W. Thomas Chappell

Office Location: Norfolk, VA.

Education
  • B.A. (magna cum laude), College of William & Mary (Government, Economics), 2011
  • J.D.  (magna cum laude, Order of the Coif), University of Richmond School of Law, 2014
Judicial Clerkship
  • Justice S. Bernard Goodwyn, Supreme Court of Virginia, 2014-16
Professional & Community Activities
  • Norfolk-Portsmouth Bar Association
  • Chesapeake Bar Association
  • Virginia Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Community Association Institute, Southeastern Virginia Chapter
  • Virginia Community Association Institute Legislative Action Committee
  • James Kent American Inn of Court
Notable Accomplishments
  • Best Lawyers: Ones To Watch (2021)
  • Virginia Business, “Legal Elite-Young Lawyers” (2019-present)
  • Virginia Lawyers Weekly, “Up & Coming Lawyer” (2019)

Thomas helps his clients accomplish their goals and solve problems.  While he has diverse experience in a variety of civil litigation areas, his practice focuses on appellate advocacy, trust and estates litigation, land use litigation, collections and representing community associations.

EFFECTIVE APPELLATE ADVOCATE
Thomas has an active appellate litigation practice and has represented clients before the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission, the Court of Appeals of Virginia, the Supreme Court of Virginia, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.  Prior to joining Vandeventer Black, Thomas served as a judicial law clerk for Justice S. Bernard Goodwyn of the Supreme Court of Virginia and as an extern for Judge Roger L. Gregory of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. 

SEASONED CIVIL LITIGATOR

In addition to his appellate practice, Thomas represents client in diverse areas of civil litigation.  Thomas frequently handles trust and estates litigation matters.  He also represents clients in land use disputes.  He has experience representing clients before local Boards of Zoning Appeals.  He also handles collections matters on general district and circuit courts.

REPRESENTING COMMUNITY ASSOCIATIONS
Thomas regularly appears on behalf of community associations in courts throughout Hampton Roads.  Thomas frequently presents on diverse legal topics to community association industry groups.  He is actively involved in the Southeastern Virginia Chapter of the Community Association Institute, and is a member of Virginia’s state-wide Community Association Institute’s Legislative Action Committee, which advocates on behalf of community associations in the General Assembly.

STRONG ACADEMIC CREDENTIALS
Thomas attended the College of William & Mary, where he majored in Government and Economics and received a B.A. (magna cum laude).  He attended the University of Richmond School of Law and earned a J.D. (magna cum laude).  He was a John Marshall Scholar, a member of the University of Richmond Law Review and named to the Order of the Coif and the McNeill Law Society.  He was also an executive board member of the law school’s Christian Law Fellowship.

IN HIS FREE TIME
Outside of the office, Thomas plays volleyball and is an avid William & Mary sports fan.

News
Vandeventer Black Attorneys Selected as 2020 Legal Elite
/ Firm News
Thirty Vandeventer Black attorneys have been recognized as ‘Legal Elite’ for 2020 by Virginia Business Magazine. Every year, the magazine partners with the Virginia Bar Association to grant this award to attorneys nominated by their peers for this recognition. The selected attorneys are: Christopher Ambrosio, Business Law Anne G. Bibeau, ...
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Vandeventer Black LLP Attorney Named to 2021 Best Lawyers®: Ones to Watch
/ Firm News
Vandeventer Black LLP is pleased to announce that attorney, W. Thomas Chappell, has been included in the 2021 Edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch. “Our Firm congratulates Thomas on this well-deserved recognition,” said Michael L. Sterling, Managing Partner for Vandeventer Black. Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch recognizes associates and other ...
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Chappell Appointed to the Community Associations Institute’s Virginia Legislative Action Committee
/ Firm News
The Virginia Legislative Action Committee (VALAC) of the Community Associations Institute (CAI) recently appointed Vandeventer Black attorney, W. Thomas Chappell, to serve on its committee as a representative of the Southeastern Virginia Chapter of CAI. “I am excited to be part of this great committee that includes so many experienced ...
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Articles
U.S. Supreme Court Rules that the NCAA’s Limits on Education-Related Benefits Violate Federal Antitrust Law
/ Appellate Practice
In a recent unanimous decision, the Supreme Court of the United States in NCAA v. Alston ruled that the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) limits on education-related benefits are invalid under federal antitrust law. This decision will affect compensation rules for student-athletes and is perhaps a sign of potential changes ahead ...
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Virginia Has Created a New Right of Appeal for Civil and Criminal Litigants
/ Appellate Practice
Until this last legislative session, Virginia was the only state in the nation without a right of appeal from civil judgments and criminal convictions.  However, the most recent General Assembly session passed, and the Governor signed, perhaps the most consequential piece of legislation affecting the Virginia legal system in many ...
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2020 Legislative Changes Affecting Virginia Community Associations
The 2020 legislative session was notable for a few reasons.  First, the Democrats held the majority of seats in both houses of the General Assembly for the first time in recent history.  Second, the legislature also took action to address the impacts of COVID-19, which has affected virtually every aspect ...
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