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Deborah St. Lawrence Thompson

Deborah St. Lawrence Thompson

Partner

100 S. Charles Street
Suite 1600
Baltimore, MD 21201
deborah.thompson@nelsonmullins.com

Deborah has a great deal of experience representing private and public sector employer clients in both labor and employment matters. She defends clients against claims, including discrimination, wage-and-hour disputes, and wrongful termination. She provides advice and counsel to clients on various issues such as creating a diverse and inclusive workforce, accommodating employees with disabilities, and...

Deborah has a great deal of experience representing private and public sector employer clients in both labor and employment matters. She defends clients against claims, including discrimination, wage-and-hour disputes, and wrongful termination. She provides advice and counsel to clients on various issues such as creating a diverse and inclusive workforce, accommodating employees with disabilities, and avoiding litigation. Deborah serves as the lead attorney in labor negotiations between her public sector and private employer clients and their workforces.

Deborah has litigated in the areas of products liability defense, mass tort, and employment law defense in jurisdictions around the country. As a first and second chair, she has represented equipment manufacturers, gasket manufacturers, and automotive manufacturers in product liability cases to verdict. Prior to private practice, Deborah served as the chief of Labor Personnel and Employment for a local government entity, creating policies and defending employment and labor matters for multiple agencies and departments. She also served as senior litigator for one of the largest historically Black universities in the United States.

In addition to her national clients, Deborah also serves as general counsel to numerous national nonprofit companies, advising on a variety of matters related to employment and business litigation, mergers, copyright, trademark and branding, and concerns unique to the nonprofit sector. Deborah has earned a reputation among her peers as a tough litigator who carefully prepares each case, but has also been recognized for collaborating with her clients to develop strategies focused on creating greater efficiency that result in the reduction of claims inventory, indemnity spend, and defense costs.

Deborah St. Lawrence Thompson

avoiding litigation. Deborah serves as the lead attorney in labor negotiations between her public sector and private employer clients and their workforces.

Deborah has litigated in the areas of products liability defense, mass tort, and employment law defense in jurisdictions around the country. As a first and second chair, she has represented equipment manufacturers, gasket manufacturers, and automotive manufacturers in product liability cases to verdict. Prior to private practice, Deborah served as the chief of Labor Personnel and Employment for a local government entity, creating policies and defending employment and labor matters for multiple agencies and departments. She also served as senior litigator for one of the largest historically Black universities in the United States.

In addition to her national clients, Deborah also serves as general counsel to numerous national nonprofit companies, advising on a variety of matters related to employment and business litigation, mergers, copyright, trademark and branding, and concerns unique to the nonprofit sector. Deborah has earned a reputation among her peers as a tough litigator who carefully prepares each case, but has also been recognized for collaborating with her clients to develop strategies focused on creating greater efficiency that result in the reduction of claims inventory, indemnity spend, and defense costs.

Deborah has a great deal of experience representing private and public sector employer clients in both labor and employment matters. She defends clients against claims, including discrimination, wage-and-hour disputes, and wrongful termination. She provides advice and counsel to clients on various issues such as creating a diverse and inclusive workforce, accommodating employees with disabilities, and... avoiding litigation. Deborah serves as the lead attorney in labor negotiations between her public sector and private employer clients and their workforces.

Deborah has litigated in the areas of products liability defense, mass tort, and employment law defense in jurisdictions around the country. As a first and second chair, she has represented equipment manufacturers, gasket manufacturers, and automotive manufacturers in product liability cases to verdict. Prior to private practice, Deborah served as the chief of Labor Personnel and Employment for a local government entity, creating policies and defending employment and labor matters for multiple agencies and departments. She also served as senior litigator for one of the largest historically Black universities in the United States.

In addition to her national clients, Deborah also serves as general counsel to numerous national nonprofit companies, advising on a variety of matters related to employment and business litigation, mergers, copyright, trademark and branding, and concerns unique to the nonprofit sector. Deborah has earned a reputation among her peers as a tough litigator who carefully prepares each case, but has also been recognized for collaborating with her clients to develop strategies focused on creating greater efficiency that result in the reduction of claims inventory, indemnity spend, and defense costs.

Experience

Following is a selected sampling of matters and is provided for informational purposes only. Past success does not indicate the likelihood of success in any future matter.

  • Defends manufacturers and distributors involved in industrywide toxic tort litigation on local, regional, national, and international levels
  • Represents national and regional clients in courts throughout Maryland, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia in all aspects of litigation and litigation management
  • Provides key leadership and coordination to ensure firm’s national clients receive optimal, efficient and coordinated legal services
  • Currently defending thousands of asbestos-related personal injury and wrongful death cases filed in the State of Maryland and the District of Columbia
  • Represents public sector employers in both traditional labor and employment law matters
  • Represents private and public sector employers in federal and state courts and before administrative agencies in Maryland and the District of Columbia in matters involving discrimination claims, wage and hour issues, and contract and tort claims 
  • Counsels clients regarding strategies and compliance with the multitude of labor and employment laws applicable to their operations, including assisting in the development and establishment of employment policies and procedures; training managers, supervisors, EEO investigators, and staff on EEO and supervisory and disciplinary matters

Education

  • University of Maryland School of Law, JD, with honors (1997)
  • University of the West Indies, BSc, with honors (1990)

Admissions

  • Maryland
  • District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • Supreme Court of the United States

Practice Areas

Industries

The bar rules of some states require that the standards for an attorney's inclusion in certain public accolades or recognitions be provided. When such accolades or recognitions are listed, a hyperlink is provided that leads to a description of the respective selection methodology.

  • Benchmark Litigation
    • Top 250 Women in Litigation (2019–2023)
    • Local Litigation Star, General Commercial, Product Liability, Employment (2020--2023)
  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Product Liability Litigation – Defendants (2020–2023)
  • Global Manufacturing Client's "Legal Eagle" Award (2014)
  • University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law's Black Law Student Association, "Practitioner of the Year" (2015)
  • Association of Defense Trial Attorneys, Member
  • DRI – The Voice of the Defense Bar, Member
  • American Bar Association
  • District of Columbia Bar Association
  • International Association of Defense Counsel, Member
  • Maryland Bar Association
  • Monumental City Bar Association
  • Living Classrooms Foundation, Board of Trustees 
  • Jack & Jill of America, Inc.
    • Baltimore Chapter – Bylaws Chair and Parliamentarian
  • Associated Black Charities
  • Humanim, The Human Services Company
  • Howard County Local Children's Board (2012)
  • National Association of African Americans in Human Resources, Greater Baltimore Chapter, Former General Counsel
  • Nelson Mullins Diversity, Equity & and Inclusion Committee, Chair
  • IADC 45th Annual Trial Academy (2017),  Faculty Member
  • Federal Bar Association Maryland Chapter, Board of Directors
  • Greater Baltimore Committee's LEADERship Class, Graduate (2014)