Ernest Gates, Jr.

Cowan Gates
1930 Huguenot Road
PO Box 35655
Richmond, VA 23235
(804) 320-9100

Practicing law since 1981, Ernest P. "Rusty" Gates, Jr. possesses extensive experience as a trial and business attorney. As a member of CowanGates' litigation team, he practices criminal, personal injury and family law. His work also includes traffic law relating to traffic violations, automobile accidents and injuries. His business law practice focuses on estate planning and commercial and residential real estate.

In 2000, Virginia Lawyers Weekly recognized his trial work by naming one of his cases among the "Most Important Decisions" when he served as the lead attorney for Sensabaugh v. Gateway.

Rusty received his bachelor of arts degree from Hampden-Sydney College in 1976 and earned his law degree from the T. C. Williams School of Law of the University of Richmond in 1981.

A Chesterfield native, Rusty is an active member of the Virginia State Bar, Chesterfield County Bar Association, Powhatan Bar Association and Virginia Trial Lawyers Association.

Areas of Practice:

Criminal Law
Personal Injury
Family Law
Traffic Law
Commercial and Residential Real Estate
Estate Planning


University of Richmond, The T.C. Williams School of Law, Richmond, Virginia, 1981
Hampden-Sydney College, 1976

Honors and Awards:

Recognized by The American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys as one of the "10 Best" Attorneys for the State of Virginia
Named to The National Trial Lawyers list of Top 100 Trial Lawyers
Selected by the National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys for the prestigious Top 10 Attorney Award for the state of Virginia for 2016-2017
Recipient of the William Blandford Community Service Award, presented by the Powhatan Bar Association

Professional Associations and Memberships:

Virginia State Bar, Member
Virginia Bar Association, Member
Chesterfield County Bar Association, Member
Powhatan Bar Association, Member and Former President
Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, Member
Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce, Member

Community Activities:

Backpacks of Love, Inc.
Habitat For Humanity - Powhatan, Board Member
Hampden-Sydney College, Richmond Alumni Club and Gridiron Club
Henricus Foundation, Board of Trustees
CancerLINC - Legal Information Network for Cancer
Girl Power Grants, Inc.
Rotary Club of Powhatan
St. Luke's Episcopal Church
The Fine Creek Club, Inc.