June 27, 2005

Leading Privacy Attorney Emilio Cividanes Joins Venable in Washington

4 min

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 27, 2005) – Emilio W. Cividanes, one of the deans of privacy law, has joined Venable LLP as a partner in its Washington office. Mr. Cividanes brings his extensive experience in privacy regulations, counseling and litigation, helping to further round out Venable’s government and legislative practices.

Mr. Cividanes concentrates his practice on helping companies meet their privacy obligations in a competitive and regulated marketplace.  As a lobbyist, he also works to shape the very data protection laws and regulations that govern their operations. He counsels clients in a number of industries, including marketing, entertainment, electronic publishing, telecommunications, health care, pharmaceutical, financial services, and hospitality. He advises on how to address privacy challenges in product development, sales, and other business operations, both domestic and abroad.

Mr. Cividanes was formerly a partner with DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary in Washington, D.C. Earlier in his career he served on the staff of the Subcommittee on Technology and Law in the 100th Congress under Senator Patrick Leahy, where he had oversight responsibility for the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.  Enacted in 1986, ECPA extended the protections of the original federal wiretap statute to e-mails, cellular telephones and other new technologies. Mr. Cividanes continues to use his background in wiretap and wireless technology in his privacy law practice.

“Milo Cividanes has one of the most well-rounded practices in privacy law and he joins us at a time when privacy compliance, data protection and personal-information screening have become top priorities among business and institutional clients,” said Venable partner Jeffrey Knowles, head of the firm’s Government Division who also chairs Venable’s advertising and marketing practice.

“The privacy and security issues that Milo deals with on a daily basis affect a broad array of our clients, including companies in the telecom, food and drug, advertising and marketing, financial services, and government contract industries. As these issues grow exponentially in importance, we expect to call frequently upon his legislative skills and depth of understanding,” Mr. Knowles added.

“Venable provides the perfect base to build a truly integrated privacy practice," said Mr. Cividanes. “With one of the leading legislative groups in Washington, a major practice devoted to homeland security, and thriving consumer and telecom practices − all which obviously touch on privacy and personal information sharing − it was abundantly clear that Venable was someplace where I could maximize the various components of my practice.” He also noted Venable’s work with national marketing and association interests, including the Direct Marketing Association of America and the Electronic Retailing Association.

While Mr. Cividanes can often be found on Capitol Hill, lobbying is only one aspect of his practice. “My practice can be equally divided into legislative work, client counseling, and litigation defense work,” he said.

On the litigation front, he frequently represents companies that are the target of investigations by regulators and also advises on class action matters. He is currently defending a political polling firm sued in an enforcement action by the North Dakota Attorney General, who alleges that the firm unlawfully used pre-recorded messages in connection with polling activity.

“There is a certain complement among these practice areas, from the experience that one gains after many years of being immersed in the privacy arena,” Mr. Cividanes noted. “For example, in counseling a client who is creating a new privacy compliance program, the litigation defense perspective gives me a sense of where companies have fallen short before and need the most attention. Similarly, as a result of my lobbying work, I am also able to help clients anticipate the direction in which the law is going.”

Raised in Puerto Rico, Mr. Cividanes was among 25 leading Hispanic lawyers honored by the Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia on the occasion of its 25th anniversary in 2002. He is a past member of the Board of the Hispanic Bar Association of theDistrict of Columbiaand was a founding member of the board of the Hispanic Bar Association Foundation of theDistrict of Columbia.

Mr. Cividanes earned his J.D. degree from University of Pennsylvania in 1983 and his B.A. degree fromHaverford College in 1979.

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.