Robert Garnier was born in Washington, D.C. in 1965. He has lived in Northern Virginia his entire life, except when away at school. Because Robert enjoys interacting with people, he has concentrated his work on civil litigation, focusing primarily on representing individuals and corporations in both the defense and prosecution of personal injury claims, workers’ compensation claims and other general litigation matters. His practice has included many areas of law, including defending multiple rental car companies and their customers, insurance defense, insurance coverage disputes, and representing both claimants and defendants in premises liability cases, products liability litigation and workers’ compensation. He has also written articles in various legal publications and lectured at seminars and conferences on topics of interest to litigators.
Robert is admitted to the Virginia State Bar and the District of Columbia Bar, and is a member of the Fairfax Bar Association and the Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys. He served on the Board of Governors of the Litigation Section of the Virginia State Bar from 2007 to 2014, and served as Chair of that section from 2010 to 2011.
Robert earned his undergraduate degree from the College of William & Mary in 1987, and in 1991, earned his law degree from William & Mary’s Marshall-Wythe School of Law, where he was a member of the law school’s law review and moot court bar. Robert served as a judicial clerk for several judges on the Fairfax County (Virginia) Circuit Court bench from 1991 to 1992, before joining his father and brother in the law firm of Garnier & Garnier, P.C.
Robert is married, with two adult children. When not working, Robert enjoys, among other things, spending time with family and friends, running, long-distance triathlons (completing the 2015 Ironman Mont Tremblant in Quebec on his 50th birthday and many shorter triathlons), kayaking, skiing and snowboarding, rooting for Washington’s Capitals, Redskins and Nationals, good craft coffee and beer, and traveling.
Honors and Awards
- Martindale-Hubbell: AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rating, indicating highest ethical standards and preeminent legal ability.
- Selected to Best Lawyers in America, 2013-2020 (Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants; Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs).
- Selected to Best Attorneys in Virginia as published in Best Lawyers 2011-2020.
- Listed in Baltimore & Washington, DC’s Top Lawyers as published in Washington Post, 2011-2019.
- Listed in Virginia Legal Eagles, Most Respected Attorneys in the Commonwealth, as published in Virginia Living, 2012.
- “O Sudden Emergency Where Art Thou? The Continuing Viability of a Sudden Emergency Defense After Vahdat,” VADA Journal of Civil Litigation, Winter 2007-2008.
- “Considerations for the Unserved Lawsuit – Rule 3:5, Virginia Code § 8.01-277, Nonsuits, and ‘Due Diligence,’” Litigation News (VSB Litigation Section), Winter 2008.
- “The Civility ‘Snowball’ (Letter from the Chair),” Litigation News (VSB Litigation Section), Fall 2010.
- “Quit the Comparison, Already – Closing the Door on Remittitur?” Litigation News (VSB Litigation Section), Summer 2014.
Lectures and Presentations
- “USAA v. Hertz and Coverage Obligations of Self-Insured Rental Car Agencies: Have Our Questions Been Answered?,” Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys 2003 Spring Section Series, May 2003, Charlottesville, Virginia.
- “Discovery Skills for Legal Staff in Virginia,” January 2007, Arlington, Virginia.
- “Stop Talking Like a Lawyer: The Lost Art of Communication in Mediation, Negotiation and Litigation,” Moderator, Virginia State Bar Annual Meeting, June 2009, Virginia Beach, Virginia.
- “Making and Meeting Objections to Evidence at Trial – an Interactive Clinic” (Co-Presenter), Virginia State Bar 38th Annual Mid-Year Legal Seminar, November 2011, Athens, Greece.
- “Dealing with the Aberrant Jury Outcome” (Co-Presenter), Virginia State Bar 40th Annual Mid-Year Legal Seminar, November 2013, Paris, France.
Reported Cases Include
- Santen v. Tuthill, 265 Va. 450, 578 S.E.2d 788 (2003)