Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

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



from the Supreme Court of Virginia:


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


New openings are posted here as they become available, so be sure to check back frequently!


    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 "Sign up" 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!


 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: VACDL2020

Visit the LexisNexis┬« Store at

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

*Offer expires December 31, 2020. Offer applies to new orders only. Price current as of December 2019. 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


in Richmond

[DATE TO BE DETERMINED! We will await the lifting of social distancing restrictions before rescheduling this event]

VACDL is co-sponsoring a happy hour with the Richmond Criminal Bar, so stop by and enjoy a little social time with your criminal law colleagues!

Board of Directors Elections

We welcome these new and returning Directors to the VACDL Board of Directors:

Alan Polsky, District 1

Lauren Whitley, District 4

Richard Johnson, District 7

Douglas Ramseur, At-Large Seat #2

David B. Hargett, At-Large Seat #3

And congratulations to H. Eugene Oliver, III who will serve VACDL as President-Elect in 2020/President in 2021!

Upcoming events

  • No upcoming events

 *UPDATE: On January 29, 2019, the Supreme Court of Virginia entered an Order to delay implementation of the new Discovery rules until July 1, 2020.  While the Court reiterates that "reform of the criminal discovery rules is long overdue," they desire to coordinate and cooperate with the other branches of government. The letter from Chief Justice Lemons is found below:

SCV Delays Discovery Rules Implementation

  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. 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: 

      "Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are."

-Benjamin Franklin            



  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.




VACDL's Fall CLE and Annual Meeting

September 18, 2020

Virginia Beach, VA

We certainly missed seeing our VACDL members in April, and were disappointed to cancel the 2020 Spring Seminar, but we have shifted our focus toward the Fall Annual Meeting!

 As of now, we are hoping to have our program on-site in Virginia Beach, at the brand new Marriott Oceanfront Hotel. However, we are also looking into virtual meeting options, should social distancing still be the requested course of action. Either way, please mark your calendars to attend, as we want to see you, whether that's in person or on your web camera!




The Board of Directors extended the payment due date to August 1, 2020, so please be sure to remit payment before that time, as your circumstances allow.

If you recently joined VACDL, you will NOT receive an invoice as your dues are paid through March 2021.

If you've never been a VACDL member (or you'd like to come back!) this is a great time to join the only voluntary Virginia bar organization exclusively focused on criminal defense!

SAVE THE DATE: Sept. 18, 2020

for VACDL's Annual Meeting and Fall CLE at the Mariott Oceanfront Hotel in Virginia Beach!


VACDL endorses the following sponsors and partners:


MLM Insurance

VIDC Initial Certification Training 

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

August 3-4, 2020

November 2-3, 2020

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


 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

*Exciting news! We have created a brand new, more user-friendly, list serv hosted by! If you are a VACDL member in good standing, you should have already received a link in December granting you access to register your email address with the new List Serv. New (or formerly lapsed) VACDL members will receive the access link upon approval of their membership applications. Please 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!*

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Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

VACDL honors our new 
          Life Members

Hugh E. "Teddy" Black, III

David M. Lee

Matt C. Pinsker

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