James R. Benjamin, Jr., Member

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  • If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those two impostors just the same.

    -from the poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling

    James has significant experience representing and advising MBEs and WBEs.

Contact

jbenjamin@gfrlaw.com
410-576-4261
410-576-4269 (fax)

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James is a Member of the Firm's Business, Litigation and EMERGE Teams. He has litigated complex environmental and administrative matters and regularly counsels clients with regard to regulatory issues involving real property. James has substantial bench and jury trial experience representing insurers and business entities in general litigation, personal injury and premises liability matters.  He represents property owners in complex toxic tort litigation at both the trial and appellate levels.  He successfully argued a lead paint case before Maryland’s Court of Special Appeals on legal issues concerning definitions of an owner and operator under the Baltimore City Housing Code.  He has successfully defended cases brought against property owners in lead paint cases involving claims brought under Maryland’s Consumer Protection Act. He also advises clients on compliance matters involving Maryland's Reduction of Lead Risk in Housing Act.

James also has significant experience representing and advising minority-owned and women-owned businesses (MBEs and WBEs) on certification and procurement matters as well as structuring and creating joint ventures and teaming arrangements. He advises businesses concerning MBE certification with MDOT and MBE/WBE certification in the Baltimore City Market Area under the Baltimore City Code. He has represented WBEs in administrative appeals involving agency decisions to decertify. He has considerable experience providing legal advice to businesses concerning small business certification and participation in mentor-protégé programs. He also is experienced in advising businesses on requirements for certification as a qualified HUBZone small business concern.

James was a former law clerk for the Honorable Ellen M. Heller in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City.  He also served as an Assistant City Solicitor with the Baltimore City Law Department.  As an Assistant City Solicitor, Mr. Benjamin successfully argued a case in Maryland’s Court of Appeals in a matter involving complex legal questions of statutory interpretation concerning tenant eligibility for relocation benefits and constitutional takings law.  He also successfully argued a case in Maryland’s Court of Special Appeals in a matter involving questions of contract interpretation and exhaustion of administrative remedies.

Honors

AV® Preeminent™ Rating in Martindale-Hubbell

Named to Maryland Super Lawyers® since 2016

Named to National Black Lawyers Top 100, 2015

Named one of Baltimore Legal Leaders in Litigation, 2015

Recipient of the 2014 “Leadership in Law” award by The Daily Record

Recipient of 2012 Very Important Professional (VIP), “Successful by 40” award by The Daily Record

Named to Maryland Super Lawyers® “Rising Stars” list, 2009-2012

Named to Baltimore Business Journal’s “40 Under 40,” 2005

News

Professional and Civic Involvement

Member, Maryland State Bar Association

Member, Baltimore City Bar Association

Member, Baltimore County Bar Association

Member, Baltimore County Human Relations Commission

Member, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law Board of Visitors

Member, Judge Alexander Williams Center for Education, Justice and Ethics Board of Directors

Member, Furman L. Templeton Preparatory Academy Board of Directors

Former Board Member, City of Baltimore’s Minority and Women’s Business Opportunity Office’s Certification Appeals Board

Member, Baltimore County Bar Foundation Board of Directors

Member, University of Maryland College Park, College of Behavioral and Social Sciences Board of Visitors

Membership Co-Chair, Claims Litigation Management (CLM) Maryland Local Chapter Board

Co-Chair, Maryland Defense Counsel’s Judicial Selection Committee

Member, Maryland State Ethics Commission (2016-2018)

Member, Baltimore County Charter Review Commission (2016 – 2017)

Co-Chair, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s Working Group on the Use and Implementation of Body-Worn Cameras (2014 – 2015)

Immediate Past President, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law Alumni Association Board (2014-2015)

Vice President, Pro Bono Resource Center Board of Directors

Publications and Lectures

Author, Baltimore Business Journal Q&A Series on Minority-Owned Businesses

Author: “Rith Energy, Inc. v. United States, ‘The Best of Both Worlds’: Use of Common Law and Statutory Law Together in Applying the Nuisance Exception to Defend a Takings Claim,” 11 Fed.  Cir. B.J. 855 (2002)

Author: “The EPA’s Final Rule Lowering Reporting Thresholds of Lead and Lead Compounds, EPCRA Section 313 and TRI: The Impact on Low-Income Communities,” 10 U. Balt. J. Envtl. L. 101 (2003)

Author:  “Joint Ventures vs Teaming Agreements,” Md. Washington Minority Contractors’ Association, Inc. Newsletter

Contact

jbenjamin@gfrlaw.com
410-576-4261
410-576-4269 (fax)

Related Legal Boutiques

Business
EMERGE
Litigation

Education

J.D., University of Maryland School of Law, 2001
Bachelors, University of Maryland, 1994

Court Admissions

United States District Court of Maryland

Bar Admissions

Maryland, 2002