On the Cover: Christopher Malone

VASL12.jpgThe newest edition of Virginia Super Lawyers, now available online, as a digital edition and in print, features cover subject Christopher Malone of ThompsonMcMullan in Richmond. A prominent business litigator, Malone is committed to using the law to do good works. A fitting approach, considering that he moonlights as a deacon in the Roman Catholic Church. An excerpt:

Malone's faith has bolstered his ability to practice law. Clients in crisis view him as exceptionally trustworthy, and he does all he can to help them heal. Once, Malone represented a doctor who had been involved romantically with a patient. "That guy was hurting bad," says U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney Jr. "Chris's approach to it was to, of course, deal with the problems at the Board of Medicine, to deal with whatever other legal issues arose out of that. But he also took the time to sit with him and talk with him and counsel him. In the true sense, he is a counselor at law. Chris helped the guy get through what appeared to be the ruination of his life."

Most of Malone's clients don't know about his position in the Church. No reason they should. His office is on the third floor of a converted tobacco warehouse amid the cobbled streets of Richmond's Shockoe Slip and his appearance--white shirt and tie, gold-rimmed glasses, and a salt-and-pepper goatee--blends right in. Much of his work involves commercial litigation. He especially enjoys large structure cases because they pique his intellectual curiosity and he says he gets paid to "learn stuff."

"Before you can apply the law," he says, "you really need to know what the factual issues are. Sometimes that involves learning engineering and sometimes that involves learning physics. Sometimes we have a client that builds big, honking, industrial boilers. Last week I was out in Nebraska for a boiler problem in an ethanol plant. Now I know a lot more about boiler theory and technology than you could ever imagine. ...[And] I learned how to make ethanol. There's no reason for me to ever know that; but the process of making ethanol is very important to understanding what's going on in this case. So we stomped around in hard hats and safety glasses and steel-toed boots for a while to figure it all out."

Read the full story here.