Reports Legal Elite

Appellate Law

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R. Johan Conrod Jr.

Kaufman & Canoles PC
Virginia Beach/Norfolk

Title: Partner

Other legal specialties: Business litigation: primarily tax disputes, shareholder/business tort claims, insurance coverage matters and media-related claims

Birthplace: Stuart, Fla.

Education: Bachelor’s degree, Liberty University; law degree, University of Virginia School of Law

Children: Jacob, 17; Abby, 15; Emma, 15; and Katherine, 12

Hobbies: Surfing

First job as a lawyer: Law clerk for former Judge B. Waugh Crigler in the Western District of Virginia

Fan of: Miami Dolphins, U.Va. basketball

Favorite vacation spot: Outer Banks of North Carolina

Recently read book: “Surfing with Sartre” by Aaron James

Career mentor: My K&C litigation section partners, but especially Hunter W. Sims Jr.

What has been your most memorable appellate case?
I argued a Fourth Circuit appeal in a First Amendment case before a panel that included retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. She asked her first question less than 10 seconds into the argument, and I knew immediately that she did not favor my position. But having the chance to argue before such a legendary figure in the law was a special moment.

How is appellate law different from other legal specialties?
Appeals are the purest form of legal writing and argument — probably the thing most like what many of us imagined being a lawyer would look like before we went to law school. And appellate oral arguments are as much fun as anything we get to do as lawyers. Also, there’s no discovery, which is a big plus.

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