The Greater Richmond Bar Foundation serves the public and legal profession by supporting, facilitating and promoting the delivery of pro bono legal services through its signature Pro Bono Clearinghouse for nonprofits, through the groundbreaking JusticeServer project, through the new Eviction Diversion Project in the City of Richmond, through its workplace initiative the Pro Bono Promise, its partnership with Legal Aid in the Triage project, and by involvement in law-related educational projects that encourage public understanding of, participation in and access to our justice system.
Board of Directors
L. Lee Byrd, Esq., President
Lee Byrd is the immediate past president of Sands Anderson PC. Lee’s practice focuses on business and local government disputes and representing clients in employment, intellectual property, and environmental matters. Lee has developed a passion for representing tax-exempt organizations, both in business and litigation matters. Lee is a Fellow of the Virginia Law Foundation, a member of the Advisory Committee of UR’s Institute on Philanthropy, and host of the monthly “Captains’ Table” programs for nonprofit executives. Lee serves as Sands Anderson’s Pro Bono Partner.
Cyril F. Coombs, Esq., Vice President
Cyril Coombs currently serves as Assistant General Counsel for Dominion Resources Services, Inc., a subsidiary of Dominion Resources Inc., a fully integrated Fortune 500 energy company with a presence in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest and West regions of the U.S. He joined the Company in 1999 and is a member of the Company’s Law Department, working in the Litigation, Labor & Employment Group and currently serves as the Law Department’s Pro Bono Liaison.
Michael P. Goldman, Esq., Vice President
Mike Goldman is a Partner at Hunton Andres Kurth LLP in the firm’s Mergers & Acquisitions practice group. His practice focuses on public and private mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and other strategic transactions. Mike is the co-chair of the firm’s Richmond office Pro Bono Committee, and a member of the Virginia Bar Association’s Pro Bono Council. He leads GRBF’s Pro Bono Clearinghouse and Nonprofit General Counsel programs and regularly represents non-profit organizations pro bono in various corporate governance and transactional matters.
Heather G. Williams, Secretary
Heather Williams is a Director in the international financial consulting firm Protiviti. Heather is a CPA, Certified Insolvency and Restructuring Advisor (CIRA) and Certified in Financial Forensics (CFF). As a financial advisor, Heather represents the interests of debtors, creditors and other parties-in-interest in bankruptcy cases and litigation related thereto.
Sharon C. Stuart, Esq., Treasurer
Sharon Choi Stuart is the founder of Stuart Law Firm, LLC, a consumer debtor bankruptcy boutique law firm. She has been practicing bankruptcy law since 2001. Sharon is admitted to the Virginia Supreme Court, the US District Court of the Eastern District of Virginia, and the US Bankruptcy Court of the Eastern District of Virginia. Sharon is part of the Richmond Bar Association/Virginia State Bar (Bankruptcy Section) and is a member and past president of the of the Metro Richmond Women’s Bar Association. She has been named 2015 and 2016 Legal Elite for her bankruptcy work and was honored with the Influential Women of Virginia award.
Stephen D. Otero, Esq., Immediate Past President
Steve Otero serves as Chief Counsel for Bank, Mortgage, Auto Finance, Intellectual Property and Commercial Litigation at Capital One. Steve also sits on Capital One’s enterprise-wide Pro Bono Roundtable, and serves as Chair of the Legal Department’s Pro Bono Committee.
Alexandra S. Fannon, Esq., Executive Director
Ali Fannon is an attorney with a public service background, including former Local Government Attorney Pro Bono Chair, former Board Chair of CARITAS and Past President of the Metropolitan Richmond Women’s Bar Association.
Daniel G. Bloor, Esq.
Dan Bloor is Associate General Counsel for CarMax and Director of its Store Operations Litigation Team, which manages all of CarMax’s consumer and business litigation. Dan initiated and has lead the CarMax legal department’s pro bono efforts and sits on the department’s pro bono committee.
Annette Cousins is a Senior Program Manager at The Community Foundation, where she works with nonprofits to strengthen their organizational and governance practices to better serve the Greater Richmond community. She is Board President at the Neighborhood Resource Center of Greater Fulton and a previous Chair of the Board for Girl Scouts of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Karl A. Doss, Esq.
Karl A. Doss is the Deputy Director of the Legal Services Corporation of Virginia and previously served as Director of Access to Legal Services at the Virginia State Bar for four years. His professional experience also includes positions as the Director of Training and Professional Development with the National Legal Aid & Defender Association in Washington, DC, the Director of Training and Attorney Certification with the Virginia Indigent Defense Commission, the Director of the Department of Judicial Programs with the Office of the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court of Virginia, and as a Deputy Public Defender in the Office of the Norfolk Public Defender. Karl serves as a member of the Virginia Access to Justice Commission and is co-chair of the Commission’s Pro Bono Coordinating Consortium.
Melanie A. Friend, Esq.
Melanie Friend is a Partner at CowanGates whose practice focuses on divorce, child custody and visitation, spousal support, child support, adoption, and prenuptial agreements. She is qualified as a guardian ad litem for children. Melanie is also trained to represent parties in the collaborative divorce process. Melanie is Past President of the Metropolitan Richmond Women’s Bar Association, serves on the board of the Richmond Bar Association, and a member of the Lewis F. Powell, Jr. American Inn of Court, the Richmond Bar Association, the Chesterfield County Bar Association, the Metro Richmond Family Law Bar Association, and the Family Law Section of the Virginia State Bar.
Mahlon G. Funk, Jr., Esq.
Bud Funk is a trial attorney with Hirschler Fleischer and former chair of its litigation practice section. He joined HF fresh out of law school in 1975 and has been privileged to have practiced law with and against wonderfully talented attorneys in many diverse matters and forums. Bud currently is increasingly dedicated his time and energy to pro bono, community and Bar services in gratitude for the blessings the law has bestowed on him.
Christopher E. Gatewood, Esq.
Chris Gatewood is a partner at Threshold Counsel, PC, working with corporate, intellectual property, startup, and high-growth legal matters, for solo founders and for large multi-nationals. Chris is also a founder of Name Warden, Resounding.co, Legull, and the 804ork cookbook series.
M. Elizabeth Griffin, Esq.
Elizabeth Griffin is Associate University Counsel and Senior Assistant Attorney General for Virginia Commonwealth University. She is the founding chair of the Appellate Advocacy Section of the Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys, diversity representative to the Appellate Practice Section Council of the Virginia Bar Association, and a past president of the Health Law Section of the Virginia State Bar. She is an active member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys.
Judge Catherine C. Hammond, Ret
Judge Hammond retired from the Henrico Circuit Court after almost 16 years on the bench. Her professional experience includes:
Judge, Fourteenth Judicial Circuit 1999-2015
Chief Judge (three terms), Fourteenth Judicial Circuit, Annexation Judge
Deputy Attorney General, Civil Litigation, Attorney General of Virginia 1994-1998
McGuire Woods, Richmond, Commercial Litigation 1985-1994 Partner 1992-1994
Judicial Law Clerk, Southern District of New York 1984-1985
Neil S. Kessler, Esq.
Neil Kessler is the Pro Bono Partner in the Richmond, Virginia office of Troutman Sanders LLP and is a commercial real estate attorney. He is a member of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, co-editor of the 2008 and 2012 editions of Virginia Real Estate Transactions Handbook published by Virginia Continuing Legal Education, past chair of the Real Property Section of the Virginia State Bar, and a Fellow of the Virginia Law Foundation and the American Bar Foundation.
W. Benjamin Pace, Esq.
Ben Pace is a Partner at Williams Mullen, where he focuses his practice on commercial litigation, health care litigation and fiduciary litigation. Ben is the Chair of Williams Mullen’s Pro Bono Committee, is a member of the Richmond Bar Association’s Board of Directors, and is active in the Legal Aid Justice Center’s Pro Bono Housing Project and the Central Virginia Legal Aid Society’s No Fault Divorce Program.
Seth A. Schaeffer, Esq.
Seth Schaeffer is a partner at McGuireWoods LLP in the firm’s Antitrust, Trade & Commercial Litigation Department. He focuses his practice primarily on consumer financial services and antitrust litigation. Seth also helps oversee the firm’s provision of pro bono legal services in connection with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Law Clinic. He has served as Chair of the Board of Trustees for St. Mary’s Episcopal School and currently is serving on the Vestry of St. Mary’s Church. Seth also Co-Chairs the St. Mary’s CARITAS outreach program, which provides temporary shelter for Richmond’s homeless population.
Brent M. Timberlake, Esq.
Brent Timberlake is Vice President and Chief Counsel of Capital One’s Card Litigation, Subpoena, and Intake Teams. Brent serves as Immediate Past President of the Legal Information Network for Cancer Board of Directors, and is actively involved in a number of pro bono organizations and efforts in the Richmond area.
Henry I. Willett III, Esq.
Henry Willett is a litigation partner Christian & Barton. He represents clients in litigation involving healthcare-related matters, the enforcement of non-compete and non-solicitation agreements, intellectual property matters, products liability claims, business and construction disputes, professional malpractice claims, and financial services disputes. He is a member of the Virginia State Bar Council, a past chair of the Litigation Section of the Bar Association of the City of Richmond, and chair of his firm’s Associate Training and Evaluation Committee.
Erin S. Whaley, Esq.
Erin Whaley is a partner at Troutman Sanders LLP where she represents healthcare providers, payers and health IT vendors on the full spectrum of legal issues they confront on a daily basis. Erin serves as the Pro Bono Partner for Troutman Sanders’ Richmond office where she encourages and coordinates office-wide participation in pro bono efforts. She is also the Chairperson of the Rural Education Foundation Board of Trustees and serves on the Board of Directors of the Preemie Parent Alliance.
Caitlin L. Minnick, Director of Administration & Programs