L. Steven Emmert
Chairman, Appellate Practice Committee of Virginia State Bar’s Litigation Section
Practice focuses exclusively on appellate advocacy in the state and federal courts
§ Tidewater resident since 1961
§ Admitted to:
– Virginia State Bar
– Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
Honors and Awards
§ Super Lawyers 2008
§ The Best Lawyers in
§ Boyd-Graves Conference member
§ B.A., Economics,
§ Private practice: 1982 – 1990 and 1999 – present
§ Public sector:
Handled a variety of litigation for the City of
cases, challenges to municipal authority, eminent domain, tax challenges, civil
rights, public sector employment cases
§ Founded (2005) and authors appellate Web site Virginia Appellate News &
Analysis which provides same-day analysis of Supreme Court of Virginia and
Court of Appeals decisions
§ Developed Supreme Court of Virginias program that provides panels of volunteer
appellate attorneys to represent indigent appellate litigants in civil cases
§ Selected as member of the Appellate Rules Advisory Committee responsible for
updating the Appellate Advocacy section of Parts 5 & 5A
§ Organized and presented 2008 Virginia Appellate Summit in
§ Introduced to
small groups of attorneys
§ Lectures at conferences and seminars on appellate law
Work of Distinction
§ MacArthur v. U.Va. Health Services Foundation, 275
Obtained landmark reversal of ruling that had extended charitable immunity to doctors at U.Va. hospital.
§ In re Moseley, 273
Designated by Supreme Court to defend trial courts disciplinary order against attorney; decision reaffirmed right of trial courts to suspend attorneys from practice in their given jurisdiction.
§ McGuire v. Hodges, 273
Obtained reinstatement of wrongful death verdict for childs drowning death; frequently cited case on proximate causation.
§ CTC v. Target Corporation, 274
Successful defense of $3.5 million condemnation award; several important rulings on waiver and procedural defaults.
Obtained reversal of order dismissing premises liability claim; distinguished this claim from medical malpractice claim; remanded for trial.
§ McNally v. Rey, 275
Obtained reversal of sanction award against an attorney who had filed bankruptcy petition for his client on the eve of trial; Supreme Court ruled that the filing of a bankruptcy petition is a protected right and cannot be sanctioned.
§ AT&T Wireless PCS v. City Council of
(4th Cir. 1998)
This was the first reported appellate opinion in the nation interpreting the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Obtained a reversal of a trial courts order compelling the Virginia Beach City Council to approve a controversial cell tower site.
§ Hadeed v. Abraham, No. 03-1779, No. 03-1962, 103 Fed. Appx. 706;
Upheld significant award of sanctions for the filing of a frivolous civil rights lawsuit.
§ City of
Obtained reversal of sizeable condemnation award due to the landowners appointment of improper commissioner.
§ Virginia State Bar (Member, Board of Governors, Litigation Section)
§ American Bar Association (Council of Appellate Lawyers)