Hayter Whitman


Hayter is a Counsel at Wilkinson Stekloff. He has played a key role on numerous trial teams in federal and state courts, including in cases tried to jury verdict in Dallas, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and St. Louis. He also has helped secure favorable pretrial resolutions for many clients. Hayter specializes in identifying and developing jury friendly themes, evidence, and demonstratives. He has represented an array of clients including Altria Group, Inc., Bayer, FedEx Ground, Facebook, National Football League, National Collegiate Athletic Association, Oculus VR, and Pfizer.

Hayter’s equally diverse pro bono clientele includes criminal defendants facing charges ranging from computer hacking to drug trafficking, prisoners challenging the legality of their sentences, and citizens whose constitutional rights have been violated.

Before joining Wilkinson Stekloff, Hayter was an associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison in Washington, D.C., and a judicial intern for D.C. Superior Court Judge Craig Iscoe.


  • Undergraduate: The University of Georgia, B.B.A., Finance, cum laude (2011)
  • Law School: The George Washington University Law School, J.D., high honors (2014)
    • Law Review, Moot Court Board.

Notable Matters

  • Member of trial team defending Altria Group, Inc. in an administrative trial related to the FTC’s challenge of Altria’s $12.8 billion minority investment in JUUL Labs. Obtained a full dismissal of claims against Altria by the FTC’s Chief Administrative Law Judge. Also currently representing Altria in antitrust and consumer protection claims pending in the Northern District of California related to the JUUL Labs investment, including in upcoming bellwether trials.
  • Member of trial team team in Clark v. Monsanto, which involved claims that the herbicide Roundup causes Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. Clark was the fourth case in this mass tort to go to trial; the three previous trials resulted in verdicts against Monsanto ranging from $81 million to over $2 billion. After a single day of deliberation, a jury delivered the first-ever verdict for Monsanto in the Roundup mass tort litigation.
  • Member of trial team defending Philip Morris USA in two consumer class actions involving Light cigarettes and multibillion-dollar damage claims. Plaintiffs claimed that Philip Morris’ use of the terms “Lights” and “Lowered Tar and Nicotine” violated Missouri state law by suggesting that Marlboro Lights, the nation’s best-selling cigarettes, were not as dangerous as Marlboro full-flavored cigarettes. After a three-week trial, the St. Louis jury rendered a complete defense verdict in less than 30 minutes.
  • Member of trial team in Todd McNair v. NCAA. Obtained a defense jury verdict in a month-long trial in state court in Los Angeles. McNair, a former University of Southern California assistant football coach, was implicated by the National Collegiate Athletic Association in the Reggie Bush benefits scandal. He sued the NCAA for defamation. Wilkinson Stekloff took over the representation after the National Collegiate Athletic Association had lost three pre-trial appeals, including on the issue of McNair’s ability to show falsity and malice. After further proceedings, the matter resolved successfully.
  • Member of trial team defending Pfizer in the first two cases ever tried (in St. Louis and Philadelphia state courts) in the national litigation alleging that the company failed to warn its antidepressant medicine Zoloft causes birth defects. Obtained complete defense verdicts in both cases.
  • Member of trial team, on behalf of Facebook, Oculus VR, and individual defendants, in ZeniMax Media et al. v. Oculus VR et al., a federal jury trial in the Northern District of Texas. Plaintiffs sought $6 billion in damages based on alleged use of their intellectual property. Obtained a defense verdict for Facebook and a partial defense verdict for the remaining defendants, including the jury’s rejection of plaintiffs’ lead claim of trade secret misappropriation.
  • Member of trial team in New York v. FedEx Ground, which concerned allegations that FedEx Ground illegally shipped untaxed cigarettes to residences and businesses in New York. The case was brought by the City and State of New York under federal and state cigarette laws. The case settled favorably for the client shortly before the trial was scheduled to begin.
  • Member of trial team defending Allergan in In re Namenda Direct Purchaser Antitrust Litigation, a certified antitrust class action in the Southern District of New York involving a groundbreaking treatment for dementia in Alzheimer's patients. Plaintiffs claimed approximately $21 billion in trebled damages; the case settled the night before trial for less than 5% of that amount.
  • Member of trial team defending Plaid, a company focused on democratizing finance through technology, against claims that its service infringed trademarks of one of the country’s largest banks.
  • Represented pro bono client who had turned his life around while serving over 22 years in prison for a murder committed as a juvenile. In October 2019, following a contested, multiple-day evidentiary hearing, a D.C. Superior Court judge ordered the client’s release under the Incarceration Reduction Amendment Act (IRAA).