Scott Stephenson works in the firm’s Commercial Litigation group. A native of nearby Salem, Virginia, Scott graduated from the Georgetown University Law Center in 2014 and joined Gentry Locke shortly afterward. Scott’s practice includes complex business litigation, property disputes, mineral rights cases, municipal government litigation, and appellate matters. He thrives on the challenges presented by complicated cases and nuanced legal issues; the tougher, the better. Scott particularly enjoys brief writing and oral advocacy, and constantly works on his craft under the mantra that both skills can always be improved.
Years living in the Roanoke Valley
If you weren’t practicing law, what career would you have pursued?
A strength coach for a college team. I loved playing football and baseball when I was growing up. When my athletic career ended, I got more involved in daily strength training and worked as a personal trainer prior to my law career. The next step would have been to combine the two careers.
What has been a major life transition for you?
Moving to Washington, D.C. to attend law school. Adjusting to the size and of a larger city took some time. But I think the experience helped me to grow personally and professionally.
- Georgetown University Law Center, J.D.
- Roanoke College, B.A.
- New Age Care, LLC v. Juran, 71 Va. App. 407, 837 S.E.2d 64 (2020) (published). Successfully obtained affirmance of the circuit court’s opinion and judgment dismissing an appeal of a decision by the Virginia Board of Pharmacy awarding a pharmaceutical processor permit for the production and dispensation of cannabidiol and THC-A oils.
- Thomas v. Carmeuse Lime & Stone Inc., et al., 642 F. App’x 253 (4th Cir. 2016). In a case involving limestone and surface rights, successfully appealed a critical ruling by the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia holding a deed reservation void to the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, resulting in the reversal of the district court’s decision on the issue
- Knox Energy, LLC v. Gasco Drilling, Inc.738 F. App’x 122 (4th Cir. 2018). In a case involving a dispute over whether the parties mutually assented to a lucrative gas drilling contract, assisted in defending the district court’s ruling upholding a jury verdict for the defendant and denying the plaintiff’s motion for a new trial; the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s opinion in all respects
- Norfolk Southern Railroad Company v. City of Roanoke, Record No. 18-1060 (4th Cir. Feb. 15, 2019) (published). In a case where Norfolk Southern claimed that the City’s stormwater utility fee was an discriminatory tax under the Railroad and Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976, assisted in defending the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the City, finding that the stormwater utility fee was not subject to the Act
- New Age Care, LLC v. Juran and Dharma Pharmaceuticals, LLC, No. CL19-1094 (Henrico County, 2019). In an appeal under the Virginia Administrative Process Act, successfully defended a decision by the Virginia Board of Pharmacy awarding a pharmaceutical processor permit for the production and dispensation of cannabidiol and THC-A oils. Obtained dismissal of the appeal on the pleadings before the merits stage of the appeal.
- Knox Operating, LLC v. CNX Gas Company LLC and CNX Resources Corporation, Nos. CL 17-1439-00 and CL 17-1439-01 (Tazewell County, 2019) (still pending). Defended a gas production company against claims of breach of contract, fraud, and business conspiracy by a maintenance contractor who claimed that a former employee of the gas company had hired it to service the company’s gas wells. Pursued third-party claims by the company against the former employee
- Scarlet Scott v. Central Virginia Family Physicians, Inc., et al. Record No. 160913 (June 1, 2017). In an appeal of a defense verdict, obtained a writ of review by the Supreme Court of Virginia regarding the trial court’s issuance of a mitigation of damages jury instruction and evidentiary rulings
- Norfolk Southern Railroad Company v. City of Roanoke, No. 7:16-cv-00176 (W.D. Va. Dec. 26, 2017). In a case where Norfolk Southern claimed that the City’s stormwater utility fee was an discriminatory tax under the Railroad and Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976, obtained summary judgment in favor of the City, finding that the stormwater utility fee was not subject to the Act
- Brincefield v. Studdard, et al., No. 3:17-cv-718 (E.D. Va. 2017). In a shareholder derivative and ERISA action, defended individual corporate officers against claims of breach of fiduciary duty under Virginia corporate law and claims for violations of ERISA
- Turner v. Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services, et al. 230 F. Supp. 3d 498 (W.D. Va. 2017); Turner v. Va. Dep’t of Med. Assistance Servs., 310 F. Supp. 3d 637 (E.D. Va. 2018). In a case where the plaintiff alleged violations of the antitrust laws and tortious interference claims, obtained dismissal of the plaintiff’s complaint in two different forums on a motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6)
- Roanoke Lodging, LLC v. City of Roanoke, No. CL 15-2328, (City of Roanoke, September 18, 2018). In a case concerning a challenge to the City’s assessment of real property for real estate tax purposes, obtained a pre-trial ruling excluding two critical expert witnesses designated by the plaintiff
- Plum Creek Timberlands, L.P. v. Yellow Poplar Lumber Company, et al., No. 1:13-cv-00062 (W.D. Va. 2016). In a gas rights matter in southwest Virginia, represented the rights of individual property owners to the gas on their tracts
- Eagle Mining LLC v. Elkland Holdings LLC, No. 2:14-cv-27210 (S.D. W. Va. 2015). Successfully obtained judicial confirmation of a 23 million-dollar arbitration award in a complex coal mining case against a subsidiary of Peabody Energy Corporation. Assisted in the related federal court litigation and a second arbitration that followed the arbitration award
- Moore v. General Sales of Virginia Inc., et al., No. CL11-15-01 (City of Roanoke, March 2016). Successfully defended a Roanoke-based company in action for breach of contract in Virginia Circuit Court. Obtained summary judgment and the dismissal of a breach of contract claim based on the adequacy of notice provided pursuant to the contract, and later obtained final judgment for the company
- Hale v. CNX Gas Company, LLC, No. 1:10-cv-00059 (W.D. Va. 2017). In a coal bed methane class action, represented a company’s rights to coal bed methane in Southwest Virginia
- Drafted opinions for the Honorable Edward J. Damich, United States Court of Federal Claims
- Prepared legal research and drafted opinions involving patent and government contracts issues for the Honorable Jimmie V. Reyna, United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
- Member, YMCA of the Blue Ridge Corporate Board of Directors (2017-Present)
- Member, Salem Family YMCA Board of Directors (2016-Present)
- Member, Virginia State Bar (2014-Present)
- Member, Litigation Section, Virginia State Bar (2014-Present)
- Saint Thomas Moore Society (2013-Present)
- Noted on “Ones to Watch” list by Best Lawyers in America for Commercial Litigation, Antitrust Law, and Energy Law (2021-2022)