Frederick W. Chockley III

Of Counsel

Washington, D.C.
T 202.861.1680
F 202.861.1783

Overview

Over his more than 30-year career in civil litigation, Fritz Chockley has litigated and performed trial work throughout the country in areas including international, employment and commercial litigation. His expansive experience makes Fritz adept at handling any litigation matter that presents itself, as he possesses knowledge in areas ranging from First Amendment cases to breach of contract and fraud situations. Fritz is a competitive yet compassionate trial lawyer, adjusting his approach in court based on what he knows will most effectively benefit his clients.

Select Experience

  • Obtained a jury verdict for a defendant German manufacturing company in a suit brought by an American supplier alleging claims of breach of contract, conspiracy, defamation and other torts in the supplier's hometown. Obtained a counterclaim for plaintiff breach of contract after effective advocacy on behalf of the client demonstrated the invalidity of the plaintiff's claims.
  • Leader of a trial team representing a family who owned the largest newspaper in Puerto Rico during a lengthy and bitterly fought First Amendment case regarding retaliation over editorial criticism. Defended depositions and worked intensely with the clients, including the newspaper's publisher and editors, during the high-profile fight against the governor of the commonwealth and others. The case was settled on the eve of trial.
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Experience

  • Obtained a jury verdict for a defendant German manufacturing company in a suit brought by an American supplier alleging claims of breach of contract, conspiracy, defamation and other torts in the supplier's hometown. Obtained a counterclaim for plaintiff breach of contract after effective advocacy on behalf of the client demonstrated the invalidity of the plaintiff's claims.
  • Leader of a trial team representing a family who owned the largest newspaper in Puerto Rico during a lengthy and bitterly fought First Amendment case regarding retaliation over editorial criticism. Defended depositions and worked intensely with the clients, including the newspaper's publisher and editors, during the high-profile fight against the governor of the commonwealth and others. The case was settled on the eve of trial.
  • Defended the German seller of a company's American subsidiary in litigation stemming from a discrepancy in the value of the company being sold. The company buyer, also German, found that an officer operating the subsidiary had been stealing money from the company for years prior to the sale, significantly deflating its value. The buyer sued the subsidiary's accounting firm, which in turn sued the German seller claiming it had defrauded the accounting firm. A jury verdict was rendered for the defendant in Kansas federal court finding that the client had not defrauded the negligent accounting firm that failed to uncover the theft of the funds.
  • Led a team that helped resolve a case for a cellphone tower owner sued for removal of the tower from a residential area during litigation in the Eastern District of Virginia. A land developer sued the tower company and sought an emergency injunction to remove the tower, alleging that lead paint from the tower was contaminating the developer's neighborhood. Quickly assembled the team to handle all aspects of the case for the tower company, including an environmental team to address lead issues, a zoning team to handle local ordinances and a public relations firm to respond to community concerns arising from the developer's claims. The case was moved to federal court, where a judge denied a motion for injunction. The team was set to respond to regulators, courts and the community in order to mitigate any future concerns about the tower. Enabled the operator to construct a deal with the developer on reasonable terms that allowed the tower to remain and operate.
  • Recovered an Austrian bank's investment in a publicly traded American sunglasses manufacturer. The American company had refused to permit the bank to convert convertible preferred shares into common shares. Securities fraud and other claims were filed in federal court in New York. The litigation forced the sale of the company, providing the bank with recovery of more than 100 percent of its investment. The case involved sophisticated legal work and required close cooperation between teams of lawyers and the foreign counsel brought in to advise on international aspects.
  • Defended a family in a lawsuit brought by a neighboring landowner who sought to build a full-size turf soccer field in his backyard. The soccer aficionado argued that his neighbors had interfered with his property rights when they requested the county's help in obtaining removal of the field. The clients were sued for all costs, including property costs and the cost of building the field. At trial, the court agreed that the clients' petition for redress was constitutionally protected and dismissed the case.

Recognitions and Memberships

Recognitions

  • President's Commission on White House Fellowships: Chair, D.C. Area Regional Panel (2004 to 2009)
  • Bar Association of the District of Columbia, Young Lawyers Section: Young Lawyer of the Year (1986)
  • Martindale-Hubbell: AV Preeminent

Memberships

  • The Order of Barristers
  • The Lawyers Club

News

News

Community

  • Youth Baseball, Northwest Washington Little League: Coach, Board Member, Officer
  • D.C. High School Baseball Classic: Board Member, Officer
  • Tech DC: Officer

Prior Positions

  • Washington, D.C., Office: Litigation Coordinator (1996 to 2011)
  • University of Colorado, National Institute for Trial Advocacy (1988)
  • Bar Association of the District of Columbia
    • Young Lawyers Section: Treasurer
    • Civil Jury Instructions Committee: Chair
  • Aide to Senator Robert Taft, Jr.
  • Legislative Director for Representative Bill Gradison

Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court, 2005
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, 1983
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, 1982
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Virginia
  • District of Columbia
  • Virginia

Education

  • J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, 1982
  • B.A., Yale University, 1976
  • Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching