Chris approaches his practice with a combination of education, training, experience, judgment and demeanor to understand and resolve whatever legal problems his clients present. For more than 35 years, he has been representing corporations and individuals, primarily in litigation related matters.
After graduating from Washington & Lee University School of Law, Chris had the opportunity to clerk for The Honorable A. Christian Compton during his first year as a Justice of the Virginia Supreme Court. Justice Compton’s intelligence, strength of character and legal experience provided a solid foundation for Chris’ legal career.
Chris’ litigation practice has included general litigation, corporate litigation, insurance coverage litigation, divorce, personal injury, will contests, estate litigation, adoptions, and guardianship/conservatorship cases. He has seen his practice evolve into handling residential and small commercial real estate matters, administering estates, serving as Guardian of the Estate for minors and Conservator for adults, writing contracts, writing wills and related documents, and setting up and representing small corporations and limited liability companies. Chris has been honored to have his colleagues agree numerous times to have him serve as a Judge Pro Tempore to hear and decide divorce cases by written opinion.
As examples of the breadth of his practice, Chris has tried wrongful death cases, represented an owner in the multi-million dollar sale of his business, prepared and filed a Protest with U.S. Customs and Border Protection for a limited liability company, and tried a case before the United States Merit Systems Protection Board. Recently, he assisted two churches in a complex case involving a multi-million dollar promissory note that had been left to the churches as a bequest.
Although he is comfortable preparing a case and trying it in the courtroom, Chris always remembers the maxim that a good lawyer keeps his clients out of court. He strives to understand his clients’ problems and concerns. He takes the time to explain options and likely outcomes, and he encourages them to reach a sensible settlement of their cases.
- General Litigation
- Family Law
- Guardianship and Conservatorship
- Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning
- Estate Administration
- Residential Real Estate
- Hopson, Habenicht and Cave, 2001-2014
- Hopson and Habenicht, Ltd., 1986-2001
- Hopson, Soden and Habenicht, Ltd., 1982-1986
- Daniels, Hopson & Soden, Ltd., 1980-1982
- Hunton & Williams, 1976-1980
- Clerk, The Honorable A. Christian Comption, Justice of Supreme Court of Virginia. 1975-76
- AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rating, Martindale-Hubbell
- Fellow, American Bar Foundation since 1999
- Member, Virginia State Bar, Committee on Lawyer Discipline (COLD), 1997-2000; Chair, 1999-2000
- Member, Board of Directors, Richmond Bar Association, 1992-1996
- President, Chesterfield-Colonial Heights Bar Association, 1993-1994
- Member, Virginia State Bar Council, 1987-1993
- Member, Third District Disciplinary Committee, Virginia State Bar, 1982-85; Section Chair, 1984-1985
- Washington & Lee University, J.D., 1975
- Washington & Lee Law Review
- University of Notre Dame, B.A., Economics, 1972
Boards and Activities
- President, Heart of Virginia Council, Boy Scouts of America, 2013-2015
- Member, Executive Board, Heart of Virginia Council, Boy Scouts of America, 2006-present
- Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Past Chair of Finance Council, Past Chair of Pastoral Council, Co-Chair of Centennial Preservation Campaign
- Member, Kiwanis Club of Central Chesterfield for 31 years
- Virginia State Bar Association
- Chesterfield County Bar Association
- Richmond Bar Association