Kelley Drye

Attorneys & Professionals 

Joseph D. Wilson

Special Counsel Email vCard
Washington, D.C.
Phone: (202) 342-8504
Fax: (202) 342-8451

Joe Wilson is a special counsel in the firm's Washington, D.C. office. He focuses his practice on business litigation in federal and state courts, before government agencies, and in arbitrations and mediations. Mr. Wilson's experience includes providing legal counselling and representation in litigation to companies and businesses on:

  • employment law and disputes;
  • disputes and matters involving the increasingly contentious area of federal, state and local laws pertaining to the taking, use, display, and sale of animals and animal products, including the Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act and Animal Welfare Act; and,
  • various other kinds of business disputes, including those involving commercial and financial transactions, intellectual property, and issues of telecommunications law, to name just a few.

Before joining Kelley Drye, Mr. Wilson served as law clerk to the Honorable Gregory E. Mize of The Superior Court for the District of Columbia.

Representative Experience

Employment Law

Herron v. Fannie Mae, et al. (D.D.C.)
Second chair on team representing large financial institution and some of its executives and employees in defense of a high-profile whistleblower case raising claims of wrongful discharge in violation of the public policy, tortious interference with future employment opportunities, and civil conspiracy. The case is currently pending.

Mann v. Standard Motor Products, Inc. (E.D. Va., 4th Cir.)
As lead counsel in defending employer against former employee’s Title VII retaliation claims, Mr. Wilson prepared and argued a Rule 12(b)(6) motion which was granted and resulted in dismissal of the case in favor of the employer. The district court order dismissing the employee’s claims was affirmed on appeal. See 532 Fed. Appx. 417.  Mr. Wilson drafted the appellate brief for the employer.

Eastern Cranial Affiliates, LLC v. Lee, et al. (Va. Cir. Ct. – Arlington County)
Lead counsel for a company in defense of a claim that it tortiously interfered with a covenant not to compete by hiring the plaintiff’s employee. Mr. Wilson advised the company on strategy and represented it in court filings and negotiations with counsel for the other parties. The claims against the company were resolved out of court.

Toohey v. DGI Services, LLC, et al. (D.N.J.)
Co-lead counsel in litigation filed on behalf of an executive seeking severance and other pay owed to him by his former employer. Among other things, Mr. Wilson prepared the client’s mediation statement and represented him in mediation before a federal magistrate judge. The dispute ultimately was resolved out of court.

Miller’s Office Products v. Duke (Va. Cir. Ct. – Fairfax. County)
Member of team representing an employer on claims that its former employee breached covenants not to complete, to solicit, and to disclose. Among other things, Mr. Wilson provided advice on litigation strategy. The case was resolved out of court.

Barbara v. Advance Interactive Services, LLC (Fl. Cir. Ct. - Hillsborough County)
Member of team defending an employer against claims by its former executive for violation of a Florida wage statute and for breach of an employment agreement. Mr. Wilson prepared a motion to dismiss, or alternatively, to compel arbitration which resulted in the case being sent to arbitration. The case ultimately was resolved out of court.

Mr. Wilson has counseled clients on various employment matters, including covenants not to compete and requirements and rights under employment discrimination laws. He has also conducted pre-litigation investigations and advised clients on potential claims and exposure for violation of employment discrimination and other employment-related laws, breach of employment and partnership agreements, and breach of fiduciary duty.

Animal Law

Tilikum, et al. v. Sea World Parks & Entertainment, Inc., et al. (S.D. Cal.)
As an integral member of the team defending clients against claim that they held their killer whales in violation of the Thirteenth Amendment, Mr. Wilson had the lead role in drafting the portion of the clients’ motion to dismiss arguing why the Thirteenth Amendment was not violated. The court granted the motion and dismissed the case. See 842 F. Supp.2d 1259.

Mayfair House Inc. v. The City of West Hollywood, California (Cal. Super. Ct.- L.A. County)
Mr. Wilson is lead counsel for plaintiff, a retailer, challenging the legality under the California Constitution of a local ordinance banning the sale of fur clothing. The case has survived the defendant’s demurrer, and currently is pending.

In re West Hollywood Citation No. 31756 (West Hollywood, Ca. Admin. Case)
As co-lead counsel for defendant, a retailer, challenging a citation against it for violating a local ordinance banning the sale of fur clothing, Mr. Wilson assisted in developing the client’s strategy, arguments, and proof in support of its defense. The administrative hearing officer dismissed the citation as it agreed with the arguments made on the client’s behalf that it was cited for offering fur clothing for sale but that the ordinance did not prohibit the act of offering products for sale.

Mogensen v. Virginia Dep’t of Game & Inland Fisheries (DGIF) (Va. Cir. Ct.- Rockbridge County)
As lead counsel for a zoo owner challenging DGIF’s suspension of his license to display animals based on an APHIS inspection report, Mr. Wilson prepared and argued a motion for temporary restraining order seeking to enjoin the agency’s suspension of the client’s license. The case was nonsuited after DGIF reinstated the client’s license.

HSUS v. Macy’s Inc., et al. (D.C. Super. Ct.)
Mr. Wilson is an integral member of the team representing two large retailers against claims brought by HSUS that they should be held in contempt for allegedly advertising fur products in violation of the terms of a court-adopted settlement agreement. The matter currently is pending.

Unlawful Application of The Scar Rule
Mr. Wilson represented the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration Association demanding that APHIS cease and desist the unlawful application of its scar rule regulations in violation of the Horse Protection Act and APHIS’s own procedures.

Mr. Wilson has counseled clients on proposed animal-related legislation and regulations and responses to actual and threatened animal-related actions by administrative agencies. Mr. Wilson has counseled a client in the pet industry on structuring of its business and on APHIS’s licensing regulations and federal and state laws.

Commercial and Financial Litigation

PSINet v. Va. Dept. of Taxation (Va. Cir. Ct. – Loudoun County)
Mr. Wilson served as lead counsel for the plaintiff in this case to recover taxes that the plaintiff overpaid to Commonwealth of Virginia.  Mr. Wilson’s efforts after taking over case from another firm led to a settlement of $5.4 million for the plaintiff.

Essex Bank v. K Bank (D. Md.)
As lead counsel for the client in a case involving  a loan participation agreement, Mr. Wilson developed the client’s claims and case theory, prepared a mediation brief, and conducted mediation before federal magistrate judge.  The case successfully settled.

JPMorgan Chase Bank v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., et al. (S.D.N.Y.)
As part of trial team for JPMorgan Chase in billion dollar suit against several insurers to collect on surety bonds on commodity transactions with Enron, Mr. Wilson conducted discovery, including the depositions of insurers’ representatives, and prepared witness examinations for trial. A favorable settlement was reached during jury deliberations.

Intellectual Property Disputes

SecureInfo v. Telos Corp., et al. (E.D. Va.)
As part of a team defending a large provider of government IT solutions against claims for theft of trade secrets and violation of the federal Copyright, Computer Fraud & Abuse, and RICO acts, Mr. Wilson was the lead attorney in managing discovery in the case. In addition, he assisted in development of defense theories, and defended company executives at depositions. Kelley Drye successfully obtained dismissal of 10 of the 13 claims against the clients (see 387 F. Supp 2d 593) and forced the plaintiff to withdraw its motion for preliminary injunction unilaterally. The case ultimately resulted in a settlement in which the plaintiff and our client dismissed all claims and counterclaims and entered a strategic partnership.

Jacobs Vehicle Equip. Co. v. Pacific Diesel Brake Co., et al. (D. Conn.)
As part of a team representing a leading manufacturer of diesel engine brakes in patent infringement litigation, Mr. Wilson drafted various substantive and procedural motions, conducted factual investigation, and prepared witnesses for examination and trial. A judgment in the client’s favor was entered after a month-long bench trial, and the judgment was subsequently affirmed on appeal.

Telarix, Inc. v. Vero Systems, Inc., et al. (E.D. Va.)
As part of plaintiff’s litigation team, Mr. Wilson prepared the affirmative and responsive damages cases for case, which involved claims for patent infringement and tortious interference with contract claims. Mr. Wilson worked closely with the client’s expert witness to formulate damages theories and calculations, deposed the opposing damages expert, and defended the deposition of the client’s expert witness on damages. The case successfully settled.

Mr. Wilson has assisted with several other technology and pharma intellectual property litigations on behalf of clients of the firm in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia and other federal district courts.

Telecommunications Disputes

Guyana Tel. & Telegraph v. Melbourne Int’l Comms., et al. (S.D. Fla.)
On behalf of a foreign telecommunications carrier plaintiff in this case involving a complex RICO and unjust enrichment action relating to the fraudulent transmission of phone traffic, Mr. Wilson developed the client’s claims and case theory, drafted the complaint (which survived several dispositive motions), conducted extensive written discovery, and drafted several motions in the case. The client won a multi-million dollar judgment following a jury trial.

The Metropolitan Gov’t of Nashville & Davidson County v. XO Tennessee, Inc. (Tenn. Chanc. Ct. – Davidson County) and Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County d/b/a Nashville Electric Serv. v. XO Communications Services, Inc. (M.D. Tenn.)
On behalf of the defendants in these two complex cases regarding use of rights-of-way and the legality of municipal franchise fees, Mr. Wilson engaged in extensive document and deposition discovery, motions practice, and development of case theories. After years of litigation, both cases successfully settled.

So. New England Tel. Co. v. Global NAPS, Inc., et al. (D. Conn.)
In this case, Mr. Wilson drafted a summary judgment motion arguing that, under the plaintiff’s tariff, the interest rate for the payments sought by plaintiff from defendant should be 10%, not the 24% the plaintiff was seeking. The court agreed with that argument, which significantly reduced the amount of damages to which the client was exposed in the case.

Mr. Wilson has represented telecommunications companies in a wide variety of cases relating to other telecommunications law issues, including disputes involving allegations of fraudulent traffic stimulation, interconnection rights, and collection of interconnection charges.

Memberships & Associations

Member, Virginia State Bar, Section on Litigation
Member, D.C. Bar, Section on Environment, Energy and Natural Resources

Honors & Awards

Mr. Wilson was recognized on the 2012 Capital Pro Bono High Honor Roll. A description of the selection methodology can be found at

No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

Pro Bono

Mr. Wilson has provided pro bono representation to several clients through, or on behalf of, the ABA Military Pro Bono Project, the Whitman Walker Clinic, and the McLean (Va.) Volunteer Fire Department.

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