LITIGATION AND DISPUTE RESOLUTION
For over forty years, Cynthia Leppert has represented large and small businesses, as well as individuals, in their litigation or dispute resolution matters, serving as lead counsel in countless court cases, arbitrations, and mediations involving claims as high as tens of millions of dollars as well as much smaller claims. Her cases have spanned a wide range of issues.
Cynthia is a highly skilled litigator with extensive experience handling court cases and arbitrations but is also keenly aware of the cost of litigation. She thus works closely with clients to negotiate favorable resolutions (both in structured mediation and more informally) where appropriate. A strong advocate, she has significant experience handling both small and high-stakes cases spanning a wide variety of substantive areas, including:
- contract disputes;
- commercial disputes (lending, guarantees, factoring, prioritizing of secured claims, and other disputes under the Uniform Commercial Code);
- real estate disputes including both commercial disputes (development-related issues, ownership disputes, transfer and closing-related issues) and residential disputes (undisclosed latent defects and claims between sellers and owners and against agents and inspectors);
- intellectual property;
- employment termination ;
- violation of covenants not to compete, solicit or disparage;
- technology-related performance disputes;
- business partnership disputes; and
- business torts (unfair competition, fraud, and negligence).
She brings to her representations an affinity for financial and accounting matters, an attention to detail, a sensitivity to the unique needs and goals of every client, and a commitment to understanding not just the facts and law, but also the underlying business or personal considerations underlying each dispute. Recognized by her peers, Cynthia is listed in Maryland SuperLawers for business litigation since its inception in 2007. She is also listed in the Top 100 Bet Your Company Litigators and has an “AV” rating with Martindale Hubbel (highest ethical standards and preeminent legal ability) and a 9.1 (Suburb) rating with AVVO. She is a founding Fellow of Litigation Counsel of America, an honorary society limited to one-half-one percent of American Lawyers.
Representative Litigation and Dispute Matters
Real Estate Litigation
- Represented the seller in the trial of a real estate broker’s claim for a $1.2 million commission on the sale of a $19 million warehouse, and in the subsequent appeal. Judgment was entered in favor of the seller and the Fourth Circuit affirmed the trial court’s judgment.
- Represented the owner of undeveloped land valued at $2 million in a boundary dispute, obtaining an agreement that successfully resolved the dispute before trial.
- Successfully represented, on numerous occasions, purchasers of residential real estate with respect to claims against brokers, sellers and/or home inspectors regarding undisclosed defects.
Trademark/Copyright and Business Torts
- Obtained a jury verdict in favor of an apparel manufacturer in a lawsuit under the Federal Arbitration Act to compel arbitration of a multi-million dollar trademark dispute. At the subsequent arbitration, won a decision from the arbitrator that the manufacturer owned the subject trademarks.
- Represented a wine distributor in a trademark action filed by wine manufacturer, obtaining in mediation a settlement permitting the distributor to continue to market under the subject trademark.
- Represented a sausage manufacturer in a trademark action against a distributor, obtaining a settlement pursuant to which the distributor would no longer be permitted to market its own sausage under the subject trademark.
- Represented several businesses or employees with respect to claims asserted by or against them for misappropriating employees, client lists or trade secrets, obtaining favorable judgments or settlements in each case.
- Represented publishers in various copyright actions brought by alleged owners of copyrights, obtaining favorable settlements in each case.
Contract and Commercial Disputes
- Represented manufacturer in the trial of a supplier’s claim for amounts allegedly due under a purchasing contract. Obtained judgment in favor of manufacturer after presenting expert testimony by the former chief documents examiner for the U.S. Secret Service establishing the authenticity of a second contract which precluded the supplier’s claim and which had been alleged to be a forgery.
- In arbitration, successfully defended signatory to a letter of intent pertaining to a contemplated joint venture against a claim that the letter was not binding. Obtained a ruling from the arbitrator that the letter of intent was binding.
- Represented a defense contractor in a dispute with supplier, obtaining a $1 million judgment.
- Represented guarantors of promissory notes in numerous lawsuits brought to enforce guarantees and obtained favorable resolution, often by identifying deficiencies in the guarantee or failures by the lender to comply with requirements under the guarantee or promissory note.
- Represented indemnitors under commercial agreements in several lawsuits brought to enforce indemnities and obtained dismissals or settlements for a small fraction of the claims.
- Represented defendants in numerous confessed judgment actions and obtained orders vacating the confessed judgments and ultimately favorable resolutions of the lawsuits.
Employment and Independent Contractor Disputes
- Represented on several occasions, employers or employees in Maryland Wage Act claims arising from employer’s non-payment of severance payment upon termination of employment.
- Successfully obtained trial verdict against former employee’s claim for damages under the Maryland Wage Act.
- Represented on numerous occasions, employers or employees in disputes or litigation regarding whether the employee had been terminated without cause and thus were entitled to severance payments, obtaining favorable outcome for client.
- Represented on numerous occasions, individuals or employers in negotiation of employment agreements or severance packages, including with respect to non-competes, other covenants, equity awards, or buyouts of restricted stock, obtaining favorable outcomes.
- Represented on numerous occasions, individuals or employers in negotiations of contractual provisions to protect intellectual property and developments, obtaining favorable outcomes.
- In a dispute concerning an executive’s compliance with provisions of employment contract, obtained a preliminary injunction against the honoring of a letter of credit securing the executive’s “golden parachute” severance payment.
- Represented a corporation in the arbitration of a $1.2 million severance claim brought by its former president, and uncovered evidence of the president's fraud in procuring his employment. The arbitrator ruled in favor of the corporation on the former president's claim and required the former president to pay damages.