Areas of Practice
Mr. Drennan has been a trial lawyer since 1981, and provides legal services principally in the following areas:
- Appeals in Federal and State (District of Columbia and Virginia) Civil and Criminal Cases;
- Alien Tort Claims Act Litigation (Defense and Prosecution)
- Appellate Litigation
- Bankruptcy Law
- Civil Litigation
- Civil Rights
- Constitutional Law
- Criminal Law
- Intellectual Property (Copyright and Trademark Infringement Litigation)
- Immigration Law
- Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act
- Libel and Slander Litigation
- Litigation on behalf of American Nationals who are Victims of State-Sponsored Terrorism (under the provisions of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act ("The Antiterrorism Act")(codified at 28 U.S.C. § 1605A (2008)). The Antiterrorism Act, as amended, provides, in part, that U.S. nationals may bring suit against foreign sovereigns for personal injury resulting from "torture, extrajudicial killing, aircraft sabotage, hostage taking or the provision of material support or resources . . . for such an act" if the foreign state is designated as a state sponsor of terrorism. 28 U.S.C. § 1605A
- LItigation on behalf of victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks upon the United States under the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (Pub. L. 114-222)
- Torture Victims Protection Act (Defense)
Successfully represented patron of subway system who was falsely arrested and maliciously prosecuted (Heffez v. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority)
Heffez v. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, 569 F. Supp.1551, aff'd, 786 F. 2d 431 (D.C. Cir. 1986);
Successfully represented patron of subway system who was falsely arrested and maliciously prosecuted by Transit Authority police upon the instigation of a subway station attendant. The jury awarded $ 168,000, in compensatory damages, upon finding each of the defendants liable for common law torts as well as finding violations of the plaintiff's constitutionally protected civil rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and the appellate court affirmed the district court awards in all respects; Mr. Drennan tried the Heffez case, which, incidentally, is believed to represent the first successful civil rights action against the Metro Transit Police, at the age of 27, in his first civil trial, and successfully defended the verdict, in his first civil appeal, conducted at the age of 29.
Successfully represented plaintiff in civil rights action who was falsely arrested and maliciously prosecuted (Gray v. Bisdorf and James)
Gray v. Bisdorf and James, 1988 WL 123728 (D.D.C. 1988);
Successfully represented plaintiff in civil rights action who was falsely arrested and maliciously prosecuted on a driving while intoxicated charge in retaliation for her earlier demonstrations at the courthouse, protesting a probationary sentence for the killer of her daughter, with the jury's finding that such tortious actions were violative of the plaintiff's constitutionally protected civil rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983;
Won remand from District of Columbia Court of Appeals on appeal of felony jury trial conviction (Kimes v. United States)
Won remand as co-counsel on appeal for Santé Kimes, after her felony conviction for grand larceny, in which she received a three to nine year sentence, consecutive to a sentence that she was already serving, because the trial judge sentenced Mrs. Kimes without first conducting a hearing to determine whether or not Mrs. Kimes' absence at the taking of the verdict at trial was voluntary. The appellate court premised its ruling by holding that a criminal defendant's right to be present at the return of a jury's verdict implicates the defendant's constitutional right of due process under the Fifth Amendment. Kimes v. United States, 569 A. 2d 104 (D.C. App. 1989).
Won $159,000 newspaper libel judgment after jury trial for a public figure (Rassam v. Arab Houston Times, Inc. and Yousef)
Rassam v. Arab Houston Times, Inc., and Yousef, 92 F. 3d 1181, 1996 WL 442897,
25 Media L. Rep. 1012 (4th Cir. 1994);
Won $ 159,000, judgment after jury trial for a public figure, a former Iraqi State Television personality, in the aftermath of the first Gulf War, for libel, against an Arabic language newspaper in Houston, Texas, and its publisher. Although a portion of the judgment award at trial was vacated on appeal, the appellate court upheld the ruling of the district court that the plaintiff had proved that the evidence adduced at trial supported the findings by the jury that the plaintiff was libeled and that the defendants had acted with malice, thus entitling the plaintiff to punitive, as well as compensatory, damages.
Obtained reversal of district court's disallowance of informal proof of claim in Chapter 13 bankruptcy case (In re Hardgrave)
In re Hardgrave, 59 F.3d 166, 1995 WL 371462 (4th Cir. 1995);
Obtained reversal of district court's ruling that an unsecured creditor's objection to the confirmation of a debtor's Chapter 13 plan did not constitute an informal proof of claim, thereby allowing creditor client to receive payments under the plan.
Successfully defended on appeal jury award of compensatory damages for bad faith against insurance company (Carson v. Canada Life Assurance Company)
Carson v. Canada Life Assurance Company, 28 Fed. Appx. 262, 2002 WL 99736 (4th Cir. 2002);
Successfully defended on appeal jury award of compensatory damages against insurance company for bad faith failure to pay benefits under a long term disability policy of insurance to an insured who became disabled because of fibromyalgia. However, appellate court declined to reinstate the jury's separate $ 750,000 award of punitive damages that had been set aside by the district court.
Successfully won reversal of the district court's denial of defendants' motion to compel arbitration in respect of a civil RICO action (General Electric Capital Corporation v. Union Corp Financial Group, Inc.)
General Electric Capital Corporation v. Union Corp Financial Group, Inc., 142 Fed. Appx. 150, 2005 WL 1703619, RICO Bus. Disp. Guide 10,916 (4th Cir. 2005);
Successfully won reversal of the district court's denial of defendants' motion to compel arbitration in respect of a civil action alleging, inter alia, violations of the civil Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act ("the RICO statute") (18 U.S.C. §§ 1961, et seq.), after the district court had denied defendants' motion to stay proceedings in the district court pending resolution of the appeal;
Obtained $2.6 billion judgment as co-counsel in action brought by over 800 plaintiffs against Iran, arising out of the 1983 terrorist bombing attack on the U.S. Marines Barracks, in Beirut, Lebanon (Peterson v. Iran)
Peterson v. Islamic Republic of Iran, 515 F. Supp.2d 25, 2007 U.S. DIST. LEXIS 65820 (D.D.C. 2007);
Co-counsel for plaintiffs in action brought by over eight hundred plaintiffs in an action against the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Iranian Ministry of Information and Security for the deaths of over two hundred and forty United States servicemen as a result of state-sponsored terrorist "suicide" bombing at the United States Marine Corps barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, on 23 October 1983. After holding Iran responsible for the subject terrorist attack on the Marines Corps barracks (see :Peterson v. Islamic Republic of Iran, 264 F. Supp. 2d 46 (D.D.C. 2003), the district court awarded the plaintiffs $2.6 billion in compensatory damages.
Counsel for plaintiffs in companion, consolidated case to Peterson v. Iran, resulting in $1.3 billion judgment against Iran (Valore v. Iran)
Represented over fifty plaintiffs in companion case (to Peterson v. Iran, against the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Iranian Ministry of Information and Security, arising out of the state-sponsored terrorist "suicide" bombing at the United States Marine Corps barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, on 23 October 1983.Valore v. Islamic Republic of Iran, 700 F. Supp. 2d 52 (D.D.C. 2010).
Obtained reversal from federal appellate court for citizen and native of Togo who appealed adverse decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals, denying petition to reopen (Sadhvani v. Keisler)
Sadhvani v. Keisler, Slip Copy, 2007 WL 2974072 (4th Cir. 12 October 2007);
Counsel for citizen and native of Togo who appealed decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals, vacating its previous grant of client's motion to reopen and considering the motion as withdrawn in light of the client's removal from the United States. The appellate court, following its reasoning in the contemporaneously decided case of William v. Gonzales, ** F. 3d ** (4th Cir. 2007), reversed, essentially invalidating 8 C.F.R. § 1003.2(d) (2007), which provides that " [a]ny departure from the United States, including the deportation or removal of a person who is the subject of exclusion, deporation or removal proceedings occuring after the filing of a motion to reopen or a motion to reconsider shall constitute a withdrawal of such motion. "
Won a favorable decision on a federal security clearance for a 54 year old Jordanian-American information technology specialist, employed by a defense contractor, who had been denied a security clearance administratively (Security Clearance case before the United States Department of Defense, Office of Hearings and Appeals)
Security Clearance case before the United States Department of Defense, Office of Hearings and Appeals, Case No. 07-04860 (Decided 20 December 2007).
Counsel for 54 year old Jordanian-American information technology specialist employed by a defense contractor who had been denied a security clearance by the United States Department of Defense, per a Statement of Reasons ("SOR"), issued on 14 August 2007, under Executive Order 10865, Safeguarding Classified Information Within Industry, as amended (20 February 1990), and Department of Defense Directive 5220.6, Defense Industrial Personnel Security Clearance Review Program (2 January 1992), which SOR alleged the Government's security concerns under Guideline B (Foreign Influence), and Guideline C (Foreign Preference) of the Directive. Upon a full hearing before the Administrative Judge, the Applicant was found to have mitigated successfully all alleged security concerns and the clearance was granted.
Obtained judgments against Iran totaling $33.3 million for five claimants in respect of the 1983 terrorist attack on American servicemen in Beirut, Lebanon (Anderson v. Iran)
Obtained $7.5 million in compensatory damages and $25.8 million in punitive damages, against Iran, on behalf of five claimants, with claims arising out of the 1983 terrorist bombing of the U.S. Marines Barracks, in Beiruit, Lebanon.Anderson v. Islamic Republic of Iran, 839 F. Supp. 2d 263 (D.D.C. 2012).
Obtained judgments totaling $657,120,000, on behalf of 44 claimants in respect of the 1983 terrorist attack on American servicemen in Beirut, Lebanon (Taylor v. Iran)
Obtained $148,000,000, in compensatory damages and $509,120,000, in exemplaray damages, against the Islamic Republic of Iran, on behalf of 44 claimants in respect of the 1983 terrorist attack upon the U.S. Marines Barracks, in Beirut, Lebanon. Taylor v. Islamic Republic of Iran, 811 F. Supp. 2d 1 (D.D.C. 2011).
Obtained judgments totaling $44,622,000, against Iran, on behalf of 15 claimants in respect of the 1983 terrorist attack on the U.S. Marines Barracks, in Beirut, Lebanon (O'Brien v. Iran)
Obtained $10,050,000, in compensatory damages, and $34,572,000, for a total damage award of $44,622,000, against Iran, on behalf of 15 claimants, arising out of the 1983 terrorist attack on the U.S. Marines Barracks, in Beirut, Lebanon. O'Brien v. Islamic Republic of Iran, 853 F. Supp. 2d 44, 2012 WL 1021471 (D.D.C. 2012).
Obtained $454 million in compensatory and exemplary damages on behalf of 62 relatives of six Marines and two Navy corpsmen who were killed or injured in the 1983 terrorist attack on the U.S. Marines Barracks in Beirut, Lebanon (Spencer v. Iran)
Obtained judgments aggregating to $102,161,376, in compensatory damages, and $351,435,133.44, in exemplary damages, against Iran, on behalf of 62 relatives of six Marines and two Navy corpsmen, arising out of the 1983 terrorist bombing of the U.S. Marines Barracks, in Beirut, Lebanon.Spencer v. Islamic Republic of Iran, 71 F. Supp. 3d 23 (D.D.C. 2014).
Won important precedential decision in the Supreme Court of Virginia applying the requirements of the contemporaneous objection rule to expert testimony in a medical malpractice case (Bitar v. Rahman)
Represented successfully appellee in the Supreme Court of Virginia, in respect of a medical malpractice case in which appellant/defendant physician sought belatedly to strike the plaintiff's/appellee's expert evidence without having registered a contemporaneous objection to the sufficiency of such evidence. Bitar v. Rahman, 630 S.E. 2d 319, 272 Va. 130 (2006).