Declan Leonard leads the Employment Law practice at Berenzweig Leonard, where he and his team work with companies and executives in the Washington Metropolitan area and throughout the United States to navigate the maze of employment and business laws with an eye towards minimizing legal risks in order for clients to maximize revenue. Declan attained a Senior Professional in Human Resource (SPHR) certification, the highest certification in the field of human resources. He is one of the few practicing employment lawyers in the D.C. region to have received this certification.

Background

Declan regularly advises companies and executives in all facets of the employment relationship, from the hiring stage through the termination process.  He is intricately knowledgeable about the numerous federal and state laws and regulations affecting the workplace, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).  Declan also has extensive experience in handling non-compete and trade secret disputes that often arise during workplace transitions.

Declan has extensive experience in business litigation, including prosecution and defense of breach of business contracts, allegations of conspiracy to injure business, and collection of accounts receivables.  In addition, Declan has handled a multitude of corporate transactional work for the firm’s business clients, including the negotiation and preparation of asset purchase agreements, stock transfer agreements, joint venture/teaming agreements, and corporate formation documents.

Recognition and Certifications

  • Superlawyer, Employment Law, Business Law, Law & Politics Magazine (2015-2017)
  • Legal Elite, Virginia Business Magazine (2015-2017)
  • Leader in the Law, Virginia Lawyers Weekly (2016)
  • Centers of Influence award, Washington SmartCEO (2016)
  • Virginia Top-Rated Lawyer, Wall Street Journal (2015)
  • Legal Elite, Smart CEO (2012)
  • Senior Professional in Human Resource (SPHR) certification (2012)

Recent Representative Matters

(DISCLAIMER: THERE ARE A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE, AND THE CASE RESULTS STATED BELOW DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE UNDERTAKEN BY DECLAN LEONARD OR BERENZWEIG LEONARD)

  • Represented defendant employer in lawsuit by an employee’s former employer claiming over $55 Million in damages alleging breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, conversion, violation of the Arkansas, North Carolina, and Virginia trade secret laws, intentional interference with business expectancies, and unjust enrichment; successfully preserved entirety of decision on appeal with affirmance in full by the Fourth Circuit. Integrated Direct Marketing, LLC v. Drew May and Merkle, Inc., 129 F.Supp.3d 336, 339 (E.D. Va. 2015); aff’d, No. 16-1032 (4th Cir. 2017).
  • Represented defendant financial institution in lawsuit by plaintiff alleging causes of action under various federal statutes with respect to compliance with IRS notices of levy; motion to dismiss granted with prejudice on all counts and affirmed on appeal. Satterlee v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, et al., Case No. 15-1387-ABJ, (D.D.C. July 5, 2016), aff’d Case No. 16-5342 (D.C. Cir. Mar. 31, 2017).
  • Represented defendant employer in lawsuit by former employee alleging pregnancy discrimination under Title VII; lawsuit voluntarily dismissed with prejudice by former employee shortly after responding to complaint. Fair v. ThreatConnect, Inc., Civil Action No.: 1:16-cv-00914-CMH-IDD (E. D. Va. Jan. 3, 2017).
  • Represented defendant employer in lawsuit by former employee alleging discrimination and retaliation under USERRA; motion for summary judgment granted and affirmed on appeal. Washington v. Coastal Int’l Sec., Civil Action No.: 14-0331-DKC, 2015 WL 4396616 (D. Md. July 16, 2015), aff’d, 633 F. App’x 186, 2016 WL 758034 (4th Cir. 2016).
  • Represented defendant employer in lawsuit by former employee alleging disability discrimination and failure to accommodate under the ADA. Mannion v. Attain, LLC, Case No. CAL 16-07507, (Md. Cir. Ct. 2016).
  • Represented plaintiff in corporate embezzlement case; obtained judgment for plaintiff including award of attorneys’ fees and successfully defended judgment on appeal. Maia Institute Holding, Inc. v. Ferreira (Va. Gen. Dist. Ct. Mar. 23, 2015, aff’d Ct. July 9, 2015).
  • Represented defendant executive with respect to a personal guaranty on a corporate line of credit; secured dismissal of all counts filed against executive client. SunTrust Bank v. Advanced Business Concepts, Inc. et al. (Va. Cir. Ct. July 1, 2016).
  • Represented defendant IT company in lawsuit by former contractor alleging breach of contract, including alleged breach of various restrictive covenants; successfully defended against motion for temporary restraining order. Top5, Inc. v. Core Point Consulting, Inc., Case No. 1:13-cv-1510-JFM, (D. Md 2013).
  • Achieved dismissal of all counts against government contractor alleging gender and racial discrimination, retaliation, and unequal pay. Cashwell v. Attain, LLC et al., 1:12-cv-522 (E.D.Va. 2012).
  • Represented defendant employer in lawsuit by former employee alleging racial discrimination and retaliation under Title VII; motion for summary judgment granted with prejudice on all counts. White v. Ameritel Corporation, Civil Action No. 8:10-cv-00929, (D.Md. 2011).
  • Represented defendant government contractor and former executive in lawsuit by former employer alleging breach of duty of loyalty and fiduciary duty, breach of contract, violation of Virginia’s Uniform Trade Secrets Act, and intentional interference with contract; successfully defended against a motion to expedite discovery with the court specifically finding that the former employer was unlikely to succeed on the merits and could not show irreparable harm. ForceX, Inc. v. Technology Fusion, LLCet al., Case No. 4:11-CV-88, 2011 WL 2560110, (E.D. Va. June 27, 2011).
  • Conducted internal investigation for staffing services contractor regarding alleged Service Contract Act violations and represented client’s interests with the Department of Labor.

Pro Bono Experience/Community Involvement

  • Legal Services of Northern Virginia, Pro Bono Employment Law Volunteer
  • Faculty Member, Virginia State Bar Harry L. Carrico Professionalism Course

Publications and Presentations

  • Presenter, “Human Resource Law: What You Need to Know Now,” National Business Institute CLE (October 4, 2017)
  • Author, “Real World Employment Law” blog, 2010 to present
  • Contributor, @ Work Employment Column, Washington Post (2015 to present)
  • “Joint Employer Doctrine Could Spell More Litigation Trouble,” DRI (2015)
  • Washington Business Journal featured employment law monthly columnist (2007)
  • “Keeping Up With Noncompete Law in Virginia,” Virginia Lawyers Weekly,  (September 25, 2006)
  • “Ex Parte Contacts With Employees: Rules Not Always Clear Cut,” Virginia Lawyers Weekly (February 27, 2006)
  • “Health Reimbursement Arrangements, Health Saving Accounts, and COBRA,” Lorman Education Services presentation (December 1, 2005)
  • “Arbitration: A Comprehensive Overview,” Virginia State Bar Continuing Legal Education presentation (April 12, 2005)
  • “Virtually Identical Job Duties Needed for Equal Pay Act Claim,” SHRM HR Magazine (February, 2005)
  • “Cell Phone Use While Driving Can Pose Legal Liability for Employers,” Atlantic Coast In-House Counsel publication (January, 2005)
  • “Legal Issues for Starting a New Business,” Arlington Bar Association presentation (September 30, 2004)
  •  “U.S. Supreme Court Clarifies Constructive Discharge in Title VII Cases,” Atlantic Coast In-House Counsel publication (July, 2004)
  • “Lawsuit-Free Hiring and Firing,” National Institute of Business Management presentation (June 9, 2004)
  • “Workplace Monitoring: Balancing Business Interests with Employee Privacy Rights,” SHRM Legal Report (May-June, 2003)
  • “Current Issues in Labor and Employment Law,” American Bar Association presentation (May, 2002)

Professional Memberships

  • Fairfax County Bar Association (former Chair, Employment Law Section)
  • Arlington County Bar Association (former Chair, Business Law Section)
  • Northern Virginia Technology Council
  • Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce