Mr. Oakley is a Shareholder and a member of Poole Brooke Plumlee PC’s litigation team. He focuses his litigation practice in land use and environmental law. Mr. Oakley holds a degree in geology and worked for a geophysical consulting firm before attending law school. His background as a geologist provides him with invaluable insight into environmental regulatory issues. Mr. Oakley is able to assist his clients to negotiate various state and federal environmental laws and regulations. He is a member of Poole Brooke Plumlee’s brownfield remediation team which seeks to restore formerly contaminated and blighted properties into land suitable for economically beneficial uses.
Additionally, he has extensive experience in the areas of commercial litigation, premises liability, products liability, insurance defense, asbestos defense, condemnation/eminent domain, § 1983 defense, complex litigation, real estate litigation and commercial and residential landlord-tenant litigation. He has been repeatedly selected as a Rising Star by Virginia Super Lawyers in Environmental Law and, in 2015, was selected by his peers to be in included in Virginia Business magazine’s Legal Elite in the category of Environmental Law.
Mr. Oakley’s appellate practice includes representing clients in all appellate courts of the Commonwealth of Virginia and North Carolina as well as the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Oakley has litigated numerous high profile cases and appeals, including the constitutionality of Virginia’s marriage laws on behalf of a local court clerk who was sued for enforcing the laws as written and passed by the General Assembly and citizens of Virginia. In the landmark case of Bostic v. Schaefer, Mr. Oakley led the defense team for Norfolk Circuit Court Clerk George Schaefer—focusing the argument on the states’ right to define marriage under the Eleventh Amendment of the Constitution. A divided panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the laws and the United States Supreme Court refused to review the decision. Virginia’s Attorney General refused to defend the constitutionality of these laws, leaving Clerk Schaefer as the only named defendant asking the courts to find the Commonwealth of Virginia held the power to define marriage. Clerk Schaefer’s participation in the case and subsequent appeals brought clarity to the law in Virginia and other states within the Fourth Circuit.
Mr. Oakley is licensed to practice in all state courts for Virginia and North Carolina. He is also admitted to practice in all United States District Courts in Virginia and North Carolina, the United States Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.
- Virginia State Bar
- North Carolina State Bar
- Virginia Beach Bar Association
- Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys
- Local Government Attorneys of Virginia
- Greenbrier Family YMCA Board Member
Major Projects Handled
SAMPLE CASEWORK Workers' Compensation
- Am. Zurich Ins. Co. v. Amundson, 2009 Va. App. LEXIS 150, No. 2748-07-1 (March 31, 2009).
- Avalon, Inc. v. Canter, 2007 Va. App. LEXIS 366, No. 1356-07-1 (Oct. 2, 2007).
- McCoy v. EHM Constr., Inc., 2011 Va. App. LEXIS 170, No. 2542-10-1 (May 17, 2011).
Premises and Product Liability/Asbestos
- Gilmore v. Wise, 72 Va. Cir. 353, (2006).
- Holmes v. Reid, 80 Va. Cir. 514 (Va. Cir. Ct. 2010).
- Logan v. Air Prods. & Chems., Inc., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157958 (M.D.N.C. Nov. 7, 2014).
Real Estate/Land Use
- City of Chesapeake, Virginia, et al., v. Black Bear Disposal, LLC, Civil Action No. 05 CvS 95 (Camden County, N.C.).
- Meeks v. Circle South, Inc., 79 Va. Cir. 469 (2009).
- Mineo Corp. v. Rowe, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101479, No. 2:07-cv-57-H (E.D.N.C. Sept. 8, 2011).
- Mineo Corp. v. Rowe, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22304, No. 2:07-cv-57-H (E.D.N.C. March 4, 2011).
Constitutional Rights/42 U.S.C. § 1983
- Scott v. City of Virginia Beach, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15777 (E.D. Va. Sept. 29, 2011).
- Bragg v. Hackworth, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19196 (E.D. Va. Feb. 13, 2012).
- Bragg v. Hackworth, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157071 (E.D. Va. Oct. 31, 2012).
- Scott v. City of Va. Beach, 520 Fed. Appx. 215 (4th Cir.) (cert. denied 134 S. Ct. 685, Dec. 2, 2013).
- Bostic v. Rainey, 970 F. Supp. 2d 456 (E.D. Va., 2014).
- Bostic v. Schaefer, 760 F.3d 352 (4th Cir. 2014) (cert. denied 190 L. Ed. 2d 140, Oct. 6, 2014).
- The Old Dominion give birth to gay marriage in the South January 24, 2016, The Virginian-Pilot
- Getting What You Pay For October 2012, Inside Business
- Is It Time to Review Your Strip Search Policy?October 2012
- What is Virginia’s Clients’ Protection Fund?, Virginia Lawyer, August 2020.
- University of Georgia (B.S. Geology 2002)
- University of Denver Sturm College of Law (J.D. 2005)