Moxila A. Upadhyaya is an experienced trial attorney who has represented businesses and individuals in numerous bench and jury trials and depositions. Although she maintains a national practice, Moxi is often sought out for her expertise in the District of Columbia federal and local courts and administrative agencies, given her unique prior government service in the District.
Moxi’s clients include universities, hospitality companies, medical systems and practices, energy companies, commercial real estate developers and owners, professional services organizations, and local businesses.
In addition to handling complex commercial disputes, including breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and defamation claims, she has represented large organizations in Title VII employment suits. Her practice includes regulatory and administrative litigation challenging regulations and agency orders in the DC Circuit and other DC courts.
Moxi began her career as a trial attorney early, having served as lead counsel in two jury trials and one bench trial during her third year of law school, through her participation in American University’s Criminal Justice Clinic.
As an associate during her first five years at Venable, she first-chaired a multi-day bench trial, second-chaired a federal bench trial on behalf of a major litigation law firm, and was a key member of two jury trial teams.
She also worked as an integral part of a team handling a billion-dollar bankruptcy adversary proceeding in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, on behalf of Enron as debtor-in-bankruptcy, during which she took or defended dozens of depositions.
Moxi is uniquely familiar with practice in the DC federal and state courts. While serving as a law clerk to the Honorable Robert L. Wilkins of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Moxi advised on pending complex civil, administrative, and criminal matters involving high-profile issues of first impression.
She regularly confronted questions of constitutional law, contract interpretation, statutory interpretation, federal civil procedure, and DC law. Prior to joining Venable, Moxi served a two-year term as law clerk to the Honorable Eric T. Washington, former chief judge of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.
While there, Moxi was involved in numerous complex civil, criminal, and administrative cases that presented issues of first impression affecting the District of Columbia.
- Defended a multinational hospitality company in a dispute involving complicated international jurisdictional issues related to plaintiffs’ claims to land in Eastern Europe; argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (Judge Richard A. Posner presiding), which affirmed the district court’s dismissal of the case
- Defended a private university in a case brought by a tenured professor. After securing a victory for the university in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, argued before the DC Court of Appeals, which affirmed the trial court’s ruling in favor of the client
- Obtained a partial jury verdict in favor of the client after a five-week trial in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The jury found the existence of partnership arising from partners’ conduct in associating with each other to carry on a summer camp business as co-owners
- Served as second-chair trial counsel and won a favorable judgment after a federal court trial, for former partners whose law firm improperly reduced their liquidating capital account balances by more than $1 million
- Defended a prestigious private university in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against employment discrimination allegations. Obtained an order granting summary judgment in the client’s favor, holding the plaintiff in contempt, and awarding attorney’s fees
- Won dismissal with prejudice of a lawsuit against a solid waste processing facility in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, and helped secure a comprehensive settlement agreement allowing the facility to remain in operation
- J.D. cum laude American University, Washington College of Law 2003
- B.J. magna cum laude Missouri School of Journalism 2000
- A.B. Latinwith honors University of Missouri 2000
Bar Admissions : District of Columbia, Maryland
Court Admissions :
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
- U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
- U.S. Tax Court
Clerk Experience :
- Honorable Robert L. Wilkins U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia 2011-2012
- Honorable Eric T. Washington District of Columbia Court of Appeals 2003-2005
Professional Memberships :
- Past co-chair, DC Bar Litigation Section Steering Committee
- Board member, DC Access to Justice Foundation
- Board member, Council for Court Excellence
- Member, American Bar Association
- Member, Maryland State Bar Association
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