Benjamin R. Civiletti

Chairman Emeritus and Retired Partner
Civiletti Benjamin

Chairman Emeritus and retired partner Ben Civiletti focused his practice of law on commercial litigation, banking, white-collar crime, government regulation, and corporate governance. He conducted numerous product liability cases; successfully prosecuted and defended statutory and constitutional claims, and conducted special investigations growing out of derivative suits, governmental proceedings, and a state impeachment resolution. Ben is both a trial and appellate advocate. In addition, he developed a practice in alternative dispute resolution, working successfully as a mediator, facilitator, master and arbitrator in many commercial and tort disputes to achieve faster and more cost-efficient justice.

Ben's prior service on four public for-profit boards and three non-profit boards afforded him a thorough familiarity with corporate governance consensus, task forces, and strategic planning. As Attorney General of the United States, Ben 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, and successfully defended the President's wage and price guidelines in the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (sitting en banc). Furthermore, Ben was responsible for the Justice Department's promulgation of open trial guidelines, the Stanford Daily laws, the development and publication of National Priorities for the Investigation and Prosecution of White-Collar Crime, Principles of Federal Prosecution, National Prison Standards, and a score of other improvements in the effective enforcement of criminal law and in civil rights and environmental protection.


Government Experience

  • Attorney General of the United States, United States Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General

Representative Matters

Ben successfully argued again in the Court of Appeals of Maryland to reverse excessive millions in punitive damages and the court entered judgment for the defendant. He was co-independent counsel, appointed by regulators, in the investigation of the derivative business of a major Wall Street financial institution. Ben represented a corporate client in the successful defense of multi-million dollar claims of tortious interference with contract. For another client, he successfully settled multiple intentional tort claims after a lengthy trial on motions to suppress. And he again was successful in settling claims from a domestic air crash in which he represented plaintiffs against a major airline.




  • L.L.B. (J.D.) University of Maryland School of Law 1961
  • A.B. Johns Hopkins University 1957

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland

Clerk Experience

  • Honorable W. Calvin Chesnut U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland 1961 1962

Professional Memberships and Activities

American Bar Association

Federal Bar Association

Maryland State Bar Association

District of Columbia Bar Association

Bar Association of Baltimore City


Awards and honors include: Omicron Delta Kappa; Order of the Coif, Herbert H. Lehman Ethics Award (American Jewish Theological Seminary); Distinguished Alumnus Award, Johns Hopkins Alumni Association; Knight-Commander in the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic; the 1997 Baltimore Urban League's Equal Justice Award; the 2005 American Judicature Society Justice Award and the William J. Brennan, Jr. Award presented by the National Trial Advocacy College at the University of Virginia School of Law.

In 2004, Ben was honored for his leadership in public service and law by the establishment of a scholarship in his name at the University of Maryland School of Law. He has been named "Best Lawyer in America" in three fields – commercial litigation, corporate governance and compliance law, and white collar crime criminal defense, as well as being named to the 2004 International Who's Who of Corporate Governance Lawyers.

He is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, American Law Institute and American College of Trial Lawyers and founding Chair of Maryland Legal Services Corp. Ben is past chair, American Bar Association Litigation Section, chair of the Task Force on an International Criminal Court, a past member of the House of Delegates, Member of the ABA Commission on the American Jury, and the ABA representative to the United Nations.

His honorary degrees are: Doctors of Law from the University of Baltimore, New York Law School, St. John's College, Tulane and Notre Dame Universities, and the University of Maryland; and a Doctor of Humane Letters from Towson State University.

Ben is AV® Peer-Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

Listed for over 20 years in The Best Lawyers in America, (Woodward/White, Inc) for Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Corporate Governance and Compliance Law, and Criminal Defense: White Collar.

Listed in Who's Who Legal, Corporate Governance and Commercial Litigation, 2011.

Selected for inclusion in Maryland Super Lawyers (2008 - 2012).

Recognized in Super Lawyers Business Edition, Business Litigation, Baltimore, 2013.

Recognized in 2007 and 2009 by Washingtonian magazine as one of "Washington’s Top Lawyers."

American Lawyer's Lifetime Achievement Award 2009.


Personal Activities

Ben served as a member of the National Research Council Committee to Study National Cryptography Policy and as Chair of the Maryland Governor's Commission on Welfare Policy. He was a member of the Governor's Task Force on Alternatives to Incarceration. In community-related areas, Ben's service includes former membership on the Legal Aid Bureau, Inc.'s board and Chair of GBMC Healthcare, Inc. (retired). In the legal publications field, he was a member of the Lexis-Nexis/Martindale-Hubbell Legal Advisory Board and a member of Matthew Bender & Company, Inc., - board of editors of Federal Litigation Guide Reporter. Ben also served as chair or member on a number of task forces under several Maryland governors. These include: Funding of Public Education; Drug Abuse; and Funding of the Arts.