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Excelling in the craft and challenge of appellate law

John concentrates his practice in appellate litigation and motions practice in both federal and state courts.

“I love the craft of legal writing, and the challenge of persuading through effective written and oral advocacy is immensely fun and rewarding”, says John, a former Supreme Court of Virginia clerk for Chief Justice Kinser. Driven by that experience and embracing the challenge of effective advocacy, John offers a variety of appellate services to individuals, business, and government clients. His services include consulting and representation related to perfecting or resisting an appeal, briefing and argument, amicus curiae, and rule compliance in the appellate courts.

John has represented businesses, individuals, and government officers and agencies in numerous appeals, tapping into his familiarity with appellate law and procedure and his proven track record of crafting successful appellate arguments. His unique expertise enables him to provide high-quality representation for written or oral advocacy to maximize the chance of success at all stages of an appeal.

John also excels in non-appellate matters and regularly appears in state and federal court in various civil litigation matters, where he similarly focuses on effective written and oral advocacy in dispositive motions. He represents a wide variety of clients, including constitutional officers such as sheriffs and their deputies, clerks of court, commonwealth’s attorneys, and businesses both large and small, as well as insurance companies and their insureds in both coverage and liability disputes.

John maintains RichmondAppeals.com, a website dedicated to his appellate practice and the recent and impending changes in the field of appellate law.

John and his wife live in Richmond with their five children where he enjoys his books, his garden, and time with his family. He is also passionate about education and is the founding president of Cardinal Newman Academy, an independent high school in Richmond, where he still serves as a member of the Board of Directors.

Representative Experience

  • Unicolors Inc. v. H&M Hennes & Mauritz, L.P. (SCOTUS 2021) (briefed as amicus), representing Prof. Victoria Burke, stating the trust that underlies the copyright application process should impact § 411(b)’s “knowledge” requirement.
  • France.com, Inc. v. French Republic, 992 F.3d 248 (4th Cir. 2021), successfully represented the Republic of France in appeal regarding the applicability of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act to the plaintiff’s intellectual property claims.
  • Harold v. Devening, 2020 Va. Unpub. LEXIS 10 (Record No. 181308) (Sup. Ct. Va. 2020)., successfully represented administrator of estate in appeal regarding breach of fiduciary duty claim.
  • Transparent GMU, et al. v. George Mason University, et al. 298 Va. 222 (2019) (briefed as amicus), represented several amicus entities in case addressing the applicability of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act to university foundations.
  • Forest Lakes Cmty. Ass’n v. United Land Corp. of Am., 293 Va. 113 (2017), successfully represented property owner in multi-party litigation involving nuisance and trespass claims.
  • In re Vauter, 292 Va. 761 (2016), successfully represented Virginia circuit court in an original jurisdiction proceeding to determine whether a writ of prohibition lay to prohibit the court from exercising habeas corpus jurisdiction.
  • Rafalko v. Georgiadis, 290 Va. 384 (2014), successfully represented testator’s sons in appeal regarding whether they had violated a no-contest clause in their father’s will.

Recognition

  • Selected to the Virginia Super Lawyers Virginia List, Appellate category (2020-2021)
  • Selected to the Super Lawyer’s “Rising Stars” Virginia List (2018-2019), Appellate category (2022)
  • Virginia Business Magazine’s “Legal Elite,” Appellate Law category (2015-2021)
  • Author, The Cardinal Virtues of Assigning Error in Virginia Appeals, The Virginia Bar Association Journal (Fall 2022)

Education

  • University of Richmond School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 2009
  • Christendom College, B.A., magna cum laude, 2006

Admissions

  • All Virginia courts including the Supreme Court of Virginia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

Affiliations

  • Virginia Bar Association
  • Virginia State Bar
  • Member, Joint ADR Committee, Special Committee to Study Appellate Mediation in Virginia
  • The John Marshall Inn of Court
  • President, Board of Directors, Cardinal Newman Academy
  • Board of Directors, St. Thomas More Society
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