Sykes, Bourdon, Ahern & Levy, P.C.
Hampton Roads VA Attorneys Sykes, Bourdon
Howard R. Sykes, Jr.
R. Edward Bourdon, Jr.
Jon M. Ahern
Kirk B. Levy
L. Steven Emmert
James T. Cromwell
Michael J. Levy
Jacqueline A. Fink

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L. Steven Emmert


Mr. Emmert limits his practice to appellate advocacy in the state and federal courts.  He has briefed and argued numerous significant cases that have resulted in published opinions in a variety of fields of the law.


Mr. Emmert has been with the firm since 1999, when he returned to the private sector after spending nine years in the Virginia Beach City Attorney’s Office.  It was in the public sector that he developed the skills of an appellate advocate, as he represented the City and its officers, employees and agents in a variety of appellate cases.  Those included numerous challenges to municipal authority; major tort and Eminent Domain litigation; tax and valuation appeals; and the nation’s first appellate interpretation of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

Since returning to the private sector, Mr. Emmert has accepted appellate challenges in a larger number of cases across many fields.  He has risen to the chairmanship of the Virginia State Bar’s Appellate Practice Subcommittee, making him the principal spokesman for Virginia’s appellate lawyers.  He is a member of the Supreme Court’s Appellate Rules Advisory Commission, and the Boyd-Graves Conference of the Virginia Bar Association.  He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America in the field of Appellate Law, and in November 2007 was honored by the Virginia Lawyers Weekly as one of 15 “Leaders in the Law”.

Mr. Emmert is a frequent lecturer on appellate advocacy before a variety of bar associations.  In 2005, he introduced to Virginia the symposium method of teaching appellate lawyers, covering individual topics in depth with very small groups of attorneys, to ensure maximum interaction between faculty and attendees.  The Appellate Practice Subcommittee continues to present two such symposia per year for the benefit of Virginia lawyers.  Mr. Emmert has received a “AV” rating by Martindale-Hubbell.


For most of his life, Mr. Emmert has lived in Virginia.  He attended Great Bridge High School in Chesapeake, graduating in 1976.  He then attended Richmond College, a division of the University of Richmond, where he received a Bachelors of Arts in Economics in 1979, graduating magna cum laude.  He received departmental honors and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.  In 1982 he received a Juris Doctor Degree from the University of  Virginia School of Law.


Mr. Emmert is a member of the Virginia Beach Bar Association (Boyd-Graves Conference), the American Bar Association (Council of Appellate Lawyers), the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association (co-chair, Amicus Curiae Committee), the Virginia Beach Bar Association (Circuit Court Liaison Committee), the Federal Bar Association, and the Virginia State Bar (chairman, Appellate Practice Subcommittee).


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