G. Russell “Russ” Stone

G. Russell “Russ” Stone

Associate
Location:
Richmond, Virginia
Phone:
804-755-7599
Fax:
804-755-7550
Email:

I have been practicing criminal law since graduating from the T.C. Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond in 1989. I have handled virtually every sort of criminal case that there is from traffic offenses to capital murder as both a prosecutor and defense attorney and am a veteran of more than 150 jury trials in state and federal courts.

I grew up in Harrisonburg, Virginia and graduated with a degree in Psychology from Virginia Tech in 1986. Upon graduating law school in 1989 I returned to my hometown as a prosecutor in the Office of the Commonwealth’s
Attorney for the City of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, ultimately rising to the level of Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney.

Prior to the mid-1990’s jury trials in criminal cases were much more common than they are now and as a prosecutor we would sometimes have two or three jury trials in a week. That sort of experience helped me to become a seasoned and experienced trial attorney. While it is certainly true that a jury is sometimes not the best choice in a given situation for a given client, a defense attorney’s ability to handle a jury trial skillfully is often critical to getting the best result for a client, even during the negotiation phase of the process.

In the summer of 1994, I moved to Richmond, Virginia and joined the Office of the Attorney General where I handled criminal appeals in the Virginia Court of Appeals and Virginia Supreme Court. In 1996, I joined the Attorney General’s Financial Investigations and Money Laundering Unit and ultimately became Chief Counsel of that Unit in 1998. During that time I prosecuted white collar criminal cases in state courts and in federal courts as a Special Assistant United States Attorney. In 2000, I became the Regional Drug Prosecutor for the Richmond Metropolitan Multi-Jurisdiction Grand Jury prosecuting narcotics related offenses in the Courts of Richmond, Chesterfield, Henrico and Hanover.

After 15 years of government service, in 2004, I decided it was time to try the other side of the courtroom and went into private practice handling criminal and traffic matters in Central Virginia and around the Commonwealth.

Sometimes people ask me if the switch from prosecutor to defense attorney was difficult. It really wasn’t. Not at all. The law is the same and the process is the same. But it was eye-opening. I came to see a different side of people that has really made me a broader person. To put it simply, when I was a prosecutor I saw a lot of evil and meanness in the world. But it’s not that way at all. Only the defense lawyer gets to really know a person accused of a crime. The judge doesn’t, the prosecutor doesn’t, the police officer doesn’t. Only the defense attorney has no-holds-barred, in depth, conversations with the client. And that’s made all the difference. Instead of seeing evil in every defendant the way I did as a prosecutor, I now know that there are a multitude of reasons why people get charged with crimes. Sometimes it’s because they did it. Sometimes it’s because of police error. Sometimes it’s because of misunderstandings that can occur when any two people try to look at a situation. Sometimes it’s more complex. But even when a person is guilty there is always a reason and often that reason is the difference between a penitentiary sentence and probation, between jail and a program.

Even when the government can prove the case, I’ve found there is always a silver lining. There is always some fact or argument that can be explored to make my client more human and more amenable to a good result. That’s the challenge that makes this job interesting.

I also take a great deal of pride and enjoyment from being a frequent legal analyst for WRIC Channel 8 in Richmond. It’s genuinely fun to break down complicated legal issues into plain language and explain them in a way that anyone can understand. 

I am the father of a wonderful daughter and when I’m not defending folks accused of crimes I love spending time with her as well as reading, watching films and playing guitar.

If you are facing criminal charges, you need an experienced attorney and I would love to help you.

Areas of Practice

  • 50% Criminal Law
  • 50% Traffic Law

Litigation Percentage

  • 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • Virginia, 1989
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 4th Circuit, 1999

Education

  • University of Richmond, The T.C. Williams School of Law, Richmond, Virginia
    • J.D.
    • Honors: Moot Court Board
  • Virginia Tech, Blacksburg
    • B.S. - 1986
    • Major: Psychology

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Virginia State Bar
  • Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Henrico County Bar Association
  • Chesterfield County Bar Association
  • Richmond Criminal Bar Association

Past Employment Positions

  • Bowen Champlin Foreman & Rockecharlie, PLLC, Attorney, 2004 - 2016
  • Richmond Metropolitan Multi Jurisdiction Grand Jury, Regional Drug Prosecutor, 2000 - 2004
  • Office of the Attorney General of Virginia, Chief Counsel, Financial Investigation and Money Laundering Unit, 1997 - 2000
  • Office of the Attorney General of Virginia, Assistant Attorney General, 1994 - 1997
  • Commonwealth Attorney's Office for Harrisonburg/Rockingham County, Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney, 1989 - 1994

Ancillary Businesses

  • Frequent Legal analyst for ABC affiliate WRIC Channel 8

Languages

  • English