A Venable trial team led by Douglas Baldridge and Caroline Gately secured a partial jury verdict finding that their client, Robert Elwood, and his childhood Little League teammate, Brendan V. Sullivan III, were partners in a partnership that built, operated, and shared all profits and liabilities of the Headfirst camps business, despite the absence of a written partnership agreement between them. The Venable team argued that Elwood and Sullivan formed a partnership by their conduct under D.C. law, which recognized that a partnership may exist even if the partners are unaware of it. Sullivan's lawyers denied any partnership, arguing that Elwood was a mere employee and not an owner of the multi-million dollar business.
After six days of deliberations following a five-week trial, a federal jury agreed with Elwood and found a partnership existed between him and Sullivan. On December 20, 2016, the Washington Post featured an article on the verdict and Venable's effort on behalf of Elwood. Baldridge would not comment on the merits of the case, which is scheduled to proceed to a damages phase in the spring, but he told the Washington Post it saddened him that the two friends ended up in a court battle.