Venable LLP is a law firm formerly known as Venable, Baetjer & Howard LLP. The firm is ranked 71st in the 2014 AmLaw 100 survey. It was founded in Baltimore in 1900. Today the firm maintains 9 offices throughout the country and includes over 600 attorneys practicing in over 70 practice and industry areas covering corporate and business law, complex litigation, intellectual property and regulatory and government affairs.
Venable is nationally ranked by a number of legal and business journals. It ranked 71st in the 2014 AmLaw 100 list, and 84th on the National Law Journal's top 250 law firms list. Regionally, the Washington Post listed Venable among the 10 largest D.C. law firms in 2012. In 2013, the Baltimore Business Journal listed Venable as the largest law firm in the Baltimore, MD area and the Los Angeles Business Journal listed Venable as the 69th largest firm in Los Angeles County.
A number of Venable practices have garnered national recognition. U.S. News and World Report’s Best Law Firms 2014 survey ranked Venable Tier 1 nationally in 13 categories. Venable was ranked in 92 national and regional categories and was named Law Firm of the Year for Advertising Law. Chambers USA ranked 29 Venable practices in 2014 and presented its Award for Excellence to Venable's Privacy and Data Security (2009) and Advertising, Marketing and New Media (2010 and 2011) practices. Thirteen of the firm's practices also received high rankings in Legal 500's 2014 edition with the firm named to Tier 1 for Marketing and Advertising. Venable was listed in the 2014 BTI Client Services A-Team report as one of the top 30 firms worldwide for client service. In 2013, Vault’s rating of summer associate program named Venable first for Best Overall Summer Associate Program and Summer Associate Program that Best Prepares for Practice.
Venable's community service and philanthropy efforts have been recognized by the Washington Business Journal, which ranked the firm among the top 15 corporate philanthropists in Washington, D.C. in 2013.
Venable attorneys also garner favorable rankings in a number of publications including Chambers, Legal 500, and Best Lawyers. In 2013, Chambers ranked 76 attorneys, Legal 500 recognized 55 attorneys, and Best Lawyers recognized 93 attorneys.
Notable alumni and current attorneys
- Birch Bayh, former U.S. Senator of Indiana
- Benjamin Civiletti, former United States Attorney General
- James H. Burnley IV, former U.S. Secretary of Transportation
- John Sarbanes, U.S. Representative, Maryland's 3rd congressional district
- Paul Sarbanes, former U.S. Senator from Maryland
- Asa Hutchinson, former Undersecretary of Homeland Security and former head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, former U.S. Representative for the Arkansas' 3rd congressional district
- James E. Rogan, former U.S. Representative of California and current United States District Judge
- John Marshall Butler, former U.S. Senator from Maryland m
- Kathleen G. Cox, Judge of the Circuit Court for Baltimore County, Maryland
- Richard W. Emory, former Deputy Attorney General of Maryland
- Susan K. Gauvey, United States Magistrate Judge of the District Court for the District of Maryland
- Glenn F. Ivey, former State's Attorney for Prince George's County, Maryland
- Joseph H.H. Kaplan, former Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge
- Benson E. Legg, former Chief Judge, United States District Court for the District of Maryland
- L. Paige Marvel, United States Tax Court Judge
- Powell Moore, former White House Legislative staff member and U.S. Department of State and Department of Defense official
- J. Frederick Motz, Senior United States District Judge
- Francis D. Murnaghan, Jr., former judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- William D. Quarles, United States District Judge
- David E. Rice, United States Bankruptcy Judge
- Noah Samara, present CEO of WorldSpace
- Paul F. Strain, former Deputy Attorney General of Maryland
- Bart Stupak, former U.S. Representative of Michigan
- Roger W. Titus, United States District Judge
- Robert L. Wilkins, United States District Judge
Notable Transactions and Representations
- Secured a precedent-setting victory on behalf of nearly 5,000 abused and neglected children in a nearly three decade-long case involving the long-troubled Baltimore, Maryland foster care system. The defendants in the case, both Maryland state agencies, had argued that, as a result of a 2009 Supreme Court decision, foster care children had no rights to enforce federal child welfare laws. In the first ruling by an appellate court on this issue, Circuit Judge Allyson K. Duncan disagreed and found that the state agencies were misinterpreting the Supreme Court decision. Judge Duncan's decision ensures that federal child welfare laws will be enforced in the state of Maryland, meaning that a Baltimore federal court will be allowed to enter a decree negotiated between Venable's attorneys and two Maryland state agencies to compel needed reforms to the foster care system. As a result of the decision, Maryland must comply with 28 separate outcomes for the foster children, which are measured by over 100 performance measures.
- On behalf of Hornbeck Offshore Services, helped secure a series of victories rebuffing the government's efforts to implement a moratorium on offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 in response to the Deepwater Horizon explosion. Venable obtained a preliminary injunction against the moratorium in the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Louisiana on June 22, 2010, when U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman found that the moratorium had been rashly implemented and would irreparably harm Hornbeck and other plaintiffs whose businesses were dependent on deepwater drilling. The decision was upheld by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on July 9, 2010, which found that Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar had "failed to demonstrate a likelihood of irreparable injury if the stay is not granted; he has made no showing that there is any likelihood that drilling activities will be resumed pending appeal." The Obama Administration subsequently sought to dismiss the lawsuit filed by Hornbeck and other plaintiffs, arguing that a second moratorium implemented by the Administration in July superseded the original moratorium, and thus the lawsuit challenging the original moratorium was moot. finding that "in reality, the new moratorium covers precisely the same rigs and precisely the same deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico as did the first moratorium."
- Won a unanimous Supreme Court decision on behalf of Wal-Mart Stores in a case that had significant intellectual property ramifications. In the case, a jury found that Wal-Mart had infringed Samara's copyrights and "inherently distinctive" designs for a product line of children's clothing. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the jury's verdict on appeal, relying not upon any "factors" or "tests," but rather upon the testimony of a Samara executive who claimed that the consistent design elements were "inherently distinctive" because Samara intended for them to be identified with the company and build brand loyalty. The Supreme Court overturned the Second Circuit's decision, and in doing so further established the circumstances under which a design is protectable under the Lanham Act. The Court found that product design and product color, by themselves, are insufficient attributes for meeting the threshold of being "inherently distinctive." As a result of this decision, in order to gain trademark protection for a product design, the manufacturer must prove that consumers believe that the look of a product automatically identifies its creator.
- Secured a reversal of a lower court ruling in the case of Lockshin v. Semsker. In this particular case, a jury had awarded the plaintiffs over $5.8 million in damages, including $3 million in noneconomic damages, in a medical-malpractice case. The defendants, a group of doctors, asked the trial court to apply Maryland's long-standing statutory cap on noneconomic damages, which would limit those damages to $812,500. The trial court, however, ruled in favor of the plaintiffs. Venable, representing the doctors on appeal, argued that the trial court had misread Maryland's Health Care Malpractice Claims statute. Maryland's highest court agreed, holding that the cap on noneconomic damages applied to all health care malpractice claims, whether or not arbitrated.
- Represented Perot Systems in its $250 million acquisition of the QSS Group in 2007.
- Represented CWCapital Asset Management in litigation related to the foreclosure of the Stuyvesant Town – Peter Cooper Village in New York City. After months of litigation, the case was resolved when junior debt holders Pershing Square Capital Management LP and Winthrop Realty Trust agreed to sell their debt to CWCapital for $45 million. The deal gave CWCapital additional options to recoup the $3.7 billion it was owed on the property.
- Represented Perdue Farms, Inc. in successfully dismissing a class action lawsuit for failure to plead with sufficient specificity.
- Venable Partner and former U.S. Attorney General Benjamin R. Civiletti served as Special Compliance Counsel and successfully negotiated settlement for Publishers Clearing House with 26 state Attorneys General.
- Drafted Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising, and currently serves as counsel to coalition of marketing and trade associations.
- Baltimore, MD
- Los Angeles, CA
- New York City, NY
- Rockville, MD
- Towson, MD
- San Francisco, CA
- Tysons Corner, VA
- Washington, D.C.
- Wilmington, DE