Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore
  • Complex & Multi-Party Litigation
  • Mineral Rights & Natural Resources
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Construction
  • Estates, Probate & Trust Litigation
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J. Scott Sexton
Direct: 540.983.9379
Fax: 540.983.9400

J. Scott Sexton


Phone: 540.983.9379
Fax: 540.983.9400
Scott Sexton is a senior commercial litigation partner who chairs the firm's Mineral, Energy and Natural Resources section. He has been recognized by his peers as a Leader in the Law for his role in developing the law of mineral rights in Virginia. Scott is a charter member of the International Institute of Environmental, Energy, and Natural Resources Law, a member of the Energy and Mineral Law Foundation, and a Fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America. In addition to his practice in mineral rights, Scott maintains a much broader practice in traditional areas of commercial litigation involving complex disputes. Combining an understanding of business and industry with years of experience in the law, Scott is known as an aggressive but fair advocate for his clients' positions.
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  • Southern Methodist University School of Law, J.D. 1988 ; University of Dallas, B.A. with honors, 1985


In 2010, Scott Sexton was named a "Leader in the Law" for his role as "Developer of the Law on Virginia Mineral Rights." In addition to trial work in this area, his focus in this field has taken him to the Virginia Supreme Court on numerous occasions over the past decade.

Energy Cases: Mineral, Energy, and Land Rights

  • Obtained 75 million dollar settlement on behalf of mineral owners regarding claims of unauthorized dumping in old mine works
  • Obtained largest jury verdict on record in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia on behalf of mineral owners regarding deductions from royalty
  • Obtained summary judgment liability ruling that coal operator had no right to dump mine wastewater in mine works where plaintiffs owned coal
  • Judicially overturned arbitration decision denying coal owner clients' claims that coal operator had caused coal to become "lost or threatened" under terms of coal lease
  • Obtained ruling by Virginia Supreme Court that Consolidation Coal Company had no legal right to dump mine waste in old mine works
  • Obtained ruling by Virginia Supreme Court that CNX Gas Company could not block construction of a competing gas pipeline when CNX asserted that it had the "exclusive" right to construct pipelines under its gas lease with the 20,000 acre property owner
  • Argued landmark decision at trial court and before the Virginia Supreme Court determining ownership of Coalbed Methane gas in Virginia
  • Successfully defended manufacturer in defective pipeline case
  • Successfully defended gas production company's property interests in gas storage facility
  • Represented numerous parties in various disputes involving Joint Operating Agreements
  • Successfully defended gas transportation company in claims related to contract for construction of pipeline
  • Successfully defended gas distribution company in claims related to gas explosion
  • Successfully obtained reversal of temporary injunction issued against gas production company related to construction of and access to pipeline facility
  • Represented gas production company in anti-trust and business conspiracy case against competitor
  • Represented mineral owners before Virginia Gas and Oil Board
  • Represented gas production company before Virginia Gas and Oil Board
  • Successfully defended mineral owners against claim by others alleging competing title to coalbed methane gas and royalties
  • Represented mineral owners in claims for over-deduction from royalties (ongoing)
  • Represented gas production company in claims by injured pipeline worker
  • Represented former shareholder in gas production company regarding dispute over payments due under buy-out
  • Represented gas production company in dispute with another mineral leaseholder on large tract of gas producing property
  • Represented holder of 27,000 acres of mineral interests in dispute arising out of alleged damage to its minerals
  • Represented holder of 12,000 acres of mineral interests in dispute arising out of alleged damage to its minerals
  • Advised large gas production company in dispute over joint operating agreement and related rights
  • Successfully represented vendor of supplies and services in connection with claims for unpaid invoices against a large national pipeline construction contractor, obtaining payment
  • Defended gas production and distribution company against claims by pipeline construction company, successfully obtaining jury verdict on counterclaim
  • Successfully defended large gas production company against claims by coal operator related to construction and operation of a gas transportation pipeline
  • Successfully resolved claims against former shareholder of large coal company arising out of stock redemption
  • Represented parties opposed to permit sought to allow large coal operator to discharge waste mine water into mines and local waterway
  • Represented gas production company in connection with issues related to conflicts with coal operators under Virginia Gas and Oil Act
  • Represented various parties in connection with numerous issues related to mineral leases and deeds


  • Southern Methodist University School of Law, J.D. 1988
  • University of Dallas, B.A. with honors, 1985
  • Obtained jury verdict in favor of client accused of breach of fiduciary duty, interference with contract, and other business torts. Jury granted judgment on counterclaim in favor of client for conversion
  • Successfully represented real estate developer in enforcing contract for purchase of resort acreage where final contract had not yet been fully executed
  • Obtained jury verdict in favor of seller of large farm in Shenandoah Valley
  • Successfully resolved litigation asserting claims against purchaser of $275 million real estate portfolio
  • Successfully represented national bank on claims against former shareholder/director for fraud
  • Successfully represented minority shareholders in shareholder derivative lawsuit
  • Represented trademark holder against infringer, obtaining judgment for damages associated with pirated products
  • Represented numerous parties in D&O Claims arising out of corporate governance
  • Represented minority shareholder in claims against majority shareholder who had allegedly diluted stock
  • Represented Officer, Director and former Shareholder in claims by bankrupt corporation
  • Represented Trust beneficiary in claims against trustees of large estate
  • Represented numerous parties in estate litigation



  • Named a Virginia Leader in the Law in 2010 by Virginia Lawyers Weekly
  • Named one of The Best Lawyers in America® in the fields of Commercial Litigation (2008-2015) and Oil & Gas Law (2009-2015)
  • Named to Virginia Super Lawyers in the area of Business Litigation (2007-2014), included in Super Lawyers Corporate Counsel edition (2010) and Super Lawyers Business Edition US in the area of Business Litigation (2012-2014)
  • Named a "Legal Eagle" for Commercial Litigation and Oil & Gas Law by Virginia Living magazine (2012)
  • Designated as one of the Legal Elite in the field of Civil Litigation (2008-2010, 2012-2014) and Intellectual Property (2003-06) by Virginia Business magazine


  • Member, Boyd Graves Society
  • Barrister, The Ted Dalton American Inn of Court
  • Faculty, Virginia State Bar Professionalism course
  • Member, Business Law Section, Virginia Bar Association
  • Member, Intellectual Property Section, Virginia Bar Association
  • Member, Civil Litigation Section, Virginia Bar Association
  • Past Member, 8th District Ethics Committee, Virginia State Bar
  • Fellow, Trial Lawyer Honorary Society, Litigation Counsel of America