It’s a beautiful November morning among the trees outside of Long Branch Nature Center and Melody Mobley is at peace. She’s remembering how her mom used to take her and her siblings to creeks and collect leaves on weekends.
“To this day, I feel like I’m in more than church any time I’m out in the forest,” Mobley says, sitting on a bench in front of a pond. “This is my sacred space.”
In 1977, Mobley was hired to work at the United States Forest Service, after being recruited at her university’s career day. She was the first Black female professional forester in the agency’s history.
For decades, her life was in forests across the country, including in Washington, California, and Florida. In the late 1980s, she made the move to the D.C. area to help manage state forestry resource plans as well as watershed restoration. She’s lived in Arlington ever since, near N. Carlin Springs Road.
When Mobley started at the Forest Service as a forester, she loved the job.
“Just being in those beautiful, beautiful situations every day, picking your berries and greens from nature,” she tells ARLnow. “Just physically being in that place was wonderful. And seeing bears, porcupines, and everything we would see out there was just a real treat.”
It was the humans that made Mobley’s life hard. In fact, she hadn’t realized that she was the only woman of color at the Forest Service until a year into her job.
“I wasn’t into it,” she says. “When I found out I was the one and only, no one would ever let me forget it.”
As a young woman living in a small town, she felt isolated and constantly the focus all at the same time. It was like living in a fishbowl, Mobley says. Even things that one might think of as small were not available to her.
“I couldn’t get my hair done. I couldn’t find the products,” she says.
There were also far worse situations. She was sexually harassed, the target of racist remarks, and sexually assaulted by a work colleague when she was 20-years-old.
She thought about quitting, but did not want to give others the satisfaction that she was giving up. Plus, it was a full-time job that could help provide for her grandmother, who had cancer.
“I don’t want it to sound all doom and gloom because it wasn’t,” Mobley says.”But it sure was challenging.”
Even during her time working at the U.S. Forest Service headquarters in D.C. in the 1990s, Mobley says she constantly faced gender discrimination, harassment, and was even physically assaulted.
Later, as a leader, she hoped her speaking out would end this for herself as well as others facing similar mistreatment in the agency.
“I really put myself on the line speaking out,” she says. But in 2005 she retired, saying she had “no choice.”
To this day, she still fields calls from others in the Forest Service who are facing circumstances similar to her own. She provides advice, a sounding board, and sometimes even reaches out to leadership on their behalf.
“The Forest Service isn’t very happy with me, but that’s all right,” she says.
Mobley, however, has found her next calling, spending her days inspiring the younger generation by volunteering at Carlin Springs and Barrett Elementary schools. This includes taking students on nature walks, helping with their science assignments, and answering questions about the environment.
“I love, love, love kids so much,” she says. “I want them to see someone who looks like them. That’s so important.”
She helps to lead Black and Latin/Hispanic Birder and Naturalist series in partnership with Nova Parks and the NAACP’s Arlington Branch.
Mobley says those hikes are wonderful, but few people of color actually come on them. She’s not totally sure why, but this challenge isn’t unique to this program.
“Many of the programs around here don’t get people of color coming,” she says. “We really need to open that door and really make sure that they feel welcome… we need to make sure people know there’ll be people of color actually there.”
This is her mission, she says, to show that nature and forest are for all.
Theo said his multi-year campaign strategy has a pretty simple tactic at its heart: showing local progressives they have more in common with him than with the current County Board members.
Theo is a freelance communications consultant and media producer who is running for the County Board right as he finishes his nine-year contract with the Department of Homeland Security. He is on the general election ballot this fall with incumbent Takis Karantonis and independent candidates Audrey Clement and Mike Cantwell, but Theo said his real plan is to use this year to set up the groundwork for a full run in 2022 or 2023.
“It is really getting off to a start here,” said Theo. “I’m using 2021 as an opportunity to launch my organization website and start meetings. In 2022 or 2023 I’ll be running for a seat on the County Board. Even if that’s next year: i’ll be ready with a good campaign and solid foundation.”
Independent and Republican candidates typically get trounced in Arlington elections, where 80.7% of voters last year voted for Joe Biden and 71.6% voted for incumbent Democrat Libby Garvey. Theo said he’s taking inspiration from one of the few times in recent memory an independent successfully wrested a local seat from the Democrats in Arlington: when John Vihstadt won a special election in early 2014.
(Vihstadt went on to hand local Democrats a defeat that fall in the general election before ultimately losing his reelection bid in 2018.)
“[John] Vihstadt really set the precedent in winning two elections,” Theo said. “I think there is an appetite for the right kind of candidate.”
Arlington in 2021 is a different political landscape in many ways than 2014, though, and Theo and Vihstadt himself both said there are several factors that will make it more difficult for an independent to repeat that 2014 victory. In 2014, the proposed half-billion-dollar streetcar project for Columbia Pike became a rallying cry for locals concerned about the County Board’s spending habits.
Theo admitted he doesn’t have as convenient a campaign centerpiece.
“Right now in the county there are a bunch of issues people are concerned about and angry over,” Theo said. “First and foremost is response and recovery from COVID. In many ways, Arlington is doing well with vaccination rates, but barely so. We need to be doing a hell of a lot better with getting people vaccinated, getting people back into schools. Small businesses have suffered and affordable housing is not doing well. It’s not one issue like it was with the streetcar, it’s many issues. The challenge that I have is to build a coalition, to build a campaign around.”
Vihstadt said another challenge independent candidates face in 2021 is the looming specter of Donald Trump.
“It was certainly kind of an unusual alignment of the stars for me in 2014 when I won the special election, and then a full four year term that November,” the former County Board member told ARLnow. “I had issues on the overspending and projects that were nice to have but not essential, like the streetcar and the Artisphere, and people were concerned about insular group thinking. The chemistry today is a little different. Part of the problem today is that Donald Trump, who I never supported and spoke out against in 2016, has so polarized the electorate.”
Vihstadt said he’s hopeful that as the memory of Trump fades and the state works on bipartisan redistricting, independents could be back in vogue.
Theo said, for his part, distancing libertarians from the GOP is part of that.
“There’s an ideological preference for Democrats in the county,” Theo said. “That’s why the GOP continues to dwindle and do poorly election cycle after election cycle. It’s largely with ideology. The good thing with libertarians is we have a lot of overlaps with democrats, liberals and progressives. We fight for civil liberties and civil rights, and affordable housing. The whole zoning battle and the missing middle, is where the libertarians have a lot of overlap with progressive warriors in the county. I don’t think it’s an impossible task. I’m not going to pretend it will be easy, it’s the fight of a lifetime.”
Theo’s vision for affordable housing reform, though, looks somewhat different from the vision expressed by incumbent Democrats.
Arlington County Board Communications Manager Mary Curtius was a journalist when the reporters wrote drunk and sometimes edited sober, and when the editors ashed their cigarettes on reporters’ desks if they were lucky.
She started writing when “cut-and-paste” literally meant cutting sections of type out and sticking paragraphs together with rubber cement glue.
“We probably went home high every day, we were inhaling so much rubber cement,” she said. (On that note, the photographers, stuck in dark rooms all day, were probably loopy from the developer and fixer chemicals.)
Curtius reported from Los Angeles, Jerusalem and Capitol Hill. She was the Middle East bureau chief for the Boston Globe and Christian Science Monitor. She covered Congress for the LA Times and before that was the paper’s National Security Editor. To have more time with her kids, she switched tracks 11 years ago and started handling communications for Arlington County.
Today is Curtius’ last day as Communications Manager for the County Board before she retires. After five decades of working — she started cleaning homes at 13 — she says she looks forward to visiting friends and family now that she is fully vaccinated, traveling and volunteering. And rest. She looks forward to rest.
“I don’t think there are a lot of people who can say they never had a bad job and never got to do anything fun,” she said. “I’m lucky. I’m really lucky. It’s been a great ride.”
And sometimes, the ride was dangerous. She remembers taking a road trip out of Jerusalem with two male reporters, and when she got into the car, she saw they were working through a bottle of whisky. The two polished it off over the five-hour drive.
“It was completely terrifying,” she said. “That was how they lived… I was always ‘the good girl.'”
She had to be, to get ahead in a male-dominated field.
But her distinguished journalism career took a toll on her family life. So Curtius joined the county 11 years ago to be home more with her kids. During her tenure, Curtius said the changing media landscape and the dawn of social media caused her job to morph too. She has been part of a few major crises — Snowmageddon and the Derecho storm and now the coronavirus — and has helped Arlington prepare for Amazon’s arrival.
“It was a great job,” she said. “It’s a great county — God’s truth — it’s a great county. It was an amazing experience to be doing something that directly related to my community.”
Curtius remembers spending 18 months documenting how Arlington transformed from a sleepy town to a bedroom community for Pentagon workers to a bustling metropolitan area. She found all the Board members and county managers who were still alive and put together plans in the 60s and 70s to accommodate the Metro and concentrate development around stations.
“That video captured the ‘Greatest Generation’ — people who had these ideas and laid the foundation of modern Arlington,” she said. “I really enjoyed meeting those people. Almost all of them are dead now.”
Over the last decade, she said local media coverage has waned. Before joining the County Board in 2006, she said TV stations would set up cameras to get clips from County Board meetings. No longer, except for major news like Amazon’s arrival.
“It seems incredible to think about that,” she said.
Since then, the Washington Post has pulled back on local coverage, and there are not as many news outlets focused on county government — the Sun Gazette and present company excluded, she added.
“Of course, it is happening across the country,” she said. “It’s really distressing, just as a reporter, that there’s not a lot of local coverage.”
Arlington resident Celia Edwards Karam is at the top of her game.
Zola’s founder, Shan-Lyn Ma, tapped Karam for the position, and after a series of conversations with the company’s leadership, Karam was officially in.
“I guess I must have done okay in those interviews,” she said, laughing.
While she got married before anything like Zola existed, Karam said she is joining the board to help Zola find opportunities for growth and new corners of the $55 billion wedding industry to explore.
The appointment adds to a resume that includes degrees from Harvard and Stanford universities, 14 years at Capital One and volunteer work with the nonprofit Commonwealth, which helps vulnerable people achieve financial security.
Her achievements seem to flow from one source. “It all comes back to [the question], ‘How might we make choices that are actually helping people get to better outcomes?'” she said.
Karam draws inspiration from her experience as a Jamaican immigrant. She came to the U.S. with her family when she was five years old, and watched her parents work hard to give her and her siblings access to education and better opportunities.
“Financially speaking, we didn’t have a lot to work with,” she said. “The sense you get instilled is one of gratitude and one to give back.”
This sense manifests in Karam’s concern for people, and making their lives easier. She says Capital One, Zola and Commonwealth share this customer-centered pursuit.
But these companies also share Karam.
In recent years, the chief audit officer has grown more confident in sharing her perspective as a Black woman — something that she did not always do. As a child, she was taught that the way to achieve equality was by ignoring color.
“The way to succeed, in my mind, was for my bosses not to notice the differences,” she said. That changed five years ago.
“I came to what might sound like a ridiculous conclusion: The fact that I am a Black woman actually makes me different,” she said.
Keeping in mind her bad experiences suppressing her identity, today she encourages business leaders to show employees that their perspectives, informed by their diverse identities, are valued. It is one reason she said she admires and wants to work with Ma — one of the relatively few women running successful new tech companies.
“If you don’t have the numbers, there’s nowhere to go from there,” she said. “But you only get a diversity of perspective if the people who are there feel like they can actually share what’s on their minds.”
Karam jokes that outside her work, she does not have too many hobbies she can pursue because she has three kids — ages seven, 10 and 12 — who she shuttles to “what feels like hundreds of sports activities.”
In the 10th month of remote work since the shutdown this March, she said she and her kids have started taking lots of walks with the family dog through Arlington. She, her husband and kids have called Arlington home since 2007.
“Arlington is actually a pretty amazing place to live,” she said. “It’s exactly right mix of urban and suburban for our family.”
Photo courtesy Celia Edwards Karam
“When I went to [Sibley Memorial Hospital in D.C.] and they intubated me and I woke up in Baltimore at [Johns Hopkins Hospital],” Ayyad said. “I had this tube and all these things connected to me. I texted my best friend ‘I think I’m going to die.'”
In March, Ayyad was starting to feel weak and a little under the weather when talk of COVID-19 spreading across the United States was just starting. With no coughing or fever, Ayyad said at first he thought it was just a cold, but after a few days he found that he wasn’t getting better.
“I went to the hospital just to get medication, then I went to Sibley and they put me in and the next thing you know, it’s oxygen and they might have to put you into a coma. And at that point, you’re like ‘What, woah, me?'”
Ayyad said he was one of the first people in Hopkins with a confirmed case of COVID-19.
“I was a guinea pig,” Ayyad said. “They didn’t know much of what to do with me about how to help me. They didn’t really have the knowledge that we have now.”
As he was lying in the hospital, Ayyad said he not only had to tell his parents what was happening but had to warn them away from coming to the hospital to see him in what might have been his final hours. Even after the disease has passed, Ayyad said that’s the part that still haunts him. Ayyad said he still thinks of what his parents went through: crying themselves to sleep and waking up at 6 a.m. to call the doctor just to hear that Ayyad is still stable.
“The hardest thing was hearing what my parents went through,” Ayyad said.
Meanwhile, Ayyad said being in quarantine inside the hospital was a lonely and isolating experience.
“You’re kind of, like, stuck on an island by yourself and you have no one to talk to or encourage you, anything to feel like you have someone on your side,” Ayyad said. “You’re just stuck in the room.”
Recovery for Ayyad has been slow, especially for someone who said he took a lot of pride in being in shape. Even over a month after his release, Ayyad said he still suffers shortness of breath when he works out. Progress has been a slow build: from moving around on a walker to walks around the neighborhood and eventually to weight training.
Ayyad, a fitness buff and marathon runner, lost 60 pounds and much of his muscle tone while in the hospital.
“My determination has never been higher,” he said. “You look in the mirror and see the COVID in your body. I’m determined to get my body back to what it looked like before.”
A lot has changed for Grace Rubinger, an Arlington native who has been working for Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) since she graduated college.
Rubinger started her career as an intern in Rep. Beyer’s office the fall after she graduated from Elon University in 2016, just before President Trump was elected. Four years later, she is now a legislative assistant to the congressman, working behind the scenes in various policy areas Rep. Beyer is passionate about.
She recently began taking on more responsibility in specific issue areas. Currently, she is handling the congressman’s work on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.
“When we’re in session there will be any given number of hearings for that committee during the week,” Rubinger told ARLnow.
“I’ll spend my time preparing for [the hearings], reading the background materials and witness testimonies and then coming up with questions that I’d like for the congressman to ask the witnesses.”
Rubinger also advises the congressman when deciding which bills he should support.
Rubinger’s interest in politics goes back to her upbringing near Cherrydale, where she attended Taylor Elementary and Williamsburg Middle School. Politics was always right across the Potomac River, she said, and at home her parents were in tune with current events. There would often be a nightly discussion of the news at the dinner table.
Her interest in policy, however, was shaped at Elon. In her senior year, Rubinger wrote a thesis on the intersection between the Catholic Church’s view on birth control and the women’s movement.
“Writing that thesis and figuring out my own views was the turning point for me,” Rubinger said.
Rubinger’s tenure at Rep. Beyer’s office has come at a unique time in history. Her work as an intern began prior to the 2016 election, and has stretched into what is now the third presidential impeachment trial in American history — an impeachment process her boss has been particularly vocal about.
“It is interesting to look back and see how many things have changed,” said Rubinger.
“The one thing that I’ve noticed just in my different capacities in the office is just how much more engaged people are,” she said. “People are so outraged all the time about different things that are going on and I think [public engagement] is probably the one bright spot in everything that’s going on. People are reading the news more and staying more engaged and calling us and writing us more.”
“That is something that might have been missing beforehand,” she added.
Man Punched Outside Ballston Subway — A man was punched in the face outside the Subway on Fairfax Drive in Ballston yesterday. The assault occurred just before lunchtime and those flocking to the restaurant for footlongs had to step over splatters of blood on the sidewalk. No word yet on what prompted the fight nor whether the suspect, who reportedly fled into the Metro station, was later apprehended. [Twitter]
Tonight: Committee of 100 County Board Debate — The Arlington Committee of 100 will be holding a County Board debate tonight at Marymount University. The program, moderated by ARLnow’s Scott Brodbeck, will start at 8 p.m. after a meet and greet and dinner. [Committee of 100]
History of the W&OD Railroad — Before it was a bike and pedestrian trail, the W&OD was a regional railroad that transported goods and people across Northern Virginia. How would the area and our transportation problems be different if it had stayed a transit corridor, asks a GGW contributor. [Greater Greater Washington]
Local Social Media Influencer Profiled — Clarendon resident and mother of two Angelica Talan “has made a career out of building a loyal following on social media.” She blogs at Clarendon Moms and Angelica in the City and also has done some modeling and acting. [Arlington Magazine]
Tree Group Wants More Trees — The Arlington Tree Action Group replied on Twitter to a posting of the photo above: “Beautiful sky! It would look even better with more trees! #ArlingtonVA #trees.” [Twitter]
Nearby: Alexandrians Worry About Takeout Window — A proposed takeout window for a new Mexican restaurant on King Street prompted a protracted debate among members of the Alexandria city council. Said one opponent on the council, who ultimately lost out on a 4-3 vote: “I think this is maybe one small step in the direction of what we don’t want Old Town to become.” [Washington Business Journal]
Photo courtesy Dennis Dimick
After seven years, Fire Works American Pizzeria and Bar has gotten pretty good at the pizza side of the menu. What’s not to like? The wood-fired crust with the delightful savory char is the crispy thin bed for toppings ranging from Bakers farm sausage and grana padano to white sauce with shrimp and clams.
But in case you haven’t noticed, there’s another side to the menu. “That’s actually what we call it,” says Jason Silerto, the general manager of the Courthouse restaurant. “The Other Side of the Menu…We’re pretty confident that our pizza stands up to pretty much any place in the DC market,” he says. “But I think it’s time we reminded people we’re more than pizza.”
Regulars who frequent Fire Works are familiar with the pizza, the enormous patio and the pioneering craft beer selection, but less known–but just as demanding of attention–is Thomas Harvey, the chef Fire Works landed a little more than a year ago to bring attention to the Other Side of the Menu.
“It was a big step to bring him to Arlington,” Silerto says, mentioning Harvey’s experience working in the kitchens of Fabio Trabocchi (Casa Luca), Frank Ruta (Palena) and master butcher Nathan Anda (The Partisan). “But after seven years, we thought we could do a little more to bring in other folks looking for something besides pizza.”
The Other Side of the Menu boasts an array of Contemporary Seasonal American concoctions designed to suit any mood. It begins with “Snack,” small plates of starters such as bacon fat French fries with chili flakes, herbs and tomato jam or goat cheese stuffed lamb meatballs in tomato sauce; to “Bite,” more substantial offerings including, new this season, fire braised beef short ribs with local red corn grits or mussels in spice fra diavolo sauce; to “Feast,” satisfying portions of mainstays ranging from flank steak to wild caught salmon to an entrée sandwich of grilled gouda, goat and gruyere slathered with that tomato jam.
For those looking for more traditional bar fare, fear not: wings, burgers and salads co-exist with Harvey’s adventurous offerings and the enormous craft beer selection.
Ingredients are sourced from the closest purveyors possible, including fertile farms in Leesburg and Purcellville but also CommonWealth Joe Nitro Brewed Coffee from the neighborhood.
“We just believe in quality, and people like to see that,” Silerto says.
That quality extends throughout the Fire Works family of restaurants, including Leesburg landmark Tuskie’s, the sandwich bakery South Street Under and events-oriented Birkby House as well as Purcellville’s upscale Magnolias.
For those fixated on the Pizza Side of the Menu–and who can blame you?–the answer to the question is oak. That’s the wood that gets the stone-bottom oven to 600 degrees and provides the thin crust the smoky charm that has kept the crowds coming back to Courthouse’s largest patio for seven years.
Speaking of the patio, look for a new layout and new furnishings next spring.
There is a private dining room for holiday occasions that seats 35 (more if standing). Now is the time to book for the holidays. See here for information.
And here’s a scoop: Fire Works is going into the catering business. Plans are being finalized this month. Stay tuned.
Fire Works American Pizzeria and Bar is at 2350 Clarendon Boulevard. The website is here for booking a table or call 703-527-8700 for reservations.
When I first began my ARLnow internship, I knew nothing about Arlington. A native New Yorker, to me, Arlington was just some place across the river from D.C. I was a bit of a “big city” snob, so I expected very little from the area.
Three months later, as my internship comes to a close, my view could not be more different. After writing dozens of articles about Arlington, from covering the opening of a Clarendon tattoo parlor to a piece about the county’s decreasing homeless population, I’ve developed quite a fondness for the community.
“Arlington is the smallest self-governing county in the U.S. And no, the Pentagon is not in D.C., it’s actually in Arlington,” I would proudly tell my friends when they asked about my job.
Of course, I am no “Arlington expert” but I have dipped into the pool of what Arlington has to offer and boy, is it deep!
There is something for everyone here: urban enclaves like Clarendon or Crystal City are just minutes’ drive from quintessential suburban neighborhoods with cozy brick homes and tumbling gardens. There are free yoga classes every Sunday throughout the summer and so many events that we publish an event calendar that is updated daily.
The variety in Arlington’s food scene made me feel like I was back in my hometown, except here, there’s elbow room and you’re not rushed after paying your check. I have eaten dinner while watching artists paint at Palette 22 and I’ve tried ice cream made with Nitrogen. I slurped up bubble tea from bottles shaped like lightbulbs at Kokee Tea and had my first taste of kangaroo at Oz (in case you were wondering, it tastes like a hamburger).
Perhaps more impressive than the free events and delicious food are Arlingtonians themselves. Every week, ARLnow publishes a weekly Startup Monday article, in which we write about a startup based in the county. I remember when I wrote my first Startup Monday, I was told to find a startup in Arlington that our website had yet to write about.
I wondered how many startups this one county can have. It turns out, it’s enough that ARLnow has been able to write about a new one almost every week since September 2013. That goes to show the incredible talent and creativity found in Arlington. There’s a guy giving free rides thanks to his advertising model; a couple with a company that plans “surprise” vacations; somebody creating an app to ensure people know their rights.
Even my boss — the founder of ARLnow — Scott Brodbeck, was once one of those Arlingtonians with a startup dream. He noticed that parts of Arlington had very little news coverage and saw an opportunity for a business. Seven years later, ARLnow is alive and thriving, and I got to intern with it and you’re reading it right now.
Tonight, as I leave Arlington to return to New York, I will wave goodbye to this place that has shown me so much, as I relish one of my favorite vistas: the sprawling Pentagon and graceful Air Force Memorial, set against a backdrop of pink skies.
It takes a special talent to make strangers pause and smile during the rush of their busy days. Yet Adrienne Ellis does it on a weekly basis.
Ellis is the general manager at the Circa restaurant in Clarendon (3010 Clarendon Blvd), and she also provides the witty, colorful quotes that adorn the chalkboard on the sidewalk outside. In fact, Ellis’s work is so popular, she created an Instagram account to showcase it.
“Nothing is more fun than seeing someone stop out there and take a picture of [my work], or giggle and keep walking,” said Ellis.
Ellis has been drawing and painting since she was a child. She used to want to be an art teacher, until she led an art class in middle school. She began chalkboard painting at her previous job at Chef Geoff’s. She mainly did advertising on those chalkboards, but once she moved to Circa almost two years ago, she gained more creative liberties with her work.
“I free-hand everything,” Ellis said. “I just try to get an idea of what would be entertaining more than anything and catch people’s eye.”
Ellis uses the internet for inspiration and generally makes one new chalkboard painting per week.
“I’ll update funny quotes or do a new picture, a little bit of everything,” she said. “I do a lot of cartoons. If it’s Easter, [I’ll do a] Bugs Bunny, [or] something like that.”
Mainly, Ellis paints the current Clarendon trends, including brunch, kale and summer restaurant week.
“Clarendon, I think, is very particular,” Ellis said. “I mean, they love to brunch out here, they love their Champagne. Wine night is really big here so I pick those [things] to poke a little fun at and make people laugh.”
Ellis uses chalk paint for the illustrations and currently, non-waterproof chalkboard boards. The quote paintings usually take around 30 minutes to make while the more intricate paintings can take two hours.
“That’s just me being meticulous,” she explained.
Ellis said her favorite paintings so far have been a Scooby-Doo and a Bugs Bunny. However, passerby seem to have really enjoyed the food puns, like “Champangry,” a cartoon painting of Doug and the Disney figures.
“Any pop culture [reference], people respond really well to,” Ellis said. “I think, again, it’s the area. It’s a lot younger area and they appreciate that humor.”
That’s a good thing, for himself and his clients, because Robinson is very often in front of a judge, trying cases for his areas of practice, which include criminal and traffic offenses, family law and contract disputes.
“I’m in the ‘people problem’ business,” he says. “Since I’m a solo practice law firm, I’m the one who always handles the case directly — and the client deals only with me. My business number is my cell number so I’m easy to get a hold of.”
Robinson, a Ballston resident who has been practicing for almost a decade in Northern Virginia and D.C. and knows the lay of the land like the back of his hand, comes from a family of attorneys. And one major bit of wisdom he took to heart early was to be accessible, to put clients at ease with what they are going through.
When asked what he likes best about his chosen career, Robinson takes a moment to consider his answer. Finally he concludes, “On one hand I enjoy negotiation with the opposite party, and on the other I’m determined to win at trial.”
“But ultimately, I’m lucky to be able to work with people from all different backgrounds and problems in a fast-paced region, working to help them get the relief they are looking for.”
Robinson’s law practice includes criminal and traffic defense, family law, contract and lease negotiations, and civil litigation.
The preceding sponsored post was written by Buzz McClain.