“Empathy & compassion bring perspective. As a lawyer, it's important to understand the client's perspective.
As a legal analyst, helping folks understand the justice system builds their trust in it. Our system deserves that trust."
Todd Stone is a trial lawyer in Richmond, VA. While serving in two of the largest urban prosecutors' offices in Virginia he led the violent crimes unit, the drug prosecution team and was appointed as Special Counsel to the Multi-Jurisdiction Grand Jury for the City of Richmond & the Counties of Henrico, Hanover & Chesterfield. In 1999, as a Special Assistant United States Attorney, he assisted in the prosecution of a capital murder “takeover” bank robbery case and consequently received the Director’s Award from U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno in Washington, DC.
Although he prosecuted numerous notable trials including murders, the serial rapist from the Fan area of Richmond and multi-defendant drug conspiracies, perhaps the most memorable was one he chose not to prosecute. While a defense attorney's duties are to the client, a prosecutor's are to the justice system as a whole. After discovering evidence suggesting the innocence of a suspect in a highly publicized & charged shooting case, he recalls dropping the charges prior to trial.
“We dug into the evidence & it didn't add up. The fair process of the system is much more important than the people who make it up. 'Justice' comes from having that fair process; it's not about the result in the end."
As a lawyer & partner at Stone, Cardwell & Dinkin, PLC, he handles a limited number of cases in order to dedicate the time & attention that a case deserves. Located in the historic Columbian Block building above the cobblestone streets of Shockoe Slip in downtown Richmond, VA., he works with two of Virginia's finest trial lawyers & former prosecutors, Claire Cardwell & Bill Dinkin. Stone has received numerous awards over the years, including the peer-voted “Superlawyer” for several years, “Nation’s Top One Percent,” “Top 100 Trial Lawyers,” “Top Ten Attorneys,” “Ten Best,” & recipient of the Director's Award from U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, among others.
Todd Stone is regularly called as a legal analyst by news outlets across Virginia & the U.S., including: “NPR” National Public Radio, CNN, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, CBS This Morning & others. He regularly serves central Virginia's two most historic & relied upon news sources, WTVR CBS6 television news & WRVA news radio 1140 AM. WTVR was the first television station established south of Washington, DC. WRVA, established in 1925, was one of the first radio stations in the U.S.
Stone serves on the Board of Directors for the Myotonic Dystrophy Foundation (MDF). The MDF is the only major disease-specific foundation in the U.S. that focuses on Myotonic Muscular Dystrophy (MMD), a condition which affects his two sons. The foundation has grown tremendously in recent years and is helping to advance important research.
Myotonic Muscular Dystrophy is extremely under-diagnosed. It impacts every part of the body & mind but it's so variable that it may present differently with each affected person. Thus it's often mis-diagnosed as autism, speech/language issues, dyslexia, heart arrhythmia disorders, cataracts, food allergies, etc. It often goes undetected in families until a child is born with a more pronounced form of the disease. So although it’s a rare disease, it’s much more common than people think.
Although MMD is progressive and currently not treatable, several recent breakthroughs have helped scientists understand the cause and the research has gained great momentum. Drug companies are getting into the field because they see the genuine promise of a treatment within our own lifetime. Because it's caused by an extra stutter in the DNA scientists have focused on silencing that portion of the gene with some marked success. Since there's nothing missing in the DNA, an effective treatment could actually reverse the symptoms disease, rather than just stop it's progression. This has been shown in recent years with treatments tested in animal models.
Scientists are working to push new treatments into human trials. Since the genetic cause is similar to many other conditions like Huntington’s Disease and Fragile X Syndrome, research advances for Myotonic Muscular Dystrophy could help many. Elected officials are increasingly cognizant of the importance of investing in medical research now so society can reap far greater returns in the future.
"Everyone has their own cross to bear. The struggle & turmoil folks have can often spark positive growth. Becoming more mindful & aware has made me a better lawyer, advocate, father & human being. It also helps me to see the beauty in each moment, even where you may least expect it."
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