Portrait photo of William Barnes, a partner and attorney at Harman Claytor Corrigan Wellman Litigation Firm
William J.G. Barnes     |     Partner

804.762.8004   |   email   |   vCard

ASSISTANT   |   Monica Covington-Parker     804.762.8023
PARALEGAL   |   Chrissy Yake     804.622.1142

OFFICE   |   Richmond
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Jeff Barnes was born in Tazewell, Virginia in 1959. Jeff began his practice with Browder, Russell, Morris & Butcher in 1986 and for twelve years was a principal in the Newport News insurance-defense firm of Waddell & Barnes, P.C. He has defended civil suits in courts throughout the state and his practice includes products liability, motor vehicle, premises liability and commercial litigation.

  • College of William & Mary, B.A., 1981
  • The Marshall-Wythe School of Law,
    College of William & Mary, J.D., 1986

    • National Moot Court Team
    • Order of Barristers
Professional Honors & Activities
  • Henrico Bar Association
  • Richmond Bar Association
  • Virginia Bar Association
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Best Lawyers in America, Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants (2020 – 2022)
  • Virginia Business Legal Elite, Civil Litigation (2016, 2017 & 2019, 2020)
  • Virginia Super Lawyers, Civil Litigation Defense (2012 – 2021)
  • Virginia Super Lawyers, Business Edition, Civil Litigation Defense (2013)
  • Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys, Board of Directors (1998-2001)
  • Newport News Bar Association, President (2003-2004)
  • Martindale-Hubbell ® AV Rated
Bar & Court Admissions
  • Virginia State Bar, 1986
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
Reported Cases
  • Terry v. Irish Fleet, Inc., Record No. 170288, __ Va. __, __ S.E.2d __ (Sept. 27, 2018)
Community Activities
  • Trustee, Elk Hill Farm, Inc.
  • St. Andrews Episcopal School, Board of Trustees, Newport News, VA
  • Hidenwood Presbyterian Church, Clerk of Session (2003-2004), Newport News, VA
  • Presbyterian Church USA, Elder
  • Salisbury Presbyterian Church, Clerk of Session (2009-2010), Midlothian, VA

Representative Experience
  • Obtained defense verdict of national rental chain and its employee charged with trespass and assault and battery during a repossession of furniture.
  • Obtained defense verdict of logging company and its driver in a third-party claim brought by railroad to recover damages it paid under FELA to engineer injured when train struck logging company truck stuck on railroad crossing.
  • Obtained favorable trial verdict seeking compensatory and punitive damages in an auto accident in which the defendant had a BAC in excess of .30.  Liability was admitted and tried solely on damages.
  • Obtained summary judgment for building owner sued for wrongful death of tenant during assault by third party.  Suit was based on tort and contractual claim that plaintiff’s decedent was a third party beneficiary of lease.
  • Obtained summary judgment of contractor sued for wrongful death of sub-contractor’s employee who fell through roof of building during pre-demolition inspection.
  • Obtained summary judgment in federal court for jet ski retailer in products liability case arising out of a jet ski accident resulting in wrongful death of purchaser of jet ski.
  • Obtained summary judgment for night club sued as a result of the shooting of one its patrons resulting in paraplegia.
  • Obtained summary judgment of business sued for personal injuries sustained by independent truck driver who fell through defective grating on the business’s premises.
  • Obtained favorable settlement for interstate bus company in suit filed by passenger claiming to have sustained a permanent brain injury during accident.  Liability was admitted and case proceeded on basis that plaintiff had misrepresented his injuries and had not suffered a brain injury.  Case settled for significantly less than 1% of the $65,000,000 ad damnum after one mistrial and following the fifth day of the second trial.
  • Obtained favorable settlement of towing company sued for wrongful repossession of a motor vehicle following pre-trial motion rulings on the first day of trial that led to dismissal of most of plaintiff’s claims.
  •  Obtained summary judgment for company and its representative in a case seeking compensatory and punitive damages in excess of $5,000,000 on claims that included malicious prosecution, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, conspiracy and abuse of process.
  • Obtained dismissal of personal injury claim seeking $3,000,000 based on lack of standing due to plaintiff’s failure to comply with bankruptcy laws.  Although plaintiff had personal injury claim when she filed bankruptcy, her failure to list the claim as a contingent asset resulted in the loss of standing by plaintiff to pursue the personal injury suit and a dismissal with prejudice.
  • Obtained a favorable settlement for fuel oil company and its driver sued by engineer of train which struck loaded fuel oil truck on railroad crossing resulting in major explosion.  Codefendant proceeded to trial and the jury returned a verdict in excess of 10 times the settlement amount entered into by fuel oil carrier.

The cases referenced above do not represent the lawyer’s entire record.  Each case must be evaluated on its own facts.  The outcome of a particular case cannot be based on past results.