W. E. "Ned" Whittington, Managing Principal
W. E. "Ned" Whittington, Wheaton College (B.A. 1973); Duke Law School (J.D. 1976). Editorial Board, Duke Law
Journal. Mr. Whittington was previously a partner at Bell, Boyd & Lloyd in
Chicago, a 180-lawyer firm now merged into K&L Gates, where he practiced for
nine years. His Chicago practice was interrupted by service as an Army JAG
Corps officer and prosecutor in Germany. He moved to the Upper Valley in 1989, where he was a partner and principal with Brooks McNally Whittington
Platto & Vitt until 1997, and with Whittington Melendy & Girdwood from 1998 to
2002. Since January 2003 he has
practiced as managing principal of Whittington Law Associates, PLLC.
litigator, Mr. Whittington’s areas of practice include commercial and
business fraud, intellectual property including copyright and trademark
infringement, construction, accountants and lawyers malpractice, employment
and discrimination law. He has been lead counsel in over 100 trials, has more
than 50 "reported" cases, and was lead counsel, and delivered the oral
argument, at the U.S. Supreme Court in the much-cited 1995 case of Field v.
Mans. He has argued frequently in
the most significant appellate courts in the U.S., including in the First,
Second, Seventh and Eleventh U.S. Courts of Appeal, and the Vermont, New
Hampshire and Illinois Supreme Courts.
As counselor, Mr.
Whittington provides all aspects of business legal advice (except securities),
and has for over twenty years served as outside general counsel to one of the
largest religious publishing houses in the United States. He also has
long-time clients in the nursing home, construction and professional services
industries. He has represented publishers and authors concerning numerous
works which became New York Times bestsellers, and has litigated copyright
infringement issues in federal courts in New York, California, Alabama, and
Mr. Whittington has been admitted to practice in the
United States Supreme Court
U.S. Court of
Appeal for the First Circuit (Boston)
U.S. Court of Appeal for the Second
Circuit (New York)
U.S. Court of Appeal for the Seventh Circuit (Chicago)
U.S. Court of Appeal for the Eleventh Circuit (Atlanta)
Court for the Northern District of Illinois
U.S. District Court for the
District of New Hampshire
U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont
U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
Court for the Northern District of Alabama
Illinois Supreme Court (and all
New Hampshire Supreme Court (and all inferior courts)
Vermont Supreme Court (and all inferior courts)
Trademark Trial and Appeal
Board (trademark only, not patent)
Mr. Whittington was counsel in the following
cases which set national (Field, Ostler and FriendFinder)
or state-wide (Durham) precedent:
Field v. Mans, 516 U.S. 59 (1995).
The U.S. Supreme Court determined the standard of “justifiable reliance”
required to for a creditor to overcome the usual bankruptcy discharge under
Section 523 of the Bankruptcy Code.
Ostler v. Codman Research Group,
1999 LEXIS 14231 (D.N.H. 1999). Under the securities fraud statute and SEC
Rule 10-b-5, the first case nationally to hold that the purchaser-seller
“standing” requirement was met by an option-holder who declined to exercise
his options. Subsequent appeal, 241 F. 3d 91 (1st Cir. 2001).
Durham v. Durham, 151
N.H. 757 (N.H. 2005).
First New Hampshire case to establish that a
minority shareholder in a close corporation has standing to bring a direct
suit for oppression and fraud by the majority. New Hampshire Supreme Court.
Doe v. FriendFinder Network, Inc., 540 F. Supp. 288 (D.N.H.
2008). In a case brought against a national “adult-oriented” social network,
the first case to hold that the blanket immunity for internet publishers under
the Communications Decency Act can be overcome by a Lanham Act claim for false
and in several other notable cases:
Beane v. Beane, 856
F. Supp. 2d 280 (D.N.H. 2012). Achieved judgment for defendant on all 26 counts,
plus attorneys’ fees of $75,000, in defense of complex business claims for $62
million arising out of the failure of a large manufacturing business. The case
addressed virtually all business claims, including breach of fiduciary duty,
trade secrets, patents and other intellectual property, contract and
usurpation of corporate opportunities. The court authored an 80-page opinion
addressing the issues.
T-Peg, Inc. v. Vermont Timber Works, Inc.,
459 F. 3d 97 (1st Cir. 2006) and 669 F. 3d 59 (1st Cir.
2006). Achieved jury verdict on all counts for defendant in a copyright
infringement case. This was the first case in the First Circuit (northeast)
addressing copyright aspects of “architectural works.” Attorneys fees were
awarded in favor of our client.
Burgin v. LaHaye,
09-16066 (11th Cir. 2010). Judgment on all counts on behalf of Tim
LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, authors of over a dozen
New York Times No. 1 Bestsellers, in
copyright infringement claims. Case in Alabama and Georgia federal courts.
Thoene v. New Line Productions, Inc. and Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.,
07-5655 (C.D. California 2008). Successful defense, on behalf of national
publishing house, of copyright infringement case arising out of Mel Gibson’s
film The Passion of the Christ.
Details confidential. Central District of California federal court.
Personal: Mr. Whittington is married to
Christiana Whittington, a K-8 music educator, and has three college-age
children, studying History, Classical Voice and Physical Therapy. He spends
his free time in the garden and hiking the local mountains.
35 South Main Street
• Hanover, NH 03755 • (603) 643-2755 • Also in Woodstock, VT
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