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Few things make me see red faster than a political candidate or office holder using anti-lawyer feelings to win or keep office.  Anti-lawyer bigotry had not shown up in several years in our area but now 12th Senate GOP hopeful Dr. Siobhan Dunnavant did it in the TV ad I saw tonight on Fox News.

Surrounded by babies, real and photos, the doctor says:  “My opponents:  All lawyers.  Well, lawyers wrote Obamacare.  And crybaby politicians want to expand Medicare…”

Here’s the Ad:


It’s despicable to attack lawyers like that.  Her opponents didn’t write the Obamacare bill nor do they support it.  Bill Janis who I support is a corporate counsel for a medical billing firm.  I suppose physicians don’t need to collect help with billing!  Eddie Whitlock collects debts for small businesses, too.  Vince Haley has used his expertise in the service of a great leader:  Former Speaker Newt Gingrich.

What about the civil rights struggle?  Thurgood Marshall and the lawyers of the Inc. Fund (The NAACP Legal Defense Fund) used the law to bring about needed social change.  (Let’s not forget one of them was Virginia’s own Oliver W. Hill!)

What about lawyers who have sued to get compensation for injuries caused by – let’s say negligent doctors!  Or try to keep defective and dangerous projects and medicines off the market?

Or prosecutors that get criminals off the streets?  Or those who defend indigents (like I did for a short time) at trial and on appeal who are too poor to afford a lawyer?  I know one lawyer who worked hard (and he’s not the only one) on a case and took it to the Court of Appeals, finally won at the full court, only to see the Commonwealth prevail at the state supreme court.  Then he had to try again to get the Court of Appeals to uphold his other point.

What about the fine lawyers at the Institute for Justice – fighting for libertarian values in the courts?

Or lawyers as community leaders trying to run a charity event or promote diversity or go to the schools and speak on what it means to be 18 now?

Yes there are activist lawyers and activist judges for liberal causes.  But there are bad doctors, too.  Dr. Dunnavant owes her three opponents an apology – and all the good, decent, hardworking attorneys in the area who she slandered for votes.


About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)


  1. Skipper Stanley says:

    State Senator Don McEachin supposedly fell off his chair eating breakfast when he saw Stolle- Dunnavant’s TV Ad stating she would vote against Medicaid Expansion in Virginia.

    Supposedly she sought McEachin’s support of her candidacy. McEachin, a Democrat, is strongly supportive of Medicaid Expansion.

    She’s a real piece of work that one- took all that lobby money from the Medical Society of Virginia who lobbied for medicaid expansion and expects us to believe she won’t vote for ObamaCare exchanges in Virginia.

    She sold her practice- why does she care who pays the bills. Her monthly check will still arrive in the mail.

  2. Ron Hedlund

    Sandy: yes, you should confirm or debunk this with McEachin. I think the Janis camp planted this rumor and it should be squashed. Ray Allen is famous for these tactics and should be publicly chastised for such. Unless, of course, it is true. I have reason(s) to believe multiple people are being manipulated in an attempt to win this race for Bill Janis at any cost.

  3. Ron Hedlund

    Who is Skipper Stanley?


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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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