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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
  • Virginia Business, “Legal Elite-Young Lawyers” (2019-present)
  • Virginia Lawyer’s Weekly, “Up & Coming Lawyer” (2019)
  • Best Lawyers: Ones To Watch -Appellate Practice (2021-present)
  • Coastal Virginia Magazine, “Top Lawyer,” Appellate Law (2022-present)

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
Ten WRVB Attorneys Named “Ones to Watch”
/ Firm News
When Woods Rogers Vandeventer Black (WRVB) began operating as a merged firm in July 2022, the combination of two prestigious law firms expanded services for clients and created new growth opportunities for young attorneys. When discussing the merger, Victor Cardwell, WRVB’s Chairman of the Board of Directors, often said the merged ...
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Attorney Thomas Chappell Appointed Executive Member of the Chesapeake Bar Association
/ Firm News
Vandeventer Black attorney W. Thomas Chappell has been appointed to the Executive Board of the Chesapeake Bar Association as an Executive Member. Chappell is a senior associate at the firm, and his civil litigation practice focuses on appellate advocacy, trust and estates litigation, land use litigation, collections, and representing community associations.   ...
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Vandeventer Black Attorneys Recognized as 2022 Top Lawyers of Coastal Virginia
/ Firm News
Attorneys from the Norfolk-based business and litigation law firm, Vandeventer Black, have been recognized as Top Lawyers of Coastal Virginia for 2022. This distinction is a peer-rated nomination given to those lawyers who exemplify excellence in their specialty. “We feel very proud of our legal team accomplishments for the high ...
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Articles
An Appeal of Right: Navigating the New Court of Appeals of Virginia
/ Appellate Practice
Chappell, W. Thomas (Fall 2022). An Appeal of Right: Navigating the New Court of Appeals of Virginia. VBA Journal, 24–25. https://vba.ygsclicbook.com/pubs/vbajournal/2022/fall-2022/live/index.html#p=24 ...
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Civil Interlocutory Appeals In Virginia
/ Appellate Practice
*This article was authored with the assistance of Summer Associate Alexa Kathol Macumber. Alexa is pursuing her JD at the Regent University School of Law. While most appeals do not occur until after a final order is issued by the circuit court, there are instances when an issue is so ...
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What To Expect From The Virginia Supreme Court Regarding Certified Questions Of Law
/ Appellate Practice
*This article was authored with the assistance of Summer Associate, Alexa Kathol Macumber. Alexa is pursuing her JD at the Regent University School of Law. While the vast majority of cases heard by the Supreme Court of Virginia are to review rulings from lower Virginia courts, occasionally the Supreme Court ...
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