For more than half a century, the law firm of Patten, Wornom, Hatten & Diamonstein (PWHD) has served the legal needs of the Virginia Peninsula, the Hampton Roads Region and clients worked throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. In 1954, Neal J. Patten (1917-2009) and I. Leake Wornom, Jr. (1926-2008), formed the firm of Patten & Wornom. In 1981, Thomas R. Watkins (1925-1995) and others merged with Patten & Wornom to form Patten, Wornom and Watkins. Most recently, the firms of Diamonstein & Staley and H. Duncan Garnet, Jr. merged with the Firm in 1999 to form the current Patten, Wornom, Hatten & Diamonstein, L.C.

The firm’s legal services fall into two major categories. The Litigation Group focuses primarily on asbestos disease claims, personal injury, employment, and product liability litigation, while the Business Group handles consulting work, litigation and all types of business transactions.

Asbestos History

During the past 30 years, the firm has become nationally renowned for its success in representing thousands of asbestos victims. For his pioneering work on behalf of injured victims of asbestos, the firm manager, Robert R. Hatten, received the first Courageous Advocacy Award from the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association in 1987. Partner Donald Patten is a long-time veteran of asbestos litigation, having successfully tried numerous jury trials in the state and federal courts. Partner H. Duncan Garnett, Jr., is a trial lawyer with more than thirty years of success in the trial of serious injury and wrongful death claims. Both Patten and Garnett are past-Presidents of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association.

Business Law Group History

Simultaneously with the development of the asbestos specialty practice, the firm developed a broad and experienced business law group. The firm’s Business Law Group focuses on commercial transaction and commercial litigation, business organizations, mergers and acquisitions, commercial and residential real estate development and transactions, and tax and estate planning. Specific areas of representation include public-private partnerships, institutional banking and credit union lenders, private and equity lenders, technology intensive manufacturing companies, distributors, real estate developers and managers, automobile dealerships, national communications providers, waste management, hospitals, physician, dental and veterinarian practices, restaurant operations, commercial fishing charter operations, multiple public School Boards and various boards and authorities, among others. Members of the firm are actively involved in community, state and national organizations and community service. The firm enjoys the highest rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, a national rating service of attorneys. Our attorneys have deep and varied experience in many levels of business transactions, and our Business Law Attorneys offer the level of sophisticated practice needed by large concerns and multi-national corporations but without losing the ability to effectively and efficiently represent and assist single-owner start-up companies with legal fees that are reasonable to the scope of the work needed by our clients. We pride ourselves on providing top-level legal services with a focus on working with our clients to identify and obtain client’s goals.

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  • Employment Law - Individuals
  • Litigation - Intellectual Property
  • Litigation - Labor and Employment
  • Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions - Plaintiffs
  • Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs
  • Product Liability Litigation - Plaintiffs

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