Bar Admissions

  • Maryland

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland

Education

  • J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 2002
  • B.A., summa cum laude, James Madison University, 1997
    with distinction in History

Judicial Clerkships

  • Honorable Benson E. Legg, U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, 2002 - 2003
T +1 410.494.6294
F +1 410.821.0147
 

Heather L. Mitchell

Counsel

Heather Mitchell is a seasoned litigator with extensive experience representing businesses in complex commercial litigation, including contract disputes, trust and estate litigation, healthcare matters, internal corporate investigations, and matters arising under the federal securities laws. She has successfully tried cases to verdict before both juries and judges. Heather served as a law clerk to Judge Benson E. Legg, then chief judge of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, and regularly practices in that court. She has also represented clients in matters before the Maryland state courts, as well as in federal courts in Florida, Pennsylvania, and California.

In her practice, Heather regularly takes and defends depositions; argues motions and other matters before courts; and counsels clients on litigation strategy. She is also responsible for overall management of large commercial disputes, including communicating and negotiating with opposing counsel regarding, among other things, case scheduling, case management, protective orders and settlement terms; communicating with clients regarding factual development of a case; drafting motions and other papers submitted to the court; managing the collection, review, and production of hundreds of thousands of documents; dealing with vendors involved in the electronic discovery process; and supervising associates and paralegals in the review of documents, the drafting of motions, and the discovery responses.

Significant Matters

  • Represented a health services company in a six-day jury trial against their former chief financial officer who had sued for breach of contract. The jury found in the employer's favor on one of the two claims and only awarded the former employee half of the damages he sought.
  • Representing a national men's clothing company in connection with litigation against a group of its franchisees. The case is currently pending in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland.
  • Representing a Maryland-based developer in connection with CERCLA claims and other environmental- based state law claims. The case is currently pending in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland.
  • Representing a local board of education. Heather counsels the board on a regular basis regarding matters that come to the board in their quasi-judicial role, including appeals of student disciplinary matters, denials of school transfers, complaints from the public and personnel matters. 
  • Represented the beneficiary of a trust in a five-day arbitration and successfully had the trustees of the trust removed for conflict of interest. 
  • Represented a national healthcare financing lender in connection with breach of contract and quasi-contract claims against a multi-national financial institution. Heather was part of the trial team that tried a two-week jury trial and obtained a verdict for Venable's client. 
  • Represented a special litigation committee of a national healthcare company. The representation included investigating whether the company should pursue claims against members of its board of directors and certain former officers, arising out of claims that the company violated applicable healthcare regulations. 
  • Represented the children of a decedent in a three-day trial in the Baltimore County Orphan's Court against the decedent’s business partner to have the business partner removed as the decedent's personal representative based on a conflict of interest and to have the decedent's estate properly valued; succeeded in having the business partner removed as personal representative and the court accepted our valuation of the decedent's holdings. 
  • Represented the Baltimore-Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church in employment action by a former minister in a three-day trial in the Howard County Circuit Court; the Church won on all counts. 
  • Assisted with the representation of a former CEO and president of a major financial services firm in derivative litigation challenging his severance package.

Activities

Heather currently serves as president of the board of directors of Baltimore County's Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children, which is a nonprofit group that recruits and trains volunteers to serve as advocates for children in the Baltimore County foster system. She also currently serves on the board of directors of the Baltimore Curriculum Project, a nonprofit organization that runs five charter schools in Maryland. Heather also served on the Howard County Republican Central Committee from 2007 to 2011.

Heather was hand-selected by the former United States Attorney General and Venable partner Benjamin Civiletti to assist him with his service as the chair of the Maryland Commission on Capital Punishment. In that role, Heather assisted with selection of witnesses to testify before the Commission, interacted with all members of the Commission, conducted extensive research on Maryland’s use of the death penalty, and wrote two portions of the Commission’s final report.

Between 2007 and 2009, Heather raised over $20,000 for Team in Training Hike, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Hike Program, to help fight leukemia in honor of her stepfather, the late Senator Bob Kittleman.