Emma R. Leonelli Associate

Emma is an associate in the Pittsburgh office focusing her practice on complex commercial litigation, financial services litigation, employment litigation, and insurance recovery. Emma’s experience includes handling all aspects of litigation in both state and federal court, as well as before arbitral panels across the United States.

Emma’s practice focuses on litigating complex commercial disputes involving contract, tort, statutory, and related business claims, as well as representing major financial institutions in a variety of consumer actions involving mortgage lending and servicing, high-risk consumer class actions, securities lending programs, auto financing, Ponzi schemes, and affiliated mutual fund investments. Emma also maintains an active employment law practice representing corporations in large-scale matters involving discrimination and restrictive covenant claims.

Experience

Complex Commercial Litigation

Represent multi-million dollar Steel Corporation in high-risk litigation involving on-going breach of contract claims.

Represent national shoe retailer in on-going landlord-tenant lease agreement dispute filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.

Represent preferred equity investor in contentious breach of contract dispute with managing member involving allegations of absconding with funds, gross property mismanagement, and numerous events of default.

Represent global cloud communications platform company in Delaware federal court litigation and concurrent International Centre for Dispute Resolution action involving claims for breach of a joint venture agreement.

Represent North American retailer of energy and energy services in permanent injunction request in Connecticut state court.

Represent national insurance company in successful appellate argument before the Pennsylvania Superior Court in matter involving breach of contract and warranty claims between construction project contractor and subcontractor.

Represent individual investor in on-going alleged federal securities fraud lawsuit filed in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

Represent major North American energy company in numerous actions for partition and quiet title of property associated with the development of an extensive oil and gas pipeline.

Financial Litigation

Represent nation-wide financial institution in class action alleging that the bank aided and abetted Ponzi schemes.

Represent nation-wide financial institution in putative class action challenging the investment of personal trust assets in affiliated mutual funds.

Represent nation-wide financial institution in high-profile class action involving claims of lending discrimination to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients.

Represent nation-wide financial institution in putative class action challenging the bank’s card processing system, sales practices, and fees charged as a Merchant Services Provider.

Represent nation-wide financial institution in successful appeal before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in matter involving claims under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Practice Act, Service member’s Civil Relief Act, Equal Credit Opportunity Act, and Federal Truth in Lending Act.

Represent nation-wide financial institution in New Jersey State Court action involving the New Jersey consumer fraud act, unjust enrichment, and breach of contract claims.

Represent nation-wide financial institutions in a variety of mortgage-related claims, including those involving pre- and post-payment interest, in several putative class actions in federal courts across the country.

Represent nation-wide financial institutions in multiple single-plaintiff automobile lending portfolio matters involving claims arising under the Truth in Lending Act, Telephone Consumer Protection Act, Consumer Fraud Act, and Equal Credit Opportunity Act.

Employment Litigation

Represent national energy corporation in high-profile litigation involving wage discrimination and retaliation claims under the Equal Pay Act and Title VII, and Title VII gender discrimination claims.

Represent national insurance broker and consulting firm in seeking preliminary injunction and enforcement of employee non-compete and non-solicitation agreements.

Represent global leader and innovator of industry-leading technology in seeking preliminary injunction and enforcement of employee non-compete, confidentiality, and nondisclosure or use of proprietary information agreements.

Insurance Recovery

Represent 50+ insureds in the Chicago food industry in federal Multi District Litigation action involving claims for damages related to business interruption losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Represent national fitness partner in Pennsylvania state court action for damages arising out of insurer’s bad faith refusal to reimburse insured under “all risk policy” for business interruption losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Duquesne University School of Law, JD, cum laude, Article Staff Writer, Joule Energy & Environmental Law Journal, 2016
  • Washington & Jefferson College, BA, Business Administration and Psychology, Dean’s List, 2013

Co-chair, Health and Wellness Committee, Allegheny County Bar Association, 2019-2020, 2020-2021

Member, Junior Advisory Council, Humane Animal Rescue, 2020-2021

American Bar Association

Pennsylvania Bar Association

  • Author, The Nollan/Dolan Land-Use Exactions Doctrine and its Role in Taking Jurisprudence: Koontz v. St. John’s River Water Management District, 4 JOULE ENERGY & ENVTL. L.J. 1, April 30, 2016
  • Co-Author, Admissibility of Brain Scanning Technology, Dean John Sciollo Fundamentals of Law Continuing Education Series, April 25, 2015
  • Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania

Recognized team member, "2019 Allegheny County Bar Association Law Firm Pro bono Achievement Award," for the representation of a Pennsylvania inmate suffering from neglected medical needs in violation of his constitutional rights, Allegheny County Bar Association, 2019

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