Jessie Weber enjoys helping clients navigate a diverse range of difficult legal issues, with a focus on civil rights, including disability and LGBTQ rights, employment law, including wage and hour cases, and appellate litigation. Jessie’s successes include obtaining a $1.25 million settlement for a class of Baltimore City school bus drivers and attendants wrongly denied their full pay, securing an injunction requiring the Maryland Board of Elections to make absentee voting accessible to voters with print disabilities, and winning an arbitration award of more than $250,000 on behalf of an African-American former Hooters server who was fired from her job because of Hooters’ racially discriminatory image policy.
Jessie is an experienced appellate litigator. She has argued before the Fourth, Sixth, Ninth, and D.C. Circuit Courts of Appeals and has also submitted briefs in the United States Supreme Court, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, and in state appellate courts in Maryland and Washington State. She is known for her groundbreaking work obtaining equal access for individuals with disabilities to voting, websites, and government information and services. Jessie is well versed in both complex litigation and negotiations and enjoys using a range of tools to obtain justice for her clients.
In 2019, Jessie was named one of 500 leading plaintiffs’ employment lawyers nationally by Lawdragon. Since 2014, Jessie has been chosen annually for inclusion on the Super Lawyers’ Maryland Rising Stars list, an honor reserved for those lawyers 40 years old or younger or in practice for ten years or less, who exhibit excellence in practice. Only 2.5 percent of the attorneys in Maryland are named to the Rising Stars list each year. Jessie was also chosen to receive The Daily Record’s 2017 VIP Award, given to professionals 40 years of age and younger who were selected on the basis of professional accomplishments, community service, and commitment to inspiring change. In 2013, Jessie was given The Daily Record’s Leading Women Award, which honors 50 women, who are 40 years of age or younger, for the accomplishments they have made so far in their careers.
A client of Jessie’s recently wrote on Avvo, “My organization, KIPP DC, hired Jessie in an administrative matter with civil rights implications. Jessie’s work ethic, intellect, and work product were unparalleled. Jessie accomplished more in a short period of time than a team of attorneys could have managed in twice as long, so it’s unsurprising that Jessie’s excellent work led to a favorable outcome. Notably, numerous individuals within my organization read Jessie’s brief in our matter and commented that it was the best written product they had read in a year. I also appreciated Jessie’s responsiveness — I never had to question our progress on any front. You can’t find a better attorney than Jessie.”
Jessie is a permanent member of the Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference and serves on the board of FreeState Justice, where she was previously Board President, and the ACLU of Maryland’s Committee on Litigation and Legal Priorities. She was previously a member of the ACLU of Maryland’s board.
Prior to joining the firm, Jessie served as the 2010-2011 Francis D. Murnaghan, Jr. Appellate Advocacy Fellow at the Public Justice Center in Baltimore, where she represented clients and authored amicus briefs in federal and Maryland appellate courts on a variety of civil rights and anti-poverty issues. Jessie attended Princeton University and received her J.D. from Yale Law School. Following law school, she clerked for the Honorable Catherine C. Blake on the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.
Irving v. Berryhill – Obtained court-ordered settlement agreement with the Social Security Administration requiring SSA to make its visitor intake processing kiosks at its field offices nationwide fully accessible and usable to blind visitors. (2020)
Eason v. New York State Board of Elections – Obtained court-ordered settlement agreement requiring the NY Board of Elections and Department of Motor Vehicles make their websites fully accessible, granting blind voters equal access to voter registration, and requiring the Board adopt robust policies and procedures, including third-party oversight, to ensure maintenance of accessible websites. (2019)
Robles v. Domino’s Pizza, LLC – Successfully argued on behalf of amici the National Federation of the Blind and other disability rights groups in the Ninth Circuit resulting in a published decision clarifying that public accommodations must make their web and mobile services accessible now and cannot wait until the DOJ issues website-specific regulations. (2019)
National Federation of the Blind v. County of Alameda – Negotiated a settlement agreement requiring Alameda County purchase new, accessible voting machines by the March 2020 primary, revamp its training and troubleshooting procedures for election day, implement accessible absentee voting in time for the November 2018 election, and make its voter information website accessible. (2018)
Rivera v. Mo’s Fisherman Exchange, Inc. – Successfully negotiated a $1 million settlement on behalf of restaurant workers against the Mo’s Seafood chain for wage and hour violations. (2018)
Stephon Brown v. District of Columbia, et al. – Obtained a court order holding the District of Columbia responsible for providing services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to eligible DC residents who are incarcerated in federal facilities. (2018)
Figueroa v. Azar – Successfully negotiated a settlement agreement requiring the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services provide all Medicare-related communications to blind individuals in accessible formats and ensure that the Medicare website, including all beneficiary forms, is accessible. (2018)
Hindel v. Husted – Secured injunction on behalf of the National Federation of the Blind and three blind Ohio voters requiring the Ohio Secretary of State make his website accessible; successfully appealed trial court’s dismissal of plaintiffs’ claim for an accessible method of absentee voting to the Sixth Circuit leading to Ohio adopting accessible absentee voting in time for November 2018 election. (2017-2018)
Successfully negotiated a settlement agreement requiring the manufacturer of tablets used in Applebees’ restaurants to make their tablets accessible to blind customers and for the Applebees’ franchisor to license only accessible tablets. (2017)
Asylum victory – Obtained asylum for two gay men from Central America who fled persecution in their native countries. (2017)
Johnson v. Hooters of America, LLC – Won an arbitration award of more than $250,000 on behalf of an African-American former Hooters server who was fired from her job because of Hooters’ racially discriminatory image policy. (2015)
Successfully represented lesbian state employees who had been denied equal fertility coverage on the basis of their sexual orientation. (2015)
National Federation of the Blind v. Lamone – Secured an injunction requiring the Maryland Board of Elections make its online ballot-marking tool available to voters with disabilities in the November 2014 election and offer voters with disabilities the opportunity to vote privately and independently by absentee ballot in all future elections (2014) and defended injunction on appeal to Fourth Circuit. (2016)
National Federation of the Blind v. U.S. Department of Education – Helped negotiate an agreement with the U.S. Department of Education that will make student loan information – websites, forms, and documents related to the Department’s Direct Loan program – accessible to blind applicants and borrowers. (2014)
Anthony v. Durham School Services, L.P. – Helped secure a $1.25 million settlement for a class of school bus drivers and attendants who were wrongly denied overtime and regular pay for all hours worked. (2014)
Authors Guild, Inc. v. HathiTrust – Served on team representing the National Federation of the Blind in a copyright infringement case and helped win groundbreaking U.S. Court of Appeals victory that will make more than 10 million published works from universities’ library collections available to blind individuals in digital format. (2014)
Successfully represented transgender individuals seeking insurance coverage for gender-confirming health care. (2013 & 2014)
Successfully resolved a case involving a juvenile counselor who was fired for being openly gay and for referring to her wife at work. (2013)
Successfully argued to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit that plaintiff with mobility impairment had standing to enforce his federal civil right to accessible public accommodations. (2012)
J.M. & H.M. v. Oceanport Board of Education – Helped secure a ruling requiring a public school district provide Braille instruction to a blind student. (2012)
Blake v. Crain – Served on trial team that won $7 million verdict (reduced to $2.7 million by Maryland’s cap on non-economic damages) for roofer who suffered debilitating back pain as a result of a car accident. (2012)
Helped defend a verdict on appeal in favor of a medical malpractice victim in the first Maryland appellate case to interpret the Maryland Health Care Malpractice Act’s provision regarding the qualifications of expert witnesses testifying on the standard of care. (2012)
Convinced Harford County (Maryland) school officials to abandon their attempt to censor lines from a high school play in which two boys announced that they had “fallen in love” with each other. (2011)
- Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Employment Lawyers, 2019 & 2020
- Maryland Rising Stars, 2014–present
- Baltimore Business Journal 2020 Leaders in Diversity Award
- The Daily Record‘s 2017 VIP Award
- The Daily Record‘s 2013 Leading Women Award
“Slain Uber driver’s family sues company for wrongful death,” The Daily Record, October 22, 2020.
“Blind Voters Sue Maryland Board of Elections, Alleging Discrimination at Ballot Box,” The Baltimore Sun, August 2, 2019.
“Blind Marylanders Sue Walmart, Saying Self-Serve Checkouts Violate ADA,” The Baltimore Sun, October 29, 2018.
“Mo’s Seafood Settles Workers’ Claim They Were Underpaid,” The Baltimore Sun, October 15, 2018.
“Baltimore Symphony Principal Oboist Files Sexual Harassment Complaint Against Concertmaster,” The Baltimore Sun, September 18, 2018.
“U.S. Appeals Court Sides with Blind Voters in Ohio,” Reuters, November 13, 2017.
“Court Sides with Blind Voters Over Ohio,” Toledo Blade, November 13, 2017.
“FreeState Celebrates Asylum Victory for Our Clients Alex and Marvin,” FreeState Justice Newsletter, July 3, 2017.
“Man Held in Solitary Because of Blindness, Lawsuit Alleges,” The Daily Record, September 15, 2015.
“Hooters Ordered to Pay $250,000 to Black Waitress Who was Told She Couldn’t Have Blond Streaks in Her Hair,” New York Daily News, April 8, 2015.
“Former Hooters Waitress Awarded $250K In Discrimination Case,” Channel 13 CBS News Baltimore, April 3, 2015.
“Former Baltimore Hooters Waitress Awarded $250,000 in Racial Discrimination Case; Restaurant Chain Protests,” The Baltimore Sun Times, April 2, 2015. (article/video)
“Hooters Girl, Fired for Hair Color, Gets $250,000 Award,” The Daily Record, April 3, 2015.
On July 9, 2014 Jessie was interviewed on WBAL Radio, “Bungled Voting Experience Leads To Legal Action.”
Channel 13 CBS News Baltimore Interview – On October 21, 2013 Jessie and her client were interviewed regarding the discrimination complaint filed against Harborplace Hooters restaurant.
Channel 2 ABC News Baltimore Interview – Jessie and her client were interviewed on October 21, 2013 regarding the discrimination complaint filed against Harborplace Hooters restaurant.
October 19, 2020, “Understanding Election Law & Voters’ Rights: A Virtual Panel Discussion,” hosted by the Bar Association of Baltimore City’s Young Lawyers’ Division Continuing Legal Education Committee and the Maryland State Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section Civic Engagement Committee
October 7, 2020, “Online Accessibility After Robles v. Domino’s Pizza: The Legal Landscape,” Low Vision Section Symposium, Academy 2020 Nashville, the annual meeting of the American Academy of Optometry
June 1, 2020, “Elections, Access, and COVID-19,” National Disability Rights Network Annual Conference
July 26, 2019, “Opportunities in Litigating Gender Identity Employment Discrimination Claims,” Philadelphia Trans Wellness Conference.
- May 17, 2019, “Voting Rights Under the Americans with Disabilities Act,” Conference on Accessibility and Security of Ballot Marking Systems: Finding Solutions That Meet Both Needs, National Federation of the Blind, Baltimore, MD.
November 30, 2018, “LGBTQ Rights Today Under Federal, State, and Local Law,” Maryland Employment Lawyers Association Conference, Greenbelt, MD.
October 30, 2018, “Elections and Voting Rights,” Fall Symposium for the University of Maryland Carey Law Journal of Race, Religion, Gender & Class, Baltimore, MD.
June 15, 2016, Jessie presented on voting rights cases at the Workshop on Voting Technology and Nonvisual Access, part of the National Disability Rights Network’s P&A/CAP Annual Conference, at the National Federation of the Blind, Baltimore, MD.
November 11, 2014, Jessie participated in a panel entitled “What We’ve Done and Where We’re Headed,” a discussion on the Maryland LGBTQ community’s legal and political accomplishments over the last year and the challenges that lie ahead, sponsored by the LGBT Bar Association of Maryland and University of Baltimore OUTLaw, University of Baltimore School of Law, Baltimore, MD.
March 20, 2014, Jessie participated in a panel entitled “Towards Transgender Equality in Maryland” sponsored by the Maryland Lawyer Chapter of the American Constitution Society, Baltimore, MD.
October 23, 2013, “Special Issues in LGBT Law,” FreeState Legal Project, University of Baltimore School of Law, Baltimore, MD.
May 16, 2013, Jessie participated in a panel entitled “Maryland LGBT Law 101” during the Maryland Partners for Justice Conference, Baltimore, MD.
December 4, 2012, “Working with LGBT Clients,” LGBT Legal 101 Lunch Seminar, Baltimore, MD.
“When Employer-Provided Health Insurance Discriminates,” MSBA Bar Bulletin, February 2016.