John F. Sawyer

johnfredericksawyer_wrgJohn F. Sawyer represents businesses and individuals in federal court and in state courts throughout the Hampton Roads region.  His cases have involved multi-million dollar loan workouts for financial institutions, significant estate litigation involving real property and forensic accounting issues, Clean Water Act regulatory compliance and litigation, injunction hearings, and contract disputes.  Mr. Sawyer has an active creditors’ rights practice where he assists clients in the collection of accounts receivable and delinquent debt obligations.  Mr. Sawyer was selected for inclusion in the 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 Virginia Super Lawyers listing.  He is President  of the Norfolk Collegiate Alumni Board, Member of Session of Second Presbyterian Church of Norfolk, active on committees with local bar associations, and volunteers his time with the REACH program and as a youth coach for Norfolk United Soccer Club.

Areas of Practice

Bar Admissions

  • Virginia, 2003
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Virginia, 2003
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Virginia, 2008
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 4th Circuit, 2004


  • Dickinson School of Law of the Pennsylvania State University, Carlisle, Pennsylvania
    • J.D. – 2003
    • Law Review: Pennsylvania State International Law Review
  • The College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia
    • B.A. – 1997

Published Works

  • “Shipbreaking and the North-South Debate: Economic Development or Environmental and Labor Catastrophe?”, 20 Penn St. Intl. L. Rev. 535, 2002


  • Environmental Issues in the Foreclosure Process, NBI, 2010
  • Landlord Tenant Law Update, Sterling Educational Services, 2010
  • Judgment Enforcement: Post Judgment Collections, Lorma Education Services, 2008
  • Landlord Tenant Law: Surviving in a Difficult Economy, Sterling Education Services, 2012
  • Ethical Considerations in Landlord-Tenant Law, Sterling Education Services, July 2013
  • Collections: Seeking and Collecting a Judgment, NBI, May 2013
  • 9th Annual Landlord-Tenant Law, SES, September 2013
  • Landlord Tenant Evictions, Court and Litigation, Sterling Educational Services, 2014

Honors and Awards

  • The Richard Reeve Baxter Award, Recognition of Excellence in Scholarship and Legal Writing in the Field of International Law, 2002
  • Listed as one of Virginia’s “Rising Stars in Super Lawyers Magazine” (Business Lit), 2008 – 2013

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Norfolk & Portsmouth Bar Association, Membership Committee, Member
  • Virginia Beach Bar Association, Member
  • Virginia State Bar
  • Virginia Bar Association

Pro Bono Activities

  • REACH Program Volunteer – Reading Enriches All Children
  • Sertoma Club of Norfolk
  • Second Presbyterian Church, Session Member
  • Norfolk United Soccer Club, Youth Coach


  • English
  • German


  • Sigma Phi Epsilon