New Homeland Security Deskbook by Venable Provides Businesses With Roadmap for Operating in Post-9/11 Legal and Regulatory World

5 min

WASHINGTON (September 7, 2004) – Since the September 11 attacks, Congress has passed dozens of laws that have collectively caused a major upheaval in the legal and regulatory environment for American businesses. To help guide companies through the brave new homeland-scape, Washington law firm Venable LLP has just completed its work on the first Homeland Security Deskbook: Private Sector Impacts of the War Against Terrorism. The 17-chapter volume, which will have periodic updates, is a complete review of private sector responsibilities under the new homeland security laws, covering everything from cybersecurity to privacy, immigration issues, terror insurance, government contracts, foreign trade, biologic research, and even environmental requirements.

The book is published by LexisNexis Matthew Bender, with contributions from attorneys across Venable’s homeland security practice. Venable was one of the first law firms to establish such a group in 2002, harnessing multiple practice disciplines in the wake of the USA PATRIOT Act. The general editor is James T. O’Reilly, a widely published legal author and law professor at the University of Cincinnati. Mr. O’Reilly is also vice-chair of the ABA Homeland Security Committee.

“Every corporation, no matter the industry or the reach of its business, has to deal with a whole new set of operating protocols set by homeland security legislation. Our deskbook provides a wealth of practical legal assistance in navigating this new terrain,” said James Burnley, a partner at Venable and former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation. “Up until now, there has been no single source for understanding all of the legislation and rule changes covering homeland security issues.”

Mr. Burnley noted that even the Department of Homeland Security’s own Web site covers only portions of the federal homeland security laws, whereas the Venable book examines state and local measures, as well as recent regulations from a wide scope of government agencies, from the Food & Drug Administration to the Transportation Security Administration, the Federal Trade Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency.

“Although the general public has come to view homeland security as a series of coded terror alerts and news reports about the latest al Qaeda arrests, businesses and institutions realize they have a tremendous set of obligations and responsibilities to follow as a result of the manifold new homeland security laws. Our book is designed to help them live up to those responsibilities going forward,” Mr. Burnley said.

With its deep bench of former government officials and experienced legislative practitioners, Venable was particularly suited for the challenge of writing a treatise on homeland security law. Chaired by former U.S. Attorney General Benjamin Civiletti, the firm’s partnership includes the former head of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, several former U.S. Attorneys, ex-SEC enforcement lawyers, and former FCC staff members, bank regulators and Coast Guard officials, as well as elected officials from both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives.

Venable’s homeland security group includes attorneys who concentrate in banking and financial services, business transactions, corporate finance and securities, energy, environment, international trade, transportation and maritime law, labor and employment, FDA and other regulatory areas, government contracts, intellectual property, life sciences, immigration, and litigation. In all, some 23 Venable attorneys contributed to theHomeland Security Deskbook.

Businesses, as well as state and local governments, have to focus on the new regulatory compliance mandates and the potential liability issues that the homeland security laws have created. “The public largely thinks of homeland security as one single, self-contained agency, but in fact, homeland defense cuts a wide swath across all areas of law. Businesses must constantly keep in mind the compliance issues raised by the legislation,” explained John Pavlick, Venable partner and co-head of the homeland security practice.

In addition to adding legal obligations of the private sector, the homeland security rules have created opportunities for many businesses, especially among government contractors and entrepreneurial companies to contribute to improving the nation’s capability to deal with homeland security concerns.

“We think our desk reference will prove important for companies developing new technologies and services for homeland security,” said Tom Madden, chair of Venable’s government contracts practice. “To these providers, the book is a useful tool for getting through a complex thicket of government regulation.”

Here's a sampling of the book's 17 chapters:

Chapter 1: Homeland Security Challenges for the Practicing Lawyer
Chapter 2: Organization of Homeland Security Functions
Chapter 3: Background and Brief History of Homeland Security
Chapter 4: Critical Infrastructure
Chapter 5: Business Liability
Chapter 6: Communications and Cyber Security
Chapter 7: Local Government Preparation and Prevention Roles
Chapter 8: Government Contracting and Homeland Security
Chapter 9: Immigration
Chapter 10: Trade and Transportation
Chapter 11: Environmental Aspects of Homeland Security
Chapter 12: Employer Cooperation with Law Enforcement Agencies
Chapter 13: Disclosure, Confidentiality, and Privacy Issues
Chapter 14: The Terrorism Risk Insurance Act
Chapter 15: Science, Technology and Intellectual Property
Chapter 16: Food and Drug Protective Measures
Chapter 17: Conclusions

Appendix A: Organization of the Department of Homeland Security
Appendix B: Parts of Title 6, Code of Federal Regulations
Appendix C: Relevant State Law
Appendix D: Outline of Homeland Security Act

For more on the new Homeland Security Deskbook or Venable's Homeland Security practice, visit

Additional information on the book can also be found at the LexisNexis online bookstore at or by clicking on the attached PDF.

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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.