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Michelle Gambino is a well-regarded, highly competitive and aggressive litigator known as a pit-bull to her adversaries. Michelle routinely represents Fortune 500 clients in “bet-the-company” type disputes and in highly publicized matters. She has over 20 years of experience trying cases all over the United States to verdict. Michelle is also Co-Chair of the firm’s U.S. Real Estate Litigation Practice and has deep experience representing REITS, developers, owners, sureties, contractors, landlords and retail tenants in complex disputes involving mixed use projects, land rights, zoning, redevelopments, distribution centers, commercial leases, changes in use, condemnation, constructive eviction, density, purchase and sales transactions, construction delay claims, and projects “gone wrong”. Essentially, if a dispute is brewing involving real estate, Michelle is on the short-list of attorneys in the industry to call for help.

A large portion of Michelle’s practice also focuses on litigating complex commercial disputes involving: employment matters, government contracts, business conspiracy, mass tort, statutory violations, breach of commercial contracts, actual and constructive fraud, misappropriation of trade secrets, tortious interference, trespass, trademark violations, wrongful death, VCPA claims, negligence and intentional torts, RICO violations, sexual harassment, indemnity fights, guaranty agreements, consumer class actions, public contract disputes, Truth in Lending Act (TILA), Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), state consumer protection and unfair trade practices laws.

Michelle’s client base includes Fortune 500 businesses, venture capital companies, start-ups, joint venture entities, tech companies, defense contractors, municipalities, federally regulated banking institutions, hospitals, in-line retailers, construction companies, real estate developers, restaurant chains, national real estate developers, REITS, utilities, media companies, data storage centers, big box retailers, insurers, transportation companies, and other publicly or privately held companies.

Concentrations

  • Complex commercial litigation disputes
  • Real estate litigation
  • Banking litigation
  • Mass torts, class claims
  • Employment
  • Construction

Capabilities

Experience

 
  • Defeated a party seeking to stop the development and construction of a $330 million dollar project in downtown San Diego which was estimated to generate over $3 billion in revenue for the local economy.
  • Recently won a dispositive motion against an international real estate developer for breach of its indemnity obligations.
  • Secured a summary judgment win and lease forfeiture for a national developer where a tenant was holding up construction and refused to surrender possession.
  • Won $31 million dollars in damages for Lord & Taylor LLC in a dispute with White Flint, L.P. in Maryland federal court. In 2015, the award was the largest verdict in the federal court in Greenbelt, Maryland. Lord & Taylor LLC et al. v. White Flint LP, case number 8:13-cv-01912, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. Gambino also defended the award on appeal, and the verdict was upheld by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • As co-lead counsel, secured the dismissal of a $120 million dollar claim against one of the largest Fortune 500 financial institutions located in McLean, Virginia, in a dispute in Fairfax, Virginia relating to the construction and development of its headquarters campus.
  • Represented client and insurer in a hotly contested wrongful death matter where $20m in damages was sought against Ms. Gambino’s client. After performing methodical discovery and pre-trial motions practice, the claim was resolved.
  • Defeated a party seeking to enjoin a national fitness client from continuing to operate in underserved “opportunity zoned” areas.
  • Enforced developmental restrictions against a party seeking to alter a shopping center in Maryland which would have destroyed the market value of client’s property and visibility to its commercial complex.
  • Recently defended a publicly traded company in a construction dispute alleging over seven years of delay and associated costs in a public works transportation project.
  • Secured numerous dismissals of Title VII actions alleging race and retaliation against a municipality. The dismissals were upheld by the Fourth Circuit.
  • Kelly v. City of Alexandria, 830 Fed. Appx. 722 (4th 2020); upholding dismissal of Title VII time barred claims and finding the subsequent complaint was barred by res judicata. develop
  • Seno Medical Instruments, Inc. Biomedical Systems Corp., 2018 WL 5811497 (W.D. Tex. 2018); dismissing claim against client and consequential damages sought. Best Medical Int’l., Inc. v. Wells Fargo, Inc., Nos. 2010-10997, 2010-9355, 2010-9414, 2011 Va. Cir. LEXIS 185 (Fairfax Cir. Ct.) (Dec. 2011). Granted client’s plea in bar dismissing the case against Wells Fargo, Inc., after considering the validity of a waiver clause.°
  • Fairfax Company of Virginia, LLC v. Samson Realty, LLC, No. CL-2007-1269, 74 Va. Cir. 141 (Fairfax Cir. Ct.) (Sept. 2007); well cited opinion in client’s favor enforcing a jury waiver clause in a commercial lease agreement and setting forth the test on the validity of waivers in Virginia.°
  • Weber v. Domel, 48 S.W.3d 435, (Tex. App.—Waco 2001, no pet.). Represented client in the dismissal of negligence and punitive damage award.°
  • Ferrer v. Randall’s Food & Drug, Inc., No. 05-01-00070-CV, 2002 WL 922 139 (Tex. App. – Dallas 2002, no pet.). Upheld summary judgment obtained for client on an ERISA matter.°

°The above representations were handled by Ms. Gambino prior to her joining Greenberg Traurig, LLP.

  • Planning and Zoning Commissioner, City of Georgetown, TX, 2002-2003
  • Board Member, City of Georgetown, TX, Zoning Board of Adjustment, 2001-2002

Recognition & Leadership

  • Listed, The Best Lawyers in America, Litigation - Banking and Finance, 2022 - 2023
  • Team Member, U.S. News - Best Lawyers®, Best Law Firms Edition, "Law Firm of the Year," Real Estate - Litigation, 2017 and 2022
  • Team Member, U.S. News - Best Lawyers®, Best Law Firms Edition, "Law Firm of the Year," Banking & Finance - Litigation, 2017
  • Listed, National Law Journal, Top 100 Verdicts in 2015 – Lead Counsel for Lord & Taylor, LLC
  • Member, American Bar Association, 2013 to Present
    • Former Vice Chair, Trial Techniques Committee
  • Member, Federal Bar Association, 2012 to 2016
  • Member, State Bar of Texas, 1999 to Present
    • Member, Litigation Section, 2000 to 2013
    • Member, Construction, 2003 to 2013
    • Member, Employment Section, 2000 to 2009
  • Member, Virginia Bar Association, 2005 to Present
    • Member, Litigation Section, 2010 to Present
    • Member, Construction Section, 2010 to Present

Credentials

Education
  • J.D., cum laude, Baylor University School of Law
  • B.S., magna cum laude, Troy University
Admissions
  • Virginia
  • District of Columbia
  • Texas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas