Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

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

Upcoming events


 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

Supreme Court of Virginia Seeks Comments on  Rule Changes re: Appeals

The Supreme Court of Virginia is considering proposed new Rules 1:1B and 1:1C regarding transfer of jurisdiction during the appeal of a final judgment. The Court is also considering a proposal to add language to Rules 5:9 and 5A:6 regarding notices of appeal. The full proposal may be found here: SCOVA_1.1B1.1C

Comments on the proposed changes must be received by October 25, 2018, and must be forwarded to: 
Patricia L. Harrington, Clerk
Supreme Court of Virginia
100 North Ninth Street, 5th Floor
Richmond, VA 23219 

OR via email with the subject line "Comment on Rules 1:1B, 1:1C, 5:9 and 5A:6" to:

VIDC Initial Certification Training Class (2018)

  • December 17-18, 2018 (Virginia 529 College Saving Plan Building - North Chesterfield, VA)
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

Quote of the Quarter: 

      "On lawyering: When the law is on your side, pound the law; when the facts are on your side, pound the facts; when neither is on your side, pound the table” 

                                 -Oona A. Hathaway



Registration is now open for VACDL's Fall CLE in Portsmouth on October 26, 2018. We hope you can join us and learn how to "Win the Unwinnable Case!"

Register for the Fall 2018 CLE!


VACDL endorses the following sponsors and partners:

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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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