Belote joins private practice

Published 10:05 pm Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A loss for the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office is the gain of a private practice firm as former prosecutor Nicole Belote has moved to the recently renamed Kozak, Davis, Plott & Renninger firm.

Belote, who has worked in the Suffolk prosecutor’s office for almost eight years, made the move last week.

Belote

Belote

“This is a new opportunity to really expand my areas of practice,” Belote said. “I’ll have more opportunity in private practice to not only practice in the criminal world, but in the civil side as well.”

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Prior to working in the Suffolk Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office, Belote worked in the Portsmouth prosecutor’s office for about a year. She earned her law degree in May 2004 from Regent University after having received her bachelor’s degree at George Mason University in 2000.

She said she has been thinking about the move for a while.

“I thought about it for quite some time, because I didn’t want to make a change where I wasn’t happy and couldn’t be successful,” she said.

Belote already has a few cases to work on. She said much of what she did as a prosecutor has carried over into private practice.

“I have not reviewed the cases all that differently,” she said. While as a prosecutor, she was looking for holes the defense might try to poke in the case, she’s still looking for those holes — but now will be the one taking advantage of them.

“Your focus at trial is different,” she said.

Nicholas Renninger, also a former prosecutor, said the skills Belote developed as a prosecutor will be “a real benefit in private practice.”
“You’re used to preparing your cases and spending a lot of time in preparation and being very meticulous,” he said. “We’re very excited to have her on board. A lot of private practice attorneys have been eyeing her for a while, but she seemed so dedicated to the prosecutor’s office.”

Warren Kozak said the newly-named law firm will be looking to increase its presence in Chesapeake in the coming years.