About the Donor
Benjamin R. Civiletti has focused his professional practice of law on commercial litigation, banking, white-collar crime, government regulation, and corporate governance. He is both a trial and appellate advocate.He has conducted numerous product liability cases; successfully prosecuted and defended statutory and constitutional claims, and conducted special investigations growing out of derivative suits, governmental proceedings, and a state impeachment resolution. In addition, he has developed a practice in alternative dispute resolution, working successfully as a mediator, facilitator, master and arbitrator in many commercial and tort disputes to achieve faster and more cost-efficient justice.
Mr. Civiletti's past service on four public for-profit boards and three non-profit boards has afforded him a thorough familiarity with corporate governance consensus, task forces, and strategic planning. As Attorney General of the United States (1979-1980) [Judiciary Committee Voting Tally, 1978], Mr. Civiletti argued before the International Court of Justice on behalf of the American captives in Iran, and before the Supreme Court for the right of the government to denaturalize Nazi war criminals, and successfully defended the President's wage and price guidelines in the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (sitting en banc). Furthermore, Mr. Civiletti was responsible for the Justice Department's promulgation of open trial guidelines, the Stanford Daily laws, the development and publication of National Priorities for the Investigation and Prosecution of White-Collar Crime, Principles of Federal Prosecution, National Prison Standards, and a score of other improvements in the effective enforcement of criminal law and in civil rights and environmental protection.
Mr. Civiletti successfully argued again in the Court of Appeals of Maryland to reverse excessive millions in punitive damages and the court entered judgment for the defendant. He was co-independent counsel, appointed by regulators, in the investigation of the derivative business of a major Wall Street financial institution. Mr. Civiletti represented a corporate client in the successful defense of multi-million dollar claims of tortious interference with contract. For another client, he successfully settled multiple intentional tort claims after a lengthy trial on motions to suppress. And he again was successful in settling claims from a domestic air crash in which he represented plaintiffs against a major airline.
Mr. Civiletti has served as a member of the National Research Council Committee to Study National Cryptography Policy and as Chair of the Maryland Governor's Commission on Welfare Policy (left). He was a member of the Governor's Task Force on Alternatives to Incarceration. Most recently he served as the Chair of the Governor's Commission on Capital Punishment (2008-2009). Other task forces include: Funding of Public Education; Drug Abuse; and Funding of the Arts.
In community-related areas, his service includes former membership on the Legal Aid Bureau board and Chair of GBMC Healthcare, Inc. (retired). In the legal publications field, he is a member of the Lexis-Nexis/Martindale-Hubbell Legal Advisory Board and a member of Matthew Bender & Company, Inc., board of editors of Federal Litigation Guide Reporter. [Biographical sketch reproduced with the permission of Venable, LLP.]
Dates from Civiletti's Career:
|1961||Graduates from University of Maryland School of Law|
|1963||Assistant U.S. Attorney for Maryland|
|1969||Joins Venable, Baetjer and Howard (law firm)|
Deputy Attorney General of the United States
|1978-1980||Attorney General of the United States|
|1978||Billy Carter investigation|
|1979||Iran Hostage Crisis / World Court appearance|
|1986||Chair, Task Force, Drug Use on College Campuses (Maryland)|
|1987 - 1993||Managing Partner, Venable, LLP. (law firm)|
|1994||Chair, Governor's Commission on Welfare Policy (Maryland)|
|1993 - 2006||Chairman, Venable, LLP. (law firm)|
|1997- 2000||Metalclad v. Mexico Case|
|2008||Chair, Maryland Commission on Capital Punishment|
|2009||Named American Lawyer Lifetime Achievement Award Winner for 2009|