Donald M. Temple, originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, practices law in District of Columbia and the metropolitan area federal courts, teaches and mentors aspiring law students, advises fellow lawyers, speaks at different venues, and supports social and economic empowerment efforts domestically and internationally.
DT as he is affectionately known, received his BA from Howard University in 1975, his Juris Doctorate in 1978 from the University of Santa Clara (where he served as the school's first African-American President of the Student Bar Association), and his LL M from Georgetown Law Center in 1981, with a concentration in international and constitutional law. DT also attended the Rene Cassin Human Rights Institute at the University of Strasburg, France in 1977.
DT has practiced law since December 1978 when he began his legal career in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of General Counsel. After working in the US House of Representatives, Committee on the District of Columbia and a 1989 Congressional candidacy for the D.C. Delegate seat, DT started in the private practice of law.
Located in downtown Washington, D.C., Mr. Temple’s work is concentrated primarily in the District of Columbia and Maryland federal courts, D.C. state courts, and various administrative entities, including civil trial and appellate litigation, administrative hearings, arbitrations, and mediations. His practice includes commercial and civil trial and appellate litigation in: civil fraud, contractual disputes, real estate transactions, D.C. Whistleblower Protection, foreclosures, labor disputes, reputational torts, conversion, Title VII and 42 USC Section 1981 race discrimination, human rights violations, Section 42 USC 1983 police cases, and other constitutional litigation DT has successfully litigated against corporations and governments including, but not limited to, the United States, District of Columbia, City of Philadelphia, Prince George’s County, Montgomery County, Washington Suburban Sanitation Commission, Eddie Bauer, American Eagle, ICMA-RC Pension Fund, Grand Hyatt Hotel, CVS, Hunton and Williams Law Firm, Invest Corporation, Bank of America, Citibank, and the District of Columbia Police Department.
DT has obtained several favorable appellate decisions in the D.C. Court of Appeals and the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, including Nanko Shipping v. Alcoa, Inc.; Stephanie Artis v. District of Columbia ; Vizion One v. District of Columbia; and Laura Jackson v. D.C. Most recently, he joined forces with Jenner and Block and attained a successful reversal of the D.C. Court of Appeals in the US Supreme Court.
Most of his trial work is in the Maryland and DC federal courts. In November 2016, DT obtained a 1.7 million dollar jury verdict in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the D.C. Office of the Chief Financial Officer. In that same court, he also successfully litigated a 42 USC Section 1981 action against the University of the District of Columbia, which resulted in the reinstatement and tenure of an African-American woman law professor Not long thereafter, DT attained a favorable judgment, again in the same court, in a trademark infringement and conversion case on behalf of the African Hebrew Israelite community.
In 1997, DT coined the term “consumer racism” and obtained an unprecedented 1 million dollar verdict against Eddie Bauer in the U.S. District Court for Maryland. His litigation of police misconduct cases in Prince George’s County helped to end aggressive police dog biting incidents. DT is also the former Chairman of the D.C. Civilian Complaint Review Board, and former Chairman of the Congress Heights Community and Economic Development Center.
His devotion to legal education is reflected in his 1979 founding of the Charles Hamilton Houston Law School Preparatory Institute (“CHH”), a self-sufficient, intense seven week law school program which prepares entering and prospective law students for the rigorous challenges of the first year of law study. CHH graduates have attended over 60 law schools; most of them are now lawyers, professors, and judges across the nation. DT is also the Founder of the D.C. Chapter Concerned Black Men and the Congressional Black Associates.
DT’s professional accommodations and accolades are many and include the Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association’s 2018 Lawyer of the Year, the 2019 National Bar Association Heman Marion Sweatt Award, the National Bar Association’s Gertrude E. Rush Award, the Washington Bar Association’s Ollie Mae Cooper Award and the National Black Law Student Association’s Cora T. Walker Award. DT has also been inducted into both the District of Columbia Hall of Fame and the Washington Bar Association Hall of Fame.