The federal government awards at least 23% of its contracting dollars to small businesses, with a 5% set-aside allocated to “socially and economically disabled” business enrolled in the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 8(a) program (named after Section 8(a) of the Small Business Act 1953).
Benefits of the 8(a) program include:
If you are unsure of your company’s eligibility to apply to the 8(a) program, you may want to consult the Federal Practice Group as our government contract attorneys can assist you in obtaining and maintaining certification.
The requirements for section 8(a) are as follows and vary by each company’s unique circumstance:
Applicants for the program must be screened to ensure each criterion is met. Applicants who are initially denied can appeal the decision. Additionally, once an applicant is certified, there is always a possibility that an award of an 8(a) set aside contract could cause another 8(a) business who lost the bid to then protest your certification. The Federal Practice Group offers legal representation for a wide range of issues encountered by applicants and certified businesses, to include:
We understand the needs of small businesses and work one-on-one with our clients to provide them with the knowledge and tools both to utilize all of the benefits available to companies of their size and to avoid potential pitfalls for contractors unfamiliar with the SBA’s 8(a) requirements.
The proven attorneys at the Federal Practice Group have over a century of combined experience successfully assisting federal employees, government contractors, and military personnel through the most difficult periods of their lives and careers.
Ms. 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.
Ms. Au is admitted to practice in Maryland.
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.
Destyn Stanton is a Senior Associate at the Federal Practice Group. She has developed a diverse practice mix representing clients in complex commercial litigation matters as well as providing legal business advice and representation to corporate clients on numerous business contracts and transactions.
The focus of Ms. Stanton’s practice is concentrated on complex commercial litigation across industry sectors nationwide before state and federal trial and appellate courts. She has concentrated expertise represented clients in contract disputes; claims involving negligence, fraud, and bad faith; as well as trademark infringement: and misappropriation of trade secrets.
Ms. Stanton is admitted to practice in Oklahoma, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court.
Mr. Asbill is an Associate with the Federal Practice Group. His practice focuses on government contracting; intellectual property; corporate transactional matters; and complex commercial litigation.
Prior to joining the Federal Practice Group, Mr. Asbill represented clients in civil and criminal matters for a national law firm specializing in intellectual property and complex commercial litigation. Prior to his joining the nation law firm Mr. Asbill served as a criminal prosecutor managing felony cases including work on homicides and sexual offenses. He was also appointed the special prosecutor for animal abuse and cruelty matters for Tulsa County where he worked jury trials, as both, a second and first chair counsel.
Mr. Asbill earned his Juris Doctorate from The University of Tulsa College of Law. He received his Bachelor of Science in Political Science from the Oklahoma Christian University.
Ms. Erica Bilkis is an Associate with the Federal Practice Group and is part of the law firm’s federal employment team. Prior to being named an Associate, Ms. Bilkis was a Law Clerk at FPG who researched and drafted briefs on employment issues, including gender discrimination and other EEO issues, on the cases before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). In addition to written pleadings, Ms. Bilkis prepared affidavits and written discovery responses during her most recent clerkship at FPG.
Prior to joining the Federal Practice Group, Ms. Bilkis served as a Law Clerk at one other prestigious DC law firm and was part of the research team at The Justice Collaborative. She also clerked at First Shift Justice Project where she interviewed low-income women to determine if they had a meritorious claim for pregnancy discrimination and/or failure to accommodate in their workplace. She advised them on their rights and drafted demand letters for employers who discriminated against them.
Ms. Bilkis earned her Juris Doctorate from George Washington University Law School and her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Development from Tulane University and graduated Cum Laude.
Ms. Bilkis’ is admitted to practice in Virginia.
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.
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 solicitation reviews, bid protests, terminations, constructive change claims, multiple award schedule contracts, suspension and debarment proceedings, mandatory disclosures, alternative dispute resolution, base debarments, False Claims Act (FCA) action, and other issues under the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and Contract Disputes Act (CDA).
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 United States 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 an 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, 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. 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. Louise E. Ryder is an Associate with the Federal Practice Group and is part of the law firm’s federal employment law group. Ms. Ryder has extensive experience 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 arbitral tribunals. Ms. Ryder’s practice focuses on pursuing EEO complaints, whistleblower retaliation, defending against proposed disciplinary and adverse actions, sexual harassment, failure to reasonably accommodate claims, and denial or interference with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
Prior to joining the Federal Practice Group, Ms. Ryder worked for six years at a top Washington, D.C. law firm that represented federal and state government and private sector employees. She served as a Legal Intern at both the Department of Labor, Office of the Solicitor and at the D.C. Office of Administrative Hearings. Her first Legal Internship was at Legal Aid Services of Oregon.
Ms. Ryder earned her Juris Doctorate from American University Washington College of Law and while there, she was President of Business Law Society and active in both the Business Law Review and Law Revue. Before transferring to American University Washington College of Law, she spent a year at the University of Oregon School of Law where she received the 2010 Equal Justice Works Summer Corps Standout Award for her work at the Legal Aid Services of Oregon and was selected for the John and Elenor Halderman Scholarship. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of California, Berkeley.
Ms. Ryder is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia.
Laura Berry is a Senior Counsel at Federal Practice Group with adept experience as a counselor and litigator delivering results when the stakes are high and the issues complex. Her skills in developing a company’s litigation strategy, the preparation and defense of witnesses, expert testimony, and expert cross examinations help direct the course of trials to favorable results.
She focuses her practice on complex privacy, consumer protection, commercial, and IP litigation, representing leading business clients in complex and multistate actions and governmental litigation and investigations. She is a national leader in benefit corporation formation and conversion, and related non-profit funding. She is deeply familiar with privacy and cybersecurity litigation, advising clients on the potential impact of civil litigation, mitigating associated risks, and state and federal governmental investigations. Her clients include multinational corporations, government contractors, sports and entertainment, and health care. She consults and assists in the Firm’s federal litigation and proceedings across the nation. Ms. Berry is experienced in advocating for U.S. and global clients, effectively representing them in all phases of critical business operations and disputes.
Before joining the Federal Practice Group Ms. Berry formed the first benefit corporation ever, and since then has formed as many as or more benefit corporations than any other attorney in the nation. She also pioneered a ground-breaking relationship between a benefit LLC and a non-profit designed to create a new model for non-profit funding. She has been instrumental in benefit corporation legislative efforts including testifying by invitation before state legislatures and committees, and has been named a B Corp Champion by B Labs.
Ms. Berry has gained international recognition through her thought leadership imparted before the United Nations, Yale Law School, U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Department of State, and other national and international institutions. Her work has been featured in The Washington Post, the BBC World News, Bisnow, and other media. Ms. Berry also worked on Capitol Hill for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Ms. Berry is a member of the US-Afghan Women’s Council, a public-private partnership established by Presidents George W. Bush and Hamid Karzai that connects the U.S. and Afghan governments, the private sector, and civil society to develop and implement initiatives in support of Afghan women.
Timothy Kittle is a Senior Counsel at the Federal Practice Group. He has deep experience and passion for representing individuals and holding agencies and/or government accountable to established rules and procedure.
Mr. Kittle’s practice focus is concentrated on complex civil litigation across industry and government sectors nationwide before state and federal trial and appellate courts. He has particular expertise representing clients in criminal defense, civil rights enforcement both state and federal including Title VII, Title IX, and 42 U.S.C. §1983, and Plaintiff side private sector employment law.
Prior to entering the profession of law, Mr. Kittle was an accomplished and decorated law enforcement officer with over twenty years of service.
Mr. Kittle is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin system (Whitewater and Platteville) and the University of Tulsa College of Law.
Timothy Kittle is a member of two State Bar Associations, Wisconsin and Oklahoma, and is admitted to all three Federal District Courts in Oklahoma, the Western District of Texas, as well as the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Mr. John J. Michels Jr. is a veteran trial lawyer with litigation experience in both military and civilian courts, as well as substantial international business experience in Russia and the CIS.
The bulk of his litigation work is in the area of federal and state employment law, including EEO, wage and hour, and union litigation.
He also has a substantial and diverse background in so-called “quasi-commercial cases,” including intellectual property and trade secret claims, stock option grants and entitlements, and benefits litigation. A member of the Illinois, D.C., and Tennessee bars, he has appeared before the District of Columbia, Fourth, Sixth, Tenth, and Seventh Circuit Courts of Appeal, and before a variety of Federal District and state courts, including the Virginia Supreme Court.
An honors graduate of the Air Force Academy and Duke Law School, Mr. Michels has some 2800 hours of flying time in Strategic Air Command aircraft, as well as some 100 hours of crew member time on Aeroflot aircraft.
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).
David Keesling is a National Partner at the Federal Practice Group. A Marine veteran, he is widely regarded as one of the most aggressive and accomplished civil litigators in the Nation built over twenty years of courtroom experience. Mr. Keesling's expertise is on conflict resolution and problem-solving ranging from transactional disputes to appellate Constitutional questions. Mr. Keesling prides himself on building long term relationships with his clients and helping them through the gauntlet of personal and professional legal issues that arise over one's lifetime.
The focus of Mr. Keesling's practice is concentrated on complex commercial litigation across industry sectors nationwide before state and federal trial and appellate courts. Mr. Keesling international experience is critical to the firm’s burgeoning cross-border practice. He represents a cross-section of clients including individuals; professionals; small and large businesses; entrepreneurs; employers/employees; shareholders; investors; non-profit organizations; and middle market and nationally recognized companies.
In addition to his work as a trial lawyer, Mr. Keesling is a court-certified mediator, experienced in mediating complex civil matters and UNCITRAL arbitrations involving contract disputes involving the United Nations. In 2020, Mr. Keesling was selected to serve the United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma as a Federal Adjunct Settlement Judge.
Mr. Keesling is a graduate of the Missouri State Hill University and University of Tulsa College of Law. He is also a Court-Certified Mediator.
David Keesling's representative experience knows no boundaries handling cases in federal and state courts in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Tennessee, and Texas, as well as international matters in Canada, China, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan and the Republic of Mali.
Ricardo J.A. Pitts-Wiley is a partner at the Federal Practice Group and has over 10 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.
Ms. Thompson is a 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.
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. 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 previously worked in the food and beverage industry, and eventually owned and operated several restaurants across the Southwestern United States. He advises clients engaged in the brewery, winery, distillery, restaurant, and bar businesses.
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.
Eric S. Montalvo, a Founding Partner of the firm, 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.
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 worldwide 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 15 years of experience in this complicated area of the law and has obtained successful outcomes for her clients, including findings of liability in discrimination claims and reversals of adverse actions such as removals. Additionally, Ms. D’Agostino has 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. 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 served 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 three years she has been recognized for her skill as an attorney by being named to the Super Lawyers list. 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.
The Federal Practice Group provides skilled, results-driven representation. Through their thorough and aggressive representation of clients, our attorneys have earned a reputation throughout the legal community as relentless advocates who leave no stone unturned. This passionate, exacting approach yields results for our clients.