I am an attorney who litigates real estate and contract rights

I advise and advocate for property owners and businesses in a variety of disputes, including construction, real estate, neighbor law, and community association matters.

I received my B.A. from St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland. St. John’s is the Liberal Arts school known for its Great Books Program. In 2005, I graduated from George Mason University School of Law (now GMU Antonin Scalia Law School) in Arlington, Virginia.

I am admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the State of Maryland, and the District of Columbia.

John Colby Cowherd

Before starting my solo practice, I worked at other law firms. While in law school, I worked for a large law firm in Washington, D.C. After passing the bar exam, I worked for over seven years in a Fairfax general practice law firm. The opportunity to practice litigation, real estate, construction, business, and commercial law was an excellent background to focus on community associations law, which is many ways is a “hybrid” of those other practice areas. From June 2019 to January 2021, I was a member of the Board of Zoning Appeals of the County of Fairfax. As a BZA member I dealt with zoning appeals, permits and variances, including a wide variety of commercial, industrial, retail, office, residential, agricultural and rural land use matters. (I am no longer a member of  the BZA). In 2013, I started my blog, “Words of Conveyance” to discuss community associations, construction and property law. I now have over 150 blog posts. My professional commitment to protecting the rights of property owners motivates my blog. I named Words of Conveyance after the essential language in deeds that effects transfer of property rights from one to another.

I have lived in rural, suburban, and city neighborhoods. For over 9 years,  I was an owner-occupant in a condominium high-rise building in Northern Virginia. I am intimately familiar with the diverse challenges that arise with owning and residing in a condominium. I grew up in Culpeper County, Virginia. I have lived almost my entire life in the greater Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. I am married with two daughters (and two cats). The girls like us to take them to the Chesapeake Bay area to visit family, fish, and swim. I am a speaker on real estate law. I have been interviewed about construction & community associations law on podcasts and for print media. In April 2015, I presented an Ethics in Foreclosure segment in a comprehensive Real Estate Foreclosure Law continuing education seminar. In March 2019, I presented a seminar about Short-Term Rentals in Virginia Condominiums to the Real Estate Section of the Fairfax Bar Association. In September 2020, I presented a HOA Regulation of Holiday Displays and Political Signage segment in a Community Associations Law continuing education seminar sponsored by the Fairfax Bar Association.


Service Area

Fairfax County, Fairfax City, Falls Church, Arlington County, Alexandria, Prince William County, Manassas, Loudoun County, Montgomery County, Frederick County, Howard County, Prince George’s County, and Washington, D.C.

  • Virginia, Maryland & Washington D.C.

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