Rodney A. Satterwhite


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  • University of Virginia School of Law, JD, 1991
  • The College of William & Mary, BA, cum laude, 1988
  • Virginia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia

Member; Chair, Special Committee on Information Technology, Virginia State Bar

Rod tries employment and intellectual property cases in state and federal court. Most recently, he was trial counsel for DuPont in its trade secret litigation against Kolon Industries, in which the jury awarded DuPont $919.9 million dollars. Best Lawyers in America has recognized Rod in the areas of Employment Law and Technology Law for the last five consecutive years.

Focusing his practice on trade secret and noncompetition laws, federal employment discrimination laws and the Family and Medical Leave Act, he has litigated claims in state, federal and administrative courts, including the U.S. Courts of Appeal for the 1st, 2nd, 4th and 6th circuits. He has also represented corporate clients in responding to administrative charges filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and in managing investigations conducted by that agency. In this context, Rod advises clients on hiring and termination decisions, drafting and implementing employment policies, and guarding intellectual property through employment agreements and trade secret policies. In all of these areas, he prosecutes or defends client interests in court.

Also experienced with issues relating to technology in the workplace and the courtroom, Rod advises clients on the legal issues relating to information systems and technology in the workplace, among them issues such as e-mail, social media and Internet privacy. He also helps clients develop effective solutions to the growing risks and costs associated with document retention and electronic discovery. Having served as McGuireWoods Chief Counsel for Knowledge Management for five years, he combines an in-depth understanding of technology with sensitivity to unique business needs and cost concerns.

Rod also assists clients in the application of technology to litigation management. He participates in the design and development of extranets that enable improved attorney-client collaboration and communication in litigation and transactional work. As a litigator and a former technology consultant, he draws on his experience in both areas to bridge the gap between technology and the practice of law. He can counsel companies on ways to improve efficiency in the delivery of legal services, such as the implementation of case management and litigation support systems.

In the News

Rodney A Satterwhite
T: +1 804 775 1098F: +1 804 698 2163Gateway Plaza
800 East Canal Street
Richmond, VA 23219-3916

Trial counsel for E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company in federal trial involving theft of trade secrets by a competitor. After an eight-week trial, the jury returned a $919 million dollar verdict for DuPont.

Representation of international recruiting agency against employee claims of age discrimination, resulting in summary judgment in favor of our client, which was upheld after oral argument by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Representation of international beverage manufacturer in jury trial alleging race discrimination. At the close of the plaintiff’s evidence, the Court entered judgment in favor of our client.

Representation of beverage container manufacturer in defending against claims of wrongful termination under the Family and Medical Leave Act. Obtained summary judgment for employer, which was upheld after oral argument by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. This was a case of first impression regarding the continuation of an employee’s probationary status while on protected FMLA leave.

Representation of cookie and cracker manufacturer in trade secrets claim against former employee and his new employer – a competitor of our client. After multi-day trial, obtained injunction against former employee and competitor prohibiting use or disclosure of our client’s trade secrets.

Representation of railroad testing company against former director of technology and his new employer for theft of trade secrets. Despite the lack of a non-competition agreement, obtained an injunction that effectively precluded former employee from continuing to work for competitor.

Representation of financial services company in class action age discrimination claims relating to employee evaluation system. Obtained favorable settlement after discovery.

Representation of electronics manufacturer in trade secrets claims against former vice president. After multi-day evidentiary hearing, obtained injunction against former employee precluding work in restricted market, and precluding solicitation of our client’s customers.

Named "Lawyer of the Year," Information Technology Law, Richmond, Best Lawyers, 2017

Selected for inclusion in America's Leading Lawyers for Business, Labor & Employment, Virginia, Chambers USA, 2016

Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America, Employment Law - Management, Information Technology Law, Labor Law - Management, Woodward/White, Inc., 2009-2018

Senior Law Firm Technology Advisor, The Center for Legal and Court Technology and Courtroom 21 Project, William & Mary School of Law, 2006-present

Named to "Virginia Super Lawyers," Employment and Labor, Intellectual Property Litigation, Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2007-2017

Named to "Legal Elite," Labor/Employment, Virginia Business, 2006, 2011, 2013-2015

Chair, Virginia State Bar Special Committee on Information Technology, 2013-2014

Author, "Record Retention Issues for Human Resources," HR Advisor, March/April 2008
Author, "FMLA Rules up for Grabs," Federal Employment Law Insider, January 2007