Frank Leone worked as an associate and then as a partner at Hollingsworth LLP from his University of Virginia Law School graduation in 1985 to his retirement in 2021. His broad complex litigation practice encompassed environmental law, common carrier liability, investigations, and defense of toxic tort, consumer product, asbestos, and pharmaceutical products liability claims.
With special expertise in environmental litigation and counseling, including issues relating to Superfund, natural resource damages, hazardous waste, hazard communication, groundwater, surface water, wetlands, clean air, state environmental laws, and environmental auditing, Frank also litigated parallel tort actions seeking personal injury, property damage, and/or medical monitoring damages. He has successfully defended such cases whether filed individually, as part of a mass tort, or as a class action.
Frank served as counsel for Norfolk Southern in Avondale Mills v. Norfolk Southern, the then largest single mass tort case in South Carolina history. Plaintiff Avondale alleged property damage to its textile plants arising from a January 2005 train derailment and chlorine release. Frank led the defense of scientific issues in the case and participated in the month-long trial, which preceded a confidential settlement.
Frank’s litigation experience also included representing a large manufacturer in multiple state CERCLA enforcement actions, NRD recovery actions, and related personal injury/property damage cases in New York, North Carolina, and South Carolina. He defended Consumer Product Safety Act litigation, including penalty cases and one that was resolved through an unprecedented joint industry-wide/CPSC mediation. Frank also defended numerous clients in asbestos personal injury and property damage claims, including a client’s Havner challenges in connection with the consolidated Texas statewide asbestos docket and defense of civil conspiracy and other collective liability claims.
Named in the 2021 edition of Best Lawyers for Environmental Law, Environmental Litigation, and Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions-Defense, and in the 2021 edition of Super Lawyers for Environmental Litigation, Frank was a member of the Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys, the National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel, the International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization, and the Product Stewardship Society. He is a contributing author of the Product Stewardship Society’s forthcoming Professional Practices of Product Stewardship and has presented at the group’s annual meeting. He served as a Board member of the Chesapeake Legal Alliance from 2019 to 2021.
Having worked in the Offices of the Virginia Governor and Attorney General, Frank served as a Virginia member of the Democratic National Committee, including on its Credentials Committee and Rules & Bylaws Committee. He served as Virginia State Counsel for Biden for President 2020.
EducationUniversity of Virginia School of Law (J.D., 1985) University of Virginia (B.A., 1982, with distinction)
- District of Columbia
- Super Lawyers, Environmental Litigation, 2021
- Best Lawyers in America, Environmental Law, Environmental Litigation, and Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions-Defense, 2021
- District of Columbia Bar, 1986-Present
- Commonwealth of Virginia Bar, 1985-2020; Inactive status, 2021-Present
- C. Preservation League Landmarks Committee, 2021-Present
- C. Historic Districts Committee, 2021-Present
- Democratic National Committee, 2008-2020, 2021-Present
- DNC Rules & Bylaws Committee, 2017-2020, 2021-Present
- DNC Credentials Committee, 2009-2017
- Chesapeake Legal Alliance, Board, Member 2019-2021
- International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization, former Member
- National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel, former Member
- Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys, former Member
Ninth Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment for Novartis
Louisiana Federal Court Grants Summary Judgment to Novartis After Excluding Plaintiff’s Expert Witnesses
Insights & Events
PFAS Chemicals: With Regulatory and Litigation Tides Rising, Lessons from Past Mass-Tort Battlesnews | July 22, 2019
Firm partner Frank Leone on PFAS for Legal Newsline.
Passing the Buck: Developments in CERCLA Contribution Actions Seeking Natural Resource Damagespublication | November 13, 2015
Hydraulic Fracturing: New Science and New Developments In Environmental & Toxics Litigationpublication | April 22, 2015
Acts of God, War, and Third Parties: The Previously Overlooked CERCLA Defensespublication | February 1, 2015
What’s Past Is Prologue: Statutes of Repose in Post-Waldburger Environmental Contamination Casespublication | November 21, 2014
A Defense Perspective on Excluding Corporate Conduct Experts in Product Liability Litigationpublication | May 19, 2011
Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Grants Additional Forum Non Conveniens Dismissals Motions for General Electric in Gadolinium Cases.news | September 1, 2010
Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Mass Torts Court Grants Forum Non Conveniens Dismissals for General Electric in Gadolinium Casesnews | May 15, 2010
The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, Its Implementation and Its Liability Implicationspublication | July 1, 2009
Defense Counsel Journal 76, No. 3 (July 2009)