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An appealing addition

The Legal Elite grows to 16 categories in its 12th year

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Print this page by Robert Powell

Legal Elite 2010
Legal Elite 2009
Legal Elite 2008

The Legal Elite added a new category in 2011, appellate law, in recognition of the growth of that practice area in recent years.

The new category raises the number of legal specialties covered in the annual list to 16. In compiling the Legal Elite, the magazine asks lawyers throughout the state to choose the best attorneys among their peers in each category.

One representative from each specialty is profiled on the following pages. The profile subjects are drawn from the top 10 vote getters in each group, but they are not necessarily the recipients of the highest number of votes. Previous profile subjects were not considered.

The attorney profiled for appellate law is L. Steven Emmert, a partner with the Virginia Beach firm Sykes, Bourdon, Ahern & Levy.

Emmert’s practice is devoted solely to appellate law, and he has been very active in promoting interest in that specialty. He started a website on appellate law in 2005, organized the 2008 Virginia Appellate Law Summit and founded the Virginia Bar Association’s Appellate Practice Section in 2009.

On his website, Virginia Appellate News & Analysis, Emmert offers same-day analysis of opinions from the commonwealth’s appellate courts and the federal Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. In addition, he offers advice with a touch of humor such as “Top 10 ways to lose an appeal.”

Emmert is passionate about appellate law because “when you try a case, you can prevent an injustice; when you take on an appeal, you can address a thousand injustices.”
Virginia Business began the Legal Elite in 2000 in collaboration with the Virginia Bar Association. Since then, the number of specialties covered by the list has grown. Likewise, the pool of voters polled for the list has increased over the years from VBA members to any licensed lawyer in the commonwealth.

This year, electronic ballots were emailed to 11,580 attorneys throughout Virginia and ballots also were available online at http://www.VirginiaBusiness.com

.

In the end, the magazine received 1,483 completed ballots nominating nearly 3,900 lawyers. Of that number, 811 attorneys, roughly 20 percent, made the cut for the Legal Elite. The number of nominees and honorees on the list is higher than previous years because of the addition of the new category. 


ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION
The Hon. Thomas S. Shadrick
, The McCammon Group, Virginia Beach
Alternative Dispute Resolution list


APPELLATE LAW
L. Steven Emmert
, Sykes, Bourdon, Ahern & Levy PC, Virginia
Appellate Law list


BANKRUPTCY
Ross C. Reeves
, Willcox & Savage PC, Norfolk
Bankruptcy list


BUSINESS LAW
Benton Burroughs Jr.
, Reed Smith LLP, Falls Church
Business Law list


CIVIL LITIGATION
John R. Walk
, Hircshler Fleischer, Richmond
Civil Litigation list


CONSTRUCTION
Terence Murphy
, Kaulfman & Canoles PC, Norfolk
Construction list


CRIMINAL LAW
Timothy G. Clancy
, Moschel, Clancy & Walter PLLC, Hampton
Criminal Law list 


FAMILY LAW/DOMESTIC RELATIONS
Susan C. Armstrong
, Butler Armstrong, Richmond
Family Law/Domestic Relations list 


HEALTH LAW
Emily M. Yinger
, Hogan Lovells US LLP, McLean
Health Law list


INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
Janet P. Peyton
, McGuireWoods LLP, Richmond
Intellectual Property list


LABOR/EMPLOYMENT
James Vincent Meath
, Williams Mullen, Richmond
Labor/Employment list


LEGAL SERVICES/PRO BONO
Margaret F. Hardy,
Sands Anderson PC, Richmond and Fredericksburg
Legal Services/Pro Bono list


LEGISLATIVE/REGULATORY/ADMINISTRATIVE
Dan Summerlin
, Woods Rogers PLC, Roanoke
Legislative/Regulatory/Administrative list


REAL ESTATE/LAND USE
Whitney Jackson Levin
, Wharton Aldhizer & Weaver PLC, Staunton
Real Estate list


TAXES/ESTATES/TRUSTS/ELDER LAW
John T. Midgett
, Midgett & Preti PC, Virginia Beach
Taxes/Estates/Trusts/Elder Law list


YOUNG LAWYERS
Daniel E. Ortiz
, Blankenship and Keith PC, Fairfax
Young Lawyers list


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