A litigator driven by service to his country, his community, and his clients
When the Twin Towers were attacked on September 11, 2001, Sean Breit-Rupe felt a calling to serve his country and made the decision to join the military. After graduating from Virginia Tech in 2005, Sean was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps and ultimately served as a Naval Aviator piloting the CH-46E helicopter. After serving nine years in the Marines, including tours in Iraq and in support of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, Sean chose to enter the legal profession, attending the University of Florida Levin College of Law. Sean credits the Marine Corps with teaching him what it means to be a professional: not quitting after you get it right, but practicing until you can no longer get it wrong.
Upon returning to his native state of Virginia, Sean served as Assistant Commonwealth Attorney for Henrico County where he gained trial experience handling a variety of cases and sectors in Circuit, General District, and the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. While there, Sean led the office’s threat assessment team and oversaw the Substantial Risk Orders, or “red flag”, law.
“The Commonwealth Attorney’s office taught me how to be a litigator; it taught me how to interview people and to negotiate agreements and settlements. Like Marine Aviation, being a prosecutor forces you to adapt to and overcome unanticipated problems that are thrown at you by the court, opposing, counsel, or witnesses.”
In his civil litigation practice with ThompsonMcMullan, Sean has honed his ability to respond quickly and efficiently, representing a variety of businesses and individuals, government officers, and agencies in federal and state courts, including motions to dismiss for summary judgement and at trial. He also maintains an insurance defense litigation practice, representing insurance companies and their insureds in both coverage and liability disputes.
In addition, Sean supports the Energy and Telecommunications team, practicing in front of the State Corporation Commission, representing renewable and competitive suppliers and third-party service providers in energy policy and legislation.
In his experience as a litigator, Sean has mastered how to think on his feet – because you’re not always given time to prepare when in front of a judge – and to respond quickly and efficiently.
Energy and Telecommunications
GENERAL CIVIL LITIGATION
- Drafts and litigates motions to suppress, motions in limine, and preparation of discovery requests and responses
- Conducts witness interviews and preparation across juries, circuit benches, and general district misdemeanor trials and preliminary hearings
- Handles all aspects of client representation through pre-trial motions and written responses to discovery, leading depositions, opening statements, direct and cross examinations, closing arguments, and post-trial motions
- Serve on trial teams as lead counsel or support counsel on a diverse array of matters, with a focus on tort litigation, commercial, construction, and insurance disputes, and the adjudication of constitutional rights
- Draft and orally argue procedural and substantive motions in Virginia state and federal trial courts and before the Virginia State Corporation Commission
- Successfully represented an interior design client in breach of contract and performance issues and won in motion to strike being granted in the defendant’s favor
CONSTITUTIONAL OFFICERS AND ELECTED OFFICIAL DEFENSE
- Defends government employees, constitutional officers, and elected officials in writes of habeas corpus and numerous Section 1983 lawsuits pending in state and federal courts
- Represent state agencies and officers in administrative and constitutional claims
- Navy Marine Corps Commendation Medal (2013)
- Naval and Boeing Aviation Safety Awards (2013)
- Selected by peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© “Ones to Watch” in the fields of Litigation – Construction and Government Relations Practice (2024)
- University of Florida Levin College of Law, J.D., Cum Laude, 2017
- Virginia Polytechnic and State University, B.S., Political Science, 2005
- All Virginia courts including the Supreme Court of Virginia
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
- Virginia Bar Association
- Henrico County Bar Association
- The Doorways, Young Professionals Council member