2012 Legal Elite Profile: CIVIL LITIGATION

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Spotts Fain, PC

NewsTitle: Managing director/shareholder
Other legal specialties:  Business litigation, intellectual property litigation, employment litigation and counseling, construction litigation, corporate litigation and counseling
Birthplace:  Richmond
Education: Virginia Military Institute, bachelor’s degree in economics, with distinction; University of Virginia, law degree.
Spouse:  Renee Boyer Fain
Children: Joyce, 22; Audrey, 20; and Sally, 9
Hobbies:   Tennis, golf, running, boating, hunting, fishing
First job as a lawyer: Associate, Bracewell & Patterson (now Bracewell & Giuliani ), Houston
Fan of:  The PGA Tour
Favorite vacation spot: Deltaville
Recently read book: “The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine” by Michael Lewis
Career mentors: Bob Patterson/Anne Marie Whittemore

What was your most memorable civil litigation case? 
“Two come to mind for the same reason.  I tried two cases early in my career against senior attorneys who were much more experienced than I was.  Both cases were hotly contested, with significant amounts at stake.  While still zealously advocating for their clients, these senior attorneys found ways to encourage and mentor me.  I’ve never forgotten those acts of professionalism and collegiality.”

You are president of the Virginia Bar Association. What is the most pressing issue facing the legal profession?  
“Sadly, our prized judiciary is undercompensated and overworked.  Less than one percent of the state’s annual budget is used to fund our judiciary, while our courts collect for the state nearly twice that amount in filing fees, fines and costs.  Unfunded judicial vacancies have dramatically increased average caseloads, yet judicial branch employees have not had a base salary raise since 2007. The private bar must lobby diligently for increases to the judicial branch budget and compensation for our judges and court staff.’

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