Five Partners selected as among “The Best Lawyers in America”

Five attorneys from Setliff Law, P.C., were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2014 (Copyright 2013 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC). From the Glen Allen (Richmond), Virginia office, C. Stephen Setliff was recognized in the categories of Transportation Law, Railroad Law, Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Defendants, and Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants. Also from the Richmond office, Gregory F. Holland was selected in the categories of Insurance Law, Mass Tort Litigation/Class Action – Defendants, Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants, and Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs. The third attorney selected from the Richmond office was John K. Burke, Jr., who was recognized in the categories of Commercial Litigation, Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law, and Litigation - Real Estate. Brickford Y. Brown rounds out the list of lawyers from the Richmond office – he was selected for his work in Mass Tort Litigation/Class Action – Defendants. From the Annapolis, Maryland office, Stephen B. Caplis was recognized in the category of Railroad Law.

Since its inception in 1983, Best Lawyers has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Because Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which more than 41,000 leading attorneys cast almost 3.9 million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas, and because lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed, inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor. Corporate Counsel magazine has called Best Lawyers “the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice.”

Mr. Setliff, a founding partner of Setliff Law, focuses his practice on the representation of clients in complex litigation at the trial and appellate level in state and federal court. His trial practice concentrates on the defense of corporate entities with a concentration on defense of railroads, both freight and passenger carriers, in claims of traumatic injury by employees and non-employees. This includes defense of Federal Employers Liability Act claims, crossing accidents, trespasser claims and property damage claims. Mr. Setliff also defends the railroads against FELA claims by employees allegedly injured as a result of occupational workplace hazards, including hearing loss, repetitive stress and exposure to asbestos, silica, diesel fumes, soaps, solvents and other chemical fumes. Additionally, he is trial counsel to Class I and Class III railroads in employment claims arising under the Federal Railroad Safety Act. His clients include Class I and Class III railroads and the nation’s largest passenger rail carrier. Mr. Setliff has expertise in the trucking industry as well and has successfully represented several national trucking companies in personal injury litigation cases, workers’ compensation claims and negotiating and drafting of independent contractor agreements. Mr. Setliff’s trial practice extends beyond transportation law and includes representation of one of the nation’s largest utility companies in commercial litigation matters as well as claims of personal injury and property damage. He is also trial counsel for several national commercial property owners, landlords and management companies handling commercial landlord/tenant issues as well as personal injury and premises liability. In addition, Mr. Setliff is trial counsel for two national grocery chains in personal injury, premises liability and worker’s compensation claims.

Mr. Holland is also a founding partner of Setliff Law. His practice emphasizes personal injury in the areas of transportation and premises liability litigation. Mr. Holland represents both defendants and plaintiffs in personal injury litigation and insureds in insurance coverage disputes. He has tried to verdict more than 100 jury trials. Mr. Holland has been consistently recognized as a Virginia Super Lawyer, and in 2013 and 2014, he was named by his peers in Best Lawyers in America in four categories: Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants, Personal Injury Litigation – plaintiffs, Insurance Law, and Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Defendants. Mr. Holland is a past president of the Bar Association of the City of Richmond and was vice-chair of the Virginia State Bar Judicial Nominations Committee in 2004. His clients include Class 1 and shortline railroads, a national hotel chain and a national health and fitness club.

Mr. Burke’s practice is focused on complex business and commercial litigation. In 2013, he was named the Best Lawyers’ Richmond Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law “Lawyer of the Year,” and most recently he was named the Best Lawyers’ 2014 Richmond Litigation – Real Estate “Lawyer of the Year.” He has been repeatedly recognized in Best Lawyers in America for Commercial Litigation (1999 – 2014) and Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law. He has also been named one of America’s Leading Lawyers for Litigation by Chambers USA (2004-2013), and as a Virginia Super Lawyer in Business Litigation. Mr. Burke has also been named numerous times in Virginia Business magazine’s Legal Elite in Civil Litigation. He has extensive trial experience in Virginia state courts, as well as in the federal courts of Virginia and other states.

Mr. Brown's practice focuses on the national, regional and local defense of large and complex products liability and toxic tort cases. He has a refined specialty in scientific, medical and engineering issues and an extensive history of developing and presenting global defense strategies for pattern litigation. He has represented prominent manufacturers of automobiles, motorcycles, construction equipment and agriculture equipment against claims of manufacturing and/or design defects and involving fatalities and catastrophic injuries. He has also defended many clients in cases related to asbestos, benzene, pharmaceuticals and noise-induced hearing loss. As lead trial counsel, he has obtained numerous defense verdicts on behalf of Fortune 500 companies in California, Louisiana, Virginia and West Virginia and has also obtained defense verdicts in several notable criminal prosecutions for first degree murder and the first federal prosecution of a mine superintendent for willful violations of MSHA. He has also made numerous arguments before state Supreme Courts. He is admitted to practice in the State of West Virginia, the Commonwealth of Virginia, their respective Federal District Courts and the U.S. Supreme Court. Mr. Brown is former Chair of the DRI Toxic Tort and Environmental Law Committee, a member of the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel, a member of the International Association of Defense Counsel, listed in Best Lawyers in America (Mass Torts), named as a Virginia Super Lawyer (Products Liability Defense) and is rated "A-V" by Martindale-Hubble.

Mr. Caplis has been repeatedly recognized on the Maryland Super Lawyers list (2009 – 2013). He was named in the 2010 edition of Baltimore’s Best Lawyers, a supplement to the Baltimore Sun that recognizes the best lawyers in Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, D.C. He has also been recognized by Best Lawyers in America (2008 - 2014) in the category of Railroad Law. Mr. Caplis has extensive experience in transportation law, tort liability, personal injury, general litigation, and federal and state appellate practice. He is past Vice President of the Eastern region of the National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel (NARTC), former chair of the NARTC’s jury instruction committee, and a past member of its executive committee.

C. Stephen Setliff and Gregory F. Holland opened the doors to the Glen Allen (Richmond) office of Setliff Law in June 2006. In December 2008, they opened a second office in Baltimore, Maryland – that office subsequently moved to Annapolis, Maryland. To contact Setliff Law in Virginia, call (804) 377-1260, and in Maryland, call (443) 837-6800, or visit the website at