Collison F. Royer

Collison “Chip” F. Royer’s focus is on providing effective, efficient and responsive counsel to his clients. He specializes in real estate (including residential development, leasing, construction, commercial/industrial land acquisition and finance), business, and banking. Chip’s specialties include leading negotiations and settlements on behalf of banks and borrowers in connection with various loan and credit defaults as well as representing banks in various commercial loan transactions. Chip regularly acts as a trustee for foreclosure proceedings involving commercial and residential real estate. He also assists businesses with formation, sales and acquisitions, organizational restructuring, trademarks, licensing and business redevelopment strategy and workouts.

Chip also represents buyers and sellers of residential real estate. Having conducted hundreds closings, he is experienced with all aspects of the buying and selling process and enjoys being personally involved in each transaction. Chip regularly assists home buyers and sellers with title issues, contract disputes, short sale negotiations and foreclosure issues. Chip has also helped numerous clients with construction loans and all other aspects of custom home building.

Chip Royer graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Virginia and is also a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law. He served as General Counsel for the Paramount Theater of Charlottesville, Inc., and is a member of the Board of Directors and general counsel for Blue Mountain Brewery in Afton, Virginia, and its affiliates.

Chip began his legal career as an associate with the Houston, Texas, based law firm of Bracewell & Patterson, LLP, now known as Bracewell & Giuliani, LLP. There Chip Royer spent much of his time assisting general counsel with the construction of large public venues, including NBA and NFL stadiums. Chip also served for two years as Asset Manager, General Counsel and Chief Restructuring Officer for Charlottesville-based Mosaico, LLC, having overseen the nationally acclaimed turnaround of Ohio’s Hartstone Pottery as well as the acquisition and redevelopment of large commercial and industrial real estate sites in several states. Clients benefit from Chip Royer’s unique perspective as a lawyer and former executive. Chip is also formerly associated with the Chick-fil-A Bowl and Atlanta Sports Council.

Chip is originally from Richmond, Virginia.

Typical Transactions

• Representation of banks and borrowers (including builders and developers) for loans, loan workouts, collateral repositioning, and loan negotiations (asset/credit reallocation and management)
• All aspects of residential development and construction
• Purchases of large industrial/commercial land projects and developments and Multi-family and high density residential properties/apartments
• Foreclosures
• Development of business strategy for large land holding corporations and real estate developers
• Trustee Actions/Foreclosures (ranging from dwellings to substantial development and commercial properties)
• Commercial leases with top retailers for retail and distribution space
• Significant experience with businesses in restaurant, food, beverage, and retail categories (including ABC laws)
• General counsel for business entities
• Trademarks and licensing agreements, including collegiate licensing with third party and university-direct licensors
• Representation of Purchasers and Sellers of large farm and estate parcels
• Construction loans
• Residential closings
• Short sales, especially high end property sales and work-outs


• J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 2001
• B.A., University of Virginia (With Distinction), Phi Beta Kappa, 1996


• Virginia State Bar
• Texas State Bar

Professional and Civic Participation

• Regional Representative to the Virginia State Bar’s Real Property Section
• Leadership Charlottesville, Class of 2003
• Charlottesville Albemarle Bar Association

Peter J. Caramanis

Pete Caramanis has been practicing law in Charlottesville for about 20 years and represents individuals and businesses in courts of law and before governmental bodies throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. He prides himself on developing and maintaining trusting and long-lasting relationships with his clients, as well as those with whom he interacts on his clients’ behalf. He is also proud to have earned the respect of his fellow attorneys by receiving recognition for competence and ethics as described below.

Pete handles a broad range of business and real estate matters.  His goal is to provide efficient, effective and responsive counsel to his clients regarding all of their legal options, and he makes sure they understand the broader ramifications of each. His clients appreciate that despite his legal expertise and experience, Pete remains capable of communicating in a readily understandable way and excels at helping his clients find not only legal solutions to matters, but also practical ones. He has resolved countless business/legal disputes through negotiation, closed complex business and real estate deals, and successfully mediated and litigated matters that could not be amicably resolved.

Pete is originally from Massachusetts, but has a deep family history in Charlottesville, and has now lived in Virginia the majority of his life.  He has lived in Albemarle County since graduating from law school and marrying his wife, Ida, whom he met while they both attended UVA. He remains a proud supporter of all of the Boston professional sports teams, the UVA Cavaliers and Liverpool Football Club. His personal family experience has led him to be a passionate advocate for childhood cancer research and the UVA Children’s Hospital. His proudest accomplishment is being the father of three incredible children.

Typical Clients/Transactions

Business — Pete represents all types of business clients including local, regional and national companies, non-profit organizations, corporations, partnerships and LLCs. He assists clients with formation, merger and acquisition, contracts and transactions, and dispute resolution, including litigation. Pete very much enjoys helping people achieve their dreams, and accordingly focuses a great deal on assisting entrepreneurs as they grow their businesses.

Real Estate — Pete represents builders and developers, wireless communication providers, lenders, purchasers, sellers, landlords, tenants, homeowners’ associations and government agencies in connection with a broad range of real estate matters.  Such matters have included complex land use and zoning approvals, contracts, easements, leases, lending transactions, eminent domain, commercial and residential closings and litigation.

Professional Recognition

• AV® rated by Martindale Hubbell — the highest rating available for professional competence and ethics

• Named by “Best Lawyers” as one of “The Best Lawyers In America” for Corporate Law and Real Estate

• Named by the American Institute of Legal Counsel as one of the “10 Best Real Estate Law Attorneys” in Virginia for Client Satisfaction

Professional/Community Involvement

• University of Virginia Children’s Hospital Advisory Board (Chair 2017-present)

• Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce Board (Chair 2019)

• Tom Tom Founders Festival Advisory Board Member (2013-present)

• Leadership Charlottesville 2014 Leaders’ Leader Award Recipient

• Leadership Charlottesville Alumni Association (President 2011-2013)

• Past-president of two Homeowners’ Associations

• Charlottesville-Albemarle Bar Association

• Soccer Organization Charlottesville Area (SOCA), Coaching Staff

• Richmond Volleyball Club


• University of Richmond, T.C. Williams School of Law, J.D.

• University of Virginia, B.A., Government

Bar Admissions

• Supreme Court of Virginia

• United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

• United States District Courts, Eastern and Western District of Virginia

Stacey L. McDonough

Stacey handles all sizes of estates, and assists clients with estate and trust administration and the probate process. Her real estate practice includes commercial and residential real estate transactions, leases, purchases and sales, title disputes, conveyances, and partitions. She assists businesses with formation, annual maintenance, asset and ownership transactions, lease negotiations and employment matters, represents homeowners’ associations, and serves as general counsel to several regional businesses.

Stacey was an attorney with the Charlottesville firms Martin & Raynor, P.C. and MartinWren P.C. and established her own practice prior to becoming a founding partner of Royer, Caramanis & McDonough, PLC. She combines her corporate experience in risk management for a major national bank with her private practice experience to offer clients a balanced, practical approach to legal representation. She considers the long-term representation of her clients to be one of the most rewarding aspects of her practice. Stacey is a frequently disgruntled Redskins fan. Her photography was featured in the Crozet Arts & Crafts Festival, and she lives with her family in Crozet.


• B.S., Old Dominion University
• University of Cambridge, Emmanuel College Summer J.D. Program
• J.D.: University of Richmond, T.C. Williams School of Law


• Virginia State Bar
• Charlottesville Albemarle Bar Association

Community Activity

• Membership Co-Chair and Corporate Underwriter, Women United: Together in Philanthropy
• Member:  Red Shoe Cville, supporting the Ronald McDonald House of Charlottesville

Jessica F. Phillips

Jessica Phillips specializes in criminal defense and civil litigation. She represents clients charged with misdemeanors and felonies of all types, including DUIs and other traffic-related offenses. She has extensive courtroom experience with both judge and jury, and she is admitted to practice in all local courts, the Supreme Court of Virginia, and the U.S. District Courts. Her civil litigation practice involves contract disputes, collections, employee grievances, mechanics liens, and real estate matters, including suits to partition and quiet title. She assists all types of clients with matters regarding land use, planning, zoning and condemnation. She handles residential real estate closings and has specialized knowledge regarding foreclosures and short sales.

Jessica graduated summa cum laude from James Madison University and is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law. She began her legal career with Hunton & Williams in Washington, D.C., and quickly realized that she would not be happy until she returned to Central Virginia. In 2004, she joined Payne & Hodous, LLP, and remained there until becoming a partner with Royer Caramanis. During her time there, she served as Deputy County Attorney for Fluvanna County and as a part-time prosecutor in the Albemarle County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office. She is a member of the local chapter of the Thomas Jefferson Inn of Court and a past president of the local criminal bar association. She is certified in the 16th Judicial Circuit as court-appointed counsel for indigent defendants and as a guardian ad litem for incapacitated adults. In addition, Jessica serves on the board of the Virginia Discovery Museum.

Jessica married her husband, Michael, in 2010, and they have a son, Matthew.

Ernest A. Harper

Ernie was born and raised in Palo Alto, California.   Upon graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, in 1987, he was commissioned in the U.S. Marine Corps. Ernie served in the Marines for 20 years, in various capacities and all over the world. Ernie earned his J.D. from The George Washington University School of Law in 1994, and served as a judge advocate in the Marine Corps. He retired from military service in 2007, with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

Ernie practiced law with Tremblay and Smith from 2007 until 2016 and is now a proud partner at Royer Caramanis. Ernie focuses on Family Law (divorce, custody, pre and post nuptial agreements, property settlements, separation agreements) as well as Military Law (military justice, command relations, administrative and judicial tribunals, security clearances).

Ernie follows the motto: No better friend, no worse enemy.*  Settlement of a domestic relations case is usually the best course of action and Ernie works hard to achieve settlement. But in those cases in which settlement is not possible, trial takes the character of battle.


•  Virginia
•  Maryland
•  District of Columbia
•  U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia

Professional Associations

•  Charlottesville – Albemarle Bar Association
•  Virginia State Bar
  Former member of the Board of Governors of the Military Law Section
•  Veterans of Foreign Wars
•  Parade Rest
  Chairman of the Board of Directors
•  Virginia Gators Swim Club
  Former president and swim dad extraordinaire
•  Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Virginia
  Member of the Board of Directors


Ernie is the proud father of three fine young adults – scholars, swimmers and good citizens. He has been happily married since 2015 to Amy, a nurse. He enjoys watching and playing nearly all sports, the outdoors, good books and movies, working in the yard and a glass of good bourbon.

   *This was the motto of General James Mattis, U.S. Marine Corps, who in turn adopted and adapted it from Sulla, a General and Consul of ancient Rome, whose epitaph reads: “No friend ever served me, and no enemy ever wronged me, whom I have not repaid in full”.

Russell N. Kruse

Russell Kruse has been practicing law in Virginia for almost 10 years and represents individuals and businesses throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. During this time, he practiced in the City of Richmond and Northern Virginia, before he decided to call Central Virginia home. He takes great pride in developing and maintaining trusting and long-standing relationships with his clients. He is a proud member of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Bar Association and greatly enjoys practicing with his fellow attorneys in and around Charlottesville.

Russell handles a broad range of business, employment, and real estate matters.  His goal is to provide efficient, effective, informative, and responsive counsel to his clients regarding all of their legal options. He believes that one of the most important duties of legal counsel is to provide clients with sufficient information about their rights and obligations in any situation that they are able to understand the ramifications of their decisions and make a well-informed choice. His clients appreciate that despite his legal knowledge and experience, Russell remains approachable and capable of understanding the goals and motivations of his clients.

Russell is originally from the St. Louis area, but he found his home when he moved to Central Virginia for law school and has now lived in Virginia the majority of his adult life. Russell lives in Albemarle County with his wife and their six-year-old daughter. Russell enjoys watching football, grilling, and anything outdoors. When not at the office or at home with his family, Russell can be found wandering Shenandoah National Park and the George Washington National Forest every chance he gets.

Typical Clients/Transactions

Business — Russell represents a variety of business clients including local, regional and national companies, non-profit organizations, corporations, partnerships, trusts, and LLCs. He assists clients throughout the lifecycle of business including formation, merger and
acquisition, contracts and transactions, and dispute resolution, including litigation.

Real Estate — Russell represents builders and purchasers of new homes, real estate developers, lenders, purchasers, sellers, clients with landlord-tenant issues, and homeowners’ associations (HOA’s/POA’s), in connection with a broad range of real estate matters.  Such matters include negotiating purchase and sale contracts, drafting For Sale By Owner (FSBO) contracts, easements, commercial and residential leases, lending transactions, commercial and residential closings and litigation.

Employment — Russell represents clients, both employers and employees, with a wide range of employment matters. He assists employers with compliance issues, defense of frivolous claims by employees, conducts employment risk management reviews, and undertakes workplace investigations to protect employers in both pre-litigation situations and before those situations even arise by assisting clients with implementing employment best practices. He also represents employers and employees in non-competition, non-solicitation, termination and severance negotiations, and executive employment matters.

Professional/Community Involvement
• All Blessings Flow, Board of Directors (2017-Present)
• Director of his Homeowners’ Association
• Charlottesville-Albemarle Bar Association
– Young Lawyers Section – Co-Chair
– Community Relations Committee – Member

• Washington and Lee University, School of Law, J.D.
• Saint Louis University, B.A., Psychology

Bar Admissions
• Supreme Court of Virginia
• United States District Courts, Eastern and Western District of Virginia
• U.S. Bankruptcy Courts, Eastern District of Virginia
•  District of Columbia
•  Maryland
•  California (inactive)

Shannon T. Morgan

Shannon represents individuals in consumer bankruptcy and bankruptcy-related matters throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia and undertakes a limited number of cases on behalf of creditors in consumer bankruptcy cases. Prior to her relocation in 2012 to Virginia and subsequent admission to practice in Virginia in 2013, Shannon practiced law in both Alaska and Colorado. While enjoying a wide variety of legal experience over the years, from civil litigation to criminal defense, domestic relations, personal injury, and administrative law, bankruptcy is the common thread to her practice over the years and has become the passion of her legal career.

Shannon truly enjoys the opportunity to assist clients to achieve a fresh financial start and is committed to the best possible resolution of the debt-related issues her clients face. To that end, she has successfully helped hundreds of clients navigate the bankruptcy process. She is dedicated to assisting people who are facing extreme financial hardship and is a willing counselor throughout the bankruptcy process for her clients.

Shannon, her husband, Scott, and their three children relocated to Virginia upon Scott’s retirement from the United States Air Force. They are happy to call Virginia home.

• University of Baltimore School of Law, J.D., cum laude
• University of Baltimore, B.A., summa cum laude, Government and Public Policy

Bar Admissions
• Virginia
• United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Virginia
• United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
• Colorado
• United States District Court for the District of Colorado
• Alaska
• United States District Court for the District of Alaska

Shellie S. Taylor

Shellie Taylor joined the firm as an associate in January of 2015. Her areas of practice include business, real estate, civil litigation, family law, and criminal defense. Shellie earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Alabama School of Law, where she served as Bench and Bar Legal Honor Society President and Law School Ambassador. Shellie also externed with the Chief Justice of the United States District Court-Southern District of Alabama, represented clients in the UA Criminal Defense Clinic and served as an active member of the Alabama National Trial Advocacy Team and Environmental Law Moot Court Team. It was through her participation in these advocacy programs that Shellie was honored to be recognized as “Overall Best Oralist” at the Pace National Environmental Law Moot Court Competition and admitted into the Order of Barristers.

Shellie graduated magna cum laude from the University of Alabama with a degree in Commerce and Business Administration, and she is a proud supporter of the Alabama Crimson Tide. She and her husband, Davis, moved to Virginia in 2014 for his medical residency training. They live in Charlottesville and have a German Shepherd named Bayern.


• J.D., University of Alabama School of Law, 2014
• B.A., University of Alabama, magna cum laude, 2011

Admitted to Practice

• Virginia

Professional/Community Involvement

• Virginia State Bar
• Charlottesville-Albemarle Bar Association
        Co-Chair of the Young Lawyers Section, 2015-present
• Junior League of Charlottesville, 2015-present
• Leadership Charlottesville Alumni Association
        Board Member, 2017-present
• The Sexual Assault Resource Agency
        Board Member, 2017-present

Taylor R. Odom

Taylor moved to Charlottesville in 2013 upon graduating from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law. He is originally from Louisiana where he received his B.A. from Tulane University. While in law school, Taylor was a member of the Loyola Moot Court, served as a teaching assistant, and was an oralist and brief writer for the Jessup International Law Moot Court competition. He was also a member of the Loyola Maritime Law Journal and has interned with the U.S. Coast Guard in New Orleans and Washington, D.C. Between obtaining his undergraduate and law degrees, Taylor spent a year teaching in Metz, France where he taught English in two primary schools. In 2014, Taylor began practicing law in Rappahannock County, Virginia where he focused on property law and real estate transactions. Taylor joined Royer Caramanis as an associate in March 2017, where he focuses primarily on real estate transactions, business, and banking. Taylor is a Trustee of the Shenandoah National Park Trust. In his free time, Taylor enjoys traveling, playing tennis and squash, and spending his time outdoors with his wife and friends.