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Christa Theodora ("Thea") Pitzen joined the firm's Norfolk office in 2016, and focuses her practice on the defense of hospitals, physicians, dentists, nurses, nursing homes, and other health care providers.

Thea obtained her undergraduate degree from New York University in 2004, then spent two years working as an educator through Teach For America. After graduating from Emory University School of Law in 2009, Thea served as a law clerk to the Honorable William C. O’Kelley, Senior Judge in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.  

Following her clerkship, Thea practiced law in Jacksonville, Florida, where her practice focused on business litigation and included the representation of several large financial institutions. Thea was also previously a lecturer with The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, in Washington, D.C.  Thea is an active member of the Military Spouse JD Network and served on its Board of Directors from 2014 to 2016.

Practice Areas:

  • Medical Malpractice Defense
  • Health Care
  • State Board Licensing & Credentialing
  • Commercial Law
  • Business Litigation


  • Emory University School of Law, Atlanta, GA (J.D., with honors, 2009)
  • New York University, New York, NY (B.A. magna cum laude, 2004)

Admitted to Practice:

  • Commonwealth of Virginia
  • The District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Georgia (currently inactive)
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Southern and Middle Districts of Florida


  • Responding to requests for records and/or testimony,Hampton Roads Physician, April 17, 2017
  • Diving back in: 4 tips for restarting a legal career, blog post for the American Bar Association Law Student Division’s Before the Bar, March 30, 2017
  • Top 5 things I learned in my first year of practice that I didn’t learn in law school, blog post for the American Bar Association Law Student Division’s Before the Bar, December 15, 2015
  • Statutes of Limitations, with Michael Cavendish, Florida Civil Practice Before Trial 10th ed., (Florida Bar Continuing Legal Education), 2012
  • Protecting the Innocent: Children’s Act 38 of 2005 and Customary Law in South Africa – Conflicts, Consequences, and Possible Solutions, 22 Emory Int’l L. Rev. 891 (2008) (published as Christa Theodora van der Zalm)
  • Numerous blog posts for the Military Spouse JD Network

Professional Affiliations:

  • Virginia State Bar
  • Norfolk and Portsmouth Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • State Bar of Florida
  • District of Columbia Bar
  • State Bar of Georgia
  • Military Spouse JD Network 
    Secretary, Board of Directors, 2014 - 2016
    Communications Committee 2013 - present