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David L. Dallas Jr.

Williams Mullen

Title: Lead partner — Charlottesville office
Other legal specialties: Venture finance; business owner dispute resolution and avoidance; complex trust and estate disputes.
Birthplace: Richmond
Education:  University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce, bachelor’s degree; University of Virginia School of Law, law degree
Spouse: Susan Weimer Dallas, my high school sweetheart
Children: D. Lee Dallas III; Rebecca Marie Dallas
Hobbies or pastimes:  Fishing (my irrational passion), golf, photography, travel
First job as a lawyer:  Associate at Browder, Russell, Morris & Butcher
Fan of: Baltimore Orioles; playoff and championship games of most any major sport
Favorite vacation spot:  National Parks (Shenandoah is near and dear); Exuma Islands, Bahamas.
Recently read books:  “The Education of Little Tree” (again); “Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power”
Career mentors: My dad, David L. Dallas Sr.; Julious P. “Joey” Smith Jr., Williams Mullen chairman emeritus, who empowered me to start the firm’s Charlottesville office in 2000

How can the legal environment for business in Virginia be improved?
Virginia’s business statutes are generally very favorable.  The State Corporation Commission is well run.  Nevertheless, public and foreign companies would find Virginia a more attractive domicile with greater legal certainty created by a larger body of reported judicial rulings on business issues. Creation of an appellate court specifically for business-related disputes could have a very positive effect for the commonwealth over time.

You are vice chair of Central Virginia Partnership for Economic Development. What does the commonwealth need to do to become more competitive in recruiting business prospects and creating jobs? 
In my judgment, we must:

  1. Foster and maintain an educated workforce pool attractive to target industries.
  2. Improve our transportation infrastructure, particularly our south/north corridors.
  3. Promote business-ready sites with utility infrastructure — the pace of relocations is faster now, so those localities that can present comprehensive solutions are going to win. 
  4. Educate newly elected local officials about the financial pros and cons and the best practices for smart, successful economic development. The local decision-makers need to “get it.”

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