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Joanne L. Zimolzak

815 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Suite 620
Washington, District of Columbia 20006
Phone:  202.659.6723
Fax:  202.659.4130


Joanne Zimolzak's practice focuses on business litigation, regulatory compliance, internal investigations, and fraud reporting. She has handled a wide range of complex civil litigation matters before state and federal courts throughout the country, both at the trial and appellate levels.

Ms. Zimolzak has extensive experience assisting government contractors with obtaining and/or successfully preventing the release of sensitive business information under federal and state Freedom of Information Act provisions. She has also handled procurement fraud matters and conducting related internal investigations. Within the healthcare industry, she has frequently assisted clients in developing proactive compliance strategies to avoid violations of federal and state laws and regulations, and defended their interests in audits and investigations.

Additionally, Ms. Zimolzak has placed a particular emphasis on the representation of multi-national insurance carriers. She has provided counsel to insurance companies in coverage disputes, including matters involving bad faith allegations and significant potential exposures. Ms. Zimolzak routinely advises insurers on coverage and risk management issues, including emerging liability risks, new product development, and regulatory compliance.

Representative Experience

Business Litigation and Insurance

  • Defeated class certification and subsequently obtained summary judgment ruling in purported RICO class action against insurer and its counsel (US District Court, Southern District of Mississippi)
  • Obtained summary judgment ruling that major insurer had no duty to defend purported additional insured in a significant wrongful death action, thereby negating any possibility for claimant to recover defense expenses or pursue bad faith claims (Delaware Superior Court)
  • Provided analysis and counseling for major insurer regarding potential risks and opportunities associated with global climate change, including with respect to potential liability, new product development, and regulatory reporting
  • Obtained summary judgment for European client in action concerning breach of commercial contract, with judgment including full restitution and award of attorneys' fees (US District Court for the District of Columbia)
  • Provided analysis and counseling for major insurer regarding significant professional liability coverage issues
  • Obtained dismissal of major agriculture product distributor from Texas products liability matters for lack of personal jurisdiction
  • Won Texas state court appeal concerning applicability of UCC exception to security interest filing requirement in commercial business dispute.

Government Contracts/Investigations

  • Assisted Ability One Program government contractors with administrative law challenge to agency's decision to elevate Small Business contracting preference over statutory contracting mandate, including by obtaining a stay pending appeal of the Court of Federal Claims' decision upholding agency action (appeal pending in the US Court of Federal Claims) and in a parallel US District Court (DC) action challenging agency rulemaking
  • Assisted IT supplies/services government contractor in conducting internal investigation regarding alleged improper billing issues and responding to government subpoena concerning same, resulting in successful negotiated resolution
  • Represented small business government contractor against criminal procurement fraud allegations relating to GSA supplies and services contract, resulting in successful negotiated resolution.


  • Provided analysis and counseling regarding compliance with applicable licensing and/or registration requirements for company that provides Medicaid application assistance, including assessment of pertinent requirements under state and federal insurance, Medicaid, and ACA statutes and regulations.
  • Successful reverse-FOIA defense of multiple contractors seeking to prevent the release of confidential, proprietary/business-sensitive information from public release.

Speaking Engagements

  • Moderator, “Preserving Coverage Defenses – Key Considerations for Insurers and Their Attorneys When Evaluating the Duty to Defend,” ABA/TIPS Section Conference, Los Angeles, CA, May 3, 2018
  • Panelist, "Health Policy Outlook: 2015" Webinar, January 29, 2015
  • Panelist, “ACA and Health Insurance Exchange Litigation: Lessons Learned and Emerging Trends” Webinar, November 18, 2014
  • Co-Chair, 22nd Annual ABA/Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee Midyear Meeting, February 20-22, 2014
  • Panelist, "When Insurance Bad Faith, Coverage and Fraud Collide: A Detailed Case Study," CLM's Insurance Bad Faith/Coverage/Fraud Conference, February 28, 2014
  • Panelist, "Managing Partner Roundtable", National Law Journal 2013 Regulatory Summit, November 13, 2013
  • Panelist, "Managing Partner Roundtable", Bisnow, October 18, 2013
  • Speaker, "Climate Change and Insurance: Are Insurance companies liable for climate change-related claims?", Women's Council on Energy and the Environment, May 29, 2013.

Published Works

  • Co-author, "11th Circuit Cracks Down On Insureds' Failure To Cooperate," Law360, October 25, 2016
  • Co-author, "Recent Developments in Insurance Coverage Litigation," Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Law Journal, Vol 49/No 1, Fall 2013
  • Co-author, "Full Disclosure: Climate Change May Prove Risky For Insurers," Carrier Management, July 22, 2013
  • Co-author, "Climate Change Litigation - Just Heating Up?", The Heat Is On: Hot Topics In A Sizzling Insurance World, ABA TIPS ICLC Mid-Year Program, February 16, 2013

Legal Experience

  • LeClairRyan, Washington, D.C., 2018 - present
  • Dentons US LLP, Washington, D.C. 2015 - 2018
  • McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, Washington, D.C., 1994-2015

Memberships and Affiliations

  • American Bar Association, Tort Trial and Insurance Practice, Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee, Vice-Chair, 2009 to present; Chair-Elect, Aug. 2017 to present
  • Member, Advisory Board, Georgetown Corporate Counsel Institute, 2015 - present
  • Member, Executive Committee, Council for Court Excellence - 2018 - present
  • Member, Board of Directors, Children's Law Center, 2015 - present


  • Listed among The Best Lawyers in America® for Insurance Law, 2018
  • Recognized by DC Super Lawyers in the area of Insurance Coverage, 2018

Related Industries


  • J.D., Dean's List, Georgetown University Law Center, 1994
  • B.A., English, magna cum laude, University of Maryland, 1990

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia, 1996
  • Maryland, 1994

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland

Spoken Languages

  • French