Lawsuits & Disputes

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Lawsuits & Disputes

McClanahan Powers has earned its reputation through every win, every negotiation, and every favorable settlement. These successes translated into huge victories and successes for their clients. Our attorneys are trained to be technical, resourceful, aggressive, and professional. We strive to bring value to our clients, so cost control for the client, especially in disputes is critical, which is something we work with our clients closely to manage. In addition, our attorneys work with their clients to help them navigate the challenges that they can find in business dealings, negotiations, and disputes. Our attorneys have been recognized as some of the best litigators and negotiators out there. Our attorneys represent clients in litigation, mediation, and arbitration throughout the country. As a result of our repeated and continued success (resourcefulness/cost management), we have become one of the most highly rated and respected litigation law firms. We have represented fortune 500 companies and have been asked to handle lawsuits and litigation matters in Virginia for some of the biggest law firms in the United States.

Business Litigation

Our firm’s business attorneys work with businesses of all sizes to protect and enforce their legal rights. Generally, under Virginia law, a business or a business owner cannot represent the business in court without a legal representative, except for the limited circumstances identified in Virginia Code § 16.1-81.1. certain corporations; pro se representation. As a result, it is incumbent on the business to obtain an attorney to represent it in litigation. If the business owner or business proceeds to attempt to represent itself, these actions will be seen as void with no legal effect before the Court. As a consequence, the business may suffer a default or it could lose its claim if the statute of limitations has expired in the case.

Does Your Business Have Insurance?

A big mistake business owners make is to not report to their insurance carrier.

Employment Litigation

Employment litigation includes issues such as wrongful termination for discrimination (Title VII claims), termination in violation of public policy, hostile work environment, violations of the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), and violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). Our firm’s employment lawyers are experienced in handling claims on behalf of the employer and the employee. Many of these claims require that the employee follow grievance procedures with strict statute of limitations guidelines before they can bring a lawsuit.

Employment Procedures and Timelines

The employee and the employer must understand these procedures and the timelines for reporting a claim or following a lawsuit so that they can protect and enforce their legal rights. In addition, many states, including Virginia, have state-based protections in place that can impact these procedures and the timeline to file claims. It is extremely important that parties involved in employment litigation speak with a skilled and experienced Virginia employment lawyer to determine their legal rights.

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District of Columbia - Office of Employee Appeals ("OEA")

The employment lawyers of McClanahan Powers work with employees, who have matters with the Office of Employee Appeals (“OEA”) in the District of Columbia. The OEA is a specialized system available to employees in the District of Columbia who work for the District of Columbia. Much like the protections afforded to individuals in the federal system, the OEA provides employees with resources and additional protections not otherwise available to non-qualifying employees.

This system is well built with a very effective internal system consisting of administrative judges and internal appeal processes. However, the timing to file an action in this system is extremely short. You may have 30 days or less to properly file to avail yourself to the system and protections. Our attorneys have handled cases in the Office of Employee Appeals and appeals from the OEA to the D.C. Superior Court.

As an employee, you need to take steps to protect and enforce your legal rights. There is a lot to know in this process and it can be confusing to navigate. Experienced counsel can alleviate those burdens and assist you in bringing a successful claim. Don’t wait! If you believe you have a case, have been wrongfully terminated, reprimanded, or had an adverse employment action as a D.C. agency employee, call the DC employment lawyers at McClanahan Powers.

The OEA Process

Virginia Construction Litigation

There are many moving pieces on the typical construction site. Inevitably, this fast-paced environment leads to mistakes or delays. In light of the necessity to allocate risk for these occurrences, it is essential to consult an experienced Virginia construction lawyer. The allocation of risk is best addressed in a written contract between the parties. An effective construction contract should address such issues as change orders, dispute resolution procedures, claim procedures, payment terms, site conditions, notice, and damages for delays. For example, a construction contract typically requires change orders to be approved in writing prior to the performance of the work. It is important to be aware of all contractual provisions before a contractor invests additional time and money on the project.

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Wage & Hour Litigation

A Department of Labor (“DOL”) investigation from the wage and hour division can be terrible and devastating to some businesses.  Although DOL investigations can occur from random selection, they are more frequently a result of a current or past employee complaint. They are becoming even more common as a result of the strict compliance guidelines set forth by the wage and hour division. If the DOL investigation turns up problems in your personnel files, payroll methodology, or employee payments it can completely cripple or bankrupt a business.  If the DOL investigator discovers problems, the business employer can be responsible for back wages going back two or three years, as well as liquidated damages for money owed, meaning double the amount owed. Our employment and labor attorneys work with clients before and after the DOL investigation begins. Before the DOL investigation, we work with the business employer to prepare for and prevent liability exposure. In pursuit of this goal, we will arrange a bi-annual or annual employment audit of the business to be certain that it is remaining compliant with current DOL guidelines.

Mitigating Damage and Working with the Department of Labor (DOL)

After the DOL investigation has commenced we work with employers to dispute liability, mitigate damage, negotiate with the Department of Labor investigator, and assist in DOL compliance as necessary. These can be very expensive problems if not addressed properly and preparation and experience are tantamount to handling a DOL investigation. We strongly encourage businesses to involve experienced employment or labor law attorney at an early stage in the investigation, as problems and issues that were not addressed early on can lead to significant future problems that the DOL investigator may uncover.

Fiduciary Duty and Self Dealing

Occasionally lawsuits arise regarding a breach of fiduciary duty. A common example of this is when the fiduciary violates his duty of loyalty to the assets or rights of another party by “self-dealing”. An example of a breach of fiduciary duty is when a corporate director or a corporation or manager of a limited liability company keeps business opportunities for themselves instead of providing them to the company. This type of self-dealing is a breach of fiduciary duty to the company, its members, or shareholders, as applicable.  Fiduciary litigation can be extremely complex and factually intensive, as you are scrutinizing the specific decisions or actions of the fiduciary.

Trademark Litigation

Attorneys at the firm protect clients’ trademarks in actions before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. The TTAB is an administrative board that handles adversary proceedings involving trademarks. This includes oppositions during registration, where a party opposes the registration of a mark after notice has been published in the Official Gazette. The TTAB also hears matters involving:

  • Cancellations of existing trademarks
  • Trademark interference and concurrent use issues
  • Appeals

If you have received a notice of opposition or notice concerning another action before the TTAB, it is important to respond. Ignoring an opposition or other action can put your trademark in jeopardy. Hearings before the TTAB are similar to a trial and follow the civil rules of procedure. You risk losing your trademark and your registration fee.

McClanahan Powers is conveniently located less than 18 miles away from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the government agency that handles federal trademark issues. In the event the online filing system is temporarily down, we can file in person. Consequently, should this matter go to an appeal, not only is McClanahan Powers located near both Courts but our attorneys are already licensed in both Courts.