W. David Paxton

W. David Paxton: Attorney with Gentry Locke Attorneys AV stamp icon
  • Partner at Gentry Locke Attorneys (59 Attorneys)
  • SunTrust Plaza, 10 Franklin Road SE, Suite 900, Roanoke, VA 24011
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  • David Paxton
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Attorney Awards

Biography

David Paxton advises and represents businesses, business owners, and executives in the areas of labor & employment law, complex litigation and whistleblower claims. As the demand for internal fact investigations has grown, David has been engaged by businesses, financial institutions, local government agencies and non-profits to lead and conduct investigations into allegations of misconduct or unlawful activities, and he works closely with the firm’s white collar practice. He chairs the firm’s labor and employment practice, is a frequent guest speaker at national and regional employment law seminars, and has consistently been named to Best Lawyers in America for Labor & Employment law since 1999.

A quick handshake

You’ve been with Gentry Locke for over 30 years. What makes this firm unique?

It is our culture. We make a point to look for ways to work collaboratively together, as opposed to fostering “Lone Rangers.” We recognize that everyone brings different strengths and weaknesses, and this has caused us to develop a fierce commitment to being a true partnership. We value thinking that is outside the box and creative solutions, and we challenge one another to bring our “A-game” at all times. What is important is that in the process, we have fun and really enjoy working and being together.

Tell us something interesting about your background.

My family has deep roots in Virginia, so much so that when I was born in New York (my father was in the Air Force), my grandmother sent a Mason jar filled with rich dirt so she could say I was born on Virginia soil! My parents and I were soon back in Salem, Va., where I grew up. After college, I spent a full year traveling and living out of a backpack. I saw most of Western Europe and spent three months in Israel living on a kibbutz. Israel is an amazing place. I’ve been fortunate to have gone back three times.

How would your peers in the firm and your clients describe you?

I hope they would say that I am hardworking, a good listener, compassionate, and not afraid to take on difficult issues or speak the truth.

Experience

Complex & Multi-Party Litigation

•Representing national mining company in complex contract dispute involving claims against rail company; case pending in federal court in Roanoke, Virginia
•Representing a private equity and venture capital firm, and its owner in defense of a lawsuit asserting ERISA and securities violations; case pending in federal court in Roanoke, Virginia
•Trial counsel for Rolling Stone and Sabrina Erdely in Eramo v Rolling Stone, a case tried to a jury for 3.5 weeks in federal court in Charlottesville, Virginia
•Secured summary judgment for the plaintiff in Doe v Alger, a seminal case that recognized the due process rights of students at state universities accused of sexual misconduct based on a property right in continued enrollment
•Represented and successfully defended defendant in special litigation committee investigation of a derivative action for breach of fiduciary duty, where state court dismissed the shareholder’s claims based on special litigation committee report
•Secured jury verdict for three members of insurance company’s Board of Directors in defense of claims brought by Commissioner of Insurance for fraud, fiduciary duty, conspiracy and securities violations. Also later recovered more than $3 million in attorney fees on indemnity claims
•Secured summary judgment on 1981 public accommodation discrimination claims brought against large franchisee of national restaurant chain by the Washington Lawyers Committee
•Secured dismissal of anti-trust and constitutional claims brought against state association that regulates public school athletics in Virginia by local media organization seeking to broadcast playoff games
•Represented President of Peanut Corporation of America in connection with Congressional and criminal food safety investigations, and in lawsuit to secure D&O coverage for defense costs
•Represented national restaurant chain in connection with contrived “mouse in the soup” claims resulting in the felony criminal conviction of two persons who made allegations
•Trial and appellate counsel to college athlete accused of sexual assault and prevailed on the constitutional challenge to civil remedy under VAWA before U.S. Supreme Court in United States v. Morrison

Employment Litigation

•Represented and successfully defended a US subsidiary of multinational company in response to a whistleblower claim brought under the Energy Reorganization Act before OSHA Administrative Law Judge and Administrative Review Board
•Directed internal investigation conducted by former FBI agent of senior officials of a local governmental agency accused of various act of misconduct, which led to no charges or litigation
•Directed internal investigation conducted by former FBI agent into alleged claims of misconduct of a senior executive of large regional financial institution, which lead to a resolution with no subsequent litigation
•Obtained $4 million jury verdict for privately held company against its former president on claim to recoup bonus paid under theory of unjust enrichment
•Represented and successfully prosecuted claims on behalf of a US subsidiary of an international pharmaceutical company against a former employee and a newly formed company on claims of breach of contract and tortious interference; Shire, LLC v Mickle, a case brought in federal court in Roanoke, Virginia
•Represents employers on a broad cross-section of industries on claims of discrimination, harassment and retaliation, as well as wage and hour disputes in federal and state courts
•Represented employers and employees in litigation involving claims of theft of trade secrets, disclosure of confidential information, violations of non-competition/restrictive covenants, and other business torts
•Represented and successfully defended a national restaurant on claims of racial discrimination by a former employee in federal court in Newport News, Virginia
•Representing a national retailer in defense of a racial discrimination and defamation claim by a customer in federal court in Norfolk, Virginia
•Representing a national logistics company on claims by a current employee alleging race discrimination in federal court in Roanoke, Virginia
•Represented a company in defense of collective and class action claims for unpaid wages under the FLSA and applicable state laws
•Represented U.S. subsidiary of large multi-national company on claims of ADEA, ADA and FMLA discrimination allegations to successful resolution
•Secured summary judgment in complex ADA case brought against Fortune 100 company
•Represented large national manufacturer and retailer on claims of sexual harassment by former female employee to successful, pre-litigation resolution
•Represented national manufacturer on claims involving age and disability discrimination to successful resolution
•Represented publicly-traded company in contractual dispute with former employee over valuation of stock option benefits upon termination of employment resulting in favorable court settlement
•Represented senior executive in negotiation of dispute with high-tech company over vesting and valuation of stock option rights resulting in favorable out of court settlement

Labor & Employment

•Represents senior executives and professionals in disputes with companies
•Represents and advises management from a broad cross-section of industries on full range of labor and employment issues that arise on a daily basis such as hiring, E-verify, I-9s, FMLA/ADA, USERRA, wage and hour, Affirmative Action Plans, COBRA, OFCCP audits, harassment and discrimination complaints, investigation of misconduct, OSHA complaints, termination, EEO charges, DOL investigations, and union avoidance
•Represented executive management team in negotiation of executive employment contracts which included equity compensation packages in connection with a $250 million private equity deal
•Represented college coaches against public universities on breach of contract, NCAA violations, etc.
•Represented founder and CEO of high-tech company in negotiation of executive employment contract in anticipation of venture capital investment
•Represented U.S. based companies in establishing indigenous workforce for new operations in India
•Represents management in various industries in planning and implementing workforce reductions
•Represents local school boards and police departments on employment-related matters

Religious Organizations

•Provides general corporate advice to several non-profit and Christian organizations
•Represented Board of Directors of non-profit organization in disputes with its founder and key members of management which led to agreed-upon separation without litigation
•Represented company in acquisition of large network of Christian radio stations

Involvement

Awards

•Named one of The Best Lawyers in America for twenty consecutive years in the area of Employment Law - Individuals & Management (1999-2019); Labor Law - Management (2011-2019) and Labor & Employment Litigation (2011-2019), named “2017 Roanoke Lawyer of the Year” for Labor & Employment - Litigation
•Named to the “Virginia’s Top 50 List” of Virginia Super Lawyers (2007) and Virginia Super Lawyers in the area of Employment & Labor Law (2007-2019), included in Super Lawyers Corporate Counsel edition (2009-2011) and Super Lawyers Business Edition US in the area of Employment & Labor (2012-2014)
•Listed in Benchmark Litigation as a Local Litigation Star for Labor & Employment and General Commercial (2012-2018) and Insurance (2018); and Benchmark Plaintiffs for Labor & Employment (2012-2014), General Commercial, and Insurance (2014)
•Designated one of the “Legal Elite” in the Labor/Employment Law field by Virginia Business magazine (2000-2016, 2018)
•Named a “Legal Eagle” for Employment Law - Individuals, Employment Law - Management, Labor Law, and Litigation - Labor & Employment by Virginia Living magazine (2012)
•Voted Top Employment & Labor Attorney by readers in The Roanoker magazine’s “Best Of” (2012)
•Named a Top Rated Lawyer for Labor and Employment law and Commercial Litigation by American Lawyer Media (2013)
•Inclusion on the Virginia Amateur Sports Wall of Honor in its inaugural year (2009)
•Navy Commendation Medal, Distinguished Legal Work (1983)

Published Work

•Co-author, Rule 68 Offers of Judgment - a Useful Defense Tool ; The VADA Journal of Civil Litigation, Vol. XXIV, No. 4 (Winter 2012-2013)
•Co-Author, The Virginia Lawyer: A Deskbook for Practitioners, Chapter 4, Employment Law: Employee Rights and Employer Responsibilities (2000-2007)
•Co-Author, Annual Survey of Virginia Law: Labor & Employment Law, 40, University of Richmond Law Review, 241 (2005 & 2007)

Library

•26 Gentry Locke attorneys named 2019 Virginia Super Lawyers or Rising Stars
News
Apr 2019
•Protected Activity: How Far Can an Employee Go to Collect Evidence?
Articles
Dec 2018
•Ten Gentry Locke attorneys named to 2018 Legal Elite list
News
Dec 2018
•Size No Longer Matters: ADEA Applies to All State and Local Government Employees
Articles
Nov 2018
•Employers: Update Your Summary of Rights Form for Background Checks
Articles
Nov 2018
•Trial Tales: Detailed analysis of Eramo v. Rolling Stone
Events
Sep 2018
•21 Gentry Locke Attorneys Named to 2019 Best Lawyers in America
News
Aug 2018
•28 Gentry Locke Attorneys Named 2018 Virginia Super Lawyers or Rising Stars
News
Apr 2018
•OSHA Workplace Safety Report: a Look Back at 2017
Articles
Nov 2017
•The EEOC's Energized Enforcement
Articles
Oct 2017
•Gentry Locke and two attorneys earn Benchmark Litigation recognition
News
Sep 2017
•22 Gentry Locke Attorneys Named to 2018 Best Lawyers in America
News
Aug 2017
•2017 Employment Law Symposium: The New Frontier
Events
Apr 2017
•28 Gentry Locke Attorneys Named 2017 Virginia Super Lawyers or Rising Stars
News
Apr 2017
•Year-end Alerts to Employers - Part 4: Confidentiality Rules Under Fire - Be Warned!
Articles
Dec 2016
•Partner David Paxton Quoted in Law360 Article on 2016 Employment Law Changes
News
Dec 2016
•Year-end Alerts to Employers -- Part 3: Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors Effective January 1, 2017
Articles
Dec 2016
•Year-end Alerts to Employers -- Part 2: Paycheck Transparency Rules Effective January 1, 2017
Articles
Dec 2016
•Year-end Alerts to Employers -- Part 1: OSHA Reporting Rules Effective December 1, 2016
Articles
Dec 2016
•Fifteen Gentry Locke Attorneys Recognized as 2016 “Legal Elite”
News
Dec 2016
•Twenty-Two Gentry Locke Attorneys Named to The Best Lawyers in America
News
Oct 2016
•Protecting Critical Company Assets - Article Series for C-level Executives
News
Jul 2016
•Protecting Critical Company Assets - Part 2: DTSA and Employment Agreements
Articles
Jun 2016
•Protecting Critical Company Assets - Part I: DTSA Basics for Employers
Articles
Jun 2016
•Protecting Critical Company Assets - New Federal Initiatives
Articles
Jun 2016
•No Notice Required: Virginia’s At-Will Rule
Articles
Jun 2016
•Twenty-six Gentry Locke Attorneys Named 2016 Virginia Super Lawyers
News
Apr 2016
•Gentry Locke and Three Attorneys Earn Recognition in Benchmark Litigation Publication
News
Dec 2015
•Ten Gentry Locke Attorneys are 2015 Legal Elite by Virginia Business Magazine
News
Dec 2015
•Round 2.5 - New Home Healthcare Wage Rules to be Effective October 2015
Articles
Sep 2015
•Round 2: DOL Wins Right to Change Home Health Care Exemption
Articles
Aug 2015
•Seeing Double: Temp Agency Employees & the Joint Employer Doctrine
Articles
Aug 2015
•23 Gentry Locke Attorneys Named to 2016 “Best Lawyers in America”
News
Aug 2015
•Gentry Locke Partner David Paxton Named Chair of International Labor and Employment Law Group
News
Aug 2015
•New Misclassification Guidance: DOL Considers Most Workers to be “Employees”
Articles
Aug 2015
•Gentry Locke Labor & Employment Law Symposia a Hit
News
Apr 2015
•28 Gentry Locke Attorneys Named 2015 Virginia Super Lawyers
News
Apr 2015
•New Social Media Restrictions on Employers Effective July 1, 2015
Articles
Apr 2015
•Virginia Employers Beware: New Limits on Social Media Access
Articles
Mar 2015
•Nine Gentry Locke Attorneys Recognized as 2014 Legal Elite in Virginia
News
Dec 2014
•13 Gentry Locke Attorneys Featured in 2014 Super Lawyers US Business Edition
News
Nov 2014
•Paxton Chairs 2015 ALFA International Client Seminar
Events
Nov 2014
•Gentry Locke Attorney David Paxton Named to ALFA International Board of Directors
News
Oct 2014
•Gentry Locke and Three Attorneys Recognized in Benchmark Litigation Rankings
News
Oct 2014
•Fall Employment Law Webinar Series #3: The EEOC & New Battlegrounds
Events
Oct 2014
•ALERT: Government Contractors - Important Reminders
News
Sep 2014
•Twenty-One Gentry Locke Attorneys Earn Best Lawyers Designations and One Lawyer of the Year
News
Aug 2014
•27 Gentry Locke Attorneys Named to Lists of 2014 Virginia Super Lawyers and Rising Stars
News
Jun 2014
•David Paxton Chairs Two Well-attended CLE Events
News
May 2014
•Arbitration Clause Survives Dodd-Frank Challenge
Articles
May 2014

of the Virginia Law Foundation

News
Jan 2014
•Employment Law White Paper from National Conference Available

News
Dec 2013
•Alert: Administration Solicits Whistleblowers

News
Dec 2013
•Gentry Locke Attorneys Named to 2013 Legal Elite

News
Nov 2013
•Thirteen Gentry Locke Attorneys Named to Super Lawyers Business Edition US

News
Nov 2013
•Protecting Company Assets: The Price of a Dance Ticket Just Went Up

Articles
Oct 2013
•Guess Who Is Coming to Inspect Your Worksite?

Articles
Oct 2013 Member:

Affiliations

•fellow, Virginia Law Foundation (Inducted 2014)
•Chair, ALFA International Labor and Employment Law Section (2015-Present), Member of Labor & Employment Law Section Steering Committee (1996-Present); Member, ALFA International Board of Directors (2014-Present)
•Member, Labor & Employment Law Section, American & Virginia Bar Associations (1986-Present)
•Member, Virginia CLE Steering Committee, Labor & Employment Section (2000-2010)
•Board of Directors, VHSL Foundation, Inc. (2004-2009)
•Board of Directors, Interfaith Hospitality Network of Roanoke Valley (2005-2009)
•Member, Planning Committee, Gridiron Club, Hampden-Sydney College (2007-2011)
•Member, Church Council, St. John Lutheran (2006-2009). President (2008-2009)

Areas of Practice (44)

  • Employment & Labor
  • Business Litigation
  • Whistleblower Claims & Qui Tam
  • Unfair Business Competition & Trade Secrets
  • Federal Claims (DOL/EEOC/NLRB/OSHA/OFCCP)
  • Affirmative Action & OFCCP Compliance
  • Director & Officer Liability
  • Executive & Professional Contracts
  • Business Immigration/Visas
  • EPLI Defense
  • Government Investigations
  • Administrative & Regulatory Disputes
  • Contract Disputes
  • Criminal Implications
  • Non-Profit Organizations
  • Commercial Torts
  • I.P. & Technology Litigation
  • Securities Litigation
  • Shareholder Disputes
  • Government Contracting
  • OSHA & Workplace Safety
  • Counseling & Training
  • Discrimination & Harassment Claims
  • Drug Testing & DOT Compliance
  • Employment & Non-Compete Agreements
  • ERISA Claims
  • Handbooks & Employment Policies
  • Hiring & Background Checks
  • NLRB & Unions
  • State Law Claims (Contracts/Torts)
  • Staffing & Contingent Workers
  • Restaurant Law Updates
  • Termination Issues (RIFs/WARN/Releases)
  • Trade Secret and Non-Compete Disputes
  • Unemployment Claims
  • Wage-Hour & FLSA
  • Workplace Privacy & Social Media
  • Coverage Disputes
  • Counsel to Boards, Councils & Commissions
  • Law Enforcement Agencies
  • Risk Management
  • School Boards
  • Employment Benefits & Executive Compensation
  • Cybersecurity

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
540-983-9334  Phone
540-983-9400  Fax
www.gentrylocke.com/paxton
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 40013, Roanoke, VA 24011
University Attended:
Hampden-Sydney College, B.A., summa cum laude 1976, Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Delta Kappa, 1975, Baker Scholar, 1972-1976; U.S. Naval Justice School, Honor Graduate, 1980
Law School Attended:
University of Virginia School of Law, J.D., 1980
Year of First Admission:
1980
Admission:
1999, Guam, U.S. Supreme Court; U.S. Court of Appeals. Fourth Circuit, U.S. District Courts, Eastern and Western District of Virginia; 1980, Virginia; 1980, U.S. Court of Military Appeals
Memberships:

Affiliations

•fellow, Virginia Law Foundation (Inducted 2014)
•Chair, ALFA International Labor and Employment Law Section (2015-2018), Member of Labor & Employment Law Section Steering Committee (1996-Present); Member, ALFA International Board of Directors (2014-2017)
•Member, Labor & Employment Law Section, American & Virginia Bar Associations (1986-Present)
•Member, Virginia CLE Steering Committee, Labor & Employment Section (2000-2012), Chair (2010-2011)
•Board of Directors, Positive Alternative Radio, Inc. (2017-Present)
•Board of Directors, VHSL Foundation, Inc. (2004-2009)
•Board of Directors, Interfaith Hospitality Network of Roanoke Valley (2005-2009)
•Member, Planning Committee, Gridiron Club, Hampden-Sydney College (2007-2011)
•Member, Church Council, St. John Lutheran (2006-2009). President (2008-2009)

Military:
Lieutenant, U.S. Navy, JAG, 1980-1983; Navy Commendation Medal, 1983
Reported Cases:
U.S. v. Morrison, 529 U.S. 598 (2000); Weingarten v. Gross, 264 Va. 243, 563 S.E.2d 771 (2002); Gross v. Weingarten, 217 F. 3d 208 (4th Cir. 2000), aff'd 18 F.Supp 616 (E.D. 1998); Thomas v. Boston Mutual Life Ins. Co., 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23061, accepted 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31836 (W.D. Va. Apr. 17, 2008); LCM Corp v. Leach, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4017 (W.D. Va. Jan. 18, 2008); United Co. v. Keenan, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88049, 75 Fed. R. Evid. Serv. 247 (W.D. Va. Nov. 30, 2007); 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38853 (W.D. Va. May 11, 2007); 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82116 (W.D. Va. Nov. 9, 2006); Mills v. Giant Foods, LLC, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21545 (W.D. Va. Apr. 20, 2006); Marshall v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 2001 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8880 (W.D. Va. Feb. 28, 2001); Brzonkala v. Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, 115 F. Supp 20 677 (W.D. Va. 2000); Teamsters Local Union No. 171 v. Keal Driveaway, 1998 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6103 (W.D. Va. Feb. 9, 1998); Int'l Paper Co. v. Brooks, 63 Va. Cir. 494 (2003); Int'l Paper Co. v. Gilliam, 63 Va. Cir. 485 (2003).
ISLN:
904543795
Payment Information:
  • Credit cards accepted
  • Accepts Visa and MasterCard
  • Fixed Hourly Rates
  • Fixed Fees Available

Peer Reviews

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Roanoke, Virginia

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