Douglas M. Palais

Office Location: Richmond, VA.

  • A.B. (magna cum laude), Lafayette College
  • J.D., Northwestern University School of Law
Jurisdiction Licensed
  • Virginia
  • District of Columbia
Courts & Administrative Bodies
  • Supreme Court of Virginia
  • Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
Professional & Community Activities
  • Virginia State Bar
  • American Bar Association
  • District of Columbia Bar
  • Virginia Commonwealth University School of Business, Adjunct Professor (Insurance Law) (2004-19)
  • Independent Insurance Agents of Virginia, Inc., Outside General Counsel
  • Virginia Chamber of Commerce – Civil Justice Committee, Past Chair
  • Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Notes & Comments Editor (1977-78)
  • Northwestern University School of Law, Instructor of Legal Writing (1977-78)
  • Northwestern Alumni Admission Council, Member
  • Virginia Financial Services Corporation, Outside General Counsel
  • Past Board Member and Vice President, The New Community School, Richmond, VA
Notable Accomplishments
  • Martindale-Hubbell® AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America®: Insurance Law (2007-present); Securities/Capital Markets Law (2010-present); Litigation-Securities (2011-present); Commercial Litigation (2023)
  • Thomson Reuters, “Virginia Super Lawyers” – Securities Litigation (2006-present)
  • Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, Notes & Comments Editor (1977-78)
  • Northwestern University School of Law, Instructor of Legal Writing (1977-78)
  • Virginia Business, “Legal Elite” (2011-12)
  • Independent Insurance Agents of Virginia, Commonwealth Award (2019)

Doug is a seasoned trial lawyer and counselor with more than 40 years of experience.  Doug concentrates his practice in Professional Liability; Errors & Omissions Defense of Insurance and Securities Professionals; Directors & Officers Liability Defense; Securities Litigation and Arbitration; Insurance Coverage and Defense;  Legal Malpractice Defense and Financial Institutions and Securities.

For decades, he has concentrated on defending a wide range of claims against professionals, including insurance licensees, attorneys and securities professionals.  His practice includes the representation of insurance agents and agencies; law firms; securities broker-dealers, registered investment advisers and individual securities brokers.  Doug is regularly listed in The Best Lawyers in America in the fields of Insurance, Securities Litigation, and Capital Markets.  He has also been recognized as a Virginia “Super Lawyer” in  the field of Insurance and Securities Litigation.

He has tried dozens of jury trials, bench trials and arbitrations in Virginia and in other jurisdictions.  In addition to trying cases in courts and before arbitration panels, Doug has extensive appellate experience in Virginia and in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. A long-time member of the Virginia State Bar and the District of Columbia Bar, Doug has also handled cases in North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Oklahoma, Texas and Colorado.  He has also served as lead counsel to institutional and individual defendants in major multi-district cases involving insurer insolvencies and alleged securities fraud.

Doug’s practice includes handling regulatory issues before federal and state regulators, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Financial Institution Regulatory Authority and a host of state securities and insurance regulators.  He is a 1978 graduate of Northwestern University School of Law, where he was Notes & Comments Editor of the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology and an Instructor in Legal Writing.

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/ Firm News
When Woods Rogers Vandeventer Black (WRVB) began operating as a merged firm in July 2022, the combined strength of the two prestigious law firms created a regional powerhouse. When announcing the firms’ intent to merge, Daniel Summerlin, WRVB President said, “[We] look forward to bringing our collective talent and a ...
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/ Firm News
Vandeventer Black LLP is pleased to announce that 28 lawyers were included in the 2022 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America. The Best Lawyers in America lists are divided by geographic region and practice areas. Attorneys are reviewed by their peers based on professional expertise and undergo an authentication process. “We would ...
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Insurance is essential for all businesses, large and small.  Indeed, some types of insurance are required by law, such as workers’ compensation insurance for businesses who have more than two workers.  This article will address selected do’s and don’ts for small businesses purchasing property/casualty insurance.  Please note that it is ...
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The Economic Loss Rule is Alive and Well for Insurance Licensees
When professionals of all types are sued by their clients for errors and omissions (E & O), the plaintiffs frequently assert both tort and contract claims against the defendants. This is particularly true when insurance policyholders or putative policyholders sue their insurance agents. Torts that are usually asserted include claims ...
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