation Ceremony for attorneys newly admitted to practice in the Commonwealth.  The ceremony was held on June 4, 2012 at the Richmond Convention Center and Ms. Burton, provided information about the Diversity Conference and recruited new members.  The Diversity Conference is the newest conference of the Virginia State Bar, and Ms. Burton serves on the Board of Governors and is co-chair of the membership committee.

                            MAY 2012


          The Virginia General Assembly elected Tanya Bullock, Esq., a senior partner with the Bullock & Cooper Law Firm, to serve as a judge on the Virginia Beach Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court.  A graduate of North Carolina State University, Bullock earned her law degree from Regent University School of Law in 2000.  A former member of ODBA’s Executive Committee, Bullock will replace Judge Ramona Taylor and is the fourth African American appointed to the bench in Virginia Beach. 


          Rondelle Herman was named as a Judge of the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court, Fourteenth Judicial District, County of Henrico.  Her investiture ceremony is Monday, June 18, 2012 at 3:30 pm, Henrico Circuit Courtroom 3.  A reception will immediately follow from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm at The Walkerton Tavern, 2892 Mountain Road, Glen Allen, VA 23060.  For more details, call: 804-501-4874.

MARCH 2012


          The Suffolk City Council has appointed Helivi L. Holland as City Attorney, effective March 16, 2012.  As City Attorney, Holland will be the legal advisor to the City Council, the City Manager, and all departments, boards, commissions, and agencies of the City. Banks previously worked as the Director for Juvenile Justice for the State of Virginia.  She previously was a Deputy Assistant City Attorney for the City of Suffolk.   A graduate of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, she received her law degree from the College of William & Mary.

              FEBRUARY 2012


          ODBA's  Judicial Selection Committee met in Richmond on February 16, 2012, along with other state-wide bar associations to interview and evaluate candidates for a seat on the Virginia Court of Appeals that will become vacant upon the retirement of Hon. James W. Haley, Jr. in March.  ODBA's evaluations will be reported to the House and Senate Courts of
Justice Committees of the General Assembly.  Prior to his appointment to the Court in 2005, Judge Haley served as a judge of the Stafford County Circuit Court for fifteen years.  He elected to retire several months short of the mandatory retirement age for judges.

                 JANUARY 2012

       The Winter Meeting was held in
Williamsburg, Virginia at William & Mary School of Law.

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