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Ernest Pleasants Gates Jr.

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Criminal defense Attorney at Richmond, VA

5.0   1 review

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About Ernest

Learn Ernest’s areas of practice.

Licensed for 41 years
State VA
Status Active
Acquired 1981
Updated 12/27/2022

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1930 Huguenot Rd
PO Box 35655
Richmond, VA, 23235
Ernest Pleasants Gates Jr.
311 Troon Ct
Cape Charles, VA, 23310-2385
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5.0 / 5.0
  1 customer review
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1 Star
Posted by Mark V. | October 5, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Rusty Gates is terrific!
I hired Rusty in summer 2015 to defend my son, who had been charged with felony distribution of marijuana. He was selling to finance his own use, but the local police (perhaps out of frustration for not finding more weed/selling implements when they broke down my former wife's door) overcharged him (in my opinion). Rusty was recommended by several local attorneys, including my old divorce attorney. He was a total straight shooter, so my son, my ex-wife and I always knew exactly where we stood with the court. Ultimately, he worked out a deal allowing my son to go into rehab and then to work full-time while living in a half-way house, under court supervision (regular random drug testing) for a year - with disposition deferred until the end of that period. There were bumps along the way - a court officer reported incorrectly my son had failed to report on one occasion (when the truth was the officer didn't listen to or remember any of the messages my son left when he couldn't find him). By the way, Rusty barked in a parental way at my son - caring but firm - for not keeping records and notifying him immediately (valuable life lesson). My son heard him and took the lecture to heart. My son kept his end of the bargain. He tested clean for a year and attended all the required drug treatment meetings/presentations. He got a job as an apprentice mechanic, worked hard, and got a couple of promotions. The owner of his halfway house even hired him to manage another house (on top of his full-time mechanic job). So, the court dismissed the charges. My son did a stupid thing. But Rusty gave him the second chance he needed. He was a great attorney, but an even more valuable surrogate dad - teaching my son valuable life lessons about actions and consequences by leveling with him, making sure he understood how much trouble he, was in and what he had to do to make things right. He made sure the court officer's mistake did not kill my son's second chance, but afterward made sure my son understood he dropped the ball as well. When I hired Rusty, his fee seemed fair, but given all the extras he provided - and the value of the second chance he got for my son - his services were priceless. I hope I never need a criminal attorney again, but if I do, you can be sure I'll call Rusty Gates.
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Professional misconduct

This lawyer was disciplined by a state licensing authority in 2002.

Public Reprimand issued in VA, 2002
updated on 04/09/2013

This means the attorney did something wrong, but the Bar did not suspend the lawyer. Typically in this case the lawyer's poor behavior is exposed to the public in hopes that he or she will not repeat the behavior.


  • University of Richmond, The T. C. Williams School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1981
  • Hampden-Sydney College
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1976


  • Virginia State Bar
  • Member
  • N/A
  • Chesterfield County Bar Association
  • Member
  • N/A
  • Powhatan County Bar Association
  • Member
  • N/A
  • Virginia Trial Lawyers Association
  • Member
  • N/A
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Richmond Criminal defense Lawyer Ernest Pleasants Gates Jr.
Ernest Pleasants Gates Jr.
Criminal defense Attorney
Richmond, VA
Licensed for 41 years