Geoffrey R. Garinther

Geoffrey Garinther

With more than 35 years of experience in courtrooms and boardrooms around the country, Geoff Garinther helps clients resolve some of their thorniest legal issues. A former federal prosecutor and current chair of Venable's nationwide Litigation Practice, Geoff has represented boards and individual directors, lawyers and law firms, doctors and lobbyists, and others in their dealings with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). Another key part of his practice is conducting internal investigations for companies and their boards and Zapata investigations for independent directors dealing with shareholder litigation.

Geoff's work on the firm's Management Committee for the past 15+ years gives him a deep understanding of business realities and an appreciation for his clients' concerns and how he and his team can efficiently serve their needs, whether advising on crisis management, serving as independent counsel, or handling litigation matters.


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 made by state officials 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 the 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 DOJ antitrust investigations into price-fixing allegations. No action was taken against any of the 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
  • Member and former 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
  • Has written extensively on corporate governance and homeland security issues


  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2013 – 2024
  • Benchmark Litigation
    • Local Litigation Star, 2012 – 2013, 2019 – 2024
    • White Collar Crime, National
  • Super Lawyers
    • Maryland, 2008 – 2018, 2020 – 2023
    • Washington, DC, 2017 – 2023
  • Lawdragon, 500 Leading Litigators in America, 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, Maryland Lawyers “You’d Want for Your Defense,” 2002
  • 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