Robin D. Leone

Robin Leone is a litigator who helps clients with complex commercial business disputes. In state and federal courts, both in Maryland and other jurisdictions, and before administrative agencies, Robin represents the interests of a diverse client base, including telecommunications and media enterprises, energy and utility companies, governmental entities, insurance and real estate brokers, lending institutions, commercial developers and product manufacturers.  Robin has represented clients in both state and federal courts in media cases arising out of defamation claims. She most recently created and is implementing the litigation strategy in pursuit of an anonymous blogger publishing defamatory comments from a location in South America on a U.S.-based blogging platform.  Robin has applied her media law skills to non-media clients who challenge defamatory speech (e.g., health care providers seeking relief from defamatory reviews posted by competitors or disgruntled former employees); seek advice regarding proposed communications to reduce the risk of an action for defamation (e.g., a school communicating with parents regarding a theft that occurred on school property); and oppose attacks on intellectual property, such as through cyber-squatting (e.g., a moving company who objected to a competitor’s substantially similar website address, where the website’s content included disparaging statements about the client). She concentrates on developing litigation strategies, including writing legal arguments for both trial and appellate courts, establishing discovery protocols using e-discovery tools, and preparing witnesses for deposition and trial.

Robin’s understanding of the legal challenges businesses face is informed by her past experience as a senior associate with Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., a leading management and information technology consulting firm. She provided management consulting services and strategic communications advice to U.S. federal agency clients, including the Department of the Army, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Institute for Standards and Technology. The litigation strategies Robin devises are founded on her approach to gaining an in-depth understanding of each client’s organization, mission and business processes.

Select Representations for Litigation Clients

  • Facilitating changes in litigation strategy for an intellectual property lawsuit proceeding in federal court in an insular legal community, including identifying new local counsel, leveraging a parallel case underway in a different jurisdiction, and advocating the client’s position on the strength of its copyright through a broad range of writings, including a mediation statement, memorandum in support of summary judgment, and evaluation of the District Court’s errors of law
  • Developing and leading the electronic discovery strategy for a construction case involving multiple defendants and expert witnesses, including managing the contributions of a team of Saul Ewing lawyers and more than 80 contract attorney reviewers to evaluate a universe of approximately 4.4 million client, opposing party, and expert witness documents
  • Creating and implementing the litigation strategy in pursuit of an anonymous blogger publishing defamatory comments from a location in South America, including obtaining court authorization to serve a subpoena on the U.S.-based blogging platform in order to identify the blogger, managing local counsel in South America, and navigating the service of process system under the Inter-American Convention
  • Establishing the appellate strategy and drafting initial and reply briefs to argue for the continued existence of an express easement through analysis and detailed interpretation of decades-old land records

Select Representations for Energy, Utility and Telecommunications Clients

  • Preparing applications and accompanying witness testimony to obtain Certificates of Public Convenience and Necessity for the construction and modification of transmission lines and generating stations, including the application to obtain state approval for the siting of a new nuclear reactor
  • Authoring testimony for an expert witness opining in federal court on the legitimacy of competitive retail electric supply providers, the reasonableness and appropriateness of option agreements, and the potential for harm to ratepayers
  • Representing utility and telecommunications clients at hearings, in rulemaking sessions, and in negotiations with state agency personnel to obtain timely approvals, including successfully arguing to the Maryland Public Service Commission through written briefing that a utility company had not violated a duty under a settlement agreement to maximize proceeds from the sale of output from a cogeneration facility
  • Obtaining Maryland Public Service Commission approvals for changes in business structure, including major electric company mergers and refinancing actions. These engagements involved managing the process for responding to hundreds of complex data requests in support of the merger of Constellation Energy and Exelon Corporation and intervening on behalf of a telecommunications company to retroactively seek approval for business structure changes and avoid a significant penalty
  • Seeking administrative agency approvals for revisions to tariffs, including approval from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission for changes to a gas tariff for the purpose of revising the penalty for unauthorized use of natural gas during a called interruption

Select Representations for Business Clients

  • Providing a litigation perspective to emerging issues, including identifying and managing communications with expert witnesses and reviewing and responding to threats of litigation. Also providing advice  on methods both to access public information, such as awards of government contracts, and to limit the public’s access to private company information reported to the government, including trade secrets and other confidential commercial or financial information
  • Evaluating potential defamation claims arising in business settings, such as statements made in on-line reviews, and providing advice on mitigation and response strategies
  • Serving as pro bono general counsel for a non-profit corporation, chairing the organization’s Litigation and Advocacy Committee, and coordinating access to a broad range of firm resources, including labor and employment, real estate and environmental law attorneys

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