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Consistency amid change Longtime honorees are recognized along with the 2017 class by Robert Powell


A


lot has changed since December 2000 when Virginia Business began publishing the Legal Elite, an annual


list of top lawyers picked by their peers. The 9/11 terrorists’ attacks in 2001 led


to U.S. involvement in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that continue to this day. Social media have become a part of


everyday life since the launch of Facebook in 2004 and Twitter in 2006. Barack Obama was elected the nation’s


first African-American president in 2008 and re-elected in 2012. Donald Trump, a billionaire business-


man and reality television star, won the presidency last year in his first campaign for elective office. While the past 17 years have seen a


lot of change, 26 Virginia lawyers have been consistent in one important area. They have been on the Legal Elite list every


year since it started (see pages 40-41). The longtime honorees were identified by a database recently compiled by Senior Editor Jessica Sabbath and Special Projects Editor Veronica Garabelli with the help of interns Greg Kremer, Emma Thom and Siona Peterous. One of the lawyers among the long-


time honorees is Andrea Stiles, whose fam- ily law practice has been affected by social change since the beginning of this century. “There’s a whole new generation that


is not getting married but having children anyway, and we now have legalized same-sex marriage,” she says. “Those are just two of the recent dynamic changes in family law.” Meanwhile, this year’s class of the


Legal Elite list includes the names of more than 1,000 lawyers, roughly a quarter of the more than 4,000 attorneys nominated. About 1,400 lawyers submitted ballots in


voting that took place last summer. The Legal Elite attorneys are divided


into 18 specialties. One representative from each group is profiled on the following pages. Lawyers who have been profiled in the past are not considered. The profiles reveal interesting details


about the lawyers’ careers. While some trials are described as circuses, William B. Porter, a civil litigation attorney who is the managing partner of Blankingship & Keith in Fairfax, once represented an interna- tional circus in a breach of contract claim with a horse act from the Czech Republic. The case required him to travel, fol-


lowing “the circus all over the country to investigate the issues and interview the witnesses.” That’s the kind of persistence that


longtime Legal Elite honorees would applaud.


CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR 2017 VIRGINIA BUSINESS


LEGAL ELITE


Christopher Ambrosio Real Estate/Land Use


Stephan Andrews Corporate Counsel


Anne Bibeau Labor/Employment


Mark Brennan, Sr. Health Law


Dean Buckius Labor/Employment


Mark Coberly Appellate Law


James Cosby Alternative Dispute Resolution


Young Lawyer (under 40) Jennifer Eaton


William Franczek Construction


Patrick Genzler Environmental Law


Sean Golden Construction


Bankruptcy/Creditors’ Rights


Spencer Guld Corporate Counsel Richard Guy


James Harvey, III Construction


Taxes/Estates/Trusts Elder Law


Patrick Herman


Trey Kelleter Criminal Law


Bryant McGann Business Law


Bankruptcy/Creditors’ Rights


Jeremy Moss


Robert O’Donnell Legal Services/Pro Bono


Gretchen Ostroff Construction


Anita Poston Health Law


Young Lawyer (under 40) James Rixey, III


Michael Sterling Alternative Dispute Resolution


Intellectual Property Jane Tucker


James Walker Civil Litigation


Daniel Weckstein Legislative/Regulatory/ Administrative


NORFOLK | RICHMOND | RALEIGH | KITTY HAWK | GERMANY 757.446.8600 | VanBlackLaw.com


www.VirginiaBusiness.com VIRGINIA BUSINESS 37


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