Firm Profile

About Our Practice

We are a general practice law firm dedicated to providing a wide range of quality legal services to our clients. We enjoy serving the Hampton Roads community and are proud of our deep roots in the region. Ronald D. Slaven, Jr., the owner and principal of the firm, has practiced in the Hampton Roads area since his admission to the bar. James T. Wise, former member of the firm and now retired, was a seasoned and well beloved attorney who served Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and the surrounding Hampton Roads community for over three decades. John W. Jelich, III, who recently joined the firm in an "Of Counsel" position, has also served Virginia Beach, Chesapeake and the surrounding Hampton Roads community for the past three decades.

Our Office Building

We are conveniently located just minutes off the Greenbrier Parkway Exit of I-64 in the Greenbrier Area of Chesapeake, Virginia. We are in the Old Greenbrier Village Office Complex located at 2006 Old Greenbrier Road. Please visit our contact page for a map, directions and further contact details.

Meet Our Attorneys

Ronald D. Slaven, Jr., Esquire

Ronald (Ronnie) D. Slaven, Jr., is the Firm's principal attorney. He is a litigation attorney and enjoys the variety that accompanies a general litigation practice. He has handled such diverse matters as an agricultural lease dispute with the Federal Government, partition suits involving real property, fast food product liability actions, and construction contract disputes. He additionally represents debtors in consumer bankruptcy cases. He has considerable experience with all aspects of family law and divorce and has served as a guardian ad litem for children in the past. Recently, Mr. Slaven has begun expanding the firm's probate estate administration practice. In addition to his civil caseload, Mr. Slaven engages in felony criminal defense work and traffic law defense.

Personal Background: Mr. Slaven is originally from Kansas. He completed his undergraduate degree at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and thereafter moved to Northern Virginia to attend law school at George Mason University. Upon completing law school in Northern Virginia, Mr. Slaven relocated to Chesapeake, Virginia, with his wife, who is from the Great Bridge area. Mr. Slaven has been practicing law in the Hampton Roads area since his admission to the Virginia State Bar in June 2010.

2005 Brigham Young University B.A. magna cum laude in humanities and literature
2009 George Mason University School of Law J.D. cum laude

Affiliations / Recognitions:
• Admitted to all Virginia State Courts
• Admitted to the Federal District Court and Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia; admitted to the US Court of Federal Claims
• Member of Chesapeake Bar Association
• Member of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society
• Published in the Norton Journal of Bankruptcy Law and Practice, Vol. 19, No. 1 (2010) "Short Term, Long Term, Junior and Senior: A Critical Analysis of the Mortgage Provisions of § 1322(b) of the Bankruptcy Code, With Reference to Historical Market Developments and Recent Financial Crises"
• Eagle Scout
• Spanish Speaker
• Volunteer - Norfolk Highlands Primary Mentoring Program
• Member of Great Bridge Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Lorna M. Rhoades, Esquire

Lorna M. Rhoades is an associate attorney with Slaven Law Group. She is a general practice attorney, and has experience in matters including civil litigation, traffic/DUI, criminal defense, property tax issues, and other transactional matters. Recently she has begun practicing in family and estate law. In Arizona, she represented Pima County in employment disputes, involuntary commitment proceedings, and in property tax matters. She also has experience with ERISA and claims for employee benefits.

Personal Background: Mrs. Rhoades recently joined the firm after relocating to the Hampton Roads area from Tucson, Arizona, with her husband who is a Naval officer and their young daughter. While their family resided in Tucson, Mrs. Rhoades' husband instructed NROTC at the University of Arizona and Mrs. Rhoades worked for the Pima County Attorney’s Office. Prior to getting married, she lived and practiced employee benefits law in Atlanta, GA.

Prior Employment:
• Pima County Attorney’s Office, Tucson, Arizona
• Mazursky Constantine, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia
• Law Clerk, Middle District of Georgia

• 2005, Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, B.M., music education
• 2009, University of Florida Levin College of Law, J.D., magna cum laude

Affiliations / Recognitions:
• Admitted to practice in all Virginia State Courts
• Active member of the Georgia Bar;
• Admitted to the Superior Court of Georgia and the Supreme Court of Georgia
• Admitted to the Federal District Court for the Northern and Middle District of Georgia
• Previously admitted to practice in Arizona under the rule governing military spouse temporary admission

John W. Jelich, III, Esquire

John has recently joined Slaven Law Group as “of counsel” and brings to the firm more than thirty-seven years of legal experience. He has handled serious felony cases including capital murder, and civil matters including personal injury, real estate, contractor/construction disputes, divorces and custody, etc.. He also represents a number of corporate clients, and his office practice includes business entity formation, sales of businesses, preparation of wills, powers of attorney, and other legal matters. He has also represented the City of Chesapeake and City Treasurer for twenty-nine years as their legal counsel for delinquent real estate tax suits, and has been appointed and served as Special Commissioner to the Chesapeake Circuit Court during that same period.

Mr. Jelich completed his undergraduate degree at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and also graduated thereafter from Wake Forest University School of Law. While in law school, he was accepted into the United States Navy’s Judge Advocate General Program, and after graduation from law school, began his active duty in Norfolk, Virginia for two years handling numerous military courts-martial cases. He completed his last two years of active duty as the Staff Judge Advocate for the base commander at Fleet Combat Training Center, Dam Neck, in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He changed his designator to intelligence officer, and remained part of the United States Naval Reserves for seventeen years after leaving active duty, retiring as a commander. After leaving active duty, Mr. Jelich was an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney in Chesapeake, Virginia, for almost two years, and prosecuted numerous felony and misdemeanor cases. Thereafter, he entered private law practice and since 1987, has had his own firm.

Education: Graduated Cum Laude, Wake Forest University, 1975 B.A. History
Graduated Wake Forest University School of Law, J.D. 1978

Affiliations & Recognitions:
Admitted to Practice in all North Carolina State Courts – 1978
Admitted to Practice in all Virginia State Courts – 1981
Admitted to Practice Federal District Court and Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District, VA, & United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney, Chesapeake, VA 1982-1984
Sadler, Swan & Jelich, General Law Practice, Norfolk, VA 1984-1987
John W. Jelich, III, General Law Practice, Chesapeake, VA 1987 to 2016
Past President, Chesapeake Bar Association

Meet Our Staff Team Members

Janet Walton Dukes


She began her journey in law in March 1992, when she moved to Chesapeake, Virginia from Rock Island, Illinois to be a Legal Assistant to her father, James M. Walton, Sr., who was a Commissioner in Chancery at that time. She is a Notary Public for the Commonwealth of Virginia. She became a Certified Paralegal in March 2000. Her forte is Family Law.

Angel Zombar

Receptionist/Legal Assistant

Angel Zombar joined us with over 14 years of experience in the law enforcement field and has worked in the administration field for over 20 years. She is licensed by the Department of Criminal Justice Services in several different categories including as an instructor. She has lived in Hampton Roads most of her life and is very active in Chesapeake Little League and Chesapeake Parks and Recreation with her four children.

Avis Fisher


Avis joined the Slaven Law Group team in November 2014, when she moved to the Hampton Roads community from Florida. She has extensive and in-depth management, human resources, and executive administrative support experience in both the public and private sectors. Avis has been recognized for her outstanding performance and leadership skills on multiple occasions during her career. She is a registered Notary Public in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Avis is honored to be the mother of three wonderful children and delighted to play the role of "Grammy" to five grandchildren.