Daniel S. Kozma
- Sole Practitioner
I earned my law degree at the Cornell Law School and have over forty years' experience representing individuals and employees in federal and local trial courts, and appellate courts throughout the country. I have extensive jury trial experience. In addition to the District of Columbia Superior Court and U.S. District Court, I have tried cases to juries in San Diego and Oakland, California; Seattle, Washington; Nashville, Tennessee; Prince Georges County, Maryland; and in Alexandria and Richmond, Virginia. I served for eight years on the Board of Governors of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C., and I am still a member of TLA and of the Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association.
I started as a litigation and trial attorney with the Air Line Pilots Association, the largest pilots' union, for nine years. After that I joined Connerton, Ray & Simon, a union-side labor law firm in Washington, D.C. and was there for another nine years, becoming a partner. I left to join the law firm of Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, one of the top personal injury firms in the area, and spent five years with that firm. In 2004 I opened my own office.
I have considerable experience in employment law, including wrongful discharge, sex, race, and other forms of discrimination and unlawful harassment and hostile work environment, labor law and arbitrations, employee benefits, whistleblower cases, individual employment contracts, non-compete agreements, severance benefits as well as denial of tenure and revocation of tenure issues for faculty in universities and colleges. As just two examples, on October 1, 2009, a District of Columbia jury awarded my client, Professor Sybil Roberts-Williams $582,400 in a breach of contract and pregnancy discrimination case after a thirteen day trial. Roberts-Williams v. Howard University, Civil No. 2006 CA 009196 B (D.C. Superior Court). In March 1999, after an eleven day trial, a Federal court jury in Oakland California awarded a young airline pilot I represented, Kathleen Betts, over $1.5 million in a sex discrimination and defamation case against United Airlines. Betts v. United Airlines, Inc., Dkt. 97-4329 (U.S. Dist. Ct., N.D. Ca.).
Over the last twenty years I have also developed expertise in toxic tort and other complex personal injury cases, especially childhood and workplace lead poisoning cases. I have recovered well over $15 million on behalf of lead poisoned children in over two dozen cases, including a jury verdict for over $1.6 million in April, 2000, after an eight day jury trial in the District of Columbia Superior Court. Gomez v. Atlantic Realty, Civ. 97-1151 (D.C. Sup. Ct.). That is still the largest verdict or recovery for a lead poisoned child in the District of Columbia. I also settled before trial a premises liability case for almost $2 million, and I also represented a group of people forced from their homes by a gasoline spill from a gas station that resulted in a multimillion dollar settlement before trial.
More recently, I settled two legal malpractice cases, one for $200,000.00 and the second for just under $200,000.00. I also settled two cases of involving denied claims for employer offered life insurance benefits, the first for over $200,000.00 and the second for the full amount of the claimed life insurance benefit.
Areas of Practice
- Employment -- Plaintiff
- Personal Injury -- Plaintiff
- 50% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
- Supreme Court of the United States of America, 1984
- U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia, 1978
- District of Columbia Court of Appeals, 1978
- U.S. Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit, 1982
- U.S. Court of Appeals 4th Circuit, 2017
- U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit, 1981
- U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit, 1981
- U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 1981
- U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit, 1981
- Cornell Law School, Ithaca, New York
- J.D. - 1977
- University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- B.A. - 1971
- Honors: cum laude
- Major: Philosophy
- Torts, Employment Law and Civil Procedure, Paralegal Institute of Washington, 2004 to 2020
- Trial Strategies, MWELA Annual Seminars, 2006, 2010
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Trial Lawyers Association of Washington, DC, Board of Governors, 2002 to 2010
- Trial Lawyers Association of Washington, DC, Member, 2002 to 2020
- Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association, Member, 2004 to 2020
Past Employment Positions
- Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, Attorney, 1997 to 2004
- Connerton, Ray & Simon, Partner, 1988 to 1997
- Air Line Pilots Association, 1979 to 1988
Pro Bono Activities
- Judge, AAJ Student Trial Competition, 2002 to 2019
- Delta Upsilon