Joseph M. Rainsbury

Of Counsel

Office: Richmond

Direct: 804-361-4552

Fax: 804-237-0250

  • Professional Overview

    Joe Rainsbury has nearly 20 years’ experience representing clients before state and federal appellate and trial courts. Prized by clients and colleagues for his writing and oral advocacy skills, he has participated in appeals across the country on myriad legal issues. Over the years, Joe has been involved—either briefing the merits or arguing to a tribunal—in cases from nearly every corner of civil litigation. Joe successfully represented a bank on an appeal of the first Sarbanes-Oxley whistleblower suit filed in the country. He helped persuade the Supreme Court of Virginia that its anti-spam statute violated the First Amendment. And he represented a Chinese bank resisting a subpoena from the Department of Justice for documents potentially relevant to North Korean money laundering.

    Other areas of his experience include: arbitration, auto dealerships, aviation, bankruptcy, business torts, CERCLA, commercial transactions, constitutional law, construction law, consumer class actions, contract disputes, contribution and indemnification, corporate governance, creditor’s rights, defamation, employment discrimination and retaliation, entertainment law, ERISA, estates and trusts, false advertising, HIPAA, insurance coverage, land use, lemon law, local taxes, medical malpractice, mold litigation, products liability, property disputes, recognition of foreign judgments, securities law, trademark, transportation law, wage and hour litigation, whistleblower litigation, workers compensation, and zoning.

    A lawyer’s lawyer, Joe specializes in identifying and researching legal theories, constructing logical and persuasive arguments, and explaining—in plain English—complicated facts and law to the judges or justices who must decide a case. In addition to prosecuting and defending appeals, Joe often works alongside trial counsel in developing the theory of a case, in briefing dispositive motions, and in preserving legal issues for appellate review.

    Joe holds degrees from Harvard College (where he graduated magna cum laude), from the University of Virginia College of Arts and Science (where he has an M.A. in philosophy), and from the University of Virginia School of Law (where he was in the top 10% of his class). After graduating from law school, he clerked for the Honorable Jackson L. Kiser in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia.

    Joe’s outside interests include backcountry camping, photography, travel, and reading.

  • Practice Areas
  • Education and Admissions


    • A.B. from Harvard College - Magna Cum Laude
    • M.A. from University of Virginia
    • J.D. from University of Virginia School of Law - Order of the Coif


    • U.S. Supreme Court
    • U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
    • U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Virginia
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
    • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia

    States Licensed

    • Virginia
  • Professional Organization Memberships
    • Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys (VADA)
  • News, Honors, Publications & Speeches
    News & Honors
    • Recognized as Virginia Super Lawyers® 2013-2019, 2022-2023
    • Recognized as a Virginia Rising Star®, 2008-2010
    • Selected to Best Lawyers in America®:Appellate Practice
    • Virginia Business, “Legal Elite” – Appellate Law (2022)
    • Virginia Super Lawyers®: Listed in the areas of Business Litigation (2013); Appellate Law (2014-2019, 2022-2023)
    Publications & Speeches
    • “Insight: Fifth Circuit ‘Home Cooking’ Ruling Harms Future U.S. Trade Partners”,  The United States Law Week, March 6, 2020