General Litigation & Trial Practice

As a mid-sized regional law firm tracing its roots back into the 1880s, Jackson & Campbell has earned a long-standing reputation as one of the premier litigation firms in this area. Indeed, litigation is the common denominator that cuts through virtually all of the firm’s practice areas. Preserving and building on our reputation among the judiciary and in the legal community as vigorous, effective and principled advocates is central to the firm’s collective sense of mission. The firm’s ability to consistently produce first-class legal work, coupled with creativity and integrity, is what gives our clients an unparalleled edge in the litigation arena.

Our Litigation and Trial Practice Group offers our clients:

  • Efficient and cost-effective dispute resolution
  • Tailored advice on the options and advantages of arbitration, formal and informal mediation, and adjudication in federal courts, state courts and administrative agencies
  • Creative strategic analysis and litigation planning
  • Skillful and articulate advocacy in written briefs, oral arguments and at trial
  • Existing expertise in a wide range of substantive areas
  • Prompt reporting of case activity
  • Skilled use of technology allowing for the storage, searching, retrieval and dissemination of work product, pleadings, data bases and document collections
  • Ready access to a national pool of expert witnesses in dozens of fields
  • Realistic litigation budget plans, combined with cost-effective control of discovery and trial expenses
  • Dedication, transparency and integrity in our client relations

The bottom line is that with General Litigation and Trial Practice lawyers, Jackson & Campbell’s clients receive absolute commitment to the vigorous advocacy of their interests in all phases of dispute resolution.

Our efforts to assist our clients do not stop there: We take as much pride in assisting clients find solutions that do not involve litigation as we do in successfully litigating their cases. Our lawyers are experienced negotiators who can propose and implement dispute resolution strategies that may lead to a favorable outcome without the need for litigation. We also strive to help our clients modify their internal practices so as to minimize the frequency and risks of litigation by providing counseling services in such areas as problem-solving, risk management and implementation of appropriate internal controls. Our lawyers are regularly asked to put on private seminars for our clients on issues relevant to their risk management needs.

The General Litigation and Trial Practice Group brings sophistication and a broad base of expertise to the litigation matters of our clients. Our members also serve the firm’s other practice groups, lending our trial expertise to the needs of all the firm’s clients, particularly in coordination with the Health Law, Insurance Coverage, Tax Law, and Real Property and Asset Management practice groups.

In addition to serving other practice groups within the firm, the General Litigation and Trial Practice Group offers expertise in such areas as:

  • Personal Injury and Wrongful Death
  • Products Liability Defense
  • Architects & Engineers Professional Liability
  • Premises Liability
  • Construction Defect and Delay Claims
  • Breach of Contract and Other Commercial Disputes
  • Corporate Governance and Derivative Litigation
  • Employment, Discrimination and Civil Rights Claims
  • Employment Tax Claims
  • IRS Collection Disputes: Liens and Levies
  • Defamation, Libel and Slander
  • Government Contract Qualifications & Reviews
  • Creditors’ Rights
  • Claims against Securities Brokers and Dealers including NASD Arbitrations
  • Representation of Bankruptcy Trustees, Debtors and Defendants in Adversary Proceedings
  • Representation of Real Estate Purchasers, Brokers and Agents against Claims of Violations of State and Federal Anti-Foreclosure Laws
  • Unfair Trade Practices and Non-Compete Agreement Litigation
  • Representation of Taxpayers in Disputes with the Internal Revenue Service or state tax authorities
  • Anti-Foreclosure Law Defense: We have successfully defended Anti-Foreclosure Law claims in Queen Anne’s County, MD.
  • Architects & Engineers Professional Liability: We have defended architects and engineers in cases involving alleged errors and omissions arising out of designs ranging from the unusual (underground stormwater retention systems, restoration of concrete garage and related structures, environmental containment systems, sophisticated research laboratories) to the mundane.
  • Building Material Failure: We have represented the builder of town homes to pursue claims for defective plywood. Our firm has also handled numerous other construction defect lawsuits involving concrete, polyurethane coatings, exterior insulation and finish systems and polybutylene pipe.
  • Construction Litigation: We have represented building owners, general contractors, subcontractors, architects and engineers against allegations of construction defects that resulted in property damage and personal injury, as well as delay claims for consequential damages.
  • Premises Liability: We have successfully defended claims against premises owners, including retail establishments, alleging civil rights violations, false arrest, assault, battery, defamation and personal injury negligence.
  • Product Liability Claims: Our lawyers have defended a diverse array of product liability claims, as illustrated by a short list of products that have been the subject of claims: lead-based paint, asbestos-containing materials, shotguns, cruise ship lifts, railway track equipment, industrial conveyors, and a broad range of paper-making machinery.
  • Toxic Exposures and Mold Claims: In separate proceedings in ten states, we successfully defended the manufacturer of a building product which allegedly gave off toxic fumes. We have defended contactors and building owners against mold claims in new home and condominium construction. We have represented manufacturers and suppliers of lead-based paint and asbestos-containing products.
  • Federal Tax: We have successfully represented nonprofit organizations in obtaining or retaining their tax exempt status, when challenged by the IRS. We have also represented executives of non-profits, and defended compensation levels as reasonable thus avoiding imposition of §4958 excess benefits excise tax (public charities) or §4941 self-dealing excise tax (private foundations).
  • IRS Collection Due Process Hearings/Tax Court proceedings: We are representing taxpayers against aggressive IRS lien/levy collection activities, and have had favorable results to preserve and protect our clients’ assets. When necessary, we recommend and negotiate Offers in Compromise between the taxpayer client and the IRS.
  • IRS Employment Taxes/Civil Penalties: We routinely represent employers with alleged employment tax deficiencies, obtaining favorable results from the IRS.
  • March 2018
    Court Rejects Fifth Circuit’s “Substantial Need” Test For Funding Under 18 U.S.C. sec. 3599(f)

    Under 18 U.S.C. sec. 3599(f), a defendant charged with a crime punishable by death can petition the trial court for funds that would be “reasonably necessary” for investigative, expert, or other services needed for the defense. In Ayestas v. Davis, a man sentenced to death made such a petition to support his federal habeas claim for ineffective assistance of... Read More >

  • March 2018
    Court Permits State Court Jurisdiction Over Securities Class Actions

    In Cyan, Inc. v. Beaver County Employees Retirement Fund, the Fund purchased shares in Cyan which then declined in value, prompting the Fund and others to file a class action suit against Cyan in state court under the Securities Act of 1933. Cyan argued that the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act of 1998, as it amended the 1933 Act,... Read More >

  • March 2018
    Collective Bargaining Agreements Must Be Interpreted Under Ordinary Principles of Contract Law

    In a per curiam opinion in CNH Industrial N.V. v. Reese, the Court reversed the Sixth Circuit’s decision to apply its precedent to render a collective bargaining agreement ambiguous as a matter of law. In a previous case, M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, 574 U.S. ___ (2015), the Court required the Sixth Circuit to interpret such agreements using... Read More >

  • March 2018
    Prisoner’s Attorneys’ Fee Award Must First Come From The Judgment

    Murphy v. Smith Under 42 U.S.C. sec. 1997e(d)(2), a prisoner who prevails in a civil rights suit, and receives an attorneys’ fee award, has a portion of his judgment, not to exceed 25 percent, applied to that award. When Charles Murphy won his suit against two prison guards, the district court ordered that Murphy pay ten percent of his attorney’s... Read More >

  • March 2018
    Court Restricts Collections Efforts Under Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act

    In Rubin v. Islamic Republic of Iran, certain parties obtained a judgment against Iran under the state sponsors of terrorism exception to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. They then sought to enforce that judgment against Iranian historical artifacts housed at the University of Chicago. The district court declined to permit the attachment, and the Seventh Circuit affirmed. The Court,... Read More >

  • March 2018
    Guilty Plea Does Not Bar A Constitutional Challenge To Conviction

    Class v. United States When Rodney Class was indicted for possessing firearms in his locked vehicle parked at the U.S. Capitol, he moved to dismiss on the basis that the law violated his Second Amendment and Due Process rights under the Constitution. The district court declined Class’ motion, and he entered into a written plea agreement, which did not expressly... Read More >

  • March 2018
    Court Reads Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Law Narrowly, Excludes Internal Whistleblower

    Digital Realty Trust, Inc. v. Somers In 2014, Paul Somers, a vice president for a real estate investment trust, reported to senior management several suspected securities-law violations by the trust. He was subsequently terminated. He brought suit claiming protection as a whistleblower as defined under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, which defines whistleblowers as... Read More >

  • March 2018
    United States Permitted To Intervene In Water Dispute Between States

    In an original action concerning water rights agreed to between several states under the Rio Grande Compact, Texas argued that New Mexico was permitting its users to siphon off more water than the Compact permitted. The United States sought to intervene, making the same claims as Texas, in part because New Mexico’s actions depleted a reservoir through which the Government... Read More >

  • March 2018
    Insider Status In Bankruptcy Reviewed For Clear Error, Not De Novo

    In U.S. Bank, N.A. v. Village at Lakeridge, LLC, the Village petitioned for Chapter 11 bankruptcy with two primary creditors, U.S. Bank and an insider owner. It needed consent to enter into a “cramdown” reorganization plan, but U.S. Bank refused to consent, and the insider was statutorily unable to provide consent. To fix the problem, the insider owner transferred... Read More >

  • February 2018
    Immigrants Detained By The Government Not Entitled To Bond Hearings

    Under immigration law, applicants for admission to the United States may be detained by the Government until certain proceedings have concluded. Nothing in the applicable statutes limit the duration of detention, nor mention bond hearings. In Jennings v. Rodriguez, an immigrant filed a habeas corpus suit arguing that he should be entitled to a bond hearing once his detention... Read More >

  • February 2018
    Fractured Court Acknowledges Congress’ Power To Abridge Court Jurisdiction Mid-Case

    While a case was pending in federal district court regarding a taking of land into trust on behalf of an Indian Tribe, Congress passed the Gun Lake Trust Land Reaffirmation Act, which provided that suits relating to the land “shall not be filed or maintained in a Federal court and shall be promptly dismissed.” The plaintiff argued that the law... Read More >

  • February 2018
    Court Narrows Bankruptcy Safe Harbor Provision

    In Merit Management Group, LP v. FTI Consulting, Inc., the Court addressed 11 U.S.C. sec. 548(e), which allows bankruptcy trustees to set aside and recover certain transfers for the benefit of the bankruptcy estate, but not a “settlement payment . . . made by or to (or for the benefit of) a . . . financial institution . ... Read More >

  • February 2018
    DC Circuit Reverses Attempt At Currency Conversion Through Rule 59(e)

    The case of Leidos, Inc. v. Hellenic Republic is a study in “be careful what you wish for.” After requesting an arbitration award in euros, and obtaining a judgment from the federal district court confirming that award in euros, Leidos, Inc. moved under Fed. R. Civ. P. 59(e) to convert that award to U.S. dollars, nunc pro tunc to... Read More >

  • January 2018
    Challenges to EPA “Waters of the United States” Rule Must Be Filed In Federal District Court

    The Clean Water Act limits the discharge of pollutants into “navigable waters,” which is defined by Congress as “the waters of the United States.” The EPA issued a Rule to define that term. While most agency rules are properly challenged in the federal district courts, the Act required challenges to rules issuing “any effluent limitation” or “issuing or denying any... Read More >

  • January 2018
    Court Holds That Tolling Statute “Stopped The Clock” On State Law Claims, Instead Of Providing A “Grace Period”

    In Artis v. District of Columbia, Artis filed a suit against D.C. in federal court with a federal discrimination claim and some state claims. Two and a half years later, the district court dismissed the federal claim, and with it dismissed the state claims for lack of jurisdiction. Under 28 USC sec. 1367(d), the “period of limitations” for re-filing the... Read More >

  • January 2018
    Court Finds Probable Cause To Arrest Partygoers For Unlawful Entry

    When police officers busted a raucous party being held in a vacant house, some of the partygoers said that “Peaches” owned the house and allowed the party. On the phone, though, Peaches admitted she had no such authority, and the true owner told police he had never given anyone permission to be there. The officers arrested the partygoers for violating... Read More >

  • November 2017
    Supreme Court Clarifies Which Deadlines Are Jurisdictional

    In Hamer v. Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago, the Court, in a unanimous opinion by Justice Ginsburg, set forth a clear and easy way to tell whether a deadline is jurisdictional, and cannot be waived or extended, or is merely a “claim-processing rule” that can be extended: deadlines provided by statute are jurisdictional, while deadlines provided by court rules are... Read More >

  • August 2017
    Upcoming Event: How Women Lead

    How Women Lead Featuring Flora D. Darpino, 39th U.S. Army Judge Advocate General... Read More >

  • June 2017
    Court Rules That District Courts Can Hear Mixed Cases Dismissed For Lack Of Jurisdiction, Over Justice Gorsuch’s First Dissent

    In Perry v. Merit Systems Protection Board, the Court had to determine which federal court could hear an appeal from the Board’s decision that it lacked jurisdiction to hear a federal employee’s case. When Perry was fired from his job with the U.S. Census Bureau, he claimed discrimination (making his case a “mixed” one), but then signed a settlement agreeing... Read More >

  • June 2017
    Court Applies Five-Year Limitations Period to SEC Disgorgement Actions

    In Kokesh v. Securities and Exchange Commission, the SEC sought to force Kokesh to disgorge millions he had misappropriated from various businesses from 1995 to 2009. While the Supreme Court had long held that a five-year limitations period applied to any SEC “action, suit or proceeding for the enforcement of any civil fine, penalty, or forfeiture,” the district court held... Read More >

  • June 2017
    Supreme Court Limits Government's Power to Seize Personal Property

    The Comprehensive Forfeiture Act mandates forfeiture of “any property constituting, or derived from, any proceeds the person obtained, directly or indirectly, as the result of” certain drug crimes. After brothers Tony and Terry Honeycutt were indicted for such drug crimes for selling a particular chemical through a hardware store Tony owned, Tony pled guilty and agreed to forfeit the bulk... Read More >

  • June 2017
    An ERISA Church Pension Plan Need Not Be Established by a Church

    Originally, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act exempted “church plans” from a variety of rules designed to ensure solvency, and defined those plans as having been “established and maintained . . . for its employees . . . by a church.” Later, Congress amended this exception to include “a plan maintained by an organization . . . the principal purpose... Read More >

  • June 2017
    Court Affirms Virginia Court’s Application Of Juvenile Punishment Standards

    In Graham v. Florida, 560 U.S. 48 (2010), the Court held that juvenile defendants convicted of nonhomicide offenses could not be sentenced to life without parole. Virginia had already abolished parole and instead replaced it with a “geriatric release” program which allowed older inmates to receive conditional release. In Virginia v. LeBlanc, LeBlanc was sentenced to life in prison for... Read More >

  • June 2017
    Patent Holders May Not Use Federal Law To Issue Injunctions Against Applicants For Biosimilar Products

    The Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act of 2009 provides an abbreviated process for the FDA to approve drugs that are biosimilar to already licensed biological products. The Act, in part, requires an applicant for a biosimilar product to provide its application and manufacturing information to the patent holder within 20 days of the date the FDA notifies the applicant... Read More >

  • June 2017
    Court Again Limits Ability To Appeal Denial Of Class Certification

    Consumers who purchased Xbox 360s sued Microsoft both individually and as a class. The district court struck the class allegations, refusing to certify the class. The Ninth Circuit refused to hear the appeal of that ruling under Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(f), which allows such interlocutory appeals only by permission of the court of appeals. Instead of pursuing their individual... Read More >

  • June 2017
    Court Again Limits Forum-Shopping In Suits Against Nationwide Companies

    In Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of Cal., San Francisco City, a number of users of the drug Plavix sued the maker in California for alleged health problems caused by the drug, despite the fact that hardly any of the users lived in that state, and Bristol-Myers being incorporated in Delaware and headquartered in New York. None of the... Read More >

  • June 2017
    Supreme Court: Posting To Facebook Is A First Amendment Right

    A North Carolina law made it a felony for a registered sex offender “to access a commercial social networking Web site where the sex offender knows that the site permits minor children to become members or to create or maintain personal Web pages.” When a sex offender posted on Facebook about getting a traffic ticket dismissed, he was convicted and... Read More >

  • June 2017
    Supreme Court Clarifies Expert Psychiatric Assistance In Indigent Defendant Cases

    The Court had previously held in Ake v. Oklahoma, 470 U.S. 68 (1985), that when an indigent defendant’s mental condition is relevant to his criminal culpability, the State must provide that defendant with access to a mental health expert who is sufficiently available to the defense, and independent from the prosecution, to conduct a psychiatric examination and “assist in evaluation,... Read More >

  • June 2017
    SCOTUS: Disparaging Trademarks Have First Amendment Protection

    The Lanham Act has a provision prohibiting the registration of trademarks that “disparage . . . or bring . . . into contemp[t] or disrepute” and “persons, living or dead.” Simon Tam, lead singer of the Japanese rock band “The Slants” sued when the band’s name was denied registration. The Federal Circuit held that the disparagement clause was facially unconstitutional... Read More >

  • June 2017
    Supreme Court Rejects Gender-Based Differentiation In Immigration Law

    The Immigration and Naturalization Act provided that a child born abroad to a father who was a U.S. citizen and a mother who was not was eligible for U.S. citizenship if the father had spent ten years in the U.S., with at least five of those years after turning 14. If the mother was the U.S. citizen, however, the mother... Read More >

  • June 2017
    Justice Gorsuch’s First Majority Opinion Is A Win For Debt Purchasers

    In Henson v. Santander Consumer USA, Inc., Justice Gorsuch authored the unanimous decision in a decidedly conversational tone, holding that an entity that purchases another’s debt and then seeks to collect that debt is not a “debt collector” under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and thus is not beholden to that Act’s strictures for debt collection. The Act defines... Read More >

  • June 2016
    VA: Foreclosure Purchasers Face New Potential Hurdle In Virginia

    In Parrish v. Federal National Mortgage Association, the Virginia Supreme Court ruled 5-2 that when a defendant raises a bona fide question of the plaintiff's title in an unlawful detainer/ejectment action before the General District Court, that court loses subject matter over the case and the plaintiff must vindicate its title in the Circuit Court, thereby creating another... Read More >