Venable LLP is a law firm formerly known as Venable, Baetjer & Howard LLP. The firm is ranked 66th in the 2016 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 66th in the 2016 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 2016 survey ranked Venable Tier 1 nationally in 19 categories, with rankings in 104 total national and regional categories. The Best Lawyers in America recognized 93 Venable attorneys in their 2016 rankings, including a record eight attorneys who were named "Lawyer of the Year" in Baltimore and Washington, DC. Chambers USA ranked 32 Venable practices and 69 attorneys in 2016, including a coveted Client Services Award for the Product Liability and Mass Torts Practice. Chambers has previously presented its Award for Excellence to Venable's Privacy and Data Security (2009) and Advertising, Marketing and New Media (2010 and 2011) practices. Fourteen of the firm's practices also received high rankings in Legal 500's 2015 edition with the firm named to Tier 1 for M&A: Middle-Market (sub-$500m), Marketing and Advertising, Not-for-Profit (Nonprofit and Tax Exempt Organizations), and Technology: Transactions. 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.
The Washington Business Journal honored Venable in 2014 with an award for Corporate Philanthropy by Giving. In 2015, Law360 released a survey which ranked Venable among the top five most charitable law firms in the country.
Notable alumni and current attorneys
- John Banghart, former National Security Council's Director for Federal Cybersecurity
- Birch Bayh, former U.S. Senator of Indiana
- James H. Burnley IV, former U.S. Secretary of Transportation
- John Marshall Butler, former U.S. Senator from Maryland
- Benjamin Civiletti, former United States Attorney General
- Asa Hutchinson, Governor of Arkansas, former Undersecretary of Homeland Security and former head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, former U.S. Representative for the Arkansas' 3rd congressional district
- Amy Berman Jackson, District Judge on the United States District Court for the District of Columbia
- L. Paige Marvel, Article I federal judge for the United States Tax Court
- Powell Moore, former White House Legislative staff member and U.S. Department of State and Department of Defense official
- J. Frederick Motz, Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland
- Francis D. Murnaghan, Jr., former federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- Mark Pryor, former U.S. Senator of Arkansas
- Karl Racine, the first elected Attorney General of the District of Columbia
- James E. Rogan, former U.S. Representative of California and current judge of the Superior Court of California
- John Sarbanes, U.S. Representative, Maryland's 3rd congressional district
- Paul Sarbanes, former U.S. Representative from Maryland and former U.S. Senator from Maryland
- Ari Schwartz, former member of the White House National Security Council where he served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Cybersecurity
- Bart Stupak, former U.S. Representative from Michigan's 1st congressional district
- Roger W. Titus, federal judge on the United States District Court for the District of Maryland
- Robert L. Wilkins, United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
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 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig. 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 implemented without any factual justification 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 instituted a second moratorium and argued that the lawsuit challenging the first moratorium had become moot. But the political damage to the moratorium from the Hornbeck lawsuit proved fatal. Shortly thereafter the Administration quietly cancelled the second moratorium, and offshore drilling resumed.
- 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.
- "Press Releases - Venable climbs higher up the AmLaw 100". www.venable.com. Retrieved 2016-05-20.
- "About Venable - Rankings". www.venable.com. Retrieved 2015-09-22.
- "Venable climbs higher up the AmLaw 100". Venable.com. Venable LLP. Retrieved 2016-05-20.
- "Venable ranks first in Baltimore Business Journal's list of "Largest law firms in the Baltimore area"". Venable.com. Venable LLP. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
- "Los Angeles Business Journal ranks Venable among the top 100 law firms". Venable.com. Venable LLP. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
- "Venable Ranked in Over a Hundred Categories in 2016 Edition of U.S. News – Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms"". Venable.com. Venable LLP. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
- "The Best Lawyers in America© 2016 Recognizes 93 Venable Attorneys". Venable.com. Venable LLP. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
- "Venable LLP | News & Insights | Press Releases | Venable Maintains Strong Showing in 2016 Chambers USA Rankings". www.venable.com. Retrieved 2016-06-13.
- "Venable Named a Top Tier Firm in Multiple Categories in 2015 Legal 500 Rankings". Venable.com. Venable LLP. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
- "Venable named a top 30 firm for client service by BTI Consulting". Venable.com. Venable LLP. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
- "Venable's Summer Associate Program Named Best in the Country by Vault". Venable.com. Venable LLP. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
- "Washington Business Journal honors Venable with Corporate Philanthropy award". Venable.com. Venable LLP. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
- "Venable among top five firms nationally in charitable donations". Venable.com. Venable LLP. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
- U.S. District Court Judge Martin Feldman denied the Administration's request.
- "Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP - Protection of Product Configurations: Supreme Court to Review Samara Brothers". www.kilstock.com. Retrieved 2015-09-22.
- "Perdue Beats Action Over Chickens With Extra Giblets - Law360". www.law360.com. Retrieved 2015-09-22.