Practice Areas

Commercial Litigation
Tort Defense
Workers' Comp. Defense
Professional Liability Defense

Bar/Court Admissions

1983, Virginia
1984, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia and U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
1989, U.S. District Court, Western District of Virginia
1990, District of Columbia; U.S. District Court, District of Columbia


American University, B.S., cum laude, 1979
American University, J.D., 1983


The District of Columbia Bar
Virginia State Bar
Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys.


Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Telephone: 703-246-0900
Facsimile: 703-591-3673

10509 Judicial Drive, Suite 200
Fairfax, Virginia 22030-5117
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Practice Overview and Representative Experience:

John H. Carstens has been selected to be included in The Best Lawyers in America, 2015 edition, for his work in the practice areas of Personal Injury Litigation – Defense and Products Liability Litigation - Defense.

John is a resident partner in the firm's Fairfax office. He has been with the firm since 1983, and has over 20 years of civil litigation experience, concentrating in the defense of personal injury, insurance and worker's compensation matters.

John is a member of the Virginia State Bar and the District of Columbia Bar. He is also admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia and the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

John belongs to the Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys and the Fairfax County Bar Association. He has been accepted to the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers.

John currently serves as the firm's managing partner and heads up the worker's compensation team in Virginia.

John has defended more than 30 jury trials in the circuit and federal district courts throughout Virginia in cases dealing with premises and automobile liability, wrongful death, commercial disputes, intentional torts, insurance coverage and professional malpractice. Approximately 65% of the cases defended at trial have ended in a defense verdict or dismissal of the plaintiff's case, and a significant portion of the remaining cases have resulted in a verdict in an amount less than the plaintiff's final demand.

John has successfully represented employers and their worker's 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.

John and his wife, Ruth, reside in Oakton, Virginia, with their two sons. An avid ice hockey enthusiast, John plays in local adult leagues and has coached various levels of youth teams. John 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.

Reported Cases

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).