Brett has a wide-ranging practice that includes all aspects of commercial and complex civil litigation. Working with both small and large clients, he has handled a variety of matters at all levels in the state and federal systems in Virginia, as well as cases throughout the country. He primarily focuses on complex litigation, with an emphasis on business litigation, municipal law, First Amendment and media law, land use and other real estate litigation, and trusts and estates litigation. Brett also serves as the firm's risk management partner and general counsel, which includes advising other attorneys on a variety of ethical issues.
- Successfully challenged a Hampton zoning amendment before the Supreme Court of Virginia, resulting in a declaration that the amendment was invalid and unenforceable.
- Along with co-counsel, prevailed in a bench trial for the City of Norfolk that resulted in establishing title to land that had been in dispute for over 100 years.
- After a three-day jury trial, won a directed verdict in a defamation case against The Virginian-Pilot brought by the owner of a home for mentally challenged adults.
- After a week-long trial with co-counsel in Henrico County, forced a highly favorable settlement in a breach of contract action involving the development of commercial property.
- Prevailed in a bench trial on behalf of an attorney challenging the split of a large contingent fee upon the dissolution of the partnership.
- Has represented media clients in all aspects of First Amendment law, including defamation cases, public access to courtrooms and court documents, subpoenas, and search warrants.
- In addition to core First Amendment work, has prevailed in bench trials concerning the Virginia Freedom of Information Act for both private clients seeking access to records and on behalf of public entities objecting to access.
- Regularly represents and advises the City of Norfolk on a broad range of municipal law issues, which has included, among other things, real property issues, elections, tax challenges, regulation of utilities, and regulation of traffic.
- Law clerk to the Honorable Henry Coke Morgan, Eastern District of Virginia, 1999-2000.
- The EDVA Amends its Rules to Require Electronic Filing of Complaints
- EDVA Confirms Specific Jurisdiction Exists for Intentional Torts Directed at Virginia Resident
- General Assembly Amends Rarely Cited Immunity Statute
- Virginia Circuit Court Finds No Authority to Enter a Default Judgment Against a John Doe Defendant
- Online Defamation Case Dismissed for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction
- EDVA Rejects Contract and Tort Claims Based on an Alleged Violation of a Non‑Disclosure Agreement
- Western District Dismisses Tortious Interference Claim Brought by Former Employee
- Be Careful in Relying on Promises Not to Assert the Statute of Limitations
- Eastern District of Virginia Clarifies the Relationship between Rule 9 and Rule 54 Regarding a Claim for Attorneys’ Fees as a Substantially Prevailing Party under a Lease
- Be Careful when Terminating a Lease - You May Be Cutting Off a Claim for Future Unpaid Rent
- Amendment to Defamation Statute of Limitations Will Help Businesses Pursue Anonymous Posters
- EDVA Issues Opinion on Damages and Fiduciary Duty Suit (Bocek v. JGA Assocs., LLC, 1:11-cv-0546, 2016 WL 1161401)
News / Publications
- Attorneys Named in 2017 Virginia Super Lawyers & Rising Stars
- Twenty-Five Attorneys Named as Virginia's "2016 Legal Elite"
- Attorneys Named in 2016 Virginia Super Lawyers & Rising Stars
- Twenty-Nine Attorneys Named as Virginia's "2015 Legal Elite"
- Attorneys Named in 2015 Virginia Super Lawyers & Rising Stars
- Twenty-Four Attorneys Named as Virginia's "2014 Legal Elite"
- Twenty-One Attorneys Named as Virginia's "2013 Legal Elite"
- Twenty-Eight Attorneys Named as Virginia's "2012 Legal Elite"
- Attorneys Recognized by Benchmark Litigation
- Attorneys Named in 2012 Virginia Super Lawyers & Rising Stars
- Twenty-Seven Attorneys Named as Virginia's "2011 Legal Elite"
- Twenty-Six Attorneys Named as 2010 Legal Elite
- Twenty Attorneys Named as 2009 Legal Elite