Christ Church, Weems.
Built in 1735, the church is one of Lancaster County's oldest buildings and is one of the most significant colonial structures in America.
Our law firm takes deep pride in its Northern Neck roots.
For almost nine decades we have been part of lives and businesses in the region. Some of our current clients are great grandchildren of the law firm's original clients. Dunton, Simmons & Dunton lawyers proudly carry on the work of our founders, Ammon G. Dunton, Sr. and C. Jackson Simmons under the guidance of our current managing partner, Ammon G. Dunton, Jr.
We live our history every day and are proud to share some of it with you on this page.
Ammon G. Dunton, Sr.
Dunton, Simmons & Dunton, L.L.P. began in 1931, when Ammon Gresham Dunton, Sr. returned to his native Lancaster County, Virginia, after practicing law in Norfolk for four years. A general practice lawyer, Mr. Dunton, became known for his prowess and quick wit in the court room as well as his leadership in the local fishing industry, including service as president of several local menhaden companies. He was president of several local banks, a director of local and statewide banks, president and chairman of the Northern Neck Insurance Company, president of the Virginia Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, and director of many other local businesses.
In addition to his work as corporate counsel for local fishing and other businesses, Mr. Dunton defended substantial numbers of criminal defendants, trying his last capital murder trial during his 90's. On the other side of the criminal bar, he served as Commonwealth's Attorney for Lancaster County during the 1940's..
Known as the "Dean of the Northern Neck Bar", Mr. Dunton's career spanned more than 60 years, and he was held in unanimous and deep respect. After his death on February 10, 2000, at age 96, both the Virginia General Assembly and the Northern Neck Bar Association passed resolutions in his honor.
C. Jackson Simmons
Carroll Jackson Simmons was born in Lancaster County on February 17, 1923 and attended the College of William and Mary, where he was a Phi Beta Kappa scholar and selected as the College's first exchange scholar to Exeter College in England. Fluent in French, he was awarded a Rotary Foundation scholarship to attend the University of Geneva from which he received a "Diplome" in International Studies in 1949. Upon his return from Switzerland, he attended the University of Virginia Law School, graduating in 1951. He immediately joined the law firm, where he practiced law for 48 years, including a number of years as managing partner.
In his practice as a trial attorney, Jack Simmons was known for his keen intellect and clarity of thought, but above all his sense of civility in the practice of law. He was a member of the Northern Neck Bar Association from 1951 until his death, having been elected its president in 1971. A student of language and the local history of his beloved Northern Neck, he received many invitations to speak on major occasions, often selecting local historical subjects for his remarks. A collection of his most celebrated speeches was published under the title Speaking of the Northern Neck. He was a lifelong resident of Irvington, Virginia and was one of three persons who in 1965 reestablished Chesapeake Academy. In 1992 he wrote a well received history of the Town of Irvington, which has enjoyed several printings.
Mr. Simmons was a leader in civic and church organizations and was selected as president of the Northern Neck Historical Society, as senior warden of the Christ Church Parish, and later of St. James Anglican Church. He died on February 19, 1999, continuing to practice law until shortly before his death. The Northern Neck Bar Association passed a resolution honoring his exemplary conduct in the practice of law as a noble and learned professional, and celebrating his sense of humor, eloquence, strong ethical sense, intellectual vigor, and gentlemanly manner. He is still celebrated by people whose lives he touched.
Ammon G. Dunton, Jr.
Ammon Gresham Dunton, Jr. graduated from Yale University in 1957. After serving as an officer in the United States Army (from which he was discharged as a captain), he attended the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was Associate Editor on the Virginia Journal of International Law. He thereafter embarked on what would become a five year career at the Wall Street firm of Shearman & Sterling, before returning to his native Lancaster County in 1967 to assist his then ailing father, Ammon G. Dunton, Sr. As it turned out, Ammon, Sr. lived another 33 years, continuing to practice for most of them.
Mr. Dunton now focuses his practice on administration of trusts and estates. He has been a registered investment advisor for many years and has clients in many states.
Ammon has led many Virginia businesses, including acting as chairman of Bay Banks of Virginia, chairman of the Bank of Lancaster, chairman of the Northern Neck Insurance Company, president of the Virginia Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, Vice President of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, and in many other roles.
He remains active in many aspects of community life. He served as President of the Mary Ball Washington Museum & Library, president of the Northern Neck Historical Society, and chairman of the Lancaster County Landmarks Commission and its Bicentennial Commission. He is a member of Grace Episcopal Church, Kilmarnock, Virginia, where he has been elected to the Vestry and as Senior Warden three times. He has served as trustee of the funds of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia. He is also active in local charitable work and remains president of the Tidewater Foundation, Incorporated, a local charitable organization. For many years he has been Chairman of the Board for the Northern Neck Symphony Orchestra.
The Current Firm
Morgan W. Alley acts as Managing Partner. Other partners are Ammon G. Dunton, Jr., John C. Hodges, and Elizabeth B. Hurd. Nancyellen Keane and David Hudgins are Of Counsel. Learn more about our attorneys by clicking the following button.