Franklin M. Lee

Tydings & Rosenberg LLP

Franklin M. Lee is a partner in the Baltimore-based law firm of Tydings & Rosenberg LLP. Prior to entering private practice in 2002, he served sixteen years as Chief Counsel for the Minority Business Enterprise Legal Defense & Education Fund, Inc. (“MBELDEF”), a national non-profit public interest law firm founded by Maryland Congressman Parren J. Mitchell to defend the class interests of the minority business community. As Chief Counsel of MBELDEF, Mr. Lee was directly involved in the preparation of pleadings and briefs in Supreme Court cases in opposition to constitutional challenges to minority business programs. These high profile court cases included J.A. Croson v. City of Richmond, Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Pena, and Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Mineta.

More recently, his duties have included providing state and local governments with MBE program litigation defense, policy review, and policy development services to bring minority business programs into compliance with the law, and to implement innovative strategies for enhancing the growth trajectory and competitive viability of minority-owned businesses. As a member of Baltimore’s Mayoral Advisory Council for Minority and Women Business Enterprises, he served as the Co-Chair of the Economic Development Subcommittee, and was the principal architect for recommendations calling for the establishment of a large-scale urban solar power pilot project to promote mainstream MBE participation in commercial and residential developments that will include City-financed installation of community-owned solar PV panel arrays.

Mr. Lee is a national authority on commercial nondiscrimination and MBE policies and has authored such legislation for several local governments including the Palm Beach County School District and the cities of Baltimore; San Diego; San Antonio; Columbia, SC; and Charlotte, NC. Most recently, his legislation was enacted by the State of Maryland making it the first state in the nation to adopt a commercial nondiscrimination policy.

In addition, from 1980 through 1986, Mr. Lee served as a general antitrust litigation attorney for the Federal Trade Commission. He has also served on the Governor’s Commission for MBE Reform and three other Maryland Legislative Task Forces on Centralized Bidder Registration, Lending Equity, and MBE Program and Investment Equity Capital. Mr. Lee holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Maryland School of Law.


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