Senator Joseph D. Tydings

Public Policy & Political Law

Senior Counsel
1825 Eye Street NW Washington, DC 20006-5403
T: (202) 420-2231


Senator Joseph Tydings joined Dickstein Shapiro in 1996. Senator Tydings is counsel to national and international clients, representing numerous Maryland businesses and private entities. Today, his practice focuses on counseling and governmental representation, particularly in Maryland and Washington, DC. In the domestic arena, he has worked as outside counsel for Giant Food in Maryland on projects ranging from lobbying to persuade the Maryland legislature to reform Maryland’s “blue laws,” to avoiding the shoals of antitrust litigation in the food and grocery industry. He has been an active and successful trial lawyer since his service as U.S. Attorney for Maryland. His clients have included New Castle County, Delaware; Harford County, Maryland; Bausch & Lomb Corp.; Hoechst Celanese Corporation; Adolph Coors Corp.; DeSoto Chemical Company; CSXT Railroad; Embassy of Japan; Lencadia International Corporation; and Paice Corporation.


Domestic and International Counseling

Senator Tydings left the U.S. Senate and returned to the private practice of law in 1971. He has represented a wide array of clients with special legal and governmental problems. He represented the Barber Oil Company and the Alaska Interstate Company in their venture to build the Alpetco petro-chemical facility in Alaska. In this project, he represented the venture before the Alaska legislature, the governor, and various interested tribal corporate entities, as well as U.S. government agencies and the U.S. Congress. He was the principal attorney involved in the reorganization of Capital Bank in Washington, DC, and in the organization of one bank and three federal savings and loan associations in Maryland. He represented the state of Maryland in controversies with the National Football League. Senator Tydings also has represented several communications companies that acquired network television stations and radio properties. He was general counsel for the nonprofit corporation that ran the state of Louisiana’s family planning clinics, the largest such operation in the nation at the time.

In the international arena, Senator Tydings has represented the Embassy of Japan in its negotiations with the U.S. Department of State involving the licensing of the Tokai Uranium reprocessing facility. In Japan, he has represented the Keidanren organization and the Japanese Atomic Industrial Forum in various issues arising from their relationships with the U.S. government. He also has represented various U.S. endeavors seeking to organize business ventures and secure government approvals in Haiti, Venezuela, Antigua, and the Turks and Caicos Islands. He has organized parliamentary conferences for the United Nations Fund for Population Activities in Beijing, Tokyo, Sri Lanka, Brasilia, Mexico City, Bonn, and Washington, DC. He has assisted and represented U.S. clients in securing financing and investments in Japan.

In addition, Senator Tydings has raised funds for the United Nations Fund for Population Activities from the governments of Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Oman, Italy, and the Netherlands.


Senator Tydings served as co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs in the successful Plywood Antitrust class action jury trial in New Orleans and the appeal before the Fifth Circuit, which ultimately resulted in a multimillion-dollar settlement. He was co-lead counsel in the successful litigation in the Eastern Sugar Antitrust case. He was co-lead counsel for the largest class in the successful litigation against the gypsum industry in San Francisco. He was involved as one of the plaintiff’s steering committee in several other major class action antitrust litigations in the 1970s and 1980s.

Since 1988, Senator Tydings has been involved principally in litigation representing policyholders in major claims against insurance companies involving environmental, products liability, and directors and officers liability claims. In March 1996, he was lead counsel for plaintiffs in a libel and slander case before a jury in Pecos, Texas. He represented the largest ranch in Hudspeth County, Texas. He was successful in having the jury return a major libel and slander verdict against a major TV network program.


Public Service

  • Member of the Maryland House of Delegates, 1955–1961
  • U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland, 1961–1963
  • U.S. Senator for Maryland, 1965–1971
  • Member, Board of Regents, University of Maryland, 1973–1984*
  • Chairman, Board of Regents, University of Maryland, 1982–1984*
  • Member, Board of Regents, University System of Maryland, 2000–2005*
  • Member, Board of Directors, University of Maryland Medical System, 2008–present*
  • Appointed by governors of Maryland to serve on numerous commissions, including as Chairman of the Commission to revise the Maryland Insurance Code (1957–1958) and Chairman of the Commission to Study Casino Gambling (1995–1995)*
  • Appointed by U.S. President Jimmy Carter to chair the Judicial Nomination Commission for Federal Judges for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
  • Director, University of Maryland Foundation, 2005–present
  • Director, University System of Maryland Foundation, 2005–2010

*Appointed by the Governor of Maryland and confirmed by the Senate of Maryland


Senator Tydings has served on the boards of the Charter Company, GAF Corporation, the First National Bank of Northeast Maryland, and Capital Bank of Washington, DC. He was senior financial consultant for the United Nations Fund for Population Activities from 1971 to 1990. He served as co-chairman of Population Action International in Washington, DC, and was one of the founding trustees of the United States-Japan Foundation. He has served on the board of directors of a number of Maryland and District of Columbia charitable and civic organizations as well as schools and colleges, including the Baltimore YMCA, the McDonogh School in Baltimore, and Mount Vernon College in Washington, DC.

Full Biography

News and Views

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Honors and Awards

  • 2015 Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll