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Courtney Moates Paulk

Shareholder-In-Charge, Hiring, Litigation Section Chair

(804) 771-9523 phone
(804) 644-0957 fax

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Practice Areas

Courtney Moates Paulk is a partner in the firm and chair of the firm's litigation section. Courtney also serves on the firm's Board of Directors and is the firm's hiring officer.

In addition to practicing law, Courtney is an accomplished Open Water Marathon Swimmer.  In 2013, Courtney became the 79th person to achieve the Triple Crown of Open Water Swimming (  In accomplishing this goal – Courtney swam 28.5 miles around the island of Manhattan in both 2011 and 2012, swam across the English Channel in 2012 and across the Catalina Channel in 2013.  Courtney brings to her practice of law the same passion, drive and work-ethic she devotes to her open water marathon swims.  More information about Courtney’s swims can be found at

Courtney’s primary area of practice is construction law, representing public and private owners, contractors, subcontractors and design professionals in construction and real estate transactions, contracts, claims and disputes. Additionally, Courtney handles civil and commercial disputes relating to fraud, employment and general business liability issues. Courtney regularly appears before trial courts, mediators, arbitrators and administrative agencies. Before joining Hirschler Fleischer, Courtney served as a judicial law clerk.

While in law school, Courtney served as President of the Trial Advocacy Board, Vice-Chancellor and member of the McNeill Law Society (an honorary academic society reserved for law students who have achieved a ranking in the top ten percent of their law school class), and Vice-President of the Law Student Chapter of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association. Courtney also represented the law school in local, state, and national trial competitions. At graduation, Courtney received the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association Student Advocate Award for excellence in trial advocacy.

Relevant Experience:

  • Representation of public and private owners and developers, general contractors, subcontractors and design professionals in all aspects of construction projects;
  • Negotiation and drafting of construction contracts;
  • Counseling clients on project management, risk, claim procedures with a goal towards early dispute resolution;
  • Representing clients in mediation, arbitration and litigation proceedings when such disputes are unresolved through early dispute resolution;
  • Representation of owners, general contractors and subcontractors in matters related to construction defects, performance disputes, delay and other impact claims;
  • Prosecution and defense of both small and complex construction claims, including mechanic's lien claims and bond claims on public and private construction projects;
  • Representation of businesses and individuals in disputes, including large, complex litigation;
  • Representation on matters involving the ownership and use of real estate including, but not limited to, easement and boundary disputes; and
  • Representation of insureds in commercial coverage disputes.


  • University of Richmond School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude
  • Mary Washington College, B.A., with honors

Published Works/Speaking Engagements:

  • Lecturer, "Construction Contract Drafting and Negotiation"
  • "Do Your Projects Have Written Contracts?"
  • "AGC Fails to Endorse New AIA General Conditions but Endorses New Consensus DOCS"
  • The Virginia Lawyer update for Civil and Criminal Procedure, 2005-2008
  • "Can an Unlicensed Contractor Recover Damages Under Virginia Law?" Virginia Lawyer, October 2008

Pro Bono/Community Service:

  • Sports Backers, Board Member
  • American Heart Association, Executive Leadership Team


  • Named to "Legal Elite," Construction, Virginia Business, 2006-2011, 2013-2014
  • Selected for inclusion as a “Super Lawyer,” Construction Litigation, Virginia Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2010-2014
  • Selected for inclusion as a “Rising Star,” Virginia Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2007-2009
  • Honored as one of the Top 25 Female Virginia Super Lawyers, 2011
  • Fellow, The American Bar Foundation
  • Martindale-Hubbell: AV Peer Review Rated
  • Winner, Grid Magazine's Naming Contest
  • Richmond Attorney Swims English Channel

Read More:


  • Virginia State Bar
  • Virginia Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Richmond Bar Association
  • Associated General Contractors of America; Contract Documents Committee, AIA-AGC Joint Committee

Firm Involvement:

  • Board of Directors
  • Recruiting Committee - Hiring Officer
  • Chair of Litigation Section

Bar Admission:

  • Virginia