Jodie Herrmann Lawson Partner

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Jodie is a high-stakes litigator who represents clients in federal and state court and arbitrations. She defends Fortune 100 companies and other businesses in cases involving torts, contract disputes, property disputes, class actions, and fiduciary, financial services, energy, and real estate litigation.

Jodie represents clients from start to finish in their most challenging litigation matters. Her clients turn to her because she understands their businesses and uses that knowledge in conjunction with her sound judgment and litigation experience to develop a creative legal strategy and achieve results.

In the financial services space, Jodie defends financial institutions, broker-dealers, and investment companies and advisers in litigation matters including claims for breach of contract, negligence, business torts, and unfair and deceptive trade practices. She also supervises a team of attorneys across the country to manage pre-litigation and third-party matters for financial institutions and other businesses — work that includes interpleaders, responding to complex creditor attachments, subpoenas, and garnishments.

Jodie’s experience in the energy industry has focused on representing energy companies in the business of storing and transporting natural gas in litigation matters as well as state regulatory inquiries and investigations. She has also represented gas utility companies in class action cases alleging negligence, breach of contract, and unfair business practices as well as litigation matters to secure property rights and access for underground assets.

Jodie’s practice also includes representing businesses in litigation matters, both on the plaintiff and defendant side. In this area, her experience broadly encompasses advancing and defending claims for breach of contract, fraud, unfair trade practices, negligence, tortious interference, violations of unfair and deceptive trade practice statutes, and other business torts. In addition to the plaintiff’s side condemnation work Jodie has handled for energy companies, she also has experience representing property owners in condemnation actions and real estate litigation.

Prior to joining McGuireWoods, Jodie clerked for U.S. District Judges Liam O’Grady and Claude M. Hilton and Federal Magistrate Judge Barry R. Poretz of the Eastern District of Virginia, known for its “Rocket Docket.” This valuable experience benefits her clients as she helps them navigate the intricacies of litigating in the jurisdiction and others across the country.


Financial Services Litigation

  • Successfully quelled a multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme-related lawsuit filed against a multinational investment management and wealth management company in Eastern District of Virginia. A group of investors sued the company and several other defendants alleging involvement in a Ponzi scheme spanning over five years. The investors claimed they were fraudulently induced to invest in a company and that our client knowingly, intentionally and fraudulently facilitated transfers of the company stock in violation of the Securities Act of 1933 in furtherance of the Ponzi scheme. Plaintiffs sought to hold the company jointly and severally liable for claims of actual fraud and aiding and abetting fraud. Obtained voluntarily dismissal for our client following extensive negotiations and early discovery.
  • Defense of a financial institution in state court action alleging breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract. Successfully argued motion to dismiss and obtained dismissal from case.
  • Represented broker-dealer in state court action alleging claims for breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty arising from a dispute over an account held with rights of survivorship with a decedent. Following oral argument, the Court granted the motion to dismiss.
  • Representation of a financial institution in an appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. The panel ruled in our client’s favor and affirmed the district court decision.
  • Defense of a major financial institution in federal court. The plaintiff alleged claims for breach of contract, wrongful foreclosure, attempted wrongful foreclosure, violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, and conversion. After oral argument, the District Court Judge granted full summary judgment in favor of our client and dismissed the case.
  • Defense of a major financial institution in state court. The action alleged claims for fraud, violation of North Carolina’s Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act, violation of North Carolina’s Debt Collection Act, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. After oral argument, the Judge granted full summary judgment in favor of our client and dismissed the case.
  • Representation of a major financial institution in an action against two customers that were harassing our client’s employees. Successfully obtained a protective order from the Court in favor of our client and its employees.

Energy Litigation

  • Litigated condemnation claims on behalf of a major gas storage operator; obtained nominal award of just compensation in the amount of $1 per parcel following a five-day trial in federal court before a panel of land commissioners.
  • Defense of a major gas storage operator against putative class claims alleging trespass, conversion, and unjust enrichment in connection with its storage operations; obtained settlement through an innovative counterclaim strategy that effectively negated class claims and through the aggressive pursuit of a federal preemption defense.
  • Representation of an energy company in a condemnation case involving natural gas storage easements. Attained a favorable settlement.

Business and Real Estate Litigation

  • Representation of global investment manager in connection with lawsuit in state court alleging claims for fraud and fraudulent conveyance arising from a $110 million investment in a company that developed sustainable agriculture supply chains to global markets. Attained a favorable settlement following discovery motions related to plaintiff’s failure to preserve responsive documents.
  • Represented pharmaceutical company in federal court case alleging fraud, deceptive trade practices, and unjust enrichment. Following oral argument, the Court granted summary judgment and dismissed all claims.
  • Represented biotech company in connection with a multi-million-dollar contract dispute with a pharmaceutical company. Attained favorable settlement following pre-litigation mediation.
  • Defense of a private equity-owned business and former officers and directors of the company related to a dispute following the sale of the business. The case involved claims for fraud, breach of contract, and violation of the N.C. Securities Act. Attained favorable settlement.
  • Represented a North Carolina business in a condemnation action filed by a town that purported to condemn the sole access point to the facility that provides critical services to the community. Attained a favorable settlement agreement and retained critical access to the facility.
  • Represented a commercial real estate developer in federal court in a dispute with the seller of real property over payment terms contained in a purchase agreement. The dispute jeopardized a significant redevelopment project that spanned ten years. After briefing summary judgment motions, the parties reached a favorable settlement agreement that allowed the project to move forward as planned.
  • Represented a business in a matter involving a disgruntled employee that was terminated but that was also the landlord of the building used for the office location in a summary ejectment proceeding. With only one day to prepare for trial, Jodie identified multiple procedural and substantive challenges to the action, including impeachment evidence regarding the former employee, and negotiated an agreed order that permitted adequate time to vacate the premises and additional protections for current employees that were being harassed by the former employee.
  • Argued before the N.C. Court of Appeals on behalf of a business in a case involving business torts and employee misconduct. The panel affirmed the civil contempt order entered on behalf of our client by the N.C. Business Court when former employees failed to return funds improperly diverted from the company.
  • Representation of financial institution in connection with condemnation action in North Carolina; attained a favorable settlement.
  • Halted a former employee that stole hundreds of client files and then went to work for a competitor. Successfully negotiated a non-compete agreement and obtained the return of the client files.
  • First chair representation of a health insurance company in a state court bench trial involving contract and tort claims.
  • Defense of a leading telephone service provider in an arbitration involving claims of fraud, negligence, and violation of North Carolina’s Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Arbitrator found no liability.
  • Defense of a health insurance company in a state court contract matter. The Trial Court sustained a demurrer and the client was dismissed from the case.
  • Defense of an industry leading home improvement products company in an action seeking a preliminary injunction against our client for claims of trademark infringement and unfair competition. The Trial Court denied the injunction against our client and the case favorably settled.
  • Defense of a major waste management company in a state court contract action. The Trial Court sustained our client’s demurrer and plea in bar and our client was dismissed from the case.
  • Representation of a brand leading company that manufactures and sells innovative products in an action for trademark infringement and unfair competition. Obtained a consent judgment that was entered in favor of our client.
  • Representation of a real estate development company in a Federal class action lawsuit alleging violations of the Federal Electronic Funds Transfer Statute. Attained a favorable settlement.