William E. Copley
- J.D., University of Chicago (1999)
- B.A., Vanderbilt University (1996)
- District of Columbia
Bill is an experienced trial and appellate litigator who has represented clients successfully in complex commercial disputes before state and federal courts around the country. He has helped clients recover for business related injuries in variety of areas, including misappropriation of trade secrets, copyright infringement, trademark infringement, conspiracy, fraud, unfair business practices, violation of the False Claims Act, denial of due insurance coverage, and breach of contract. In 2010, he obtained the largest verdict in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and one of the top 100 verdicts in the country. Bill has obtained verdicts in favor clients in bench and jury trials before the United States District Courts for the Eastern District of Virginia, District of Connecticut, Western District of Texas, and Southern District of Mississippi, as well as the Circuit Court for Fairfax County, Virginia.
- In In re Outsidewall Tire Litigation, Case No. 1:09-cv-1217 (E.D. Va.), Bill obtained a $26 million jury verdict on behalf of Alpha Mining Systems against a Dubai-based tire distributor and a Chinese tire manufacturer for stealing Alpha’s intellectual property, including blueprints, related to specialized underground mining tires that Alpha designed. Just eight months later, a jury found that the defendants were liable for copyright and trademark infringement, conversion, and civil conspiracy.
- In Tire Engineering & Distribution, LLC v. Bank of China Ltd., Case No. 1:12-cv-9208 (S.D.N.Y.), Bill brought an action to compel an international bank to turn over assets that a judgment debtor had deposited with the bank in a foreign branch. While the case was on appeal, the judgment debtor, which was one of several, agreed to pay a substantial portion of the outstanding judgment.
- In Winston v. Academi Training Center, Inc., Case No. 1:12-cv-00767 (E.D. Va.), Bill brought an action by two private military contractors against a defendant for violations of the False Claims Act. The case settled after the court ruled in favor of Bill’s clients that the defendant’s arbitration agreement was unenforceable.
- In United States ex rel. Cori Rigsby v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., Case No. 1:06-cv-433 (S.D. Miss.), Bill represented two relators who brought qui tam claims under the False Claims Act alleging that an insurance company defrauded the government in the wake of Hurricane Katrina by abusing its role in the National Flood Insurance Program. After a two week trial, a unanimous jury on April 8, 2013 found that the insurance company violated the False Claims Act, and the court awarded Bill’s clients the full amount of damages they sought in that trial.
Bill also represents policyholders in complex insurance coverage disputes and bad faith claims. He has represented clients at every stage of litigation, from pre-suit investigation and negotiations, through discovery and trial, and in appeals, as well as in confidential arbitrations. Bill’s recent insurance representations have included:
- Representing one of the world’s largest private equity firms to secure insurance coverage for shareholders claims arising out of its acquisition of a company;
- Representing a Fortune 500 food company in negotiations and state court litigation, including before the Delaware Supreme Court, to secure insurance coverage for claims arising from allegedly tainted peanut butter;
- Representing another Fortune 500 food company in negotiations and federal court litigation to obtain insurance coverage from an insurer based in Malaysia for claims arising out of the sale of an allegedly defective product;
- Representing one of the world’s largest international law firms in insurance coverage disputes arising out of lawsuits and investigations involving allegations of malpractice and fraud; and
- Representing an automotive parts supplier in litigation against more than 10 insurance companies regarding coverage for claims arising out of the company’s use and distribution of asbestos-containing products for more than forty years.
Appellate advocacy is a substantial part of Bill’s practice. He has authored more than 75 appellate briefs to various state and federal appellate courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States, and has argued numerous cases on behalf of clients before the United States Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, Fourth, and Fifth Circuits:
- In United States ex rel. Rigsby v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., No. 14-60160 (5th Cir.), Bill is briefing and will argue to defend the district court’s judgment in favor of the relators that State Farm defrauded the United States government in violation of the False Claims Act.
- In Tire Engineering & Distribution, LLC v. Shandong Linglong Rubber Co., Ltd., Nos. 10-2271, 10-2273, 10-2321 (4th Cir.), Bill successfully defended his clients’ $26 million copyright judgment on appeal. In the appeal, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit adopted the predicate act doctrine in a case of first impression. Bill also successfully represented his clients before the Supreme Court of the United States, which denied the defendants’ petition for certiorari.
- In Tire Engineering & Distribution, LLC v. Bank of China Ltd., No. 13-1519 (2d Cir.), Bill briefed and argued an issue of New York law that had divided lower courts – whether a New York court can order an international bank subject to personal jurisdiction in New York to turn over assets that a judgment debtor deposited with the bank in a foreign branch. While the case was on appeal, the judgment debtor agreed to pay a substantial portion of the outstanding judgment.
- In Log Cabin Republicans v. United States, Nos. 10-56634, 10-56813 (9th Cir.), Bill wrote on behalf of 24 civil rights, civic, and bar associations a brief of amici curaie supporting the Log Cabin Republicans’ constitutional challenge to the military’s application of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
Before he co-founded Weisbrod Matteis & Copley PLLC, Bill was a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal LLP (now Dentons).