Sylvia Macon Kastens Associate

Sylvia focuses her practice on defending clients in mass tort, environmental, public nuisance claims, and other complex civil litigation in state and federal courts. She has substantial experience in all phases of motion practice and trial preparation. Before joining McGuireWoods, Sylvia served as a law clerk for the Honorable Rebecca Beach Smith, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Virginia.

During law school, Sylvia served as a judicial extern for the Honorable Roger L. Gregory of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and was executive editor for the University of Richmond Law Review. Upon graduation, she received the T.C. Williams Law School Scholarship Award, presented to the graduating student who made the most significant contribution to legal scholarship. Before law school, Sylvia worked in education, teaching English in France and social studies in Bronx, New York.


Represents successor to lead pigment manufacturer.  Won dismissal of over 150 claims under Wisconsin’s risk contribution doctrine in Eastern District of Wisconsin.

Represents Big Three automaker in products liability cases concerning the use of asbestos in friction products.

Represents municipality against federal environmental claims and public nuisance in federal court.

Represented railroad company as punitive damages counsel in personal injury actions.

  • Virginia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • French
  • Hon. Rebecca B. Smith, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, 2017-2018
  • University of Richmond School of Law, JD, magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, Executive Editor, University of Richmond Law Review, 2017
  • New York University, MA, Social Studies Education at Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development, 2012
  • University of Virginia, BA, Foreign Affairs with concentration in Sub-Saharan Africa, minor in French, 2010

Named to "Pro Bono Service Honor Roll," Virginia Access to Justice Commission, 2022

Named to "Virginia Rising Stars," Class Action/Mass Torts, Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2022

Back to top