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CIVIL LITIGATION - Hunter W. Sims Jr.

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Hunter W. Sims Jr.
Kaufman & Canoles PC
Norfolk

Title: Partner/shareholder
Other legal specialties: White-collar criminal defense
Birthplace:  Richmond
Education: Bachelor’s degree in commerce, University of Virginia; law degree, University of Richmond
Current professional activities: Member of the Advisory Committee on the Rules of Court to the Judicial Council of Virginia
Family: Wife, Marcy; son, Hunter III, age 31; daughter, Clara, 29
Hobbies: Golf
Previous employer: Law clerk to Chief United States District Court Judge Walter E. Hoffman from 1971 to1972; assistant United States attorney in the United States Attorney’s Office in Norfolk from 1972 to 1975
Fan of: Boston Red Sox, U.Va. sports, University of North Carolina lacrosse (son played for the Tarheels from 1998 to 2001)
Favorite vacation spot: Pebble Beach, Calif.
Recently read: “The Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell
Mentor: “Chief United States District Court Judge Walter E. Hoffman for the Eastern District of Virginia (deceased) who patiently answered all of my questions for many years.”

What is the most rewarding part of your practice?
“Obtaining good results for clients who find themselves in particularly difficult situations.”
 
Should most civil litigation cases be settled out of court?
“I strongly believe that our jury system works and that, at the present time, a number of cases are settled out of court which should be tried for the benefit of litigants and the court system.” 

What has been your most memorable case?
“In 1998, I represented the president of a small rural bank in the United States District Court in Norfolk, Virginia, in a 31-count indictment charging a number of federal crimes related to loans made by the bank.  His father, who was chairman of the board of the bank, was also charged and was represented by my good friend, Jim Roberts of Troutman Sanders in Richmond, and it was a pleasure to try the case with him.  After a four-year grand jury investigation and two weeks of trial where the government fully presented its case, the court, on the defendants’ motions, entered a judgment of acquittal on all counts of the indictment because the evidence was insufficient to sustain a conviction.  The defendants then made a motion under the Hyde Amendment to recover their attorneys’ fees and litigation costs.  The court found that the prosecution was vexatious, granted the motion and awarded both defendants their attorneys’ fees and litigation costs. See U.S. v. Holland, 34 F.Supp.2d 346 (E.D.Va. 1999).  The government then unsuccessfully appealed that decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit where the fee award was sustained and the defendants were awarded an additional amount for the attorneys’ fees and litigations costs incurred as a result of the appeal.  For a number of years, the award was the highest in the United States.” 


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