BENJAMIN BEATON is a litigator in the Washington, D.C. office. He represents individuals and corporations in appeals, civil litigation, criminal matters and federal regulatory proceedings. At every level of the federal and state courts, Ben has handled cases involving tough questions of constitutional, statutory and administrative law. He litigates cases from start to finish—from legal strategy, dispositive motions, and depositions through witness prep, mediation, trial, and appeal.
At the start of his legal career, Ben clerked on the U.S. Supreme Court for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit for Judge A. Raymond Randolph. Since joining Sidley, he has maintained a broad practice, representing clients such as the University of Kentucky and Lexmark at the U.S. Supreme Court; litigating First Amendment, contract, and class-action disputes in trial courts; helping establish the Kentucky Business Council; and counseling clients on federal investigations, regulatory risks, and financial exposure.
Ben’s recent trial-level experience includes several significant civil and administrative matters:
- In re SIFMA (Securities and Exchange Commission) – counsel for trade association at a week-long adversarial hearing and appeal in a challenge to stock exchange fees.
- Wyatt v. Owens (W.D. Va.) – plaintiff’s trial counsel in civil-rights suit.
- In re NII Securities Litigation (E.D. Va.) – defense counsel for officers in securities fraud class action.
- Chamber of Commerce v. Dep’t of Labor (N.D. Tex.) – counsel for a trade association challenging one of the largest-ever federal rulemakings.
- Anthony Williams et al. v. Duke Energy (S.D. Ohio) – defense counsel in a class action arising out of the deregulation of Ohio electricity rates.
- Clear Channel v. City of Baltimore (D. Md.) – plaintiff’s counsel in First Amendment challenge to municipal sign ordinance.
- Counsel for a pharmaceutical distributor in a breach-of-contract dispute in Kentucky state court.
Appeals that Ben has handled include:
- Lexmark v. Impression Products, 785 F.3d 565 (Fed. Cir.) (en banc) – successfully represented plaintiff print-cartridge manufacturer in closely watched patent-exhaustion appeal.
- EME Homer City Generation, L.P. v. EPA, 795 F. 3d 118 (D.C. Cir.) – successfully challenged EPA’s interstate-transport rule on remand from the U.S. Supreme Court.
- Baptist Health v. Clouse, --- S.W.3d ---- (Ky. 2016) – successfully urged reversal of Tibbs v. Bunnell, 448 S.W.3d 796 (Ky. 2014), on a question of national significance for healthcare providers regarding the preemptive force of the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act.
- Groves v. United States (4th Cir.) – lead appellate counsel in successful due-process challenge to a criminal forfeiture order.
- O’Neal v. United States (D.C. Cir.) – argued as court-appointed amicus curiae in criminal bank-fraud appeal.
Ben earned his law degree from Columbia University, where he was a James Kent Scholar and an articles editor for the Columbia Law Review. He traveled to London, England, as a 2012 Temple Bar Scholar, and twice worked on property-rights issues in Kampala, Uganda, as an International Justice Mission legal fellow.
Before attending law school, Ben served as deputy chief of staff for the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services and as a legislative assistant in the U.S. House of Representatives. He received his B.A. in Government, summa cum laude, from Centre College, where he now serves as a member of the President’s Advisory Council.
- En Banc Federal Circuit Rejects Rule of Automatic Exhaustion: Four Things You Should Know About Lexmark v. Impression, Sidley Update (February 15, 2016)
- View from Temple Bar: Proximity and Professionalism in London, THE BENCHER (March/April 2014)
- Walking the Federalist Tightrope, 108 COLUM. L. REV. 1670 (2008)
- Centre College, President’s Advisory Council
- Edward Coke Appellate Inn of Court
- American Bar Association, Administrative Law Section
Ben provides pro bono representation and counseling to Grace Meridian Hill Presbyterian Church, a new church serving Washington, D.C.’s Columbia Heights neighborhood.
- Centre College 2015 Constitution Day Lecture, Our Human Constitution: The Supreme Court and the Liberal Arts.
- U.S. Supreme Court 2014–15 Term-in-Review, Federalist Society Louisville Lawyers’ Chapter (Sept. 15, 2015).