Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

You don't have to 'fight the good fight' alone. Join VACDL today.


VACDL's Spring Seminar 2023

April 20-21, 2023

Hyatt House in Short Pump

VACDL's Annual Meeting and Fall CLE 2023

October 12-13, 2023

Doubletree by Hilton in Williamsburg

These programs will be hybrid, with in-person and virtual attendance options offered!


Did you miss out on grabbing a new 30th Anniversary shirt at the Spring Seminar or Fall CLE?

 T-shirts are always available to purchase online, by visiting our storefront:

VACDL 30th Anniversary Tshirt Shop

 You can customize your t-shirt style or color, and pick from an extended range of sizes. We look forward to seeing you rock a VACDL tshirt at our next happy hour or seminar!


    If you are a full-time Virginia Public Defender, make sure to take advantage of your VIDC group rate VACDL membership! Joining VACDL is super easy online [just click the "JOIN TODAY" button on this page!], and once your application has been approved by the VACDL Executive Director (she will confirm your employment with the VIDC), you can be added to the VACDL List Serv. We value your point of view and experience, so join today!



from the Supreme Court of Virginia:

SCV Building protocols December 2022

SCV 40th Judicial Emergency Order

SCV 39th Order Extending Judicial Emergency

SCV 38th Order Extending Judicial Emergency

SCV 37th Order Extending Judicial Emergency

SCV 36th Order Extending Judicial Emergency

SCV 35th Order Extending Judicial Emergency

Court of Appeals 7th Judicial Emergency Order

SCV 34th Order Extending Judicial Emergency

SCV Press Release 1.3.22 Oral Arguments Remote for Jan Session

SCV 33rd Order Extending Judicial Emergency

32nd Order Extending Judicial Emergency to January 5, 2022

SCV oral argument in person to resume 1.1.22

31st Order Extending Judicial Emergency

30th Order Extending Judicial Emergency

29th Order Extending Judicial Emergency to 11-3-21

28th Order Extending Judicial Emergency

27th SCV Order Extending Judicial Emergency to 9-22-21

2021_0811_scv_order_authorizing_temporary_provision_of_pro_bono_legal_services_by_foreign_attorneys.pdf (

26th Order Extending Judicial Emergency to 9-1-21

25th SCV Order Extending Judicial Emergency

24th SCV Order Extending Judicial Emergency

23rd SCV Order Extending Judicial Emergency to 7-11-21

22nd Order Extending Judicial Emergency to 062021

Amendment to 21st Order Extending Judicial Emergency (re:Masks)

21st Order Extending Judicial Emergency to 053021

20th Order Extending Judicial Emergency to 050921

19th Order Extending Judicial Emergency through 04-18-21

18th Order Extending Judicial Emergency to 3-28-21

17th Order Extending Judicial Emergency to 3-7-21

SCV 16th Order Extending Judicial Emergency to 21421

SCV 15th Order Extending Declaration of Judicial Emergency

SCV 14th Order Extending Declaration of Judicial Emergency

Court of Appeals Fourth Order concerning operations 112320

SCV Twelfth Order Extending Declaration of Judicial Emergency 101920.pdf

Declaration of Judicial Emergency 11th ORDER through 11.1.20.pdf

SCV 9-11-20 Second Speedy Trial Tolling Clarification Order

    SCV 10th Order extending Judicial Emergency 9-4-20

Court of Appeals Third Order concerning operations 083120

SCV Ninth Order Extending Judicial Emergency 8-20-20



SCV Seventh Order 2020_0708.pdf


CAV Second Operations Order (June 23, 2020).pdf

SCV temp efiling Order 6-2-20.pdf

 Order 5--Judicial Emergency Modifying and Extending Order--6-1-2020.pdf

SCV Extension of Judicial Emergency to June 10 2020.pdf

SCV Third Order Extending Declaration of Judicial Emergency.pdf


SCV Declaration of Judicial Emergency COVID-19 3-16-2020 Order.pdf

VA Supreme Court Judicial Emergency Clarification Order--5-1-2020.pdf.

VA Dept of Corrections-covid19-early-release-plan.pdf

There is a lot of discussion on the VACDL List Serv regarding the COVID-19 closures and how your cases and clients are being affected. If you are a VACDL member and have not subscribed to the List Serv, please contact Executive Director Danielle Payne at for List Serv access information

Quote of the Quarter: 

      "A jury consists of twelve persons chosen to decide who has the better lawyer."

-Robert Frost            


  Join (or rejoin!) VACDL in February 2023 and receive

2 months of VACDL membership for free!

  Your membership dues will not be payable again until April 1, 2024, so this is a GREAT time to join the VACDL community! Just click the "Join Today" button!

To join the Defenders Circle, click here: Defenders Circle

December 20, 2022


The Supreme Court of Virginia has instituted building protocols for all people entering the courthouse, effective immediately.

The new protocols are aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 within the courthouse as the spread of COVID-19 and other viruses has increased in recent weeks.

Persons entering the court’s Richmond court building are “encouraged to conduct a temperature self-screening” at the building’s entrance. Any person with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher will not be allowed to enter the building.

Further, the court asks all persons with symptoms of COVID-19 — including fever, cough, congestion, muscle or body aches, new loss of taste or smell, or other typical cold and flu symptoms — to not enter the building. The order states that all persons who enter the building “certify” that they both have no symptoms of COVID-19 and are not subject to isolation under Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

Any person who tests positive for COVID-19 within five days of being at the courthouse must notify the clerk’s office by phone at (804) 786-2251.

Additionally, writ panels will be held in the main courtroom “until further notice.” Morning docket arguments will begin at 9 a.m., while afternoon docket arguments will begin at 1 p.m.

The court will not restrict courtroom attendance, nor will it require advanced permission to attend oral argument. In order to prevent overcrowding, access to an audio stream of oral arguments will be provided on the court’s website,

While the court’s “expectation is that cases will be argued in person,” the Dec. 20 release from the court states that “some videoconference arguments may be necessary.” Attorneys seeking permission to appear via videoconference must advise the clerk’s office within five days of receiving the argument schedule. Attorneys seeking to argue writ panels by teleconference must submit the request to the office of the chief staff attorney.

The Dec. 20 press release from the Supreme Court of Virginia did not specify an end date.

The release from the high court came five days after the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia’s Alexandria division extended its standing order implementing protocol in response to the COVID-19 emergency. The order, signed by U.S. Bankruptcy Judges Brian F. Kenney and Klinette H. Kindred, extended the protocol period through March 31, 2023, for all bankruptcy cases and proceedings in the Alexandria division. The protocol period was set to expire on Dec. 31.

Membership Dues

If you are a former VACDL member, or have inadvertently let your membership lapse, now is a great time to re-join the only voluntary Virginia bar organization exclusively focused on criminal defense!

And remember, only VACDL members in good standing have access to our List Serv so contact VACDL's Exec. Director at if you have questions about your VACDL membership status!


 LexisNexis has partnered with VACDL on the production of Virginia Criminal Laws Annotated, an "essential reference for criminal law practitioners with comprehensive coverage of Virginia criminal laws and procedure." VACDL had input into the content and design, and will continue to be involved in production in coming years.  

 It is available for purchase as a large softbound volume or as an ebook, for the great price of $79.

 As an extra benefit of your membership, VACDL members in good standing receive an additional 25% discount on the regular price!*


To save 25% on Virginia Criminal Laws Annotated, please reference or enter promotion code: VACDL2022

Visit the LexisNexis® Store at

or call 800.533.1637 to speak with a LexisNexis® account representative.


*Offer applies to new orders only.  Prices are before shipping and taxes are calculated, shipped to a U.S. address only. Prices are subject to change without notice. LexisNexis® eBook, CD, DVD and downloadable product sales are final and not returnable. Current subscriptions, future renewals or updates and certain products are excluded from this offer. Sales to federal government customers may be subject to specific contract pricing. Discounts may be available to customers who subscribe to both online and print publications, subject to your employer’s policy. Other restrictions may apply. Void where prohibited. See

VIDC Initial Certification Training 

Registration is through the VIDC, and there is no cost. 

VIDC Initial Certification

The VIDC website ( provides an overview of the court-appointed counsel certification process. We encourage all VACDL members to become certified to take court-appointed cases, and we offer a mentorship program to assist with the trial requirements for felony case certification. 

1604 Santa Rosa Road, Suite 200

Richmond, VA 23229

Virginia COVID-19 Justice Coalition:

VA COVID-19 Justice Coalition


         VIDC openings can be found on the careers page

If you have any questions about the positions feel free to contact Amari Harris at




  The Board of the Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (VACDL) expresses sorrow and anger over the experiences of the innumerable victims of excessive force, over-policing, and the militarization of law enforcement that have increasingly been brought to light, most recently with the deaths of George Floyd and others.  Recent events have acted as a catalyst for reform.  Many factors that have been swept under the rug for decades contribute to the injustices that we are seeing.  We are an organization dedicated to the presumption of innocence and due process for all.  It is painfully obvious that there are too many unnecessary deaths in police-citizen encounters which are a result of systemic problems, including racism, that have been neglected for far too long.  We are now at a crossroads where there is widespread recognition of these problems and that they can no longer be ignored.

   As we move forward to create new ways to police our society, we must also recognize that the issues are not simple and the solutions are going to require the input of all stakeholders in our community, including citizens, police, prosecutors, defense attorneys, legislators, and judges.

  The criminal justice system is where the effects of racism are often most visible.  Disproportionate arrests of people of color and overly punitive application of laws have a disparate impact on minority communities.  VACDL calls for changes that are long overdue.  This is a time for reform. 

  VACDL is committed to fighting against racism and injustice through legislative advocacy, by holding our elected officials to account, and pushing for real, significant reform in policing. VACDL will continue to fight for a fair and just system. These changes will not come easily, but we will continue to ensure that our organization, and the voice of our membership, and our clients, will be involved in these important discussions.

  Our goal is, and has always been, to ensure equal justice for everyone regardless of who they are, where they come from or the color of their skin. VACDL’s stated mission is ‘to improve the quality of justice in Virginia by seeking to ensure fairness and equality before the law,’ and that applies to all.  We stand together with those who fight injustice and join in the growing momentum to create genuine and lasting change now, and remedy the systemic problems plaguing our criminal justice system and society.


Not a VACDL member?


VACDL endorses the following sponsors and partners:


MLM Insurance


Metadata Forensics

New for 2022!

VACDL honors our Life Members

Anthony "Tony" Anderson

Hugh E. "Teddy" Black, III

André A. Hakes

David M. Lee

Michael McPheeters

Matt C. Pinsker

Doug Ramseur

Sandra Saseen-Smith

Bruce R. Williamson, Jr.


 Our List Serv is now hosted by (the clunky Yahoo Group is gone for good).  New (or formerly lapsed) VACDL members will receive the access link upon approval of their membership applications. If you need the link re-sent, please reach out!  Contact Executive Director Danielle Payne at with any questions!

VACDL Newsletter

 Each quarter, VACDL sends a newsletter, The Virginia Champion, to active members. Recent past editions are available in the Member's Only Section. 

*Members can now choose electronic or mailed delivery for The Virginia Champion. In your Member Profile, click "Edit Profile" and select your preferred delivery option!*


Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

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