A seasoned courtroom advocate and negotiator, Pleasant Brodnax specializes in federal white collar criminal litigation. Mr. Brodnax began his legal career as a Virginia Assistant Attorney General and has over 30 years of courtroom experience.
Mr. Brodnax understands the importance of early preparation as the government’s investigation is directed at his client’s activities. Whether the grand jury is led by an independent counsel or an assistant U.S. attorney, his defense starts from the initial client contact.
Mr. Brodnax represents companies, officers, directors, executives and other individuals in criminal matters, including grand jury investigations. He has litigated a variety of cases involving export control violations, tax evasion, money laundering, bribery and gratuities law, mail and wire fraud, labor certification and mortgage fraud, federal procurement regulations, health care fraud, environmental crimes, false statements and perjury, as well as federal narcotics offenses.
Former clients include a former Member of Congress, a witness in the Kenneth Starr Independent Counsel Investigation, members of the Washington Wizards basketball team and local political officials. He has also been qualified as federal death penalty counsel in the U.S. District Courts for the District of Columbia and the Eastern District of Virginia.
Since 2009, the Washingtonian Magazine has named him one of “Washington’s Top Lawyers” and he has been rated as a Top Lawyer by Super Lawyers Magazine from 2010 to 2019.
Mr. Brodnax is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and serves as a member of the D.C. State Committee. Fellowship in the College is extended only by invitation to those experienced trial lawyers who have mastered the art of advocacy and whose professional careers have been marked by the highest standards of ethical conduct, professionalism, civility and collegiality. Membership can never be more than 1% of the total lawyer population of any state.
Mr. Brodnax derives a great deal of satisfaction from volunteering for court and bar activities. He served for eight years, including one year as Chair, of the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board and for six years, including one year as vice chair, of the Attorney Grievance Committee of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. He continues to serve on court committees in the U.S. District Courts for the District of Columbia and the Eastern District of Virginia and as a member of the Rules Committee of the Virginia State Bar Standing Committee on Lawyer Discipline.
• Recognized as one of "Washington's Top Lawyers", 2009 through 2018, Washingtonian Magazine
• Top Rated White-Collar Crimes Attorney in Washington, DC for 2010 through 2019, Super Lawyers Magazine
• Superb Rating, Avvo
• Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
• In 2001, Mr. Brodnax completed the first federal death penalty trial in the District of Columbia since 1972. A federal judge appointed Mr. Brodnax to represent a client charged with leading a racketeering and continuing criminal enterprise that was alleged to have been responsible for 13 murders. The government sought the death penalty. Following a seven-month trial, Mr. Brodnax and his co-counsel obtained acquittals on 47 of the 66 counts (including 7 of the 13 murder counts) and convinced jurors not to impose a death sentence for his client. United States v. Edelin, Criminal Case No. 98-CR-264.
• In 2009, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia brought a highly publicized 26 page, six count indictment, including conspiracy and bribery charges against the chief of staff for a D.C. Councilman. After fourteen months of pretrial litigation, the U.S. Attorney settled the case for lesser charges of receiving gratuities and making false statements. United States v. Loza, Criminal Case No. 09-CR-226.
• In 2010, Mr. Brodnax obtain an acquittal for a D.C. pharmacist charged with health care fraud. District of Columbia v. Ukwu, Criminal Case No. 2009-CDC-010480.
• In 2015, Mr. Brodnax was appointed by a federal judge as counsel for a client charged with 13 counts, including Conspiracy to Distribute One Kilogram or More of Phencyclidine, Possessing a Firearm During a Federal Drug Trafficking Offense, Unlawful Possession with the Intent to Distribute Phencyclidine, Unlawful Possession of Body Armor, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm with an Obliterated Serial Number in United States v. Boston, Criminal Case No. 13-CR-00203. On March 24, 2015, following a 12-week trial, a jury acquitted Mr. Brodnax’s client on all charges, except Unlawful Possession with the Intent to Distribute Phencyclidine.
Cases Referenced in Articles in:
The Washington Post
The Washington Times
The City Paper
The New York Times
Washingtonian Top Lawyers
D.C. Super Lawyers
American College of Trial Lawyers
Commonwealth of Virginia. Member: District of Columbia Bar; Virginia State Bar (Secretary, 1989-1990; Chairman-Elect, 1990-1991; Chairman, 1991-1992; International Practice Section; Member, Disciplinary Board, 2009—); Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference (Permanent Member). Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers.