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Author archives: Mike Vanderpool


Leadership Prince William Honors Brett Callahan with Graduate Certificate

Manassas, VA – On June 2, 2016, Leadership Prince William awarded Brett Callahan with the certificate of completion of the Leadership Prince William Class of 2016!

Leadership Prince William hosts an annual class, comprised of leaders from the business, public and non-profit sectors of the Greater Prince William area. Class members spent ten months learning, in depth, about local opportunities and issues, broadening their knowledge and giving them an edge, while enhancing their leadership skills as they connect with other leaders and future leaders of the community.

This is Leadership Prince William’s 9th class where graduates will have covered topics like History and Government, Economic Development, Public Safety, Education, Arts and Culture, Health and Human Services and Communication, among a multitude of other subjects.

The graduates from Leadership Prince William’s classes will go on to become key decision makers within their fields, honing their learned leadership skill to represent and support the community.

We’re very proud of our own Brett Callahan, who practices Civil Litigation, Municipal Law, Creditor’s Rights, and Real Estate law at Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian, P.C. We know that she will continue to do great things within our firm and her community!


Setting the Stage: The Theater of Court

For many attorneys, the intensity of the court room can add an extra stress factor to an already overwhelming profession. How each person handles the burdens of work is unique to them, but for Robert Beard of Vanderpool, Frostick, & Nishanian, it comes by way of a unique transformation: from lawyer to thespian.

Robert Beard begins his days in court, fighting on behalf of children in abusive environments. For Robert, the tensions that accumulate in court seem to melt away under the bright lights of the stage, where he feels as though he is being reset for the next day’s work.

As a young theater major in North Carolina, Robert was studying how to perform under pressure. It was then that he found himself in a courtroom at the suggestion of one of his professors, witnessing attorneys working under pressure like he’d never seen before. As the day went on, Robert began to see intriguing similarities between the stage and the courtroom. The attorneys demanded the attention of the jury, rather like an actor garners the rapt attention of an audience.

“I was so fascinated by the whole thing, that after I got out of the army, I began the pursuit of law”, says Beard.

After years of focusing on his legal career, Robert recently reconnected with his love of theater. He has performed in six productions over the past few years, and recently filled the role of Colonel Pickering in My Fair Lady, at the Riverside Center Theater in Fredericksburg. With his feet planted firmly back on the stage, Robert feels that his evenings spent entertaining give him a renewed fervor for his day job.

Patrick A’Hearn, the Producing Artistic Director of the Riverside Center Theater, who has worked with Robert in several productions stated, “Bob is just a consistent pro. He has this great command to his voice, which is something he needs for both stage and court. He understands how to use words to appeal to the emotion of the audience—and he uses that skill with the court, too.”

As Robert considers how his “hobby” has impacted his work, he states that, “refocusing on something creative is helpful, it gives me more energy.” He goes on to say that, “…something we talk about in the theater is concentration; you have to be intensely focused on what you’re doing on stage, and for me, that translates back to the courtroom.”

“I love doing live performances, I always have. What I loved about the theater, I put to work in the courtroom. I think more lawyers should think about getting up on the stage.”

*Photo Courtesey of the Riverside Center for the Performing Arts

Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian Named One of VA’s Largest Law Firms

For Immediate Release:

Manassas, VA. — In their most recent issue, “Virginia Lawyers Weekly” named Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian one of Virginia’s largest law firms. The “Largest Law Firms” survey, which has been conducted since 1989, gives an overview of the 75 largest law firms within the commonwealth of Virginia, and is judged based upon the number of partners, associates, of-counsel members and office locations within the firm. Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian was proudly named among the firms in this survey, tying for the 65th spot on the list. The compilation was published as a supplemental piece in the Virginia Lawyers Weekly magazine and online.

The firm of Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian became one of Virginia’s largest law firms due to their wide range of practice areas, excellence in each field, and their knowledgeable and experienced attorneys who continuously achieve the best results for their clients. Their reputation within the community has garnered respect and trust, and with nine partners, six associates and team of legal staff, Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian will continue to grow, providing top notch legal representation and service.

About Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian, P.C.

Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian is a full-service law firm based in Manassas, VA, with locations in Fredericksburg and Lakeridge, VA. Established by Michael R. Vanderpool in 1986, the firm serves clients through a wide range of practice areas including Business and Corporate Law, Civil Litigation, Employment Law, Real Estate Law and much more. To learn more about Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian, visit them at www.vfnlaw.com.


Chamber of Commerce Annual Business Awards

A night of celebration took place when Prince William County Chamber of Commerce hosted its Annual Business Awards on February 25, 2016. The evening’s event was held at the beautiful Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas, VA and featured a brand new legacy award!

Each year, the Prince William Chamber of Commerce Annual Business Awards recognizes nominees for excellence in business, innovation, and exemplary contributions to businesses, organizations, and the community.

PW Business Awards in Manassas

Michael Vanderpool of Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian, P.C.

This year, an exciting new legacy award was added to the Business category. It gained it’s name from the recently retired Virginia State Senator Charles Colgan. The Charles J. Colgan award was sponsored by the law firm of Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian and is awarded to a nominee who displays exceptional leadership within their organization and community. This year the award was presented to Rex Parr, who recently retired from his long time presidency at Didlake Inc. Mr. Parr is known as an innovator, whose dedication, and consistent advocacy for the disabled community has helped Didlake Inc. create thousands of opportunities for those with disabilities to become involved in businesses and in their communities.

We congratulate Mr. Parr as well as all of the nominees and winners of the Chamber of Commerce Annual Business Awards! We at Vanderpool, Frostick and Nishanian were proud to be a part of such a wonderful evening of recognition, and hope that it has inspired others to serve in their community and workplace, and support non-profit organizations throughout Northern Virginia!

The effort of one person can make a difference in the lives of many, and we were thrilled to help honor such extraordinary people! We look forward to supporting the Prince William County Chamber of Commerce Business Awards for many years to come!


© Images courtesy of Kathy Strauss, Imagewerks 


VF&N 2015 VA Legal Elite Winners

Seven of Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian’s Attorneys Named Virginia Business’ “Legal Elite”! 

Manassas, Fredericksburg & Lakeridge VA, Nov 30, 2015—Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian, P.C. is proud to announce that seven of its attorneys have been recognized by the Virginia Business Magazine as being among Virginia’s “Legal Elite”. These extraordinary attorneys are chosen based off of a survey of thousands of their peers, conducted by the Virginia Bar Association. The winners are determined to be the very best in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and in 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 exceptional work!

Michael Vanderpool, the founder of Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian was named among the best in the practice of Business Law. Mr. Vanderpool also specializes in Real Estate Law, Land Use, and Zoning.

Randolph Frostick, named as one of the Legal Elite in Civil Litigation law. Mr. Frostick focuses on Mediation and Arbitration, Commercial Leases and Loan Defaults, Construction, Mechanic’s Liens, Land Use and Zoning, Condemnation, Wills, Trusts, Estates, Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, Employment, and Creditor’s Rights.

Rick Nishanian, recognized among the Legal Elite in Real Estate & Land Use, is also an expert in the matters of Lender Representation in Real Estate, Transactions, Corporate and Business Law, Sales, and Development and Leasing matters.  

Kristina Keech Spitler, named among the Legal Elite in the category of Employment Law. With experience in Municipal Law and Civil Litigation, Ms. Spitler has earned the title of Legal Elite in her field!

David Honadle, credited as one of the Legal Elite in Construction Law. Mr. Honadle is experienced in Civil Litigation, Creditor Rights/Debt Collection, Landlord/Tenant, and Business Related Litigation.

David Wilks, named one of the Legal Elite in the law of Taxes, Estates & Trusts! Mr. Wilks is also well versed in Business Law, Probate, Estate Planning for Elderly and Parents of Impaired Children, and Estate Administration.

Christopher Collins, named one of the Legal Elite attorneys in Virginia in the practice of Intellectual Property. Mr. Collins also specializes in Technology Development, Partnering, and Litigation.

We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to salute our hardworking attorneys, and all of the 2015 Virginia Business Legal Elite winners! Congratulations to all!


Why Every Business Needs A Buy-Sell Agreement


             In today’s business climate, businesses cannot afford to make mistakes.  Yet there is one legal mistake that many small and medium-size businesses often make – they don’t have a buy-sell agreement in place.  This can create several big issues.  For example, without an agreement in place, a business owner may wake up one morning to find out that a stranger owns part of his business.  An owner that is getting ready to retire may find out that he can’t force his company to buy his stock.  And, perhaps most troubling, the majority owner of a company who wants to sell his or her business may find out the sale is vetoed by his minority shareholders.

             These problems can all be avoided if a proper buy-sell agreement is in place.  Who needs such an agreement?  The answer to that question is easy – any small or mid-sized company that has more than one owner really needs a solid buy-sell agreement.  It doesn’t matter whether you are a corporation, partnership or limited liability company.  If there is more than one shareholder, partner or member, an agreement should be in place.

             The agreement should cover a number of areas.  For example, many companies provide stock to employees.  Because many people are having economic trouble, they will try to sell this stock.  Without an agreement, they are free to sell it to whomever they want.  Or, let’s say they are fired.  Just because they lose their job, they are not required to sell the stock back to the company.  And a disgruntled former employee can create a lot of headaches as a minority shareholder, such as challenging the compensation paid to a majority owner.

             The agreement should also address what happens when an owner retires, becomes disabled or dies.  This is often a critical time for both the shareholder and the company.  If an agreement is not in place, a minority shareholder may be able to block the purchase of the stock of the retiring or deceased shareholder.  In addition, the agreement should include the necessary terms, such as drag-along rights, that make sure a majority owner can sell the business he or she has built.  Statutes in many states and standard provisions in many governance documents, such as operating agreements, allow minority shareholders to block a sale of assets or stock, but these can be overcome with an appropriate buy-sell agreement.

             The agreement should address several detailed items in addition to providing protection for the events described above.  For example, if one of the triggering events occurs, must the corporation buy the stock or does it have an option to do so?  How will the value be determined – by a preset agreed upon amount, by a formula, or by appraisal?  How will the purchase be funded?  Will the company be obligated to buy insurance or create a sinking fund?  If the price will be paid over time, what are the terms, including the amount of the down payment, the length of the payout, and the interest rate?  Will the remaining shareholders guarantee the payout?

             On a final note, the use of form buy-sell documents can be dangerous.  A buy-sell agreement must be carefully tailored to fit the specific situation.  In addition, it should be integrated with the business owner’s estate plan.  Most importantly, it needs to be in place before an issue arises.  A well drafted buy-sell agreement is a “must have” document for small and medium-sized businesses.

Buy-Sell Agreement Video Tip


Three Legal Documents Every Business Person Needs

1. A “Business Savvy” Will

Business men and women have very specialized needs when it comes to wills and estate planning.  We provide advice that integrates business and personal concerns and desires.

2. A “Don’t Steal My Business” Non-Compete Agreement

Employee loyalty is not what it used to be and today’s business information is mobile.  This can create a lethal problem when a key employee leaves if a non-compete agreement is not in place.

3. A “Staying Alive” Business Succession Document

Many businesses die with their owners. Other business owners who have minority shareholders find out that they can not unilaterally sell their business even though they are a majority owner. A good succession business document can help solve these problems.