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  Durrette, Jr., Wyatt B.
NameWyatt B. Durrette, Jr.
Richmond, Virginia , United States
Born February 21, 1938 (79 years)
ContributorNot in Public Domain
Last ModifedUser 13
Oct 28, 2005 04:47pm
Info Mr. Durrette is first and foremost a trial lawyer who has been selected by his peers as one of Virginia's "Legal Elite", according to Virginia Business Magazine, in cooperation with the Virginia Bar Association. He specializes in complex commercial litigation including antitrust. His trial experience includes representation of both plaintiffs and defendants in federal and state courts across the country. He is regarded by his partners as particularly effective in cases such as civil conspiracy or tortious interference with contract rights, where fact patterns tend to be complex and records or witnesses numerous. He gives personal attention to a wide variety of matters handled by the firm as well as serving as a resource for attorneys managing cases in which he has no direct role. Mr. Durrette maintains close ties within the professional community, and is often consulted by lawyers in other firms who value his advice.

Personal Background

Mr. Durrette received his undergraduate degree in Mathematics from the Virginia Military Institute, where he played football and was honored as All Southern Conference in track and field. He received his law degree, cum laude, from Washington & Lee University and earned a Masters degree in Political Science from the Johns Hopkins University as a Gilman Fellow. In law school, Mr. Durrette was a member of the Washington & Lee Law Review, won the Burke Oral Argument Award and was chosen Chairman of the Moot Court team. He received the prestigious American Jurisprudence Awards for Excellence in several courses. He was President of his class at both VMI and W & L, and was selected to Who's Who Among Students at American Colleges and Universities at both schools.

Professional Activities

In 1988, Mr. Durrette served as the lead attorney in Tazewell Oil Co. v. United Virginia Bank, 243 Va. 94, 413 S.E.2d 611 (1992), a six week jury trial producing the then-largest verdict against a commercial lender in Virginia history. This case has been cited by Professor Kent Sinclair as "perhaps one of the most complex cases litigated in the modern era" in Virginia. More recently, Mr. Durrette has served as case manager for a group of opt-out plaintiffs in one of the largest private antitrust cases in U.S. history. He is currently on the Executive Steering Committee in three major class actions pending in the Eastern District of New York, the District of Massachusetts and the Northern District of California. Mr. Durrette is recognized as an authority in the areas of trial practice, attorneys fees and lender liability, among others. Early in his career, he won the first age discrimination case against an American airline (Smallwood v. United Air Lines, Inc., 661 F.2d 303 (1981). He was lead counsel in two of the largest attorney fee awards upheld by the Virginia Supreme Court, one awarded by the court and the other by a jury. Mr. Durrette enjoys the unique status of successfully prosecuting and defending clients in conspiracy trials with both results upheld by the Virginia Supreme Court.

Professional Affiliations/Bar Admissions/Publications

Mr. Durrette is admitted to practice in Virginia, the District of Columbia, the Federal District of Colorado, the First, Third, Fourth, Tenth, District of Columbia and Federal Circuit Courts of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court. He is a member of the John Marshall Inn of Court and the Virginia and Richmond Bar Associations. Mr. Durrette is the Editor of Civil Discovery in Virginia published by the Virginia Continuing Legal Education Committee of the Virginia Law Foundation, which is the first comprehensive compilation of its kind in Virginia. He has served as Chairman of the Business Torts Section of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America and Chairman of the Business Litigation Section of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association. His articles and reviews have appeared in several legal publications.

Community Involvement

Elected to the Virginia General Assembly in 1971, Mr. Durrette served three terms. While a member of the House of Delegates, his committee assignments included Courts of Justice, Conservation and Natural Resources, and Education. He was selected for numerous study groups, task forces and commissions, including appointment by President Reagan to the Advisory Committee on Intergovernmental Relations. In 1981, he was nominated as the Republican candidate for Attorney General and in 1985 as that party's candidate for Governor. Mr. Durrette was recently appointed to the board of directors of Comfort Zone Camp, the nation's largest nonprofit bereavement camp for children.

Personal Interests

In addition to focusing on his family, Mr. Durrette enjoys sports of almost all kinds, but has a particular fondness for the Redskins and any team wearing the red, white and yellow of the VMI Keydets. He can occasionally be found on his dock in Deltaville fishing, e-mailing or on the phone. A fan of Jimmy Buffet, this is his "Margaritaville."



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