Shapiro, Lifschitz & Schram

“There is no one I’d rather go to war with.”

Evans Barba – President and CEO, Barba Consulting

Christopher W. Mahoney

Christopher W. Mahoney

Tel 202.689.1900, ext. 3042
Cell 202.689.4520
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Experience. Passion. Solutions.

Practice Areas:

  • Litigation and Trial Practice, including complex commercial litigation, real estate and environmental matters
  • Construction Law
  • Government Contracts
  • Power and Energy

Bar Admissions:

  • District of Columbia (1985)
  • Maryland (2008)
  • Maryland Court of Appeals (2008)
  • District of Columbia Court of Appeals (1985)
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (1990)
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland (1990)
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims (1991)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (1991)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (1987)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit (1994)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit (1995)


  • J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, 1985
  • B.A., Union College, summa cum laude, 1981
  • Member, Phi Beta Kappa

Professional Memberships:

  • American Bar Association
  • Maryland Bar Association
  • District of Columbia Bar Association
  • Litigation Counsel of America



Christopher W. Mahoney (“Chris”) is Vice President of the firm and a member of the firm’s Trial Practice Group. Chris is a versatile trial lawyer with a robust and dynamic litigation practice. For over 25 years he has handled complex civil litigation, including commercial disputes, construction litigation, government contracts, business torts, real estate and environmental matters. 

Chris’s trial experience runs deep. He has served as both trial and appellate counsel for individuals, small businesses, multinational corporations, municipalities and administrative agencies and has defended or brought suit on behalf of these clients before juries and judges in federal and state courts across the country, as well as before mediators and arbitrators.

A Martindale-Hubbell AV-rated attorney, Chris has also been recognized in Washingtonian Magazine as one of D.C.’s “top lawyers” and has been named a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America. Chris is a 1985 graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center, where he was an Editor of The Tax Lawyer


Chris is a creative, ardent and committed client advocate who thrives on both the competitive nature of litigation and effective representation specifically tailored to the individual needs of each client. He undertakes each matter with both zeal and an eye toward its efficient resolution, strategizing early and identifying and pursuing tactics best suited to the particular engagement. For Chris, the end game always includes winning, but in a way that makes the most sense given the particular client and the nature of the dispute.

Chris knows that high stakes litigation is often unavoidable and crucial to advance or protect a client’s critical interests, and that’s what drives him in his practice. 

Chris’s experience includes representing government contractors, financial institutions, universities, medical equipment suppliers, chemical companies, information technology providers, foreign companies and non-profit entities. 

In addition to his litigation practice, Chris is active in civic and charitable matters. He is a long-time volunteer attorney for The Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, and has handled litigation matters for The Legal Counsel for the Elderly and The Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights. He serves as Treasurer for the Union College Alumni Club of D.C., and is a member of the American Friends of the London School of Economics and the Irish Network of D.C.


Determination, creativity and efficiency are the constants that have guided Chris’s practice over the years and shaped him into the accomplished trial attorney that he is today.

The following are examples of that success: 

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  • Lead defense counsel in multimillion-dollar nationwide class action brought by water treatment facilities in Louisiana and Ohio to recover cost of monitoring and removing chemicals from public water supplies under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Obtained summary judgment for defendant and affirmance on appeal.
  • Trial and appellate counsel for defendant surety in Uniform Commercial Code action brought by chemical company over the efficacy of a sludge de-watering agent.
  • Trial counsel in mass tort action brought by New York State and others alleging threat to public health from chemical contamination of groundwater throughout Suffolk County. Obtained judgment for defendant after trial and affirmance on appeal.
  • Counsel for former corporate owner of recycling facility in federal action to recover remediation costs. Negotiated settlement before trial.
  • Counsel for municipalities in breach of contract, negligence and fraud actions against design engineers, builders and equipment contractors of defective municipal wastewater treatment facilities. Obtained multimillion-dollar settlements for clients. 
  • Defense counsel for wastewater treatment contractor in federal action for breach of surety agreement.
  • Trial counsel for Lebanese company shareholder in federal action against the International Finance Corporation. Obtained judgment finding IFC liable for breaching agreement not to disclose shareholder’s efforts to obtain controlling interest in the company.
  • Defense counsel for Branch Banking and Trust Co. in a federal class action alleging that BB&T violated the Electronic Funds Transfer Act by not posting notice on its ATMs that non-customers would be charged a fee for use of the ATMs. Obtained an order denying plaintiff’s motion for class certification and entering judgment in favor of BB&T on the basis that plaintiff was not an adequate representative of the class and could not state a claim under EFTA because her bank account was not a consumer account as required by the statute. 
  • Defense counsel for Graduate School USA in multimillion-dollar class action brought by former students of Southeastern University who alleged that Graduate School USA purchased assets of the university and assumed its liability for fraudulently misrepresenting the nature and quality of its academic programs. Obtained dismissal with prejudice of plaintiff’s complaint on the basis of corporate successor non-liability.  
  • Defense counsel for multiple landowners in eminent domain action brought by District of Columbia to condemn property for use as Washington Nationals baseball stadium. Obtained multimillion-dollar settlements for clients.
  • Counsel for Canadian gaming company in federal action brought against government of Mexico to vacate NAFTA arbitration award.
  • Trial counsel for defendant Merrill Lynch in professional liability and conversion action alleging that Merrill Lynch unlawfully accepted funds for deposit. Negotiated settlement during trial.
  • Counsel for company president in action for breach of shareholder’s agreement and breach of fiduciary duty and misappropriation of funds by company officers. Obtained partial summary judgment and monetary settlement on remaining counts.

Did You Know . . .

Members of the SLS trial group have tried in excess of 50 jury trials and 75 bench trials?

The SLS construction group has worked on sports stadiums across the country including Orioles Park in Baltimore and Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati?

The SLS construction group has worked on power plant projects across the country?

In 2007 SLS was selected for an Honorable Mention as one of the Best Places To Work in Washington DC?

Ron Shapiro, Steve Schram and Judd Lifschitz have all been selected as SuperLawyers by Law and Politics?

The SLS office building is an historic townhouse constructed in the late 1800s?

SLS has been selected by Martindale-Hubbell as a Preeminent Law Firm?

SLS trial lawyers have argued appeals in the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal for the 4th, 5th, 9th, D.C. and Federal Circuit?

SLS trial lawyers have been lead trial counsel in cases in Arizona, California, District of Columbia, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, and Virginia, - to name just a few?

Virtually all the cases that SLS trial lawyers mediated have been favorably settled at mediation?

The transactional group at SLS was lead counsel on one of the largest, most complex mixed-use projects in downtown Washington, DC involving 4 lenders and 6 property owners?

In appreciation for the outstanding efforts of each of its employees during 2007, SLS gave everyone (attorneys, paralegals, and staff) a 4 day/3 night expense paid trip to Key West, Florida?

The transactional group at SLS has represented tenants in more than 200 retail leases in the Mid-Atlantic region?

Every attorney in the transactional group at SLS has at least 15 years experience?

The transactional group at SLS has represented developers in the purchase, construction, financing and/or sale of more than 75 multi-family apartment projects?

The transactional group at SLS has represented real estate investors and developers with respect to property in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Tennessee, Michigan and the U.S. Virginia Islands?

Attorneys in the transactional group at SLS have represented eight national banks in commercial real estate loans?

Attorneys in the transactional group at SLS have represented the FDIC, the Resolution Trust Corporation and several banking institutions in loan workout transactions throughout the Mid-Atlantic region?

The transactional group at SLS has represented homebuilders and commercial real estate developers in work-outs of individual loans and also for work-outs of large portfolios involving dozens of properties in several states?

The trial lawyers of SLS have numerous reported decisions to their credit?