Mr. Donner is an experienced trial attorney who specializes in business and commercial litigation, fiduciary litigation, domestic relations litigation, employment litigation, criminal defense, and maritime law. He focuses his commercial and employment litigation in the areas of Title VII, state law wrongful discharge actions, trade secrets litigation and business conspiracy actions. He focuses his domestic practice in the area of complex equitable distribution issues, custody, visitation and support. He has years of experience in criminal defense, including defending the most serious felonies.
Mr. Donner’s experience extends from the civilian arena to maritime law. After graduating from the Naval Academy in 1983, he entered the Navy Nuclear Propulsion Program. During his 10-year tenure with the Navy, he was assigned to three submarines: USS Henry Clay (as an Engineer), USS Sam Rayburn (as an Engineer), and USS Finback (as a Navigator). Mr. Donner earned a Master’s Degree in National Security Affairs, with Distinction, from the Naval Postgraduate School in California, where his concentration was strategic nuclear planning. While attending law school classes at night (George Mason University School of Law), Mr. Donner worked during the day for the Defense Mapping Agency (now, the national Geo-Spatial Intelligence Agency) as a Navigation Scientist. He clerked for Federal Magistrate Judge Tommy Miller.
Mr. Donner moved home to Richmond, his birthplace, in 2011 with his wife – they spend their free time trying to keep pace with their four children and ten grandchildren.
Represented a business in a Title VII sexual harassment (hostile work environment) before the EEOC and the federal district court. Case settled at the close of discovery.
Represented a business before the EEOC on an Americans With Disabilities claim. The EEOC held a full fact-finding hearing and found no violation. The plaintiff did not file suit in the district court.
Represented a business before the EEOC on an Americans with Disabilities Act claim. The EEOC found no violation without having to hold a fact finding hearing and the plaintiff did not file suit in the district court.
Represented a business on an Americans with Disabilities Act claim. The EEOC found no violation, the plaintiff received his right to sue letter, and the limitations period has not yet run on the plaintiff filing an action on his claim.
Currently representing a business on an Americans with Disabilities Act claim. The case is currently pending before the EEOC.
Represented an out-of-state investor in a derivative stockholders’ action in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Virginia and 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Represented an out-of-state investor in a corporate appraisal right action in the Richmond Circuit Court.
Represented Marine Salvage Company in Abandoned Shipwrecks Act action in the Eastern District of Michigan, 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, and U.S. Supreme Court.
Represented a manufacturer/supplier in government contracting and licensing litigation in the Eastern District of Virginia.
Represented Virginia LLC in conspiracy and breach of fiduciary duty litigation.
Represented criminal defendants throughout Virginia on charges ranging from minor misdemeanors and traffic offenses to murder.
Represented several different clients in fiduciary litigation, including construing and/or setting aside Trusts and Wills.
Represented construction companies in mechanic’s lien litigation and other types of construction litigation and arbitration.
Represented federal prisoners in a habeas corpus actions in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Virginia and 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Represented several state prisoners in state habeas petitions throughout Virginia.
Represented several clients throughout Virginia in numerous Domestic Relations matters.
George Mason University School of Law, 1996, JD, With High Honors
– Ranked 9th in Class (3.47 GPA on 4.0 scale)
– Law Review
– Awarded Virginia Trial Lawyers Association Award
Naval Postgraduate School, 1991, MA, National Security Affairs
– Graduated with Distinction (3.91 GPA on 4.0 scale)
United States Naval Academy, 1983, BS, Chemistry
BAR AND COURT ADMISSIONS:
United States Supreme Court
6th Circuit Court of Appeals
4th Circuit Court of Appeals
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia
U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Virginia
Virginia Supreme Court and all Virginia State Courts
LEGAL AND PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS:
Virginia State Bar
Norfolk-Portsmouth Bar Association
SEMINARS AND PRESENTATIONS:
“Legal Update: Continuing Employment Issues related to COVID-19,” Virginia Loggers Association annual meeting, August 2021
“Employment law issues, including legal concerns during the interview and hiring process, how to handle employee discipline, retaliatory discharge, Title 7 claims, and state law wrongful discharge issues,” Virginia Loggers Association Conference, Virginia, April 2018
“Best Practices for Employee Hiring and Handling Employee Discharges,” Virginia Trucking Association Safety and Human Resources Council, Virginia, October 2017
“Best Practices for Employee Hiring and Handling Employee Discharges,” Virginia Trucking Association Annual Convention, Norfolk, Virginia, October 2017
“Anatomy and Defense of a Serious Truck Accident” Panel Discussion and Mock Trial, Virginia Trucking Association, Annual Safety Council Meeting, Staunton, Virginia, April 2017