Our Team

W. Davis Powell

Partner

M  804.664.5992

O  804.806.4803

dpowell@byrnecanaanlaw.com

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W. Davis Powell focuses his practice on defending healthcare providers and other professionals in complex criminal, civil, and regulatory litigation. As a former prosecutor, Davis has extensive experience in criminal law and procedure, and he regularly represents businesses and individuals facing government investigations, enforcement actions, and white-collar criminal charges. He also represents providers in a wide variety of civil malpractice cases.

Prior to entering private practice, Davis served as an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Richmond. He tried dozens of bench and jury trials and prosecuted a variety of offenses including white collar financial crime, drug distribution, and violent crime. Davis worked closely with local and federal law enforcement officers during investigations, advising them on matters such as grand jury proceedings, search warrants, and subpoenas. He also led the office’s asset forfeiture unit where he spearheaded civil actions to combat money laundering and recover the proceeds of illegal activity.

Davis relies on his prosecutorial experience in his current practice, and he regularly advises both providers and institutions facing investigations conducted by agencies such as the Department of Justice, the DEA, the Virginia Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, and other federal and state investigative agencies. He also has experience assisting clients responding to search warrants, subpoenas, and federal grand jury investigations.

Davis has represented clients in white collar and criminal cases in both federal and state courts across Virginia on charges ranging from embezzlement to drug distribution. He also routinely represents criminal clients in the U.S District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, where he serves as court-appointed counsel for indigent defendants.

In his civil practice, Davis represents healthcare providers in complex malpractice cases. He has represented providers with a wide variety of specialties including obstetrics, neurosurgery, and orthopedics. Davis also routinely assists healthcare providers respond to inquiries and complaints from the various state licensing boards. Davis’s prosecutorial experience makes him an effective advocate in the courtroom, and his understanding of the pressures faced by healthcare providers helps him provide common-sense and direct advice to his clients.

Practice Areas

  • Healthcare Investigations & Enforcement Actions

  • Medical Malpractice Defense

  • Criminal Defense

  • White Collar & Government Investigations

  • Risk Management

Licensure

  • Virginia

  • U.S District Court, Eastern District of Virginia

  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Virginia

  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

Academic Credentials

  • University of Georgia, B.A.

  • University of Richmond School of Law, J.D.
    ‍‍Moot Court Board; Bridge to Practice Public Service Fellowship (2012)

Career Highlights

  • Recognized as a 2020 Best Lawyers “One to Watch” for Criminal Law: White Collar, Health Law, Medical Malpractice – Defense

  • Recognized in 2020 “Virginia Legal Elite” for Criminal Law by Virginia Business Magazine.

Associations and Professional Memberships

  • Virginia Bar Association, Criminal Law Section

  • American Health Lawyers Association

  • John Marshall Inn of Court

  • Richmond Bar Association, Bench-Bar Conference Planning Committee (Fall 2016)

  • Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys

  • Virginia State Bar

  • Virginia Indigent Defense Commission

Publications

  • “Medical Malpractice in the COVID-19 Era: How will the Illusive COVID-19 Standard of Care and Virginia’s Immunity Statutes Affect Future Cases?” Virginia Lawyer Magazine, October 2020

  • “As Opioid Strike Force Comes to Virginia, What Prescribers Need to Remember” Virginia Medical Law Report, May 2019

  • “Gov’t Signals sea Change on Healthcare False Claims,” Virginia Medical Law Report, March 2018; also reprinted in Virginia Lawyers’ Weekly, March 2018.

Speaking Engagements

  • “Medical Malpractice in Virginia,” Hospital System Surgery Department Grand Rounds, October 2020

  • “Prescription Drug Abuse: A Legal Perspective” Educational Forum on Substance Use Disorders: Prescribing, Prevention, and Practical Applications to Practice, Virginia hospital system, September 2020

  • “Medical Malpractice Liability in the COVID-19 Era”, Virginia Association of Family Physicians, July 2020

  • “Virginia Criminal Law and Procedure for the Virginia Health Care Provider” OB-GYN Practice Group, November 2019

  • “Federal and State Response to the Opioid Crisis” Virginia Bar Association White Collar Criminal Law Forum, Panel Member, Compliance and the Defense Perspective, October 16, 2018

  • “Everything the Health Care Provider Should Know about the Practical Aspects of Virginia Criminal Process and Procedure” Hospital System, December 2018

  • “Virginia’s New Opioid Prescribing Laws & Regulations” Physician Practice, September 2017