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District of Columbia D.C. (202) 796-3291
Virginia VA (703) 498-2928
Maryland MD (301) 637-4614
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Email wlightfoot@koonz.com Phone (202) 822-1864 Assistant Erika Thompson
Recent News Attorney William Lightfoot to Teach Deposition Techniques and Strategies Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, L.L.P managing partner William P. Lightfoot will teach advanced... Read More
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William P. Lightfoot

Washington, D.C. Injury Lawyer

For thirty-five years, William P. Lightfoot has limited his law practice to plaintiff’s personal injury at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, LLP, where he is the managing partner.

Several events motivated William P. Lightfoot to become a lawyer. While a graduate student in political science at Howard University, William Lightfoot lead a group of students to Mississippi to campaign for the election of Charles Evers as Governor. Lightfoot filed charges of voting illegalities in Mississippi with the Department of Justice. DOJ told him that he had not stated a legally sufficient complaint. That same year he petitioned the U.S. Government to prohibit a trade license to a South African goldmine corporation because of its participation in apartheid. Again, an agent of the U.S. government told him that he needed a knowledge of the law to block the license. Lightfoot decided to go to law school to bring about meaningful change in our political system.

After obtaining a J.D. from Washington University in St. Louis, he returned to the District where he joined the staff of Council Member Wilhelmina Rolark. As a Council staffer, he drafted the D.C. Workers’ Compensation Act and the Cable Television Franchise Act. The public access requirements of that law continue to provide extensive public participation in television.

After obtaining a J.D. from Washington University in St. Louis, he returned to the District where he joined the staff of Council Member Wilhelmina Rolark. As a Council staffer, he drafted the D.C. Workers’ Compensation Act and the Cable Television Franchise Act. The public access requirements of that law continue to provide extensive public participation in television.

““…few personal injury lawyers are more effective at winning big judgments for their clients.””
Washingtonian Magazine

The clients he represents have recovered over $75M. Cases he litigated have changed dangerous practices of plumbers, manufacturers and health practitioners. The child safety advocacy organization Safe Kids recognized him for litigation that improved child safety related to burns from hot water. Appellate cases he litigated have changed the law in the areas of closing arguments and statute of limitations.

He defeated an effort to undermine public education in the District of Columbia. His opponents wanted to require government vouchers to attend private and religious schools. The case was of such great public interest that it was tried in the Chambers of the Council of the District of Columbia. Supporters of his efforts gave him an award titled “Save Our City”. Soon thereafter he chaired the Cable Television Design Commission that awarded the D.C. Cable Television franchise and preserved strong public access for channels dedicated to the public, public schools, and government. The Washington Post called him the “Cable Czar”. He has received awards in recognition of his role ensuring strong public access to produce cable television shows.

In 1988, he became the first Independent elected to the Council of the District of Columbia. During his tenure, he played a significant role in passing legislation that is the foundation of education reform today, including charter schools, and mayoral control of schools. He received an award in recognition of his significant role in supporting charter schools. When the Supreme Court voided the District’s minority contracting law, he wrote a new law that preserved preferences for disadvantaged businesses.

Upon leaving the Council, he has been active in the legal profession. Several times per year he teaches in continuing legal education programs nationwide. For 15 years he has served on the D.C. Judicial Tenure and Disability Commission that reappoints and disciplines judges. The Washingtonian Magazine names him as one of the best personal injury lawyers in the Metropolitan Washington area. He is selected as a Super-lawyer, Best-Lawyer, and Martindale Hubbell pre-eminent lawyer.

In 2006 he chaired Adrian Fenty’s successful campaign for Mayor and in 2015 he chaired Muriel Bowser’s successful campaign for Mayor. He continues to be an advisor to many elected officials and a commentator on tv, radio, and print on matters of public interest.

He is a member of numerous professional associations including the American College of Trial Lawyers, American Law Institute, Leadership Washington, and Sigma Pi Phi Epsilon Boule.

If you would like to contact Mr. Lightfoot or another lawyer,  contact us by calling us at one of our offices or fill out a contact form.