Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222
Donna, a member of the firm’s Appellate Group, is a former clerk to Judge Frank H. Easterbrook of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. She has extensive experience with complex, high-stakes commercial litigation, both at the trial and appellate levels. Donna works closely with clients to tailor fee arrangements and litigation strategies to the clients’ business objectives, cost parameters, and definitions of success.
Her appellate practice, while varied, focuses largely on business torts, competition issues, disputes in the financial services industry, class action defense, arbitration issues, and questions of foreign law. Donna also works on petitions for writs of certiorari and allocatur to the highest courts, and prepares amicus curiae briefs.
In addition to briefing and arguing appeals, Donna works regularly with trial counsel on key briefs and on strategies for positioning cases for appeal, and frequently assists with post-trial motions, interlocutory appeals. Before joining the Appellate Group, Donna gained substantial trial experience, which includes: successfully defending a Sherman Act § 1 case; successfully defending allegations of tortious interference with contract and other business torts arising out of a Fortune 500 company’s termination of a distributor; successfully defending claims of massive fraud and violations of a non-compete agreement arising out of the sale of a closely held business; and defeating an action to enforce a restrictive covenant in a lease agreement against a shopping mall developer. She also is an experienced Orphans Court litigator, where she represents corporate trustees.
She additionally has counseled clients on manufacturer-distributor relationships, product disparagement and trade libel issues, and compliance with the antitrust laws.
Donna has lent significant support to the firm’s commitment to pro bono work. Between 2001 and 2003, she chaired the firm’s Pro Bono Committee and, since joining Reed Smith in 1996, she has devoted nearly 3,000 hours to pro bono litigation. Those matters, which have met with considerable success, have included: a free exercise of religion case on behalf of a conservative Amish community that the National Law Journal hailed as one of the country’s most significant pro bono cases of the year; the representation of celebrated African-American photographer Charles “Teenie” Harris in his efforts to reclaim tens of thousands of photographic prints and negatives; and an establishment clause case involving a local government’s display of the Ten Commandments.
|Areas of Practice||1) Appellate, 2) Energy & Natural Resources, 3) Nuclear, 4) Litigation & Dispute Resolution and 5) Commercial Litigation and Disputes|
|Law School||University of Chicago Law School, 1992, J.D.,|
|Education||University of Notre Dame, 1986, B.A.,|
|Bar Member / Association||Pennsylvania State Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association|
|Most recent firm||Reed Smith LLP|
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