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ATTORNEY PROFILE

Gaela R. Normile

Office Location: Norfolk, VA

  • Practice Areas

  • Education

    • B.A. College of William & Mary
    • J.D. Penn State Law
  • Jurisdiction Licensed

    • Virginia
  • Professional & Community Activities

  • Notable Accomplishments

Gaela is an Associate at Vandeventer Black where she is a member of the firm’s Litigation practice group. She joined the firm in 2020 after completing the firm’s summer associate program in 2019.

Gaela received her J.D. (magna cum laude) from Penn State Law, where she served as the Executive Articles Editor for the Penn State Law Review and was a legal extern for Penn State University’s Student Legal Services. Gaela is also a member of the Woolsack Honor Society.

Prior to attending law school, Gaela earned her B.A. from the College of William & Mary, where she majored in Government and minored in Sociology. Gaela was also a member of William and Mary’s women’s club soccer travel team during her four years.

Gaela is a longtime Virginia resident who was born and raised in Virginia Beach and attended Kellam High School.

  • Representative Matters

  • News

    2021 Special Session Imposes New Obligations on Employers Under the Virginia Human Rights Act
    / Labor & Employment
    The 2021 Virginia General Assembly Special Session wrapped up earlier this month with a number of changes that will impact employers. Among the bills that have been signed into law is HB 1848, which amends the Virginia Human Rights Act (“VHRA”). The new law implements two main changes to the ...
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    Be Wary of Real Estate Closings When Appealing Judgments
    The Supreme Court of Virginia recently issued an opinion serving as a cautionary tale for judgment debtors appealing judgments against them while concurrently seeking to pass clear title on unrelated real estate sales. That case is Sheehy v. Williams, 2020 Va. LEXIS 139 (decision issued Nov. 25, 2020). In Sheehy, ...
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    Virtually Impossible: Eleventh Circuit’s Denial of Non-Parties Attending Arbitration Hearings Via Video or Telephone
    In the age of COVID, it is a rarity for hearings, oral arguments, client meetings, or any other legal proceeding to be held in-person. Instead, lawyers, judges, arbitrators, and all other legal figures are relying on their computers and telephones to keep the dockets moving. With the relative ease of ...
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  • Articles

    2021 Special Session Imposes New Obligations on Employers Under the Virginia Human Rights Act
    / Labor & Employment
    The 2021 Virginia General Assembly Special Session wrapped up earlier this month with a number of changes that will impact employers. Among the bills that have been signed into law is HB 1848, which amends the Virginia Human Rights Act (“VHRA”). The new law implements two main changes to the ...
    Read More
    Be Wary of Real Estate Closings When Appealing Judgments
    The Supreme Court of Virginia recently issued an opinion serving as a cautionary tale for judgment debtors appealing judgments against them while concurrently seeking to pass clear title on unrelated real estate sales. That case is Sheehy v. Williams, 2020 Va. LEXIS 139 (decision issued Nov. 25, 2020). In Sheehy, ...
    Read More
    Virtually Impossible: Eleventh Circuit’s Denial of Non-Parties Attending Arbitration Hearings Via Video or Telephone
    In the age of COVID, it is a rarity for hearings, oral arguments, client meetings, or any other legal proceeding to be held in-person. Instead, lawyers, judges, arbitrators, and all other legal figures are relying on their computers and telephones to keep the dockets moving. With the relative ease of ...
    Read More

Daniel L. Stephens

Office Location: Norfolk, VA

  • Practice Areas

  • Education

    • B.A., Regent University
    • J.D., Regent University School of Law
  • Jurisdiction Licensed

    • Virginia
  • Professional & Community Activities

  • Notable Accomplishments

Daniel joined the firm after completing the firm’s summer associate program in the summer of 2018.

Daniel has had the opportunity to work with numerous judges both during and after law school. Upon graduating, Daniel served as the judicial law clerk for Judges Steven C. Frucci, Stephen C. Mahan, and H. Thomas Padrick of the Virginia Beach Circuit Court. Through this clerkship, Daniel gained extensive Virginia civil litigation experience in a range of fields. During law school, he was a judicial intern for federal Judge Mark S. Davis of the Eastern District of Virginia and for David W. Lannetti of the Norfolk Circuit Court.

Daniel received his J.D. from Regent University School of Law, graduating first in his class. During law school, he served as the Lead Managing Editor of the Regent University Law Review. Prior to law school, he earned his B.A. in Government (summa cum laude) from Regent University.

Daniel has been a life-long resident of Virginia Beach and is passionate about serving the Hampton Roads community. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, cooking, and spending time outdoors with his wife.

  • Representative Matters

  • News

    Vandeventer Black Continues to Grow
    / Firm News
    Law Firm Announces New Hire and Career Opportunities Available Daniel L. Stephens, a graduate from Regent University School of Law, has joined Vandeventer Black as an attorney in the firm’s Business Practice Group and will be assisting clients out of their Norfolk office. Stephens began his legal career as part ...
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  • Articles

    “I Demand a Jury”: No Turning Back
    / Litigation
    At the beginning of most cases filed in state court, litigants must make up their mind whether they want to exercise their right to a jury trial.  This decision requires consideration of multiple factors such as: What kind of case is it?  Are the issues complex?  Is a jury likely ...
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    Make It Stop: What A Court Can And Can’t Order A Defamation Defendant To Stop Saying
    / Corporate & Business
    A defamatory statement or publication can cause serious damage to a person’s business or professional reputation. Monetary damages are always available to the victim of defamation, but in some cases, damages do not fit a client’s situation or needs. For example, in many circumstances, the person making the defamatory statements ...
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    Business Owners’ Reputations: How Notoriety Can Make Owners (and Their Businesses) Prey to Defamation
    / Corporate & Business
    Effectively marketing a business and maintaining its reputation and goodwill within the community is exceptionally important to the success of a business, but it is a full-time effort as well. For better or worse, a business’s image and reputation are often closely tied to the image and reputation of its ...
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Joe Romero

Office Location: Richmond, VA.

  • Practice Areas

  • Representative Matters:

  • Education

    • J.D., St. John’s University School of Law
    • LL.M., George Washington University, Environmental Law
  • Jurisdiction Licensed

    • Virginia
    • New York
  • Courts & Administrative Bodies

  • Professional & Community Activities

    • Old Dominion University, Environmental and Occupational Health Law Professor
    • Norfolk & Portsmouth Bar Association
    • Virginia Bar Association
    • Board of Governors, Virginia State Bar Environmental Law Section
  • Notable Accomplishments

Joe is a member of the firm’s Construction and Government Contracts practice group. He concentrates his practice in environmental law, including Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act remediation, hazardous waste management, regulatory compliance, permitting, enforcement matters, land use and riparian property rights, and contracts.

COMPREHENSIVE EXPERIENCE

Before joining Vandeventer Black, Joe served as a Navy Judge Advocate for over twenty years.  Joe served in numerous Navy commands, including special warfare, overseas, and deployable units.  Through his years of military service, Joe was responsible for advising senior Navy leaders and executives, including the 4-star Fleet Commander, on myriad legal issues associated with heavy industrial processes, upland development, and activities in the maritime environment.  This included a wide range of compliance, enforcement, and litigation matters that spanned numerous federal and state regulatory programs.

After retiring from active duty, Joe worked for the Dept. of the Navy’s Office of General Counsel, where he continued his environmental practice, focusing primarily on CERCLA remediation, working closely in multi-disciplinary teams to achieve the client’s goals.  This included large remediation and redevelopment projects on current and former military facilities and ranges.  In addition, he was a principal adviser on cutting-edge legal issues associated with emerging but unregulated contaminants, such as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), that have become a significant concern for industrial activities, wastewater treatment facilities, publicly-owned treatment works, airports, oil facilities, landfills, disposal facilities, and local communities.

Joe is an adjunct professor at Old Dominion University, where he teaches Environmental and Occupational Health Law.  He has also presented in numerous professional and academic forum on emerging trends in the law and regulation.  In addition, Joe serves on the Board of Governors of the Virginia State Bar Environmental Law Section.

Joe is a member of the firm’s Construction and Government Contracts practice group. He concentrates his practice in environmental law, including Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act remediation, hazardous waste management, regulatory compliance, permitting, enforcement matters, land use and riparian property rights, and contracts.

  • Representative Matters

    • Strategic counsel on environmental compliance programs, including consideration of emerging regulatory trends.
    • Day-to-day advice and counsel on environmental matters for foreign and domestic businesses, including matters involving air emissions, water discharges, the management and disposal of waste, worker health and safety concerns.
    • Vigorous defense of industrial and commercial concerns in federal and state government multi-media enforcement actions and cleanup orders under the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Oil Pollution Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act and state corollaries.
    • Defense and prosecution of cost recovery and contribution claims involving soil and groundwater contamination arising out of historical industrial operations, waste management, and disposal activities.
    • The implementation and defense of National Environmental Policy Act Environmental Assessments and Environmental Impact Statements, particularly those involving port and infrastructure development projects.
    • Advice on emerging climate change risks and liabilities in commercial transactions and industrial activities, including new regulatory considerations, tort liability, and citizen suit considerations.
  • Articles

    Spring Cleaning Part 2 – Legal Considerations for Business
    Ah yes, hope is in the air as we turn the corner on winter and approach spring.  This year more than most, hope is riding on a wave of vaccinations that promises to break the grip of uncertainty that COVID has had on our daily lives.  Businesses in particular, many ...
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    What’s Old is New Again – DOJ Returns to Pre-Trump Administration Environmental Policies
    On January 20, 2021, President Biden issued Executive Order (“EO”) 13,990, an expansive directive which resets the Federal Government’s vision for implementing nearly the entire gamut of environmental programs, including the Government’s approach to the incorporation of science in decision-making; public health; air, water, and chemical regulation; enforcement; environmental justice; ...
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    DEQ Releases Draft Climate Change Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area Management Regulations
    On January 21, 2021, the State Water Control Board (“Board”) published draft amendments to the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Area Designation and Management Regulations that would require localities to incorporate coastal resilience and climate change adaptation into local land use ordinances.  This draft regulation implements amendments to the Chesapeake Bay Preservation ...
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Daniel R. Weckstein

Office Location: Norfolk, VA.

  • Practice Areas

  • Education

    • B.A. (with honors), University of Virginia
    • J.D., Marshall-Wythe School of Law, College of William & Mary School of Law (Phi Delta Phi)
  • Jurisdiction Licensed

    • Virginia
  • Professional & Community Activities

    • National Contract Management Association – Fellow; National Director (1992-93, 1995-96); President (1991-92); Executive V.P. (1990); V.P. for Education (1989); Program Chairman (1989-92)
    • Virginia Ship Repair Association – Director and Vice President; Contracts Committee, past Chairman
    • Association of General Contractors
    • Tidewater Association of Service Contractors
    • American Bar Association
  • Notable Accomplishments

    • Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rating
    • Virginia Business Magazine, “Legal Elite”, Regulatory and Administrative Law (2001 – present)
    • Thomson Reuters, Virginia “Super Lawyers” (2019)
    • Coastal Virginia Magazine, “Top Lawyers” – Government Administrative (2017-present); Construction Legacy (2021-present)
    • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America®, Bankruptcy & Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency & Reorganization Law, (2013-18)

Dan is a partner with Vandeventer Black and concentrates his practice in Government Contracts, Ship Repair Construction Law. Dan is the practice group manager of the Firm’s Construction and Government Contracts Department. Dan also served on the firm’s Executive Board for sixteen years.

His current practice focuses on providing advice to clients through all phases of their needs including contract advice, bid protests, problem solving, claims preparation, negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and litigation. Dan represents government contractors, construction companies and ship repair facilities located throughout the country with regular clients in a number of states. He is particularly skilled in Federal regulatory law with an extensive practice involving the Federal Acquisition Regulations and related fields such as Government contract estimating systems, cost accounting, and socio-economic contract issues.

Dan received his B.A. (with honors) from the University of Virginia and his J.D. from the College of William & Mary School of Law where he was a member of the Law Review and the Research Editor. Dan is active in civic and business-related organizations including the National Contract Management Association (Fellow; National Director 1992 – 1993 and 1995 – 1996; President 1991 – 1992; Executive V.P. 1990; V.P. for Education 1989; Program Chairman 1989 – 1992), Virginia Ship Repair Association (formerly South Tidewater Association of Ship Repairers) General Counsel. (Formerly Director and Vice President; past Chairman Contracts Committee), Association of General Contractors, the Tidewater Association of Service Contractors, Old Dominion University Research Foundation (General counsel), and Jacksonville Area Ship Repair Association (Associate General Counsel).

Dan has taught Public Procurement and Negotiation courses for the University of Virginia, Old Dominion University, and Tidewater Community College and is a frequent lecturer on Government Contracting, Construction Law and Procurement-Related Topics. He has been recognized by Virginia Business magazine as one of Virginia’s Legal Elite in three categories: Regulatory and Administrative Law, Government Contracts, and Admiralty / Maritime Law.

  • Representative Matters:

  • News

    Attorneys Recognized as 2021 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 2021. This distinction is a peer-rated nomination given to those lawyers who exemplify excellence in their specialty. The recognized attorneys are: Admiralty, Maritime & Transportation Edward J. Powers Arbitration ...
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    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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    28 Attorneys Named to 2021 Best Lawyers® list
    / Firm News
    Vandeventer Black LLP is pleased to announce that 28 attorneys have been included in the 2021 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Since first published in 1983, Best Lawyers has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers has published their list for over three decades, earning the respect ...
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  • Articles

    Industry Opposes Senator McCain’s Jones Act Repeal Rider to Keystone Pipeline Bill
    / Maritime & Admiralty
    Authored by attorney Daniel R. Weckstein, Esq. Last week, Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) offered an amendment to the already controversial Keystone Pipeline Bill.  His amendment would repeal the Jones Act and its protections for the American shipbuilding and maritime industry.  Under the Jones Act, vessels used for coastwise trade in ...
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Jane D. Tucker

Office Location: Norfolk, VA.

  • Practice Areas

  • Education

    • B.A. College of William & Mary J.D. Marshall-Wythe
    • School of Law, College of William & Mary
  • Jurisdiction Licensed

    • Virginia
  • Professional & Community Activities

    • American Bar Association, Section on Intellectual Property
    • Virginia Bar Association, Section on Intellectual Property
    • Virginia State Bar, Section on Intellectual Property
    • Norfolk and Portsmouth Bar Association, Program Committee
    • Virginia Beach Bar Association
    • International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
  • Notable Accomplishments

    • Virginia Business, “Legal Elite” – Intellectual Property (2004-present)
    • Coastal Virginia, “Top Lawyers” – Intellectual Property Rights (2016-present)

Jane Tucker is a member of the firm’s Business Practice Group and concentrates her practice in intellectual property lawcommercial business and real estate transactionscommercial foreclosuresERISA and employee benefits matters, and community associations law. She has earned recognition for her achievements as one of Virginia’s Business’s Legal Elite and Coastal Virginia’s Top Lawyers. 

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Jane’s intellectual property practice involves trademark and copyright registration, as well as protection, sale and/or licensing of all forms of intellectual property, including trademarks, copyrights, patents, and trade secrets. 

COMMERCIAL AND BUSINESS

Her business practice includes commercial real estate acquisitions and dispositions, foreclosures and general business transactions geared toward closely held entities. 

ERISA AND EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

Jane’s ERISA and employee benefits practice concentrates on qualified retirement plans and welfare benefits, particularly in the areas of COBRA, USERRA, and qualified domestic relations orders, with an emphasis on multiemployer plans.

Jane received her B.A. in History from the College of William & Mary and her J.D. from the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William & Mary.  She is a frequent speaker on topics related to intellectual property law and is a member of the Intellectual Property Sections of the Virginia Bar Association and the American Bar Association. 

As a longtime resident of Virginia, she is involved in a number of community and civic organizations.

  • Representative Matters:

  • 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, ...
    Read More
    Twenty-two Vandeventer Black Attorneys Selected as 2019 Legal Elite
    / Firm News
    Twenty-Two Vandeventer Black attorneys are being recognized as ‘Legal Elite’ for 2019 by Virginia Business Magazine. The magazine partners with the Virginia Bar Association every year to grant this award to attorneys nominated by their peers for this recognition. The selected attorneys are: Christopher Ambrosio – Business Law Anne Bibeau ...
    Read More
    Vandeventer Black Attorneys Recognized as Top Lawyers of Coastal Virginia
    / Firm News
    Several attorneys from the Norfolk-based business and litigation law firm, Vandeventer Black, have been awarded as Coastal Virginia’s Top Lawyers for 2019 by Coastal Virginia Magazine and CoVa Biz Magazine. “We are proud of our attorneys for receiving this distinction as it is a solely peer-rated nomination given to those ...
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  • Articles

    Ownership and Use of Architectural Plans and Drawings
    / Intellectual Property
    Who has the right to use architectural plans and drawings prepared by an architect for a specific project?  What happens if the project on which the architect was working and the architect both leave one firm and move to another firm?  What happens if one architect is retained to prepare ...
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    Expedited Trademark Registration For COVID-19 Products and Services
    In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, and the need to quickly develop medical products and services to fight the virus, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) is allowing the trademark examination process for marks used to identify qualifying COVID-19 medical products and services to be expedited.  This program ...
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    Copyright Issues With Livestreaming Worship Services During COVID-19 Pandemic
    Religious organizations around the world are searching for ways to continue offering religious services in light of the COVID-19 prohibitions against physically gathering in places of worship. This is particularly true right now as people seek to worship during Easter, Passover, and Ramadan, all of which occur in April.  Not ...
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Kimberley Herson Timms

Office Location: Norfolk, VA.

  • Practice Areas

  • Education

    • B.A., University of Virginia, with distinction, 1975
    • J.D., University of Richmond School of Law, 1986
  • Judicial Clerkship

    • Court of Appeals of Virginia, 1986-87
  • Jurisdiction Licensed

    • Virginia
  • Courts & Administrative Bodies

    • U. S. District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia
    • U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • Professional & Community Activities

    • Virginia State Bar
    • Virginia Bar Association
    • Norfolk & Portsmouth Bar Association, Programs Committee, Chair
    • Virginia Beach Bar Association
    • Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys
    • Workers’ Compensation Inn of Court
    • American Bar Association
  • Notable Accomplishments

    • Coastal Virginia Magazine, “Top Lawyers” – Workers’ Compensation (2016-present)
    • Martindale-Hubbell® AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating Coastal Virginia Magazine, “Top Lawyers” – Workers’ Compensation (2016-present)

Kim is Of Counsel in the firm’s Labor and Employment Group and she concentrates her practice in workers’ compensation defense and labor and employment matters. She has earned an AV Preeminent Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating for legal ability and ethical standards. Kim’s practice is devoted to working with insurance carriers, employers, and self-insured businesses defending workers’ compensation claims filed pursuant to the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act and the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act and creating preventive strategies.

Kim attended St. Anne’s-Belfield School and received a B.A. with distinction from the University of Virginia. Her first career prior to attending law school was as a secondary school English teacher. Kim earned her J.D. at the University of Richmond where she served on the Moot Court Board and the National Moot Court Team and received the Book Award in Domestic Relations. Following law school, she served as law clerk to the Honorable Lawrence L. Koontz, Jr., former Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals of Virginia and Senior Justice of the Supreme Court of Virginia. She entered private practice in Virginia in 1987 and joined Vandeventer Black in 1989.

In addition to practicing law, civic and community participation is a key interest of Kim’s. She has been involved in numerous civic and charitable organizations, many of which coincided with raising her three children and her interest in education. Her civic and community involvement has included work with the Norfolk & Portsmouth Bar Association, the People in Need Ministry, the Judeo-Christian Outreach Center, the Girl Scouts of America, the Boy Scouts of America, the Relay for Life, the Norfolk City Union of the King’s Daughters, St. Anne’s-Belfield School, and the Flower Guild of Galilee Church. She has also served in various capacities with the Virginia Beach PTA, including President of both the Plaza Middle School PTA and the First Colonial High School PTA.

  • Representative Matters

    • Represents employers and insurance carriers defending workers’ compensation claims filed pursuant to the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act and the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act
  • News

    Attorneys Recognized as 2021 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 2021. This distinction is a peer-rated nomination given to those lawyers who exemplify excellence in their specialty. The recognized attorneys are: Admiralty, Maritime & Transportation Edward J. Powers Arbitration ...
    Read More
    Vandeventer Black Attorneys Recognized as 2020 Top Lawyers of Coastal Virginia
    / Firm News
    Several attorneys from the Norfolk-based business and litigation law firm, Vandeventer Black, have been recognized as Top Lawyers of Coastal Virginia for 2020. This distinction is a peer-rated nomination given to those lawyers who exemplify excellence in their specialty. The twenty-five recognized attorneys are: Appellate Law             Dustin M. Paul ...
    Read More
    Twenty-two Vandeventer Black Attorneys Recognized as Top Lawyers
    / Firm News
    Twenty-two attorneys from Norfolk-based business and litigation law firm Vandeventer Black have been awarded Coastal Virginia’s Top Lawyers of 2017-2018 by Coastal Virginia Magazine and CoVa Biz Magazine. Candidates for this award are selected by their peers and nominated for exemplifying excellence in their specialty. The lawyers being recognized are: ...
    Read More
  • Articles

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Brian L. Sykes

Office Location: Norfolk, VA.

  • Practice Areas

  • Education

    • B.A., Psychology, College of William and Mary
    • M.Ed., School Counseling, Virginia Commonwealth University
    • J.D., Washington & Lee University
  • Jurisdiction Licensed

    • Virginia
  • Professional & Community Activities

    • American Bar Association
    • Norfolk and Portsmouth Bar Association
    • Virginia Bar Association
    • Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys – Worker’s Compensation Division, At-Large Member
  • Notable Accomplishments

    • Martindale-Hubbell® AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating
    • Coastal Virginia Magazine – “Top Lawyers” Workers’ Compensation (2016-present)
    • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® – Workers’ Compensation Law-Employers (2018-present)

Brian is a partner with Vandeventer Black and concentrates his practice in Workers’ Compensation Defense. He works with insurance carriers and self-insured businesses defending workers’ compensation claims filed pursuant to the Virginia Workers’ Compensation Act and the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. Brian also works with risk managers, human resource professionals and executives on preventative strategies.

Brian received his B.A. from The College of William & Mary, his M.Ed. from Virginia Commonwealth University, and his J.D. from Washington & Lee University School of Law. Before attending law school, Brian was a School Counselor at Charlottesville High School.

He is a member of the American, Virginia and Norfolk & Portsmouth Bar Associations (Workers’ Compensation and Labor & Employment Law Sections) and the Virginia State Bar.  Brian is an At-Large Member of the Board of the Virginia Association of Defense Attorney’s (VADA).  He previously served on the Board of Directors for the Norfolk Ronald McDonald House and on the Corporate Advisory Board for the Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters (CHKD). In addition, he served as a member of the Virginia Bar Association’s Lifestyle Balance Committee, as the Co-Chair of the Eastern Virginia Pro Bono Legal Aid Hotline for the Young Lawyers’ Division of the Virginia Bar Association, and on the Board of the Young Lawyers’ Section of the Norfolk & Portsmouth Bar Association.

  • Representative Matters:

  • News

    Attorneys Recognized as 2021 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 2021. This distinction is a peer-rated nomination given to those lawyers who exemplify excellence in their specialty. The recognized attorneys are: Admiralty, Maritime & Transportation Edward J. Powers Arbitration ...
    Read More
    28 Attorneys Named to 2021 Best Lawyers® list
    / Firm News
    Vandeventer Black LLP is pleased to announce that 28 attorneys have been included in the 2021 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Since first published in 1983, Best Lawyers has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers has published their list for over three decades, earning the respect ...
    Read More
    Vandeventer Black Attorneys Recognized as 2020 Top Lawyers of Coastal Virginia
    / Firm News
    Several attorneys from the Norfolk-based business and litigation law firm, Vandeventer Black, have been recognized as Top Lawyers of Coastal Virginia for 2020. This distinction is a peer-rated nomination given to those lawyers who exemplify excellence in their specialty. The twenty-five recognized attorneys are: Appellate Law             Dustin M. Paul ...
    Read More
  • Articles

    The Application of the Amorphous “Death Presumption” in Virginia Workers’ Compensation
    Authored by Brett M. Saunders and Brian L. Sykes Many practitioners in the field of workers’ compensation are aware of the “death presumption.” The rule is often understood as this: when an employee is found dead at his place of work, there is a presumption that a compensable injury has occurred. However, this is ...
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Michael L. Sterling

Office Location: Norfolk, VA., Richmond, VA.

  • Practice Areas

  • Education

    • B.A. (cum laude), Economics, Lawrence University
    • J.D. (Order of the Coif, Order of the Barrister), Marshall-Wythe School of Law, College of William & Mary
  • Jurisdiction Licensed

    • Virginia
  • Court & Administrative Bodies

    • Supreme Court of the U.S.
    • U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fourth, Fifth, and Federal Circuits
    • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
    • U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
    • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
    • U. S. Boards of Contract Appeals
    • Federal Aviation Administration
    • U.S. Government Accountability Office
  • Professional & Community Activities

    • Eggleston Services, Board of Directors
    • American Arbitration Association, Mediator and Arbitrator
    • American Bar Association, Construction Law, Public Contract Law, Dispute Resolution, State and Local Government Law and International Law Sections, Construction Industry Forum
    • Associated General Contractors of Virginia
    • Association of Builders & Contractors
    • Board of Contract Appeals Bar Association
    • Construction Lawyers Society of America, Fellow
    • Design-Build Institute of America, Moderator, Hampton Roads Industry -Government Round Table
    • Federal Bar Association, Sections on Public Contract Law and Litigation
    • National Contract Management Association, Fellow and Past President Norfolk Area Chapter
    • Norfolk Portsmouth Bar Association, Former Executive Committee Member and Founding Member and Former Chairman of Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution
    • Tidewater Association of Service Contractors
    • Virginia Bar Association, Joint Committee on ADR; Local Government Law Section; Construction & Public Contracts Law Section, Past Chairman
    • Virginia Beach Bar Association
    • Local Government Attorneys of Virginia
    • Virginia State Bar, Sections on Construction Law & Public Contracts, and Local Government Law
    • Virginia Transportation & Construction Alliance
    • Virginia Chamber Legal and Regulatory Reform Institute, Advisory Board Member
    • Dispute Resolution Board Foundation, Former Member
    • WHRO, Board Member
  • Notable Accomplishments

    • AV® Preeminent™ by Martindale-Hubbell® Law Directory
    • Virginia Business, “Legal Elite” (2002-present)
    • Thomson Reuters, “Virginia Supers Lawyers” – Construction & Government Contracts (2006-present)
    • A Top Virginia Attorney in Corporate Litigation & Construction
    • A Virginia Top Rated Lawyer -Construction
    • American Arbitration Association Mediator and Arbitrator
    • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® – Construction Law (2013-present)
    • Best Lawyers in America®, “Lawyer of the Year” – Construction Law (2018)
    • Coastal Virginia Magazine, “Top Lawyers”, Construction (2016-present)
    • Virginia Business, “Virginia 500 – The Power List” (2021)
  • Publications & Presentations

Mike serves as the Managing Partner of the law firm and is located in the Firm’s Norfolk office. He has also served on the Executive Board and Chaired the firm’s Construction and Government Contracts Practice Group, Practice Management Committee, and Dispute Resolution Services.

Mike’s practice is concentrated on complex projects and disputes for international, national and local clients with particular focus on compliance and other regulatory issues.

He is experienced in a wide range of project delivery methods including design-build and public-private-partnerships; projects included cogeneration and processing plants, wind tunnels, cable stay bridges, highways, stadiums, hotels, courthouses, hospitals, water and wastewater treatment plants, parking garages, high-rise condominiums, environmental site restoration, demolition and large scale residential developments as well as ship construction and repair; represented general contractors, subcontractors, vendors, manufacturers and design professionals, as well as private and public owners; experienced with the Federal Acquisition Regulations, related agency regulations and statutes applicable to federal government funded contracts and grants; appeared before federal and state courts, boards of contract appeals, GAO, agency administrative judges and arbitration panels; and  prevailed at the United States Supreme Court.

Mike also manages the law firm’s Dispute Resolution Services. He serves as an arbitrator and mediator for the American Arbitration Association (AAA), various courts and by private appointment.

Construction matters have ranged from claims of defective workmanship to incomplete work to other performance and payment related problems; non-construction matters have included securities fraud, creditor-debtor, joint venture and governance, disputes, employer-employee disputes and other commercial matters; mediated attorney-client fee disputes for the Virginia State Bar; also served as a Hearing Officer for the Supreme Court of Virginia presiding over various state and local employee grievances and professional licensing disputes; represented construction clients in numerous alternative dispute resolution proceedings including AAA arbitration, mediation, early neutral evaluation and partnering sessions; founded the Norfolk and Portsmouth Bar Association ADR Committee that prepared a standing order for court-sponsored ADR; and conducted various presentations on ADR including as a guest lecturer at William & Mary School of Law.

Mike recognizes the importance of public and professional service and serves on the Board of Directors of Eggleston Services.  Mike has served on the Boards of the Red Cross of Southeastern Virginia, and the Norfolk and Portsmouth Bar Association, and he has been Chairman of the Virginia Bar Association Construction and Public Contract Law Executive Council and the Vandeventer Black Foundation.

  • Representative Matters

    Claims and Disputes

    • Construction Contract Forum Selection Clause: Co-Counsel for general contractor in Atlantic Marine Construction Company, Inc. v. J-Crew Management, Inc., 134 S. Ct. 568 (2013) where the Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of the general contractor, AMC.
    • Bridge Construction: Co-Counsel for general contractor in dispute regarding claim for delays and other changes on project for the construction of a new bridge from Chincoteague, Virginia to the mainland, a connector spur from the new bridge on the Virginia Eastern Shore.
    • Hospital Construction and Renovation: Co-Counsel in design dispute regarding the new construction and renovation of a historic hospital.
    • Dam Construction: Counsel to excavation subcontractor in dispute with general contractor and public owner in Virginia regarding differing site conditions related to drilling and grouting.
    • Multi-story Retirement Complex: Counsel for general contractor in dispute with owner and architect concerning design defects in building envelope, as well as disputes with various subcontractors.
    • State Courthouse: Counsel to steel fabricator in defense of claims by erector for delay, disruption and changed work.
    • Hotel: Counsel to architect in defense of claim of alleged design error in light gauge metal steel frame leading to building collapse during construction, and pursuit of third party claim against structural engineer.
    • International Airport: Counsel to steel fabricator in defense of claims by erector for delay, disruption and changed work.
    • Oceanfront Condominiums: Co-counsel for various condominium associations in disputes with developers and builders related to building envelope defects.
    • Communications Facility: Counsel for general contractor in dispute with DoD regarding design defects related to standing seam metal roof on structure intended to house top secret communications equipment, and claims against surety arising from default by electrical subcontractor.
    • Hospital: Counsel for masonry subcontractor in connection with claim for design defects and insurance coverage related to building envelope failure.
    • Paper Plant: Counsel to international steam turbine manufacturer in dispute related to design and performance of turbine-generator set.
    • Football Stadium: Counsel for steel fabricator in connection with dispute involving alleged defective design and delay, disruption and cost impact during construction and renovation of college football stadium.

    Protests, Injunctions, and Declaratory Relief

    • Improper Best Value DeterminationMatter of MTS Technologies, B-413813 et al. (2016). Agency agreed to corrective action.
    • Insurance Coverage: Counsel for insurer defense of declaratory action for coverage under CGL policy, Certain Underwriters at Lloyds, London v. Middleton et al. (Norfolk Cir. Ct. CL 14000104-00, 2015). The claims were dismissed on our motion.
    • Sale of Building and Rezoning by Public Body: Counsel for Town of Cape Charles in Old School Cape Charles, LLC, et al., v. Cape Charles Town Council, et al., (Virginia Supreme Court No. 131085, Nov. 15, 2013), where the Court upheld the trial court’s denial of declaratory and injunctive relief, and ruling that the Town properly sold an old school, amended the zoning ordinance and granted a conditional use permit.
    • Incorrect Decision on Lack of Responsibility: Successfully protested exclusion of steel fabricator from project to fabricate strongbacks for a Navy drydock.
    • Improper Rejection of Bid as Nonresponsive: Successfully protested rejection of bid by school board based on alleged failure of bidder to include proposed contract completion date.

    Specialized Public Contract Matters

    • Ethics and OCI Compliance Programs: Preparation and implementation of ethics and organizational conflict of interest compliance programs, and related investigations for various clients.
    • Contract and Purchase Order Documentation: Preparation and implementation of contract and purchase order documentation and related advice for various clients.
    • Environmental claims: Representation of several clients in defense of environmental claims related to the general, transportation and disposal of hazardous waste.
    • Wastewater and Water Treatment Plant Construction: Counsel to locality in conjunction with the financing, planning and construction of new wastewater and water treatment plants.
    • Local Government: Counsel to various localities and public authorities in connection with public-private-partnerships, contracts, protests, building code, land use and administrative law issues.

    Design-Build Matters

    • Child Development Centers: Counsel for general contractor in connection with design, supply and installation of modular child development centers throughout the United States, and related litigation with team member, subcontractors and others.
    • DoD Design Build Projects: Representation of numerous prime and subcontractors on a variety of design-build projects for the Department of Defense including, pier, museum, housing and other facilities projects.
    • Cable Stay Bridge Construction: Co-counsel for international construction company in dispute regarding bridge and approach design.

    Arbitrator – Mediator

    • Construction: Appointed as arbitrator or mediator in numerous construction dispute cases for the American Arbitration Association, Better Business Bureau, the Community Mediation Center, courts and parties. Matters ranging from claims of defective workmanship to incomplete work, payment, performance and agreement related problems on complex commercial and residential construction projects.
    • Government ContractsUnited States of America, ex rel Donald Hicks v. Chrysler Corp., et al. Case No. CV-98-CO-154-NE and United States of America ex rel. Jack Simon v. Diamler – Chrysler.,et al., Case No. CV-99-C0-1846-S. Appointed as mediator by the United States District Court of the Northern District of Alabama in these 100 million dollar qui tam actions for alleged violations of the False Claims Act during the performance of government military contracts and related employment claims. Successfully mediated settlement between the parties in both matters.
    • Business Disputes: Appointed as arbitrator in various matters including law firm partnership dispute, estate and business ownership disputes.
    • Insurance Disputes: Appointed as arbitrator in crop insurance dispute.
    • Creditor Disputes: Appointed as arbitrator in numerous creditor disputes by the National Arbitration Forum.
    • Consumer Disputes: Appointed as arbitrator or mediator in various consumer disputes by the Better Business Bureau and the Community Mediation Center.
    • Securities Matters: Appointed as arbitrator or mediator in various securities trading and related disputes by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA, formerly NASD).
    • Employment Issues: Appointed as a Hearing Officer by the Virginia Supreme Court to preside over various state and local employee grievances, or professional licensing disputes. Alternate Panel Arbitrator for the Travel Agent Arbiter Program.
    • Maritime Matters: Appointed arbitrator in various matters including dispute over vessel construction, and design and installation of pier and facility cranes; appointed mediator in disputes between vessel owner and operator concerning management agreements and associated fees.
    • Attorney Fees: Appointed by Virginia State Bar to mediate a variety of client and attorney fee disputes.
  • 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, ...
    Read More
    28 Attorneys Named to 2021 Best Lawyers® list
    / Firm News
    Vandeventer Black LLP is pleased to announce that 28 attorneys have been included in the 2021 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Since first published in 1983, Best Lawyers has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers has published their list for over three decades, earning the respect ...
    Read More
    Vandeventer Black’s Managing Partner, Michael L. Sterling Joins the WHRO Board
    / Firm News
    Vandeventer Black managing partner, Michael L. Sterling, has been appointed to be a member of the Board of WHRO Public Media. The appointment became official on July 1. “I am honored to be selected to join the Board of Directors of WHRO. Our firm has been a proud partner of ...
    Read More
  • Articles

    New Emergency Temporary Standard Will Apply to Employers in Virginia
    This article is the first in a three-part series discussing the New Emergency Temporary Standards for Employers in Virginia. Click here to read Part 2 and Part 3. Governor Northam’s executive order (EO 63), tasked the Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board (the Board) – which “promulgates and adopts job ...
    Read More
    Small Business Size Standards: Calculation Of Annual Average Receipts
    / Corporate & Business
    Transition From A 3-Year Averaging Period To A 5-Year Averaging Period As reported in the Federal Register, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA or Agency) is modifying its method for calculating average annual receipts used to prescribe size standards for small businesses. Fed. Reg. Vol. 84,  No. 234, Dec. 5, ...
    Read More
    YOUR SWAM CERTIFICATION IS AT RISK
    / Corporate & Business
    The Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity (DSBSD) administers the small, women-owned and minority-owned (SWaM) business program. The DSBSD SWaM Certification Division reviews initial and recertification applications. DSBSD certification eligibility determinations are based on existing circumstances at the time of application. The criteria are in the Commonwealth of ...
    Read More

Daniel Salmon

Office Location: Norfolk, VA.

  • Practice Areas

  • Education

    • B.S., Electrical Engineering, University of Virginia
    • M.B.A., College of William & Mary
    • J.D., Washington University in St. Louis
  • Jurisdiction Licensed

    • Virginia
  • Professional & Community Activities

  • Notable Accomplishments

Daniel is an associate in the Construction & Government Contracts practice group working out of the Norfolk office of Vandeventer Black LLP.  His primary focus is supporting his practice group, but he is also interested in technology law and business law.  He joined Vandeventer Black in 2019 after completing the firm’s summer associate program the prior year.

Daniel received his J.D. from Washington University in St. Louis.  During law school, Daniel completed the InSITE Fellowship, where he worked on several interdisciplinary teams that provided consulting services to early-stage start-up companies.  Additionally, he served as a federal judicial extern to the Honorable Nancy J. Rosenstengel of the Southern District of Illinois.  Daniel also served as an Associate Articles Editor for the Washington University Jurisprudence Review.

Prior to attending law school, Daniel received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Virginia.  Afterward, he spent four years with the Department of Defense as a civilian Systems Engineer, where he performed test engineer functions onboard U.S. Navy submarines and contributed to software development efforts to support non-propulsion electronic systems upgrades during shipyard availabilities.  He continued some of the software development work as a part-time contractor through his first year of law school.  While with the DoD, Daniel completed his MBA at the College of William & Mary.

Apart from his time in law school, Daniel is a life-long Virginia resident who has spent most of his life in the Hampton Roads area.

  • Representative Matters:

  • News

    Vandeventer Black’s Summer Associate Returns for Employment
    / Firm News
    Daniel Salmon, a recent J.D. graduate from the Washington University in St. Louis, has joined Vandeventer Black as an attorney in the firm’s Construction and Government Contracts Practice Group and will be assisting clients out of their Norfolk office. Salmon began his legal career as part of the firm’s Summer ...
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  • Articles

    In Uninteresting Result, Federal Circuit Leaves Offeror Standing Outside the Courtroom
    / Government Contracts
    In order to bring an action in any United States tribunal, a party must have “standing.”  “The doctrine [of standing] limits the category of litigants empowered to maintain a lawsuit in federal court to seek redress for a legal wrong.”  Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, 136 S. Ct. 1540, 1547 (2016).  ...
    Read More
    Federal Circuit Holds CICA Stay Clock Begins at Time of Debriefing When Disappointed Offeror does not Avail Itself of Right to Ask Additional Questions
    / Government Contracts
    No questions, no stay. The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently ruled on the interplay of debriefings and automatic stays.[1]  In NIKA Technologies v. United States, the Federal Circuit reversed a Court of Federal Claims (“COFC”) decision requiring an automatic stay of contract performance pursuant to ...
    Read More
    OSHA Issues COVID Guidance
    The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) recently released Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace (“OSHA Guidance”). The OSHA Guidance is similar to the Final Permanent Standard for Infectious Disease Prevention of the SARS-CoV-2 Virus That Causes COVID-19 (“Virginia Standard”) recently approved by ...
    Read More

Robert N. Saffelle

Office Location: Richmond, VA.

  • Practice Areas

  • Education

    • LLM., Boston University School of Law
    • J.D., New England School of Law
    • B.A., English, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Jurisdiction Licensed

    • Virginia
    • North Carolina
  • Courts & Administrative Bodies

    • U.S. Tax Court
  • Professional & Community Activities

    • Richmond Bar Association
    • Virginia Bar Association
    • Central Virginia Employee Benefits Council
  • Notable Accomplishments

    • AV® Distinguished™ by Martindale-Hubbell® Law Directory
    • Listed among The Best Lawyers in America® in the field of Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, 2013–present

Mr. Saffelle focuses his practice on ERISA and employee compensation and benefits including pension and profit sharing plans and welfare benefit plans, fiduciary law and IRAs. He helps design, establish and maintain employee benefit programs, including qualified retirement, welfare and cafeteria plans. He also works with executive compensation plans, including nonqualified deferred compensation, equity-based compensation and incentive plans.

Mr. Saffelle handles the employee benefits aspects of mergers and acquisitions. He also counsels clients regarding IRAs as well as IRA and qualified plan distribution and beneficiary designation issues. He handles voluntary correction programs with the Internal Revenue Service and prohibited transaction exemption applications with the Department of Labor. Mr. Saffelle designs severance programs and handles COBRA questions, including FMLA and HIPAA issues.

  • Representative Matters:

  • News

    28 Attorneys Named to 2021 Best Lawyers® list
    / Firm News
    Vandeventer Black LLP is pleased to announce that 28 attorneys have been included in the 2021 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Since first published in 1983, Best Lawyers has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers has published their list for over three decades, earning the respect ...
    Read More
    Vandeventer Black Richmond Office Welcomes Saffelle to the Team
    / Firm News
    Vandeventer Black LLP is pleased to announce the addition of Robert N. Saffelle to the firm’s Richmond office as Of Counsel. “We are excited to have Rob join our legal team. He is a highly accomplished attorney with extensive experience in the ERISA & Employee Benefits, Labor & Employment, and ...
    Read More
  • Articles

    New Guidance Clarifies COVID-19 Employee Benefit Deadline Extensions
    Last year the IRS and Department of Labor (DOL) extended various ERISA and COBRA deadlines for employee benefit plan participants affected by COVID-19.  The extended deadlines included: The timeframe to elect COBRA continued health coverage; The deadline for making COBRA premium payments; Requests for special enrollment in a group health ...
    Read More
    COVID-19 and the CARES Act – New IRS Guidance and Relief for Retirement Plan Distributions and Loans
    On June 19 and 23, 2020, the IRS issued additional guidance (IRS Notices 2020-50 and 2020-51) clarifying and expanding relief for retirement plan participants under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).  A previous article summarizing the CARES Act retirement plan provisions can be found here. The ...
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    COVID-19: New IRS Relief Allows Health Plan and Flexible Spending Account Election Changes
    On May 12, 2020, the IRS issued guidance (IRS Notice 2020-19) to allow temporary changes to section 125 cafeteria plans.  These plans allow participants to pay their portion of health insurance premiums and contribute to health care flexible spending accounts and dependent care assistance spending accounts (FSAs) on a pre-tax ...
    Read More

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