John H. Carstens has been with the firm since 1983, and served as managing partner for over ten years, until early 2022. He concentrates his practice in the defense of personal injury, products liability, and workers' compensation matters, and heads up the firm's workers' compensation team. John was included in The Best Lawyers in America since 2015 for his work in personal injury and products liability defense. He was invited to membership in the Virginia Workers’ Compensation American Inn of Court, as a Master of the Bench. In 2021, John was recognized by the Virginia Lawyers Weekly as one of Virginia’s "Go To Lawyers” for workers’ compensation law.
John has successfully represented employers and workers' compensation carriers in hundreds of worker's compensation matters at all levels, from evidentiary hearings to reviews before the Full Commission and appeals before the Court of Appeals of Virginia. He also has over three decades of experience litigating cases in circuit and federal district courts throughout Virginia, including premises and automobile liability, wrongful death, commercial disputes, intentional torts, insurance coverage and professional malpractice.
John is committed to the firm’s mission of providing cost effective representation to all clients at the highest professional and ethical standards. John's approach to defending his clients' interests is straightforward: he focuses directly on the issues and gets to work formulating a plan for litigation. With over thirty years of practice experience, he is able to evaluate a case early on and help clients understand how it is likely to unfold. He explains the strengths and vulnerabilities of each case, advising on the merits of considering settlement or contesting liability, so clients can make an informed decision to resolve cases as favorably and efficiently as possible.
John and his wife, Ruth, reside in Oakton, Virginia, with their two sons. An ice hockey enthusiast, John plays in a local adult league and has coached various levels of youth teams. He also volunteers as an adult scout leader with Troop 1983, in Oakton, Virginia. John is a member of the Church of the Holy Cross in Dunn Loring, Virginia, where he serves as an usher.
Urias v. Winkler's, Inc. and American Home Assur. Co., No. 0828-11-4 (Va. App. Dec. 13, 2011)(Virginia workers compensation defense)
Hitt Constr. v. Pratt, 2010 Va. App. LEXIS 98 (Va. Ct. App. Mar. 16, 2010)
Hitt Constr. v. Pratt, 53 Va. App. 422, 672 S.E.2d 904, 2009 Va. App. LEXIS 76 (2009)(Virginia workers compensation defense)
Am. Zurich Ins. Co. v. Martinez, 2008 Va. App. LEXIS 8 (Va. Ct. App. Jan. 8, 2008)(Virginia workers compensation defense)
Interstate Truck Serv. v. Ricketts, 2006 Va. App. LEXIS 348 (Va. Ct. App. Aug. 1, 2006)(Virginia workers compensation defense)
Montgomery Mutual Ins. Co. v. Riddle, 266 Va. 539, 587 S.E.2d 513 (2003)(insurance coverage)
Jury v. Giant of Maryland, 254 Va. 235, 491 S.E.2d 718 (1997)(false arrest case)
Miller v. Charles E. Smith Mgmt., Inc., 2001 U.S. App. LEXIS 7977 (4th Cir. 2001)(landlord liability for wrongful death)
Miller v. Charles E. Smith Mgmt, 1999 U.S. App. LEXIS 1013 (4th Cir. 1999)(landlord liability for wrongful death)
Shirley Contr. Corp. v. Dunkley, 1998 Va. App. LEXIS 115 (1998)(Virginia workers' compensation defense)
Simmers v. Omni Contractors, 1994 Va. App. LEXIS 76 (1994)(Virginia workers' compensation defense)