Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers


  • 05 Nov 2019 1:54 PM | Danielle Payne (Administrator)

    VACDL honors Stanley, Ramseur

    By: Virginia Lawyers Weekly November 5, 2019

    The Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers has awarded its Champion of Justice award to state Sen. William M. Stanley Jr., R-Moneta, noting his efforts to promote reform of criminal discovery rules. The VACDL also praised Stanley’s criminal defense practice.

    “Sen. Stanley’s razor-sharp intellect and formidable persuasive abilities have prevented injustices and promoted mercy for his clients for over two decades,” the group said in a news release.

    The VACDL Champion of Justice Award honors a Virginian who has proven to be a champion for a fairer and more just criminal justice system in the commonwealth, through judicial actions, policy actions or community-based reforms. This is the first time the award has been given since 2006.

    Stanley was specifically recognized for his leadership in winning passage of new discovery rules. VACDL also pointed to his persistent advocacy for an end to suspension of driving privileges for failure to pay court costs. Stanley also promoted relief for those convicted based on so-called “junk science,” advanced discovery of police body cam video and urged reform of penalties for first-time marijuana offenders.

    The VACDL awarded its “Drewry Award” to defense attorney and former VACDL president Douglas A. Ramseur. Ramseur has worked for 17 years as a Virginia capital defender. He has now opened his own private practice in Richmond

    The award is named for the late B. Leigh Drewry Jr. of Lynchburg. The awards were presented at the group’s meeting last month in Harrisonburg.

  • 21 Oct 2019 3:27 PM | Danielle Payne (Administrator)

    Virginia Lawyers Weekly, reporting on the need for increased funding, personnel, manhours and compensation for court-appointed counsel and Public Defenders to review and analyze the body-worn camera footage received in discovery.

    VLW 10-21-19 Help needed on time-consuming police footage.docx

  • 28 Feb 2019 2:27 PM | Danielle Payne (Administrator)

    Judge Kicks Verdict Over Disputed Scientific Evidence-VLW 2-28-19.pdf

    [VACDL Members in the News: Steve Benjamin, Cary Bowen, Betty Layne DesPortes]

  • 22 Dec 2018 12:08 PM | Danielle Payne (Administrator)

    RICHMOND (AP) -- A federal judge has granted an injunction to stop Virginia's Department of Motor Vehicles from enforcing a law requiring automatic license suspensions for failure to pay court fines.

    U.S. District Judge Norman Moon ordered DMV Commissioner Rick Holcomb to remove suspensions on three plaintiffs' licenses and $145 penalties to reinstate their driving privileges.

    The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports the ruling came Friday, three days after Gov. Ralph Northam criticized the agency's enforcement policy.

    Angel Ciolfi is director of the Legal Aid Justice Center, which joined a law firm in contesting the matter. She described the ruling as a "victory for the Constitution and for common sense."

    Attorney General Mark Herring's spokesman says the office will "take the time needed to consider the judge's opinion" before deciding how to proceed.

  • 15 Aug 2018 2:40 PM | Danielle Payne (Administrator)

    Richmond Times Dispatch Discovery article 8-12-18.pdf

    Authorities, defense lawyers and others divided on proposals to increase information shared prior to criminal trials

     (click link above for full article text)

  • 03 Jul 2018 11:00 AM | Danielle Payne (Administrator)

    High Court Mulls Reform in Criminal Discovery

    VLW High Court Mulls Reforms in Criminal Discovery article 7-3-18.pdf

    Thank you to the VACDL members who submitted comments, many of whom who are quoted in the article! And, of course, special thanks to Doug Ramseur for his continued efforts to push for discovery reform in our Commonwealth.

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