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Biography

Douglas L. Guynn

Douglas L. Guynn accepted City Council's appointment as City Attorney in 2004 as part of his ongoing public and civic service.

He also is privately affiliated with the law firm of BotkinRose, PLC, where he counsels school boards, educational organizations, and other public and private sector clients in higher education law, employment law, and handles civil litigation for private clients, sometimes including other lawyers.

Mr. Guynn has been counsel to numerous school boards across Virginia and has served on the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, by appointment of the Governor. Mr. Guynn has represented the Virginia School Boards Association (VSBA) before the Virginia Supreme Court on litigated issues of statewide importance and has been one of the Association’s featured speakers on various legal issues, including constitutional matters and litigation and legal leadership and history. In 2014, he co-presented with now U.S. Fourth Circuit Chief Judge Roger Gregory on the history and lessons of Brown v. Board of Education. He is the author of the leading article on Virginia School Board constitutional authority and co-author of the VSBA’s Finance Manual.

His education law litigation work includes a broad spectrum of cases, including a precedent-setting special education case before the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and a First Amendment case that tested the boundaries of employee “free speech.” Mr. Guynn’s experience also covers constitutional issues not only for school boards but other targets of litigation, including his notable role as lead federal court trial and appellate counsel in a groundbreaking hostile corporate takeover case out of Virginia. He also served two, four-year terms on the Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission, by appointment of the Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates.

Mr. Guynn has been active over the years in serving the broader regional civic community that comprises the central Shenandoah Valley, including service on the board of the Community Foundation. His civic work also has included the Valley Alliance for Education and the Arts Council of the Valley, both of which he helped to establish. He currently serves as a member of the board of directors for the Shenandoah Valley Educational Television Corporation (WVPT).

Mr. Guynn and his brothers also were involved with the release on the Hope Reborn of War history of the Woodrow Wilson World War II Army Hospital, the Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center, and the Augusta County educational complex on “The Post.”

Mr. Guynn is a Fellow of the Virginia and American Bar Foundations and a Permanent Member of the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Judicial Conference. In addition to having just served as Chairman of the Virginia State Bar's Judicial Candidate Evaluation Committee, he is a member of the Virginia Bar Association's Committee on Special Issues of National and State Importance.

 

Education

Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (B.S., Finance, with distinction, 1976)

Phi Kappa Phi First Honors Award, College of Business

Phi Eta Sigma

Beta Gamma Sigma

Omicron Delta Kappa

Wall Street Journal Award

Outstanding Senior Award, College of Business (Alumni Association)

University of Virginia (J.D., 1980)

Editorial Board Member, Virginia Journal of International Law (VJIL)

Author, Comment, Icenogle v. Olympic Airways: The Right to Jury Trial in Suits Against Foreign Government-Owned Commercial Corporations, VJIL

Assistant to Professor Stephen A. Saltzburg (Alaska Model Jury Instructions Project, American Criminal Procedure Casebook Project)

Bar Admissions

Supreme Court of Virginia

United States District Court, Western District of Virginia

United States District Court, Eastern District of Virginia

United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

United States Supreme Court

Professional Memberships

Virginia Council of School Attorneys, Charter Member and Past Chairman

National Council of School Attorneys, Member

Judicial Conference of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, Permanent Member

Virginia Law Foundation, Fellow

American Bar Foundation, Fellow

Virginia State Bar Judicial Candidate Evaluation Committee, Former Chairman

Virginia Local Government Attorneys Association

Shenandoah Valley Educational Television Corporation, Member of the Board of Directors

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