As a former United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Virginia and a former partner in one of the largest law firms in the world, Walt brings unique insight to high stakes litigation. He has extensive experience representing both plaintiffs and defendants in disputes between businesses, particularly in the areas of antitrust, intellectual property and securities.
As a judge, he presided over thousands of cases encompassing all areas of the law and authored 50 published opinions. He also sat by designation on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and authored six appellate opinions. As a lawyer, Walt has tried more than 25 jury cases, obtaining verdicts for his clients in cases ranging from monopolization and resale price fixing, to the Robinson-Patman Act, to patent infringement.
Walt has negotiated settlements for companies, across industries, that were targeted by international cartels, and has served as counsel in numerous shareholder and partnership disputes. He has argued appeals in the Third, Fourth, and Ninth Circuits, as well as state appellate courts.
In addition to maintaining an active trial docket, Walt serves as a mediator and arbitrator for business related disputes. He has mediated cases involving patent infringement, defective tax shelters, mergers and acquisitions, minority shareholder oppression and international distribution contracts. He has served as an arbitrator for cases involving copyright infringement, trademark infringement, insurance coverage, breach of M&A post-closing covenants, and dissolution of closely held corporations.
Washington & Lee University School of Law (magna cum laude, Order of the Coif), 1981; Lead Articles Editor of Law Review
Washington & Lee University, B.A., (cum laude), 1977. Omicron Delta Kappa, Pi Eta Sigma
District of Columbia
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
United States Supreme Court
Walt’s commitment to public service and to his community is evident from the many volunteer leadership positions he has held, including serving on the Board of Visitors for Old Dominion University, the Board of Directors of the Norfolk Botanical Garden Foundation, and the Hampton Roads Board of the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center. Walt also served as an Adjunct Professor of Antitrust Law and Federal Jurisdiction at Regent Law School in Virginia. In addition:
American Arbitration Association Roster of Arbitrators (2018 to present)
International Trade Commission Roster of Mediators for Section 337 Investigations (2009 to present)
Co-Found and Master, Pauline Newman Intellectual Property Inn of Court (2011 to present) Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America (2016 to present)
The Life Guard Society of Historic Mount Vernon (2011 to present)
Commissioner, Independent Bipartisan Advisory Commission on Redistricting in VA (2011)
Distinguished Alumnus Award – Washington & Lee University (2006) Distinguished Alumni Award – Norfolk Collegiate School (2005) Permanent Member, Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference (2004 to present)
Rector (2000 to 2002) and Member (2000 to 2004) Old Dominion U. Board of Visitors Virginia Business Higher Education Council (2000 to 2004)
Advisory Board of SouthTrust Bank (1997 to 2004)
Chairman (1994 to 1998) and Director (1991 to 2004) Hampton Roads Board of The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center
Attorney General’s Task Force on Higher Education (2003) Trustee (1990 to 2003) Norfolk Collegiate School Chairman, Republican Party of Norfolk (1997 to 2000)
Board of Directors, Norfolk Botanical Garden Foundation (1999 to present)
President (1992-93) and Director (1986 to 1996) Washington & Lee Law Alumni Association
Clerked for the Honorable Ellsworth A. Van Graafeiland of the United States District Court for the Second Circuit (1981-82)
- "Issues in Modern Cross-Border Mass Torts Litigation," ABA Litigation Section, Mass Torts Committee Telephone Program (April 9, 2019)
- "Antitrust in the Amazon World," ABA Antitrust Section, Pricing Conduct Committee Telephone Program (May 31, 2018)
- "Winning Your Case Before Trial: Tips and Advice for Maximizing a Mock Trial," ABA Litigation Section, Mass Torts Committee Telephone Program (March 30, 2018)
- "Here Comes The Judge," presented at the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association’s Annual Meeting (March 2018)
- "Antitrust: Collaboration or Collusion," presented at the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association’s Annual Meeting (March 2017)
- "Judges' Panel - Expert Evidence and the Role of Experts," presented at the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property World Congress (Sept. 2016)
- "Governmental Liabilities and Immunities," presented at the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association Annual Meeting (March 2016)
- "Hot Topics in Copyrights," presented at the Pauline Newman IP Inn of Court (Oct. 2015)
- "Current Issues in NPE Litigation," presented at the Pauline Newman IP Inn of Court (Nov. 2012)
- "The Economic Aspects of Intellectual Property," presented at the Pauline Newman IP Inn of Court (March 2012)
- "Mediation and Arbitration Clauses in Corporate Agreements: Do We Want Them? What Should They Say? How Far Can They Go?" presented at Virginia Bar Association’s Annual Summer Meeting (July 2010)
- "Markman Practice: A Practical Approach to Brief Writing and Hearing Presentation," presented at Indiana CLE Foundation Litigation Summit (Nov. 2008)
- "Intellectual Property Litigation in United States District Courts," presented at Chinese Hi-tech Enterprise and US IP Litigation Strategy forum (May 2007)
- "Antitrust Litigation Ethics: From Soup To Nuts," ABA Section of Antitrust Law (April 2007)
- "Educating Yourself About Electronic Discovery," presented at the Virginia Bar Association's Annual Meeting (Jan. 2007)
- "Current Trends in Architectural Copyright Law," presented at the National Association of Home Builders (Jan. 2006)
- "Common Pitfalls in Patent Infringement Litigation," presented at the Seventh Annual Intellectual Property Symposium, University of Texas School of Law (Feb. 2006)
- "Business Divorces: When Closely Held Companies Fall Apart," presented at Norfolk Circuit Court Bench/Bar Conference (April 2006)
- "Practicing Law in a House of Mirrors: Dilemmas Posed by Shifting Alliances and Latent Conflicts When Representing Multiple Parties," presented at the Virginia State Bar’s Annual Meeting (June 2006)
- "Federal Sentencing After United States v. Booker," presented by Norfolk-Portsmouth Bar Ass’n (July 2006)
- "Architectural Copyright Law: Current Trends and Tips," presented at the National Association of Home Builders annual meeting (Jan. 2003)
- "Architectural Copyright Law and Practice," presented at the Virginia Society of the American Institute of Architects annual meeting (Nov. 2002)
- "Insider Tips and Tricks of the Trade: What Every Young Litigator Should Know," presented at the Virginia Bar Association’s 112th Annual Meeting (Jan. 2002)
- "Chair Disputes in Closely Held Businesses," sponsored by Committee on Continuing Legal Education of the Virginia Law Foundation" (Feb. 2001)
- "Antitrust, Franchise and Trade Regulation Law," sponsored by Committee on Continuing Legal Education of the Virginia Law Foundation (1990)
- "Basics of Choosing and Examining Experts," sponsored by the Continuing Legal Education Committee of the Norfolk-Portsmouth Bar Association (1989)
Walt's other publications include:
- "Antitrust And The Media," Practicing Law Institute’s Communications Law Seminar
- "Exceptions to the Recovery of Lost Profits in Virginia," VSB Litigation News - Vol. IV No. 4 (Winter 1998)
- "Recovery of Lost Profits in Virginia," VSB Litigation News - Vol. IV No. 3 (Fall 1997)
- "Vertical Restraints And Other Distribution Issues," Virginia Law Foundation (1990)
- "Antitrust Law In Virginia: A Comprehensive Digest of Federal and State Antitrust Decisions and Developments," Virginia State Bar Antitrust Law Section (1989), Co-Author
- "Antitrust Compliance Programs: They're Not Just For Big Business Anymore," 35 Va. Bar News 19 (Oct. 1986)
- "Note, Rule 10b-5: The Circuits Debate the Exclusivity of Remedies, the Purchaser-Seller Requirement, and Constructive Deception," 37 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 877 (1980)
- "Fourth Circuit Review: Employment Discrimination," 37 Wash & Lee L. Rev. 604 (1980)
WHAT OTHERS SAY
- Best Lawyer since 1997
- Commercial Litigation
- Litigation - Antitrust
- Super Lawyer, Antitrust Litigation in Washington, DC since 2014
- Outstanding Alumnus award from his alma mater, the Washington & Lee University School of Law in 2016.
- Legal Elite by Virginia Business Magazine, commending his work as a mediator and arbitrator in 2000.
- In re Thalomid and Revlimid Antitrust Litigation – Represented class of end-payors of Thalomid and Revlimid in antitrust litigation against Celgene (settled for $34 million).
Commercial & Financial Disputes
- Superior Equipment Sales, Inc. Employee Stockownership Plan, et al. v. Sherman L. Reece – Negotiated $1.8 million settlement of securities fraud and ERISA claims arising from an ESOP leveraged buyout.
- PRA Receivables Management, LLC v. CrediTrends Technology Corporation, et al. - Representing publicly traded company in suit to rescind the purchase of $200 million in credit card debt.
- Cranbrook Investors, Ltd. v. Great Atlantic Management Co. – Obtained the reversal of a grant of summary judgment in a multimillion dollar case brought by limited partner alleging fraud and breach of contract in the operation of a real estate partnership.
- Tropical Gardens, Ltd. v. Joseph – Obtained a ruling in a derivative action that officers and directors of a corporate general partner owe a fiduciary duty directly to the limited partners in the partnership.
Walt has served as counsel in numerous other majority/minority shareholder and partnership disputes, such as:
- Knopp v. Makall - Represented officers and directors in shareholder derivative action.
- Daniels v. Hecht - Represented 50% shareholder in dissolution and derivative actions.
- Brenda Egnor v. Everett Timothy Hartsfield, et al. - Represented minority shareholder in dissolution and derivative actions.
- Sutton v. Salamon, et al. – Represented minority shareholder in a direct action brought against majority shareholders of an oil services company.
- W.D. Holly, Jr., et al. v. Waste Management Inc., et al. – Represented the former top executives of a Fortune 500 corporation in an action brought by shareholders alleging fraud and violations of RICO in the preparation of corporate financial statements.
- Kiger v. Loving – Represented minority shareholder in a derivative action brought against majority shareholders of Max Media.
- Bishop v. Environmental Engineering & Technology, Inc. – Represented minority shareholder in corporate dissolution suit and in a derivative/direct action against the majority shareholder of an engineering and consulting firm.
- Pheasant, Inc. v. Klein – Represented the minority shareholder in a dissenter’s rights stock valuation proceeding conducted pursuant to Va. Code § 13.1-740.
- Creditors Trust of Marine Hydraulics Int’l, Inc. v. Hong – Represented creditors of a bankrupt shipyard in an action against a former corporate officer and director for unlawful distribution of corporate funds, breach of fiduciary duty and violations of RICO.
- Ventresca v. Jackson-Hewitt, Inc. – Represented former director of publicly traded corporation in suit to enforce stock option rights. The case was settled after the Virginia Supreme Court granted an appeal.
- Strelitz v. Arena Capital – Represented a leveraged buy out fund in a suit brought by one of its limited partners.
- BGM Rights Management (US), LLC v. Cox Enterprises, Inc – Won $ 25 Million jury verdict for secondary infringement of music composition copyrights. This was the largest verdict in Virginia in 2015.
- Kipp-Flores, L.L.C. v. Signature Homes, L.L.C., et al. – Won a $5.2 million jury verdict for infringement of copyrighted architectural plans.
- Grimstead v. Tidewater Seniors Apartments, L.P. – Negotiated a $1 million plus settlement for infringement of copyrighted architectural plans.
- Sweetwater Chemical Company v. Technical Products Corporation – Obtained dismissal on the first day of trial of a patent licensing claim brought against a chemical company in the federal district court in Los Angeles, California. The dismissal was affirmed after argument before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco.
Walt has served as lead counsel and as co-counsel in numerous patent infringement actions, such as:
- Intercarrier Communications, LLC v. Apple, Inc. – Defended Apple in case involving the systems and methods that enable SMS messages to be transmitted between different mobile carriers.
- WiAV Solutions, LLC v. Huawei Technologies Co., Inc. – Defended Huawei Technologies and Huawei Device USA, Inc. in case involving speech coding and power management in wireless devices.
- Schreiber v. Dunabin – Defended the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in domain name litigation.
- Trinity Industries, Inc. v. Spig Industry, LLC – Represented Spig Industry and related corporations in case involving guardrail end terminals that dissipate energy upon being struck by a vehicle.
- iHance, Inc. v. Eloqua, Ltd. – Defended Eloqua in case involving the systems and methods for tracking e- mails sent as part of a sales and marketing program.
- Cherdak v. Vock – Defended Apple in case involving the synchronization of athletic shoes with electronic devices that record and analyze physical activity.
- The Nielsen Company (US), v. comScore, Inc. and ComScore, Inc. v. The Nielsen Company (US), LLC – Represented Nielsen and a subsidiary in case involving the methods for measuring online activity and behavior.
- TecSec, Incorporated v. Internation Business Machines Corporation – Defended SAS Institute in case involving the systems and methods for object level encryption and split key encryption.
- SPH America, LLC v. Acer, Inc. – Defended Futurewei Technologies (a subsidiary of Huawel Technologies) in case involving a system for reducing interference between wireless terminals, such as cell phones, and to reducing peak to average power.
- Vizio Inc v. Funai Electric Company, Ltd. – Represented Vizio in case involving the Quadrature Amplitude Modulation and Forward Error Correction Techniques for high definition television broadcasting.
- The Scientex Corporation v. PDP Associates, Inc. – Obtained stay of patent infringement suit pending re-examination of the patent by the PTO.
- Smithkline Beecham Corp. v. Excel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. – Obtained summary judgment for defendant in a patent infringement action involving generic drugs)
- Digital Privacy, Inc. v. RSA Security, Inc. – Obtained summary judgment for defendant in a patent infringement action involving design of computer security system)
- Beam Laser Systems, Inc., et al. v. Cox Communications, Inc., et al. – Obtained summary judgment for the defendants in a patent infringement action involving the insertion of advertising into cable television broadcasts.
- Fantasy Sports Properties, Inc. v. Sportsline Entertainment Corp., et al. – Represented defendant Yahoo! Inc. in obtaining summary judgment on a claim that its fantasy football game infringed an internet game patent.
- Hill Phoenix, Inc., et al., v. Systematic Refrigeration, Inc. – Represented plaintiffs in prosecuting a patent infringement action involving a variable capacity refrigeration system.
- DoubleClick, Inc. v. L90, Inc. – Represented plaintiff DoubleClick, Inc. in prosecuting a patent for the delivery of targeted advertising over the internet.
Walt has served as lead counsel in numerous non-patent intellectual property cases, such as:
- EyeRx Research, Inc. v. Barry Butler, et al. – Misappropriation of trade secrets.
- Science Applications International Corp. v. Petris Technology, Inc. – Alleged infringement of copyrighted source code for a website.
- Decipher, Inc. v. David Yearick, et al. – Alleged infringement of copyrighted board game.
- Coronet Group, Inc. v. Block Acquisition, Inc. – Misappropriation of trade secrets.
- Louis N. Skodras v. Richard P. Giannotto, M.D., et al. – Misappropriation of likeness pursuant to Va. Code § 8.01-40.
- C.C.I./N.B.C.V.T. v. Edmund C. Reiling, et al. – Copyright infringement.
- H. D. Oliver Funeral Apartments, Inc. v. Dignity Funeral Services, Inc., et al. – Lanham Act case for false advertising.
- JTH Tax, Inc., et al. v. H&R Block Eastern Tax Services, Inc. – Lanham Act case for false advertising.