Benjamin Blustein

CHICAGO, IL


Miner, Barnhill & Galland, P.C.
325 N. LaSalle St. Suite 350
Chicago, IL 60654
Phone: (312) 751-1170
Email: bblustein@lawmbg.com
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Mr. Blustein is a civil litigator with more than 20 years of trial experience. He handles complex litigation, focusing on civil rights cases and public client matters. He has tried numerous cases to verdict in federal and state courts across the country. Prior to joining Miner, Barnhill & Galland in 2007, Mr. Blustein served for many years as a civil rights attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, where he prosecuted lawsuits to enforce federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. He also served as a voting rights attorney for the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights under Law in Washington, D.C., where he worked to achieve and protect advances in voting rights for historically disadvantaged groups.

In recent years, he has represented numerous States who have brought lawsuits against pharmaceutical manufacturers for reporting false and inflated prices that resulted in windfall profits at the expense of taxpayers. Mr. Blustein's experience is discussed in more detail below.

Government Representation

Mr. Blustein serves as a Special Assistant Deputy Attorney General to several States which have brought lawsuits against pharmaceutical manufacturers for marketing and pricing practices that allegedly violate state laws, including False Claims Acts, Medicaid fraud, and consumer protection statutes. He has served as lead counsel for several States in "Average Wholesale Price" trials, and has worked together with Attorneys General's offices to recover funds for these States.

Civil rights and employment discrimination

During his tenure as a Senior Trial Attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division, Mr. Blustein was responsible for litigating cases on behalf of the United States to enforce federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, and national origin.

Mr. Blustein has handled investigations and cases brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, brought by individuals who allege discrimination in employment, including sexual harassment. See, e.g., United States v. Town of West Terre Haute, IN (alleging sexual harassment by town official). He also has litigated numerous cases which challenged the use of entry-level employment tests which unlawfully discriminated against protected groups of individuals. For example, in United States v. City of Erie, PA, 411 F. Supp.2d 254 (W.D. Pa. 2005), a federal district court found that the city's use of certain physical agility tests for the entry-level police officer position unlawfully discriminated against female applicants in violation of Title VII. Likewise, in United States v. Delaware State Police, 2004 WL 609331 (D. Del. 2004), a federal district court found that the state police entrance exam unlawfully discriminated against African American candidates for the trooper position in violation of Title VII. See also, Lanning v. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), 181 F.3d 478 (3rd Cir. 1999) (establishing Title VII disparate impact standards in the Third Circuit). He also litigated a large-scale action involving discriminatory treatment of female applicants for correctional officer positions that affected hundreds of women who applied for the positions. United States v. Arkansas Department of Corrections.

At Miner, Barnhill & Galland, Mr. Blustein continues to represent clients in employment discrimination matters before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and in the courts.

Voting rights

Mr. Blustein also brings his experience to the firm's Voting Rights practice. While serving as counsel to the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, he worked on several significant voting rights matters, including Northwest Austin M.U.D. No. 1 v. Holder, 129 U.S. 2504 (2009), in which the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the newly-reauthorized Voting Rights Act. He also worked with coalitions that challenged the constitutionality of the voter ID requirements of Arizona's Proposition 2000, see Inter Tribal Council of Arizona (ITCA), et al. v. Brewer, reported sub nom. Purcell v. Gonzalez, 549 U.S. 1 (2006), and the constitutional defects in Ohio's election system. League of Women Voters of Ohio v. Blackwell, 432 F. Supp.2d 723 (N.D. Ohio 2005).

Other litigation

Mr. Blustein has litigation experience in a wide range of other matters. As an Assistant Corporation Counsel for the District of Columbia from 1988 through 2006, Mr. Blustein represented the city and its officials in a variety of cases, including the First Amendment, municipal liability under 42 U.S.C 1983, police misconduct, personal injury, and medical malpractice. He frequently represented government clients in the local and federal courts in Washington, D.C.

Community Involvement

Mr. Blustein is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Since 2008, he has served on the Chicago area's Legal Committee for Election Protection, a national coalition which provides an Election Day voterhotline and voter protection field programs.


Education

Washington University School of Law, J.D., 1987

Brown University, B.A., 1984

Legal employment

Shareholder, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, 2009-present

Of counsel, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, 2007-2009

Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Washington, D.C. (Counsel, Voting Rights Project), 2005-2007

U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Washington, D.C. (Senior Trial Attorney, Employment Litigation Section), 1996-2005

Office of the Corporation Counsel (now Office of the Attorney General), Washington, D.C. (Assistant Corporation Counsel, Civil Division), 1989-1996

Law Clerk to the Hon. Jean F. Dwyer, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, 1988-1989

Law Clerk to the Hon. Robert M. Scott, D.C. Superior Court, 1987-1988

Bar admissions

Illinois Supreme Court, 1988

District of Columbia, 1989

U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, 1990

U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 2007

U.S. Supreme Court, 2006

Pro hac vice admissions in state or federal trial courts in Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, and Wisconsin