The "VTLA Member Spotlight" is an opportunity to turn the spotlight on a member making an impact in the Association and the profession. These members exemplify the mission of VTLA and we are thrilled they're part of the VTLA Family! If you are interested in being highlighted or nominating a colleague, please contact Courtney Hammack: chammack@vtla.com or 804.343.1143 ext. 316.

Member Spotlight Archive
2015


Amy Whitelaw                                                                                                                                           
December 2016


Amy S. Whitelaw
Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen
Richmond

What kind of law do you practice?
Personal injury. Helping people who have been hurt is really rewarding.

How many years have you been a VTLA member?
1

Greatest benefit from being a member?
The greatest benefit I've received from being a VTLA member is getting to learn from everybody else. Even just reading messages on the listserv has taught me so much. There's a huge wealth of information in VTLA and it's membership is it's greatest resource.

Where were you born?
Buffalo, New York

Favorite social media account or app?
Feedly. It's how I keep up on all of my blogs.

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.
I've been a musician since I was 7 years old. I started out by playing piano and then moved over to drums, xylophone and marimba. I played in the school band as a child and joined the pep band in college. We played at Women's Volleyball and Men's and Women's Basketball games and I even traveled with the Men's Basketball Team to the NCAA Tournament in Philadelphia one year.

What would you most like to tell yourself at age 16?
You're going to get to do exactly what you've always wanted to, just have a little patience.

What is your guilty pleasure?
HGTV. I'm always watching Property Brothers or Flip or Flop or Fixer Upper and pointing things out to my husband that I'd like to do. He likes to remind me I am not handy in the least and that I'd have to hire somebody to do the work, no matter what fantasies I may entertain about being able to tear down walls and lay down flooring.

Best book you have ever read?
And Then There Were None

Where do you most want to travel, but have never been?
I'd love to visit Palau. It's supposed to be a beautiful little country and there's even this lake where the jellyfish have lost their ability to sting, so you can actually snorkel with them and not get hurt. 

 


Kevin Duffan                                                                                                                                                                   
November 2016


Kevin M. Duffan
Shapiro, Appleton & Duffan, PC
Virginia Beach

What kind of law do you practice?
Plaintiff's personal injury and medical malpractice.

Where were you born?
Washington DC, but have lived in Virginia Beach since I was 3 years old.

What was your first job?
Bookstore stocker at a local community college.

Music on your current playlist?
A lot of 90s hip hop and alternative rock.

Do you have any pets?
One 10 year old Cockapoo named Nugget.

What is your guilty pleasure?
I can get lost for hours on YouTube watching up-and-coming singers cover songs of famous artists. I remember seeing people like Justin Bieber and Christine Grimmie (RIP) on there long before they were famous. 

If money wasn't an issue, what would your dream job be?
I'd be a broker/purchasing agent for an exotic car dealership. I love sports cars! That, or I'd run for elected office of some sort (local, not national). 

Best book you have ever read?
Hard to pick a best ever, but I really enjoyed "The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt" which I just read.

If you could invite anyone in the world to dinner (living or dead), who would you invite and why?
Colin Powell. Despite all of the hot-button issues he's been involved with (the selling of the Iraq war to the public chief among those), I did a biography report on him for my AP Journalism class in High School and have admired him for a long time.

Where do you most want to travel, but have never been?
Australia. But I'd need to be there a month or longer to truly experience it.

How many years have you been a VTLA member?
6

Greatest benefit from being a member?
My comments will not be unique here, but VTLA is an incredible resource for any trial attorney practicing in Virginia. I have found the listserv to be wonderfully helpful when researching a topic or issue that I have not encountered in my practice, and the camaraderie shared with other VTLA members is an added bonus. 

 


Tom Albro                                                                                                                                                                             
October 2016


Thomas E. Albro
Tremblay & Smith, PLLC
Charlottesville

What kind of law do you practice?
Civil litigation with a concentration in medical and legal malpractice, defamation, personal injury and eminent domain.

How many years have you been a VTLA member?
41

Greatest benefit from being a member?
The friendship of colleagues and the opportunity to share information with them have been major benefits. I also value the opportunity to improve our justice system through VTLA's efforts. It has been gratifying to work with so many outstanding professionals who are willing to share their expertise and give freely of their time.

Where were you born?
Brooklyn, NY

What would you most like to tell yourself at age 16?
No one ever got wheeled into the funeral home thinking "I should have spent more time at the office!" Learn to relax and take it easy.

What was your first job?
Summer job in high school working in a textile factory.

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.
I own and attempt to maintain a 1956 Buick Special convertible and a 1960 MGA. Also, last year I decided to start taking piano lessons- it's humbling but has been worth the effort. 

Do you have any pets?
A Brittany Spaniel

If money wasn't an issue, what would your dream job be?
A fighter pilot 

If you could invite anyone in the world to dinner (living or dead), who would you invite and why?
H.L. Mencken for his wit, sarcasm and intellect; Barry Goldwater for his observations on American politics; and Clarence Darrow for his war stories.

Where do you most want to travel, but have never been?
Southern Germany where my ancestors are from.

 


Molly Garrett                                                                                                                                                                   
September 2016


Molly Garrett
ShounBach
Fairfax

What kind of law do you practice?
I practice family law, including everything from adoptions, custody and visitation, support matters, equitable distribution and divorce.

Where were you born?
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Do you have any pets?
Unfortunately not presently, but I have had Briards (French sheepdogs) for 20 years and hope to have another in my life very soon.

Title of the last book you read?
All Fall Down by Jennifer Werner

What was your first job?
Working in a discount clothing store called Gabriel's in high school in Pittsburgh, PA.

If you were on an island and could only bring 3 things, what would you bring?
iPhone (and charger); tweezers; sunscreen

If money wasn't an issue, what would your dream job be?
I would love to work in animal conservation and rescue on a large scale along the lines of the Elephant Nature Park in Thailand or the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Africa. I would also love to write travel and activity guides so that I could travel all over the world and participate and witness amazing things and my only responsibility would be fully engaged in the environment so that I could then share my thoughts and suggestions. Anything with animals and travel would be ideal. 

What is one random fact about yourself that no one else would believe?
That I used to love riding dirt bikes as a little girl and was the only female member of YMCA Indian Guides and was highly offended at the concept of my having to be an Indian Princess or Brownie instead. 

Guilty Pleasure? What can you not live without
Half sweet iced tea and my iPhone

If you could invite anyone in the world to dinner (living or dead), who would you invite and why?
My dinner party would consist of Frieda Kahlo, Louis Armstrong, Condoleezza Rice, Martin Luther King, Jr., John F. Kennedy, Barack and Michelle Obama, Janice Joplin, Jane Goodall, Steve Jobs, my late grandmother, Arlene Duffy, my mom and a couple of close friends. It would be amazing. 

Describe your most embarrassing moment.
There have been quite a few personally, but since this is for VTLA, my most embarrassing moment professionally was getting WAY to casual with a Judge in his chambers when I was a young attorney and jokingly comparing his comments/demeanor in chambers to a person on a reality TV show called King of Cars, which could, and perhaps was interpreted as less than complimentary. Thankfully, I do not think that this particular judge remembers this incident and I have artfully chosen to forget it as well.

Where do you most want to travel, but have never been?
Definitely South Africa, Botswana, Kenya and Tanzania

How many years have you been a VTLA member?
5

Greatest benefit from being a member?
There are in my opinion three really great benefits of being a VTLA member. As a member you have the chance to meet so many other really good attorneys; you almost have an instant network. Along those lines, the VTLA Family Law List serve is an enormous resource for any one who practices family law, the participants on the listserve are the who's who of family law and are happy to help you tackle unique or special issues. Thirdly is the great educational programs that the VTLA sponsors each year.

 


Cory Ford                                                                                                                                                            
July 2016


Cory R. Ford
WillliamsFord
Leesburg

What kind of law do you practice?
Wrongful death, personal injury, and medical malpractice. 

Where were you born?
Phoenix, Arizona

Do you have any pets?
Rosco. 50% Basset, 50% Beagle. 100% awesome.

Title of the last book you read?
Herobrine: Revenge of a Monster (to my 7 year old).

What was your first job?
Washing dishes when I was 14. Technically, I had a paper route before that but it was a part time gig.

How many years have you been a VTLA member?
8

Greatest benefit from being a member?
Community. Lawyers tend to try to think of everything on their own, which can be a huge mistake. The best part of VTLA is being able to ask another member his or her opinion, and gain from their experience. It's a great organization that supports its members, who also support each other. The listserve is the online version of what you can do in person, just go up to a VTLA member and ask them for help, advice, or an opinion.

What is one random fact about yourself that no one else would believe?
I'm told I'm a distant relative of George Washington on my grandmother's side but I don't know if I believe that, either. Having heard tall tales before, I kind of figured my ancestral link to King Arthur would soon follow. 

If you were on an island and could only bring 3 things, what would you bring?
A fishing rod, bait, matches. This is assuming "things" don't include people, in which case I'd bring my wife and two sons...assuming further that by bringing them we wouldn't all watch each other starve to death, in which case it's back to fishing rod, bait, and matches. 

If money wasn't an issue, what would your dream job be?
Delivery driver for Yellowstone National Park. It's absolutely beautiful there, I'd love to just drive around it all day. Plus delivery people are like Santa, they bring packages and everyone is happy to see them and get their stuff. Who doesn't like to get stuff? It's a win-win. You also don't have to pay for the gas.

Guilty Pleasure? What can you not live without?
Flying. I am a pilot and I love to fly. 

If you could invite anyone in the world to dinner (living or dead), who would you invite and why?
Anyone who could threaten, cajole, incentivize, convince, or inspire my kids to actually eat their dinner, particularly my four year old Wyatt who resists anything that isn't bread. So any dead or alive motivational speaker or exceptionally inspiring nutritionist, I suppose. Prefer living one though.

Describe your most embarrassing moment.
Truly, as I get older I discover more and more that there's simply no time in life to be embarrassed. Laughing about your own stupidity is the cure to embarrassment. I laugh at myself a lot.