Mark Zaid

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Mark Zaid Washington DC attorney who successfully sued Libya for US$2.7 billion

Mark S. Zaid is a Washington DC attorney, with a practice focus on national security law, free speech, constitutional claims and government accountability.[1] He was named as a 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012 DC Superlawyer for his work on behalf of national security whistleblowers.[2] He founded the James Madison Project in 1998, an organisation dedicated to reduce government secrecy.[3] It is interested in the Freedom of Information Act and government whistleblowers. He is the co-editor of Litigation Under the Federal Open Government Laws.[4]


Mark Zaid is a 1989 graduate of the University of Rochester, and a 1992 graduate of Albany Law School of Union University in New York, where he served as an Associate Editor of the Albany Law Review.[5]


Mark Zaid practices in litigation and lobbying on matters relating to national security, federal employment, foreign sovereign and diplomatic immunity, international transactions, international torts and crimes, defamation, the Constitution (First and Fifth Amendments), and the Freedom of Information/Privacy Acts (FOI/PA).[6]

Through his practice, Zaid often represents former or current federal employees, intelligence officers, whistleblowers who have grievances against agencies of the United States government or foreign governments. Additionally, he represents members of the media and the public in First Amendment and FOI/PA disputes. He has handled national security matters including security clearance revocations/denials, IG investigations, and other employment issues throughout the national security and military communities. He currently teaches the DC Bar CLE courses on FOIA and security clearances.[7][8]

Well-known cases

Some of Mark Zaid's cases are well-known, including:

  • suing Libya for the 1988 terrorist bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 which resulted in a $2.7 billion dollar settlement, the largest of its kind against a foreign government for terrorist activities;[9] and
  • obtaining a court-ordered injunction in 2004 effectively shutting down the Department of Defense's mandatory anthrax vaccination program for two years.[10][11]


Mark Zaid has been quoted recently in print and online news reports as an expert in National security law and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).[12][13] Zaid has appeared as a commentator on CNN[14] and MSNBC.[15]

Social media

Among Mark Zaid's friends on Facebook are Edwin Bollier, Patrick Haseldine and Buck Revell.[16]


  1. Real Clear Politics website. Accessed May 14, 2009.
  5. Official Mark Zaid website biography. Accessed February 23, 2010.
  9. "Libya, Families of Victims of Pan Am 103 Bombing Agree on $2.7B Compensation Fund"
  12. Kara Scanell, "SEC Gets FOIA Foil in Financial Law: Regulatory Revamp Gives Agency Greater Rein to Deny Document Requests; 'Is That a Good Thing?'." Wall Street Journal, July 31, 2010. Found at WSJ online. Cited at The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, "Freedom of information: Debate continues over scope of SEC FOIA exemption," August 4, 2010, found at The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press website. Both accessed August 6, 2010.
  13. Andrea Stone, "WikiLeaks Diaries Raise Question: Is Secrecy Dead?" AOL News, July 26, 2010. Found at AOL News website. Accessed August 6, 2010.
  14. CNN website.
  15. See MSNBC website 1 and MSNBC website 2.
  16. "Mark Zaid on Facebook"

External links

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