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Handling litigation before the Rocket Docket: The Eastern District of Virginia

Every time a lawyer from a state other than Virginia appears before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA), they must be accompanied by a member of the bar of the Eastern District. In fact, nothing can be filed with the EDVA unless it has been signed by local counsel.

The lawyer who serves as local counsel before the Eastern District of Virginia becomes primarily liable and responsible to the federal judge presiding over the case. That means you need counsel experienced in all matters before one of the speediest courts in the country, the so-called Rocket Docket. That is where counsel from Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig come in.

Our experience serving as local counsel in the EDVA

Lawyers from Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig have extensive experience appearing before the three divisions of the Eastern District of Virginia: Alexandria, Richmond, and Norfolk/Newport News. We know the rules of each division and regularly help counsel navigate the complex requirements and timelines in these courts.

The EDVA leads the way in keeping its backlog of cases low. In the three divisions of this Virginia federal court, judges enter final civil pretrial scheduling orders within 90 to 120 days of the initial service and typically set cases for trial within five to eight months of filing. And criminal cases are frequently set for trial within 70 days from indictment under the speedy trial time requirement. Because of these expedited timelines, discovery, motions, and trials happen very quickly, and you need experienced counsel to make sure nothing is missed.

Our team of experienced local counsel includes civil litigation and white-collar attorneys with hundreds of collective years in the EDVA. Our lawyers are located near each division and know the members of the bench quite well. One of our partners is a former federal prosecutor in the Alexandria Division of the EDVA.

We understand that lead counsel relationships with clients must be preserved. We work alongside you to enhance and preserve your relationship as lead counsel with the client, handling as much or as little of the substantive legal work as you need.

What we do

  • Serve as local counsel before the Alexandria, Richmond, and Norfolk/Newport News divisions of the EDVA
  • Offer advice on procedural issues and timelines
  • Accompany lead counsel to scheduling hearings, depositions, and other meetings with the court
  • Handle substantive legal work as requested



Ellis Bennett


Thomas Dunlap


William Flachsbart


Stephen Graeff


Michael La Porte


David Ludwig


Cortland Putbrese



Jason Witten

Of Counsel


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Intern Program

As part of our effort to recruit, develop and retail the best and brightest attorneys, Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig offers a summer intern program for promising law school students who are looking to work as part of an innovative and incredibly successful team. With a global team of lawyers, selected candidates are able to work on high level projects in a collaborative space.

Paralegals and Legal Support Staff

At Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig, our team of paralegals and staff work together collaboratively along side our attorneys toward a common goal. We have created a positive work environment where our paralegals and legal assistants work to successfully reach firm-wide goals and support each other to combine individual strengths to enhance team performance. They regularly assist our attorneys with organizing and maintaining files, conducting legal research, and preparing documents.