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Profile: W. E. "Ned" Whittington, Managing Principal

Ned Whittington

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.

As 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 New Hampshire.

Mr. Whittington has been admitted to practice in the following courts:

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)
U.S. District 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
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama
Illinois Supreme Court (and all inferior courts)
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 advertising.

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.

Language: German.

Email: ned@whittington-law.com




35 South Main Street   •   Hanover, NH 03755   •   (603) 643-2755   •   Also in Woodstock, VT

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