Virginia Appellate News & Analysis © 2006

L. Steven Emmert  

(View Video Introduction)
Chairman, Appellate Practice Committee of Virginia State Bar’s Litigation Section

Practice focuses on appellate advocacy in the state and federal courts, and federal civil litigation

• Born: Elkhart, Indiana
• Tidewater resident since 1961
• Admitted to:
----- Virginia State Bar
----- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia; Western District of Virginia
----- Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals

• J.D., University of Virginia, 1982
• B.A., Economics, Richmond College, 1979 (departmental honors; Phi Beta Kappa)

• Private practice: 1982 - 1990 and 1999 - present
• Public sector: Virginia Beach City Attorney's Office, 1990 - 1999
• Handled a variety of litigation for the City of Virginia Beach, including major tort cases, challenges to municipal authority, eminent domain, tax challenges, civil rights, public sector employment cases
• Lecturer before several groups on appellate practice, municipal law, taxation

Work of Distinction
• AT&T Wireless PCS v. City Council of Virginia Beach, 155 F.3d 423 (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 court’s order compelling the Virginia Beach City Council to approve a controversial cell tower site.

• Harris v. City of Virginia Beach, 1997 U.S. App. Lexis 30912 (4th Cir.)
Won two separate federal appeals, ultimately resulting in a reversal of a substantial award against a police department.

• Hadeed v. Abraham, No. 03-1779, No. 03-1962, 103 Fed. Appx. 706; 2004 U.S. App. LEXIS 13496, (4th Cir. June 30, 2004)
Upheld significant award of sanctions for the filing of a frivolous civil rights lawsuit.

• City of Virginia Beach v. Giant Square Shopping Center Co., 255 Va. 467 (1998)
Obtained reversal of sizeable condemnation award due to the landowner’s appointment of improper commissioner.

• City of Virginia Beach v. Bell, 255 Va. 395 (1998)
Reversal of substantial inverse condemnation award against City of Virginia Beach; land use issues.

• Author of plain-English guide to Part V of Virginia Supreme Court Rules, relating to practice before the Supreme Court

Legal Affiliations
• Virginia Beach and Federal Bar Associations
• Virginia State Bar (Member, Board of Governors, Litigation Section)
• Virginia Trial Lawyers Association
• American Bar Association (Council of Appellate Lawyers)

Community Involvement
• Board of Directors, Lynnhaven Civic Association
• Volunteer, several community youth athletic leagues
• Virginia Beach Bar Association's Mentor Program



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