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Covid-19 notice

Our firm is open and available to help. In response to recent COVID-19 developments, we have enabled our staff to work remotely while maintaining our ability to protect and represent our clients. We are all being impacted in different ways, but we will get through this together.

PRINCIPAL

Stuart M. Paynter

Stuart Paynter founded Paynter Law in Washington, D.C. over ten years ago. His practice concentrates exclusively on plaintiff-side litigation with a focus on copyright litigation, commercial litigation, and consumer protection including class actions on behalf of consumers nationwide. Mr. Paynter also represents people who have been severely injured, particularly by the conduct of large national or multinational corporations. He provides legal services to individuals as well as commercial entities on a contingency fee basis. In addition to his private practice, Mr. Paynter has also co-taught a seminar course at Duke Law on Antitrust and Sports.
Stuart M. Paynter
experience accomplishments credentials

Prior to starting Paynter Law, Mr. Paynter worked at Sullivan & Cromwell where he represented Microsoft in the antitrust suit brought by the Department of Justice and several state attorneys general, as well as in numerous consumer class actions brought in federal and state courts around the country. Directly after graduating from law school, Mr. Paynter clerked for the Hon. David S. Tatel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia where his work focused on complex administrative law issues of national importance.

Mr. Paynter has undertaken extensive pro bono work. While at Sullivan & Cromwell, Mr. Paynter represented a class of Portsmouth, Virginia residents who alleged racial discrimination by the City of Portsmouth and a private developer. That case settled on favorable terms to class members. In addition, Mr. Paynter represented the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in assisting them with storm-water advocacy in the District of Columbia.

$60 million settlement

As one of the Court-appointed lead counsel, Mr. Paynter achieved a $60 million settlement on behalf of student athletes whose names and likenesses had been used in videogames produced by Electronic Arts. $20 million of that amount was paid directly by the NCAA representing one of the first, if not the first, time that the NCAA has ever paid a student athlete for the use of his or her name, image, or likeness.

$383.5 million jury verdict

Mr. Paynter was co-lead trial counsel in three consolidated wrongful death cases against DaVita, Inc. alleging fraud and improper administration of dialysis. The jury verdict included over $300 million in punitive damages.

$21.5 million confidential settlement

Working with Virginia barred co-counsel, Mr. Paynter achieved a $21.5 million settlement in a trade secret case. The client, a small software company, had alleged that a large Fortune 500 company had stolen its software. Mr. Paynter replaced a well-respected D.C. firm that had been handling the case on an hourly basis. The settlement result was approximately 20 times what the defendant had previously been willing to pay and nearly double the last demand of prior counsel.

Publications & Presentations

  • What a Tangled Family Tree We Weave: Trademarks, publicity rights, and the cross-pollination of First Amendment defenses through video games. Co-authored with Celeste H.G. Boyd. Journal of Int’l Media & Entertainment Law, Vol. 4, No. 1 (2011-2012).
  • “Lithium-Ion Battery Litigation”. Live Webinar. (December 2018).
  • “Right of Publicity for Athletes & Entertainers”, New York City Bar Association’s Trademarks & Unfair Competition Committee Program (Speaker, June 2016).
  • “Right of Publicity for Athletes & Entertainers”, New York City Bar Association’s Trademarks & Unfair Competition Committee Program (Speaker, June 2016).
  • Panelist, Sports & Entertainment Law Society’s Annual Symposium – American University Washington School of Law (March 2019).
  • “Protecting Your Client’s Likeness”, University of Virginia School of Law’s Sports & Entertainment Law Symposium (Panel Presenter, February 2014).
  • 7 Punitive Damages Strategies. Co-authored with Celeste H.G. Boyd and Robert B. Carey. Trial (April 2019).

Education

  • Stanford University, J.D.
  • Cornell University, B.A., History

Admitted to Practice

State

  • North Carolina
  • California
  • District of Columbia

Federal

  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • First Circuit Court of Appeals
  • D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of North Carolina

Membership

  • North Carolina Advocates for Justice
  • North Carolina Bar Association