James J. O'Keeffe

Attorney in Roanoke, VA
Jay O'Keeffe focuses his practice on appeals and trusts-and-estates litigation. On the appellate side, he helps people both to bring appeals and to resist them, securing their results in the trial court. He has briefed and argued numerous cases before the Supreme Court of Virginia and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Jay publishes a blog, De Novo, at www.virginiaappellatelaw.com, and has been repeatedly recognized for his appellate work. Jay's fiduciary-litigation practice helps people to realize - and protect - their plans for their family, finances, and health.


Speaking Engagements
• Seven Steps to Stronger Legal Writing, 11/04/2014
• Technology and the Litigation Practice, 02/22/2013
• Legal Protections for Writers, 01/26/2013
• Social Media presenter, Backpack to Briefcase: The New Virginia Lawyer, 11/14/2012
• Practical Tips for Complying with FOIA after Hill v. Fairfax County School Board, 10/05/2012
• Know Your Audience: Reintroducing the Changing Supreme Court of Virginia, 10/02/2012
• Less Paper, More Fun: iPad for Lawyers, 05/30/2012
• Better Legal Writing, at VBA/VSB Appellate Summit, 04/25/2012
• Attorney Coaching: Creating the Next Generation of Rainmakers Webinar, 12/08/2010

•Briefed and argued numerous cases before the Supreme Court of Virginia and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
•Representative appeals include Lewis v. City of Alexandria, 756 S.E.2d 465 (Va. 2014); Hill v. Crum, 727 F.3d 312 (4th Circuit 2013); S.L.M. v. Dorel Juvenile Group, Inc., 514 Fed. Appx. 389 (4th Cir. 2013); VanBuren v. Grubb, 284 Va. 584, 733 S.E.2d 919 (2012); Jarmak v. Ramos, 497 Fed. Appx. 289 (2012); VanBuren v. Grubb, 471 Fed. Appx. 228 (4th Cir. 2012); Bonham v. Weinraub, 413 Fed. Appx. 615 (4th Circuit 2011); Rascher v. Friend, 279 Va. 370, 689 S.E.2d 661, Dunn Construction Co., Inc. v. Cloney, 278 Va. 260, 682 S.E.2d 943 (2009); Kennedy v. Joy Technologies, Inc., 269 Fed. Appx. 302 (4th Cir. 2008); Switzer v. Switzer, 273 Va. 326, 641 S.E.2d 80 (2007)
•Represents plaintiffs and defendants in civil matters in state and federal trial courts
•Maintains a regular trial court practice
•Associated with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP before joining Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore

• Nine Gentry Locke Attorneys Recognized as 2014 Legal Elite in Virginia, 12/02/2014
• 27 Gentry Locke Attorneys Named to Lists of 2014 Virginia Super Lawyers and Rising Stars, 06/13/2014
• Gentry Locke Attorneys Named to 2013 Legal Elite, 11/27/2013
• Twenty-five Gentry Locke Attorneys Named to Virginia Super Lawyers for 2013, 06/14/2013
• Gentry Locke, Attorneys Noted in 3 Benchmark Litigation Publications, 08/29/2012
• Twenty-four Gentry Locke Attorneys Named to Virginia Super Lawyers for 2012, 06/15/2012
• Twelve Gentry Locke Lawyers Named to 2012 Virginia Legal Elite, 12/04/2011
• Gentry Locke Adds New Commercial Litigator, 07/03/2006

• How to Get a Writ Granted and Other Tips from the Justices, 03/31/2014
• I Am Richard Posner...and So Can You?, 11/08/2013
• What to Bring to Oral Argument, 09/27/2013
• How the Fourth Circuit Decides Whether to Award Oral Argument, 09/04/2013
• Gentry Locke Involved with First Significant E-Discovery Decision in Western Virginia, 02/16/2007

•Listed in Benchmark Appellate as a Local Litigation Star (2013)
•Designated as one of the Legal Elite by Virginia Business magazine for Appellate Law (2012-2014)
•Named a Virginia Super Lawyers Rising Star in Appellate Law (2010-2014) and Business Litigation (2008-2009)

Published Work
•Co-author, Social Media and Discovery -- New Tools, Same Rules ; The VADA Journal of Civil Litigation, Vol. XXII, No. 4, Winter 2010-2011.
•Co-author, Something Old, Something New: The Partial Final Judgment Rule ; VSB Litigation News, Volume XV Number III (Fall 2010).
•Co-author, Thoughts on Trying Construction Cases: An Appellate Perspective; Virginia State Bar Construction Law and Public Contracts News, Issue No. 56 (Spring 2010).
•Co-author, Have You Made A Last-ditch, Desperate, and Disingenuous Attempt to Subvert the Legal Process Today?; Virginia Lawyer Magazine, Volume 57 (February 2009).

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Peer Rating 4.6 of 5

Areas of Law

  • Appellate
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Estates
  • Probate & Trust Litigation


Peer Rating


Overall Peer Rating

in Appellate Practice and Litigation
4.6 out of 5.0

Legal Knowledge
Analytical Capabilities
Communication Ability
Legal Experience

  • Meets very high criteria of general ethical standards
Posted by a Private Practice Attorney on 12/13/13
4.4 out of 5.0
Jay is a very capable, bright, conscientious young lawyer who is of the highest integrity.
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Posted by a Private Practice Attorney on 12/05/13
5.0 out of 5.0
Jay is an outstanding lawyer and a fine person. He merits your highest rating.
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Posted by a Private Practice Attorney on 12/05/13
5.0 out of 5.0
I have hired Mr. O'Keeffe to assist as co-counsel in an appeal and his work was top-notch. He also shows excellent judgment. Definitely my go-to guy for appellate work.
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Posted by a Private Practice Attorney on 12/05/13
4.8 out of 5.0
Jay is a first rate lawyer, and is responsible for an appellate blog in Virginia that is a must read.
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Experience & Credentials



Admission Details

Admitted in 2002, Virginia
2003, District of Columbia

Credit Cards Accepted
Additional Payment Information
  • Fixed Hourly Rates
  • Fixed Fees Available
  • Law School Attended

    Harvard Law School
    Class of 2002
    cum laude

    University Attended

    College of William and Mary
    Class of 1999
    magna cum laude

    Associations & Memberships

    •Virginia State Bar; Member (2002-Present); Appellate Subcommittee (2009-Present); Trusts and Estates Section (2014-Present)
    •Faculty Mem... More

    Representative Cases

    Rascher v. Friend, 689 S.E.2d 661 (Va. 2010); Dunn Construction Co., Inc. v. Cloney, 278 Va. 260, 692 S.E.2d 943 (2009); Switzer v. Switzer, 641 S.E.2d 80; 2007 Va. LEXIS 34; Kennedy v. Joy Techs., Inc. 269 Fed. Appx. 302 (4th Cir. 2008).

    Contact Information






    Send email to James J. O

    Office Information
    James J. O'Keeffe
    SunTrust Plaza 10 Franklin Road SE, Suite 800,
    Roanoke, VA 24011


    Gentry Locke, LLP (Roanoke, Virginia)

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