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Elizabeth Torphy-Donzella

Partner, Shawe Rosenthal

Meeting of November 13, 2013 - National Origin Discrimination in Today's Workplace

Elizabeth Torphy-Donzella focuses her practice on the representation of management in employment litigation in state and federal courts. After practicing for several years with a large management employment law firm in Washington, D.C., Liz joined Shawe Rosenthal in 1995. Since then, Liz has tried cases involving claims of sex harassment, national origin discrimination, race discrimination, and wrongful discharge, and has obtained summary judgment for employers on a wide range of employment-related claims. Additionally, Liz designs and conducts customized training sessions for managers and employees intended to foster behavior that will reduce the potential for employment-related claims. While representing clients in many industries, Liz has particular expertise in the restaurant industry.

Liz has served as co-counsel for the United States Chamber of Commerce on several occasions and, in that capacity, has co-authored briefs amicus curiae to the United States Supreme Court on labor and employment issues. She also is Co-chair of the Employment Relations Task Force for the Maryland Chamber of Commerce and in that capacity advised the Chamber on the appropriate positions to take on pending labor and employment legislation. She is past management chair of the EEO Subcommittee of the American Bar Association's Litigation Section.

Liz is editor of the General Employment Law Volume of the Matthew Bender Treatise, Employment and Labor Law, and is a contributing editor to the Employment Law Deskbook, also published by Matthew Bender. In addition, she is a contributing editor to the "Maryland and Federal Employment Law Manual," a publication of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce.

Practice Areas

  • Employment Discrimination
  • Human Resources Advice and Counsel
  • Employment Tort and Contract Litigation
  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • Employment Agreements
  • Employment Handbooks, Policies, and Procedures
  • Litigation
  • Appellate Litigation
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)


  • American Bar Association - Member, Labor Relations Section
    • Member, Litigation Section
    • Member, Woman Advocate Committee
  • Maryland State Bar Association - Member, Labor Relations Section
  • District of Columbia Bar - Member, Labor Relations Section


  • Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., cum laude, 1992
    • Associate Editor, Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics
  • University of North Carolina, B.A., cum laude, 1985

Bar Admissions

Maryland (State and Federal); District of Columbia (State and Federal); U.S. Courts of Appeals for the 3rd, 4th, and D.C. Circuits