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Attorneys from litigation, business and technology practices elected to partnership


WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 4, 2011) - Venable LLP is pleased to announce that six of the firm's attorneys have been elected partner: Doreen S. Martin, Jacqueline Levasseur Patt, Jennifer A. Pratt, Brent W. Procida, W. Bryan Rakes, and Eric R. Smith. The six new partners, resident in the firm’s New York, Washington and Baltimore offices, come from a range of key practices, including SEC and white-collar criminal defense, tax and wealth management, business transactions and corporate finance, trademark and copyright, and bankruptcy and litigation.

“We’re pleased to welcome a strong group of new partners for 2011, representing a solid cross section of our practice groups,” said Karl A. Racine, Venable’s managing partner.

“Each of our incoming partners exemplifies core Venable values: providing superior counsel to clients, abiding by the highest ethical standards, contributing to the communities in which we live and work, and treating colleagues with decency and respect,” Mr. Racine added.

Below is some background on Venable’s new partner class:

Doreen S. Martin, a New York-based litigator in Venable's SEC and White-Collar Criminal Defense practice, has experience litigating state and federal criminal and civil matters. Ms. Martin has advised and represented public companies and individuals in government enforcement actions, including actions brought by the Securities Exchange Commission, the United States Attorney's Office and the New York Attorney General's office. Ms. Martin has conducted internal investigations on behalf of corporate management, audit committees, and special committees of the board of directors for companies in the insurance, retail, financial services and logistics industries. Ms. Martin also handles all aspects of complex civil litigation in federal and state courts including civil RICO actions, securities fraud and products liability defense. A former New York state prosecutor, Ms. Martin has extensive trial and appellate experience.

Ms. Martin is a member of the firm's Pro Bono Committee and was the recipient of the Benjamin R. Civiletti Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year award in 2009. Ms. Martin also serves on the Hiring Committee and is the Summer Associate Program Coordinator for the New York office. She received her J.D. from Albany Law School in 2000 and her B.A. from Hartwick College in 1997.

Jacqueline Levasseur Patt, a Washington-based member of Venable's Trademark, Copyright and Licensing practice, focuses on intellectual property including trademark prosecution, global strategy counseling, policing, domain name dispute resolution and licensing. She counsels and assists clients with online brand management, social media, advertising, copyright, and trademark litigation. Ms. Patt also represents clients in trademark opposition and cancellation proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.

Ms. Patt serves a broad range of clients in the food, e-commerce, insurance, hospitality, entertainment, financial, and consumer products industries. Ms. Patt has also assisted a number of nonprofit corporations with trademark prosecution matters on a pro bono basis and was recognized at the Federal Bench Bar Conference for work on pro bono appointments by the Court. She received her J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1999, and her B.S. from University of Maryland, with honors, in 1994.

Jennifer A. Pratt, a member of Venable's Tax and Wealth Planning practice in the firm's Baltimore office, assists clients with estate planning, charitable giving, and business continuity planning while minimizing estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax exposure. She is experienced in the administration of decedent's estates and the preparation of wills, trusts, both revocable and irrevocable, durable powers of attorney and advance directives, as well as documents for business planning and the incorporation and application for exemption for Private Foundations. Ms. Pratt is also experienced in drafting Pre-Marital Agreements and Post-Marital Agreements.

Ms. Pratt received her LL.M. from the University of Baltimore, summa cum laude, in 2006, her J.D. from the University of Baltimore School of Law, magna cum laude, in 2000 and her B.A. from the University of Baltimore, summa cum laude, in 1996.

Brent W. Procida, a member of Venable's Bankruptcy and Creditors' Rights practice group in the Baltimore office, focuses on bankruptcy, creditors' rights, and general litigation. Mr. Procida represents secured lenders, servicers, businesses and individuals in a wide variety of litigation at all levels of state and federal court. Mr. Procida's practice has focused on complex workouts and litigation on behalf of securitized mortgage trusts. Mr. Procida's diverse background practicing in both New York and Maryland allows him to draw on a wide range of experience in seeking to address the needs of each client.

Mr. Procida is a frequent volunteer with the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service. He received his J.D. from Hofstra University School of Law in 1995, and his B.A. in Economics from the University of Notre Dame in 1992.

W. Bryan Rakes, a member of Venable's Business Transactions practice in the Baltimore office, advises clients in the areas of transactions and corporate finance, and provides general business advisory services. He represents companies in mergers and acquisitions, private equity and venture capital transactions, commercial loan transactions, and general corporate planning. Mr. Rakes serves as counsel to lenders engaging in subordinated loan transactions and related equity investments. Mr. Rakes also represents private equity groups in connection with their equity investments and regularly serves as counsel to their portfolio companies.

Mr. Rakes teaches in the entrepreneurship and management program at The Johns Hopkins University, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Maryland Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth, of Everyman Theatre in Baltimore, and of Civic Works, a Baltimore nonprofit organization. He received his J.D. from Syracuse University College of Law, magna cum laude, in 2001 and his B.A. from Transylvania University in 1996.

Eric R. Smith, a Baltimore-based business transactions and corporate finance partner, focuses primarily on corporate and securities transactions, and general corporate matters. He regularly represents public and private companies in mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, debt and equity financings, and corporate governance matters. He also advises public companies in connection with their periodic SEC reporting obligations and the rules established by securities exchanges and inter-deal quotation systems. Mr. Smith industry experience is wide-ranging and includes representation of companies in biotechnology, cyber security, professional sports, financial services, retail, manufacturing, government contracting, entertainment and energy.

Mr. Smith is a member of the ABA Committee on Federal Regulation of Securities, the Committee on Negotiated Acquisitions and the Committee on Corporate Governance. He received his LL.M. in Securities and Financial Regulations from Georgetown University Law Center in 1999, his J.D. from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 1997, and his B.S. from Cornell University in 1993.


An American Lawyer top 100 law firm, Venable LLP has attorneys practicing in all areas of corporate and business law, complex litigation, intellectual property and government affairs. Venable serves corporate, institutional, governmental, nonprofit and individual clients throughout the U.S. and around the world from its headquarters in Washington, D.C. and offices in California, Maryland, New York and Virginia.