Attorney Profile

Eric R. Harlan has been a trial lawyer for businesses, large and small, for over two decades.  Having gained experience litigating alongside Paul Mark Sandler, one of the deans of the Maryland trial bar, Mr. Harlan regularly obtains impressive results for his commercial clients.  Eric brings his diverse and finely-honed trial skills to bear on banking, real estate, contract, employment and catastrophic tort matters, as well as high-stakes complex domestic litigation. Lawyers like Eric, who prepare with confidence for trial, put their clients in positions of strength, whether negotiating a settlement or presenting their cases to a jury.

Eric also writes on the law, having recently co-authored and edited the American Bar Association’s book on expert witness testimony, and is active in leadership of the ABA’s Litigation Section.  For the past nine years, Eric has been recognized for his business litigation practice by Maryland Super Lawyers, and was recognized in 2018 by Best Lawyers in America for Commercial Litigation and Family Law.

Eric’s wide-ranging list of notable representations includes the following:

Banking, Mortgage, and Lender Liability Actions

  • Successfully obtained a $7 million judgment for a private lender, acting as first chair in a suit to recover monies owed due to a commercial/high net worth borrower’s breach of a loan agreement.
  • Successfully obtained a complete dismissal of all claims against an institutional mortgage lender, acting as lead counsel in a borrower’s suit for violations of federal and state consumer protection and credit reporting statutes, defamation and quiet title.
  • Successfully defended a national bank against a borrower’s multimillion dollar fraud and misrepresentation claims, acted as lead counsel in obtaining summary judgment on all counts.
  • Successfully defended a large, national mortgage company against a former loan officer’s attempt to certify a class action for alleged violations of federal Fair Labor Standards Act, resulting in a favorable settlement for the client.

Real Estate Litigation

  • Successfully defended a real estate developer against a landowner’s bid for a temporary restraining order to stop the client’s ongoing construction and renovation of townhome properties.
  • Prevailed in an appeal by defending a prominent restauranteur against a community association’s efforts to force the client’s restaurant to tear down improvements at its facility.

Employment Law

  • Successfully defended large urban hospital and department chief against race and gender discrimination and retaliation claims in federal court.
  • Successfully represented regional energy company in defeating temporary restraining order and injunction filed by competing energy company to prevent employment of former top sales employee.
  • Successfully represented veterinary practice in claims against former veterinarian for breach of employment agreement.
  • Defeated large regional adult daycare business’s claim that former employees violated non-compete agreements and blocked former employer’s action for restraining order and injunction.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of real estate developer and management company in a suit for sexual harassment and employment discrimination.

Catastrophic Torts

  • Obtained defense verdict at trial on behalf of freight carrier in multimillion dollar wrongful death claim and preserved verdict on appeal.
  • Obtained $2.5M settlement for family in a wrongful death and survivor action against commercial freight company, state, and county.
  • Representation of global third-party logistics (“3PL”) provider in defense of freight and personal injury claims in Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Business Torts and Contract Claims

  • Successfully obtained defense verdict on behalf of national event security company in suit for breach of contract and malicious prosecution.
  • Successfully defended former professional athlete’s marketing company in business tort action in federal court.
  • Represented online retailer in federal suit alleging fraud and California Business Code violations against e-commerce software provider and obtained favorable six figure settlement.
  • Representation of global digital marketing and SEO agency in contract and litigation matters.
  • Member of litigation team representing class of buyers of titanium dioxide (TiO2) in antitrust suit against oligopoly of TiO2 manufacturers that resulted in $164M settlement.
  • Obtained six figure settlement on behalf of a family in claim against former estate attorney for professional negligence.
  • Successfully represented a Maryland-based biotechnology company in a federal declaratory action to negate certain foreign business entities’ claims of stock ownership.
  • Successfully litigated divorce actions on behalf of owner of national mortgage lender and owner of national staffing firm that resulted in favorable financial settlements.


  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Maryland Bar Association
  • Member, Bar Association of Baltimore City
  • Member, Baltimore County Bar Association
  • Co-Chair, Expert Witness Committee of the American Bar Association Section of Litigation (2018-Present)
  • Co-Chair, Trial Evidence Committee of the American Bar Association Section of Litigation (2016-2018)
  • Vice-Chair, Trial Evidence Committee of the American Bar Association Section of Litigation (2014-2015)
  • Co-chair, Programming of Trial Evidence Committee of the American Bar Association Section of Litigation (2010 – 2013)
  • St. Joseph Medical Center Cancer Institute Board of Visitors (2010 - 2012)
  • Co-chair, Expert Witness Subcommittee of the Trial Evidence Committee of the ABA Section of Litigation (2006 - 2009)
  • Member, Case Note Editorial Board for the Trial Evidence Committee of the ABA Section of Litigation (2004-2005)
  • Executive Committee, Maryland Lawyers Campaign for College Bound (2006-Present)
  • J. Dudley Digges Inn of Court, Barrister (2006-2007); Executive Committee, Counselor (2008-2011)
  • Panelist and Presenter, "CPAs and Business Valuators as Expert Witnesses," a mock trial presented before the Maryland Association of CPAs (2005)
  • Law Clerk to the Honorable Joseph H.H. Kaplan, Administrative Judge, Circuit Court for Baltimore City (1994-1995)
  • Chief Justice, University of Baltimore Honor Court
  • Articles Editor, University of Baltimore Law Review
  • Member, Heuisler Honor Society (Top 10% of class)

News & Publications

May 26, 2020
Avoiding Litigation: Five Things Business Owners Should Consider as They Reopen

Businesses should proceed with care to implement best practices and limit risk, writes Eric R. Harlan.

March 23, 2020
Issues Facing Businesses that Remain Open During the Pandemic

Eric R. Harlan examines potential sources of liability for businesses continuing operations amid the ongoing pandemic.

August 19, 2019
Ten Shapiro Sher Attorneys Featured in The Best Lawyers in America

January 02, 2019
Thirteen Shapiro Sher Attorneys Recognized in Maryland Super Lawyers 2019

December 19, 2017
Maryland Super Lawyers Recognizes Twelve Shapiro Sher Attorneys

August 23, 2017
Best Lawyers in America Recognizes Nine Shapiro Sher Attorneys

January 13, 2017
ABA Publishes Fifty-State Survey Book Co-Edited by Eric Harlan

December 15, 2015
Maryland Super Lawyers 2016 list includes 12 Shapiro Sher attorneys

Eleven Shapiro Sher attorneys are cited in Maryland Super Lawyers 2016

January 23, 2015
Maryland Super Lawyers 2015 list includes 14 Shapiro Sher attorneys

​Fourteen Shapiro Sher Guinot & Sandler are cited in Maryland Super Lawyers 2015, including one attorney listed as a Top 10 Maryland lawyer, two listed in the Top 100, and four “Rising Stars.”

May 07, 2014
Shapiro Sher attorneys give employment law seminar

Eric R. Harlan and Renée Lane-Kunz gave an employment law seminar for the Association of Legal Administrators, Maryland Chapter.​