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Ernie was born and raised in Palo Alto, California. Upon graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, in 1987, he was commissioned in the U.S. Marine Corps. Ernie served in the Marines for 20 years, in various capacities and all over the world. After serving as an artillery officer with the First Marine Division, Ernie earned his J.D. from The George Washington University School of Law in 1994, and served as a judge advocate in the Marine Corps. Highlights of his service include shipboard deployment as the Staff Judge Advocate to the 22d Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), 2000 – 2002 and as Commanding Officer of Region 3, Embassy Security Group, commanding the U. S. Marines guarding U.S. Embassies and other diplomatic missions in Asia, 2005 -2007. He retired from military service in 2007, with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
Ernie has been practicing law in Central Virginia since 2007, first with the firm Tremblay and Smith and then, in 2016, as a proud partner with the firm Royer, Caramanis and McDonough. Ernie focuses on family law (divorce, custody, pre and post nuptial agreements, property settlements) as well as military law (military justice, command relations, administrative and judicial tribunals, security clearances). Ernie’s practice is based upon the motto “No better friend, no worse enemy.”
Ernie is a member of the Charlottesville – Albemarle Bar Association; the Virginia State Bar, where he has served on the Board of Governors of the Military Law Section; the Veterans of Foreign Wars, where he served as an officer of Post 1827; the Virginia Gators swim club, where he served as President for six years; and Parade Rest, a veterans’ service organization where he currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Ernie is the proud father of three fine young adults – scholars, swimmers and good citizens. He has been happily married since 2015 to Amy, a nurse. He enjoys watching and playing nearly all sports, the outdoors (fly fishing in particular), good books and movies, working in the yard and a glass of fine Bourbon whiskey.