“I practice law to protect and defend anyone whose life seems on the verge of collapse.  Will I lose my freedom and go to jail?  Will my reputation be ruined?  Will everything I’ve worked my entire life to accomplish be destroyed?  I want to help.  It’s what I’ve spent nearly 30 years doing.”

Rhonda Quagliana

Partner | Charlottesville

Phone: (434) 951-7225
Fax: (434) 951-7273
Email: [email protected]

Team Members:

Diane Mathews: (434) 951-7266

Practice Areas

  • Criminal Defense
  • College Student Discipline & Title IX
  • Employment
  • Defamation/Libel/Slander
  • Independent Investigations
  • Commercial Torts



honda leads MichieHamlett’s complex criminal and Title IX practice. For over 25 years, she has represented individuals and corporate clients in some of the highest-profile criminal and civil cases in Virginia’s state and federal courts.


Rhonda represents clients in white collar and other criminal matters at all stages of the proceedings from grand jury investigations through trial. In her complex criminal practice, she has exonerated clients charged with fraud, conspiracy, sexual assault, and murder in both state and federal court. Clients facing serious allegations in criminal cases benefit from Rhonda’s unyielding determination, attention to detail, and understanding of the law. Leaving no stone unturned, Rhonda engages investigators, experts, focus groups, and other professional consultants to successfully defend complex criminal matters.


Rhonda defends faculty, students, and staff in administrative proceedings, including college and university discipline matters, such as Title IX investigations. Recognizing that the outcome can completely reshape the life of her clients, Rhonda works tirelessly to bring balance and a vigorous defense to a process that all to often completely ignores the rights of the accused. In fact, Rhonda was the first attorney to successfully challenge the University of Virginia’s Title IX policy in a federal court. In the high-stakes nature of these proceedings, Rhonda’s more than 25 years of legal experience serves to protect her clients’ reputation, academic endeavors, and future employment prospects. Clients depend on Rhonda’s sound advice and experience as a criminal defense attorney to mitigate a potential prosecution stemming from the allegations.


In addition to her leadership within the bar, Rhonda is active in her community. She has served as president of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Bar Association and on its Board of Directors. She has served on non-profit boards, including: serving as a past president of Charlottesville-Albemarle Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (“CASPCA”) and Region Ten Local Human Rights Committee. Rhonda also generously gives her time to provide pro-bono legal services to indigent clients.


Rhonda was born in Pocatello, Idaho and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada. She has lived in Charlottesville, Virginia since 1984.

  • Tulane University, B.A. with honors 1984
  • University of Virginia, Ph.D. 1992
  • University of Virginia, School of Law, J.D. 1995
  • University of Virginia School of Law, Adjunct Faculty
  • National Advocacy College, Faculty
  • Advisory Committee of the Rules of Court for the Supreme Court of Virginia
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia Local Rules Advisory Committee
  • Criminal Justice Act Advisory Committee for the Western District of Virginia
  • Charlottesville-Albemarle Bar Association, President (2010-2011)
  • Super Lawyers, 2024
  • Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Virginia Trial Lawyers Association
  • Association of Workplace Investigators
  • Virginia State Bar
  • The Law of Damages in Virginia – Contributing Author
  • The Virginia Lawyer: A Desk Book for Practitioner – Contributing Author
  • Defense of Serious Traffic Cases in Virginia – Contributing Author
  • “Title IX Investigations of Sexual Misconduct on College Campuses” – Presenter
  • ” Sexual Assault Cases: The Interplay Between Title IX Proceedings, Civil Litigation, and Criminal Prosecutions” – Presenter
  • “Vicious or Merely Dangerous: Preparing and Trying the Dog Bite Case” – Presenter
  • “Use of Body Cams: Getting the Goods” – Presenter
  • “Mastering Voir Dire in Virginia” – Presenter

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