Legal Assistant: Linda Carroll
John J. OKeeffe graduated from the University of Virginia in 1968 with a B.A. in government and international relations. After serving as a lieutenant in the United States Army for two years, he attended the University of Tennessee Law School graduating with a Juris Doctor degree in 1973.
Mr. OKeeffe began practicing law in Lynchburg in 1974. He was an associate attorney with the firm of Rhodes, Jennings & Livingston. In 1978 he joined the firm of Jester, Jester & OKeeffe as a partner. In 1988 Mr. OKeeffe, Mr. Spies, and others formed the firm of OKeeffe & Spies.
Mr. OKeeffe was admitted to practice in all courts in the State of Virginia in 1974, and is also admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia. He is a member of the Virginia Bar Association (member- Domestic Relations Section); the Virginia State Bar, and the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association. Mr. OKeeffe is also a member of the Lynchburg Bar Association.
During his many years of private practice, Mr. OKeeffe has handled a wide variety of legal matters, including criminal trials, commercial litigation, personal injury cases, will and estate matters, and real estate closings. However, Mr. OKeeffe now specializes in domestic relations and regularly handles divorce, custody, visitation and related matters. He appears in both the Virginia Circuit Courts and the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courts on behalf of his clients. In his divorce practice, he enjoys working with clients from a variety of backgrounds, including clients with significant assets creating complex and challenging issues involving equitable distribution, valuation of the businesses, etc., as well as individuals with few assets. Mr. OKeeffe is a former recipient of the annual Pro Bono Award from the Lynchburg Legal Aid Society, which reflects his willingness to provide domestic relations legal services to those who otherwise could not afford legal services. Mr. O’Keeffe is married to Chantal O’Keeffe and is the father of three grown children.
Legal Assistant: Lisa M. Tinsley
Richard E. Spies was born and raised in Charlottesville, Virginia. He attended St. Andrews School in Middletown, Delaware, and then the University of Virginia from which he received his BA degree in psychology in 1968. After serving in the United States Army in Vietnam as an infantry squad leader, he attended the University of Virginia Law School, graduating with a Juris Doctor degree in 1973. At the University of Virginia Law School he served as a Notes Editor of the University of Virginia Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif.
In 1973, Mr. Spies entered private practice in Lynchburg, Virginia, as an associate attorney with William Rosenberger, Jr. From 1976 to 1988, Mr. Spies was a partner in the law firm of Bell, Morrison & Spies, also located in Lynchburg, Virginia. In 1988, Mr. Spies, with John J. O'Keeffe, Jr. and others, formed O'Keeffe & Spies, in which firm Mr. Spies serves as managing partner.
Mr. Spies was admitted to practice in all courts in the State of Virginia in 1973, and is also admitted in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, and the United States Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. He is a member of the Virginia Bar Association (Member, Bankruptcy Law Section and Labor Relations/Employment Law Section), the Virginia State Bar (Member, Bankruptcy Law Section and Business Law Section), and the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association (Member, Commercial Law Section and Employment Law Section). He also helped establish the Bankruptcy Section of the Lynchburg Bar Association in 1993, serving as its initial secretary from 1993 to 1995. Mr. Spies was recognized in 2005 as a "Best Lawyer in America" in the field of commercial litigation, and in 2010 as a "Best Lawyer in America" in the field of bankruptcy and creditor-debtor rights law and a "Top Lawyer" in the same field by the American Law Registry. Mr. Spies is also a member of the Lynchburg Bar Association and a past-president of the Lynchburg Junior Bar Association.
Over more than three decades of practicing in Lynchburg and the Central Virginia area, Mr. Spies has acquired experience in a broad range of areas, including business, corporation, creditor's rights, commercial real estate and employment law. He represents numerous individual and corporate clients, regularly handling diverse litigation matters, including commercial litigation, insurance coverage disputes; enforcement of contracts (including employment contracts, covenants not to compete), as well as a variety of suits involving tort and miscellaneous claims. His practice involves the advising of businesses and individuals concerning commercial matters, including contracts, the selection and formation of business entities, and the sale or purchase of businesses. He advises businesses concerning employment matters and defends employers against employee claims, in grievances and wrongful termination cases, state law claims, and federal claims, including Title VII, ADA, age, FMLA and ERISA claims. His employment practice also involves advising clients how to prevent employee claims, which includes advising clients concerning employment decisions and drafting employee contracts, employee handbooks, and providing educational seminars to employers, management and staff in order to avoid employment problems.
Mr. Spies enjoys a commercial real estate law practice, handling a variety of matters, including purchases and sales, zoning and land use issues. He has experience in real estate litigation matters such as boundary disputes, easements, adverse possession, private nuisances, partitions and mechanics liens. Mr. Spies is a CRESPA closing attorney and is an approved attorney for a number of title insurance companies, including Southern Title Insurance Corporation, Lawyers Title Insurance Corporation, and Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Co.
Since moving to Lynchburg in 1973, Mr. Spies has been actively involved in the community, serving as a member of the Lynchburg Redevelopment Housing Authority, as well as its chairman; member of the Lynchburg Sheltered Industries, as well as its president; and a member of the Lynchburg Streetscape Committee. Mr. Spies is married to Lynne Spies. In his spare time, Mr. Spies enjoys tennis, gardening and just about any outdoor activity.
Legal Assistant: Michelle P. Pauley
James G. Hunter, III was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and was raised in Central Virginia. He graduated from Virginia Episcopal School, Lynchburg, Virginia, and the University of Virginia where he received a BA in history in 1981. After serving as assistant director of admissions at Woodberry Forest School in Woodberry Forest, Virginia, for two years, Mr. Hunter attended T. C. Williams School of Law University of Richmond graduating with a Juris Doctor degree in 1986. At T. C. Williams School of Law he was a member of the Moot Court Board and elected to the Order of Barristers. In 1986, Mr. Hunter worked as a staff attorney at the Office of the Attorney General in Richmond, Virginia. From 1987 to 1989, Mr. Hunter served as an Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney for the City of Richmond, Virginia. In 1989, Mr. Hunter returned to Lynchburg, Virginia where he joined the law firm where he is now a partner. From 1991 through 1994, Mr. Hunter served on the adjunct faculty at Central Virginia Community College where he taught criminal law in the College's Paralegal Studies Program. In 1996, Mr. Hunter attended the National Criminal Defense College, Mercer Law School, Macon Georgia.
Mr. Hunter's civil practice focuses on representing injured persons and individuals in general litigation matters. Mr. Hunter's criminal defense practice includes traffic charges, driving under the influence, juvenile criminal defense, misdemeanor and felony criminal defense in state and federal court.
Mr. Hunter was admitted to practice in all courts in the State of Virginia in 1986 and was also admitted to the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia and the United States Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. He is a member of the Virginia State Bar, the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association (serving as District Governor, 2010), the Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers,the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the American Association for Justice and the Lynchburg Bar Association.
Since returning to Lynchburg in 1989, Mr. Hunter has been an active member of the Lynchburg community. Mr. Hunter is a past-president of the Lynchburg Morning Rotary Club. He is a member of Saint Andrew Presbyterian Church. Mr. Hunter is married to Mary Beth Hunter is and the father of three children.
Legal Assistant: Lisa M. Tinsley
In 1978, Jennifer E. Stille entered Vanderbilt Univerity in Nashville, Tennessee, where she was a Harold Sterling Vanderbilt Scholar (recipient of full tuition scholarship for academic achievement). During the summer of 1980, Ms. Stille participated in the British Studies at Oxford Program at St. John's College, Oxford, England. Upon receipt of her B.A. degree in English in 1981, Ms. Stille attended Vanderbilt University School of Law, graduating with a Juris Doctor degree in 1984.
During the summer of 1983, Ms. Stille served as a legal intern for the Honorable Boris J. Radoyevich, United States Bankruptcy judge for the Eastern District of New York in Westbury, New York.
In 1984, Ms. Stille was admitted to the Florida Bar and joined the firm of Rogers, Towers, Bailey, Jones & Gay as an associate attorney in that firm's Jacksonville, Florida, office. Her practice there consisted primarily of federal and state corporate and individual tax matters, with some additional work in commercial and residential real estate. In 1986, Ms. Stille put her professional career on hiatus, to spend time at home with her family. Ms. Stille was admitted to the Virginia Bar in 1995, and in 1996 joined the firm of O'Keeffe & Spies in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Ms. Stille engages in a general practice, handling matters as diverse as her clients. Ms. Stille enjoys a significant family law practice, including: pre-marital agreements, divorce, child custody, visitation and support, spousal support, equitable distribution of marital property, name changes, and adoption. Ms. Stille advises clients as to the domestic law of Virginia, negotiates settlements, prepares agreements and pleadings, and tries cases in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Courts and the Circuit Courts in the City of Lynchburg and the surrounding counties. Ms. Stille also handles domestic cases at the appellate level.
Ms. Stille practices in the area of estates and trusts. Professional services she renders in this area include asset transfer planning, the preparation, and related litigation. Ms. Stille has represented clients in casetion of wills, inter vivos trusts and other instruments, estate administrs concerning the interpretation or construction of wills, the termination or reformation of trusts, declaration of a missing individual dead, and adult guardianships and conservatorships. She also provides counsel with regard to the estate and trust administration process.
In addition to the foregoing, Ms. Stille handles a broad range of business and commercial matters, from transactional issues such as advising clients about the differences among business entities, forming business entities (including tax-exempt entities), drafting corporate policies and contracts, and structuring purchases and sales of businesses and business assets, to commercial litigation for individuals and business entities in state and federal courts. Her practice also includes commercial real estate matters and representation of clients in the bankruptcy court. She is a CRESPA closing attorney and is an approved attorney for Southern Title Insurance Corporation.
Ms. Stille is admitted to practice in all courts in the State of Virginia, the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Virginia, and the United States Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. She is a member of the Virginia State Bar (Member, Business Law Section, Trust and Estate Law Section, and Family Law Section). Ms. Stille is also a member of the Lynchburg Bar Association and is currently secretary of the Bankruptcy Section of the Lynchburg Bar Association. From 1998 to 2000, Ms. Stille took an active part in the Model Judiciary Program sponsored by the Virginia YMCA, acting as an advising attorney to moot court teams at the R.S. Payne Elementary School GO Center.
Ms. Stille is an active equestrian, and enjoys canoeing, kayaking, and fishing. Jennifer Stille is married to David Adam Bovenizer and has one grown daughter.