Gaela provides advice, solutions, and representation for general contractors, subcontractors, and owners in contract negotiations and construction disputes.

Get To Know Gaela

Gaela is a construction attorney who handles complex, commercial construction disputes, contract negotiations, and mechanic’s liens. She has experience representing general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, and owners in federal and state court as well as alternative dispute resolutions like arbitration and mediation.

Gaela received her J.D. magna cum laude from Penn State Law, where she served as the Executive Articles Editor for the Penn State Law Review and had her Comment published on nuclear nonproliferation.

In 2019, Gaela joined Vandeventer Black (now Woods Rogers) as a summer associate, and returned as an associate the following summer in 2020. Gaela grew up in Virginia Beach, and is happy to provide legal services to members of the Tidewater community and throughout the state.

Gaela is an avid traveler and is usually planning the next trip whenever she isn't working. A few of her favorite places that she has visited include Zermatt, Positano, and Prague. When she isn't traveling or working, Gaela can be found at the beach with her husband and chihuahua, Nacho.


  • Represented general contractor and architect as a design-build team in a copyright infringement case against a developer and architect (successfully resolved through mediation).
  • Assisted in representation of MRI manufacturer and seller against freight forwarding company and transportation company (successfully resolved through mediation).
  • Assisted in successful representation of foundation contractor against homeowner regarding nonpayment.
  • Assisted in winning summary judgment against tax preparation franchisor in commercial dispute concerning franchise lease locations. JTH Tax, Inc. v. Shahabuddin, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 158072 (E.D. Va. 2021).



Pennsylvania State University School of Law, J.D.

William & Mary, B.A.



U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia

U.S. District Court, Western District of Virginia


  • Associated General Contractors of Virginia, Young Leaders Board
  • American Bar Association, Forum on Construction Law
  • Norfolk Portsmouth Bar Association
  • St. Mary’s Home, Board of Directors

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