Criminal Speedy Trial Litigation in Virginia—Keeping Your Case “Up to Speed” (Online Seminar)

MCLE Credits: 2.0
Ethics Credits Included: 0.0

MCLE Credit: 2.0 (Ethics: 0.0)
Live-Interactive Credit: 0.0
VIDC Re-Certification Credit: 2.0 (VIDC Information)
Designation Credit: 2.0 Trial Practice/Litigation (Designations Information)
Price: $149 (Includes a downloadable audio version.)
Viewable Through: 05/31/2022


A pre-recorded streaming video replay of one session from the May 2019 webcast, Criminal Speedy Trial Litigation in Virginia—Keeping Your Case “Up to Speed”.

Topics Covered

  • This seminar includes a discussion of Young v. Commonwealth, a statutory speedy trial appeal recently argued by our speakers in the Supreme Court of Virginia
  • Discover best practices, from the defense perspective, for protecting your client’s constitutional and statutory speedy trial rights and, from the Commonwealth’s perspective, for protecting your case against dismissal based on alleged speedy trial violations
  • Learn how to calculate “speedy trial math” to determine whether a proposed trial date falls within the statutory speedy trial window
  • Explore the various factors courts consider in determining whether specific delays should be attributed to the defense or to the Commonwealth
  • Stay up to date on current developments in speedy trial case law

Every criminal defendant has constitutional and statutory rights to a speedy trial. Prosecutors and defense attorneys alike have a responsibility to ensure that those rights are protected. Prosecutors must be able to correctly calculate speedy trial deadlines while protecting their cases against dismissals based on alleged speedy trial violations, and defense attorneys must be able to successfully challenge lengthy pretrial delays in cases where speedy trial violations occur. The Sixth Amendment mandates consideration of a variety of factors and does not require an exact time period within which an accused must be tried. By contrast, Virginia Code section 19.2-243 contains set time periods within which the Commonwealth must try an accused. Those time periods are subject to a multitude of enumerated and implied exceptions. When continuances occur, determining whether the resulting delay should be attributed to the defendant or to the Commonwealth frequently becomes a contentious issue at trial and on appeal. Indeed, “speedy trial math” frustrates even experienced defense attorneys and prosecutors. And the stakes could not be any higher: a successful speedy trial claim results in the dismissal of the indictments and the defendant being forever discharged from prosecution for the alleged crimes.

This seminar is taught by an experienced criminal defense attorney and assistant attorney general who recently litigated Young v. Commonwealth, a speedy trial case, in the Virginia Court of Appeals and the Virginia Supreme Court. Working together, they will help you translate this complicated subject matter into practical principles that you can use to resolve any speedy trial issue you might confront as a prosecutor or a defense attorney.

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Victoria Johnson, Office of the Attorney General of Virginia / Richmond

Victoria Johnson is an Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Appeals Section at the Office of the Attorney General of Virginia.  In that capacity, she has argued approximately 100 appeals in the Virginia appellate courts.  Before coming to the Attorney General’s Office, she served as a member of staff counsel at the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, clerked for the Honorable William G. Petty at the Court of Appeals of Virginia, and was an attorney advisor to the Honorable Richard Malamphy, Administrative Law Judge, United States Department of Labor. 

Ms. Johnson has previously been an adjunct professor at the William and Mary Law School and Liberty University School of Law, teaching appellate advocacy and legal writing.  Ms. Johnson graduated cum laude from Regent University School of Law and has an M.S. in Education from Pensacola Christian College.

Catherine French Zagurskie, Virginia Indigent Defense Commission / Richmond

Catherine French Zagurskie is Chief Appellate Counsel for the Virginia Indigent Defense Commission.  She provides appellate support, training, and supervision to public defenders and court-appointed attorneys. Previously, she was a Supervising Public Defender and the Appellate Designate at the Richmond Public Defender’s Office. Throughout her career, she has had numerous writ and merit arguments before the Court of Appeals of Virginia and the Supreme Court of Virginia, with victories in both appellate courts. She is an adjunct professor at the University of Richmond School of Law.   

Ms. Zagurskie earned a J.D., summa cum laude, and graduated Order of the Coif from Case Western Reserve University, where she served on the Executive Board of the Law Review. She also holds a M.S. in Social Administration from Case Western Reserve University. She graduated with a B.A., magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Smith College.    

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