Soundscapes 2021 Golf Classic
presented by PWHD

Soundscapes 2021 Golf Classic presented by PWHD

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Bobby Hatten and Friends
Bobby Hatten and Friends

Soundscapes 2021 Golf Classic presented by PWHD

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Soundscapes 2021 Golf Classic presented by PWHD

press to zoom

Soundscapes 2021 Golf Classic presented by PWHD

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PWHD is proud to report that it recently presented the Soundscapes 2021 Golf Classic Tournament. PWHD Asbestos and Products Liability Lead Litigation Attorney, Bobby Hatten, played in the tournament along with other friends of the firm.

Soundscapes is a local nonprofit organization that teaches critical life skills to students through music education. All proceeds from the Soundscapes Golf Classic support the student musicians, and the heart of Soundscape’s mission, which is the strong belief in the power of music to change lives and the understanding that all children have valuable contributions to make both musically and to our community.

PWHD has been a supporter of Soundscapes since its inception. Bobby Hatten is a founding member of the Board of Directors of Soundscapes and has served as its Chairman of the Board since its inception in 2010. The Honorable Alan A. Diamonstein, former PWHD Partner, was also passionate about Soundscapes’ mission and served as a founding member of the Board of Directors of Soundscapes until he passed away in 2019.

PWHD is dedicated and committed to supporting organizations like Soundscapes which positively impact the lives of children on the Peninsula. Learn more about Soundscapes, Bobby Hatten and PWHD here:

  PWHD in the Community

  Robert R. Hatten

  Products Liability


  General Litigation

16th Annual Food Frenzy to Benefit the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank


For many years, PWHD has sought to help those in need and provide help for those who find themselves in difficult circumstances. PWHD is pleased to announce our participation in the 16th Annual Food Frenzy to benefit the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank. 

PWHD is a longtime supporter of the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank. Since 1986, the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank has served those struggling with hunger throughout the Peninsula The Virginia Peninsula Foodbank also provides programs for children, seniors and others in our community facing food insecurity.. PWHD has also participated in the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank’s Legal Food Frenzy since its inception and is continuing its support by participating in the 2021 Legal Food Frenzy.

Contributions to the Foodbank can be made directly here:

Patten Wornom Hatten Diamonstein L C is fundraising for Virginia Peninsula Foodbank (


In 2021, PWHD attorneys and staff again volunteered at the Virginia Peninsula Foodbank in Hampton as part of the firm’s participation in the Legal Food Frenzy. At the event, volunteers packed boxes for the Foodbank’s community food pantry partners, which totaled in excess of 3,500 pounds of food.

In addition, as a result of the firm’s fundraising efforts and contributions of non-perishable food in 2021 for the Legal Food Frenzy, the Foodbank will be able to provide 11,930 meals to those in need in our community.

At PWHD, we are committed to ensuring a better day for our neighbors and friends. Read more about PWHD’s community involvement here:

If you need legal representation, give us a call today at 757-223-4500 or fill out our online contact form. Our attorneys handle a variety of legal matters and are available by phone, videoconference, or in-person meetings to discuss your legal needs.

Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021

Congress approved, and on December 27, 2020, the President signed into law a new stimulus package, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (the “Act”).  The Act includes the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-profits, and Venues Act, the COVID-Related Tax Relief Act of 2020, and the Taxpayer Certainty and Disability Relief Act of 2020.  The Act reinstated the Paycheck Protection Program (the “PPP”) that expired in 2020 by providing additional funding and furthermore set forth clarification on certain terms and conditions of the PPP.  The PPP program will run through March 31, 2021.


Among the most informative and impactful of the clarifications for businesses is confirmation of the tax-free treatment of loan forgiveness for the original round of funding under the CARES Act.  All qualifying expense are fully deductible.  Equally impactful, $284.45 billion in additional funding was allocated for the PPP in 2021.

A favorable change from the original round of PPP funding is that the Act allocates $12 billion in COVID-19 relief funding for community development financial institutions that predominantly serve minority communities. Approximately one-third of that $12 billion is set aside for smaller financial institutions with less than $2 billion in assets. 

Eligibility Criteria for New Loans: Small businesses with less than 300 employees; business must have been in operation on or before February 15, 2020; business must have used or will use all of the first round PPP loan proceeds.

New Eligibility Criteria for New Loans:  Qualifying 501(c)6 non-profit organizations are eligible; businesses must have experienced a 25% or more reduction in Gross Receipts in any one quarter of 2020, as compared to the corresponding quarter in 2019.  If not in business during the first three quarters of 2019, the business can compare the first three quarters of 2020 to the fourth quarter of 2019.

Changes Related to the Employee Retention Credit: Under the CARES Act, a business that received a PPP loan was not eligible for the employee retention credit that was authorized by the CARES Act. However, under the Act, businesses that previously received a PPP loan can now claim the employee retention credit, so long as the credit is not sought for wages paid with proceeds of the PPP loan that have been forgiven. This change is retroactive to the date of the enactment of the CARES Act – March 27, 2020.

Should you or business have questions or need assistance with the PPP or the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, please contact one of the attorneys in our Business Group at (757) 223-4500.

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On behalf of the Virginia State Bar Business Law Section, PWHD Managing Partner, Lindsey A. Carney, moderated the virtual Select Legal Issues Impacting Small and Middle-Market Businesses CLE, and Business Law Partner, Duncan B. Byers, presented “Coronavirus and Business Interruption Insurance Claims in Virginia: Coverage or No Coverage?” on October 28, 2020. The panel discussion with other attorneys in Virginia focused on legal challenges affecting small and middle-market businesses in handling contract performance issues associated with COVID-19; PPP loan status concerns; and forecasting business interruption claims in Virginia related to COVID-19.  Ms. Carney and Mr. Byers are part of the Business Group that has earned the respect of clients, peers and governing bodies across the Commonwealth for their counsel in complex business, land use and real estate matters as well as commercial litigation. To learn more about Ms. Carney or Mr. Byers, click on their respective link below.

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Congratulations to our Managing Partner, Lindsey Carney, as Governor Ralph Northam announced on June 5th her reappointment to the Christopher Newport University Board of Visitors.

Read more at:


Rector Robert R. Hatten, Esq.

Statement on Black Lives Matter and Social Justice

CNU Board of Visitors, June 4, 2020

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Good afternoon.  I am Bobby Hatten. 

I am a trial lawyer and I have the great honor  to serve as the Rector of the Board of Visitors of Christopher Newport University, and I welcome all of you to this public meeting of that board.

Before starting the business meeting I would like  to take a moment of personal privilege to speak to everyone in the Commonwealth of Virginia  who is listening:

We have a crisis of structural and intractable racism in America.   

It is obvious and blatant to everyone who has eyes to see and a heart to understand.  

So obvious that the entire country has just seen a policeman murder a Black man in broad daylight, slowly killing him with his knee on his neck, while three other policemen stood by and did nothing to stop it. 

That crime, as well as other atrocities by police, has ignited the justifiable rage and anger of millions of Americans—Black, Brown and White—who are still marching through our cities and towns.

Chanting, crying, shouting, and pleading “BLACK LIVES MATTER”—and indeed they do.

One thing is certain: White people, like me, DO NOT KNOW what it is like to be Black in America,

But IF this week has taught us anything, it has taught us that it is time—long past time—that White men and women in America need to start listening to Black people and standing  up with them.

Listen when they say:

America  has a crisis of impunity, immunity, and accountability  for police brutality toward Black people.

Listen when they say:

America  has a crisis of inequality in income, health care, opportunity, and education for Black people.

Listen when they say:

America  has a crisis of justice in our courts and of leadership in our government.

All over America, these cries of Black people for justice and fairness have not been answered. 

BUT today the whole world is listening.

We—White people—should have been listening sooner – but this is not new.    

Systemic racism against Black people has been ingrained in American culture for hundreds of years.

From slavery, to Jim Crow laws, to the Ku Klux Klan, to segregated schools, restaurants, and hotels, to the red lining of real estate, and the killing of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., this part of our American history is an ugly story.

Only three years ago, as a country we shamed a Black football player who harmlessly put his knee on the ground to protest police brutality during the singing of our national anthem.

He rightly believed that  our national pledge of allegiance is to “one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.”

But the police killings of Black men and women  has continued.

Enough is enough.

White people can no longer look away and refuse to confront these issues.

It is long past  time for broad-reaching structural and institutional changes to our laws and our culture to root out and destroy racism against Black and Brown people in America.

As leaders of this great University, we have heard the voices of the  Black Community and we support you.

Your voices, thoughts, and feelings matter to the University– but we want you to know that we have not been waiting for this national tragedy to respond.

Under the progressive leadership of President Paul Trible,

Last year we instituted the Community Captains program to directly change the lives of economically disadvantaged children in Newport News, most of whom are Black.

This program will ultimately provide 100 students with a totally free college education at CNU.    

This progressive program is unmatched by any other college or university in the state of Virginia. 

Last week the University Council on Diversity and Inclusion, led by our colleagues Sheriff Gabe Morgan and Brad Hunter, and including students, faculty, staff, alumni, and leaders from the community—submitted Christopher Newport’s Strategic Plan for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to the Commonwealth of Virginia.

In thoughtful detail, this 25-page document outlines a bold plan of action for the University to overcome the remaining burdens of historical racism in higher education.

Today, twenty-one percent (21%) of CNU’s 5,000 students are non-White, and 300 are Black.  I am pleased to report that our focus on attracting more students of color has increased the number of Black students we expect to welcome to our Freshman class based on deposits received.  This year we expect to welcome 91 Black students versus 78 last year—an increase of 16%.  The Community Captains Program that I have just described will swell those numbers of Black students in future years.

Paul Trible’s mantra and CNU’s mission is to change hearts and minds so that we can provide leadership to our community, our state, and our country.

Happily, the hearts and minds of our nation are changing—yesterday thousands of Black, Brown, and White people gathered in front of the White House and their voices were lifted up in unison as they sang  - Lean on ME –  

Lean on me when you’re not strong, I’ll be your friend, I’ll help you carry on.

CNU’s message to our students and to this community is simple:

Lean on Us because Black Lives Do Matter at CNU, and we intend to play a leadership role in changing the hearts and minds of our students, our community, and our country so that we can end the crisis of racism that is so destructive to our national ideals of equality, fairness, and justice.


Patten, Wornom, Hatten & Diamonstein (PWHD) is Excited to Announce Our Attorneys have been Named to the 2020 Super Lawyers List.

About Super Lawyers

Only the top 5% of attorneys in each state are selected to the Super Lawyers List, which evaluates lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.  The objective is to create a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of outstanding attorneys.  Each candidate is evaluated on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement.  Virginia Super Lawyers can be found by searching the directory online at


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Donald N. Patten

15th time selected as a Super Lawyer

Donald Patten, a Newport News attorney, has represented individuals and businesses in product liability and negligence actions, commercial contract disputes and real estate business matters for over 50 years.  Patten, who represents firm clients in multi-jurisdictional asbestos related bankruptcy proceedings, has been named in Best Lawyers in America every year since 2001 and has been chosen as a Virginia Super Lawyer every year since 2006.  He is a former President of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association and has been awarded the highest AV ranking by the Martindale-Hubbell® lawyer rating service.  Approximately 10% of all attorneys hold an AV Preeminent Rating, a designation trusted worldwide by buyers and referrers of legal services.

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Robert R. Hatten

15th time selected as a Super Lawyer

For over 40 years Bobby Hatten has been a pioneer and national leader in asbestos litigation, prosecuting cases across Virginia and the nation for shipyard workers, Navy veterans, industrial workers, and their families.  His work has established landmark decisions relating to maritime jurisdiction, statutes of limitations, conflicts of law, monetary damages, and product liability.  For 25 years he has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America and chosen by Best Lawyers as Lawyer of the Year for 2019.  In 2010 he was chosen to be a fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers.  VTLA, ATLA, and Lawyers Weekly have each conferred special advocacy awards for his many contributions to the law.  Jury verdict in the Top 10 Verdicts in Virginia for 8 consecutive years (2006-2013) and 2016.

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Henry Duncan Garnett, Jr.

15th time selected as a Super Lawyer

Duncan Garnett has been fiercely representing persons severely injured through no fault of their own for nearly 50 years.  He is driven to achieve maximum results and believes each client should expect excellence.  Duncan is past President of the Newport News Bar Association, the Piedmont Bar Association and The Virginia Trial Lawyers Association.  For more than 20 consecutive years Duncan has been rated Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell® and listed in the Best Lawyers in America.  He has been selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers continuously since 2006.  Duncan thrives on the aggressive and relentless pursuit of justice for each of his clients.

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James H. Shoemaker, Jr.

14th time selected as a Super Lawyer

James H. Shoemaker, Jr. is an attorney providing legal services covering Employment & Labor: Employee and Personal Injury - General: Plaintiff.  James Shoemaker, Jr., who practices law in Newport News, Virginia, was selected to Super Lawyers for 2007 - 2020.  Being chosen for multiple years is high recognition of peer and professional respect and achievement in legal practice, and other cogent factors.

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Duncan G. Byers

7th time selected as a Super Lawyer

Duncan Byers is a firm partner recognized in Super Lawyers in the areas of Intellectual Property, Intellectual Property Litigation, and Business Litigation.  He focuses his practice in all aspects of intellectual property (patent, trademark, trade secret, copyright) and complex intellectual property and business litigation as well as state and federal appeals. He has successfully assisted his clients in obtaining, defending and enforcing intellectual property rights, resolving complex business disputes, and assisting clients in front of the US Patent and Trademark Office up through matters in front of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board.  Prior to being selected as a Super Lawyer, Duncan was recognized twice as a Super Lawyers Rising Star. 

Lindsey A. Carney Appointed Managing Partner

PWHD is Proud to Announce, Effective January 1, 2020,

Lindsey A. Carney is the New Managing Partner.

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Lindsey A. Carney joined the law firm of Patten, Wornom, Hatten & Diamonstein, L.C. (PWHD) in 2004 after graduating from the Marshall Wythe-School of Law at the College of William & Mary where she served as an editor on the Journal of Women and the Law. Ms. Carney has extensive experience in commercial real estate representation in the areas of development, acquisitions and other transactions, as well as sales and leasing, land use and zoning, and general business counsel in the areas of entity formation, contract negotiation and transactions.  Ms. Carney graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Governmental Administration with a concentration in Legal Studies from Christopher Newport University in 2001, where she was also a member of the women’s basketball team.  Ms. Carney has been recognized by her peers to be chosen as a “Super Lawyer” and “Legal Elite”.  She was recognized by her peers in 2015 as one of the most influential women in Virginia.


Ms. Carney currently serves as Vice Chair of the United Way of the Virginia Peninsula; a member of the Board of Visitors of Christopher Newport University; Chair of the Christopher Newport University Athletic Advisory Council; a member of the Board of Directors of the Peninsula Fine Arts Center; and a member of the Peninsula Airport Commission.  She is also adjunct faculty at Christopher Newport University.


Ms. Carney is excited to have been elected as the Managing Partner of PWHD effective January 1, 2020 and looks forward to continuing the zealous advocacy of the firm for its clients and the community.

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Robert “Bobby” Hatten is a pioneer and national leader in the field of Asbestos Litigation.  For over 45 years, he has been prosecuting cases across Virginia and the nation for shipyard workers, Navy veterans, industrial workers, and their families.  His work has established landmark decisions relating to maritime jurisdiction, statutes of limitations, conflicts of law, monetary damages, and product liability.  For over 25 years he has been recognized by his peers to be included in "The Best Lawyers in America" and has frequently been chosen as a "Super Lawyer" in the field of personal injury and product liability litigation.  He was honored by Best Lawyers to be the "2019 Lawyer of the Year in Virginia".


Mr. Hatten has served on the Board of Trustees of St. Andrews Episcopal School, Lexington Theological Seminary, Hampden-Sydney College, the General Samuel V. Wilson Leadership Center at Hampden-Sydney College, and the Board of Visitors of Christopher Newport University, where he is now the Rector.  Mr. Hatten was the past Chairman of the Board of the United Way of the Virginia Peninsula and the current Chairman of the Board of Soundscapes.


Mr. Hatten has served as the Managing Partner of Patten, Wornom, Hatten & Diamonstein, L.C. (PWHD) since 1991.  Mr. Hatten and all of the Partners at PWHD agree that Ms. Carney is the right person to direct the development and growth of the firm into the next decade.  Mr. Hatten will continue to be the lead trial lawyer for the PWHD Asbestos Litigation team.


Patten, Wornom, Hatten & Diamonstein (PWHD) is Excited to Announce Our Attorneys Named the 20th Annual Virginia Legal Elite!

About Virginia Business Legal Elite

The Virginia Business Legal Elite recognizes the top Virginia lawyers across 20 specialties as selected by their peers.

The voting is open to all lawyers licensed to practice in Virginia.

Virginia Business Legal Elite Lawyers can be found online at

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Steven Meade, Esq., selected for a Spotlight


Patten, Wornom, Hatten & Diamonstein, L.C., congratulates PWHD Partner, Steven Meade, on being selected for a Spotlight segment in the Business Law Q&A for the Legal Elite 2021 selections chosen by Virginia Business magazine.

Click here to read the Spotlight interview segment:

Steve joined PWHD in 1992 as a summer law clerk and then accepted a position as an Associate Attorney in 1994, and was selected as a partner by the Firm in 1999.

He practices in the areas of commercial transactions and commercial real estate.

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November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month

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About every two and a half minutes, someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with lung cancer. Lung cancer is the leading cause of death in both men and women, and asbestos exposure can cause or contribute to cause lung cancer. November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month.

Individuals who worked in the shipbuilding industry, construction, railroads, and power plants and veterans often had occupational exposure to asbestos decades ago. As asbestos-containing products are cut, removed, or abraded, microscopic asbestos fibers are released.  Workers inhale these fibers and they become lodged in their lung tissue. Over time, these fibers can cause cellular damage and mutations, suppress the body’s ability to fight off these mutations, and result in lung cancer.

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with lung cancer, and worked in the shipbuilding industry, construction, railroads, and power plants or served in the Navy, you may be entitled to compensation. Call us at 1-800-459-1881 or locally at 757-223-4545​ for a free consultation. You can also fill out our contact form​ for a free case evaluation. 


Donald N. Patten Receives Honorary Degree

Patten, Wornom, Hatten & Diamonstein, L.C., congratulates PWHD Partner, Donald N. Patten, on recently receiving the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from William & Mary Law School. Mr. Patten joined the school’s Board of Visitors in 1999 and served as Rector of William & Mary from 2001 to 2003. He also became an honorary alumnus of the Law School Class of 2018 and is an Emeritus member of William & Mary’s Business School Foundation. Mr. Patten is also an avid supporter of William & Mary Law School’s trial team.  

View the video of Mr. Patten here:


Mr. Patten’s legal career has spanned over fifty years. Since 1976, Mr. Patten has represented shipyard workers, veterans, and other workers and their families who were suffering from asbestos-related diseases. He currently serves on the C.E. Thurston & Sons Asbestos Trust Advisory Committee.

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Mr. Patten is a past President of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, received the highest rating awarded by Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directory for legal competence, and was selected by his peers to be included in the 2001-2002 edition of the “The Best Lawyers in America.”

Mr. Patten was also very involved in his community. He served as a member of the Newport News City Council, was vice mayor, served as chair of the Newport News Planning Commission, served as the chair of the Peninsula Airport Commission, and he served on the Executive Committee of the State Council For Higher Education for Virginia. In addition, Mr. Patten served on the board of the Peninsula Alliance for Economic Development and the board for the Mariner’s Museum in Newport News, Virginia.


Read more about Patten here: Donald N. Patten and the firm’s history here: PWHD History

Read William & Mary’s full post about Patten’s Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws here: