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Leslie Paul Machado

2318 Mill Road
Suite 1100
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
Phone:  703.647.5928
Fax:  703.647.5968
222 Severn Avenue
Suite 42
Building 1, 2nd Floor
Annapolis, Maryland 21403


Mr. Machado counsels and advises a diverse range of clients on various areas of law. He is also an experienced litigator, having tried cases to verdict in state and federal courts. His experience includes:

Employment Counseling and Litigation:

Mr. Machado regularly represents employers in a wide variety of employment matters, including discipline; handbook reviews; responding to discrimination charges; advising on employment contracts and restrictive covenants; and defending wrongful discharge claims, disability discrimination claims, age discrimination claims, claims of unlawful harassment, and race and gender discrimination claims. His employment related litigation experience includes:

  • Rhoads v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 257 F.3d 373 (4th Cir. 2001) (successful appeal involving American with Disabilities Act, Family & Medical Leave Act, and retaliatory discharge claims).
  • Successfully representing an employer against a claim of discrimination and retaliation based on national origin, gender and race in a three-day arbitration conducted by the American Arbitration, resulting in a 30-page decision that found for the employer on all claims.
  • Barnes v. Trinity Protection Services, Inc., 2013 WL 4659702 (D. Md. Aug. 29, 2013) (complaint alleging wrongful termination, national origin discrimination, and retaliation dismissed with prejudice).
  • Nerdahl v.McKissack & McKissack of Washington, Inc., No. 2013 CA 005104 B (DC Superior Ct. June 18, 2014) (granting summary judgment motion and dismissing retaliation claim).
  • Successfully representing employers before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights, the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights, the Virginia Human Rights Council and the Alexandria Office of Human Rights.

Media, Internet and E-commerce:

As Chair of LeClairRyan's Media, Internet and E-commerce Industry Team, Mr. Machado conducts pre-publication reviews and provides advice on subpoenas, retraction demands, access, the Freedom of Information Act, reporter's privilege, and all other First Amendment matters relating to the editorial content of media. He regularly blogs about developments under the District of Columbia’s anti-SLAPP statute at Mr. Machado has also been part of a LeClairRyan team of attorneys that have successfully gained camera access to several high-profile criminal actions in Virginia on behalf of the media. His media and Internet related litigation experience includes:

  • Hatfill v. Mukasey, 2008 U.S. App. LEXIS 5755 (D.C. Cir. Mar. 11, 2008) (securing emergency stay of order holding reporter in contempt for refusing to reveal confidential sources; expedited briefing of novel issues involving reporter's privilege).
  • Melvin v. USA Today, et al., 2015 WL 251590 (E.D. Va. Jan. 20, 2015) (motion to dismiss libel complaint with prejudice granted), aff’d, 2016 WL 212561 (4th Cir. Jan. 19, 2016).
  • Engage: BDR, Inc. v. Invincea, Inc., No. 14-cv-1653 (E.D. Va. Jan. 26, 2015) (successfully arguing that defamation complaint failed to state a claim and must be dismissed).
  • Pokorski v. Gannett Co., Inc., 68 A.D. 3d 1778 (4th Dep't 2009) (affirming lower court decision granting motion to dismiss libel and invasion of privacy claims brought by former town mayor, attorney and village clerk against television station and reporters).
  • Does v. Franco Publications, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8645 (N.D. Ill. June 21, 2000) (case of first impression holding that § 230 of the Communications Decency Act immunized website hosting companies from various tort claims).

Commercial and Complex Litigation:

Mr. Machado routinely represents clients in complex and high-stakes litigation involving commercial and tort matters, including matters involving trade secrets and unfair competition, the False Claims Act, product liability claims, and contract disputes. Representative matters include:

  • U.S. ex rel. Doe v. Staples, et al., 932 F. Supp. 2d 34 (D.D.C. 2013) (successful motion to dismiss claims under the False Claims Act), aff’d, 773 F.3d 83 (D.C. Cir. 2014).
  • Brink v. XE Holding LLC, et al., 910 F. Supp. 2d 242 (D.D.C. 2012) (successful motion to dismiss putative class action complaint alleging claims under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and Defense Base Act), aff’d, 787 F.3d 1120 (D.C. Cir. 2015), cert. den., 2016 WL 100437 (Jan. 11, 2016).
  • Sutton v. FedFirst Financial Corp., No. 24-C-14-002331 (Baltimore City. Cir. Ct. Sept. 19, 2014) (successfully obtaining dismissal, with prejudice, of shareholder lawsuit seeking to enjoin merger), aff’d, 126 A.3d 765 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. 2015), cert. den., Feb. 22, 2016 (Md. Ct. App.).
  • Successfully defended a large government contractor against subcontractor's claims for breach of contract and fraud.
  • Successfully prosecuted a breach of trade secret action against the former president of a pharmaceutical company, resulting in significant settlement payment to our client.
  • Successfully litigated a fraud case against a Fortune 50 company, resulting in a multi-million dollar settlement payment to our client.
  • Successfully resolving claims that a medical billing company violated the False Claims Act.
  • Represented a prominent trade association in a high-profile suit alleging violations of the DC Trade Secrets Act and breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Obtained dismissal of a lawsuit alleging our client was liable for the death of two Iraqi citizens while it provided services to USAID.
  • Defense of rail track circuit manufacturer in multimillion-dollar damages claims resulting from multiple fatality Metro train accident.
  • Defense of a utility management contractor in a multimillion-dollar wrongful death and personal injury lawsuit.


Mr. Machado is a member of LeClairRyan’s appellate litigation team and has participated in over 30 appeals at the federal and state level, including appeals at the United States Supreme Court; the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, First, Fourth and Ninth Circuits; the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims; the Virginia Supreme Court; the District of Columbia Court of Appeals; the Guam Supreme Court; the Maryland Court of Special Appeals; the Georgia Court of Appeals; the Tennessee Court of Appeals; and the Third and Fourth Departments of New York's Appellate Division. These appeals have involved a wide range of substantive matters, including telecommunications, insurance coverage, employment, First Amendment, state taxation, criminal, accounting malpractice and zoning. Mr. Machado also has extensive experience successfully handling appeals of state administrative agency decisions.

Legal Experience

  • LeClairRyan, Alexandria, Virginia and Washington, D.C., January 2010 – Present 
  • Nixon Peabody, Washington, D.C., September 1996 – December 2009

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Adjunct Professor, George Washington University Law School (2010-2013; 2014-2015).
  • Member, American Bar Association Litigation Magazine Editorial Board (2012-2014).
  • Member, University at Buffalo School of Law Leadership Council (2007-present); Chair (2011-2012).
  • Advisory Board, News Literacy Project (2011-present).
  • Media Resource Center MediaLaw Newsletter Committee Editorial Board (2007-present).
  • Fordham Club of Washington, D.C. Board of Directors (2005-2007).
  • University at Buffalo Alumni Association National Board of Directors (2004-2006).
  • University at Buffalo D.C. Chapter Board of Directors (2001-2005).

Related Industries


  • J.D., cum laude, University at Buffalo School of Law, 1996
  • B.A., Communications, Fordham University, 1992

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • New York

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York