The Virginia Supreme Court hosted its 5th Biennial Chief Justice’s Pro Bono Summit on April 4 in Richmond, Virginia. This by-invitation-only event updates the Supreme Court of Virginia and legal practitioners on the pro bono environment in the state. Robert J. Stoney, chair of the Virginia Bar Association’s (VBA) Pro Bono Council and a principal at Blankingship & Keith, presented the Pro Bono Program Reports during the Summit. Among the reports presented to the Court was the first “History of Pro Bono in Virginia,” authored by Lainie Singerman, a talented litigator on Blankingship & Keith’s Personal Injury Team.
This year, Chief Justice Donald Lemons welcomed approximately 100 attendees to the Court to share pro bono initiatives The Commonwealth is spearheading to further develop a culture of pro bono. The Virginia Supreme Court hosted its first Pro Bono Summit in 2010. Since then, Virginia has launched several exciting initiatives, including an Access to Justice Commission, which the Court established in 2013. This year, the Virginia Bar presented several new projects that are in development, including Pro Bono Promise, JusticeService 2.0, FreeLegalAnswers.org and the Triage Project.
Mr. Stoney, along with Scott C. Oostdyk, executive co-chair of the VBA Pro Bono Council, gave the closing remarks of the Summit.
An experienced litigator with the firm, Mr. Stoney also has a strong and long standing commitment to the community, both locally and statewide. He has dedicated thousands of hours to pro bono and legal aid programs to ensure that everyone has equal access to justice. Through "Trial Lawyers Still Care" he encourages all Virginia trial lawyers to take at least one deserving case each year and donate the amount that would have been their fee to legal aid for the poor.