September 26, 2006

Washington Business Journal Names Venable's Maurice Baskin as Its Leading Lawyer for Employment Contracts

4 min

Venable LLP labor and employment partner Maurice Baskin was named Washington’s top employment contracts lawyer in the latest selection of leading D.C. attorneys by Washington Business Journal.  

The publication’s annual Top Washington Lawyers awards were announced September 14 at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, D.C. Mr. Baskin was one of 15 attorneys chosen as winners in their respective categories, ranging from corporate finance and mergers & acquisitions to intellectual property and technology transactions.

In addition to Mr. Baskin, two other Venable partners were named as finalists for the publication’s top legal awards – J. Douglas Baldridge, for corporate litigation and Lawrence Katz for bankruptcy.

Mr. Baskin, 52, has a broad-based practice, representing management on all aspects of labor and employment matters. He also has substantial litigation experience, including numerous cases before the National Labor Relations Board, the Department of Labor, and many courts. It was one such dispute that led to a successful U.S. Supreme Court reversal in a case he argued in 2002.

In that case, Mr. Baskin represented an Alabama-based construction firm, BE&K, which had been rebuffed by the NLRB for bringing suit against construction unions over their delays of a $350 million building project in California. The NLRB ruled that BE&K had interfered with the unions’ right to organize its workers, and ordered the company to pay legal costs and other penalties. However, the Supreme Court overturned the decision, based in part on BE&K’s first amendment rights to bring suit. The high court held that reasonably-based employer lawsuits do not violate the rights of NLRB members, so long as the actions are not filed solely with the intent of increasing union litigation costs.

BE&K was a very important decision for the business community,” Mr. Baskin said, noting that “the Supreme Court recognized  employers’ right of access to the courts in a labor context must be protected. The case has proved particularly helpful to employers who need to defend themselves against union 'corporate campaigns.'"

More recently, Mr. Baskin has advised companies across multiple industries, including construction, telecommunications, health care, education, financial services and government contracting, as well as numerous trade associations. His counsel also covers the full spectrum of workplace issues, including employment discrimination, wrongful discharge, wage and hour laws, executive contracts and compensation, as well as core labor matters such as union organizing and collective bargaining. His leadership during the past year in contentious labor negotiations on behalf of a Washington, D.C.-based broadcasting company and a national food service provider contributed to his Washington Business Journal award.

Mr. Baskin currently serves as general counsel for the Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc., representing some 23,000 construction industry employers nationally. Among his other affiliations, he has served on the Labor Relations Committee of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Legal Section Council of the American Society of Association Executives.  He was also named this year as one of the Top 100 Labor Attorneys in the United Statesby the Labor Relations Institute.  

“We are proud that our partner Maury Baskin has been recognized as the preeminent employment lawyer in Washington,” said Venable managing partner Karl Racine.

“Maury has covered the entire waterfront of work-related issues for clients. Unlike most employment attorneys, he is as equally experienced in labor and union disputes as he is in counseling on general employment and workplace issues. And his appellate and Supreme Court successes show that Maury has proven his ability to help make new precedent in labor and employment law,” Mr. Racine added.

“We also want to acknowledge Doug Baldridge and Larry Katz for having been chosen as finalists for their respective practice categories,” he continued. “Given that only two or three lawyers across Metropolitan D.C. are selected for final consideration in each area, Doug and Larry are also clearly among Washington’s legal elite.”

“The Washington Business Journal's commitment to the community has been stellar, and we'd like to thank them for continuing to recognize our exceptional attorneys,” said Venable partner David Rutstein.

Mr. Baskin, a 1975 graduate of Harvard, earned his J.D. from the University of Florida College of Law.

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.