Kelley Drye

Attorneys & Professionals 

Ira T. Kasdan

Partner Email vCard
Washington, D.C.
Phone: (202) 342-8864
Fax: (202) 342-8451

In his fourth decade of practice, Ira Kasdan is focused on complex civil litigation and alternative dispute resolution. He has successfully argued, and won, high-stakes litigation in federal and state courts and before government agencies, as well as achieved several precedent-setting results in a variety of cases in different areas of the law.

Mr. Kasdan is dedicated to resolving disputes in the most economical way possible, which does not always involve the traditional litigation process. As a result, he works diligently to help his clients avert and avoid litigation altogether and is regularly involved in private arbitration and mediation. In the event a claim cannot be resolved outside of court, Mr. Kasdan serves as a formidable advocate. He has represented corporations and individuals in matters involving complex breach of contract claims, class action lawsuits, fraud, misrepresentation and related tort claims, as well as in disputes involving telecommunications law, real property and zoning issues, non-competition contract clauses, theft of high-tech trade secrets, wrongful termination and conspiracy claims, and allegations of false advertising.

Mr. Kasdan also advises clients in the increasingly contentious area of animal law litigation. As co-chair of the firm’s Animal Law practice, he has litigated claims arising under the Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act and Animal Welfare Act. He has also defended clients involved in a variety of other animal law–related issues dealing with state trapping statutes and regulations, and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests made by animal rights groups’ claims.

A consummate team player, Mr. Kasdan is known for acute attention to detail, honed analytical skills, his responsiveness to clients and an innate ability to synthesize and streamline large amounts of information into easily understood, fact-based and effective positions. He understands his clients’ business goals and the results they need to remain competitive and not bogged down in wasteful litigation. If, however, his clients must litigate, Mr. Kasdan works to help them to obtain attorneys’ fees. While generally there are very few cases where attorneys’ fees are awarded under the “American rule” of litigation, his advocacy has resulted in several awards of attorneys’ fees, based on Rule 11 sanctions and under applicable statutes.

Representative Experience
Select Reported Decisions

Herron v. Fannie Mae, 2016 WL 1177918 (D.D.C. 2016) 

WildEarth Guardians v. Kirkpatrick, 2015 WL 5923608 (D.N.M. 2015.)

Greenberg v. Colvin, 2015 WL 4078042 (D.D.C. 2015)

Greenberg v. Colvin, 63 F.Supp.3d 37 (D.D.C. 2014)

Sears, Roebuck and Co. v. Riggs Distler & Co., Inc., 2013 WL 4780062 (D. Md. 2013).

WildEarth Guardians v. Lane, 2012 WL 6019306 (D.N.M. 2012).

Tilikum ex rel. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Inc. v. Sea World Parks & Entertainment, Inc., 842 F. Supp. 2d 1259 (S.D. Cal. 2012).

Sears, Roebuck and Co. v. Riggs Distler & Co., Inc., 2012 WL 1391838 (D. Md. 2012).

SecureInfo Corp. v. Telos Corp., 387 F. Supp. 2d 593 (E.D.Va. 2005).

Live Entertainment, Inc. v. Digex, Inc.,300 F. Supp. 2d 1273 (S.D.Fla. 2003).

Verizon Maryland Inc. v. RCN Telecom Services,232 F. Supp. 2d 539 (D.Md. 2002).

Animal Protection Institute v. Mosbacher, 799 F. Supp. 173 (D.D.C. 1992).

Smith v. Chamber of Commerce of United States,645 F. Supp. 604 (D.D.C. 1986).

Representative Matters

Lead attorney in successfully defending Fannie Mae and executives against claims brought by an alleged whistleblower; the court awarded all defendants summary judgment on all counts against them for wrongful termination, tortious interference with business expectancies and conspiracy.

Lead attorney in a class action suit against The Social Security Administration in which Kelley Drye was appointed class counsel, and the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia awarded attorneys’ fees under Section 406(b) of the Social Security Act in a precedent-setting decision.

Lead attorney in obtaining a dismissal with prejudice and entry of a summary judgment against WildEarth Guardians in defending State of New Mexico officials against allegations that they violated the Endangered Species Act by failing to ban all trapping in areas where Mexican gray wolves were found.  The court granted our motion and awarded attorney’s fees for New Mexico against WildEarth Guardians.

Lead attorney in obtaining a dismissal of a complaint brought in federal court claiming that animals have standing to bring lawsuits and have rights under the Thirteenth Amendment of the Constitution.

Lead attorney in obtaining a summary judgment in federal court on behalf of a telecommunications client against a plaintiff who, as it turned out, was a fugitive from the law and had sued for breach of contract and fraud.

Lead counsel in defending a telecommunications firm and principals in a putative class action brought in federal district court under the Telephone Protection Consumer Protection Act; won a dismissal on the grounds of a lack of jurisdiction.

Lead counsel in defending a company in the advertising field against a class action brought in state court; convinced the plaintiff’s counsel that the case was unsupported and not certifiable as a class action; the case settled for a nominal amount without the client having to file an answer.

Lead co-counsel in a class action case brought against a storage company in state court; the case settled without the plaintiff obtaining class certification after the court made favorable discovery rulings in favor of our client.

Lead attorney in obtaining a favorable, mediated settlement in a case brought in federal court against a mortgagee to recover a prepayment penalty fee.

Lead attorney in persuading a federal agency to reverse a decision to release proprietary and private information of a trade association and individuals in a “reverse-FOIA” case, and instead voluntarily remanded the case from federal court to the agency for further administrative review and consideration.

Lead attorney in obtaining an early, favorable mediated settlement after filing suit in federal court for a high level executive who had been improperly denied severance pay and benefits by a former employer.

Lead attorney in defending a small, high-tech start-up company against charges that it stole trade secrets, forcing the plaintiff, a subsidiary of an AMEX-listed company, to dismiss the lawsuit and pay partial legal fees.

Defended a software company in arbitration involving three parties and alleging breach of contract and related claims; our aggressive litigation stance resulted in a dismissal of all claims against the client with no liability.

Lead attorney in defending a former bank CEO, who departed the bank after its takeover, against breach of contract and related charges resulting in the bank’s agreement to make all severance payments due under the CEO’s contract, plus attorneys’ fees.

Negotiated numerous, favorable settlement agreements on behalf of telecommunications companies who had been denied their access service fee payments.

Lead attorney in three related actions involving federal and state securities law, fraud, RICO and breach of contract claims resulting in favorable recoveries for a client against a Wall Street brokerage firm and accountants.

Lead attorney in winning a summary judgment on behalf of a large independent oil company in a multimillion-dollar lawsuit brought in federal court by a major U.S. refiner.

Lead attorney in a petition filed before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit challenging proposed OSHA regulations; obtained a stay and ultimately, on the strength of the arguments in the Court of Appeals petition, OSHA withdrew the proposed regulations.

Lead attorney for a NYSE-listed company in a multi-party FERC “market power” proceeding; obtained an Administrative Law Judge opinion that was favorable to the client.

Served as a member of a team of lawyers with a pivotal drafting and research role in connection with a $70 million international arbitration award to a NYSE-listed telecommunications client in the 1980s.

Memberships & Associations

American Bar Association

Maryland State Bar Association

Honors & Awards

Recognized as a leading attorney in Business Litigation practice area by Washington D.C. Super Lawyers, 2012-2014.

Martindale-Hubbell "AV" Peer Review Rated for Very High to Preeminent Ethical Standards and Legal Ability

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February 21, 2017

Legal, Regulatory and Legislative Challenges and Opportunities in the Year Ahead

Alliance of Marine Mammals Parks & Aquariums Annual Meeting