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Six Pender & Coward Attorneys Recognized as 2017 Best Lawyers in America®


Virginia Beach, Va. – Six Pender & Coward attorneys have been recognized in the 2017 Best Lawyers in America for outstanding work in individual practice areas. These rankings are based on a rigorous process that includes peer reviews and client evaluations.

David Arnold - Eminent Domain

Arnold leads Pender & Coward's Eminent Domain Practice Group and serves as chief marketing officer on the firm's Executive Committee. His law practice focuses on Eminent Domain and Right of Way condemnation for government and business entities, including real estate transactions and litigation.

Jo Ann Blair-Davis - Trusts and Estates Law

Blair-Davis has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America every year since 1995. Blair-Davis focuses her practice in the areas of Estate and Gift Tax Planning, Estate Administration and Probate and Succession Planning for Small Businesses. In addition to her involvement in legal organizations, she served as an active member of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) for over 17 years.

Richard Garriott - Family Law

Garriott is recognized for the 4th year by Best Lawyers for Family Law, and Norfolk’s 2017 Family Law “Lawyer of the Year”, which he also received in 2014. A Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Garriott focuses his practice on Family Law, Domestic Relations and Litigation.  

Robert Samuel - Personal Injury Litigation for Defendants

Samuel has been listed by Best Lawyers for his personal injury work every year since 2006. He oversees all workers’ compensation cases for the firm and focuses his practice in the areas of personal injury and litigation.

Daniel Schieble - Personal Injury Litigation for both Defendants and Plaintiffs 

Schieble is recognized for the 5th year as Best Lawyer for Personal Injury Litigation for both Defendants and Plaintiffs. Schieble focuses his practice on Personal Injury Litigation.

Diane Thompson - Trusts and Estates Law

Thompson is recognized for the 26th year by Best Lawyers for work in Trusts and Estates. Thompson focuses on the areas of Estate Planning and Administration, Fiduciary Income Taxation, Federal Estate and Gift Taxation and Post-mortem Tax and Disclaimer Planning. In 2015, she also received a Best Lawyers “Lawyer of the Year” designation for her work in Trusts and Estates Law in Norfolk.

About Best Lawyers of America

Best Lawyers, in partnership with The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, and The Chicago Tribune and other media worldwide, is the oldest peer review guide to the legal profession. The international program represents over 70 countries and is known for its relationships with the most prestigious lawyers from all over the world. The selection for Best Lawyers is based on a rigorous survey comprised of nearly 6.7 million confidential evaluations by the top attorneys in the U.S.

About Pender & Coward

For more than a century, Pender & Coward has been dedicated to the success of its clients, representing businesses of all sizes, governmental entities and individuals. The firm’s attorneys practice throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia from offices in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake and Suffolk, and remain committed to accomplishing client goals through proven experience, diligent research and effective communication. For more information, visit

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