Elaine Charlson Bredehoft Attorney

Elaine Charlson Bredehoft


Ms. Bredehoft, a native of Northern Minnesota, has been successfully trying cases in state and federal courts in Virginia, the District of Columbia and Maryland since 1984.

Ms. Bredehoft has been consistently recognized in publications as one of the Top Lawyers in Virginia, Washington, D.C. & Baltimore, frequently – including in 2023 ranked as one of the top ten lawyers as selected by her peers, and has been repeatedly recognized by Virginia Business magazine as one of Virginia’s Legal Elite (as published in Virginia Business Magazine). Ms. Bredehoft has been selected for inclusion as a Super Lawyer in Virginia and Washington, D.C. for many years.

In April 2009, Ms. Bredehoft was recognized as one of Virginia’s Most Influential Women by Virginia Lawyers Weekly. Ms. Bredehoft has been included in The Best Lawyers in America every year since 1997.

In 2003, Ms. Bredehoft was inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers, an honor limited to the top 1% of attorneys in each state; in 2005, Ms. Bredehoft was inducted into the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, an honor limited in the United States to 500 trial attorneys under the age of 70; and in 2007, Ms. Bredehoft was chosen for Fellowship in Litigation Counsel of America, an honorary society comprised of less than one-half of one percent of American lawyers. Ms. Bredehoft served for many years on the Boyd Graves Conference, a collaboration of Judges, Legislators and Attorneys addressing and repairing legal inequities. Ms. Bredehoft is also a Permanent Member of the Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference. In 2023 Ms. Bredehoft was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Labor & Employment Law Section of the Virginia Bar Association.

Ms. Bredehoft was hired by Amber Heard to represent her in assisting UK counsel for the Sun newspaper and Editor-in-Chief Dan Wooten with its defense of the libel lawsuit brought by John C. Depp II. Ms. Bredehoft traveled to the UK, quarantined with Ms. Heard, prepared her for trial and worked with and assisted UK counsel in preparation for the trial, and accompanied Ms. Heard and worked with Ms. Heard and UK counsel throughout the trial. The trial ended successfully with the London High Court finding in favor of the Sun and Mr. Wooten and against Mr. Depp, finding the evidence supported that Mr. Depp committed domestic violence against Ms. Heard on at least 12 occasions. Ms. Bredehoft then returned to the US and represented Ms. Heard in bringing the Counterclaim against Mr. Depp. Ms. Bredehoft also acted as lead counsel in defending and managing the litigation across the country with extensive motions and discovery in California and Virginia, as well as in other jurisdictions. Ms. Bredehoft led the trial team through trial, which resulted in verdicts in favor of both Mr. Depp and Ms. Heard. Ms. Bredehoft filed the appeal notices to the main claims, including the challenge that the UK judgment should have applied to Mr. Depp’s US claims as they were essentially identical and Mr. Depp had chosen the UK as his preferred jurisdiction and Court, and lost. The case resolved without a final determination on these pivotal appellate issues.

Ms. Bredehoft’s extensive trial experience and history has led to the vast majority of her cases now settling before trial.


Washingtonian 2023
Natl Trial Lawyers
Award 6

Recent Awards & Accomplishments

TODAY Show Interview

Interviewed by TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie about the Depp v. Heard verdict.

Super Lawyers

Named as a Top 10 Super Lawyer in Washington, D.C. & Virginia

International Academy of Trial Lawyers

Admitted to Practice
  • Commonwealth of Virginia
  • District of Columbia
Memberships & Leadership
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, Virginia Bar Association, Labor & Employment Law Section, Fall 2023.
  • Master, George Mason Inns of Court, 1995-2012, Emeritus, 2012-present.
  • Member, National Employment Lawyers Association, Virginia Employment Lawyers Association, Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association.
  • Member, National Trial Lawyers – Business Tort Trial Lawyers Association.
  • Faculty Member, Virginia State Bar Professionalism Committee for Law Students, 2001-05.
  • Faculty Member, Virginia State Bar Professionalism Committee, 1997-2000.
  • Virginia Bar Association, Member, 1984-present. Former member of the Executive Committee of the Young Lawyers Section.  Statewide, regional, and local chair of VBA Model Judiciary Program, 1985-91.
  • Virginia Bar Association Section on Labor and Employment Law, Member of Governing Council, 1994-2008.
  • Fairfax Bar Association, Member, 1984-present. Served on FBA Committees on Professionalism, Law Day, Nominating, Annual Meeting and Diversity Task Force.  Participant as mentor in FBA mentoring program.
  • Virginia Women Attorneys Association, Member, 1997-present.
Representative Cases

While a significant majority of cases in the past 15 to 20 years have settled for undisclosed, confidential amounts, some select verdicts or judgments in business, employment and discrimination/civil rights cases include:

  • NikSoft Systems Corp. v. Jennifer Leise and Perspecta Enterprise Soluctions, LLC, A. No. 2019-15751 (Fairfax Cir. Ct. 2023)(Represented Jennifer Leise in the defense of NikSoft’s claims against former employee and current employer for violations of restrictive covenants, tortious interference, and statutory and civil conspiracy; brought counterclaims by Leise for Equal Pay Act and Retaliation. Defense verdict in favor of Leise, Counterclaim verdict in favor of Leise, currently on appeal)
  • Depp v. Heard, C.A. No. 2019-0002911 (Fairfax Cir. Ct. 2022)(Defamation main claim and Counterclaim – Judgment in favor of both parties, one on main claim and the other on Counterclaim, appealed, resolved before completion of appeal);
  • Loose v. CSRA, Inc., (Fairfax Cir. Ct. 2020) (Breach of Contract – Judgment of $494,561)
  • JK Moving & Storage, Inc. v. Winmar Construction, Inc., et al., (E.D. Va. 2018) (Breach of Contract – Judgment of $74,688.42, plus $411,410.39 awarded in attorneys’ fees)
  • Holman v. Dominion Mechanical Services, Inc., (Fairfax Cir. Ct. 2017) (Breach of Contract – Judgment of $1,462,500)
  • Torres Advanced Enterprise Solutions, LLC v. Namir El-Akabi, et al., (Fairfax Cir. Ct. 2016) (Fraud, conspiracy, and piercing the corporate veil – Judgment of $19,823,777.07/$350,000 punitive damages)
  • Torres Advanced Enterprise Solutions, LLC v Sabre International Security, (Fairfax Cir. Ct. 2015)(Breach of Contract and Actual/Constructive Fraud – Judgment of $10,161,089.47 compensatory/$350,000.00 punitive damages)
  • Taylor v. Republic Services, Inc., et al., (E.D. Va. 2013)(Title VII Sexual Harassment/Retaliation – $853,084.36 judgment, $620,559.36 fees and costs awarded)
  • York v. DynCorp International, LLC., (Fairfax Cir. Ct. 2012) (Breach of Contract – $5.4 million judgment, including prejudgment interest)
  • Sara K. Payne v. Marsh & McLennan Agency, LLC, (E.D. Va. 2012)(Represented individual and successor employer Lockton in successfully defending against temporary restraining order in dispute challenging validity of covenants, February 2012)
  • Crowe, et al v. Marsh & McLennan Agency, LLC, (E.D. Va. 2011)(Represented individuals and successor employer, Lockton in obtaining ruling by Court striking covenants not to compete and confidentiality provisions as invalid, May, 2011)
  • Shannon v. Randy Andrews, et al., (Fairfax Cir. Ct. 2011) (Breach of Contract – $856,653.54 jury verdict)
  • Grissom v. The Mills Corporation, (E.D. Va. 2007)(Sarbanes-Oxley wrongful termination, breach of contract, and defamation per se – $459,566.82 judgment, fees and costs awarded, appealed and settled)
  • Ivarone v. CACI Commercial, Inc., et al., (AAA Arbitration, March 2007)(defamation per se, $300,000.00)
  • Hyland v. Raytheon Company, et al., (Fairfax Cir. Ct., Oct. 2005)(Represented former Senior Vice President in defamation, fraud and tortious interference – $3.5 million verdict, reduced to $1.875 million, reversed and remanded (twice) for retrial, settled while on appeal)
  • Jackson v. Government Micro Resources, Inc., et al., (Prince William Cir. Ct., Dec. 2004) (Represented former President and CEO in defamation and breach of contract – $6.2 million jury verdict; reduced to $1.5 million, $5.5 million judgment reinstated by Virginia Supreme Court, Jan. 2006)
  • Scott v. Hovnanian Enterprises, Inc., et al., (E.D. Va. 2004)(pregnancy discrimination, retaliation, FMLA and constructive fraud — jury verdict valued at $2.2 million; reduced to $675,000; $350,000 awarded in attorney’s fees and costs)
  • Luba v. Motient Corporation, (AAA Arbitration, May 2003)(Breach of Change in Control Agreement, $203,625.27)
  • Moore v. United International Investigative Services, (E.D. Va. 2002)(Defamation and Conversion – $254,460.01 verdict, conversion claim dismissed on post-trial motions, $200,000 defamation verdict upheld by Fourth Circuit )
  • Swinton v. Broadwing Communications Services, Inc., (E.D.Va. 2001) (Breach of contract – change in control provisions for Internet backbone Chief Architect transferred to work on the Last Mile – $350,854.15 verdict – value of vested stock options at time of attempted exercise)
  • Pasko v. Broadwing Communications Services, Inc., (E.D.Va. 2001) (Breach of contract – change in control provisions for Internet backbone Manager and Designer transferred to work on the Last Mile – $290,335.44 verdict – value of vested stock options at time of attempted exercise)
  • Stiles v. Town of Leesburg, et al., (E.D.Va. 2000) (Section 1983 Whistleblower action by former Chief of Police of Town of Leesburg terminated for reporting illegal acts of Town Manager and Council Member–$3.1 million jury verdict, $261,000 awarded in attorney’s fees and costs)
  • Davison v. FastComm Communications Corp., (Fairfax Cir. Ct. 1998) (Represented former COO and Director in breach of contract for stock options – $1.288 million jury verdict)
  • Shaw v. Titan Corporation, (E.D.Va. 1998) (Gender, age and race-based discrimination of white male, $465,000 verdict, reduced to $415,000)
  • Hetzel v. Prince William County, et al., (E.D.Va. 1995, 1998)(Race and sex discrimination and retaliation in the Prince William Co. Police Dept. — $750,000 verdict, $186,000 court award of attorney’s fees, liability upheld, on remand from U.S. Supreme Court retrial on damages, $45,000 damages, $69,000 attorney’s fees and costs)
  • Grier v. Titan Corporation, (E.D.Va.1996) (Retaliation and wrongful termination/ constructive discharge — $635,000 verdict, after second trial $829,500 verdict, reduced to $27,500, $95,351.94 awarded in fees and costs)
  • Robinson v. The Hill, (D.D.C. 1998) (Race based termination, $100,000 verdict, $118,000 attorney’s fees and costs award)
  • Berman v. The Washington Times Corporation, (D.D.C. 1995) (Sex discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation in advertising department — $789,000 jury verdict, October 24, 1997, $200,000 awarded in attorney’s fees).

Sample Medical Malpractice Verdicts:

  • Tyler v. Molchon (Fairfax Cir. Ct. 2000) ($1.3 million verdict for wrongful death “suicide by cop” against psychiatrist who prematurely released decedent, upheld by Virginia Supreme Court, 2001)
  • Johnson v. Kaiser Permanente (Fairfax Cir. Ct. 1993) ($950,000 verdict for emotional distress of grandmother misdiagnosed with AIDS).
Honors & Awards
  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Fellow, International Academy of Trial Lawyers
  • Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
  • Invitee, Boyd Graves Conference (1999-2009); Steering Committee (2004 – 2009)
  • Permanent Member, Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference
  • “Best Lawyers in Washington, D.C.” (selected by peer recognition) by Washington Post
  • National Trial Lawyers “Top 100 Trial Attorneys”
  • “Top 10 Lawyer in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area” by D.C. Magazine
  • “Best Attorneys in Washington, D.C. & Baltimore area” (selected by peers; published in Best Lawyers)
  • “Top 10 Virginia Super Lawyers,” in Super Lawyers Magazine
  • “D.C. Super Lawyer” by Super Lawyers Magazine
  • “Virginia’s Legal Elite” by Virginia Business Magazine
  • Northern Virginia Magazine’s Top Lawyers
  • “Top 10 Lawyer in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area” by D.C. Magazine
  • “Virginia Super Lawyer” by Super Lawyers Magazine
  • “Top Virginia Lawyers”, Virginia, Richmond – Times Magazine
  • Best Employment Lawyers” by Washingtonian
  • Best Lawyers in America
  • “Legal Eagle” in Virginia Living
  • “Top Rated Lawyers – Washington D.C. & Baltimore’s Legal Leaders” by Wall Street Journal (2015)
  • “Top Ten D.C. Super Lawyers in Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area” by Washington Post
  • Best Lawyers in Virginia (selected by peer recognition; published in Best Lawyers)
  • “Best Legal Minds,” by Washingtonian Magazine
  • “Best Lawyers Employee Lawyer of the Year” in the Washington DC Area
  • “Top 500 Plaintiff’s Lawyers in America” by LawDragon
  • One of Virginia’s Most Influential Women by Virginia Lawyers Weekly
  • “Best Employment Lawyers” by Washingtonian
  • The Legal Times’ Almanac of Leading Lawyers
  • “Top 12 Employment Lawyers in the Washington Metropolitan Area” by Legal Times
  • “75 Best Lawyers” by Washingtonian (2002)
  • “Forty Top Lawyers Under Forty” by Washingtonian (1998)
  • “Fifty Best Lawyers in Washington” by Washingtonian (1997)
  • J.D., The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, 1984
  • B. A., University of Arizona, 1981

Meet The Team

Elaine Charlson Bredehoft Attorney


Peter C. Cohen Attorney




Adam S. Nadelhaft Attorney


Jessica Sartorius Attorney






Contact Elaine C. Bredehoft

11260 Roger Bacon Drive, Suite 201 Reston, VA 20190

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