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WASHINGTON, DC (February 24, 2004) -Venable Chairman Benjamin R. Civiletti, former U.S. attorney general and a chairman of the Washington, D.C.-based firm Venable LLP, has joined the National Center for State Courts’ Lawyers Committee, which involves prominent practicing attorneys in the National Center’s work and programs. Committee members serve in a leadership role with a commitment to support the National Center’s mission, to actively participate in outreach to the bar and the legal community, and to encourage support for the National Center’s programs and initiatives. Inaugural meetings were held recently in Washington, D.C. and in San Francisco in conjunction with the midyear meeting of the Conference of Chief Justices.

The National Center for State Courts, headquartered in Williamsburg, Va., is a non-profit court reform organization dedicated to improving the administration of justice by providing leadership and service to the state courts. The National Center, founded in 1971 by the Conference of Chief Justices and former Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, provides education, training, and technology, management, and research services to the nation’s state courts. The National Center also is taking the lead on several key issues facing the justice system. For example, it has established a major civil justice initiative, a multi-year project that is examining best practices in civil case management and how complex litigation procedures can be improved. Other national initiatives being driven by the National Center include judicial selection reform and increasing citizen participation in jury service.

Mr. Civiletti served as attorney general of the United States under President Jimmy Carter from 1979 to 1981. Among his cases as attorney general, 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. He now concentrates on advising multinational corporations and international banks, as well as corporate directors and officers on matters related to government investigations and commercial litigation. He also has conducted several product liability cases, successfully prosecuted and defended statutory and constitutional claims, and conducted special investigations growing out of derivative suits, governmental proceedings, and state impeachment resolutions.

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.