Our litigation practice is comprised of attorneys who have dedicated their entire careers to zealous advocacy of clients engaged in civil, criminal, corporate and international disputes. The experienced litigators at our firm have earned a reputation for skilled, aggressive and results-driven representation of clients involved in complex, high stakes cases. The firm is committed to bringing value to our clients by offering creative, timely and strategic advice. We work one-on-one with our clients to develop litigation strategies that meet both our clients’ goals and budget. Our attorneys then implement these strategies with extreme care and precision. Our goal is to achieve the most favorable results for our clients, whether achieved through settlement, at trial or on appeal.
The Federal Practice Group has assembled a team of internationally recognized trial attorneys who bring to the table a broad range of litigation experience from their prior roles as Assistant United States Attorneys (AUSA), Department of Justice (DOJ) attorneys, and government prosecutors. Our attorneys know the courts and the regulatory agencies, and understand how government prosecutors and opposing counsel think. This inside knowledge allows our litigation attorneys to develop a tailor-made strategy based on the anticipated tactics and theories of opposing counsel. The result is a proactive, thorough and analytical approach to litigation.
In addition, our attorneys represent private individuals, known as “relators,” in qui tam/false claims act lawsuits against companies and persons who commit fraud against the government.
Our number one priority is creating relationships that will endure. One of the many ways we create lasting relationships is by offering our clients valuable legal services. The Federal Practice Group has been an innovator in developing new ways of pricing legal services to promote greater accountability, predictability, and efficiency. Our firm is proud to offer competitive rates and also a wide variety of alternative fee arrangements to meet the specific needs and goals of each individual client. Whether faced with a complex matter or a routine transaction, our attorneys provide each client with a cost-benefit based solution that fits both their expectations and budget.
We are also dedicated to efficient, streamlined litigation. Our litigation attorneys routinely partner with senior associates, associates, professional staff, and recognized subject matter experts to achieve the best result for our clients at the most economical price. At The Federal Practice Group, we fight smarter and harder and provide exceptional competency without the big law firm price.
Ms. Janei Au is a Senior Associate with the Federal Practice Group and is part of the law firm’s federal employment group. Ms. Au is experienced in federal employment litigation and represents federal employee clients in federal courts and before federal administrative agencies such as the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the U.S. Merit System Protection Board (MSPB), and U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC). Ms. Au is also well versed in defending against proposed disciplinary and adverse actions.
Prior to joining the Federal Practice Group, Ms. Au served as an Associate Attorney at Gilbert Employment Law, P.C., a Maryland based law firm. Her role included representation of both employees and agencies in administrative hearings and litigation in state and federal court, representing employees during EEO investigations, negotiating settlements and representation in whistleblower disclosures reporting prohibited personnel practices, reprisal, or other concerns before the U.S. Office of Special Counsel. She also functioned as the co-lead defense counsel in a nationwide Fair Labor Standards Act and Title V class arbitration for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service.
Ms. Au served as a Captain in the U.S. Army Reserves in the capacity of Human Resources Officer. Simultaneously, she served as a Unit Equal Opportunity (EO) Representative and a Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention Representative and Master Resilience Trainer. During her service, Ms. Au earned a Bronze Star, a Joint Service Commendation Medal and an Army Commendation Medal.
Ms. Au earned her Juris Doctorate from the American University, Washington College of Law, her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of North Carolina, and her Associates of Arts in Spanish from the Defense Language Institute. She also earned her Masters of Laws in Litigation Management from Baylor University.
Ms. Au is admitted to practice in Maryland.
Ms. Black is an Associate with the Federal Practice Group and is part of the law firm’s federal employment law group. Ms. Black is experienced in federal employment litigation and represents clients in federal courts and before administrative agencies such as the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the U.S. Merit System Protection Board (MSPB), and whistleblower retaliation, defending against proposed disciplinary and adverse actions.
Prior to joining the Federal Practice Group, Ms. Black served as an Associate Attorney at a Maryland based law firm. Her role included representation of both federal and private sector employees in discrimination and harassment matters, litigating under Title VII, the Equal Pay Act, the ADA, and Whistleblower Protection laws. She represented clients in all aspects of litigation in front of administrative bodies, including crafting litigation strategy, interviewing witnesses, conducting discovery, filing dispositive motions, hearings, appeals in EEOC and MSPB cases, and settlement negotiations.
Ms. Black also served as a Law Clerk for Senator Patty Murray on the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Oversight Team where she performed research, compiled data and drafted memos for oversight counsels on workplace harassment and discrimination issues.
Ms. Black earned her Juris Doctorate from the American University, Washington College of Law and her Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Pennsylvania State University.
Ms. Black is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia.
Debra D’Agostino, a Founding Partner of the Federal Practice Group and leader of the firm’s federal employment law team, focuses on providing representation to federal employees in a wide range of matters against federal agencies, including EEO complaints and U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) hearings, U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) appeals, U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) complaints, and replying to proposed adverse actions or disciplinary actions. She has more than 20 years of experience in this complicated area of the law and has obtained multiple successful outcomes for her clients, including findings of liability in discrimination claims and reversals of adverse actions such as removal from federal service. Additionally, Ms. D’Agostino has successfully represented clients in appellate matters before the EEOC’s Office of Federal Operations, the MSPB, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal and D.C. Circuits.
Ms. D’Agostino is routinely looked to by her peers for her niche expertise in representing federal employees, including those in the intelligence community (IC) who work at agencies including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), and the National Security Agency (NSA). In 2016, she was selected to be part of a focus group run by the Government Accountability Office to review the best method to implement the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012. The report was sent to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs and the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Ms. D’Agostino has been invited to speak before multiple federal employee organizations including Blacks in Government (BIG), at the Federal Dispute Resolution (FDR) Conference, and at events hosted by the Federal Circuit Bar Association, of which she is a member.
Ms. D’Agostino is on the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association (MWELA) and is a member of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA). For the past several years she has been recognized for her skill as an attorney by being named to the Super Lawyers list for Washington, DC. Ms. D’Agostino is also a AAA certified mediator.
Ms. D’Agostino earned her Juris Doctorate with honors from the George Washington University Law School, and her B.A. from New York University. She is admitted to practice in the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal, D.C., and 4th Circuits, and to practice law in D.C. and New York.
Rajan O. Dhungana is a Partner with the Federal Practice Group. He has been practicing primarily in immigration law with extensive trial experience, having won a majority of his cases that have gone to trial. In addition to immigration and trial work, Mr. Dhungana has appealed cases to the Nevada Supreme Court as well as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Prior to law school, Mr. Dhungana worked extensively in Food and Beverage, Beer distribution and import, Wine distribution and import, and spirits distribution and import. He successfully owned and operated three restaurants in Las Vegas, Nevada, Santa Fe, New Mexico and Durango, Colorado before transitioning to a legal career. Mr. Dhungana has substantial experience in Food, Beverage and Alcohol Law and has successfully represented breweries, wineries, distilleries, distributors, importers, restaurants and liquor stores.
Alcoholic beverages law is unique in the American legal landscape in that it is the only trade product explicitly mentioned in the US constitution, and one of the few products where regulation is primarily under the purview of the individual states vs the federal government. Mr. Dhungana has extensive personal experience navigating the legal landscape in California, Nevada, Colorado and Washington States. He and his team at the Federal Practice Group can help you navigate the complexities of liquor beverage laws throughout the United States.
In addition, Mr. Dhungana and the Federal Practice Group is well-versed in employment issues relating to Food, beverage, or alcohol sales businesses, and can guide clients through immigration laws in the event a business wants to bring talented sommeliers, vintners, brewmasters, distillers, or cicerones to the United States from abroad.
He is fluent in Nepali and Tagalog, having been born in the Philippines and having grown up in Nepal. He is also fluent in Hindi, Norwegian, and Swedish.
Mr. Dhungana graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) then subsequently attended and graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) William S. Boyd School of Law. During his time in law school, Mr. Dhungana established and organized UNLV’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program in conjunction with the Internal Revenue Service, and taught tax classes in the greater Las Vegas community, as well as at Nellis U.S. Air Force base, for which Mr. Dhungana earned the Dean’s Award for individual contributions and accomplishments of note to the community.
Mr. Hargreaves is an associate attorney with the Federal Practice Group. His practice focuses on government contracts and civil litigation. In this role Mr. Hargreaves counsels and represents government contractors in bid protests, size protests, and solicitation reviews; terminations, constructive change claims, equitable adjustment requests, and other federal government contract performance disputes; Buy American compliance and navigating the complex system of domestic sourcing requirements for federal contractors; alternative dispute resolution and prime contractor-subcontractor disputes, as well as suspension and debarment proceedings. Mr. Hargreaves also regularly represents clients in other administrative law matters before agency forums, federal district courts, and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
Prior to joining the Federal Practice Group as an associate attorney, Mr. Hargreaves served as a law clerk for FPG while attending law school. He also served as a legal intern in the chambers of the Honorable Marian Blank Horn at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.
Mr. Hargreaves is a graduate of Virginia Tech and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies, with a focus in World Politics, and a Bachelor of Arts in German. He received his Juris Doctor, with a concentration in Government Procurement, from the George Washington University Law School.
Ms. Joshi is a Senior Associate with the Federal Practice Group. Her main practice focuses on immigration law.
Prior to joining the Federal Practice Group, Ms. Joshi worked for a California based law firm, where she represented clients in master hearings before EOIR in asylum cases, prepared applications for work permits and other applications for filing with USCIS, prepared filings for the EOIR and USCIS and assisted in review and translation of declarations in asylum cases.
Ms. Joshi’s other experience includes Pro Bono work at various legal clinics, including the Veterans Legal Institute where she assisted the staff attorney with discharge upgrade applications and appeal briefs. She also volunteered with bankruptcy clinics, local community legal clinics and the National Guard Armory Shelter, conducting client interviews and intake, reviewing documents and participating in legal assessments, responses and communications under experienced attorneys.
Ms. Joshi is fluent in Hindi, Marathi, Gujrati, and English. Ms. Joshi also has extensive experience volunteering in her local community and is passionate about empowering through education. She is trained as a Domestic Violence Advocate in California and has experience in Domestic Violence Advocacy through a non-profit organization.
Ms. Joshi earned her Juris Doctorate from Northwestern California University School of Law. She received her Master’s of Business Administration from Webster University in California and her Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering (Industrial Electronics) in India.
Ms. Koneru is an Associate with the Federal Practice Group. Her practice is focused on government contracting and complex litigation.
Prior to joining the Federal Practice Group, Ms. Koneru worked at the General Services Administration's Office of General Counsel as a Legal Intern in both the Personal Property Division and Acquisition Policy Division where she researched and drafted memorandum on government contracts related issues, including default termination, CICA stays, and bid protests. She also drafted and amended rules for the agency’s internal regulations manual.
Prior to the GSA, Ms. Koneru worked as a legal assistant within the Federal Judicial Center where she researched, compiled, blue-booked, and synthesized sources on shadow banking and Chapter 14 of the Bankruptcy Code for the upcoming Dodd-Frank Report and co-authored Appendix B of the Dodd-Frank Report. Prior to the Federal Judicial Center, Ms. Koneru worked as a Research Assistant at The George Washington University Law School where she researched, coded, and compiled data on wrongful conviction statistics and compensation in the U.S. and assisted in cases within the Public Justice Advocacy Clinic.
Ms. Koneru’s other experience includes interning for a D.C. law firm specializing in family and probate law, where she assisted in research and drafted client documents including wills, trusts, power of attorney agreements and litigation documents, including complaints and answers.
Ms. Koneru earned her Juris Doctorate from The George Washington University Law School. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Economics, with Minors in Criminal Justice and Public Health from The George Washington University
Mr. McMillan is a Senior Associate with the Federal Practice Group. Mr. McMillan is experienced in civil and criminal litigation, military law, government investigations, and government contracting.
Mr. McMillan retired from active duty after serving 20 years in the United States Marine Corps which included two combat deployments to Iraq and duties which ranged from prosecution, defense, legal assistance, command advisor for operational and installation commands, and service before the Military Commissions. Mr. McMillan further provided command legal advice during a historic period of transition to a gender-integrated training environment at Parris Island, South Carolina, and also delivered experienced legal counsel while operating in a pandemic environment which presented novel legal issues pertaining to courts-martial litigation, installation access, federal/state jurisdiction, media inquiries, congressional inquiries, and religious accommodation requests. After retirement from active duty in 2021, Mr. McMillan entered private practice in Jacksonville, North Carolina.
Mr. McMillan is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Campbell University School of Law. He also received a Master of Laws degree (LL.M.) from the Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School with a specialty in International and Operations Law.
Mr. McMillan is admitted to practice before the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, the Supreme Court of the United States, and the state of North Carolina.
Eric S. Montalvo, a Founding Partner of the Federal Practice Group, has earned an international reputation as an aggressive, thorough, and respected trial attorney. He is familiar with the overwhelming nature of complex litigation and associated media strategies. Mr. Montalvo currently maintains a Top Secret/SCI security clearance. He has been recognized as a national leader in military law.
Mr. Montalvo, a “Mustang”, retired from active duty after serving 21 years in the United States Marine Corps which included combat tours during Desert Shield/Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom, deployments to Afghanistan and duties which ranged from prosecution, defense, command advisor, representing the U.S. Department of Justice as a Special Assistant to the U.S. Attorney for Parris Island before the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina, and service before the Military Commissions.
Mr. Montalvo focuses his practice on complex litigation matters, government contracts, military law, and international dispute resolution.
Mr. Montalvo undertakes work in Afghanistan and abroad, navigating language and cultural barriers, interpreting complex international law and unprecedented issues, working directly with members of Congress, foreign embassies, foreign governmental ministries, Department of Justice attorneys, and Former President Obama’s Guantanamo Bay Task Force and Detainee Review team.
After graduating with honors with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from the University of South Carolina, Mr. Montalvo received his Juris Doctor degree from Temple University School of Law with honors. While pursuing his law degree, he served as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Nitza I. Quinones Alejandro and interned with the Legal Clinic for the Disabled, the Camden Public Defender’s Office, and the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. Mr. Montalvo also participated in Temple University’s study abroad program in Greece, where he focused his studies on international law.
Ricardo J.A. Pitts-Wiley is a partner at the Federal Practice Group and has more than 15 years of experience in the areas of federal sector employment and labor law.
Mr. Pitts-Wiley provides representation to federal employees in a wide range of employment and labor matters, including discrimination, harassment, reasonable accommodation, family and medical leave, performance-based actions, conduct-based actions, ethics, security clearance, collective bargaining agreement violations, debt collection, whistleblower retaliation, inspector general investigations, Freedom of Information Act, Privacy Act, disability retirement, retirement annuity calculations, and unemployment insurance appeals. He has significant experience representing clients at various stages of the administrative process, as well as during settlement negotiations and mediations.
Mr. Pitts-Wiley has practiced numerous times before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, as well as before Federal and District of Columbia courts.
Prior to joining the Federal Practice Group, Mr. Pitts-Wiley worked for three Washington, D.C. law firms, with a focus on employment law. He also served as General Counsel for a Rhode Island-based nonprofit organization, where he managed a myriad of issues ranging from corporate tax and securities to copyright and trademark, to performance art contracts. Previously, he worked as an Associate and Senior Associate in the labor and employment law department of a New York-based law firm. At the outset of his professional career, Mr. Pitts-Wiley ascended from paralegal to law clerk, and to law associate with a boutique D.C.-based law firm specializing in federal employment and labor law. He also worked for a D.C non-profit organization which operated an employment legal clinic for low-income workers.
Mr. Pitts-Wiley received his Juris Doctor from American University’s Washington College of Law in Washington, D.C. While pursuing his law degree, he participated in the clinical program and, as a student-trial attorney, he represented local residents in the Montgomery County District Court of Maryland. He holds dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Public Policy Studies as well as African & African-American Studies from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.
Mr. Pope is an Associate with the Federal Practice Group and is part of the law firm’s federal employment group.
Prior to joining the Federal Practice Group, Mr. Pope served as a Legal Intern at Phyllis J. Outlaw and Associates based in D.C., where he interviewed clients regarding ongoing litigation and researched and drafted memoranda, court filings and litigation relating to property and corporate law. He also served as a Legal Intern at U.S. Ability One, where he researched and drafted memoranda in relation to government procurement contracts under the Javits-Wagner-O’Day (JOWD) Act , as well as researched and reviewed the legislative history and intent of the JOWD Act.
Mr. Pope earned his Juris Doctorate from The George Washington University Law School, with a concentration in Government Contracts Law, and his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley.
Mr. Pope is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia.
Ms. Thompson was recently promoted to Deputy Managing Partner with the Federal Practice Group. Her practice is focused on criminal and civil litigation, military defense, national security law, FOIA litigation, and government contracting. Within these fields, she represents active duty, reserve and guard, former servicemembers, and federal employees and contractors, with her representation ranging from assistance with adjudication of security clearances, administrative matters, disciplinary action, courts-martial, appeals, and contract disputes.
Ms. Thompson’s representation includes assistance with applications for, and responses to denial or revocations of, security clearances with all respective agencies. She also assists with appeals of courts-martial and federal convictions; she has successfully over-turned convictions in both the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals and the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. As a judge advocate in the Marine Corps and former Special Assistant to the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, she has a first-hand working knowledge of the unique administrative and legal systems within the intelligence communities, military, Department of Defense, and federal systems, and knows how to navigate each system respectively. Ms. Thompson has extensive experience with wrongful discharge claims before the various military correction boards and the Court of Federal Claims and has successfully petitioned for the removal of adverse documentation from servicemembers’ personnel files and for the upgrade of less than honorable characterizations of service.
Ms. Thompson is a graduate of The University of Tulsa College of Law and Texas A&M University and has a Masters in the Study of Law with a focus on Government Contracting and Procurement Law from the University of Dayton’s School of Law. She is admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, the United States Court of Federal Claims, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals, and the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals. She is admitted to practice in Washington, D.C., Ohio, and Oklahoma.
Heather White is a Partner with the Federal Practice Group. She specializes in federal sector employment litigation, practicing before the EEOC, the MSPB, the D.C. Office of Employee Appeals, the D.C. Office of Human Rights, as well as local and federal courts in civil rights, anti-discrimination and personnel/civil service cases. She is admitted to practice law in New York and Washington, D.C., and before the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. She has also appeared pro hac vice before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Ms. White is a member of the Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association, the D.C. Bar’s Employment Law section, and the New York State Bar Association. Ms. White has served as a faculty member at the EEOC’s Annual EXCEL Conferences, and has served a presenting panel member at the 2011 and 2017 MWELA Conferences in Washington, D.C.
Prior to joining the Federal Practice Group, Ms. White specialized in federal sector and private sector employment litigation. She has represented federal employees in EEO complaints and MSPB appeals, in federal court and in administrative proceedings. Ms. White has represented federal employees in proceedings before Administrative Judges in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, and San Francisco. Her practice has often involved factually-related EEO complaints filed by employees of the same repeat-offender federal agencies. She has also represented federal contractors seeking to vindicate their rights to a safe and discrimination-free workplace.
Ms. White’s first job after law school was with a Union-side law firm in Upstate New York which specialized in labor law and employment litigation before the National Labor Relations Board, the New York State Division of Human Rights, and federal and state courts.
Ms. White graduated from The College of William & Mary in Virginia (B.A., 1995) with Honors in International Relations (specializing in Russian Area studies). She earned a graduate degree at Georgetown University, also in Russian and Eurasian Studies (M.A.,1998). She attended Tulane University Law School (J.D., 2003), completing Tulane’s common law curriculum. During all three years of law school, she clerked for the Innocence Project New Orleans, a non-profit legal organization specializing in non-DNA-based exonerations of people wrongfully convicted and sentenced to life without parole in Louisiana state prisons. In 2003 she was awarded Tulane’s McSherry Award for Outstanding Public Service for her years of work with IPNO. Ms. White also served as the Senior Articles Editor of Tulane’s Journal of American Arbitration. She is the author of Clear and Unmistakable: The Third Circuit’s Specificity Requirements for Contractual Waiver of the Federal Arbitration Act, 1 J.Am. Arb. 285 (2002).
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