William W. Eldridge IV
Mr. Eldridge practices criminal defense, business law, government affairs, and general litigation. However, due to Mr. Eldridge's breadth of experience defending individuals charged with both serious felonies and misdemeanors, his primary legal focus is criminal defense. Mr. Eldridge has defended clients charged with the most serious of offenses - including representing a client in a federal death penalty case. In that case, due to the hard work of Mr. Eldridge and co-counsel, United States Attorney General Eric Holder took the rare step, prior to trial, to withdraw his authorization for the government to seek the death penalty against Mr. Eldridge's client. This resulted in Mr. Eldridge's client avoiding a potential death sentence. Furthermore, Mr. Eldridge has significant experience in state courts throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia representing clients charged with murder, attempted murder, malicious wounding, violent sex crimes against both adults and children, drug felonies, complex embezzlement cases, and felony larceny offenses. Many of these cases have gone to jury trials where Mr. Eldridge has successfully obtained acquittals for his clients.
Another aspect of Mr. Eldridge's criminal defense practice that benefits his clients and potential clients is his experience representing individuals charged with criminal offenses in federal court. The penalties in federal court, if convicted, are severe. Mr. Eldridge has drawn from his experience clerking at the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia and defending clients in federal courts throughout the country as an attorney at Dykema Gossett PLLC, to effectively represent clients in the Federal Court for the Western District of Virginia. Many of the clients Mr. Eldridge has represented in federal court were charged with capital murder, drug conspiracies, drug distribution, gun charges, and various fraud and white collar crimes. Mr. Eldridge has successfully defended his clients in these serious criminal matters and effectively helped them navigate the complex nature of federal legal system.
Additionally, Mr. Eldridge's criminal practice focuses on the important legal needs of students attending James Madison University and other area colleges. Mr. Eldridge has assisted numerous students charged with first, second, and third offenses of underage possession of alcohol, ASAP violations, possession of marijuana, obstruction of justice, felony assault on a police officer, and rape. All of these are serious offenses for any student and Mr. Eldridge understands the potential effects on that student's life and future career. He takes these concerns seriously and provides each student with aggressive representation and personalized service. Through his representation of these students, Mr. Eldridge has formed long-lasting relationships with his clients and their families which have resulted in numerous referrals to assist other students in legal trouble.
Furthermore, Mr. Eldridge represents individuals in the local community charged in traffic court for various misdemeanors and traffic offenses, including reckless driving and DUIs/DWIs. Because of Mr. Eldridge's aggressive representation, many of these cases have resulted in an acquittal at trial in General District Court or in dismissal at a suppression hearing.
Mr. Eldridge also has significant experience with business law, government affairs, and general litigation. For instance, he assists businesses with government contracts related issues, business formation, general legal issues, and regulatory affairs. Additionally, Mr. Eldridge defends both individuals and businesses in civil litigation matters. Furthermore, Mr. Eldridge's government affairs practice includes assisting clients with regulatory and governmental bodies.
Prior to beginning my law practice in Harrisonburg over seven years ago, Mr. Eldridge was an Associate at Dykema Gossett PLLC, in Washington, D.C. While at Dykema Gossett PLLC, Mr. Eldridge's practice included white collar criminal defense and government contracts counseling and litigation. For instance, as previously stated, Mr. Eldridge represented numerous clients in federal criminal investigations. Additionally, Mr. Eldridge counseled both large and small businesses through the government contracts process. Specifically, Mr. Eldridge is knowledgeable with regard to the rules and regulations benefiting and affecting small businesses that desire to procure government contracts.
While attending law school, Mr. Eldridge clerked at the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia. As a clerk, he worked on various prosecutions of individuals accused of fraud and money laundering. One of these trials included the prosecution of an individual who defrauded the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund.
Mr. Eldridge graduated magna cum laude and seventh in his class from the George Mason University School of Law. While in law school, Mr. Eldridge was the Research Editor for the George Mason Law Review and won the best brief and best oral argument awards in his appellate practice competition. For his undergraduate education, Mr. Eldridge attended The George Washington University, in Washington, D.C. He graduated magna cum laude, with a B.A. in International Affairs and a minor in Economics.
Areas of Practice
- Criminal Defense
- Business Law
- Government Affairs
- General Litigation
- Virginia, 2004
- U.S. District Court Western District of Virginia, 2005
- District of Columbia, 2005
George Mason University School of Law, Arlington, Virginia
- Honors: Magna Cum Laude
- Law Review: George Mason, Research Editor
George Washington University, Washington, District of Columbia
- B.A. (Magna Cum Laude)
- Major: International Affairs
- Minor: Economics
- Reorganizing GSA: The Birth of the Federal Acquisition Service, CONTRACT MANAGEMENT, 8, 2005
- Just Do It: Kasky v. Nike, Inc. Illustrates that it is Time to Abandon the Commercial Speech Doctrine, 12 GEO. MASON L. REV. 179, 2003
- Campaign Finance Reform Silences Protected Free Speech, WASH. LEGAL FOUND. LEGAL OPINION LETTER, 2002
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Virginia State Bar Association, Member
- Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (VACDL), Member
- National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), Member
- The City of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County Bar Association, Member
- American Bar Association, Member
Past Employment Positions
- Eldridge, Elledge, Evans & Harding PLC, Partner
- Dykema Gossett, PLLC, Associate
- United States Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia, Clerk
- Washington Legal Foundation, Clerk