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Author archives: Jessica Perdue


2020 Member’s Choice- 10 years of Excellence in Business

On Thursday evening February 27, 2020 the Prince William County Chamber of Commerce hosted its 10th Annual Business Awards to honor the best of the local business community. Awards recognize excellence in business, innovative practices, and outstanding contributions to the community and businesses/organizations that stand out among their peers.

Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian, P.C. was honored with the Prince William County Chamber’s 2020 Member’s Choice Award. Nominations were limited to those companies that have won the Excellence in Business Award over the past 10 years and voted on by the members of Chamber.

From left to right: Brett Callahan, Kristina Keech Spitler, V. Rick Nishanian & Guy Jeffress

VF&N attorneys are deeply rooted in community memberships, organizations, and not-for-profits, and provide leadership, volunteerism and notable contributions for the community. As a supporter of the Chamber, Vanderpool, Frotsick & Nishanian, P.C. is honored by the members’ recognition of our business and the decades of commitment to excellence.

VF&N also offers congratulations to each of the worthy businesses and individuals who were nominated and awarded honors at the Chamber Business Awards.


Martin R. Crim is appointed interim Town Attorney for Leesburg.

The law firm of Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian would like to congratulate Martin R. Crim for being appointed interim attorney for the town of Leesburg.

About Martin Crim

Martin is a shareholder at Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian, and has been practicing law for over twenty-five years. He currently serves as the Town Attorney for Culpeper, Haymarket, Occoquan & Middleburg. See his full bio here.


VF&N Welcomes New Attorney

Vanderpool, Frostick and Nishanian, P.C. is pleased to announce Brad Marshall has joined our firm.

Bradley Marshall joins VF&N as an associate. He brings over a decade of experience as an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney in Prince William County, Virginia. Mr. Marshall is leading the firm’s launch of its Criminal, Traffic and White Collar Defense practice, assisting in our expanding Investigations practice, and working with our Civil Litigation and Municipal teams.

About Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian, P.C.

Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian, P.C. is a law firm located in Manassas, VA. Established in 1986, we have served clients for over 30 years in business law, commercial real estate, litigation, lending, IP, employment law, land use and zoning, municipal law and now, with our most recent addition, criminal defense.

To learn more about Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian, P.C., visit our about us page.


When is the last time you updated your employee handbook?

Join us for a free upcoming seminar: Employee Handbooks. Will Yours Make the Grade?

February 13th, 2020

  • Time: 8:30 am –10:00 am
  • Location: Paul Davis training room- 44601 Guilford Dr, Ashburn, VA 20147

Join Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian, P.C.’s employment law attorneys Kris Spitler and Brendan Cassidy for a presentation on how to create an effective and compliant employee handbook.

Whether you are creating a brand new handbook or revising your current handbook, spending the time to properly craft the policies in your employee handbook can help ensure that they fit your Company’s business needs, do not expose it to liability, and provide employers with defenses against common charges brought by employees.

To reserve your space, please complete the form below:

Employee Handbook Seminar

7 Reasons Good Attorneys are Worth Their Weight in Wine

According to WVTF, Wine Spectator Magazine named Virginia a top world destination for wine lovers to visit, along with places like France, Germany, Spain, and New Zealand so it’s no wonder wineries are popping up all over Virginia. In Northern Virginia, in particular, wineries and breweries have gained popularity because of their access to interstates and tourism traffic. Agritourism combines 2 of Virginia’s top 3 industries: agriculture (#1) and tourism (#3) providing a boon to rural economies and helping preserve small to mid-size farms.

If you’re considering starting a vineyard, winery, or brewery you probably already know you have to comply with Virginia alcohol laws and regulations. What many aspiring entrepreneurs forget is that it’s also worthwhile to learn about the “non-alcoholic” side of winery and brewery ownership. An experienced business attorney can take the guesswork out of the agritourism business law and protect your winery from common risks that nearly all businesses face.

Read on to learn 7 things lawyers can do to help your agribusiness’s growth and sustainability.

1. Attorneys Can Help You Incorporate & Reduce Personal Risks.

If you want your winery or brewery to be taken seriously, you’ll need to form a business entity.  When handled properly, incorporation can protect your personal assets from business losses and reduce your tax liabilities. Deciding which corporate structure will work best for your business is a balancing act that requires the insight of an experienced attorney. Trying to use legal forms without the advice of an attorney could lead to your winery paying more than its fair share in taxes, or worse, the loss of your business and personal assets for simple legal mistakes.

2. Attorneys Can Help You Obtain Business Loans to Grow Your Winery.

If you have never applied for a business loan, it’s worth noting that business lending is quite different from the personal loan process. Lenders want to protect their investment, so they often require business owners to submit substantial paperwork and sign numerous guarantees before any money is distributed. In addition to many lenders requiring a business plan, incorporation, and other business documentation, they may apply multiple contingencies throughout the life of your loan. Such as a requirement that you maintain your corporate entity, have a life insurance policy, or submit annual financial data.

An agribusiness attorney can help you prepare the right documentation to improve your chances of obtaining a business loan and ensure you’re not signing predatory loan agreements that set you up for failure.

3. Attorneys Can Help You Acquire Land & Construct Facilities.

Land acquisition and usage is always a hot legal topic for Virginia wineries. Zoning issues and private legal restrictions, such as covenants, may limit or prohibit some uses of your property.

Trying to navigate all of the different rules, regulations, and procedures involved with land use regulations is complicated and time-consuming. The time to consult an attorney is before you acquire land.

4. Attorneys Can Help You Draft Contracts that Protect Your Business Interests.

Every business needs contracts. At some point, you will deal with suppliers, vendors, employees, and other professionals. Each relationship that your business relies on will need to be governed by some form of an agreement so that you can take action if the other party doesn’t hold up their end of the bargain.

The world of contract law is highly specialized within every industry. Even the most experienced contract attorneys may not know the nuances of the agritourism industry. Working with an attorney who knows the ins and outs of agritourism will set your business up for success and mitigate risks.

5. Attorneys Can Help You Hire & Retain Good Employees.

If you want your business to grow and succeed, at some point you will need to hire employees. Finding, hiring, training, and retaining good employees is one of the most important (and daunting) aspects of business ownership. Even business owners with past management experience often do not know the best ways to secure trustworthy employees. What’s worse is that employees are one of the biggest sources of business lawsuits in the United States.

Federal and State governments regulate what can be asked during interviews, how employees are paid and taxed, how employees are to be treated, and when employees can be fired. An attorney can help ensure you’re in compliance with all employment laws and regulations. They can also help create employee agreements that protect your business from adverse actions of employees,  like opening a competing business, sharing your trade secrets, or recruiting co-workers for a competitor.

6. Attorneys Can Help Your Protect Your Name, Ideas, Reputation, and Designs.

Your business’s name, ideas, and reputation are its lifeblood. If a competitor steals your ideas or an employee shares your proprietary information, your business could lose its competitive advantage. This is why intangible assets, like intellectual property (IP), are some of the most valuable components of a newly formed business.

You will want to ensure your unique ideas maintain their value by taking advantage of intellectual property laws that protect trademarks, copyrights, and patents. Even your marketing campaigns can be protected property. A seasoned attorney can help you maximize the value of your business by protecting your ideas. As well as help you avoid fines and lawsuits by ensuring you are not infringing on other businesses ’ IP rights.

7. Attorneys Can Help You Avoid Lawsuits.

Many business owners believe they don’t need lawyers until a problem arises. You may have caught yourself thinking, “I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.” Unfortunately, this is one of the most expensive mistakes business owners make. All businesses face the risk of lawsuits and agri-business is no exception. If you’re selling alcohol on your property, you face even greater risks.

The good news is, experienced business attorneys can help you protect your business from litigation and limit your liabilities, proactively. They can help ensure you have the right protections in place, legally, financially, and contractually to protect your business from lawsuits and regulatory penalties.

Our experienced team of attorneys at VF&N are able to assist you with all aspects of your agritourism business, from startup to growth and beyond. If you’re interested in starting a winery or brewery in Virginia, or would like to protect your existing agribusiness, contact us for personalized advice designed to meet your unique goals.

By: Martin Crim, VF&N Attorney


Six Attorneys Named Legal Elite in 2019

Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian, P.C. is proud to announce that six of its attorneys have been recognized by the Virginia Business Magazine as being among Virginia’s “Legal Elite” within their various practice categories. All of the attorneys named have been nominated as Legal Elite in the past and we’re extremely honored to celebrate their continued success and exceptional work!

Litigation & Construction– Randolph Frostick

Land Use & Real Estate– Michael Vanderpool

Intellectual Property– Christopher Collins

Employment Law– Kristina Keech Spitler

Young Lawyer (under 40) – Brett Callahan

Business Law– V. Rick Nishanian


Blast From The Past- 2002 VF&N Building Ground Breaking

February 12th, 2002

Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian, P.C.  groundbreaking ceremony of the current VF&N building in Old Town Manassas. Brought to you by the magic of VHS conversion.

Mr. Vanderpool speaks to the vision he had for his firm and surrounding community.


Today represents an intersection of two different visions; my vision to create a top-notch law firm for businesses and residents of this area and, about that same time, Historic Manassas inc had a vision of what old town could become…. All those things we hoped would happen in old town Manassas have happened.

And with good attorneys like Rick and Randy and all the attorneys of the firm, we have been able to begin the process of growing the law firm that we are very proud of. We look forward to being a big participant in the city of Manassas.

Fast forward 18 years and it would seem the attorneys of VF&N have kept that vision alive.

2006- Arthur Sinclair Award from the Prince William County Bar Association

2007- Community Outreach Award from the Prince William Regional Chamber of Commerce

2008- Loy E. Harris Award from the City of Manassas for service to the community

2009- Name one of Virginia’s largest law firms by Virginia Lawyers Weekly

2017- Prince William Chamber Business Excellence Award

2019- Leadership Prince William Vision Award


Avoiding Litigation: Free Seminar

Wednesday, Oct. 23rd
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Centerfuse in Manassas

Join VF&N’s litigation attorney Brett Callahan as she presents at the Oct. YPNOVA Success Series Seminar: Avoiding Litigation.

Ms. Callahan will cover common mistakes businesses make that can lead to or increase the risk of litigation related to contracts, real estate, employment, intellectual property, business formation, and compliance.

Open to the public, YPNOVA membership not required.


Four VF&N attorneys rated AV Preeminent®

Congratulations to our team of AV Preeminent® attorneys Randolph Frostick, Olaun Simmons, Michael Vanderpool & Kristina Keech Spitler! AV Preeminent® is Martindale-Hubbell’s highest professional achievement, a designation trusted worldwide by buyers and referrers of legal services.

The process of Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ has been the gold standard in the rating of attorneys’ legal ability and high ethical standards for more than 100 years. One of the reasons this award is such an honor is that it is only bestowed on a select few, about 10% of all attorneys. Because of this, it is a designation that can be trusted by clients and those who need to refer clients for other legal services.

For more info visit: https://www.martindale.com/ratings


So What Did Change with the New Proffer Law?

In our first blog post on the 2019 Virginia proffer legislation, we told you what hasn’t changed with the new law. As promised, now we will address what has changed.

Myth: Under the new law, localities have no liability exposure for unreasonable demands unless the governing body requests one in writing, so planning staff can talk to developers again. 

Reality: The new legislation says that developers and localities can talk, but the old legislation didn’t say they couldn’t. The reason why local government attorneys warned staff against talking to developers was the Koontz decision from the US Supreme Court, and specifically Justice Kagan’s dissent in that case which warned that “no local government official with a decent lawyer would have a conversation with a developer” because of the risk of liability. (That hasn’t changed.) There’s also the question of whether a local governing body authorizes or ratifies a written request from a staff member.

The bottom line is that the new law changes the liability exposure of localities, but localities should still exercise caution.

Myth: Under the new law, localities can expect to receive proffers for facilities in addition to the four enumerated facility types of transportation, schools, public safety, and parks.

Reality: The new legislation allows for proffers to be deemed reasonable if signed by the applicant and property owner, even if they are for off-site proffers that aren’t for the four kinds of public facility. However, beware that the new law takes away with one hand what it hands out with the other. Right after the language about the owner and applicant being able to make any offsite proffer reasonable just by signing it, the General Assembly wrote the following:

2. Failure to submit proffers as set forth in subdivision 1 shall not be a basis for the denial of any rezoning or proffer condition amendment application.

This raises an interesting question if the locality relies upon impacts on facilities other than transportation, parks, schools and public safety to deny a rezoning.

Myth: Under the new law, an applicant has to object in writing to a proffer request in order to challenge it later. 

Reality: Challenges based on violations of “this section” (Va. Code Section 15.2-2303.4) require a written objection to the governing body before the aggrieved applicant can file suit. This limits the availability of the legal remedies under that code section, but does not limit the remedies available for a constitutional challenge or a challenge based on another statute.   It is also important to note that this section does not extend to conditions imposed pursuant to a special use permit.

Localities still need to do their own analysis on whether a proffer request is reasonable. Maybe not as much changed with the new law as some people are hoping.

By the Proffer Professors: Mike Vanderpool & Martin Crim