Cortland Putbrese

Cortland Putbrese

Cortland Putbrese


8003 Franklin Farm Dr, Suite 220
Richmond, VA 23229

Phone: 804-823-7776

Fax: 804-977-2680

Email: [email protected]


Cortland’s practice primarily focuses on complex commercial litigation, intellectual property, products liability, insurance coverage, employment, bankruptcy, and political law matters. He also represents clients in nationwide alcohol beverage control licensing and regulatory matters.

Cortland has extensive experience representing and advising Fortune 500 companies in multimillion-dollar lawsuits in state and federal courts across the country. He is highly skilled in all aspects of the pretrial and trial stages of litigation, and he has represented various foreign corporations, including companies in Japan, Germany, Canada and China, and worked with counsel around the globe. In addition, he routinely counsels start-up companies and assists them with their business planning and legal needs. Prior to joining Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig, Cortland practiced with a major international law firm.

Cortland served as an adjunct professor at the University Of Richmond School Of Law for almost eight years, where he taught first-year students. He has authored various publications, including serving as a contributor to the U.S. State Trademark and Unfair Competition Law publication and the Tort Law Desk Reference: A Fifty-State Compendium. His observations on national and Virginia politics have appeared in the Daily Telegraph (London, England), Aamulehti (Finland), Washington Examiner, and Richmond Times-Dispatch newspapers.

Recently, the Governor of Virginia appointed Cortland to the Board of Corrections, which oversees the Virginia Department of Corrections and which promulgates regulations that govern the state prison and jail system. In 2007, the Attorney General of Virginia selected him to serve as special counsel to represent the state in certain cases. The Virginia Department of Labor and Industry Commissioner have also appointed Cortland and Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig as the state’s special counsel for the purpose of collecting monies owed to employees.

Bar Admissions:

  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of West Virginia
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of West Virginia
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Virginia


  • Virginia Department of Corrections, Board of Corrections Member (Appointed by the Governor of Virginia), 2013-14
  • Virginia Department of Labor and Industry, Special Counsel (Appointed by the Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry), 2012-13
  • Capitol Square Preservation Council, Member-at-Large (Appointed by the Governor of Virginia), 2011-14
  • Office of the Attorney General of Virginia, Special Counsel (Appointed by the Attorney General of Virginia), 2007-08


  • Rated “Superb” by Avvo (the highest level for this lawyer rating service)
  • Selected for inclusion in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who Marquis, 70th Edition, 2016
  • Phi Delta Phi Legal Honor Society, Washington and Lee University School of Law, Tucker Inn, President (1997-98)

Professional Associations & Memberships:

  • Lewis F. Powell, Jr. American Inn of Court, Executive Committee (2009-13), Member (2007-present)
  • National Association of Alcoholic Beverage Licensing Attorneys, Member (2014-present)
  • Washington and Lee Alumni Association of Richmond, Chapter Advisory Board, Member (2014-present)
  • OPUS Performing Arts Society, Inc., General Counsel (2007-08)
  • Washington and Lee Alumni Association of Richmond, Co-President (2007-08), Vice President (2007), Secretary (2005-07), Treasurer (2004-05)
  • The James Monroe Memorial Foundation, Development and Fundraising Committee (2006-08)
  • Defense Research Institute, Member (2001-05)
  • West Virginia State Bar, Young Lawyers Executive Committee, Elected Delegate (1999-2000)
  • Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce, Selected for Leadership Charleston (2000)
  • Kanawha County Bar Association, Member (1999-2000)

Published Works, Classes Taught & Speaking Engagements:

  • U.S. State Trademark and Unfair Competition Law, Contributor, International Trademark Association (INTA), 2016 edition
  • “Advanced Winery and Vineyard Law” (Continuing Legal Education course), Speaker, National Business Institute, 2016
  • “2014 Virginia Election Law Training:  Update Regarding Legislative and Regulatory Changes” (Continuing Legal Education course), Speaker, 2014
  • University of Richmond School of Law, Adjunct Associate Professor of Law, Lawyering Skills Program, 2005-13
  • “Promised Wages: Strategies that Work in Wage Collection,” Panelist, National Association of Governmental Labor Officials Annual Conference (Baltimore, Maryland), 2012
  • “Collection of Unpaid Wages under Virginia’s Payment of Wage Act,” Guest Speaker, Central Virginia Legal Aid Radio Show, WRIR 97.3 FM, 2012
  • Tort Law Desk Reference: A Fifty-State Compendium, Contributing Editor, Aspen Law & Business, 2000 edition
  • Virginia State Bar Environmental Law News, Co-Author: “Virginia’s Title V Operating Permit Program,” 1998
  • Washington and Lee Race and Ethnic Ancestry Law Journal, Articles Editor, 1997-98


  • Washington and Lee University School of Law, J.D., 1998
  • University of Virginia, B.A., High Distinction, 1995
  • SwimWays Corp. v. ZURU, Inc., U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia: Successfully defended an international toy company based in Asia that was named as a defendant in a multimillion-dollar patent infringement lawsuit. Drafted and filed a motion for summary judgment. Following a lengthy oral argument, the court entered summary judgment in the client’s favor, declared the plaintiff’s patent invalid in a 71 page opinion, and dismissed the case with prejudice. The judge also denied plaintiff’s motion for partial summary judgment.
  • Income Tax School, Inc. v. Lopez, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia: Represented defendants in a copyright infringement case and successfully secured an early dismissal of the lawsuit upon jurisdictional grounds.
  • Ferguson v. Republican Party of Virginia, Inc., Campbell County Circuit Court, Virginia: Represented a major statewide political party that was named as a defendant in a lawsuit involving complex constitutional law issues. The action arose out of an internal party dispute. Moved to dismiss the case on behalf of the defendant, and after a lengthy hearing, the court agreed with the statewide political party and entered a rare dismissal with prejudice of the entire lawsuit. In so doing, the judge noted that courts should not wade into internal political party disputes, particularly where, as here, the dispute centered on the party’s fundamental First Amendment association right. The action was never appealed.
  • In the Matter of Rave Cinemas, LLC, Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Board: Successfully defended the nation’s fifth largest cinema circuit against charges brought by the enforcement division of the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC). The ABC alleged the client violated certain state alcoholic beverage control laws. Tried and won the case before an ABC administrative law judge. After the judge dismissed all charges against the client, the ABC Board upheld the judge’s decision.
  • Hinkle v. ABB Process Analytics, Inc., U.S. District Court, Southern District of West Virginia: Represented a corporate defendant in an ERISA class action lawsuit. Moved to dismiss the case on the grounds that plaintiffs had failed to exhaust their administrative remedies. The court granted the motion and dismissed the case.
  • Maricco v. Meco Corp., U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan: Served as national counsel for a prominent step stool and grill manufacturer. Handled this manufacturer’s defense in a complex products liability action pending in a Michigan federal district court. Conducted significant fact and expert discovery. Argued a motion for summary judgment and an accompanying motion in limine to exclude plaintiff’s expert’s testimony. The court granted the summary judgment motion and dismissed the case with prejudice. The court also granted in part the manufacturer’s motion to exclude plaintiff’s expert.
  • Fluor Corporation v. American International Specialty Lines Insurance Company, U.S. District Court, Central District of California: Successfully represented an international insurance company named as a defendant in a complex coverage action filed by an insured. The case arose out of the alleged failure of a gold mine processing facility constructed by the insured in the Andes Mountains of Chile. After the mine processing facility prevailed in an arbitration against the insured, the insured, which was represented by one of the largest law firms in the world, filed suit against the carrier, seeking coverage and claiming tens of millions of dollars in damages. The insured also alleged claims for bad faith and punitive damages in the coverage action. Handled significant international discovery matters in defending the client, retained and worked with foreign counsel in multiple countries, engaged in extensive motion practice, and successfully compelled the insured and the mine owner to produce hundreds of thousands of relevant documents located in Chile and Canada. After drafting and filing multiple summary judgment motions based on the insurer’s coverage defenses, the case settled favorably for the client.
  • State of West Virginia ex rel. One-Gateway Assocs., LLC v. Hon. Gary L. Johnson, Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia: Represented a company that sought a writ of prohibition in the West Virginia supreme court to prohibit the enforcement of a state court’s order granting injunctive relief to a landowner. The supreme court granted the writ of prohibition, finding the state court erred as a matter of law in granting injunctive relief.

Disclaimer: Case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case, and case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case.

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