Mary M. Gardner

Gardner Mary

Mary M. Gardner helps clients identify, evaluate, and prioritize their risks; implement practices to minimize, monitor, and control those risks; and find satisfactory outcomes when those risks turn into potential liabilities. Mary is a versatile counselor, litigator, and negotiator, representing companies in all aspects of risk management, including litigation, arbitration, mediation, and counseling.

Mary maintains an extensive risk management and insurance practice, working with companies and executives seeking coverage for a wide variety of claims. Mary is a fierce advocate for her risk management and insurance clients, working tirelessly to ensure they obtain the full protection of their insurance policies and indemnification agreements. She also works closely with corporate risk managers and in-house counsel to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their current risk and insurance programs, assisting them in securing coverage-enhancing modifications to their insurance policies and broad indemnification agreements, so that they are situated if (and when) a claim arises. Mary also provides advice and counseling in connection with commercial transactions, including insurance due diligence and drafting insurance and indemnity provisions in deal documents. In recent years, Mary has played a leading role in negotiating, drafting, and assessing custom insurance programs for large construction projects.

Mary also represents various clients in investigations and litigation by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), state attorneys general, and the Department of Justice (DOJ), as well as consumer class actions related to advertising and telemarketing practices. Her clients include manufacturers, startups, calling and text messaging platform providers, cable news networks, and companies in the hospitality, construction, automotive, electronic retailing, payments, and direct-to-consumer marketing industries.


Representative Matters

Insurance and Risk Management

  • Represents a hospitality company in nationwide coverage disputes, including litigation, in connection with its extensive first-party and third-party claims portfolio
  • Advises a leading pet health company in insurance regulatory and subscription marketing matters
  • Advises a construction company regarding insurance and risk mitigation in connection with a national portfolio of construction projects
  • Represented a New York State agency in insurance and risk management issues arising from Superstorm Sandy and its response thereto, including significant rebuilding and infrastructure projects
  • Represented a mid-Atlantic state transportation agency in insurance and risk mitigation in connection with one of the nation's largest (in excess of $3 billion) public-private partnership (P3) projects
  • Represents restaurants, hospitality companies, national and regional retailers, building owners (including buildings under construction), not-for-profit organizations, trade associations, and others in business interruption and event cancellation coverage claims, including litigation, arising from the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Represents a risk management joint powers authority in arbitration against a member hospital
  • Represents manufacturers of food, drugs, dietary supplements, medical devices, cosmetics, and household goods in numerous coverage disputes
  • Represents businesses in "lost policy" disputes with insurers, including litigation, involving decades of lost policies for long-tail claims, such as environmental or asbestos claims
  • Represents leading government contractors in various insurance disputes, including litigation and arbitration

Advertising and Marketing

  • Represents a subscription-based marketing company in an FTC investigation involving negative option marketing
  • Defended a payment processor in litigation brought by the FTC seeking to hold the processor liable for all of the alleged illegal conduct of two of its merchant customers
  • Defended a medical doctor in an investigation by the Washington attorney general, alleging false advertisement of practices
  • Defended one of the nation’s largest residential and commercial security monitoring companies in numerous TCPA putative class action lawsuits
  • Defended a national cable news network against a putative class action alleging violations of the TCPA
  • Defended a former presidential candidate’s exploratory committee against a putative TCPA class action pending in Washington federal court, which settled on favorable terms after the court granted the committee’s motion for partial dismissal
  • Defended a professional charity fundraiser against a lawsuit filed by the Minnesota attorney general, alleging state telemarking law violations. Settled on favorable terms after court-ordered mediation, withdrawal of key witness testimony by the attorney general, and removal of a named defendant from the lawsuit
  • Defended a textile marketing company against a putative class action alleging false advertising relating to textile identification
  • Advises property management companies regarding risk mitigation practices relevant to rent collection practices and money transmission licensing
  • Secured dismissal with prejudice of a cross-claim filed against a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization by the DOJ
  • Represented a rural telecommunications company in an APA challenge in the D.C. Circuit against the FCC concerning Universal Service Funds and NECA payments




  • J.D. magna cum laude American University, Washington College of Law 2012
    • Executive editor, American University Law Review
    • Order of the Coif
    • Intern, the Honorable Marian Blank Horn in the United States Court of Federal Claims
  • B.A. Political Science Pennsylvania State University 2008
    • Phi Beta Kappa

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland

Court Admissions

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


  • Super Lawyers, Rising Star, Washington, DC, 2019 – 2022
  • The Best Lawyers in America, Ones to Watch, 2021 – 2024