Nancy S. Lester, Ogletree Deakins / Richmond
Nancy is an Associate in the firm's Richmond office. She focuses her practice on employment litigation and employment counseling. Nancy has experience defending employers against discrimination, wrongful termination, harassment and retaliation claims in federal and state courts and before various administrative agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Nancy also has litigated various business tort matters involving corporate trade secrets, breach of contract, non-competition and non-solicitation agreements, business conspiracy, and defamation in multiple jurisdictions. Nancy regularly reviews and drafts employment policies, contracts and handbooks, conducts harassment and discrimination investigations, and counsels employers regarding best practices and litigation avoidance.
Nancy was listed among the ‘Legal Elite’ for lawyers under 40 by Virginia Business Magazine in 2014. She was also honored as a Virginia Super Lawyers 'Rising Star' in labor and employment in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
Active in the Richmond community, Nancy serves on the Junior Board of The Children’s Museum of Richmond. She was also a member of the Board of Directors of The Podium Foundation – a nonprofit organization providing Richmond high school students opportunities to explore their passion for literary arts – from 2012-2014.
She received her J.D., cum laude, University of Richmond T.C. Williams School of Law, 2008, and her B.A. University of Virginia, 2004.
Admitted to Practice:
U.S. District Court, Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia
U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
Honors and Awards:
- Virginia Business Magazine “Legal Elite” - Lawyers under 40 (2014)
- Virginia Super Lawyers Rising Star - Labor and Employment (2013 - 2015)
- Virginia Bar Association: Young Lawyers Division (Executive Committee Member, Law School Liaison, 2013-present; Young Lawyers Division Co-Chair, University of Richmond Law School Council, 2009-present)
- Richmond Bar Association (CLE Committee Member, 2011-2013)
- Charlottesville SHRM – “Employment Law Update” – Charlottesville – January 2015
- Association of Corporate Counsel, WMACCA Chapter – “FMLA, ADA, or Both? An Advanced Discussion of Complex Leave Issues” – Richmond – December 2014
David R. Simonsen, Jr., David R. Simonsen, Jr. Law Office / Richmond
David R. Simonsen, Jr., practices law in partnership with his wife in Richmond, Virginia. He primarily advises individuals and employers with regard to labor and employment law matters in consultations, investigations, mediations, arbitrations, administrative and agency proceedings, and state and federal courts. Mr. Simonsen has written and spoken extensively on labor and employment matters, including wrongful discharge, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wage and hour issues. Mr. Simonsen teaches employment law at Virginia Commonwealth University as an adjunct faculty member and he is listed in Best Lawyers in America and other such lists. When representing an individual plaintiff in a race discrimination case before a Richmond federal court jury, Mr. Simonsen obtained a jury verdict that included an award of punitive damages in the amount of $750,000.00; a verdict upheld on appeal. Mr. Simonsen received his undergraduate degree from Duke University, a masters of arts in teaching from Vanderbilt University, and his law degree from Vanderbilt University.
MODERATOR AND CHAIR of the Program Planning Committee
David Paxton, Gentry Locke / Roanoke
W. David Paxton is a partner with Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore LLP. He represents and advises businesses, non-profits, directors, officers, and executives in the areas of labor & employment law and complex litigation. He is the Chair of Gentry Locke’s labor and employment practice, is a frequent guest speaker at national and regional employment law seminars, and has been included in "Best Lawyers in America" for Labor & Employment for the past 16 years. Prior to joining Gentry Locke, David was a Navy JAG officer who served at the NLSO on Guam and in NAMARA in DC. He received his law degree from the University of Virginia and his BA from Hampden-Sydney College.