Stuart Raphael is the former Solicitor General of Virginia. As co-chair of the firm’s Issues and Appeals Group, he focuses on appellate litigation, constitutional issues, complex litigation and strategic counseling.

As Virginia’s Solicitor General from 2014 to 2017, Stuart authored more than 75 briefs in federal and state court, presented oral argument more than 30 times in high-profile civil and criminal cases, supervised briefs filed by the Office of the Solicitor General, and provided legal counsel to the Governor and the Attorney General of Virginia.

Now in his 26th year at Hunton, Stuart represents clients on appeal and at trial in a wide variety of areas, including constitutional litigation, toxic torts, intergovernmental disputes, major infrastructure controversies, water rights, and construction litigation. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers and a certified appellate mediator for the Supreme Court of Virginia’s pilot-mediation program. 

Relevant Experience

  • Trump v. Int’l Refugee Assistance Project, 137 S. Ct. 2080 (2017) (authored Virginia’s amicus brief in the Supreme Court and the 4th Circuit supporting preliminary injunction against President Trump’s seven-country travel ban, joined by 16 other State attorneys general).
  • Virginia v. LeBlanc, 137 S. Ct. 1726 (2017) (summarily reversing 4th Circuit’s decision invalidating Virginia’s use of geriatric release to comply with 8th Amendment’s prohibition on life-without-parole sentences for juvenile nonhomicide offenders).
  • Wittman v. Personhuballah, 136 S. Ct. 1732 (2016) (dismissing challenge to district court’s holding that Virginia’s 3d Congressional District was a racial gerrymander).
  • Virginia v. Maryland, 540 U.S. 56 (2003) (holding that the Compact of 1785 gives Virginia the right to use the Potomac River without Maryland’s permission).
  • In re Murphy-Brown, LLC, 907 F.3d 788 (4th Cir. 2018) (granting writ of mandamus striking down unconstitutional “gag order” entered by district judge in multiple civil cases involving alleged agricultural nuisances).
  • Kerpen v. Metro. Wash. Airports Auth., 907 F.3d 152 (4th Cir. 2018) (affirming dismissal of various constitutional and statutory challenges to the project extending Metrorail to Dulles International Airport).
  • Va. Uranium, LLC v. Warren, 848 F.3d 590 (4th Cir. 2017) (holding that the Atomic Energy Act does not preempt Virginia’s moratorium on uranium mining), aff’d, 139 S. Ct. 1894 (2019).
  • Libertarian Party of Va. v. Alcorn, 826 F.3d 708 (4th Cir. 2016) (rejecting 1st Amendment challenge to Virginia’s ballot-ordering law), cert. denied, 137 S. Ct. 1093 (2017).
  • Colon Health Ctrs. of Am., LLC v. Hazel, 813 F.3d 145 (4th Cir. 2015) (rejecting dormant-commerce-clause challenge to Virginia’s certificate-of-need program for medical services and facilities).
  • Prieto v. Clarke, 780 F.3d 245 (4th Cir. 2015) (upholding constitutionality of housing conditions on Virginia’s death row).
  • King v. Burwell, 759 F.3d 358 (4th Cir. 2014), aff’d, 135 S. Ct. 2480 (2015) (upholding validity of premium-tax-credit assistance under the Affordable Care Act in States relying on federal insurance exchanges; presented oral argument for Virginia in the 4th Circuit and authored Virginia’s Supreme Court amicus brief, joined by 21 other State attorneys general).
  • Bostic v. Schaefer, 760 F.3d 352 (4th Cir. 2014) (agreeing with Virginia Attorney General’s position that Virginia’s same-sex-marriage ban violated the 14th Amendment).
  • Corr v. Metro. Wash. Airports Auth., 740 F.3d 295 (4th Cir. 2014) (upholding the constitutionality of MWAA’s use of Dulles Toll Road revenues to fund Metrorail to Dulles Airport).
  • Digital Satellite Connections, LLC v. Dish Network Corp., No. 15-1373, 2018 WL 3814924 (10th Cir. Aug. 10, 2018) (affirming summary judgment decision requiring transfer of trademarks and domain name).
  • Duncan Parking Tech., Inc. v. IPS Group, Inc., 914 F.3d 1347 (Fed. Cir. 2019) (reversing Patent Trial and Appeal Board and invalidating parking-meter patent for failing to name a joint inventor).
  • Corr v. Metro. Wash. Airports Auth., 702 F.3d 1334 (Fed. Cir. 2012) (holding that MWAA is not a federal instrumentality subject to Little Tucker Act jurisdiction).
  • Fairfax Cty. Sch. Bd. v. S.C., 827 S.E.2d 592 (Va. 2019) (holding that school system’s disciplinary process for student accused of sexual harassment did not violate her due process rights).
  • Palmer v. Atl. Coast Pipeline, LLC, 801 S.E.2d 414 (Va. 2017) (holding that Virginia’s statute allowing entry for survey preparatory to possible condemnation does not infringe a landowner’s right to exclude).
  • Old Dominion Comm. for Fair Utility Rates v. State Corp. Comm’n, 803 S.E.2d 758 (Va. 2017) (rejecting State constitutional challenge to the Virginia General Assembly’s 2015 law delaying the SCC’s biennial reviews of base electric rates).
  • Daily Press, LLC v. Office of Exec. Sec’y of the Sup. Ct. of Va., 800 S.E.2d 822 (Va. 2017) (holding under Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act that OES is not the custodian of records for electronic data stored on behalf of circuit clerks).
  • Vasquez v. Commonwealth, 781 S.E.2d 920 (Va. 2016) (rejecting 8th Amendment challenge to juvenile rape offenders’ sentences).
  • Clark v. Va. Dep’t of State Police, 793 S.E.2d 1 (Va. 2016) (holding that State agencies have immunity from private-damage suits under federal USERRA statute), cert. denied, 137 S. Ct. 2149 (2017).
  • Howell v. McAuliffe, 788 S.E.2d 706 (Va. 2016) (holding 4-3 that the Governor may restore voting rights only on an individualized basis).
  • Blount v. Clarke, 782 S.E.2d 152 (Va. 2016) (upholding Governor’s clemency action by recharacterizing putatively invalid “commutation” as “partial pardon”).
  • Toghill v. Commonwealth, 768 S.E.2d 674 (Va. 2015) (upholding constitutionality of Virginia’s sodomy statute as applied to crimes against children).
  • Elizabeth River Crossings OpCo, LLC v. Meeks, 749 S.E.2d 176 (Va. 2013) (upholding constitutionality of Virginia’s Public-Private Transportation Act and reversing trial court’s ruling invalidating the tolls on the Midtown Tunnel project in Hampton Roads).
  • Ford Motor Co. v. Boomer, 736 S.E.2d 724 (Va. 2013) (rejecting the substantial-contributing-factor test to prove causation in asbestos cases in favor of the more demanding sufficient-to-have-caused standard).
  • Hill v. Fairfax Cty. Sch. Bd., 727 S.E.2d 75 (Va. 2012) (holding that seriatim emails did not constitute an illegal “meeting” under Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act).
  • Montgomery Cty. v. Va. Dep’t of Rail & Pub. Transp., 719 S.E.2d 294 (Va. 2011) (holding that a Virginia statute authorizing a grant to develop an intermodal facility to reduce truck traffic on I-81 did not violate the internal-improvements clause or the credit-clause of the Virginia Constitution).
  • Schneider v. Metro. Wash. Airports Auth., No. 1:18-cv-402, 2019 WL 1931752 (E.D. Va. Mar. 27, 2019) (holding that the funding mechanism for the Dulles Metrorail Project does not violate any constitutional right to intrastate travel).
  • Aziz v. Trump, 234 F. Supp. 3d 724 (E.D. Va. 2017) (granting Virginia’s motion for preliminary injunction against President Trump’s seven-country travel ban on ground that Virginia would likely prove an Establishment Clause violation).
  • Klemic v. Dominion Transmission, Inc., 138 F. Supp. 3d 673 (W.D. Va. 2015) (rejecting various constitutional challenges to Virginia’s statute authorizing natural-gas-pipeline companies to conduct pre-condemnation surveys of land).
  • Potomac Shores, Inc. v. River Riders, Inc., 98 A.3d 1048 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. 2014) (holding that the Virginia-Maryland boundary along the Virginia shore of the Potomac River moves with accretion).
  • Fairfax Cty. Water Auth. v. City of Falls Church, 80 Va. Cir. 1 (Fairfax Cty. 2010) (holding that City could not transfer profits from its water fund to its general fund because the practice amounted to an extraterritorial tax on non-resident water customers).

Memberships

  • Fellow, American Academy of Appellate Lawyers
  • Chair, Boyd-Graves Conference (2016-2017)
  • Member, Boyd-Graves Conference (2003-present)
  • Member, Virginia Law Foundation
  • Member, Civil Litigation Council, Virginia Bar Association
  • Member, John Marshall Inn of Court

Awards & Recognition

  • Best Brief in the US Supreme Court, National Association of Attorneys General (2015) (for Virginia’s amicus brief in Obergefell v. Hodges, 135 S. Ct. 2584 (2015))
  • Named among the Legal Elite for Appellate Law, Virginia Business magazine, 2014–2018. A description of the selection methodology can be found on Virginia Business’ webpage
  • Inducted as a Virginia Law Foundation Fellow, Class of 2015
  • Recognized as a Leader in Commercial Litigation, Virginia, Chambers USA, 2006–2013
  • Recognized as a Leader in Water Rights, Nationwide, Chambers USA, 2004
  • Selected as a Super Lawyer for Business Litigation, Virginia Super Lawyers Magazine, 20062013. A description of the selection methodology can be found on Super Lawyers’ webpage.

Insights