Rocket Docket News

Announcements and Updates

Important Updates from the Annual Luncheon Meeting

FBA Annual.jpg

The FBA-NOVA Chapter held its annual meeting on June 12, 2018, at the Carlyle Club in Alexandria.  We had a wonderful turnout and would like to thank all who attended.  If you missed this year's meeting, here's what you need to know.

State of the Court Address

Judge Brinkema reported that construction work for the security posts surrounding the federal courthouse was near completion, with the roadway in front of the courthouse opening soon as a one-way street running from Jamieson Road to Elizabeth Street (parking or standing is strictly prohibited).  The work has been completed with a significant contribution from Magistrate Judge (and former FBA-NOVA President) Theresa Buchanan, who negotiated regulatory and bureaucratic barriers with great finesse.  The next project in the courthouse will be the reconstruction of the second floor courtyard across from the Clerk’s Office to fix the (formerly impermeable) barrier under the flagstones.

Judge Brinkema reported that filings over the last year showed a decline in civil case filings and an increase in criminal filings.  Drug-related offenses remain at the top of the list, but the Court anticipates that immigration cases will increase.

On procedural matters, Judge Brinkema advised attendees that there is now an after-hours emergency procedure for contacting the court, which starts with a call through the Clerk’s Office to the “Duty District Judge.”  The number to call can be found at the resources tab on the Court’s website (here).  She also reminded practitioners of the availability of an Attorney Work Room on the fourth floor of the courthouse.

Presentation from the Filmmakers of The Judge

Al Calderaro and Robert Griffith, managing directors of the American Documentary Film Fund, presented a trailer for The Judge, a documentary on the career of Judge Robert R. Merhige, Jr., followed by a Q&A session.   Judge Merhige was appointed to serve in the Eastern District of Virginia in 1967, and is known for his rulings on desegregation in the 1970s and ordering the University of Virginia to admit women, among others.  The completed film is expected to be ready for distribution in November.  Learn more about the film – and how you can donate to support the completion of the project – here

Election of 2018-19 Officers and Directors

Congratulations to our 2018-19 Officers and Directors, elected at the meeting and beginning their one-year terms on October 1, 2018.


President: Bill Porter, Blankingship & Keith (elected as President Elect last year)

President-Elect: Tara Zurwaski, Virginia Attorney General’s Office (formerly Jones Day)

Vice President: Bob Vieth, Hirschler Fleischer

Secretary: Dan Mauler, United States Justice Department

Treasurer: Carla Brown, Charlson, Bredehoft, Cohen & Brown

National Delegate: Kathleen Holmes, Holmes Costin & Marcus

New Board Members

Gul Gharbieh, Career Law Clerk from the Chambers of Judge Nachmanoff

Cailyn Reilly Knapp, Baker Botts

Jon Talotta, Hogan Lovells

Susan R. Podolsky 

Re-elected Board Members

Kevin Wilson, Federal Public Defender’s Office

Lauren Wetzler, U.S. Attorney’s Office

Stacey Rose Harris, Dimuro Ginsburg

James Holt, McGuire Woods

Judge Ivan Davis, U.S. Magistrate Judge

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