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STS&G News


STS&G is proud to announce that Michael Goodove, Elizabeth Ufkes and Mark Stokes were selected as 2023 Virginia Super Lawyers. Goodove and Ufkes were recognized in the area of Personal Injury Law and Stokes was recognized as a Rising Star in the area of Criminal Defense. Our attorneys were recognized as a result of their excellent professional reputations and through Super Lawyers’ Nomination, Research and Blue Ribbon Review Process. STS&G specializes in personal injury and criminal defense litigation. 

Recent Posts STS&G News Goodove in the News

Virginia Beach man raises awareness this holiday weekend after losing brother to drunk driver

Millions are hitting the road over the Fourth of July holiday weekend for barbecues, beach trips, and fireworks.

It’s also a time where Virginia State Police (VSP) are encouraging all travelers to drive safe and sober.

For Mike Goodove, he’s raising awareness after his family was impacted by a drunk driver.

“I lost my brother 35 years ago to a drunk driver, and since that day there’s not a moment goes by where I don’t think about it. I would never want another family going through that,” said Goodove.

Goodove continues to cherish the memories of his brother whose life was cut short at just 19 years old.

“He was a University of Virginia student, and he was coming from the library, when an impaired driver with underage people in the car ran into him and took his life,” said Goodove.

Since his brother’s death, Goodove has worked to raise awareness about the dangers of impaired driving and help others through the group Mothers Against Drunk Driving, also known as MADD.

According to VSP data, traffic crashes have already taken the lives of nearly 400 people in the first 6 months of 2023.

Throughout this Independence Day weekend, law enforcement across Hampton Roads will send out officers for the Drive Sober or Get Pulled over campaign, with police being on the lookout for anyone driving under the influence.

“When a person is impaired and they get behind the wheel, they have a weapon behind them that does devastating affects on society,” said Goodove.

For millions of Americans, July 4th celebrations include alcohol.

MADD experts say drivers should have a plan for a designated driver, ride sharing service, or public transportation.

“The consequences of using drugs beside alcohol and driving you should not be driving impaired at all there’s no good reason for it,” said Goodove.

As part of VSP’s ongoing efforts to increase safety and reduce traffic deaths on highways, troopers will be increasing patrols starting at 12:01 a.m. on July 3 through Midnight on July 4.

Article by: By: Kelsey Jones | Read the full news article on WTKR

Goodove in the News STS&G News

Goodove Selected as President of Southern Bank’s Hampton Roads Regional Advisory Board

Michael L. Goodove, Esq., a personal injury attorney and partner in the Norfolk law firm of Swartz, Taliaferro, Swartz & Goodove, has been selected as President of Southern Bank’s Hampton Roads Regional Advisory Board.  Goodove was selected as he is a leader in the business and overall community as well as a lifelong resident of Hampton Roads.  Southern Bank was founded in 1901 and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern BancShares (N.C.), Inc. With its Corporate Headquarters located in Mount Olive, the Bank has total assets of approximately $2 billion and over 60 locations serving North Carolina and Virginia.

STS&G News Goodove in the News

Va. Beach man pushing for drunk driving prevention technology in cars after losing brother to drunk driver

Attorney, Mike Goodove, sat down with WTKR to talk about the latest push by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to have drunk driving prevention technology in new cars.

By: Antoinette DelBel | Link to the full article on WTKR.com

NORFOLK, Va. – Mike Goodove holds on tight to a picture of him and his younger brother Jeffrey at the University of Virginia in 1990. It’s the last photo ever taken of the pair.

Five months after the photo, Goodove said his 19-year-old brother was killed by a drunk driver.

“He was a wonderful person,” he said. “He was very outgoing; had many friends; was a pre-med student; was headed to medical school; and by no fault of his own, or the other individuals in his car, his life was cut short.”

That horrific night was more than 30 years ago.

Since then, Goodove has been advocating for tougher drunk driving laws as the Southside chapter president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). He started the local chapter a couple of years after his brother’s death.

“We’ve been very active with victim work as well as legislatively,” Goodove said. “We’ve seen a lot of very good changes occur in this area.”

The Virginia Beach native and attorney, says he supports the latest push from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to have drunk driving prevention technology in new cars.

The hope is to cut down on the number of alcohol-related crashes.

“We’ve got the technology available; it’s cost-effective and makes is safe for everybody on the highway,” said Goodove. “The problem with impaired driving is when somebody is impaired and get behind the wheel, they’ve got a several-ton weapon at their disposal and it’s dangerous, not only to them, to others on the roadway.”

The NTSB is recommending installing new equipment in cars to keep impaired drivers from getting behind the wheel. Devices include alcohol detection systems and driver monitoring systems.

In an investigation crash report released Tuesday, the agency said driving under the influence of alcohol is one of the biggest causes of highway crashes in the country.

Here in Virginia, numbers from the DMV show so far this year, there was a total of 178 deaths related to alcohol car crashes. That’s slightly lower than the 197 car deaths related to alcohol at this same time last year.

Goodove believes the technology could help save lives and could have prevented his brother’s death.

“It just tears me apart to watch what it does to a family,” he said.

For now, that picture of Goodove and his brother sits in his Norfolk law office as a reminder to never stop fighting.

“I think it would be a wonderful tool because unfortunately, some people don’t recognize that they are impaired and get behind wheel,” said Goodove. “They should, but don’t.”

Congress passed a law last year requiring the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to set the safety standard for automakers to install alcohol-monitoring technology within three years, but the agency can ask for an extension.

Goodove is hopeful the equipment will be installed soon.

STS&G News Goodove in the News

Goodove is recognized for 30 years of service to MADD

Michael Goodove received recognition from MADD in appreciation for 30 years of dedication and service to MADD and the victims of impaired driving in Virginia. Goodove has been the President of Southside MADD since 1992, and has assisted thousands of victims of impaired drivers. 

STS&G News Goodove in the News

Goodove Selected to the “Top 100” of the 2022 Virginia Super Lawyers

STS&G are proud to announce that Michael Goodove was selected as the “Top 100” of the 2022 Virginia Super Lawyers.  Goodove received this honor as he was ranked as the top of the list in the 2022 Virginia Super Lawyers Nomination, Research and Blue Ribbon Review Process.  Mr. Goodove specializes in personal injury law. 

STS&G News

Elizabeth Ufkes named to Virginia Lawyers Weekly’s Influential Women of Law for 2022

Virginia Lawyers Weekly has announced Elizabeth Ufkes as a recipient of the 2022 Influential Women in Law award. This award honors exceptional women attorneys and judges who have improved the legal profession in the Old Dominion and left their individual marks in the law of the state.

Mrs. Ufkes is being recognized for her exemplary leadership and contributions to the community. Mrs. Ufkes joined Swartz, Taliaferro, Swartz & Goodove in 2012, and represents victims in personal injury claims.  She is passionate about ensuring that all her clients are treated fairly and receive the best possible outcomes.  A ceremony will be held in Richmond at the end of May honoring Ms. Ufkes for her excellent work on behalf of the justice system and for her clients, her commitment to Hampton Roads and her service to the profession.

STS&G News Goodove in the News

Attorneys Michael Goodove, Elizabeth Ufkes, Jeffrey Swartz, and Mark Stokes selected as 2022 Top Lawyers of Coastal Virginia 

Attorneys Michael Goodove, Elizabeth Ufkes, Jeffrey Swartz and Mark Stokes have been selected as 2022 Top Lawyers of Coastal Virginia.  Michael Goodove and Elizabeth Ufkes were recognized in the area of Personal Injury.  Jeffrey Swartz was recognized in the area of Criminal Defense and Mark Stokes was recognized in the area of Traffic Law.  Goodove, Ufkes, Swartz, and Stokes were selected based upon evaluation by other top lawyers and independent research of the candidates and they are listed in the 2022 Coastal Virginia Magazine and CoVaBIZ Magazine which is The Business Magazine of Coastal Virginia.

STS&G News Goodove in the News

Michael Goodove selected to join MADD’s Regional Advisory Board

Michael Goodove has joined the Regional Advisory Board of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).   The mission of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes, and prevent underage drinking.  Goodove has been volunteering for MADD since 1992, when he started the Southside Virginia Chapter and has been President of Southside Virginia MADD.

“MADD is a wonderful organization that has remained close to my heart.  No family should ever have to go through the terrible experience of losing a loved one to a drunk driver and our organization has been instrumental in working to achieve our goal of No More Victims.”, Goodove said.

STS&G News

Jeffrey A. Swartz represented Warren Harris – “NO JAIL TIME”

Virginia Beach’s longtime former economic development director got a suspended jail sentence Monday after admitting to embezzling nearly $80,000 during the 11 years he served in the position.

Warren Harris walked out of a Virginia Beach courtroom without having to serve a day in jail. The 65-year-old, however, will be required to repay the $79,479 he inappropriately charged taxpayers on a city credit card. Among the expenses he charged was a 2018 trip to Spain for the annual Running of the Bulls festival.

Harris expressed remorse for his actions and “lapses of judgment” before the sentence was issued by Circuit Judge Steven Frucci. Sitting behind him in the courtroom were his family and several supporters, including former Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms.

“I certainly want to apologize to the citizens of Virginia Beach, to city officials and to my family,” Harris told the judge. “I know that I’m better than this and I feel the burden of letting people down.”

Because Harris has no prior criminal record, state sentencing guidelines suggested he get nothing more than probation. Commonwealth’s Attorney Colin Stolle called the guidelines “completely inappropriate” and asked Frucci to give Harris jail time.

“It was a betrayal,” Stolle said. “It was a betrayal to the city, it was a betrayal to his supervisors, and more importantly, a betrayal to the citizens of Virginia Beach.”

Stolle said Harris created false financial statements to justify trips to places like Dubai, Panama, California and Florida and ordered employees to create the statements in some cases, all so that he could “knock things off his bucket list.”

Frucci said that while the betrayal of trust was great, he didn’t think jail time was appropriate considering Harris’ clean record and strong support from friends and family. Dozens of letters were sent to the court in support of him.

“The crimes are serious and the loss is substantial to the City of Virginia Beach,” the judge said. “But you’ve got support that is the strongest I’ve probably ever seen.”

Harris served as the city’s economic development director from 2007 to 2018. He was fired amid an investigation of his credit card use and pleaded guilty last year to four counts of felony embezzlement by a public officer.

As the head of the department, Harris was allowed to approve his own expenses. The city changed that policy after his resignation.

The investigation — conducted by Virginia Beach police, prosecutors and the FBI — also revealed that he’d made passive threats to employees about the consequences of reporting him to the city auditor. After another city employee was fired for embezzlement, Harris reportedly told employees during a recorded staff meeting that “snitches get stitches.”

Among Harris’ illegal expenditures was $39,500 to place ads in the NCAA Final Four program, Washington Nationals Yearbook and for the MLB All-Star Game. He got more than a dozen complimentary tickets to MLB and NCAA Final Four games in return.

Jane Harper, 757-222-5097, jane.harper@pilotonline.com