Courthouse Plaza
199 Main Street
Burlington, VT 05402-0190
ph: 802-863-2375
dir: 802-863-2375
Overview

Jennifer focuses on solving complex legal problems in state and federal courts and on appeal.

Jennifer McDonald is an experienced litigator representing clients at every stage of civil litigation. She has tried cases to verdict in state and federal courts and briefed and argued appeals in the Vermont Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Her practice includes complex commercial, breach of contract, construction defect, federal preemption, federal jurisdiction, civil rights, municipal litigation, railroad law, and consumer protection matters. She also regularly represents clients in the defense of personal injury, wrongful death, medical malpractice, and other tort claims.  

In addition to her practice in state and federal courts, Jennifer handles arbitration proceedings in major arbitral institutions including AAA and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

Jennifer was recognized in 2017 and 2018 by New England Super Lawyers® as a Rising Star in civil litigation. She serves as deputy Chair of the Government Enforcement and White Collar Defense Group. 

Experience
  • Lead counsel in high-stakes Second Circuit appeal. Jennifer successfully argued that her client’s facility was entitled to federal preemption and was not subject to local regulations. The Second Circuit affirmed a permanent injunction in favor of her client.
  • As lead trial counsel, Jennifer obtained judgment for her client, the defendant corporation, following a multi-day trial in U.S. District Court, District of Vermont in a personal injury/product liability case.
  • Obtained dismissal of claims against government officials on the basis of qualified immunity from suit.
  • Jennifer was the senior associate and second chair of the litigation team that brought suit against a German industrial manufacturer and its parent corporation on behalf of a Vermont company, alleging breach of contract, fraud, and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. The claim arose out of a manufacturer’s representative agreement. The suit, which was in the Federal District Court for the District of Vermont, was vigorously litigated, requiring numerous experts, and depositions in California, Washington, Texas, and New York, amongst others. After successfully defeating a barrage of motions filed by the defendants, the case was settled on the eve of trial. The terms of the settlement are required to be kept confidential.
  • Assisted in obtaining a multi-million dollar jury verdict for a Vermont ski and snowboard resort in a breach of contract dispute against the Alliance of Action Sports and NBC Universal involving an internationally televised action sports event.
  • Obtained the dismissal of a $16 million dollar taxpayer lawsuit against a large Vermont municipality.
  • Represented a large Vermont municipality in a complex commercial litigation arising out of a $33.5 million dollar financing of a municipal enterprise.
Education

Vermont Law School, J.D. magna cum laude, 2009 Vermont Journal of Environmental Law (Editor-in-Chief, 2008-2009)

University of Vermont, B.A. 2004

Admissions & Clerkships
  • Vermont, 2009
  • U.S. District Court, District of Vermont, 2010
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, 2011
Memberships & Activities
  • American Bar Association
  • Vermont Bar Association
  • Chittenden County Bar Association
Accolades & Awards

Listed in New England Super Lawyers as a Rising Star, 2017

Community Involvement
  • Vermont Family Network, Board Member 2015 - present
  • Leadership Champlain, Class of 2013
  • Run Vermont, Race Committee Member
Publications & Presentations
  • Speaker, Vermont Bar Association Annual Meeting 2019, Torts Year in Review
  • Speaker, Vermont Bar Association Annual Meeting 2017, Torts Year in Review
  • Speaker, Vermont Bar Association Annual Meeting 2015, Torts Year in Review
  • Speaker, Vermont Bar Association Annual Meeting 2014, Torts Year in Review
Reported Cases
  • Vermont Railway, Inc. v. Town of Shelburne, 918 F.3d 82 (2d. Cir. 2019)
  • Osier v. Burlington Telecom et al., 2016 VT 34 201 Vt. 483, 144, A. 3d 1024 (2016)
  • Pcolar Casella Waste Systems, Inc., 2012 VT 58, 192 Vt. 343, 59 A.3d 702 (2012)
  • Rathe Salvage, Inc. v. R. Brown & Sons, Inc., 2012 VT 18, 46 A.3d 891, 894 (2012)
Courthouse Plaza
199 Main Street
Burlington, VT 05402-0190
ph: 802-863-2375
dir: 802-863-2375
jmcdonald@drm.com
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