Mary C. Zinsner


Washington, D.C.
Business Phone: 202.274.1932
Business Fax: 703.448.6514


Mary Zinsner's practice focuses on business and commercial litigation and representation of financial institutions in lender liability, operations, consumer finance, fiduciary and creditor’s rights disputes. Mary regularly represents clients in defense of litigation involving allegations of identity theft and privacy matters, and speaks at seminars and counsels clients on privacy laws affecting financial institutions. Mary also represents clients in significant trade secret, covenant not to compete, and employment-related matters.

Mary practices extensively in the federal courts in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia, and has handled many appellate matters before the Supreme Court of Virginia and United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Having clerked for the Honorable Claude M. Hilton, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Virginia, she is very familiar with local federal court practices and frequently lectures on litigation practices in the "Rocket Docket."

Mary works extensively with clients to achieve results compatible with business practicalities, and workable approaches to dispute resolution are considered in every litigation matter.

Representative Matters

Financial Institution Litigation

  • Assumed defense post-trial and represented state chartered bank in appeal and mediation following adverse jury verdict and multi-million dollar award, settling the case successfully for fraction of verdict.
  • Represent national banking association in successful 12(b)(6) motion before the federal district court, affirmed by Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in published opinion, holding that bank not liable to customer for breach of written contract for failing to follow alleged oral investment directive of customer where the discretionary investment account agreement conferred discretion on the bank to make investment decisions and required investment directives to be in writing to be binding.
  • Successful defense and resolution of matter on behalf of national banking association involving substantial liability on warranty and indemnification claims under the National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA) rules and regulations, with bank customer assuming costs of defense and settlement liability. Case involved significant bank customer and sensitive customer relation issues.
  • Regular successful representation of national banking associations, state chartered banks, and community banks in defense of cases involving crooked bookkeepers and other allegations of UCC liability.
  • Multiple successful representations of banks, credit card companies, and mortgage lending institutions in federal court litigation involving claims of violation of the FDCPA, FCRA, ECOA, TILA and other consumer finance issues.
  • Successfully defended and protected bank/mortgage client lien interests in dozens of cases filed by borrowers in multiple states seeking to avert foreclosure asserting violations of federal and state consumer finance and consumer protection statutes.
  • Regular litigation of preemption issues.
  • Prevailed on motion to dismiss filed on behalf of national banking association in case filed by court appointed receiver seeking substantial damages and punitives arising out of asset freeze order served on bank in connection with Ponzi scheme orchestrated by former bank depositor.
  • Successful defense at trial court level and prevailing party in Virginia Supreme Court appeal in published opinion representing national banking association arising from allegations of improper handling by the bank of a multiple-party account.
  • Successful defense of multiple financial institutions in cases involving identity theft and related state law claims.
  • Multiple successful representations of financial institutions and manufacturers in litigation filed to seize collateral (including airplanes, manufacturing equipment, computers and intellectual property rights), appoint receivers, request prejudgment attachment, obtain judgment and collect deficiencies arising out of multi-million dollar lending and secured lease relationships.

Commercial Litigation

  • Represent global company in parallel litigation pending in federal court in Virginia and Canada arising out of employment relationship; case involved issues of trade secret theft and claims under stock incentive plans.
  • Represent Episcopal Diocese of Virginia in multiple cases consolidated under the Virginia Multiple Claimant Litigation Act in the Circuit Court of Fairfax County involving claims to historic churches and millions of dollars in real estate.
  • Represent national not-for-profit sport association in governance dispute pending in federal court and communications with press and international governing council regarding the association's sponsored teams and interests.
  • Representation of defendant in copyright action pending in federal court in Virginia involving computer software program resulting in significant attorney’s fee recovery for defendant in settlement.
  • Multiple representations of companies engaged in intellectual property and contractual disputes involving computer software.
  • Local counsel to leading telecommunications company in case pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia involving national implications to telecommunications industry.
  • Virginia defense counsel to pharmaceutical companies and manufacturers in product liability cases pending in Virginia with national significance.
  • Represent landlord of large upscale retail mall and other commercial landlords in significant state and federal court litigation.
  • Successful representation of insurers in ERISA and insurance coverage disputes.

Speaking Engagements

  • Presenter, “Examining Recent Trends in Lender Liability, Bank Litigation, and Arbitration,” Troutman Sanders Consumer Financial Services Webinar Series, February 22, 2018.
  • Presenter, "The CHOICE Act Passed the House: Now What? An Update on Financial Industry Regulation Under the Trump Administration," Troutman Sanders Consumer Financial Services Webinar Series, June 29, 2017.
  • Panelist, “Post-Spokeo Survey – An Analysis of Trends and Developments in the Courts,” Troutman Sanders Consumer Financial Services Webinar Series, April 19, 2017.


Professional and Community Involvement

  • Board of Governors, Virginia Bar Association (2014-2017)
  • Virginia State Bar (Litigation Board of Governors, 2004-present)
  • Virginia Bar Association (Judiciary Committee, 2004-present; Young Lawyers Division, Executive Committee, 1997-2001)
  • Alexandria Bar Association (Chair, Community Service Committee, 1995-1998)
  • Member, Alexandria Historical Restoration and Preservation Commission, 1987-1998
  • Board of Directors, Arlington Housing Corporation, 1994-1997
  • Board of Directors, Legal Services of Northern Virginia, 1996-2000
  • Board of Directors, Meeting House Cooperative Preschool, 2005-2007

Rankings and Recognition

  • Selected as a Virginia Super Lawyer in Business Litigation by Law & Politics' Virginia Super Lawyers Magazine (2013-2017).
  • Selected as a 2008 Top Washington Lawyers Finalist in Corporate Litigation by Washington Business Journal.
  • Troutman Sanders LLP, James C. Roberts Award recognizing outstanding pro bono performance in the firm's Northern Region, 2006.
  • Virginia Bar Association 2001 Fellows Award.
  • Virginia Bar Association Young Lawyers Division 1997 Emerson G. Spies Award.
  • Legal Services of Northern Virginia Pro Bono Award, 1997.
  • Mary has achieved Martindale-Hubbell's highest rating for legal ability and ethical standards.
  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America in Commercial Litigation (2013-2019).



  • The George Washington University, J.D., 1990
    Moot Court Board 1988-1990 (Executive Council 1989-1990)
  • College of the Holy Cross, A.B., 1987
    Economics and History

Bar Admissions

  • 1990 Virginia
  • 1991 District of Columbia
  • 1998 Maryland

Court Admissions

  • 1990 Supreme Court of Virginia
  • 1991 U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
  • 1991 U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • 1992 U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
  • 1992 U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • 1993 U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
  • 1995 Supreme Court of the United States
  • 1998 Maryland Court of Appeals