Local Gov’t / Public Entity / Nonprofit

experience in defending local government, public entities and nonprofit organizations

Harman Claytor’s Public Entity and Nonprofit Practice Group has offices in both Virginia and the Washington, DC area providing counsel and representation for all types of public entities, including towns and municipalities, administrative boards, school boards and authorities, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and nonprofit entities.

Our attorneys have substantial and successful experience defending governmental entities and their employees from all varieties of claims, including 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981, 1983 and 1985, violations of the United States Constitution, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and other federal statutes and regulations.  Our practice group has a track record of success in defending litigation arising under the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution, including claims for discrimination, excessive force, unlawful search and seizure, unlawful entry, equal protection clause, deliberative indifference, custom and practice, free speech, and substantive and procedural due process and liberty interest violations.


Similarly, our group is well versed in claims that arise under state law, including claims under the Virginia State Constitution, and claims for false arrest, assault and battery, malicious prosecution, and defamation.

In addition to our vast experience advising and representing public entities, our attorneys are also well versed in the unique issues affecting tort-based claims against public entities and nonprofit entities.  We have particular knowledge in the principles governing qualified, sovereign and charitable immunity, and the experience to determine how those principles apply under distinct sets of facts.


Local Gov’t / Public Entity / Nonprofit Contacts
Jeremy D. Capps
David P. Corrigan
M. Scott Fisher, Jr.
Leslie A. Winneberger
Melissa Y. York


Representative Experience:
  • Defense verdict for police officer on claims of assault and false arrest following arrest of plaintiff during a traffic stop.
  • Defense verdict in a three day jury trial in state court for a chief of police against allegations of malicious prosecution, abuse of process, common law conspiracy and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
  • Directed verdict in state court after a four day jury trial of four school administrators sued by the estate of a teenage student who committed suicide alleging that the school administrators had failed to address bullying by fellow students at school which led to the suicide.
  • Defense verdict after jury trial on behalf of a Virginia city in a $10 million inverse condemnation case in which a private property owner alleged that the city had converted nearly 300 acres of property into undevelopable wetlands within the jurisdiction of the Army Corps. of Engineers pursuant to the Clean Water Act.
  • Represent local school board on claims that the school district’s restroom policy violates the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
  • Represent private university in claims that the college’s investigation and response into an alleged sexual assault violated Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
  • Summary judgment for city police officer who shot and killed a driver who was dragging the officer as the driver attempted to flee.
  • Summary judgment for police officers in claims that the officers allegedly coerced a false confession from a wrongfully convicted man on death row in violation of his constitutional rights.
  • Summary judgment for a police officer against claims under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment as a result of a police shooting.
  • Summary judgment for police officers and County against claims that plaintiff’s arrest violated the Fourth Amendment and that plaintiff was subject to false arrest, assault, battery and malicious prosecution.
  • Summary judgment for correctional officer alleged to have used excessive force during pat downs in violation of the Eighth Amendment.
  • Successfully defended regional jail superintendent in claims for violation of Fourteenth Amendment and gross negligence stemming from jail suicide resulting in dismissal of Complaint.
  • Successfully defended county and county officials in claims that defendants violated plaintiff’s constitutional rights and conspired to deprive plaintiff of the use of his property resulting in dismissal of Complaint.
  • Successfully defended police chief against claims by former police officer that his termination from his employment violated his 14th Amendment Due Process rights resulting in dismissal of Complaint.
  • Prevailed on a Motion to Dismiss in federal court in suit by former employee against a local town alleging wrongful termination and violation of First Amendment rights.
  • Summary judgment in favor of a Sheriff’s deputy in which a prisoner alleged the use of excessive force in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 during a cell search.
  • Summary judgment on behalf of two social workers in a $3.7 million lawsuit where plaintiffs sued for violation of their Constitutional due process rights and malicious prosecution.
  • Successfully defended attorney in County Attorney’s Office against claims for conspiracy, violation of substantive due process rights, liberty interest rights, and procedural due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment arising from a department of social services investigation and hearing on child abuse charges resulting in dismissal of Complaint.
  • Summary judgment for police officer in claim under the Fourth Amendment arising out of the use of a Taser to subdue the plaintiff.
  • Summary judgment in favor of a prison physician in which a prisoner alleged deliberate indifference to serious medical needs in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983.

View all Local Government, Public Entity and Nonprofit Litigation blog posts and articles