Debra Fitzgerald-O'Connell has been an attorney since 1990. During law school, she was a law clerk at Arthur and Speed where she became an associate after graduation. From 1991-1999 she was with Gilmer, Sadler, Ingram, Sutherland & Hutton, LLP, in Pulaski, VA, where before state and federal courts she practiced general law and litigation, professional negligence, civil litigation and appeals, commercial and corporate law, education law, family law, insurance law, and municipal law. She was one of the first certified guardian-ad-litem attorneys for adults in the Commonwealth. She helped start, and taught in, the paralegal degree program at New River Community College in Dublin, VA, and was Representative to the Legal Aid Society of New River Valley, Inc., Board of Directors (1991-1999) as well as Local Representative to the Committee of Local Bar Associations (1993-1996).
Upon her return to northern Virginia in 1999, she joined the firm of Lawson and Frank, PC, where her practice in general and complex civil litigation and appeals and corporate and commercial law expanded to include land use and development law and representation of corporate clients in the mortgage banking industry. In 2003 she became an associate attorney at Cohen, Gettings & Caulkins, PC, in Arlington, and later of counsel to its successor firm, Capsalis, Bruce & Reaser, PLC.
In 2006 she opened as Debra Fitzgerald-O'Connell, PLC, focusing on complex civil litigation, wills and estates, land development, and mortgage/financial services law. She currently serves as outside counsel to two large corporations involved in the areas of land development and mortgage guaranty/trust. In addition, she has extensive experience in state appellate practice, having argued before the Supreme Court of Virginia and the Virginia Court of Appeals on numerous occasions. Ms. Fitzgerald-O'Connell has submitted briefs for a number of cases in the federal appellate court system, of which some reached review by the Supreme Court of the United States. She is a volunteer judge for Moot Court and Trial Team competitions at George Mason University School of Law, where she also advises law students on effective interviewing techniques, and serves as a preceptor for legal interns. She is also a board member (2011-12) of the school's Law Alumni Association. In June, 2011, Ms. Fitzgerald-O'Connell was recognized by the Virginia State Bar for her service both to the Bar and to members of the legal profession.
Before Ms. Fitzgerald-O'Connell became a lawyer, she had an extensive career in public health providing maternal-infant nutritional consulting and counseling throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. She was Director of Nutritional Services at Radford University and at community hospitals in Virginia and North Carolina.
Practice Areas: General and Complex Civil Litigation and Appeals; Corporate Law; Commercial Law; General Counsel Representation (Inside/Outside) for Corporate Clients; Local Counsel Services
Peer Review Rating BV® Distinguished™
George Mason University, J.D., 1990
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (B.S., 1976; M.S., 1978)
Admitted 1990, Virginia and Virginia Supreme Court; U.S. District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia; U.S. Bankruptcy Court; U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
Memberships: Twenty-Seventh Judicial Circuit, Pulaski County Bar Association (Secretary/Treasurer, 1993-1994; Vice President, 1994; President, 1994-1995); Arlington County Bar Association; Virginia State Bar (Member and former Chair, Disciplinary Committee, Fourth District, Section 1, 2006-present); Virginia Trial Lawyers Association (Member: Key Contacts Committee, 1996-1998); Association of Trial Lawyers of America; American Bar Association; Phi Delta Phi
The Fitzgerald Law Group, PLC Leesburg Junction 215 Depot Court SE, Suite 305 Leesburg, VA 20175 Main Telephone Number: 703.525.2260 Facsimile Number: 571.209.5123
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