April 2, 2020

To:    Members of the Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys and the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association
From:    Melissa H. Katz, President of the VADA, and Elliott M. Buckner, President of the VTLA


We are experiencing an unprecedented situation involving mandates of social distancing which significantly impacts our normal course of doing business and litigating our cases. As trial attorneys we are used to adversity and thinking outside of the box, and even in these challenging times we can move our cases forward while adhering to COVID-19 safety concerns. By working together, and in the continued spirit of professionalism, collegiality, civility and cooperation, we can successfully navigate these uncharted waters and satisfy our mutual objective of zealous representation of our clients.

We encourage consideration of technological solutions to conduct discovery and resolve cases, such as through remote depositions and mediations, or by simply using one of the best methods of picking up the telephone and temperately discussing disputes and/or case resolution. We also suggest that parties use best efforts to make sure there is agreement of how the Supreme Court of Virginia’s Judicial Emergency Order impacts deadlines in their cases.

Mutual cooperation in these extraordinary times will not only benefit our clients but will help our justice system operate more smoothly once we are beyond the present challenge.  Moreover, by working together we can represent to the courts that we did our part to help support the judicial system and the integrity of the process. 

Please also note that both organizations will continue to serve its members by providing updated COVID-19 court information and resources on its respective social media sites.

We remain resolute in promoting a spirit of civility and cooperation and wish everyone, their family and friends good health. 

Sincerely



Melissa H. Katz, VADA President  

Elliott M. Buckner, VTLA President