Eric N. Heyer
Eric is a partner in the firm’s Business Litigation and Labor and Employment practice groups. He began his legal career with Thompson Hine in 2006 and returned to the firm in 2014 after spending two years with a boutique litigation firm.
Eric has extensive experience advising clients and litigating cases relating to actions by federal government agencies under the Administrative Procedure Act. Eric has also advised and represented many clients in the financial services industry, including captive insurance companies, mutual funds, national banks, mortgage servicers, and investment bankers. Eric’s litigation experience encompasses a broad range of matters including contract disputes, business torts, employment matters, insurance claims, trademark and copyright litigation, and representation of federal government employees, . He has extensive experience trying claims in jury and bench trials in federal and state courts around the country, as well as in private arbitrations. Eric has conducted jury trials and arbitrations on the fiduciary obligations of current and former employees and agents; fraud claims; breach of contract claims, including those arising out of breaches of noncompetition and confidentiality agreements; warranty claims; and age and race discrimination claims.
Eric has extensive experience counseling and representing clients from the captive insurance and electronic cigarette industries on a wide variety of issues.
Eric is fully bilingual in written and spoken Spanish.
An illustrative sampling of Eric’s experience includes:
Administrative Procedure Act Issues
- Representing a major municipality that operates a large-hub airport in litigation relating to the airport’s noise compatibility program before the D.C. Circuit and administrative proceedings before the FAA.
- Advising a client with respect to challenging actions taken by OSHA to add the client to its Severe Violator Enforcement Program list.
- Successfully challenging in federal district court as arbitrary and capricious an FDA decision to regulate electronic cigarettes as unapproved new drugs and/or medical devices under Chapter V of the Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act.
Financial Services Industry
- Representing and advising the independent trustees of a closed-end investment fund with respect to the alleged theft of millions of dollars of fund assets by the fund’s former president and investment manager.
- Representing a foreign group captive insurance company in a series of federal and state court cases seeking to collect on multimillion-dollar promissory notes and defend against a series of contractual and business tort claims, including fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, securities violations and allegations of the unlawful transaction of insurance in various states.
- Conducting an independent investigation of claims of alleged breaches of fiduciary duty by the directors of a major national bank.
- Prosecuting litigation in federal court against a Venezuelan national and several offshore companies controlled by him for breach of an investment banking agreement relating to the funding of a resort hotel in Aruba.
- Representing a series of national banks and mortgage servicers in federal and state court actions brought by homeowners challenging foreclosures that had occurred or were scheduled to occur.
- Pursuing foreclosure of a property pledged as collateral for payment of an amount due in settlement of litigation on behalf of a British financial services company; obtained a favorable settlement from the debtor.
Trademark and Copyright Litigation
- Representing a professional photographer in a lawsuit against a film company and the federal government resulting from the unauthorized use of photographs in a nationally televised film in violation of the photographer’s copyright and license agreement.
- Representing an electronic cigarette distributor against trademark infringement and unfair competition claims brought by a major tobacco company in federal court.
- Advising electronic cigarette companies regarding potential trademark litigation against infringers of their marks.
- Obtaining a jury verdict in the amount of a full year’s salary for a breach of fiduciary duty claim against the former vice president of business development for a government contractor who established a competing company while still employed.
- Defending two former equity partners of a major law firm in an arbitration against claims for breach of a partnership agreement and breach of fiduciary duty as a result of their withdrawal from the firm.
- Representing a publicly held staffing company in litigation against a former district manager who set up a competing staffing company; obtained a favorable settlement and ultimate determination of non-dischargeability of the debt from the bankruptcy court when the former employee failed to pay the settlement amount. Also represented another national staffing company as successor in interest to the publicly held staffing company in follow-on litigation against the same individual; obtained a favorable verdict in a bench trial in state court against the individual, including an award of punitive damages and a finding of contempt for breaches of a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction.
- Representing a United States Secret Service agent against allegations of misconduct and disciplinary action before the Merit Systems Protection Board.
- Representing a federal government attorney against allegations of misconduct and ethical violations before the Merit Systems Protection Board.
Electronic Cigarette Industry
- Obtaining a preliminary injunction prohibiting the FDA from treating an e-cigarette distributor’s products as an unauthorized drug or medical device. This decision, Smoking Everywhere, Inc. v. U.S. Food & Drug Administration, 680 F. Supp. 2d 62 (D.D.C. 2010), opened the doors to the creation of the electronic cigarette industry in the United States.
- Counseling a major Chinese electronic cigarette manufacturer on international distribution agreements and FDA compliance-related issues.
- “E-cigarette enforcement at a post-Gottlieb FDA,” SmartBrief, May 2019
- “Forum Selection Clauses in Agreements with Foreign Counterparties: Not Just Another Boilerplate Provision,” Thompson Hine Business Law Update, Spring 2016
- “The Minefield of E-Cigarette Labeling And Promotion,” Law360, October 2, 2015
- “Planning For The FDA’s 'Deeming Rule' For E- Cigarettes,” Law360, September 21, 2015
- Co-Author, “E-Cigarettes: Product Liability & Lithium Ion Batteries,” Thompson Hine Product Liability eNewsletter, Winter 2015
- “Latin American State Secrecy and Mexico’s Transparency Law,” 38 Geo. Wash. Int’l L. Rev. 437 (2006)
- Selected as a Rising Star by Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers magazine, 2014-2019
- Benchmark Litigation Under 40 Litigation Hot List, 2017 and 2019
- Virginia State Bar
- Member, Board of Education for Our Savior Lutheran Church and School in Arlington, Virginia