A Richmond native, Penn earned his undergraduate degree from East Carolina University and went to work on Capitol Hill as part of the Oversight and Investigations staff for the House Commerce Committee.
Eager to pursue a career as a lawyer, Penn enrolled at the University of Richmond’s T. C. Williams School of Law, where he served on the Journal of Law in the Public Interest and was the recipient of the school’s prestigious Williams Scholarship.
As a law student, Penn says, he heard the best advice that he ever received from the Honorable Robert R. Merhige Jr., who was longtime judge with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
“Judge Merhige told my law school class to always remember that it is a privilege to represent people as an attorney and that if we remembered that it would put all of the difficulties and challenges of law into perspective,” Penn says.
Upon graduation, he joined a general practice law firm and gained experience in a wide range of legal matters, including criminal defense law and commercial litigation. One of the cases he worked on led to the Virginia Supreme Court’s first interpretation of the Virginia Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) Act. Penn also served as a guardian ad litem for Richmond-area children.
“Having previously served in a general practice firm, I was able to see the interaction of many other areas of the law,” he says. “These experiences have helped me to see how judges interpret statutes and how juries react to different factual scenarios. When seeking results for your clients, it’s important to recognize these subtle patterns.”
Penn brought his diverse legal background to Marks & Harrison in 2006.
“Few law firms in the country have the experience that we do,” he says. “Whatever trick the other side is trying to play on us, someone in our firm has seen it before. So, we are always ready.”
Penn received the “Top 40 Under 40 Trial Attorneys” standards of excellence award from The National Trial Lawyers in 2012 and 2013.
In addition to serving his clients, Penn is an active member of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association (VTLA). He co-chairs the VTLA’s Publications Committee and serves on the Insurance Committee. He has authored several published legal articles and served as a speaker at educational seminars. In 2013, he was named to the President of Commonwealth Community Trust, which administers third-party trusts for people with disabilities.
Outside of his work, Penn enjoys spending time with his family, playing sports and getting out into the great outdoors.
Interesting Cases / Settlements / Verdicts
- Woman died within months of taking Yaz birth control pills. Liability denied. $775,000 Settlement
- Doctor suffered multiple injuries from food poisoning. Liability denied. $525,000 Settlement
- Key witness backed plaintiff’s account of wreck. Liability denied. $635,500 Settlement
- Defendant pulled out in front of truck going 45 mph. Liability denied. $725,000 Settlement
- Driver hurt back in collision with tractor-trailer. Liability denied. $950,000 Settlement