For nearly a decade Springfield native Keenan Goldsby has been one of Northern Virginia's leading divorce lawyers, an exacting practitioner whose personal and professional backgrounds suggest he'll be a respected lawyer for years to come. For starters, Goldsby, who's worked with many of the region's leading divorce attorneys, earned a reputation early on as a hands-on lawyer with a strong grasp of case law, and a skillful litigator. He has a solid record both managing and representing clients in complex cases.
His academic record and credentials outshine those of most in the field. Peers say he is a good and grounded listener. Goldsby brings a true precision to his work, and he comes by that honestly: His father was a NASA engineer who worked with Wernher von Braun ("He was a true rocket scientist," says Goldsby of his late father). After early years in Springfield, VA, his family moved to the Cape Canaveral area, where Goldsby and his brother attended Satellite High School. Goldsby excelled academically, was senior class president and played a "too-small, not very effective" fullback on the football team. He went on to Duke, majored in economics and history and graduated near the top of his class. He attended law school at Penn, but he eschewed the New York City corporate-law track chosen by so many of his peers. "Honestly the big-firm culture - the piles of documents, billing 2200 hours a year representing big companies - it just didn't appeal to me."
In 1992 he joined the Fairfax practice of litigator Richard Wexell, who trained Goldsby to be "meticulous and detail-oriented" in his case preparation. In the courtroom early, he handled some offbeat personal-injury claims as well, including a woman's claim that bugs in her salad from a fast-food restaurant had sickened her. Goldsby earned his stature quickly; the firm was Wexell & Goldsby by 1999. But in 2001, Goldsby felt he was beginning to burn out from the practice of law - for nearly two years, he worked in a litigation-support position as a contractor to the the Department of Justice. Somewhat ironically, the experience gave Goldsby "the itch to get back in the courtroom" and, putting out feelers, he was promptly hired by the respected downtown firm of Feldesman Tucker Leifer Fidell, joining its substantial domestic relations practice in the Virginia office. Again Goldsby teamed with several respected names of the divorce bar, including Richard Shadyac, Jr. Over the next seven years Goldsby's caseload and courtroom work grew steadily, almost entirely in Northern Virginia.
In late 2009, Feldesman Tucker closed its Northern Virginia office. After working in downtown D.C. for less than a year, Goldsby, who'd returned to Springfield to raise his family, made the practical decision to avoid an I-395 commute that can routinely require 90 minutes to cover 20 miles. When fellow Duke alum Robert Shoun's firm called, Goldsby said he felt honored - "The quality and reputation of ShounBach was well known well before I got here. I was thrilled to join them." But Shoun made it clear from the start that, with the addition of Sonya Powell and Goldsby, the firm was landing the legal equivalent of #1 draft picks. Virtually all of Goldsby's clients followed him.
Today Goldsby and his wife Germaine have two college-age daughters who, just as their father did in his youth, swam competitively at Springfield's Fox Hunt Swim Club.