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Education

University of Maryland School of Law, J.D., 1968

  • Law Review

Johns Hopkins University, 1965

  • Phi Beta Kappa
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Herbert Better

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As a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of The Johns Hopkins University, Herbert Better, the founding partner of Zuckerman Spaeder LLP’s Baltimore office, knows what it takes to succeed. He has applied that knowledge to his legal practice, as exemplified by his recognition in The Best Lawyers in America in five different categories—bet-the-company litigation, commercial litigation, white-collar criminal defense, mediation, and arbitration—and his awards for public and pro bono service. Mr. Better’s practice includes the representation of individuals and corporations involved in complex civil and criminal litigation. Mr. Better also is a member of ADR Maryland, a select group of experienced trial lawyers who serve as mediators and arbitrators.

Before opening the Baltimore office in 1987, Mr. Better spent 14 years in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Maryland, starting as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in 1972. He served for five years as the First Assistant U.S. Attorney, and in 1981 he was appointed by the U.S. District Court to serve as U.S. Attorney.

Professional Highlights

  • Successfully represented an accounting firm and certain of its partners and employees in connection with an investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of an off-shore tax shelter allegedly used by an internationally known race car driver who was a client of the accounting firm.
  • Represented the owner of Baltimore’s major league indoor soccer team in a case involving a challenge to zoning legislation allowing the placement of general advertising signs on the façade of the city-owned 1st Mariner Arena to provide advertising revenue to the owner of the team comparable to advertising revenue provided to other major league teams in Baltimore. The case was litigated for more than seven years, including multiple appeals to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals and Court of Appeals, and resulted in the approval of the zoning legislation enacted by the mayor and the city council for the benefit of the owner of the soccer team.
  • Successfully represented three compliance officers and two branch managers of a brokerage firm with offices in Cleveland, Baltimore, and Washington, DC in connection with a multi-year investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Enforcement Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Cleveland in connection with a $50 million Ponzi scheme perpetrated by a customer of the brokerage firm with help from a broker at the brokerage firm and a second broker at another brokerage firm. The SEC investigation focused on allegations of failure to supervise the broker.
  • Represented the owner of a multi-use, waterfront development project in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor in a suit brought by adjacent property owners challenging the zoning legislation authorizing the development.
  • Successfully represented an accounting firm and certain of its partners and employees in connection with an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of an off-shore tax shelter allegedly used by an internationally known race car driver who was a client of the accounting firm.
  • Represented the owner of Baltimore’s major league indoor soccer team in a case involving a challenge to zoning legislation allowing the placement of general advertising signs on the façade of the city-owned 1st Mariner Arena to provide advertising revenue to the owner of the team comparable to advertising revenue provided to other major league teams in Baltimore. The case was litigated for more than seven years, including multiple appeals to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals and Court of Appeals, and resulted in the approval of the zoning legislation enacted by Baltimore’s mayor and city council for the benefit of the owner of the soccer team.
  • Successfully represented three compliance officers and two branch managers of a brokerage firm with offices in Cleveland, Baltimore, and Washington, DC in connection with a multi-year investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Enforcement Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Cleveland in connection with a $50 million Ponzi scheme perpetrated by a customer of the brokerage firm with help from a broker at the brokerage firm and a second broker at another brokerage firm. The SEC investigation focused on allegations of failure to supervise the broker.
  • Successfully defended a law firm and certain of its partners, who represented the plaintiff in a whistleblower action in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, against a motion for sanctions filed by the defendants. The motion for sanctions accused the firm and its lawyers of serious misconduct, including the receipt of stolen confidential and proprietary information during the course of their representation of the plaintiff and sought extraordinary financial sanctions against the firm and its lawyers.

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Professional Affiliations

  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Federal Bar Association
  • Member, Maryland State Bar Association
  • Former Member, U.S. District Court Attorney Admissions Fund Committee
  • Member, U.S. District Court Liaison Committee
  • Former President, Maryland Chapter, Federal Bar Association
  • Member, Lawyers’ Round Table of Baltimore
  • Permanent Member, Judicial Conference of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals

Community Involvement

  •  Former President, Johns Hopkins University Alumni Association
  •  Former Member, Board of Governors, The Johns Hopkins Club
  • Board of Advisors, Blue Jays Unlimited

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