Most clients would call Buckley Warden brutally honest. “That level of honesty may cost me work, but it sets appropriate expectations in our relationship and a precedent of trust,” says Buckley. “Some attorneys will promise whatever the client wants to hear in order to get the work. I will never do that.”
Such honesty also creates client confidence in Buckley’s role as a litigator, where he represents and defends small- and medium-sized businesses, including construction companies, in complex commercial litigation.
Buckley’s years of in-the-trenches litigation experience began with a trial by fire. His first boss passed away five months after he began practicing; his second put “enormous faith” in him, to the point where Buckley was handling jury trials solo in his first year. “I was thrown in the deep end very early and nearly sank several times, but I survived,” says Buckley, who for six straight years has been named to Super Lawyers’ Rising Stars in the area of civil litigation. “What does not kill you makes you an excellent trial attorney.”
Based in the Firm’s Midlothian office, his advocacy skills and focus on client goals have won him clients’ confidence in bet-the-company litigation. When trial is unavoidable, Buckley is at home in a courtroom, giving clients an upper-hand in a world where trials spark fear into the hearts of individuals and businesses. He has served as first-chair counsel in complex matters in both state and federal courts, in cases with multiple parties on both coasts, and on issues with seven figures or just a few thousand dollars at stake. Yet the challenge of achieving the client’s goal efficiently is the same in any size or type of case.
“I love solving problems that need creative solutions and enjoy putting together a novel path to achieving the client’s goal,” he says. “I am your attorney when you have a novel claim that needs a novel solution—usually with no insurance, scarce resources…and time pressure, just to make it more interesting.”
His other love? Taking depositions. “I have a knack for picking up on what a witness is saying, seeing a deception, and asking questions for hours to fully develop what the witness is hiding, why, who else knows, et cetera,” he says. “Taking a deposition that settles a case is an extremely satisfying experience, and one I have had the pleasure of achieving, several times.”
In peacetime, Buckley advises clients on their business operations by drafting contracts, developing processes, and making deals that balance risk and reward. He has won clients’ favor for his skill in breaking down technical aspects of the law into clear, goal-oriented, and actionable advice.
“I am not exaggerating when I say that the work is a joy and I would do it as a hobby if I was independently wealthy,” he says. Buckley lives in Richmond with his wife, Michelle Warden, and two sons, Logan and Grayson Warden, whom he loves cheering on as they play soccer and football. Buckley also plays softball and volleyball and runs weekly to keep up with his growing boys. Continuing with the brutal honesty thing: Buckley is a terrible golfer.
*While Buckley operates her practice primarily from the Midlothian office, he is available to meet with clients at either the Midlothian or Shockoe location.