sbaril@kv-legal.com  |  phone: (804) 823-4003  |  fax: (804) 823-4099

Steve is the head of Litigation at KVCF and the Managing Director of KVCF Solutions, LLC, the Firm’s government relations subsidiary. He has a proven track record of successfully advocating for business owners, executives and entrepreneurs in the courtroom and before the General Assembly and governmental agencies.

Steve has over 30 years of experience handling a wide variety of complex business litigation and disputes. Much of his experience has been in the infamous “Rocket Docket” of the Eastern District of Virginia where he began his career clerking for a U.S. District Court judge and where he continues to moderate and serve on the panel of a popular seminar entitled, “The Rocket Docket: Trying Cases in the Eastern District of Virginia.” Steve has been consistently recognized by his peers as a distinguished trial lawyer and is listed among Best Lawyers in America in several categories, as well as one of Virginia’s “Super Lawyers” and “Legal Elite.” He has served as president of the Richmond and Chesterfield Bar Associations and on Bar Council of the Virginia State Bar.

Throughout his career, Steve has also been actively engaged in the political process and community service. Steve has been a candidate for the Republican nomination for the Attorney General. He was appointed by a VA governor to the “Jobs Commission” as co-chair of the new business recruitment and retention committees, and he was appointed by another governor to the Criminal Services Justice Board. He currently serves on the Boards of the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College (past Chairman), Richmond’s Future and Venture Richmond, as well as a long history of service in other leadership capacities in the Richmond community.

Education
University of Richmond Law, J.D., 1980
Hampden-Sydney College, B.A., Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 1977

Admissions
Virginia
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia
U.S. Bankruptcy Court for Eastern District of Virginia
U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Virginia

Professional Affiliations
Virginia State Bar, Bar Council, Past Chairman, Lawyer Advertising Committee
Richmond Bar Association, Past President
Chesterfield Bar Association, Past President
The John Marshall American Inn of Court, Board of Directors
Virginia Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program, Board of Directors, Past Chairman

Honors and Awards

AV® rated by Martindale-Hubbell
Best Lawyers in America – Commercial Litigation, Litigation – Banking & Finance, Litigation – Trust & Estates, and Professional Malpractice Law – Defendants 2006 to present
Best Lawyers in America – Litigation – Bankruptcy 2011 to present
Super Lawyer, Business Litigation, Virginia Super Lawyer 2006 to present
Legal Elite, Business Law, Civil Litigation, Virginia Business Magazine 2005 to present

Representative Cases

  • Successful defense of Richmond-based financial services technology company in suit brought by founder and CEO for termination of his services just prior to the sale of the company in a deal publicly reported to be the largest investment in Virginia history for a financial technology company. Winston v, Paymerang, LLC, Case No. CL18-2919, Cir. Ct. Henrico Cty, VA (2019).
  • Defended nationally recognized golf course management firm in lawsuit involving direct and derivative claims for breach of contract, wrongful distribution of profits, breach of fiduciary duties, tortious interference with contracts, business conspiracy, indemnification, and seeking over $5M in compensatory damages, plus treble and punitive damages. Miraglia v. Fore Golf Associates Management, LLC, et al., Case No. CL17-005843-00 (2018).
  • Successfully defended government contracting litigation alleging delivery of defective product and causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in actual and consequential damages. Khem Precision Machining, LLC v. Greystone of Virginia, Inc., Civil Action No. 18-1134-6, Cir. Ct. City of Richmond, VA (2018).
  • Defended national mining company in suit alleging breach of long-term mining contract for failure to pay royalties, rent, taxes and other damages amounting to a claim of millions of dollars in damages. Pruitt v. Martin Marietta Materials, Inc., Case No. 16-184, Cir. Ct. Goochland Cty, VA (2012).
  • Successful defense of Richmond-based international law firm in legal malpractice litigation involving claims arising out of representation of plaintiff in large bankruptcy proceeding. Cir. Ct. City of Richmond, VA, 2017.
  • Successful prosecution of action on behalf of passive members of LLC against managing member of LLC for breach of operating agreement and breach of fiduciary duties, resulting in an award of substantial damages, dissociation of the managing member, and settlement prior to post-trial hearing for an award of over $300,000 in attorney’s fees. LRG Construction, LLC v. Montgomery, Case No. CL 14-3196, Cir. Ct. City of Richmond, VA, 2015.
  • Successful dismissal of disappointed foreign investor’s complaint under RICO and alleging conspiracy and other federal actions against private investment advisors and other investors in private foreign equity transactions. Demisse v. Larkspur Management, Inc. et al., Case No. 1:14-cv-1763 (USDC, EDVA 2015).
  • Successful defense of regional bank and corporate trust department in suit for breach of contract and fiduciary duties arising from a municipal bond transaction and financing of a golf course development project through the issuance of certificates of deposit. Petracca v. M & T Bank, CL No. 1413-179 (Prince Edward City, VA).
  • Successful prosecution of arbitration involving a heavy equipment manufacturer and suppliers termination of a local dealer under the Virginia Heavy Equipment Dealer Act (§59.1-354 et seq.). Crown Equipment Co. v. Virginia Forklift, Inc. (Richmond, VA).
  • Successful prosecution of suit by physician for breach of contract, fraud and wrongful termination against former medical practice. Khan v. Virginia Orthopedic Associates, CL 13-208 (Chesterfield County, VA).
  • Successful prosecution and resolution of securities fraud claims on behalf of various retirement funds in Virginia.
  • Successful prosecution of “whistleblower” actions under Virginia’s Fraud Against Taxpayers Act and state and federal health care laws.
  • First Virginia Supreme Court decision upholding minority shareholder’s right to bring a derivative suit under Va. Code §13.1-6721 against majority shareholder in two-partner PC, and also affirming an award of $300,000 in attorney’s fees. Cattano v. Bragg, 283 Va. 638, 727 S.E. 2d 625 (2012).
  • Successfully defended numerous breach of fiduciary duty suits against bank trust departments, trustees, executors and custodial banks.
  • Successful defense of CEO and Chairman of Board in shareholder class action challenging sale of Massey Energy to Alpha Natural Resources. Mostaed v. Crawford, et al., Civil Action No. 3:11-CV-00079-REP (USDC, EDVA).
  • Successful representation of Attorney General, VRS and Arlington and Fairfax retirement funds in suit brought by whistleblowers against Bank of New York Mellon under Virginia’s Fraud Against Taxpayers Act (§8.01-216.1 et seq.). Commonwealth of Virginia. ex. rel., FX Analytics v. Bank of New York Mellon Corp., et al., Case No. CL2009-15377 (Fairfax Circuit Court, VA).
  • Successful defense of executrix/trustee in breach of fiduciary duty suit. Camper v. Manning, Civil Action No. 2:11-cv-00157 (USDC, EDVA).
  • Successful defense of North Carolina gasoline and convenience store chain in suit by Virginia gasoline distributors (“jobbers”) under Virginia’s Petroleum Products Franchise Act (§59.1-21.8 et seq.), A.A. Crystal, Inc vs. Hess Corp., Case No. CL11-907 (Henrico Circuit Court).
  • Served as expert witness on behalf of trustee resulting in recovery of nearly $1,000,000 in attorney’s fees and costs incurred in successful defense of breach of fiduciary duty claim. W.A.K. v. Wachovia Bank, Case No. 3:09-CV-00575 (USDC, EDVA).
  • Successful prosecution of suit arising from breach of multi-million dollar M&A deal. Evan Energy vs. Cervello Capital, Civil Action No. 1:10-CV-05254(USDC, SDNY).
  • Successful dismissal of breach of fiduciary duty suit against Virginia trustee. Dupont Bie v. Middleburg Trust Co., Civil Action No. 1:10-CV-027110CM (USDC, SDNY).
  • Successful prosecution of suit for fraud, breach of contract and business torts arising out of breach of M&A deal. Shea Development Corp. v. Watson, Civil Action No. 1:07-CV11201 (USDC, SDNY).
  • Successful defense of D&O claims against CEO and Chairman of Board arising out of demise of Richmond­ based coal company. In re: James River Coal Co.; Schnelling v. Crawford, Case No. 06-03037 (USBC, EDVA).
  • Successful dismissal of 35 consolidated suits for breach of contract and fiduciary duty seeking $20,000,000 in damages. Rayder, et al. v. SunTrust Bank, At Law No. CL05001561 (Alexandria Circuit Court).
  • Defense of Jury trial resulting in only nominal damages being awarded to local company in suit against a Regional bank for breach of contract and fiduciary duty. Alma Telephone Co. v. SunTrust Bank (Waycross St. Ct., GA).
  • Prosecution of E&O claim for breach of insurance services contract. Dollar Tree Stores v. Aon Risk Services of Va., (Chesapeake Circuit Court).
  • Served as local counsel in blockbuster Blackberry® patent infringement jury trial. NTP v. Research in Motion, (USDC, EDVA).

Community Service

  • J. Sergeant Reynolds Community College Board, Chairman, Board of Directors (2013-Present)
  • Richmond’s Future, Treasurer/General Counsel, Board of Directors (2010-Present)
  • Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors (1991-97, 2009-14, 2016-Present)
  • Virginia Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program, Chairman, Board of Directors (2012-2018)
  • Governor Bob McDonnell’s “Jobs Commission,” Co-chair, New Business Recruitment and Retention (2010- 2011)
  • The Forum Club, Secretary/Treasurer (2010-Present)
  • Venture Richmond, Board of Directors (2009-Present) and Executive Committee (2009-2012)
  • Future of Richmond’s Past, Steering Committee (2009-2013)
  • Greater Richmond Partnership, General Counsel (2008-2009), Board of Directors (2010-2012)
  • Governor Bob McDonnell’s Economic Development Transition Team (2009)
  • Republican Party of Virginia, Candidate for Attorney General (2005)
  • Virginia’s Criminal Justice Services Board (1998-2001)
  • John Tyler Community College Foundation Board, Chairman (1999-2001)
  • Leadership Metro Richmond (1996)
  • YMCA of Greater Richmond, Board of Directors (1993-1997)
  • Chesterfield Business Council, Chairman (1991-92)
  • Rotary Club of West Richmond

Speaking Engagements

  • The Rocket Docket: Trying Cases in the Eastern District of Virginia, 2008 – 2018
  • Billable Hour No More? Increased Use of Alternative Fee Arrangements in Litigation in 2016
  • Best Practices in Circuit Court, An Interactive Judges’ Forum for Richmond Area Litigations, Moderator, 2009, 2012, 2015
  • Contract Damages/Attorney’s Fees, 4/16/2009
  • First Advanced Business Litigation Institute, 4/10-12/2008