Geoffrey R. Garinther

Garinther Geoffrey

Geoff Garinther's clients, from the Baltimore Ravens to M&T Bank, turn to him to help resolve some of their thorniest legal issues. A former federal prosecutor and chair of Venable's nationwide Litigation practice, Geoff also represents lawyers and law firms, doctors, lobbyists, and business executives in their dealings with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). He conducts internal investigations for companies or their boards and Zapata investigations for independent directors dealing with shareholder litigation.


Government Experience

  • Assistant United States Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Maryland

Representative Matters

  • Represented a law firm in parallel federal and state investigations of bribery allegations of state officials made against two firm partners, representing the firm’s interests during a four-week trial of the partners. The law firm was not charged
  • Defended a Washington, DC law firm against an effort to obtain discovery from four of its lawyers who had conducted an internal investigation for a multinational pharmaceutical company.
  • Led a team that conducted shareholder litigation against three former officers of Tampa-based WellCare Health Plans, Inc., following a Zapata investigation into claims on behalf of an independent director of WellCare
  • Obtained injunctive relief in federal court in Maryland on behalf of Ahmadiyya Muslim seniors seeking to build a retirement community
  • Co-led a Venable team in defending against a five-year investigation by DOJ and the FDA into criminal and civil claims against an India-based generic drug manufacturer, ultimately negotiating a comprehensive settlement that included resolution of the criminal investigation and a qui tam False Claims Act case, for which the company paid a total of $500 million in fines, and which allowed the company to exercise its first-to-file right to market atorvastatin (generic Lipitor) in the United States
  • Represented executives of a pharmaceutical company in a DOJ investigation of alleged off-label promotions, potential violations of the False Claims Act, in a case in which no action was taken against any of the individuals
  • Represented individuals in antitrust investigations conducted by DOJ into price-fixing allegations concerning TV pricing.  No action was taken against any of those individuals
  • Court-appointed to represent a man serving a life sentence for murder, Geoff obtained a new trial in the district court on Brady grounds before that decision was overturned in the Fourth Circuit.  The case was the subject of a 10-part podcast, Convicted




  • J.D. University of Pennsylvania Law School 1984
  • B.A. magna cum laude Washington College 1981

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland

Clerk Experience

  • Honorable Marvin H. Smith Maryland Court of Appeals 1984 - 1985

Professional Memberships and Activities

  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Federal Bar Association
  • Member, Maryland State Bar Association 
  • Permanent member, Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference
  • Chair, Bench-Bar Liaison Committee, U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
  • Lectured as a defense attorney at the DOJ’s National Advocacy Center
  • Writes extensively on corporate governance and homeland security issues


  • Super Lawyers
    • Maryland, 2008 – 2018, 2020 – 2022
    • Washington, DC, 2017 – 2022
  • Benchmark Litigation
    • Local Litigation Star, 2012 – 2013, 2019 – 2022
    • White Collar Crime, National
  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2013 – 2022
  • Federal Bar Association, Maryland Chapter, Peter A. DiRito Award, 2017
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Pro Bono Award, 2004
  • Daily Record, 10 Maryland Lawyers “You’d Want for Your Defense,” 2002 (Voted one of the top 10 by readers of the Daily Record)
  • Martindale-Hubbell, AV® Peer Review Rated


Pro Bono

  • Represents indigent criminal defendants, often working with the Criminal Justice Act Panel for the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland


  • Active in the Baltimore community, where he has served on nonprofit boards (Humanim and WorkFirst), and chairs the federal court’s Bench-Bar Liaison Committee