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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.

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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.

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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

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STS&G News Goodove in the News

Michael Goodove, Elizabeth Ufkes, Franklin Swartz, and Mark Stokes have been selected as 2022 Super Lawyers

Attorneys Michael Goodove, Elizabeth Ufkes, Franklin Swartz, and Mark Stokes have been selected as 2022 Super Lawyers. Michael Goodove and Elizabeth Ufkes were selected as a Super Lawyer in the field of Plaintiff’s Personal Injury.  Franklin Swartz was selected as a Super Lawyer in the field White Collar Criminal Defense and Mark Stokes was selected as a Rising Star in the field of Criminal Defense.  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 Virginia & West Virginia Super Lawyers Magazine.

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STS&G News Goodove in the News

Goodove Featured in MADD’s Newsletter “Volunteer Spotlight—December 2021”

Mike Goodove, a partner with the Norfolk Law Firm Swartz, Taliaferro, Swartz and Goodove, has been a MADD volunteer in the Tidewater area of Virginia for 29 years. Motivated by the death of his younger brother Jeffrey in an alcohol related crash in 1990, he started the MADD Southside chapter in the Hampton Roads area in 1992 and has remained active to the present time. Professionally, he has dedicated his life to assisting victims, especially victims of impaired drivers.

In addition to his role as MADD Southside Chapter Chairman and spokesperson, Mike has coordinated Candlelight Vigils, law enforcement award ceremonies and Tie One On For Safety Campaigns. He has also served victims, participated in Victim Impact Panels, appeared in and created impaired driving awareness PSA’s, and participated in legislative and law enforcement education.

Mike received the MADD 20th Anniversary “Difference Maker” award. He was a 2014 recipient of the “Leaders in the Law” award as recognized by Virginia Lawyer’s Weekly for advocating for impaired driving victims and providing victim support. Mike was also selected as a “Fellow” by the Virginia Law Foundation for accomplishments in the area of impaired driving and victim support.

Mike says he volunteers for MADD because he believes in supporting victims and deterring impaired driving in the future. In thinking on his time with MADD, Mike remembers all of the families that he has been able to assist to make sure that their loved ones are never forgotten. The strength of MADD is the people that make up MADD and he is proud to be a part of our fine organization. 

View link to article on MADD website.

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STS&G News

Ufkes Represents Mother who lost Infant in Tragic Car Accident.

10 month-old Amelia White was killed in April when her mother’s car was rear-ended in Isle of Wight County.  The court found the defendant driver guilty of reckless driving and ordered her to complete 100 hours of community service, attend a driver improvement class and pay a $1500 fine.  Although  Gray and her attorney are thankful for a conviction, they do not consider the Court’s punishment sufficient.

View link to the full story by Channel 13 News

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STS&G News Goodove in the News Archive 2021

Michael L. Goodove, Esq. Earns ABOTA Membership

Michael L. Goodove, Esq., a partner of Swartz, Taliaferro, Swartz & Goodove, P.C., has been accepted into the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA).

ABOTA dedicates itself to the preservation and promotion of the Seventh Amendment, which guarantees the right to civil jury trials. Members in this prestigious invitation-only group must have tried a minimum number of civil jury trials to conclusion. More than 7,600 lawyers and judges are involved in ABOTA chapters in all 50 states.

“ABOTA is one of the nation’s most effective organizations in championing the ethics, professionalism and principles of the legal profession, and I’m honored to be part of this select group,” Michael Goodove said.

Mr. Goodove has devoted his career to helping injured people. Mr. Goodove specializes in automobile negligence, medical malpractice, product liability, premises liability, admiralty, worker’s compensation as well as complex civil litigation cases.  He has been recognized as a “Super Lawyer”, “Top 100 Trial Lawyers”, “Top Lawyer” and is a fellow of the Virginia Law Foundation.  Mr. Goodove has tried hundreds of cases to verdict and has handled over 7000 personal injuries cases. 

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STS&G News Goodove in the News

Michael Goodove nominated and accepted as an “Advocate” into the American Board of Trial Advocates

Congratulations to STS&G partner Michael Goodove for his nomination and acceptance as an “Advocate” into the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). Membership is extremely selective, by invitation only, and requires a high personal character and an honorable reputation as a trial lawyer.  This year, only 4 lawyers were invited and selected as members in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Mr. Goodove has successfully tried numerous cases to verdict and has been specializing in personal injury law for over 29 years. 

Learn more about ABOTA: https://www.abota.org/Online/About/Who_We_Are/Online/About/About_Us.aspx

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STS&G News Virginian-Pilot Archive 2021

Interview with Elizabeth Kalocay Ufkes, personal injury attorney at STS&G, P.C. | Women in Business

At work: Whether I’m negotiating a fair settlement or arguing a case to a jury, facilitating positive outcomes for my clients is what motivates me. I have been recognized in the field of Personal Injury by Super Lawyers magazine, as a “Top Lawyer” by Coastal Virginia magazine, as a “Legal Elite” by Virginia Business and as a “Top 40 Under 40” by Inside Business. Active with the Virginia Beach Bar Association, I co-chair the General District Court Bench-Bar committee.

Volunteer activities: As board president of the nonprofit The Bureau of Books and Big Ideas, formerly REACH, we work to improve literacy among children in Hampton Roads through access to and ownership of books.

Home and family: My husband, Gordie, and I have two children, Maggie and Luke, who attend Star of the Sea Catholic School, where I serve as School Board president and fifth grade room parent. We recently adopted a loveable Belgian Malinois puppy that understands French, despite failing out of the K-9 academy.

Advice for women in business: Waterproof mascara is key to appearing calm and composed. You can never predict what each day will bring beyond a sweaty commute to the courthouse, a lengthy argument in trial, an emotional moment with a client, an evening meeting (or two) and rushing home to take care of your family.

How the coronavirus pandemic has affected my work: My firm embraced technology and changed how we meet with clients, transmit documents and conduct depositions.

Professional growth in five years: As I continue to practice law with my mentor and friend, Michael Goodove, I am excited for the opportunities and challenges that come with each new case — from making dangerous site inspections and meeting fascinating people to adapting to developments in both law and technology.

Downtime: I enjoy going to the beach with my kids, cooking, playing piano and binge watching Netflix.

What really gets under my skin: Being addressed by male colleagues who use old-fashioned pet names like “Babydoll” or “Sweetie.”

View full article from PilotOnline.com

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STS&G News Goodove in the News Archive 2021 Recent Posts

Goodove, Ufkes, and Swartz have been recognized as the 2021 Top Lawyers in Coastal Virginia

Attorneys  Michael Goodove, Elizabeth Ufkes, and Jeffrey Swartz have been recognized as the 2021 Top Lawyers in Coastal Virginia by CoVABiz, the Business Magazine of Coastal Virginia.  Michael Goodove and Elizabeth Ufkes were recognized as Top Lawyers in the field of Plaintiff’s Personal Injury.  Jeffrey Swartz was recognized as a Top Lawyer in the field of Criminal Law.  Their law firm of Swartz, Taliaferro, Swartz and Goodove, P.C., specializes in personal injury law and criminal defense.