Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

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

Upcoming events

    JFV/NACDL/VACDL Lobby Day 

   We had an amazing Lobby Day on Friday, January 18, 2019, with over 50 justice reform seekers spending the morning (and into the afternoon) meeting with Delegates and Senators in Richmond. Many thanks to our friends at Justice Forward Virginia and NACDL for their diligent work in preparing for this event and ensuring that voices other than those of Commonwealth's Attorneys will be heard by our state representatives.

  And, there is still work to be done! We may need you (and all your criminal justice minded colleagues) to head to a Courts of Justice Committee meeting during this General Assembly session to speak out in favor of or against particular bills that are brought forward, so stay tuned!

 If you aren't familiar with Justice Forward Virginia or what they have on their "to do list", please click the link below:


 On September 5, 2018, the Supreme Court of Virginia approved new rules regarding criminal discovery. After many years of work by VACDL members and our allies advocating for reform, a new playing field will emerge when these rules go into effect on July 1, 2019. To read the letter from Chief Justice Donald W. Lemons and the new rules, click below:

Supreme Court of VA adoption of discovery rules 9-5-18.pdf

Quote of the Quarter: 

      "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice"

-Martin Luther King, Jr.



 If you join VACDL today, you won't have to pay your dues again until April 2020!

Get 2019 off to a great start by becoming a member of the only Virginia bar organization exclusively focused on criminal defense!


Thank you to everyone who attended our Fall CLE in Portsmouth! It was a great event and we look forward to seeing you in Richmond on April 5th for the Spring Seminar!

*Special thanks to our seminar sponsors: MLM Insurance, Smart Start, Recovery for Life, and Lantagne Legal Printing*


VACDL endorses the following sponsors and partners:

VIDC Initial Certification Training Class (2019)

  • March 14-15, 2019
  • August 8-9, 2019
  • November 21-22, 2019
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. 


 We support the efforts to reform discovery rules in Virginia to ensure just and fair trials for all accused of criminal offenses. If you'd also like to support this initiative, click on the link below:

Virginia Fair Trial Coalition Support Agreement.pdf

Not a VACDL member?

VACDL List Serv

Our List Serv is hosted through Yahoo Groups. If you are a VACDL member and you wish to be added to the List Serv, please send an email to or contact Executive Director Danielle Payne at

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!*

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