Eastern District of Virginia

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia is a unique court, and Venable's commercial and intellectual property litigators know it well. The court, known as "the Rocket Docket," traditionally has the fastest pace of any federal court in the country. Nationally, the average time from filing of a complaint to trial is 11 months. In the Eastern District of Virginia, a party can file a discovery motion on Friday, any opposition is due by Wednesday, and the court hears argument and most often decides the motion the following Friday morning. The Scheduling Order, Local Rules, and Federal Rules are strictly enforced. The court rarely grants continuances.

We Know the Eastern District

The many experienced litigators in Venable's Washington, DC and Tysons Corner, VA offices regularly represent technology companies, government contractors, professional services firms, and other business clients in the court. In the past ten years, Venable attorneys have appeared in more than 120 cases before the court. Venable attorneys have taught or moderated numerous CLEs about litigating in the Rocket Docket, including "Patent Litigation in the Rocket Docket and the PTO," "Obtaining and Admitting Electronic Evidence in Federal Courts," and "Effective Mediation Skills and Strategies." At least eight current Venable attorneys have clerked for the court's judges.

We Have the Experience

Michael Robinson, a commercial litigator and current president of the Virginia State Bar, has had more than 80 cases before the court. Other Venable attorneys, including Roger Colaizzi, Doug Baldridge, Nicholas DePalma, Christian SchreiberTaylor Chapman, Kevin Weigand, and others, appear in the court on a regular basis.

Venable's Eastern District of Virginia practice group takes full advantage of the depth and breadth of Venable's knowledge of and experience with the court. This in turn leads to focused, efficient, and cost-effective representation, an approach consistent with the court's guiding principle that justice delayed is justice denied. Venable attorneys have successfully litigated all varieties of cases in the court.

  • In a trade secret and copyright infringement suit by a competitor, Venable represented a Swedish-based technology company and government contractor that provides technology that allows the U.S. military, law enforcement, and intelligence agencies to access and retrieve information from mobile devices, successfully defeating a preliminary injunction motion, defeating and winning motions to compel and motions to dismiss, and advancing counterclaims that led to a favorable resolution
  • In a breach of contract, breach of duty of loyalty, and trademark infringement suit by a DC-area competitor, Venable represented a DC-area construction services and government contractor firm, defeating and winning motions to compel, motions for sanctions, and a motion to dismiss, ultimately prevailing on summary judgment, followed by affirmance on appeal and recovery of attorney's fees
  • In a securities fraud case against a publicly traded company and its executives, Venable represented shareholders who had founded a successful healthcare services technology company, defeating and winning motions to compel and motions for sanctions, winning partial summary judgment, and ultimately prevailing after a two-week jury trial with a seven-figure damages award, including punitive damages

Between the Alexandria, Richmond, Norfolk, and Newport News Divisions, the Eastern District of Virginia is home to many successful technology companies, government contractors, and professional services firms. Because of this, the court's docket is often filled with disputes over technology, trade secrets, other intellectual property, commercial relationships, and other federal and Virginia law-based claims. Given its fast pace and the quality of its judges, the Rocket Docket can be an attractive forum. At the same time, the benefit of having experienced and knowledgeable counsel cannot be overstated.

If you face a lawsuit or have a dispute that could lead to litigation in the court, please feel free to contact Nick DePalma for more information about Venable's Eastern District of Virginia practice group.

Practice Focus

  • Brand protection
  • Copyrights
  • Domain names
  • ITC
  • Licensing
  • Opinions
  • Post-grant
  • Trade secrets
  • Trademarks / trade dress
  • Unfair competition

Industry Focus

  • Aerospace
  • Arts
  • Automotive
  • Chemical
  • Computer hardware
  • Computer software
  • Consumer products
  • E-commerce
  • Financial services
  • Hospitality
  • Life sciences
  • Mechanical
  • Media and entertainment
  • Medical devices
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Publishing
  • Research Institutions
  • Retail
  • Telecommunications
  • Toys and games


  • U.S. News – Best Lawyers
    • Best Law Firms, Litigation – Intellectual Property (Tier 1), National, 2012 – 2023
    • Best Law Firms, Litigation – Intellectual Property (Tier 1), Washington, DC, 2012 – 2023
  • Chambers USA, Intellectual Property: Trademark, Copyright and Trade Secrets, Washington, DC, 2016 – 2023