Photo of Jan Witold Baran

Education

J.D., Vanderbilt Law School; Patrick Wilson Scholar of Law

B.A., Ohio Wesleyan University

Bar and Court Admissions

District of Columbia Bar

Supreme Court of the United States

U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fifth, Tenth, and District of Columbia Circuits

Jan joined Wiley Rein LLP as a lateral partner in 1985 to establish and build an election law practice. Since that time, the firm has grown from about 40 to more than 240 attorneys, and Jan has served as chair of what has become one of the biggest election law and government ethics practices in the country, and nationally recognized by Chambers USA as “the gold standard in this business” and “an outstanding team of professionals at the pinnacle of the Washington election law and ethics community.” Named by Washingtonian magazine as a “Top Campaigns & Elections Lawyer” and one of the “Top 50 Lawyers” in Washington, DC, Jan advises clients on all aspects of political law including federal, state, and local campaign finance laws, government ethics requirements, and lobbying laws. He has argued cases before the Supreme Court of the United States and often provides legal commentary to the media. Jan served as a legal analyst for ABC News during the 2000 Florida recount. He is the author of the book, The Election Law Primer for Corporations, published annually by the American Bar Association (ABA) and he co-chairs the Practising Law Institute’s annual Corporate Political Activities conference. Chambers USA consistently recognizes Jan among the nation’s top tier of distinguished practitioners in the field, commending his “deep, substantive knowledge of all aspects of political law” and noting that his “measured advice is highly sought after by political clients and the business community.” He is described by his peers as "the dean of political law,” “exceptional,” and “both counselor and teacher to his clients.” Clients in turn describe him as “an innovative, thorough and passionate attorney.” He has been called “one of the top figures in the political law sphere,” and “one of the best election lawyers in the U.S. with the most comprehensive knowledge of the law at both state and federal level.”

Representative Experience

  • Cases before the Supreme Court of the United States: Citizens United v. FEC; McConnell v. FEC; FEC v. Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Committee (II); Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Committee v. FEC (I); FEC v. DSCC; Common Cause v. Schmitt.
  • Advises corporations, trade associations, candidates, officeholders, political action committees (PACs), and individuals on compliance with the laws regulating political activity, lobbying, fundraising, and contributions.
  • Represents clients before the courts, the Federal Election Commission (FEC), congressional ethics committees, the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), and state agencies.
  • Successfully obtained FEC Advisory Opinion 2018-11 on behalf of Microsoft Corporation approving the company’s offer to provide free enhanced cybersecurity services to federal candidates and political committees.

Professional Experience

  • Special Counsel, Office of the Attorney General, 2005 Statewide Virginia Election Recount
  • Member, Virginia Governor's Commission on Government Finance Reform (2001)
  • General Counsel, Republican National Committee (1989-1992) and Bush for President Campaign (1988)
  • Ambassador and Chairman, U.S. Delegation, World Administrative Radio Conference, Spain (1991-1992)
  • Member, President's Commission on Federal Ethics Law Reform (1989)
  • Executive Assistant, Federal Election Commission (1977-1979)

Affiliations

  • American Bar Association (ABA)
    • ABA Joint Commission to Evaluate the Model Code of Judicial Conduct (2003-2007)
    • Chair, Task Force on International Election Standards, Section of International Law (2006)
    • Special Advisor, Standing Committee on Judicial Independence (2002-2005)
    • Commission on Public Financing of Judicial Campaigns (2000-2002)
    • Chair, Standing Committee on Election Law (1990-1993)
  • American Law Institute
  • National Advisory Board, University of Virginia, Journal of Law & Politics
  • The Council on Governmental Ethics Laws (COGEL)
  • Public Affairs Council (PAC)
  • State Government Affairs Council (SGAC)

Recognitions

  • Named one of "Washington's Best Lawyers" (2011, 2013), one of "Washington's Top Lawyers" (2004, 2007, 2009, 2015, 2017, 2018), and one of the "Top 50 Lawyers" in Washington, DC (1997) by Washingtonian magazine
  • Listed by Chambers USA as one of "America's Leading Lawyers for Business" in Political Law (2006-2019)
  • Named one of DC's "Super Lawyers" for Political Law (2007-2010, 2013) and Legislative & Governmental Affairs (2014-2018) by Super Lawyers magazine
  • Named by Lawdragon as one of "3000 Leading Lawyers in America" (2007, 2010-2011)
  • Recognized by the George Washington University's Graduate School of Political Management (GSPM) and the National Association of Business Political Action Committees (NABPAC) with the establishment of the Jan Baran PAC Management Scholarship in 2007. The annual scholarship is awarded to a student in The George Washington University's PAC certificate program
  • AV Peer Review Rating, Martindale-Hubbell's highest ranking by peers for general ethical standards and legal ability

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