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Attorneys from business, government, litigation and technology practices elected to partnership


Washington, DC (December 13, 2011) – Venable LLP is pleased to announce that six of the firm's attorneys have been elected to the partnership: Dana M. Fidazzo, James C. Fraser, Suzanne Fay Garwood, Steven J. Schwarz, Aaron J. Wallisch and Winifred M. Weitsen. The six new partners from Venable’s Washington, DC and Baltimore offices represent a broad cross section of the firm’s practice groups including real estate, environmental, regulatory, product liability and mass torts, SEC and white collar defense, and intellectual property.

“These attorneys have worked extremely hard over the last several years and have distinguished themselves by performing exceptional work for the firm’s clients,” said Venable’s managing partner Karl Racine. “Together, they share the firm’s commitment to excellence, and we are confident they will make important and enduring contributions to our clients and the firm.”

Below is background on Venable’s new partners:

Dana M. Fidazzo of the Baltimore office is a real estate attorney who focuses her practice on all aspects of complex real estate matters. Ms. Fidazzo represents clients in the development, acquisition, management, restructuring and leasing of commercial and mixed-used real estate projects throughout the country and abroad. Ms. Fidazzo also counsels lenders and borrowers in connection with financings secured by residential and commercial properties located throughout the country and complex loan workouts and modifications.

James C. Fraser of the Baltimore office is a member of Venable’s Product Liability Group. Mr. Fraser represents pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers in product liability cases throughout the country. He also has extensive trial and appellate experience in commercial and criminal litigation matters. He has successfully tried to verdict both jury and non-jury cases, and has conducted several appellate oral arguments.

Suzanne Fay Garwood is a member of Venable’s regulatory group in the Washington, DC office who focuses her practice on state and federal law relating to consumer credit and financial services. She has assisted mortgage lenders, banks and thrifts with issues arising under federal and state laws. Ms. Garwood represents clients from all aspects of the financial services industry – from credit counselors to mortgage lenders and credit card issuers. In addition to her consumer credit background, Ms. Garwood is also experienced in issues related to credit unions.

Steven J. Schwarz of the Washington, DC office focuses his practice on intellectual property law, with a particular emphasis on patents. Mr. Schwarz’s practice includes patent prosecution, strategic patent portfolio management, client counseling and technology licensing in fields such as medical devices, semiconductors, optics, green technologies, consumer products and the Internet. Mr. Schwarz also routinely participates in patent litigation, representing clients in various technologies, such as medical devices, electronics and consumer products. As another aspect of his practice, Mr. Schwarz works closely with Venable’s nationally recognized Advertising and Marketing practice to assist individuals and companies looking to market their inventions through Direct Response Television channels.

Aaron J. Wallisch of the Washington, DC office is an environmental attorney with extensive experience assisting clients with the compliance and enforcement of federal, state and local laws and regulations, including solid and hazardous waste, hazardous materials transportation, pesticide use and registration, homeland security, oil spill prevention, storm water control, storage tanks and air pollution. For over eight years, Mr. Wallisch has represented the Utility Solid Waste Activities Group (USWAG) in various regulatory matters and regularly engages with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), congressional committees, and other trade groups to provide regulatory and legislative advocacy and compliance assistance for the trade group and its individual company members.

Winifred M. Weitsen is a member of Venable's SEC & White Collar Defense Practice Group in Washington, DC where her practice includes white-collar criminal defense, corporate investigations and complex commercial litigation. Ms. Weitsen’s practice focuses on defending companies and corporate executives facing criminal investigations as well as civil and regulatory government enforcement actions in matters involving antitrust and securities regulation, healthcare and government contracts fraud, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Ms. Weitsen is experienced in conducting comprehensive internal investigations on behalf of corporate management, audit committees, and special committees of the board of directors, and counseling clients on compliance and internal control issues.

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Note: An American Lawyer Global 100 law firm, Venable serves corporate, institutional, governmental, nonprofit and individual clients throughout the U.S. and around the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with offices in California, Maryland, New York and Virginia, Venable LLP lawyers and legislative advisors serve the needs of our domestic and global clients in all areas of corporate and business law, complex litigation, intellectual property, regulatory, and government affairs.