Practitioner’s Alert: Attorney Work Room Now Available in Alexandria Division
A new resource is now available for attorneys who regularly appear in the Alexandria Division of the Eastern District of Virginia: An Attorney Work Room. Located on the 4th floor of the Albert V. Bryan Courthouse, the Work Room is available to attorneys during normal business hours and provides a quiet work space prior to hearings elsewhere in the courthouse.
The Work Room is available for free to attorneys on a first-come, first-served basis, but there is an important caveat: the Work Room cannot be reserved and it is not a private space. All attorneys (and their clients) are free to come and go during the day. If an attorney must have a confidential conversation with a client, the Work Room is not the place to do so if others are also using the room.
The Attorney Work Room can be difficult to locate at first. After exiting the elevator bank on the 4th floor, immediately turn left down a narrow hallway (and before passing the entrances to the two courtrooms on the floor). At the end of the hallway is a door that (as of this writing) has a small paper sign stating “Attorney Work Room” taped to it. Go through this door into a small vestibule with two additional, unmarked doors. Proceed in the same direction through one of the unmarked doors to enter the Work Room. The Work Room is attached to Courtroom 401.
The Work Room is a former jury conference room, and it can best be described as “no frills.” It contains a single conference table that will comfortably seat 10 people, with three additional chairs along the side of the room. At approximately 40 feet by 20 feet, the Work Room is about twice the size of the “witness conference” rooms that are located just outside of the entrances to most courtrooms. But as a former jury conference room, the Work Room has multiple windows and a single, unisex bathroom, as well as a telephone available for local calls.
Many people deserve thanks and appreciation for making this resource available to the practitioners of the Alexandria Division. First and foremost, Judge Michael S. Nachmanoff graciously donated the use of the room which had been previously assigned to him for settlement conferences. Judge Nachmanoff’s Career Law Clerk, Gul Raza Gharbieh, was instrumental in navigating the details of the conversion. Finally, Attison L. Barnes, a former President of the Northern Virginia Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, doggedly advocated the idea over a number of years.