Francis R. Laws

Francis R. Laws, born Fulton, New York on February 13, 1951; admitted to the bar in Maryland, 1982; United States District Court for the District of Maryland, 1982; United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, 1986; United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, 2000; United States Court of Federal Claims, 1993; United States Supreme Court, 1986.

Phone: (443) 927-2119

Areas of Specialty
• Administrative Law
• Construction
• Labor and Employment Law
• General Civil Litigation
• Civil Rights Litigation
• Creditors' and Debtors' Rights

  • J. D., University of Baltimore Law School (1981)
  • B. S., University of Baltimore (1978)
  • American Bar Association (Labor and Administrative Law Sections, Construction Industry Forum)
  • The Bar Association of Baltimore City
  • The Bar Association of Harford County
  • Maryland State Bar Association
  • Adjunct Professor, University of Baltimore School of Law (1986-1987)
  • Counter-sniper and Survival Training (1975)
  • Recognized as a Maryland "Super Lawyer" in construction litigation for 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 & 2011 by the magazine Maryland Super Lawyers, a joint publication of Law & Politics and Baltimore Magazine.
  • Member of the MSBA Technology Committee

Mr. Laws chairs the firm's labor and employment practice, as well as its construction claims practice. He oversees a practice area that includes shareholders and associates engaged in the full range of issues generated in the process of employment. The group administers, negotiates, and/or generally provides advice in the full spectrum of the alphabet soup statutes enacted to govern employment, including ADEA, ADA, Title VII, FMLA, FLSA, ERISA, OSHA, EPA, Sarbanes-Oxley, 42 U.S.C. 1981, 1983, and 1985(3), HIPAA, USERRA, etc. Mr. Laws has litigated employment cases in a host of federal and state forums.

Shortly after he started practicing law, Mr. Laws became a member of Associated Builders and Contractors, sitting as an ex officio member of the Board for the Baltimore Chapter. Although ostensibly a member of his firm's labor and employment law department, the interaction with contractors sparked an interest in construction claims litigation that has been a significant part of his practice since. He has litigated construction claims as high as tens of millions of dollars throughout the country.

In addition to his employment and construction practice, Mr. Laws has developed a strong practice in commercial litigation. He has successfully litigated cases throughout the east coast and as far west as Denver and Houston.

Before joining Thomas & Libowitz, Mr. Laws was a partner in what was then the state's largest law firm, Venable, Baetjer and Howard. He clerked for Harry A. Cole on the Maryland Court of Appeals, the only individual to hold that position while still a student. He also interned for the Honorable James R. Miller in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, and he taught legal research and writing at the University of Baltimore Law School. He graduated from the University of Baltimore School of Law day program in two and one-half years, while holding a full-time position at John Hopkins Hospital.

Mr. Laws' practice focus extends beyond the courtroom. He and his wife, Duffy, currently lead a partnership between their community in Kingsville, Maryland, and a community in the slums of Mombasa, Kenya. The partnership has led to the provision of clean drinking water, emergency electrical services, assistance to CRS sponsored healthcare for people with HIV, a community food bank for those unable to provide for themselves, and the establishment of cottage industries to assist women without husbands to provide for their families. The partnership is currently working with residents in Mombasa to purchase computers with video cameras and high-speed internet connections to allow youth groups from Kingsville and Mombasa to speak directly with one another, to foster and promote a mutual cultural exchange.

Mr. Laws and Duffy have been married since 1971. They have four children and, at present, six grandchildren.

Before law school, Mr. Laws served on the Baltimore Police Department on the department's Quick Response Team (also known as SWAT), and on patrol in the City's Southern District. He testified as the chief witness in over a thousand trials before going to law school.

Mr. Laws is a permanent deacon in the Roman Catholic Church and for many years served as the scoutmaster for Troop 877 in Kingsville, Maryland. He has been the recipient of numerous community service awards, including the St. George Cross and Mid Town Churches Community Association Volunteer of the Year Award. His hobbies include climbing (he has climbed most of the major peaks in the United States, including Denali), hunting, fishing, and backpacking. He has 29 graduate credits in theology from the Washington Theological Union.



Thomas & Libowitz, P.A.

100 Light Street, Suite 1100, Baltimore, Maryland 21202
P: (410) 752-2468 F: (410) 752-2046

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