Stephen C. Piepgrass


Business Phone: 804.697.1320
Business Fax: 804.698.5147


Stephen Piepgrass is a partner in the firm’s Consumer Financial Services group with a primary focus in the Enforcement Actions & Investigations and the State Attorneys General practices where he represents clients interacting with and being investigated by state Attorneys General and other enforcement bodies including the CFPB and FTC.

Stephen primarily represents and advises clients in a variety of industries and government entities, including consumer financial services entities involved in legal and administrative proceedings and investigations.

Stephen also handles appellate cases and has appeared on brief in appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals of Virginia, and in various courts reviewing administrative decisions.

Representative Matters

State Attorneys General

  • Represent international pharmaceutical company with respect to issues related to knock-off products before states Attorneys General.
  • Represent international home service contract provider in the interactions with state Attorneys General and other state governmental and quasi-governmental bodies.
  • Interact on behalf of client with national Attorneys General associations, including the National Association of Attorneys General, Republican Attorneys General Association, Democratic Attorneys General Association, and Conference of Western Attorneys General.

Local Government Law

  • Counsel to local government bodies on a wide range of issues, including government structure, boundary adjustments and disputes, annexations, consolidations, and disputes over utility service both inside and outside local boundaries.
  • Advises clients dealing with zoning and land use issues.
  • Represents local, state and national campaigns, candidates and government bodies dealing with election law issues, recounts, challenges to qualifications, and Voting Rights Act challenges.
  • Defends local government bodies and individuals charged with civil and criminal malfeasance in office.


  • Represented small tobacco companies in First Amendment lawsuit against Food & Drug Administration (FDA), winning agreement from FDA not to enforce regulation limiting products names against clients (2010).
  • Represented makers of Roll-your-own cigarette machines in cases around the country, including a case of first impression regarding a ruling issued by the Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) of the U.S. Treasury Department. Obtained a preliminary injunction against TTB's ruling. RYO Machine Rental LLC v. United States Dep't of Treasury, Case No. 4:10-CV-2462, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132026 (N.D. Ohio. Dec. 14, 2010).
  • Represented a tobacco wholesaler in multi-million dollar RICO litigation.
  • Advises tobacco manufacturers regarding compliance with the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA).

Election Law

  • Counsel in statewide election recount for Attorney General of Virginia (2013).
  • Successfully defended newly elected city council member in election recount and contest. Tyler v. Baliles, Case Nos. CL 12-5266-00 and CL 12-5053-00 (Richmond Cir. Ct. Dec. 2012).
  • Served as Election Day counsel to McCain-Palin 2008 and Romney-Ryan 2012 campaigns for Virginia.
  • Obtained injunctions requiring school board candidate to be placed on ballot, Eppes v. Showalter, No. 3:12-cv-000545 (E.D. Va. Aug. 16, 2012), and requiring mayoral candidate to be placed on ballot, Ryan v. Showalter, No. CL12-3277-3 (Richmond Cir. Ct. Sept. 2012).
  • Successfully defended circuit judge in a proceeding in which the Attorney General sought a writ of prohibition against the judge to prevent him from ruling on questions related to the General Assembly’s authority to adopt a reapportionment plan in 2012. In re Virginia State Board of Elections, Case No. 120149 (Va. 2012).
  • Represented non-partisan civic group in obtaining injunction requiring Virginia election officials to make voter history lists available for purpose of encouraging voter participation.
  • Represented non-partisan Military Voters Protection Project in obtaining landmark injunction requiring Maryland election officials to extend deadline for receipt of absentee ballots from overseas and military voters Doe v. Walker. 746 F. Supp. 2d 667 (D. Md. 2010).
  • Served as counsel to McCain-Palin campaign in obtaining injunction requiring preservation and accounting of “late” military absentee ballots United States v. Cunningham, No. 3:08cv709, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98010 (E.D. Va. Oct. 15, 2009).

Education Law

  • Represents colleges and universities in appeals of decisions by accrediting agencies and in negotiations and litigation with state regulators.
  • Represents parents under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act “IDEA” in litigation against local school districts. Reported decisions include: M.S. v. Fairfax County School Bd., 553 F.3d 315 (4th Cir. 2009); H.H. v. Moffett, Case No. 08-1009, 2009 U.S. App. LEXIS 14849 (4th Cir. July 7, 2009); H.H. v. Moffett, Case No. 3:07cv223, 2007 U.S. District LEXIS 8762 (E.D. Va. Nov. 29, 2007); Hogan v. Fairfax County School Bd., Case No. 1:08cv250, 2009 U.S. District LEXIS 67773 (E.D. Va. Aug. 3, 2009).
  • Represented a group of alumnae who sued to prevent the closure of their college. Reached successful mediated resolution resulting in agreement to keep the college open under new leadership. Commonwealth of Virginia, ex rel Ellen Bowyer v. Sweet Briar Institute, et al., Case No. CL15 15009373, Amherst County Circuit Court (2015); Commonwealth ex rel. Bowyer v. Sweet Briar Institute, No. 150619, 2015 Va. LEXIS 99 (Va. June 9, 2015).

Other Complex Litigation

  • Representation of consumer finance entities, including furnishers, debt buyers, debt collectors, background screening companies and employers against claims in federal and state courts under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
  • Represents clients involved in federal copyright, trademark, and patent litigation before federal and state courts and regulatory bodies.
  • Represents commercial clients in contractual disputes.
  • Represents national banks and debt collectors in consumer finance disputes.
  • Represents business entities and their members, managers and shareholders in disputes over membership interests and shareholder’s rights.

Reported decisions include: 

Livia Props., LLC v. Jones Lang Lasalle Ams., Inc ., No. 5:14-00053, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103987 (W.D. Va. Aug. 7, 2015); Patterson v. Hawse, No. 1:15-cv-477, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87966 (E.D. Va. July 6, 2015); Provident Life & Accident Ins. Co. v. Clarke, 588 Fed. Appx. 294 (4th Cir. Va. 2014); McAfee v. Boczar, No. 3:11cv646, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115323 (Aug. 15, 2012) (denying renewed motion for qualified immunity by deputy sheriff found to have maliciously prosecuted citizen under federal law); Garrett v. Margolis, Pritzker, Epstein & Blatt, P.A., No. 3:11-cv-00298, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43113 (E.D. Va. Mar. 28, 2012) (dispute involving claim against law firm debt collector); Strong Found. Youth Initiative LLC v. Ashford, No. CL09-4538, 2009 Va. Cir. LEXIS 140 (City of Richmond Cir. Ct. Nov. 4, 2009) (dispute involving control of limited liability company); Velocity Micro, Inc. v. Edge Interactive Media, Inc., No. 3:08cv135, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90873 (E.D. Va. Nov. 7, 2008) (dispute involving trademark claim); Sowers v. Bd. of Supervisors, 71 Va. Cir. 324 (Nottoway County Cir. Ct. 2006) (dispute involving citizens sued by developer who claimed their advocacy had thwarted his efforts to rezone property).

Publications, Presentations, and Speaking Engagements

Professional and Community Involvement

  • Member, American Bar Association, Section of State and Local Government Law, State Attorneys General and Department of Justice Issues Committee
  • President of the Board of Directors, Disability Law Center of Virginia Foundation, 2014-present
  • Local Government Attorneys of Virginia
  • Member, Troutman Sanders Recruiting Committee
  • Member of the Board of Strategies to Elevate People (STEP), 2010-2012
  • Member of Missions Committees of Third Presbyterian Church, 2012-2014
  • Elder, Third Presbyterian Church, 2015-2017

Rankings and Recognition

  • Selected for inclusion in the 2010 and 2013-2017 editions of Law and Politics' Virginia Super Lawyers - Rising Stars Edition.

Professional Experience

  • Partner, Troutman Sanders LLP, 2016-present
  • Associate, Troutman Sanders LLP, 2005-2015
  • Summer Law Clerk, U.S. District Judge James H. Michael, Jr., U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia, 2003
  • Communications Director, U.S. Representative Mike Pence (IN-02), Washington, DC, 2001-2002
  • Deputy Press Secretary, U.S. Senator Sam Brownback (KS), Washington, DC, 2000-2001
  • Legislative Correspondent, U.S. Representative Joseph R. Pitts (PA-16), Washington, DC, 1999-2000



  • University of Virginia, J.D., 2005
    Editor-in-Chief, Virginia Journal of International Law, 2004-2005
    Production Editor, Virginia Journal of International Law, 2003-2004
  • Duke University, A.B., cum laude, 1999

Bar Admissions

  • Virginia
  • Pennsylvania

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • Supreme Court of the United States