Kaleo Legal serves as local counsel in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (the “EDVA”), for firms of all sizes from around the United States, including many members of the AmLaw 100. The EDVA has three divisions: Norfolk/ Newport News, Richmond, and Alexandria. The Local Rules require that any lead counsel who is not barred in the EDVA must be accompanied by a member of the EDVA bar in all appearances before the Court, and that only an attorney barred in the EDVA can sign and file pleadings. The EDVA treats local counsel and lead counsel equally, such that an attorney serving as local counsel becomes primarily liable and responsible to the Court.
The Eastern District of Virginia is famous for its speedy trial timeline, especially in civil cases. As of December 31, 2019, the EDVA ranked as the fastest federal district court in the country, resolving civil cases in an average of 6 months from the date of filing, and averaging 12.5 months from the date of filing to trial. By comparison, the District of Delaware averages 30 months from the date of filing to trial, and the Northern District of California averages 22.3 months. Final civil pretrial scheduling orders are typically entered within 90 to 120 days of the initial service (see the local rules) and are typically set for trial within 5 to 8 months of filing. Judges maintain trial dates at all costs, and continuances to a trial date are rarely granted.
As much as the entire district prides itself on its speed and efficiency, each of the three divisions in the EDVA has a unique set of processes, procedures, and local customs. Our attorneys have appeared in dozens of cases, in all three divisions, before virtually every judge on the bench. We know the rules wherever we are, and we are experts at guiding lead counsel through a case from filing to trial.
Billy, Brian, Shep, and Ryan have decades of experience practicing in the Norfolk/Newport News (“Norfolk”) Division of the EDVA. Our partners are former prosecutors and experienced trial lawyers, who have tried civil cases to juries in the Norfolk Division, ranging from simple breach of contract claims, to complex toxic tort cases, to extremely complex patent and IP cases, and everything in between. We have great relationships with the Norfolk federal bench, and we serve as members of the Tidewater Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, and as a permanent member of the Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference.
Our partners have also handled dozens of cases in the Richmond Division, where Billy Poynter, Will Dickinson, and Ryan Dougherty practiced for years in their former AmLaw 200 firms headquartered there. Billy and Will served as lead and local counsel in patent and other IP cases, while Ryan defended financial services clients in class-action and single plaintiff cases. Billy, Will, and Ryan continue to serve as local counsel in Richmond for many large and international law firms.
Kaleo Legal also serves as lead and local counsel in federal cases in Alexandria, and also partners with local attorneys (and Billy and Will’s former partners) when necessary, for the sake of efficiency. Quite often, Alexandria is the fastest of the three divisions, where the Court routinely provides only 120 days to complete all discovery, and where discovery motions are briefed, argued, and ruled on from the bench all in seven days. Quite simply put, there is no other federal court like it in the country. And we know how to navigate the rules and local practices as well as anyone.
EDVA Resources for Lawyers who need Local Counsel:
- The Local Rules for the Eastern District of Virginia
- U.S. Department of Justice – The United States Attorney’s Office Eastern District of Virginia
- Check the Docket in the Eastern District of Virginia (by Court or by Court & by Judge)