Wyatt B. Durrette

, Biography
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Wyatt B. Durrette, Biography

W yatt B. Durrette, Jr. is first and foremost a trial lawyer. He has been selected by his peers to be included in The Best Lawyers in America in the area of Commercial Litigation, is a member of the Boyd-Graves Conference, is listed in Virginia's "Legal Elite," according to Virginia Business Magazine, in cooperation with the Virginia Bar Association, and named in Top Fifty Super Lawyers in the category of Business Litigation in Law & Politics magazine, is a member of the Boyd-Graves Conference, and is named as one of fifteen Leaders in the Law  for 2007 by Virginia Lawyers Weekly.

Mr. Durrette focuses his practice on 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 colleagues as particularly effective in cases 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.

Mr. Durrette is one of the firm's representatives to the XDL Group, Multidimensional Intellectual Property Advocates, of which the Firm is a founding member.  The XDL Group, composed of litigators and IP experts around the country, specializes in intellectual property litigation. More information on the XDL Group can be found at www.XDLgroup.com.

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 in Political Science from the Johns Hopkins University as a Gilman Fellow. In law school, Mr. Durrette was on 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 Accomplishments:

The only Virginia attorney to prevail for a plaintiff and a defendant in conspiracy cases at trial and in the Virginia Supreme Court Commercial Business Systems v. Halifax Corp., 253 Va. 292, 484 S.SE.2d 892 (1997) and Tazewell Oil Co. v. United Virginia Bank, 243 Va. 94, 413 S.E.2d 611 (1992). Mr. Durrette won two of the largest attorney fee awards upheld by the Virginia Supreme Court, one awarded by the court and the other by a jury.  

He 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 .

Mr. Durrette won the first age discrimination case against an American airline company in Smallwood v. United Airlines, 661 F.2d 303(4th Cir. 1981).

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 Committee in three major class actions pending in the Eastern District of New York, the Northern District of California and in the District of Massachusetts.

Professional Affiliations:

  • Virginia Bar Association
  • Richmond Bar Association
  • Member of the John Marshall Inn of Court
  • Member of the American Association for Justice (Formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America )
  • Co-founder of XDL Group, a virtual, national collaboration of trial lawyers and Intellectual Property attorneys and professionals
  • Past Chairman of the Business Torts Section of the American Association for Justice (Formerly Association of Trial Lawyers of America )
  • Member of Virginia Trial Lawyers Association 
  • Past Chairman of the Business Litigation Section of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association

Mr. Durrette is admitted to practice in:

  • Virginia
  • District of Columbia
  • Federal District of Colorado
  • Courts of Appeals for First, Third, Fourth, Tenth, District of Columbia , and Federal Circuits
  • United States Supreme Court

Publications:

Editor of Civil Discovery in Virginia published by the Virginia Continuing Legal Education Committee of the Virginia Law Foundation, the first comprehensive compilation of its kind in Virginia.    

Indentifying the Civil RICO Case
G. Robert Blakey, Richard L. Coffman & Wyatt B. Durrette, Jr.
As seen in the Journal of Virginia Trial Lawyers Association (VTLA) Winter, 2006

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare for Cross Examination
Wyatt B. Durrette, Jr.
As seen in the Journal of Virginia Trial Lawyers Association (VTLA) Winter, 2006

The Impact of the Class Action Fairness Act in Virginia
Wyatt B. Durrette and Christine A. Williams
As seen in the Journal of Virginia Trial Lawyers Association (VTLA) Summer, 2006

Is there now access to class action remedies in Virginia for indirect purchaser actions? The authors present the case based on the recent Class Action Fairness Act and its impact, particularly in states like Virginia where no class action mechanism has existed
Article in PDF

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.

In 1985, as the Republican party candidate for Governor.

Mr. Durrette serves on the Board of Directors of Comfort Zone Camp, the nation's largest nonprofit bereavement camp for children. The camp serves children ages seven to seventeen who have lost a parent, sibling or primary care giver.

Mr. Durrette also serves on Governor Tim Kaine's "Moving Virginia Forward" Transition Committee. The Committee is comprised of leaders from across the Commonwealth, who will provide the Governor-Elect with advice, offer insight about issues of importance in their communities, and assist the Governor in his efforts to promote excellence, attention to regional perspectives, diversity and bipartisanship.  The Committee will also recommend individuals to serve in the Administration.