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J.D., University of Virginia, 1999

B.A., University of Virginia, Echols Scholar, 1995

Professional Recognition

Virginia's "Legal Elite," Virginia Business magazine

Virginia's Super Lawyers Rising Star (2008-2011)

Benchmark Litigation: The Definitive Guide to America's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys


Virginia State Bar

Norfolk Portsmouth Bar Association

Federal Bar Association


Virginia Conflict Resolution Center: Board Member

Brett A. Spain



(757) 628-5534 v-Card Print to PDF

Practice Areas

Commercial Litigation and First Amendment

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.

  • Acts as an Arbitrator for the Virginia Conflict Resolution Center on private matters referred by the Center as well as on matters referred by the Better Business Bureau.

  • Law clerk to the Honorable Henry Coke Morgan, Eastern District of Virginia, 1999-2000.