News and Information
March 23, 2022

Rick Chess and Ron Wiley Dual Recipients of 2022 Traver Award

The Virginia State Bar Real Property Section and Virginia CLE have named Richard B. Chess of Richmond and Ronald D. Wiley Jr. of Charlottesville as the dual recipients of the 2022 Traver Award, given each year to honor a lawyer who embodies the highest ideals and expertise in the practice of real estate law. 

Traver Award recipients are VSB Real Property Section members who have made significant contributions to the practice of real property law generally and the section specifically and have generously shared their knowledge with others. The award is named for Courtland L. Traver, a forerunner in Virginia real estate law whose outstanding legal ability and willingness to share his knowledge and experience was an inspiration to others. 

Rick Chess, of The Chess Law Firm, was mentored early in his career by Courtland Traver, and Chess has spent his career paying that mentorship forward. Chess developed a 40+ year practice at the intersection of real property law and government, including appealing property assessments, providing tax-on-asset-sale mitigation, helping grow portfolios via acquisitions and mergers, and accessing equity needed by clients for growth via REITs, 1031 DSTs, and Qualified Opportunity Zone funds.  

A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, Chess received his law degree from the University of Richmond Law School. He has been an area representative for the Real Property Section for more than 20 years, served as the Chair of the Commercial Real Estate Committee, is current co-chair of the Membership Committee, serves on the board of the Real Estate Section, has presented CLE programs for over 20 years, and has published multiple articles in The Fee Simple law journal of the section.

Ron Wiley Jr. is Underwriting Counsel for Old Republic National Title Insurance Company. He has been a real estate lawyer since 1983 when he graduated from the University of Richmond Law School. Wiley worked in private practice until 1991, when he decided to become a high school Earth Science teacher. He continued to practice law during his summer breaks until 1993 when he returned to law full-time as Senior Vice President & Regional Counsel for a regional title insurer. Wiley joined Old Republic Title in August 2016.

Wiley is active in the VSB Real Property Section and served on its Board of Governors through June 2021, including as Section Chair in 2019-2020. He also remains active with the Charlottesville-Albemarle Bar Association and its Real Estate Section. Wiley still enjoys teaching and has been a continuing education instructor for numerous Virginia CLE programs over the years, as well as coordinating the continuing education program for Virginia agents and approved attorneys of the company where he worked for nearly 18 years. He has helped teach Real Estate Transactions & Finance at the University of Richmond Law School every year since 2013.

Updated: Mar 23, 2022