D. Stan Barnhill
Woods Rogers PLC
Other legal specialties: First Amendment law; commercial litigation.
Birthplace: Washington, N.C.
Education: Bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Virginia Tech; doctoral work at the University of Virginia; law degree from Washington & Lee School of Law
Spouse: Katherine Barnhill
Children: Hannah Barnhill Bayne; Mary Rachel Barnhill
Hobbies or pastimes: Running, writing, history and teaching a First Amendment course at Washington and Lee Law School.
First job as a lawyer: Associate, Woods Rogers Muse Walker & Thornton
Fan of: Virginia Tech Hokies
Favorite vacation spot: Emerald Isle, N.C.
Recently read book: “The Supreme Court and McCarthy-Era Repression: One Hundred Decisions” by Robert M. Lichtman.
Career mentors: I really had no professional “mentors,’ although I do honor William B. Poff for supporting my self-directed approach to the practice. My personal “mentors” are persons in history who have inspired and guided me by their example, including, among others outside the law, Michael Servetus, John Lilburne, Roger Williams, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Hans von Dohnányi, and George Anastaplo, and inside the law, William P. Black, Gilbert Roe, Harry Weinberger and Hugo Black.
Has construction activity in Virginia returned to the level it saw before the recession?
Yes. I had a number of clients who suffered through the downturn in 2007 and thereafter, a few of which unfortunately did not survive the struggle. Those clients that did survive are now approaching, if not exceeding, their prerecession activity, and I now hear much more upbeat comments about current market conditions than even two years ago.
You have written about the Magna Carta. Why is it important to the U.S. today?
Magna Carta created a space for liberty, freedom and procedural due process to grow in civil society. It was England’s, and by extension America’s, first constitutional document.