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Jonathan L. Thornton

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2101 Parks Ave, #802
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23451

Jonathan Thornton has been a trial lawyer in Virginia for 20 years. His practice focuses on serious auto and truck accidents and medical negligence cases. He is licensed to practice in Virginia and in North Carolina. Jon has consistently been named by his peers as a Virginia SuperLawyer from 2007 through 2014, which is an honor given to 5% of the attorneys practicing in Virginia. Jon was previously recognized as one of the Top Ten Young Lawyers in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. He has obtained medical malpractice verdicts and settlements that have been listed among the largest verdicts obtained in Virginia and neighboring states, and his results have been reported in local media and legal publications.

Jon earned his Bachelor of Arts degree, summa cum laude, from Washington & Lee University, where he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. He graduated from the University of Virginia Law School and was then appointed as a law clerk to United States District Judge John A. McKenzie.

Following his judicial clerkship, Jon practiced law for six years with the largest law firm in Southeastern Virginia where he handled primarily personal injury cases and business litigation. In 1997, he co-founded Pierce & Thornton, PLC, a law firm dedicated solely to representing the rights of the severely injured.

Jon was nominated by his peers to the Etheridge Society, which is an inner circle of leading attorneys who represent patients and their families in medical negligence cases in Virginia. Jon is also an active member in the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, where he currently serves on the Medical Malpractice Legislative Subcommittee and is a member of the Board of Governors.  Additionally, he currently serves as President of the Virginia Beach Bar Association.  Jon has also lectured on medical malpractice issues before the Virginia Beach Bar Association, the Norfolk Portsmouth Bar Association, pre-medical students at Washington & Lee University, and is scheduled to address medical doctors graduating from the Portsmouth Naval Medical Center residency program in June 2014. 

Jon has been awarded Martindale-Hubbell's "AV Preeminent" rating by his peers, who include lawyers and judges, which means that he meets the very highest criteria for legal knowledge, legal experience and ethical standards.  In being recognized for this honor, Jon's peers, including opposing counsel, have said the following: "Jonathan's intellect and keen legal ability quickly gain the trust and confidence of his clients and opposing counsel. Jonathan is one of the best litigators I have encountered in over 20 years of practicing law." - and - "Mr. Thornton is one of the best I've worked against. He is professional and knowledgeable and represents his clients well, while maintaining a friendly working relationship with his adversaries - a hard balance to strike. I wouldn't hesitate to refer even my family members to him."

Jon sees his role as a trial attorney as one of not only fighting to obtain fair compensation for his clients, but also of counseling and providing answers to individuals who have had catastrophic events occur in their lives. When Jon accepts your case, he is personally committed to it from the initial investigation through the trial. As one of his former clients stated after Jon had successfully resolved his son’s case, "It’s more than a case to Jon – he represents you as if it happened to him."  Another client, whose family he represented in a wrongful death case commented, "Through the entire process, I always felt trust and confidence in [Jon's] judgment. I was very proud to have had [Jon] represent me in the courtroom."

Jon credits his clients and their families for enabling him to successfully try, mediate and settle numerous medical malpractice, wrongful death, brain injury and catastrophic injury cases on their behalf.


J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 1990

B.A., Washington & Lee University, 1987

Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice

North Carolina

Professional & Bar Association Memberships

Virginia Bar Association

Federal Bar Association

American Association for Justice

Virginia Trial Lawyers Association
Member, Medical Malpractice Legislative Subcommittee and Board of Governors

Norfolk-Portsmouth Bar Association

Virginia Beach Bar Association
President, 2014

Etheridge Society
The Etheridge Society is an inner circle of of leading attorneys who represent plaintiffs in medical negligence litigation in Virginia.


Virginia Trial Lawyers Association
Expert Witnesses CLE
October 2009
Fairfax, Virginia

American Law Institute
Effective Presentation of Damages in Personal Injury Cases
October 2010
Norfolk, Virginia

Norfolk Portsmouth Bar Association
Medical Malpractice Tips - Plaintiff's Perspective
April 2011
Norfolk, Virginia

Virginia CLE
Best Practices in Circuit Court - A Forum for Litigators
April 2012
Virginia Beach, Virginia

Washington & Lee Seminar Series
Medical Malpractice Primer for the Pre-Med Student
2011 - 2015
Richmond, Virginia

Portsmouth Naval Medical Center
Address to Medical Doctors Graduating from the Residency Program
June 2014
Portsmouth, Virginia

Eastern Virginia Medical School
Address to Fourth Year Medical Students about Medical-Legal Issues from the Patient's Perspective
March 2015
Norfolk, Virginia