Tom Winn, Victor Cardwell and Tom Bagby participate in historic preservation of VBA’s venerable past

In the spring of 2016, the Virginia Bar Association’s Board of Governor’s created the Committee on Art & Artifacts and charged it with developing a plan to preserve historical documents and materials dating back to the association’s earliest days over 100 years ago.

Woods Rogers attorney Tom Winn chaired the VBA’s Committee on Art & Artifacts and has overseen efforts to preserve the history of the law in Virginia, which included handwritten ledgers, minutes of the executive committee meetings, photographs, books, and other items of historical significance. The Virginia Historical Society will be the collection’s new home, and an official signing of VBA’s Deed of Gift to the Society took place on January 11, 2016.

The Committee on Arts & Artifacts consisted of two former VBA presidents—David Landin and Tom Bagby; two legal historians—Hamilton Bryson and Johns Peters; Henry Robb, a law librarian; and staff liaisons, Yvonne McGhee and Brenda Dillard.  Woods Rogers attorney, Victor Cardwell, rounded out the team.

“The early VBA leaders were faithful stewards of the history of law in Virginia,” said Tom Winn. “It was a pleasure to work with a fantastic committee, all of whom thank the VBA members and staff for caring for this collection for so many years.”

The VBA, (originally named the Virginia State Bar Association (VSBA), was founded in July 1888 in Virginia Beach, under the leadership of Francis H. McGuire of the Richmond Bar Association. Today, the VBA exists as the voluntary association of lawyers, judges, law school faculty and students in Virginia. It is separate from the Virginia State Bar, which is the administrative agency of the Supreme Court of Virginia.  Of note, six Woods Rogers attorneys have served in the role of VBA President:

  • Whitwell W. Coxe (1928-29)
  • Frank W. Rogers (1937-38)
  • John L. Walker (1947-48)
  • John L. Walker, Jr. (1983)
  • Thomas T. Lawson (1989)
  • Thomas R. Bagby (2013)

The full story of the committee’s historic preservation efforts are detailed in the winter issue of the VBA Journal.  Click on the photo below to read more about this important work.


L to R: Victor Cardwell and Tom Winn of Woods Rogers, and Virginia Historical Society Vice President, E. Lee Shepard.