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.
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
- Author, 11th Circuit Denies Petition, Confirming Class Action Incentive Payments Are Improper, Class Action Countermeasures, August 15, 2022
- Author, Fourth Circuit Outlines Burden of Proof for Objector to Class Action Settlement, Class Action Countermeasures, March 24, 2022
- Contributing Author, “Chapter 13: Multidistrict Litigation", Infectious Disease Litigation: Science, Law & Procedure, February 2021
- Author, State Environmental Enforcement Policies During COVID-19 and Response to EPA “Discretion” Policy, McGuireWoods Legal Alert, April 2, 2020
- Author, EPA Indicates that It May Relax Enforcement Measures for Narrow Categories of Environmental Legal Obligations Occurring After March 13, 2020, if Pandemic Causes Inability to Comply, McGuireWoods Legal Alert, March 30, 2020
- Author, Note, Grow Up Virginia: Time to Change our Filial Responsibility Law, 51 U. Rich. L. Rev. 265, 2016
University of Richmond School of LawJD
magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, Executive Editor, University of Richmond Law Review2017
- New York UniversityMASocial Studies Education at Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development2012
- University of VirginiaBAForeign Affairs with concentration in Sub-Saharan Africa, minor in French2010
Named to “Virginia Rising Stars,” Class Action/Mass Torts, Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2022, 2023
Named to “Pro Bono Service Honor Roll,” Virginia Access to Justice Commission, 2022
- Speaker, "Impacts of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization on Health Care Providers", 2023 Health Law Section Program, North Carolina Bar Association, April 21, 2023
- Hon. Rebecca B. Smith, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, 2017-2018