2013 Legal Elite profile: Criminal Law
Patrick H. O’Donnell
Kaufman & Canoles PC
Other legal specialties: Government contracts, export controls, admiralty and maritime, general business litigation
Birthplace: Washington, D.C.
Education: Radford University, bachelor’s degree in economics; University of Virginia School of Law, law degree.
Spouse: Mary O’Donnell, a consultant for Isagenix
Children: Connor O’Donnell, a senior at Virginia Tech; Chris O’Donnell, a sophomore at Radford University; and Meghan O’Donnell, a junior at Maury High School in Norfolk
Hobbies: Fishing, working on boats (“mostly mine”), baseball, reading about history
First job as lawyer: As a law student, worked for U.Va. Legal Advisors Office; first job after passing the bar — law clerk to U.S. District Judge Richard B. Kellam, Eastern District of Virginia
Fan of: Washington Nationals, Redskins, U.Va. and Radford sports teams
Favorite vacation spot: Hatteras Island and now Ireland (after a recent visit)
Recently read book: “The Swerve: How the World Became Modern” by Stephen Greenblatt
Career mentors: Hunter W. Sims Jr. (partner, Kaufman and Canoles), the late John R. Crumpler (former partner, K&C) and Terence Murphy (partner, K&C).
What was your most interesting criminal law case?
“Working with my partner, Hunter Sims, defending Richard Holland Jr. in United States v. Holland — a case involving a 31-count indictment for bank fraud against former Virginia state Sen. Richard Holland and his son, Richard Holland Jr. The case involved an honest and stubborn father and son who managed The Farmer’s Bank of Windsor, but had angered the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. The FDIC decided it would teach a lesson to these two small-town bankers by bringing down on them the awesome power that the federal government can summon. But, in the end, it was the stubborn father and son who prevailed against all odds when Judge Henry Morgan threw out the government’s entire case and found that the prosecution had not been conducted for just reasons.”