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WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 18, 2005) – Brian L. Schwalb, a former Department of Justice Tax Division trial attorney and name partner with his father at Schwalb, Donnenfeld & Schwalb, P.C., brings his trial practice to Venable LLP’s Commercial Litigation Group and joins the firm as partner. David N. Geier, also of the former Schwalb firm, joins Venable as Of Counsel, along with associate Mary Candler Freed.

Mr. Schwalb had practiced alongside his father, Burton, since 1998. Schwalb Donnenfeld was a home-grown Washington, D.C. litigation boutique, having been established by Mr. Schwalb’s father in 1978. Following the elder Mr. Schwalb’s recent decision to scale back his practice, Mr. Schwalb sought a broader venue for his litigation practice.

“Once we decided to look for a new home for our practice, the move to Venable became a natural choice,” Mr. Schwalb commented. “In addition to a diverse national practice on behalf of some of the largest corporations in the country, Venable also continues to service businesses in the community as if it were a neighborhood law firm.”

Mr. Schwalb represents a variety of Washington area businesses, institutions, and entrepreneurs on a wide range of civil litigation matters. “Our clients will benefit greatly from the range of business law practice groups at Venable. Many of our clients are family- owned businesses that will appreciate the firm’s long-standing tradition in the region.”

Mr. Schwalb graduated from Harvard Law School in 1992. After a two-year clerkship with the Honorable John R. Hargrove, Sr. in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Mr. Schwalb joined the Justice Department’s Tax Division through the Honors Program. At the Justice Department, Mr. Schwalb prosecuted and tried dozens of civil tax cases against individuals and corporations. He also defended the United States in refund suits for recovery of taxes already collected, as well as in other civil and administrative proceedings.

Upon leaving the Justice Department in 1998, Mr. Schwalb joined his father’s practice, where he primarily served successful family and mid-sized private businesses in a wide range of matters, including contracts, trust and estate matters, partnership and corporate ownership and governance disputes, business fraud, governmental investigations, and tax issues.

Mr. Schwalb principally practices in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia, although he has handled matters throughout the country and the Virgin Islands. He has also had significant success in the D.C. Superior Court as defense counsel, despite that venue’s reputation as a plaintiff’s forum. “Even though I’m a trial attorney and love trying cases, often my primary objective is to prevent my clients from ever seeing the inside of a courtroom,” Mr. Schwalb said.

Mr. Schwalb and Mr. Geier first met while at the Tax Division of the DOJ during Mr. Geier’s 11-year tenure litigating for the Department. Mr. Geier holds an LL.M. in Taxation from the University of Florida College of Law and received his J.D. from the same institution.

“We’re pleased to see Brian and his group bring their practice onboard,” commented Stefan Tucker, partner in Venable’s Tax Group. “It’s important that the firm continue to maintain a healthy client base that includes businesses and institutions in the D.C. market. A national law firm such as ours still has an obligation to think locally.”

One of the American Lawyer’s top 100 law firms, 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.