2015 lawdragon magazine

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COVER SPREAD, back row from left to right: Antony Ryan, Corinne Ball, William Isaacson, Jeffrey Kessler, Jeffrey Bleich, Leo Strine, William Savitt, David Boies, Todd Freed, Evan Chesler, Adam Streisand. Front row from left to right: Gloria Santona, Stuart Grant, Richard Posner, Martha Minow, Sherrilyn Ifill, Jamie Wine, Lisa Blatt, Sandra Leung, Joseph Power, Max Berger.

INSIDE SPECIAL 10TH YEAR ANNIVERSARY ISSUE OUR FIRST-EVER HALL OF FAME GUIDE THE 50 LEGENDS WHO HAVE MADE THE LAWDRAGON 500 EVERY YEAR MORE THAN 30 Q&AS WITH LAWDRAGON 500 MEMBERS




“All Star Litigation Shop.” —LAW360

NEW YORK 540 Madison Avenue New York, NY 10022 T: 212.607.8160

WASHINGTON, D.C. 600 New Hampshire Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20037 T: 202.556.2000

CHICAGO 300 North LaSalle Street Chicago, IL 60654 T: 312.450.6700


Corboy & Demetrio Congratulates

!

Thomas A. Demetrio for being named to 50 Legends of Lawdragon 500 for 10 consecutive years on Lawdragon 500 and to our other partners, Robert J. Bingle, Philip Harnett Corboy, Jr. and Francis Patrick Murphy for being named to Lawdragon 500 for 2015.

312.346.3191 | 33 North Dearborn | Chicago, IL | corboydemetrio.com


Winston & Strawn congratulates its partners for being recognized in Lawdragon’s “500 Leading Lawyers in America”

Mats Carlston

Michael Elkin

Finance Practice Co-Chair

Managing Partner New York

Thomas Lane

Europe

Asia

Partner, Corporate

George Lombardi

Partner, Litigation

North America

Steven Gavin

Litigation Practice Co-Chair

winston.com

Dan Webb

Firm Chairman

Jeffrey Kessler

Antitrust and Competition Practice Chair, Sports Law Practice Co-Chair


LAWDRAGONS


LAWDRAGONS


{ CONTENTS } 14 WHAT’S NEW IN 2015

We threw ourselves a birthday party in our 10th year by launching the fourth iteration of Lawdragon.com and expanding our Lawdragon Press division, which provides content and marketing services for lawyers and law firms.

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25 TEN YEARS OF LAWDRAGON

It seemed a simple proposition: start a company so everyone could read about cool lawyers for free online. It’s been a wild 10 years – from Alabama to Zagreb, marriage equality to immigrant justice – sharing our stories and photojournalism of lawyers who create impact for society, individuals and corporate clients.

36 THE HALL OF FAME

Our first-ever Hall of Fame guide is presented with gratitude to amazing lawyers who are still with us, and fond remembrance of those who have passed on. Meet the 100+ lawyers who are part of our inaugural class, honoring their contributions to the legal profession.

68 LEGENDS OF THE 500

It doesn’t get a whole lot better than this: In full Technicolor, here are the 50 lawyers who have made the Lawdragon 500 each year since we first published the guide in 2005.

84 THE ROCKSTARS: LAWDRAGON 500

Longtime practice leaders and plenty of new faces make this group of rockstars among the most dynamic group of honorees we’ve ever had. This year’s knockout photo spread features Q&As with:

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87 William Savitt of Wachtell Lipton 93 Alison Ressler of Sullivan & Cromwell 97 Antony Ryan of Cravath 101 Mark Lebovitch of Bernstein Litowitz 103 Jamie Wine of Latham & Watkins 107 Jeffrey Bleich of Munger Tolles 111 David Tolbert of the International Center for Transitional Justice 117 Jane Michaels of Holland & Hart 121 Bruce Yannett of Debevoise & Plimpton 123 Adam Streisand of Sheppard Mullin 127 Jodi Westbrook Flowers of Motley Rice 131 Doug Hallward-Driemeier of Ropes & Gray 135 Randi McGinn of McGinn Carpenter 139 Jamie Boucher and Todd Freed of Skadden 143 Amy Fisch Solomon of Girardi | Keese 147 Parker Folse of Susman Godfrey

LAWDRAGON 500 ISSUE 16 | WWW.LAWDRAGON.COM


LAWDRAGON 2006-2015

arrasLaw

AMERICA’S TOP DISABILITY FIRM

F

WE’RE IN A DISABILITY LEAGUE OF OUR OWN.

rank N. Darras, founding partner of America’s top disability insurance law firm, is humbled and honored by his continued inclusion in Lawdragon’s 500 Leading Lawyers in America. “ Today, I feel as privileged to be included among Lawdragon’s 500 Leading Lawyers in America as I did nine years ago,” Darras says. It only takes a quick glance at the national reputation Darras has established to understand his repeated recognition as a leading lawyer. Darras has built the largest individual and long term disability insurance litigation practice dedicated to helping the

| Toll-free 800.458.4577 |

disabled and disadvantaged fight Big Insurance. DarrasLaw has put its 100+ years of insurance and litigation experience to good use by taking on and beating all major insurance companies. The result is a tremendous sum of nearly $800 million in wrongfully denied insurance benefits for clients across the nation. Frank N. Darras has evaluated, litigated and resolved more disability and long-term care cases than any other lawyer in the United States. DarrasLaw is America’s most decorated disability firm because of its unparalleled national results and its ability to change disabled lives, one client at a time.

| www.DarrasLaw.com |


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{ CONTENTS } 151 Raoul Cantero of White & Case 155 Harriet Pearson of Hogan Lovells 157 Chris Seeger of Seeger Weiss 163 Joseph Re of Knobbe Martens 165 Carlos Méndez-Peñate of Akerman LLP 169 Cheryl Little of Americans for Immigrant Justice 175 John Tarantino of Adler Pollock 181 David Lash of O’Melveny & Myers 183 Thomas Ajamie of Ajamie LLP 187 Wendi Lazar of Outten & Golden 191 Wally Martinez of Hunton & Williams 193 Morgan Chu of Irell & Manella 197 Nancy Shilepsky of Shilepsky Hartley 199 Leopold Sher and James Garner of Sher Garner 205 Skip Keesal of Keesal Young 207 William Isaacson of Boies Schiller 211 Jayne Fleming of Reed Smith

POTTER ANDERSON & CORROON LLP Delaware lawyers focused on your Delaware needs. POTTER ANDERSON proudly recognizes our partners named to The Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America 10th Anniversary Edition. (left to right)

Myron T. Steele Mark A. Morton Donald J. Wolfe, Jr.


Proud to Honor Our Seven Dragons Congratulations to BLB&G’s partners on their selection as Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America

Max Berger New York

Hannah Ross New York

Mark Lebovitch New York

Salvatore Graziano New York

Blair Nicholas San Diego

David Stickney San Diego

Gerald Silk New York

Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP is one of the nation’s leaders advising institutional investors on corporate governance, shareholder rights and securities litigation issues. On behalf of its clients, BLB&G has obtained more significant recoveries and precedent-setting corporate governance reforms than any other law firm representing shareholders in securities litigation.

Learn more |www.blbglaw.com | 800-380-8496

Trusted Advocacy. Proven Results.


THE LAWYERS FOR CLIENTS WHO MEAN BUSINESS. Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP, founded in 1997, has grown to over 250 lawyers practicing in offices strategically located throughout the United States and in London. With a world-class litigation practice and a fast-growing corporate group, our attorneys regularly serve as lead counsel on complex, high-profile, global matters.

BOIES, SCHILLER & FLEXNER PROUDLY CONGRATULATES OUR PARTNERS NAMED TO THE PRESTIGIOUS LAWDRAGON 500 LEADING LAWYERS IN AMERICA GUIDE.

OFFICES LOCATED IN: NEW YORK New York City, Armonk, Albany

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA Washington, DC

UNITED KINGDOM London

CALIFORNIA Los Angeles, Oakland, Palo Alto

FLORIDA Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Orlando

NEVADA Las Vegas

NEW HAMPSHIRE Hanover


Christopher Boies

David Boies

Karen Dyer

Nicholas Gravante

New York

Armonk

Orlando

New York

William Isaacson

Bill Ohlemeyer

Jonathan Schiller

Washington, DC

New York

New York

Natasha Harrison London

Jonathan Sherman

Stuart Singer

Stephen Zack

Washington, DC

Ft. Lauderdale

Miami

L AW D R A G O N H O N O R S WWW.BSFLLP.COM


Providing Solutions

PUBLISHER/CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER K atrina D ewey katrina @ lawdragon . com

CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER M ark B ucklin mark @ lawdragon . com

SHER GARNER CAHILL RICHTER KLEIN & HILBERT, L.L.C.

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF J ohn R yan john @ lawdragon . com

SENIOR STRATEGIC ADVISOR C arlton D yce carlton @ lawdragon . com

ASSISTANT EDITOR J eff S chult jeff @ lawdragon . com

ART DIRECTOR S ammy E lfatrany sammy @ elfatranydesign . com

EDITORIAL ASSISTANT M ichelle F ox michelle @ lawdragon . com

CONTRIBUTORS J effrey A nderson , M elissa C han COVER DESIGN A shley M c K evitt ashleymckevitt @ gmail . com

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C HRISTOPHER A. S EEGER

Christopher A. Seeger is broadly admired as one of the nation’s most versatile, innovative and accomplished members of the plaintiff’s trial bar. Mr. Seeger was appointed co-lead counsel in the NFL concussion case, where he served as chief negotiator in obtaining an uncapped settlement on behalf of thousands of retired NFL players who suffered brain-related injuries as a result of hits sustained during their playing careers. He serves as Chair of the Trial Committee in the Chinese-Manufactured Drywall Products Liability Multidistrict Litigation (MDL), was appointed to the MDL Actos Product Liability Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee, and to the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee (PEC) in the Depuy Orthopaedics, Inc. ASR Hip Implant Products MDL. He also was named as Co-Lead Counsel in the Testosterone Replacement Therapy Products Liability MDL. With offices in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, Seeger Weiss LLP has earned a national reputation as a pre-eminent plaintiff’s firm. Seeger Weiss represents clients in pharmaceutical injury, personal injury, medical malpractice, environmental and asbestos exposure, consumer class actions, product defect, securities and investment fraud, qui tam (whistleblower) cases, antitrust, commercial disputes, as well as ERISA and wage and hour cases. Lauded by the legal community and major publications, Seeger Weiss has “gained the respect of the plaintiffs and defense bar alike for its willingness to ‘always take on the tough cases’ and ‘jump right into the heart of everything when everyone else is afraid,’” according to Legal 500. READ MORE: WWW.SEEGERWEISS.COM

SEEGERWEISS LLP

77 WATER STREET, NEW YORK, NY 10005 888.584.0411 212.584.0700 W W W. S E E G E R W E I S S . C O M I N F O @ S E E G E R W E I S S . C O M

D R U G A N D T O X I C I N J U R Y P E R S O N A L I N J U R Y C L A S S A C T I O N S W H I S T L E B L O W E R L I T I G AT I O N C O M M E R C I A L D I S P U T E S


GIR ARDI

|

KEESE

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Howard B. Miller, John K. Courtney, James G. O’Callahan, Keith D. Griffin, Thomas V. Girardi, David R. Lira, Amy Fisch Solomon, Robert W. Finnerty, John A. Girardi

A national reputation built on helping the little guy Review the National Law Journal’s list of the top 11 plaintiff’s law firms in the country, Lawdragon’s list of the nation’s leading attorneys, or the Los Angeles Daily Journal’s ranking of the city’s best firms or its top 100 lawyers list, and you’ll regularly find Girardi | Keese attorneys named. Recognized for their legal acumen and superb trial skills, the 38 attorneys of Girardi | Keese frequently prevail.

RECORD OF SUCCESS | For more than 40 years, Girardi | Keese

has been at the forefront of injury cases involving physical hurt, property damage or financial harm. Since 1965, the firm has recovered more than $3 billion against some of the world’s largest corporations, including Exxon, Shell, the Ford Motor Company, DuPont and Walt Disney World. Girardi & Keese has also been involved in many groundbreaking verdicts, such as the first $1 million medical malpractice verdict in California in the 1970s, and more recently, the $1.9 billion settlement on behalf of California’s energy customers. Additionally, Tom Girardi was a significant architect of the $4.85 billion Vioxx settlement.


Amy Cantrell

Each win is important because every case represents the health and well-being of individuals in Southern California—the little guy. Individuals who have been harmed in some way are at the heart of Girardi | Keese’s practice, whether the injury was due to medical malpractice, product failure, wrongful termination, vehicle accident or similar wrongdoing. LEADING LAWYERS | This year, three Girardi | Keese lawyers made the Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America guide—founding partner Thomas V. Girardi, David R. Lira and Amy Fisch Solomon.

G K

GIR ARDI

|

KEESE

LAWYERS

1126 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90017 ph: 213.977.0211

fax: 213.481.1554 www.girardikeese.com

155 W. Hospitality Lane, Suite 260 San Bernardino, CA 92408 ph: 909.381.1551


CY B E R S E C U R I TY R O U N DTA B L E

Securities Litigation Roundtable

featuring insights from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP

September 2015

june 2014

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L A T E R

AS WE WRITE THIS, IT’S OCT. 11, 2015. AS GOOD GEEKS EVERYWHERE KNOW, THAT MAKES IT “BACK TO THE FUTURE” DAY. WHICH SEEMS A GOOD PLACE TO START. Dr. Emmett Brown, aka Christopher Lloyd, said, “This is it! This is the answer. It says here... that a bolt of lightning is going to strike the clock tower at precisely 10:04pm, next Saturday night! If... If we could somehow... harness this lightning... chan-

14 10

LAWDRAGON 500 ISSUE 16 | WWW.LAWDRAGON.COM

nel it... into the flux capacitor... it just might work. Next Saturday night, we’re sending you back to the future!” Our future started 10 years ago as one of the first companies to undertake the profound, if oc-



“THE FUTURE – THE DIGITAL FUTURE OF LAWYERS – WAS AND IS OUR PASSION. WHAT YOUR ONLINE IDENTITY IS, HOW OUR STORIES RANK AND THEIR QUALITY COMPARISON WITH OTHER TOP SEARCH RESULTS. WHAT WE CAN DO TO DRIVE DIGITAL ACCESSIBILITY THROUGH VIRTUOUS CONTENT.” casionally frustrating and sometimes seemingly impossible task, of hauling law’s past to its future. We left it to others to cross over substantive law to its more democratic next years. Building a freefor-all content platform where anyone could read about lawyers was our mission, and the Lawdragon 500 was our DeLorean. The future – the digital future of lawyers – was and is our passion. What your online identity is, how our stories rank and their quality comparison with other top search results. What we can do to drive digital accessibility through virtuous content. We’re incredibly proud that so many great lawyers read us, and equally honored that tons of random readers take time to learn a bit more about the law and lawyers at Lawdragon.com. We’ve always eschewed traffic-grabbing gimmicks – associate-bait stories, say, or monetary OCD – and instead worked to build quality content. Many lawyers and firms embraced our mission to feed the Web free quality content by sponsoring the site, allowing Lawdragon.com to be paywall-free from day one. We threw ourselves – and you – a little birthday party this year by launching just the fourth version of Lawdragon.com. The new site is a better expression of Lawdragon’s ability to showcase its acclaimed editorial coverage – including original lawyer profiles, feature stories and photography – and to promote our clients who support us by sponsoring high-quality, unique content and other services. 16

LAWDRAGON 500 ISSUE 16 | WWW.LAWDRAGON.COM

Another big development in 2015 is the expansion of our Lawdragon Press division, which we launched in late 2014 to provide content creation, marketing and branding for law firms, lawyers and other legal professionals. Press has done it all in 2015 – concise lawyer Q&As for law firms eager to promote new hires or rising stars; in-depth Roundtable features for firms highlighting practice area strengths and achievements; branding services and assistance with marketing materials; and website creation and development. We work with firms to identify the content or messaging they need as well as the audience they need to reach. As 2016 approaches, please spend some time on the new site if you have not already, and consider us for any content, marketing or branding assistance you may need. We hope we’re still out front in content – talking to the most interesting lawyers, digging away for those kernels that help readers and clients understand better the differences in lawyers and laws. In our 10 years, we’ve traveled from Birmingham to Rwanda and Juneau to Capetown. We’re more grateful than we can say to every person – lawyer or writer or photographer or other creator, salesman or data assistant – who’s ever considered him or herself a dragon. And we can’t wait to see what the next 10 years bring. Like Marty McFly says, “If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.”

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Our mission is to fight for our clients with courage, conviction and integrity. Skilled, diligent and committed, Mary Alexander is an energetic advocate for truth and justice on behalf of people who have been wrongfully injured. Her firm has a long track record of multimillion-dollar verdicts and settlements as well as a $1.15 billion verdict against lead paint companies involving the poisoning of children in their homes.

LAWDRAGON 5 0 0 L E A D I N G L AW Y E R S I N A M E R I C A

4 4 M O N T G O M E R Y S T ., S U I T E 1303, S A N F R A N C I S C O , CA 94104 •

PH:

888.433.4448 •

FX:

415.433.5440 •

M A R YA L E X A N D E R L A W . C O M


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Bank Bank of America of America Plaza, Plaza, Suite Suite 3910 3910 101 101 East Kennedy Kennedy Boulevard Boulevard Bank Bank of East America of America Plaza, Plaza, Suite Suite 3910 3910 Tampa, Tampa, Florida Florida 33602 33602 101101 EastEast Kennedy Kennedy Boulevard Boulevard (813) (813) 222-8222 222-8222 Bank Bank of Florida America of Florida America Plaza, Plaza, Suite Suite 3910 3910 Tampa, Tampa, 33602 33602 www.yerridlaw.com 101www.yerridlaw.com 101 East East Kennedy Kennedy Boulevard Boulevard (813) (813) 222-8222 222-8222 Tampa, Tampa, Florida Florida 33602 33602 www.yerridlaw.com www.yerridlaw.com (813) (813) 222-8222 222-8222 www.yerridlaw.com www.yerridlaw.com

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When It Comes to Trials by Fire, Meet the Heatseekers. Living and working in South Louisiana, the partners and attorneys of Herman, Herman and Katz, LLC, have faced and conquered the personal and professional challenges of unique and sometimes catastrophic events with enormous legal consequences, like the BP Oil Spill and Hurricane Katrina. We’ve taken the skills we’ve learned at home under unprecedented situations and applied them to nationwide fights for justice, setting precedents throughout the country in cases involving Big Tobacco, Chinese Drywall, Vioxx and other high profile cases. For more than 70 years, from the smallest litigations to the most complex trial and history-making class action lawsuits, people in Louisiana and throughout the entire country count on Herman, Herman and Katz, LLC. Steven Lane, Managing Partner of Operations Stephen Herman, Managing Partner of Litigation

820 O’Keefe Avenue New Orleans, LA 70113 t: 504.581.4892 hhklawfirm.com 22

LAWDRAGON 500 ISSUE 16 | WWW.LAWDRAGON.COM


ROBBINS DOWDLLP LLP ROBBINS GELLER GELLER RUDMAN & DOWD CONGRATULATES ATTORNEYS CONGRATULATES ALL THE ATTORNEYS SELECTED SELECTED FOR FOR INCLUSION IN THE LEADING THE2014 2014 LAWDRAGON LAWDRAGON 500 LEADING LAWYERS LAWYERS IN IN AMERICA, INCLUDINGDARREN DARRENJ.J.ROBBINS, ROBBINS, PAUL PAUL J. GELLER AND MICHAEL INCLUDING MICHAELJ.J.DOWD. DOWD. Robbins Geller,with with200 200lawyers lawyersinin10 10offices, offices,represents represents U.S. U.S. and and international Robbins Geller, international institutional institutionalinvestors investors in contingency-based securities and corporate litigation. The Firm has obtained many in contingency-based securities and corporate litigation. The Firm has obtained manyof ofthe thelargest largest securitiesclass classaction actionrecoveries recoveriesininhistory historyand andwas was ranked ranked number number one securities one in in the the number numberof ofshareholder shareholder class action recoveries in ISS’s SCAS Top 50 report for 2014. class action recoveries in ISS’s SCAS Top 50 report for 2014.

ATLANTA | BOCA RATON | CHICAGO | MELVILLE | MANHATTAN | NASHVILLE | PHILADELPHIA | SAN DIEGO | SAN FRANCISCO | WASHINGTON, D.C. A W D R A G O N 5 0 0| SAN I S S U EDIEGO 1 6 | |W SAN W W . LFRANCISCO AWDRAGON.| C OWASHINGTON, M 23 ATLANTA | BOCA RATON | CHICAGO | MELVILLE | MANHATTAN | NASHVILLE | LPHILADELPHIA D.C.


Lawdragon 2015 - top 500 - OUTLINES.pdf

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T C A P IM G IN K E SE SEEKING IMPACT

Lawyers who see their work as a chance to help others have been our mission for 10 years. It’s been a wild ride. By Katrina Dewey

T

here’s a golden-white hue to the light in California that can make anything seem possible.

That’s how it was one early autumn day in San Francisco, walking down Market Street to visit an old friend. Jeff Bleich was a rising star at Munger Tolles & Olson in the early ‘90s. A recent clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist, he had done a stint on the U.S. Iran-Claims Tribunal and made his mark on work for Warren Buffett at the same time he handled an important case over benefits to the homeless in San Francisco, known as the Matrix Case. When he was sworn in as State Bar President of California in 2007, his three young kids did an admirable job of not misbehaving. He’s traveled the world since, first as Obama’s Special Counsel in his first term, and then as Ambassador to Australia. Today, we catch up on Bleich’s recent work for Silicon Valley companies in cybersecurity and overseas trade, as well as his role winning posthumous admittance to the state bar of the nation’s first Chinese lawyer. But it’s when we turn to his most recent pro bono client, a woman abused by a relative when she was a child, that he mists up. At the terrible abuse she suffered, of course – and which he will argue to the state Supreme Court she should not have to revisit – but also with simple gratitude that he has the skills to help her. We all have a chance to make the world better for someone every day, he says. And as lawyers, we also have the responsibility. That’s a big statement in this financially-calibrated era, the notion that lawyers have a responsibility to help others. And that it’s responsibility, rather than reward, that defines what it is to be a lawyer. Turning right at The Embarcadero, I look in the windows at Chaya, and the table at which the mission of Lawdragon started to clarify in January 2010.

The Prop. 8 trial, Perry v. Schwarzenegger, had just opened in the courtroom of U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker, and Ted Olson and his wife, Lady, and David Boies were having dinner with several writers. It was already clear the trial could be a blockbuster in public acceptance of marriage equality by the raw audacity of putting discrimination on trial. While some lawyers questioned the strategy, Olson and Boies that night predicted the case would lead to the U.S. Supreme Court finding a constitutional right to marriage equality. That night, I knew I had gone down the rabbit hole. And, like Alice, nothing would ever be the same again.

T

he important thing about building a business, any business, is to not stop. You. Must. Keep. Going.

That has been Lawdragon’s mantra since 2005, when a crew of very talented but frustrated reporters from the Los Angeles Daily Journal decided to break out of our paywall and build a legal media company for the future. Better to take the battlefield ourselves and win or lose on our own terms than cower in the face of the inevitable death by a thousand cuts that had begun to define newspapers and reporters everywhere.

The tale of Lawdragon’s first 10 years is weirder than even Alice could imagine. Forget talking caterpillars. As I write this, our editor, John Ryan, is in Guantanamo Bay reporting on the case against the 9/11 defendants, while fine-tuning this magazine. Perhaps the first U.S. magazine produced in Cuba in the past 50 years? You don’t plan for these things. We’ve been accompanied by our own Cheshire cats, and even met a Queen of Hearts. We’ve traveled over a million miles to meet lawyers from Seattle to Johannesburg in search of what it is to be a lawyer.

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What survived are the lawyers you read about in these pages. Some make a fortune, others enough to live on. But money is not their measure. We started Lawdragon because we knew the future of legal news was digital. But we also had a different philosophy than that of the dominant legal media, which seemed impelled largely by the profits-per-partner in New York corporate law firms. As a crew mostly from L.A., we aimed to give voice to a nation of great lawyers with different thoughts and approaches to justice that included but also transcended corporate deals and litigation, to write about plaintiff lawyers and judges, corporate counsel, government lawyers and public interest leaders on an equal footing with BigLaw. It sounds so obvious now, but preaching digital in 2005 was an entirely different proposition. I’ll never forget celebrating with our co-founder Robin Davidson at a bar in Brooklyn when Cravath’s Evan Chesler agreed to be on our third cover of the quar-

terly print magazine we put out in the first few years to validate what we were doing online. (The bar also served free pizza, which was greatly appreciated.) The financial collapse of 2008-2009 was our mushroom. Survival meant being very, very small – not hard in a world without money, where enormous institutions were crashing all around. But it also provided the answer to the very large question of what it is that matters in the law – because in a world without money, there must be something else. The failure of money as the critical value proposition in law was laid bare by the thousands of partners jumping firms in search of safety, and the dozens of firms – most cobbled together by branding and ostensibly economics – that imploded with barely a whimper.

TRIAL LAWYERS. HIGH-STAKES CASES.

Congratulates Judy Barrasso and Richard Sarver for being named to Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America

We have earned a national reputation for trying – and winning – challenging cases in which the stakes are high. We handle most types of civil litigation and represent clients in a wide spectrum of industries, bringing our expertise, experience, energy, and creativity to every case. We are first and foremost trial lawyers. We have a deep bench. We staff leanly and efficiently. We are ready to take on and win the toughest cases. The proof is in our track record of excellence.

909 POYDRAS STREET - 24TH FLOOR, NEW ORLEANS, LA 70112

504.589.9700

WWW.BARRASSOUSDIN.COM


Leading In Law 2015 LAWDRAGON 500 LEADING LAWYERS IN AMERICA Special Congratulations to Chairman & CEO, Donald E. Godwin on being named to the 2015 Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America. For more than 35 years, Donald E. Godwin and Godwin Lewis PC have represented Fortune 500 and middle-market companies, as well as individuals, across the country seeking exceptional trial and appellate representation. Our legacy in law is built upon both singular efforts of outstanding attorneys such as Don Godwin, and the dynamics of a team of experienced and skillful attorneys working in concert.

mission critical litigation速 Dallas | Houston

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What survived are the lawyers you read about in these pages. Some make a fortune, others enough to live on. But money is not their measure. Impact is – they take to heart the responsibility to make a difference.

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t’s bitterly cold in Wilmington, Del., on the day Leo Strine is sworn in as Chief Justice of the Delaware Supreme Court, succeeding the universally admired Myron Steele, who in 2013 joined Potter Anderson after 25 years on the bench. Steele and Strine solidified Delaware as corporate America’s Main Street during their 15 years together, pairing Strine’s acid insight and skepticism with Steele’s military stoicism and gravitas.

pack early on by way of a “real-life” corporate law class, “Mergers, Acquisitions and Split-Ups,” that Strine taught at Harvard with former Dean Robert Clark. Throughout the fall of 2007, a heady array of New York dealmakers traveled to Harvard to teach students from the law and business schools about how deals were really done - Richard Parsons, the late Bruce Wasserstein, Paul Cappuccio, James Morphy, Eileen Nugent, Lou Kling and Climan.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia, Olson and Boies… it’s hard to think of many legal pairs who’ve had the impact of Steele and Strine. Together they’ve written more than 800 opinions defining corporate conduct for the likes of El Paso, Martin Marietta, AIG, Blackstone and Yucaipa. Steele earned $191,000 his last year as Chief Justice, while Strine earns $201,000.

No star shone more brightly than Strine, then an upstart Vice Chancellor in Delaware, making a mark with his sharp pen and lacerating questions while powering through the world’s most influential corporate docket. I followed Strine all over Delaware, as well as to his class at Penn. We sat on the floor at the back of the Tulane Corporate Law Institute one year so we could get some work done while mostly paying attention. He is nothing if not direct, and has spoken often about the challenges of raising a family on a judge’s salary, which, while not peanuts, is a fraction of a fraction of what the lawyers who appear before him earn.

Delaware judges have very cool groupies – Ted Mirvis and William Savitt from Wachtell, Mark Morton of Potter Anderson, Rick Climan of Weil. I joined the

Judges like Strine and Steele, and the 7th Circuit’s Judge Richard Posner, members of the Supreme Court, and career advocates like the Solicitor Gen-

OF COU RSE T H E RE A L W I N N E RS A R E OU R C LI E N T S Lathrop & Gage congratulates Bill Beck on being named to Lawdragon’s 10th Annual 500 Leading Lawyers list.

C A L I F ORN I A | C OL ORA D O | I L L I NOI S | K A N S A S M A S S AC H U S E T T S | M I S S OU R I ( 8 0 0 ) 476 - 42 2 4 | L AT H ROP G AG E .C O M The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements. Lathrop & Gage LLP, 2345 Grand Boulevard, Kansas City, Missouri 64108. For more information, contact Mark Bluhm at 800.476.4224.


eral’s Edwin Kneedler live the responsibility of the law every day.

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ew Orleans has always had a special meaning for Lawdragon.

As we selected our first Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America in the late summer and fall of 2005, we used our California connections to call lawyers all around the country, looking for the best antitrust lawyers, the best education lawyers, securities litigators and so on. Our network of sources grew as John and others got lawyers on the phone, and patiently explained we were not some weird new cult, but rather a serious journalistic enterprise with a weird name. (It’s still the number one question we get; dragons are strong and powerful and protect you.) Lawyers throughout the country gave us their time and trust and we knew if we did a great job, we could leverage the 500 network into a new approach to legal journalism. Our first magazine was smart and impassioned, with a look at a new effort to help foster children in Oklahoma, what turned out to be the successful effort to take down securities litigation honcho Bill Lerach and a controversial article, entitled “Shades of Gray,” on whether there should be term limits for Supreme Court justices. The Court had announced in Oct. 2004 that Chief Justice Rehnquist was being treated for thyroid cancer, and he had missed 44 arguments in 2004 and 2005, after decades as the indomitable leader of the court. His fellow justice, Sandra Day O’Connor, had announced her retirement that summer to help her husband, who was suffering from Alzheimer’s. We offered a philosophic take on an aging court.

As we headed to print, two things happened: what was once Tropical Storm Katrina became a Hurricane and hit the Gulf Coast and New Orleans on Aug. 29. Rehnquist died the evening of Sept. 3. That was our start, and there’s not been a dull moment since. We’ve spent a lot of time in and around New Orleans since then, because of great friends as well as the litigation from the Hurricane and then the BP oil spill. Lawyers like Russ and Steve Herman and Steve Lane of Herman Herman & Katz and Lee Sher and James Garner of Sher Garner show every day what it means to work in a community, especially one in need. Meeting shrimpers whose livelihood was lost, or telling the story of Sher Garner’s emergency response to get businesses back on their feet, teaches you a lot about the difference lawyers can make. So

Legendary.

Congratulations to Cadwalader partner Gregory Markel and all of the honorees named to the Legends of the 500. We celebrate Gregory’s commitment to his clients, to our firm and to the legal profession.

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did our visit to Reilly Morse, whose environmental practice in Gulfport, Miss., was washed away. Our longtime photographer Hugh Williams and John Ryan went in early 2006 to document his story, of loss and finding the strength to rebuild. Sometimes you lose more than you wanted on the way to where you’re going. That’s been our experience. Building a company is tough stuff and, as I recently explained to a friend, not everyone wants to be a pirate forever. Folks who will always be dragons to us are making their mark at great law firms and as writers and parents elsewhere. The journey would not have been possible without them, our families or the hundreds of lawyers who have shared our journey.

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f you’re going to jump off a bridge, jump off a bridge.

That’s been a catchphrase of the last 10 years, not in a grim, mortal sense but as a definition of real risk. Our own experience – imagine dragons jumping off bridges - may give us a greater appreciation of the role that risk plays in today’s most successful law practices. You can’t really say, well, I’m going to 10 percent jump off a bridge, which is what a lot of big firms seem to think.

The attorneys at Jones Kelleher have achieved national recognition for their handling of some of the most complex, high-stakes, and historic personal injury cases in New England. The firm has established a long history of achieving multimillion dollar recoveries in sophisticated general liability and medical malpractice cases for its clients.

Whether you call it partnering with clients, shared risk, the Susman model or contingency work, no model of law practice is more lucrative when done right. Plaintiff firms have long profited from rolling the dice on clients – from Joe Jamail to Bernstein Litowitz to Gibbs & Bruns. Today’s hottest commercial law practices are also risk-based: Boies Schiller; Wachtell; Quinn Emanuel; and Susman Godfrey. The thing is, you can also lose. Or as our dear friend Russ Herman once said, “Every time I walk into court I can lose everything I’ve ever had or ever will have.” So what you need to do better than the other side is know your risk, plan for it, and figure out the edge you need to have the chance to come out way ahead. We’ll return to David Boies momentarily, but let’s focus for a moment on the profit powerhouse he and Jonathan Schiller have built in less than 20 years. Like all such enterprises, for at least a period of time, it’s a high-wire act. But it’s also one where if you make the crossing, you can bring home a $100M payday.

Personal Injury | Medical Malpractice | Product Liability | Wrongful Death

In the past 18 months, Boies Schiller New York managing partner Nicholas Gravante hit on two


Susman and Lee Godfrey basically worked like mad dogs for years to just keep the doors open. huge contingency cases, winning a $1B valuation for his client’s share of AriZona Iced Tea, and a $663M award from Trinity Industries in a Marshall, Texas, battle alongside Karen Dyer, George Carpinello; Sam Baxter from McKool Smith; and former federal judge T. John Ward of Ward & Smith.

Enough, also to create one of the best Susman stories of all time. When now partner Robert Rivera interviewed with Susman back in 1990, he asked whether the large, strange piece of cardboard on Susman’s wall was a memento of the case that launched the firm.

Gravante spent decades perfecting his craft, starting at Cravath, then learning to try cases from New York criminal defense maestro Gerald Shargel. As a partner at Boies Schiller, Gravante’s come center stage, which he backs up with a team that has a taste for winning.

“No, fuck-face. It’s a Rauschenberg,” Susman replied, of the artist whose work he collects.

And then there’s Steve Susman. He started his career at Fulbright & Jaworski, then started teaching at the University of Texas Law School before moving to Mandell & Wright to try the Corrugated Containers antitrust case on contingency. He won $400M, and an $8M fee – enough to start Susman Godfrey, in 1980.

And like a Rauschenberg, Susman and his crew are both deceptively simple and ridiculously good. They are elemental, and grind a case to the ground before deciding to take it on. They thrive on risk, and folks who don’t may pass a spell in their halls, but they won’t be there tomorrow. Seattle partner Parker Folse explained the philosophy as: “You make of this what you will, if you make a good thing, you’ll do well.” Folse himself put a punctuation mark on that winning an $88M fee for a case he never filed.

CASCADIA LAW GROUP CONGRATULATES ROD BROWN ON MAKING THE LAWDRAGON 500 LEADING LAWYERS IN AMERICA At Cascadia Law Group, we provide the most effective environmental representation in the Pacific Northwest. From Fortune 100 companies to public agencies and NGOs, we guide our clients through regulatory and litigation matters involving complex, sometimes controversial environmental, land use, and natural resource issues. Learn more at cascadialaw.com.

Rodney L. Brown, Jr.


From Left: Ted Olson and David Boies with their clients, Sandra Stier and Kristin Perry (Photo by Gabriela Hasbun)

Folse, Neal Manne, Bill Carmody, Vineet Bhatia, Geoffrey Harrison, Max Tribble, Jacob Buchdahl – they don’t want to do well if their clients don’t. Susman has preached and lived that mantra for years, and pound-for-pound his firm can make the message resonate for decades to come. “The fact this firm turned out to be so successful as a business is really an incredible tribute to Steve,” says Folse. “He made so many personal sacrifices over the years so the firm would succeed, and so the people within it would succeed personally.” Susman and Lee Godfrey basically worked like mad dogs for years to just keep the doors open. And though Susman himself has done fabulously well, it’s because he was far more selfless than selfish, Folse says. “He wanted all of us to feel a sense of ownership in what he was trying to do, as opposed to us working like slaves and him making a lot.” From the beginning and to this day, Susman reportedly takes out less in client attribution – what a lawyer takes home at the end of the year – than almost any other partner. You can do well by doing good.

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hich leads to David Boies. He’s epic.

Yes, he is written about quite a lot. And yes, he is famous. But his legend substantially predates the era of being famous because you are famous. He earned it. He was a partner at the nation’s quint-

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essential power firm, Cravath, Swaine & Moore, for 37 years, starting his second act at his own firm at the age of 57. He is a great lawyer, with a fiendish mind inhabited by a savant, an artist, a disciple of Sun Tzu and a very cool guy who likes to play poker and drink good wine. His range of impact is unsurpassed: IBM, the U.S. against Microsoft, CBS in the Westmoreland case, Bush v. Gore, George Steinbrenner, AIG and Hank Greenberg, Napster, Sony Pictures, and, of course, marriage equality. That means, in short order, his work has helped define the terms of our technology, our business economy, the presidency, social justice and press freedoms. That’s the short list. He should be forever remembered for all of those battles, but none moreso than marriage equality. With Ted Olson, he laid the cornerstone of a revolution in public opinion in favor of gay marriage. Many soldiers and field generals won and lost battles, but it was the profile of Olson and Boies that electrified the discussion. Day after day in federal court in San Francisco, Boies, Olson and Ted Boutrous pounded away at the tent erected to justify discrimination, collapsing it to show not even a white elephant inside. The case made a speed track for 30 years of efforts throughout the country to win acceptance by the Supreme Court in Obergefell, argued by Douglas HallwardDriemeier and Mary Bonauto. Boies once noted that if there’s an exciting new play or happening, he will not have seen it. His life


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You don’t need to care about refugees, marriage equality, or wealth disparity,#BlackLivesMatter, or climate change or be in Guantanamo defending accused terrorists. But you should care about something. is nicely distilled to his craft, his family and friends. And really, what else matters?

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ayne Fleming went to law school because she was a single mom with two kids to feed. Fast forward 15 years and she is the advisor to Sean Penn’s efforts in Haiti, the pro bono director of Reed Smith, and has established a project in Afghanistan to bring the rule of law there. She got her start as a first-year associate representing a woman who had been gang raped in Guatemala, winning recognition by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that rape is a weapon of war. Fleming recently helped a Honduran mother and her child who fell off a train in Mexico while escaping threats to their lives, with the son losing his leg and the mother suffering a crushing arm injury. Fleming and her team helped find the documents they needed to be considered for, and win, asylum. You don’t need to care about refugees, marriage equality, or wealth disparity, #BlackLivesMatter, or climate change or be in Guantanamo defending accused terrorists. But you should care about something. It’s a little frightening, actually. It’s like falling in love with someone who may not love you when you care without knowing whether you can make a difference. I believe in impossible. If our ethos is embodied in anyone, it’s John Ryan, who with our famously limited budget has travelled in recent years to The Hague, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, South Africa and, perhaps most excruciatingly, Rwanda, to research and write about how governments and societies account for massive human rights violations, through legal and other efforts. It’s the same curiosity that has him now at Camp Justice in Guantanamo Bay. Finding out where and when lawyers and the rule of law can make a difference – and when they cannot – is important because, well, it’s important. It’s ridiculously old-fashioned, but it may just be that it matters to try to do something that matters – and if you’re a lawyer, to look in the mirror and ask hard 34

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questions about what it is you do with those gifts and skills you have been given. Cheryl Little asked herself that in the midst of a successful career as an antiques dealer. And her answer led her to enroll at the University of Miami law school, where she volunteered to help Haitian refugees fleeing the regime of Haitian President Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier. After his overthrow, she used her law degree to win freedoms and protect the rights of thousands of Haitians and other refugees (some of whom were held at Guantanamo). To say as the executive director of the Miami-based Americans for Immigrant Justice that she’s in the eye of today’s storm understates the case. And it’s not just Miami or even the Southwestern U.S. We are in the midst of mass migration of people fleeing war, crime and repression throughout the world, seeking to open a door when so many have slammed shut. The juxtaposition of Syrian immigrants being turned away at European borders while some U.S. political rhetoric diminishes immigrants’ basic humanity could not possibly be more sickening. This is no more an abstract, unsolvable issue than was marriage equality just 30 years ago. Today, Little and others are working tirelessly to help tens of thousands of children who have fled El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras under threat of death or rape if they don’t join a gang or otherwise comply with violent regimes. In the U.S., these children face deportation back to life-threatening situations with no right to a lawyer. Along the Southwest border, tens of thousands of children, including toddlers, fill government-mandated beds in detention camps, enriching private contractors while diminishing us all. Because of “national security” concerns, their asylum claims are heard with no due process rights. And still, Little goes on. As do great lawyers everywhere who understand the law is not just a license, but a liberty, and an opportunity to do something that matters.


��””””””””””””””””””””””””””�”” ��””””””””””””””””””””””””””�”” ��””””””””””””””””””””””””””�”” ��””””””””””””””””””””””””””�”” ��””””””””””””””””””””””””””�”” ��””””””””””””””””””””””””””�”” ��””””””””””””””””””””””””””�”” ��””””””””””””””””””””””””””�”” ��””””””””””””””””””””””””””�”” �”””””�”�”””””””�””””””””””�””””�”””””””””””””� �”””””�”�”””””””�””””””””””�””””�”””””””””””””� �”””””�”�”””””””�””””””””””�””””�”””””””””””””� �”””””�”�”””””””�””””””””””�””””�”””””””””””””� �”””””�”�”””””””�””””””””””�””””�”””””””””””””� �”””””�”�”””””””�””””””””””�””””�”””””””””””””� �”””””�”�”””””””�””””””””””�””””�”””””””””””””� �”””””�”�”””””””�””””””””””�””””�”””””””””””””� �”””””�”�”””””””�””””””””””�””””�”””””””””””””�

�”””�”””””””””””””””��”””””””””””””””””�”””””””””””””””””””�”””�”””””””�”””” �”””�”””””””””””””””��”””””””””””””””””�”””””””””””””””””””�”””�”””””””�”””” �”””�”””””””””””””””��”””””””””””””””””�”””””””””””””””””””�”””�”””””””�”””” �”””�”””””””””””””””��”””””””””””””””””�”””””””””””””””””””�”””�”””””””�”””” �”””�”””””””””””””””��”””””””””””””””””�”””””””””””””””””””�”””�”””””””�”””” �”””�”””””””””””””””��”””””””””””””””””�”””””””””””””””””””�”””�”””””””�”””” �”””�”””””””””””””””��”””””””””””””””””�”””””””””””””””””””�”””�”””””””�”””” �”””�”””””””””””””””��”””””””””””””””””�”””””””””””””””””””�”””�”””””””�”””” �”””�”””””””””””””””��”””””””””””””””””�”””””””””””””””””””�”””�”””””””�”””” ��”�””�””””””””””””����”””””””””””””””””�””””””””””””””””””””””””�””””””””””””” ��”�””�””””””””””””����”””””””””””””””””�””””””””””””””””””””””””�””””””””””””” ��”�””�””””””””””””����”””””””””””””””””�””””””””””””””””””””””””�””””””””””””” ��”�””�””””””””””””����”””””””””””””””””�””””””””””””””””””””””””�””””””””””””” ��”�””�””””””””””””����”””””””””””””””””�””””””””””””””””””””””””�””””””””””””” ��”�””�””””””””””””����”””””””””””””””””�””””””””””””””””””””””””�””””””””””””” ��”�””�””””””””””””����”””””””””””””””””�””””””””””””””””””””””””�””””””””””””” ��”�””�””””””””””””����”””””””””””””””””�””””””””””””””””””””””””�””””””””””””” ”””�””””�”””””�”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””�””�”””””””””””””””””” ”��”�””�””””””””””””����”””””””””””””””””�””””””””””””””””””””””””�””””””””””””” ”�””””�”””””�”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””�””�”””””””””””””””””” ”�””””�”””””�”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””�””�”””””””””””””””””” ”””�””””�”””””�”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””�””�”””””””””””””””””” ””�””””�”””””�”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””�””�”””””””””””””””””” ”�””””�”””””�”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””�””�”””””””””””””””””” ”�”””””�””””””””””””””””””””””””””�”””��”””””””””””””””””””””�””””���”�”””””” ””�””””�”””””�”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””�””�”””””””””””””””””” ””�””””�”””””�”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””�””�”””””””””””””””””” ”�””””�”””””�”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””�””�”””””””””””””””””” �”””””�””””””””””””””””””””””””””�”””��”””””””””””””””””””””�””””���”�”””””” �”””””�””””””””””””””””””””””””””�”””��”””””””””””””””””””””�””””���”�”””””” �”””””�””””””””””””””””””””””””””�”””��”””””””””””””””””””””�””””���”�”””””” �”””””�””””””””””””””””””””””””””�”””��”””””””””””””””””””””�””””���”�”””””” �”””””�””””””””””””””””””””””””””�”””��”””””””””””””””””””””�””””���”�”””””” �”””””�””””””””””””””””””””””””””�”””��”””””””””””””””””””””�””””���”�”””””” �”””””�””””””””””””””””””””””””””�”””��”””””””””””””””””””””�””””���”�”””””” �”””””�””””””””””””””””””””””””””�”””��”””””””””””””””””””””�””””���”�”””””” ”””””””””””””””””””””””�””�””””””””””””””””””””””�”�”””�””””””””””””””””””””””””” ”””””””””””””””””””””””�””�””””””””””””””””””””””�”�”””�””””””””””””””””””””””””” ”””””””””””””””””””””””�””�””””””””””””””””””””””�”�”””�””””””””””””””””””””””””” ”””””””””””””””””””””””�””�””””””””””””””””””””””�”�”””�””””””””””””””””””””””””” ”””””””””””””””””””””””�””�””””””””””””””””””””””�”�”””�””””””””””””””””””””””””” ”””””””””””””””””””””””�””�””””””””””””””””””””””�”�”””�””””””””””””””””””””””””” ”””””””””””””””””””””””�””�””””””””””””””””””””””�”�”””�””””””””””””””””””””””””” ”””””””””””””””””””””””�””�””””””””””””””””””””””�”�”””�””””””””””””””””””””””””” ”””””””””””””””””””””””�””�””””””””””””””””””””””�”�”””�””””””””””””””””””””””””” ””””�””””””””””””””””””””�”””��””””””�”””””””””��””””””””””””””””�� ””””�””””””””””””””””””””�”””��””””””�”””””””””��””””””””””””””””�� ””””�””””””””””””””””””””�”””��””””””�”””””””””��””””””””””””””””�� ””””�””””””””””””””””””””�”””��””””””�”””””””””��””””””””””””””””�� ””””�””””””””””””””””””””�”””��””””””�”””””””””��””””””””””””””””�� ””””�””””””””””””””””””””�”””��””””””�”””””””””��””””””””””””””””�� ””””�””””””””””””””””””””�”””��””””””�”””””””””��””””””””””””””””�� ””””�””””””””””””””””””””�”””��””””””�”””””””””��””””””””””””””””�� ””””�””””””””””””””””””””�”””��””””””�”””””””””��””””””””””””””””�� �””””””�””””�””””�””””””””””””””��”””�””””””””��””�””””��””””�”””””�””�” �””””””�””””�””””�””””””””””””””��”””�””””””””��””�””””��””””�”””””�””�” �””””””�””””�””””�””””””””””””””��”””�””””””””��””�””””��””””�”””””�””�” �””””””�””””�””””�””””””””””””””��”””�””””””””��””�””””��””””�”””””�””�” �””””””�””””�””””�””””””””””””””��”””�””””””””��””�””””��””””�”””””�””�” �””””””�””””�””””�””””””””””””””��”””�””””””””��””�””””��””””�”””””�””�” �””””””�””””�””””�””””””””””””””��”””�””””””””��””�””””��””””�”””””�””�” �””””””�””””�””””�””””””””””””””��”””�””””””””��””�””””��””””�”””””�””�” �””””””�””””�””””�””””””””””””””��”””�””””””””��””�””””��””””�”””””�””�” “I’m attered included such distinguished company.” “I’m “I’m attered atteredtototobebe beincluded includedinin insuch suchdistinguished distinguishedcompany.” company.”

“I’m attered included such distinguished company.” “I’m “I’m attered atteredtototobebe beincluded includedinin insuch suchdistinguished distinguishedcompany.” company.” “I’m “I’m “I’m attered attered atteredtototobebebeincluded included includedinininsuch such suchdistinguished distinguished distinguishedcompany.” company.” company.”

””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””” ””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””” ””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””” ””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””” ””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””” ””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””” ””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””” ””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””” ””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””” ”””””””�”””�”””””””””””””””””””””””””�”�”””””””””””� ”””””””�”””�”””””””””””””””””””””””””�”�”””””””””””� ”””””””�”””�”””””””””””””””””””””””””�”�”””””””””””� ”””””””�”””�”””””””””””””””””””””””””�”�”””””””””””� ”””””””�”””�”””””””””””””””””””””””””�”�”””””””””””� ”””””””�”””�”””””””””””””””””””””””””�”�”””””””””””� ”””””””�”””�”””””””””””””””””””””””””�”�”””””””””””� ”””””””�”””�”””””””””””””””””””””””””�”�”””””””””””� ”””””””�”””�”””””””””””””””””””””””””�”�”””””””””””�

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Martin Lipton WACHTELL LIPTON POWER BROKERS 36

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Hall of Fame Gratitude. Isn’t that what most Hall of Fame honors are trying to express with weird jackets that seem to attempt the impossible – confining the larger-than-life folks on whom they’re bestowed? And so it is with our Hall of Fame. We got no jackets. And we’ve got no place thanking Marty Lipton for inventing the poison pill. Joe Jamail for creating the modern age of high-stakes litigation. Bob Dell for redefining the American law firm. Paula Boggs for leadership that set a new bar. Rodgin Cohen for saving the U.S. financial system. But we have an overwhelming appreciation for everyone you will see on the following pages. We’ve shared the journey with more than a few, and admired others from afar. They are the best of us, and we’ve been lucky to know each and every one. I light a candle every morning. That’s true. And whatever your convention to bow down before things that are greater than you, I hope you’ll take a moment to think about those also Remembered here. Whether the mentor who inspired you is included or not, we all owe a debt to someone we can never properly thank. This is a more than worthy group with which to start, at least for us dragons. Sometimes simple is best. Thank you all.

PHOTO BY: HUGH WILLIAMS

TEXT BY: KATRINA DEWEY

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500

THE LAWDRAGON 500


Bob Dell Sheila Birnbaum

LATHAM & WATKINS (RET.) LEADERSHIP

PHOTO BY: HUGH WILLIAMS

QUINN EMANUEL LITIGATORS

H. Rodgin Cohen

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PHOTO BY: HUGH WILLIAMS

SULLIVAN & CROMWELL POWER BROKERS

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Mel Immergut MILBANK (RET.) LEADERSHIP

WILLIAMS & CONNOLLY POWER BROKERS

PHOTO BY: XXXX XXXXX

PHOTO BY: GREG ENDRIES

PHOTO BY: ELI MEIR KAPLAN

Robert Barnett

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500

Compassion N AM E

ORGA NIZA T ION

Gordon Bonnyman

Tennessee Justice Center

Jon Davidson

Lambda Legal

Morris Dees

Southern Poverty Law Center

Ira Kurzban

Kurzban Kurzban

Don Nicholson

Oklahoma Lawyers for Children

Dealmakers N AM E

ORGA NIZA T ION

Peter Atkins

Skadden

Franci Blassberg

Debevoise & Plimpton

John Bostelman

Sullivan & Cromwell

Peter Canellos

Wachtell Lipton

John Coffee

Columbia Law School

Ken Feinberg

Feinberg Law Offices

Christopher 'Kit' Kaufman

Latham & Watkins

Michael Meyer

DLA Piper

Gilchrist Sparks

Morris Nichols

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500

Tamar Frankel

David Dean

BOSTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW INNOVATORS

SULLIVAN PAPAIN LITIGATORS

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Gerald Shargel

PHOTO BY: LAURA BARISONZI

WINSTON & STRAWN LITIGATORS

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SPENCE LAW FIRM LITIGATORS

PHOTO BY: XXXX XXXXX

PHOTO BY: HUGH WILLIAMS

PHOTO BY: GREG VON DOERSTEN

Gerry Spence

Maureen Mahoney LATHAM & WATKINS LITIGATORS

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John Gibbons GIBBONS P.C. (CURRENT), 3RD U.S. CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS JUDGES

Cesar Alvarez GREENBERG TRAURIG LEADERSHIP 44

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Innovators NAME

ORGA NIZA T ION

Robert Armitage

Eli Lilly

James Carter

WilmerHale

Tamar Frankel

Boston University School of Law

Lee Godfrey

Susman Godfrey (Ret.)

Stacey Mobley

Dickstein Shapiro (Current), Dupont

Tom Sager

Ballard Spahr (Current), Dupont

Richard Wiley

Wiley Rein

Judges NAME

ORGA NIZA T ION

Shirley Abrahamson

Wisconsin Supreme Court

Edith Brown Clement

5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals

John Gibbons

Gibbons, P.C. (current), 3rd. U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals

Jack Jacobs

Sidley Austin (current), Delaware Judiciary

PHOTOS (L-R) BY: HUGH WILLIAMS, JOSH RITCHIE

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Harvey Kaplan SHOOK HARDY LITIGATORS

Floyd Abrams CAHILL GORDON LITIGATORS 46

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PHOTO BY: GREG ENDRIES

PHOTO BY: HUGH WILLIAMS

DEBEVOISE & PLIMPTON DEALMAKERS

PHOTO PROVIDED BY THE FIRM

Franci Blassberg


Paula Boggs

PHOTO BY: HUGH WILLIAMS

STARBUCKS (RET.) LEADERSHIP

PHOTO BY: XXXX XXXXX

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48

Marshall Doke

David Kendall

GARDERE LEADERSHIP

WILLIAMS & CONNOLLY LEADERSHIP

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judges cont. N AM E

ORGA NIZA T ION

Judith Kaye

Skadden (current), New York Court of Appeals

Sandra Day O'Connor

U.S. Supreme Court (Ret.)

John Paul Stevens

U.S. Supreme Court (Ret.)

Diane Wood

7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals

Leadership N AM E

ORGA NIZA T ION

Cesar Alvarez

Greenberg Traurig

Dennis Archer

Dickinson Wright

Richard Beattie

Simpson Thacher

Paula Boggs

Starbucks (Ret.)

Lon Bouknight

Steptoe & Johnson

John Bouma

Snell & Wilmer

Frank Burch

DLA Piper

PHOTOS BY: HUGH WILLIAMS

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Mike Ciresi

50

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PHOTO BY: KELLY LOVERUD

CIRESI CONLIN LITIGATORSS


PHOTO BY: HUGH WILLIAMS

Diane Wood 7TH U.S. CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS JUDGES

PHOTO BY: XXXX XXXXX

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Ralph Cook BIRMINGHAM C ITY ATTORNEY LEADERSHIP

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leadership cont. N AM E

ORGA NIZA T ION

Robert Clark

Harvard Law School

Ralph Cook

Birmingham City Attorney

Robert Dell

Latham & Watkins (Ret.)

Marshall Doke

Gardere

James Ferguson

Ferguson Chambers

Bob Fiske

Davis Polk

Mel Immergut

Milbank (Ret.)

David Kendall

Williams & Connolly

Regina Pisa

Goodwin Procter

Geoffrey Stone

University of Chicago Law School

Keith Wetmore

Morrison & Foerster

PHOTO BY: ALAN MATTHEWS

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Joe Jamail

54

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PHOTO BY: HUGH WILLIAMS

ATTORNEY AT LAW POWER BROKERS


PHOTO BY: KEN RICHARDSON

Anton Valukas JENNER & BLOCK LITIGATORS

PHOTO BY: MICHELLE NOLAN

PHOTO BY: XXXX XXXXX

Regina Pisa GOODWIN PROCTER LEADERSHIP

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Stacey Mobley DICKSTEIN SHAPIRO (CURRENT), DUPONT INNOVATORS

Robert Bennett HOGAN LOVELLS POWER BROKERS

Ira Kurzban KURZBAN KURZBAN COMPASSION

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Litigators N AM E

ORGA NIZA T ION

Floyd Abrams

Cahill Gordon

Francis Barron

Cravath (Ret.)

Fred Bartlit

Bartlit Beck

Sheila Birnbaum

Quinn Emanuel

Roy Black

Black Srebnick

Maxwell Blecher

Blecher Collins

James Brosnahan

Morrison & Foerster

Michael Ciresi

Ciresi Conlin

Roxanne Conlin

Roxanne Conlin & Associates

David Dean

Sullivan Papain

Ralph Ferrara

Proskauer

Browne Greene

Greene Broillet

Harvey Kaplan

Shook Hardy

Victor Kovner

Davis Wright

Maureen Mahoney

Latham & Watkins

Billy Martin

Miles & Stockbridge

PHOTOS BY: HUGH WILLIAMS AND (KURZBAN) BY THE FIRM

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500 58

Michael Meyer

William Martin

DLA PIPER DEALMAKERS

MILES & STOCKBRIDGE LITIGATORS

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litigators cont. N AM E

ORGA NIZA T ION

Robert Morgenthau

Wachtell Lipton (current), New York District Attorney

Jack Olender

Jack Olender & Associates

Jerry Oshinsky

Kasowitz Benson

John Phillips

Phillips & Cohen (Ret.)

Bruce Rogow

Law Office of Bruce Rogow

Victor Schwartz

Shook Hardy

Gerald Shargel

Winston & Strawn

Gerry Spence

Spence Law Office

Larry Stewart

Stewart Tilghman

Anton Valukas

Jenner & Block

PHOTO BY: HUGH WILLIAMS

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500

Robert Clark HARVARD LAW SCHOOL LEADERSHIP

Richard Beattie SIMPSO N THACHER LEADERSHIP

Keith Wetmore MORRISON & FOERSTER LEADERSHIP

60

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Powerbrokers N AM E

ORGA NIZA T ION

Robert Barnett

Williams & Connolly

Robert Bennett

Hogan Lovells

Plato Cacheris

Trout Cacheris

H. Rodgin Cohen

Sullivan & Cromwell

Bert Fields

Greenberg Glusker

Joe Jamail

Attorney at Law

Martin Lipton

Wachtell Lipton

Thomas Malcolm

Jones Day (Ret.)

Brendan Sullivan

Williams & Connolly

James Thompson

Winston & Strawn

Ken Ziffren

Ziffren Brittenham

PHOTOS BY: GREG ENDRIES (BEATTIE) AND HUGH WILLIAMS

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Ed Moss SHOOK HARDY REMEMBERED (1937-2015)

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Remembered N AM E

ORGA NIZA T ION

Roger Aaron (2012)

Skadden

Eugene Anderson (2010)

Anderson Kill

George Barrett (2014)

Barrett Johnston

Beau Biden (2015)

Grant & Eisenhofer

Caryl Boies (2010)

Boies Schiller

Philip Corboy (2012)

Corboy Demetrio

Bob Faiss (2014)

Lionel Sawyer

Joe Flom (2011)

Skadden

Robert Joffe (2010)

Cravath

Harvey Miller (2015)

Weil Gotshal

Ed Moss (2015)

Shook Hardy

Ron Motley (2013)

Motley Rice

John Payton (2012)

NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, WilmerHale

Mariana Pfaelzer (2015)

U.S District Court for the Central District of California

PHOTO BY: JOSH RITCHIE

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PHOTO BY: JENNIFER POTTHEISER

Harvey Miller WEIL GOTSHAL REMEMBERED (1933-2015)

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PHOTO BY: HUGH WILLIAMS

PHOTO BY: HUGH WILLIAMS

Jock Smith

Jerold Solovy

THE COCHRAN FIRM REMEMBERED (1948-2012)

JENNER & BLOCK REMEMBERED (1930-2011)

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PHOTO BY: HUGH WILLIAMS

Robert Joffe CRAVATH REMEMBERED (1943-2010)

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remembered cont. N AM E

ORGA NIZA T ION

Gerald F. Phillips (2015)

Phillips Lerner

William Rehnquist (2005)

U.S. Supreme Court

Robert Silver (2015)

Boies Schiller

Jock Smith (2012)

The Cochran Firm

Jerry Solovy (2011)

Jenner & Block

Ted Sorensen (2010)

Paul Weiss

Robert J. Wolfe (2015)

Engstrom Lipscomb

Hall of Fame

PHOTO BY: HUGH WILLIAMS

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David Boies BOIES SCHILLER (NEW YORK) 68

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The Legends To commemorate Lawdragon’s 10th anniversary, we are recognizing the 50 lawyers who have made the Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America each year it has been published. These 50 symbolize the essence of the Lawdragon 500 from 2005 to 2015 – a time of tremendous upheaval in our communities, institutions and world. From the War on Terror, to the passing of Chief Justice Rehnquist to Hurricane Katrina to the financial collapse and its aftermath, these 50 stood the test of time.

They are larger than life, mythical even. Some are world-renowned, others the magicians of a smaller realm, but no less symbolic of the power of the law to change lives, move mountains, shape economies and bring about that thing that unites us: justice.

PHOTO BY: JENNIFER POTTHEISER

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500

THE LAWDRAGON 500


500

Kevin Arquit

Max Berger

S IMPS O N T H A CH E R - N E W YO R K

B E R N S TE I N LI TO W I TZ - N E W Y O R K

One of the most accomplished antitrust lawyers ever and a model for public service and professionalism. Photo by Hugh Williams

The renowned leader of the nation’s top plaintiff securities litigation practice brought accountability for corporate greed and financial malfeasance. Photo by Greg Endries

Martha Bergmark VO ICE S FO R CIV IL J U ST ICE WASH IN G T O N , D.C.

Few attorneys in the country are as admired as her for her commitment to public interest, at the Mississippi Center for Justice and beyond. Photo by Thomas Beck

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David Boies B O I E S S C HI LLE R - N E W Y O R K

All the accolades and praise over the years never seem to fully capture this litigation giant’s talent, vision and dedication. Photo by Jennifer Pottheiser


500

Brad Brian

Elizabeth Cabraser

MUN G E R T O L L E S - L O S A N G E L E S

LI E F F C A B R A S E R - S A N F R A N C I S C O

A creative and intimidating force in the courtroom when it comes to complex, bet-the-company cases.

She’s amassed an incredible track record of litigation on behalf of plaintiffs seeking redress for corporate wrongdoing.

Photo by Amy Cantrell

Photo by Hugh Williams

Evan Chesler

Richard Clary

C R A V A T H - N E W YO R K

C R A V A TH - N E W Y O R K

The chairman of the nation’s most elite firm is as revered a litigator as any in the country.

He has a permanent place on the short list for banks and corporations facing their most difficult cases.

Photo by Hugh Williams

Photo by Hugh Williams

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500

Richard Climan

Thomas Demetrio

WE IL G O T SH A L -

C O R B O Y & D E M E TR I O - C HI C A G O

RE DWOO D SH O R E S, CA L IF.

A Silicon Valley power-player with an envious pipeline of deals and connections to corporate counsel.

The dean of the Chicago trial bar has been a zealous advocate for plaintiffs for four decades. Photo by Michelle Nolan

Photo by Stephen Lam

Bob Denham MUN GE R T O L L E S - L O S A N G E L E S

72

Tom Girardi G I R A R D I | K E E S E - LO S A N G E LE S

The consummate M&A advisor is the trusted right-hand man of Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway.

An icon of the plaintiffs’ bar, Girardi has been making history with his cases on behalf of victims for 50 years.

Photo by Hugh Williams

Photo by Hugh Williams

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Marcia Goldstein

Kris Heinzelman

WEIL G O T SH A L - N E W YO R K

C R A V A TH - N E W Y O R K

She has lent her highly trusted guidance to many of the largest restructurings around the world over the past 35 years. Photo by Hugh Williams

Year after year, the chair of Cravath’s securities practice has been at the top of the list for corporate finance transactions. Photo by Hugh Williams

Russ Herman H E RMA N H E R MA N - N E W O R L E A N S

The legend of the Bayou is the top plaintiff-side litigator in New Orleans for everything from tobacco and Vioxx to Chinese drywall and other massive cases.

Brad Karp PAUL WEISS - NEW YORK

This driven star is the litigator of choice for the NFL and Citigroup while leading Paul Weiss into ultra-elite status. Photo by Jennifer Pottheiser

Photo by Sara Essex Bradley

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500

David Katz

Anthony Kennedy

WA CH TE LL L IPT O N - N E W YO R K

U.S. SUPREME COURT

A true master of the M&A and corporate governance worlds with many billions of dollars in complex deals to his credit. Photo by Hugh Williams

Kennedy is the master of the High Court he has served for 28 years, and the author of Obergefell and many other rulings that define our country. Photo by American Bar Association

Tom Kline

Walter Lack

KLIN E & S P E CT E R - PH IL A DE L PH IA

ENGSTROM LIPSCOMB - LOS ANGELES

An unstoppable force for injured parties, Philadelphia’s top plaintiff lawyer has an unsurpassed record of multimilliondollar verdicts and settlements. Photo by Andrew Kahl

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The founder of his storied firm has been among a small group of fearless and creative litigators that corporations fear most. Photo by Hugh Williams


500

William Lee

Andrew Levander

W IL ME R H A L E - B O ST O N

D E C HE R T - N E W Y O R K

Lee is considered the preeminent intellectual property litigator of his generation, and was the first Asian-American leader of a major U.S. law firm.

The former federal prosecutor made his first High Court argument at 25 and is one of the most sought-after white-collar and securities defenders.

Photo by Ken Richardson

Photo by Greg Endries

Judith Livingston

Greg Markel

KRA ME R DIL L O F - N E W YO R K

C A D W A LA D E R - N E W Y O R K

This fearless litigator is a trailblazer with more than 30 trials with verdicts in excess of $1 million on behalf of injured plaintiffs.

Always among the busiest and most respected practitioners in the upper echelons of the securities litigation defense bar.

Photo by Hugh Williams

Photo by Greg Endries

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500

Brian McCarthy

William McLucas

S KA DD E N - L O S A N G E L E S

W I LM E R HA LE - W A S HI N G TO N , D . C .

The head of Skadden’s Los Angeles office is the first choice for the biggest, most interesting L.A. deals. Photo by Hugh Williams

The sage former Direct of Enforcement for the SEC, McLucas is the attorney corporations turn to in their most threatening crises. Photo by Hugh Williams

Thomas Moore KRA ME R DIL L O F - N E W YO R K

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Daniel Neff W A C HTE LL - N E W Y O R K

This veteran of the plaintiffs’ bar is one of the best trial lawyers in the nation, alongside fellow Legend and spouse, Judith Livingston.

A pillar of Wachtell’s storied M&A team (and firm co-chair) brings a special touch to one of the very best track records of multibillion-dollar deals.

Photo by Hugh Williams

Photo by Laura Barisonzi

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500

Thomas Nolan

Ted Olson

S K A DDE N - L O S A N G E L E S

G I B S O N D U N N - W A S HI N G TO N , D . C .

This powerhouse West Coast litigator brings a genial roar to help clients resolve their thorniest criminal or civil trials. Photo by Hugh Williams

From Bush v. Gore to gay-marriage advocacy, this remarkable litigation force has been one of the most admired appellate lawyers in the nation. Photo by Eli Meir Kaplan

Ronald Olson MUN G E R T O L L E S - L O S A N G E L E S

Wayne Outten O U TTE N & G O LD E N - N E W Y O R K

This legendary litigator and leader of Munger Tolles is counsel of choice to Berkshire Hathaway and a champion of homeless LA veterans.

A specialist at representing corporate executives treated unfairly, he changed the workplace for millions with his visionary plaintiff employment firm.

Photo provided by Munger Tolles

Photo by Laura Barisonzi

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500

Kathleen Flynn Peterson

Aaron Podhurst

RO B IN S K A PL A N - MIN N E A PO L IS

P O D HU R S T O R S E C K - M I A M I

This nurse turned her passion for helping others into a magnificent career advocating and winning millions for the sick and injured.

Mr. Miami is top shelf for the weightiest personal injury matters, an aviation litigation expert and unsurpassed at civic leadership.

Photo by Kelly Loverud

Photo by Josh Ritchie

John Quinn

John Roberts

Q UIN N E M A N U E L - L O S A N G E L E S

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U.S. SUPREME COURT

This feisty litigator recreated Biglaw for the 21st century by playing big and winning bigger in the weightiest of IP and financial litigation wars.

Celebrating his 10th year as CJ, Roberts has defined his court’s jurisprudence as quite political, mostly conservative and occasionally compassionate.

Photo by Dave Lauridsen

Photo by Steve Petteway, U.S. Supreme Court

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500

Kelli Sager

Gloria Santona

DA VI S W R IG H T - L O S A N G E L E S

M C D O N A LD ’ S C O R P . -

Sager reinvented what it is to be a champion of the First Amendment in the digital age. Photo by Dave Lauridsen

O A K B R O O K , I LL.

This steelworker’s daughter scaled the ladder of the world’s largest restaurant chain as a corporate governance expert. Photo by Michelle Nolan

Antonin Scalia

Brad Smith

U .S. SU PR E ME CO U R T

MICROSOFT CORP. -

He has anchored the originalist wing of the court since 1986, applying a remarkable intellect and passionate conservatism to his jurisprudence. Photo from the U.S. Supreme Court Collection

R E D M O N D , W A S H.

Want to know how Microsoft went from corporate pirate to mainstream power? Meet Mr. Smith, who’s at the vanguard of leadership in tech and law. Photo provided by Microsoft

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500

Larry Sonsini

Myron Steele

WILS ON SO N SIN I - PA L O A L T O

P O TTE R A N D E R S O N - D O V E R , D E L.

The corporate wonderland now known as Silicon Valley owes much to this visionary lawyer, who’s counseled HP, Apple and Google.

The former Delaware Chief Justice is without peer in corporate governance ethics, penning 300+ opinions on business responsibilities.

Photo by Gregory Cowley

Photo by Andrew Kahl

Leo Strine

Stephen Susman

DE LA WA R E SU PR E ME CO U R T W IL MIN G T O N

Delaware’s Chief Justice earned his stripes with brilliant jurisprudence and teaching on the responsibilities of corporate governance. Photo by Andrew Kahl

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S U S M A N G O D F R E Y - HO U S TO N

An iconic plaintiffs’ lawyer and founder of a hugely successful firm put the T in Texas with massive verdicts and a model of shared risk with clients. Photo by Greg Endries


500

John Tarantino

Seth Waxman

A DLE R PO L L O CK - PR O V IDE N CE

W I LM E R HA LE - W A S HI N G TO N , D . C .

Defining Rhode Island’s motto of ``Hope,`` Tarantino is on point for the state’s most important issues, repping corporations as well as politicos and pro bono clients.

An appellate impresario, Waxman served as Solicitor General and is top drawer for Scotus arguments for corporations and public interest. Photo by Hugh Williams

Photo by Ken Richardson

Dan Webb WIN ST O N & ST R A W N - CH ICA G O

Integrity is the middle name of this former prosecutor who gets the call when Corporate America is in turmoil or Ferguson, Mo., needs reform.

Ted Wells PAUL WEISS - NEW YORK

Gregarious and brilliant, Wells is tops for white-collar defense, complex financial litigation and internal investigations. Photo by Hugh Williams

Photo by Hugh Williams

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500

John White

Mary Jo White

CRA V A T H - N E W YO R K

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE

The chair of the esteemed corporate governance group at Cravath knows his way around SEC regulations, having authored many of them. Photo by Laura Barisonzi

COMMISSION - W A S HI N G TO N , D . C .

The astute White was the first female U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of NY, a noted Debevoise partner and now leads the SEC.

We congratulate John Tarantino on being a “Lawdragon Legend” — one of just 50 attorneys to make The Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America each year since 2005. Learn more at www.apslaw.com P R O V I D E N C E , R I / B O S TO N , M A / N E W P O R T, R I / M A N C H E S T E R , N H / W W W. A P S L A W. C O M


One of the Nation’s Premiere Plaintiffs Trial Law Firms

Power Rogers & Smith congratulates founding partners Joseph A. Power, Jr. and Todd A. Smith on being named to the Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America 70 WEST MADISON 55TH FLOOR CHICAGO, ILLINOIS 60602 WWW.PRSLAW.COM 312.236.9381


William Savitt WACHTELL LIPTON (NEW YORK)

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500

Billy was the lead singer of Section 8 back in the day. He came to New York seeking fortune and fame. You know the words. Randi was from L.A., marooned in the Chihuahuan Desert with dreams of being a big-time writer.

THE ROCKSTARS Jayne was a single mom, just looking to make some pay. Rockstars do what they do because they must. And for the lawyers on these pages, the drive is much the same. It’s cool to be famous and have your picture on the cover, but what’s most cool of all is touching people with your talent. We call it impact. Talk a walk on the wild side. Doo do doo do doo do do doo ...

PHOTO BY: LAURA BARISONZI

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500

WILLIAM SAVITT

BY KATRINA DEWEY

HE’S JUST ANOTHER ROCK ‘N ROLL SINGER CAB DRIVER WHO STUDIED JURY DYNAMICS OF 19TH-CENTURY FRANCE AND NOW HANDLES THE MOST IMPORTANT CORPORATE BATTLES IN THE WORLD AS THE CO-HEAD OF LITIGATION AT WACHTELL, LIPTON, ROSEN & KATZ. If you read the Wall Street Journal, you might as well be looking at Bill Savitt’s daily calendar. He successfully defended a poison pill for Sotheby’s, which was under attack by an activist investor; defended the merger of the New York Stock Exchange with the InterContinental Exchange; defended the goingprivate sale of Dell; and also defended Allergan under a hostile bid from Pershing Square and Valeant. He’s currently representing Charter Communications in litigation flowing from its merger with Time Warner; Chubb in its merger with ACE; and a few years back blocked Martin Marietta’s hostile takeover attempt of his client Vulcan Materials before then-Delaware Chancellor Leo Strine. A raft of his current cases are appraisal matters – the bane of corporate governance today – meaning that when you do a deal, you don’t know how much it will cost you. Good luck with that. At any one time Savitt is deep in the weeds in multiple cases involving billions of dollars and do-or-die matters for investors, executives and employees, playing out in multiple courts, typically including Delaware and New York. If Corporate America has a voice, it is that of Wachtell, and among Wachtell’s storied litigators, Savitt is, well, you know. A rockstar. Lawdragon: What’s with the guitar? William Savitt: It’s a historical artifact. I play it every once in a while but mainly keep it around the office as a reminder of a past life. After college I moved to New York to have a go at the music business. I’d had an indie band at Brown and we all came down here after graduation and started a new band, called Section 8. We played the bars on Bleecker Street and

PHOTO BY: LAURA BARISONZI XXXX XXXXX

Ludlow Street and even had a few shows at CBGB’s, which remains a lifetime highlight—on par with arguing in Chancery. After that band broke up I tried out a solo act. I’d just go onstage with an electric guitar and sing. It’s a tough business, the music business. LD: And I understand you also drove a cab? WS: That’s true. At the same time I was playing music I had to make a living, because the gigs barely covered the cost of equipment. So I got my hack license and started driving a cab, which is another tough business. I met a lot of interesting people driving a cab, though, and part of the intrigue is that you never know where you’re going next. LD: How did you get from rock singer-cab driver to studying European Legal History at Columbia? WS: Well I had some friends who were in graduate school and reported that they were being paid for it, which at the time amazed me. That seemed like a pretty good deal, so I applied to the Ph.D. program in French history at Columbia. During my coursework, I gravitated toward a dissertation topic in legal history. My research was mostly at the National Archives in Paris. I focused on the courts of Dijon, in Burgundy, which had particularly well-preserved archives and was demographically representative of France as a whole. I read through all the records of the nineteenth century jury trials. After a year in the archives, I came back to New York and started writing my dissertation. LD: What was your dissertation topic?

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LD: Can you explain what that means? WS: French history is, or at least was, dominated by Marxist or Materialist interpretations. The basic idea is that social class and economic position drive history and so the shape of politics and law are an effect of underlying economic arrangements, not the cause. In the nineteenth century, only property owners could serve on French juries, and the national statistics showed that the conviction rate was much higher for theft and other property crimes than for murder and violent crimes. The traditional materialist explanation was that property owners were concerned with protecting property rights above all else. But I found a different and I think better explanation when I looked past the aggregate statistics and read the descriptions of what actually happened in court. About half of property crimes, or even more, were the equivalent of plea bargains—defendants were caught with stolen property, and had no possible defense, so what they did, quite rationally, was confess in exchange for a more lenient sentence. The defendant would stand up and say, “I did it, I’m really sorry,” and under French procedure there was nothing left for the jury to do but to render a conviction. Whereas the narrative for violent crimes was entirely different. These cases tended to have a sense of evidentiary ambiguity that did not exist in the property cases. You have a barroom brawl that gets out of control and someone gets hurt. The defense is, the other guy started it; or self-defense; or an intolerable insult to family honor, you name it. And the evidence presented in these cases tended to be badly incomplete, raising very close questions for the juries, and therefore higher acquittal rates.

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500 WS: The plan was to assess the introduction of the jury into French society. Juries hadn’t historically existed in France; the Enlightenment philosophers admired the institution and then the Revolution imported it from England. The thesis of the dissertation was that traditional French historiography had misunderstood the behavior of juries and jurors once the system was established.

So I concluded that there were concrete evidencebased reasons for the differences in outcomes. And in that way the project evolved into a defense of the jury system. LD: Sounds like your time in France was very productive. WS: And that’s not close to the half of it. I sublet an apartment in Paris from a friend of a friend of a friend, and wound up falling in love with and marrying my landlord - or landlady, I suppose. LD: Did you finish your dissertation? WS: I was making progress on the dissertation but I decided to pursue a joint Ph.D.-J.D degree. And then when I graduated law school in 1997, I was lucky enough to get a clerkship with Pierre Leval on the Second Circuit. There’s no judge anywhere who’s a better mentor or better to work for. Judge Leval has the ability to range over every topic of law - bankruptcy to criminal to corporate to contracts with enormous sophistication without missing a beat. He would sometimes admiringly say that Judge Friendly, for whom he clerked, knew all law. I’d say that Judge Leval knows all law. He’s like Westlaw, but with pitch-perfect analytical ability. And a much better sense of humor. LD: Tell me a little about your time clerking on the Supreme Court for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. WS: That clerkship started shortly after my time with Judge Leval ended, and it was for the second year in a row just the luckiest, best job you could hope to have. Justice Ginsburg is a hero. Before she was a judge she was a truly brilliant litigator. She litigated the equal rights cases with uncanny tactical discipline and foresight. She’s been such an important judge that I’m not sure she is credited enough for her advocacy. And now she’s been a justice of the Supreme Court for over 20 years and has emerged as the most articulate, forceful, persuasive voice on the progressive wing of the Supreme Court. She’s an incomparable person of incomparable achievement, and then you meet her and she’s unassuming, down to earth, kind and just plain delightful.

JUSTICE GINSBURG IS A HERO. BEFORE SHE WAS A JUDGE SHE WAS A TRULY BRILLIANT LITIGATOR. SHE LITIGATED THE EQUAL RIGHTS CASES WITH UNCANNY TACTICAL DISCIPLINE AND FORESIGHT. A WXXXX D R AXXXXX GON 88 PHOTO LBY:

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Arthur Abbey

Samuel Alito

ABBEY SPANIER NEW YORK

U.S. SUPREME COURT WASHINGTON, D.C.

Matthew Abbott

Riley Allen

PAUL WEISS NEW YORK

RILEY ALLEN LAW ORLANDO

Nancy Abell

Joseph Allerhand

PAUL HASTINGS LOS ANGELES

WEIL GOTSHAL NEW YORK

Robert Adams

Diane Ambler

SHOOK HARDY KANSAS CITY

K&L GATES WASHINGTON, D.C.

Linda Addison

David Anders

NORTON ROSE FULBRIGHT NEW YORK

WACHTELL LIPTON NEW YORK

Michael Aiello

Antonia Apps

WEIL GOTSHAL NEW YORK

MILBANK NEW YORK

Tom Ajamie

Frank Aquila

AJAMIE LLP HOUSTON

SULLIVAN & CROMWELL NEW YORK

Charla Aldous

Stephen Arcano

ALDOUS LAW DALLAS

SKADDEN NEW YORK

Mary Alexander

Cris Arguedas

MARY ALEXANDER & ASSOCIATES SAN FRANCISCO

ARGUEDAS CASSMAN BERKELEY

Rosemary Alito

Clifford Aronson

K&L GATES NEWARK, N.J.

SKADDEN NEW YORK

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LD: Is Justice Ginsburg why you finally said no more French legal history? WS: I’ve never said no more French legal history! Maybe I’ll never finish the dissertation but I haven’t given up yet. If I could just find a free month… LD: Did you consider staying in Washington, D.C., for practice? WS: Most of the Supreme Court clerks stayed in D.C. to work for firms with a Supreme Court practice. But I was more drawn to private law than public law, and I found corporate law particularly interesting. During my clerkships I always volunteered for the commercial cases, the contract and fiduciary cases. For that kind of practice, New York made more sense than Washington. What was less clear was the choice between a transactional practice and litigation. At the end, I really like reading cases and mixing and matching arguments from different lines of cases and different branches of the law. And I found more of that in litigation. But in a sense, my practice in corporate governance and merger litigation straddles the line between litigation and corporate. And our firm recognizes how thin the membrane can be between corporate and litigation, and ensures that our matters are handled on a task-force basis that involves all the relevant legal disciplines. LD: For at least the past decade, maybe more, Wachtell has been on the front lines of the evolution of stockholder litigation. From inventing and defending the poison pill, you now are ground zero for the “every-deal-begets-a-lawsuit – maybe two!” era. And, as a firm, you and your partners are passionate and prolific writers about your views on activism and corporate governance. WS: The world certainly has changed when it comes to the volume of deal litigation. Not that long ago, merger litigation was occasional. Squeeze-out deals drew litigation; and there might be a suit to challenge a manifestly deficient proxy statement. But deal litigation was the exception not the rule. Now we see a lawsuit on every deal – and often more than one in more than one place. But I think the pendulum may be shifting back. My guess is when they do the data for 2015 we’ll see a downtick in the frequency of merger litigation. LD: What are some of the factors contributing to a shift? WS: The advent and clear judicial acceptance of

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forum selection bylaws makes multijurisdictional litigation difficult and will disincentivize duplicative lawsuits. We are also seeing greater judicial receptivity to motions to dismiss fiduciary cases where the pleadings don’t disclose a real factual basis for suit. There have been a number of dismissals, in Delaware and elsewhere, confirming the importance of weeding out non-meritorious cases early, before discovery costs mount. The courts are also turning up the pressure on the settlement process to ensure that settlements are substantive and fair. That trend should also reduce meritless filings. LD: Let’s talk a little about the Wachtell way, which strikes me as being deeply thoughtful about your clients’ business on the highest levels. WS: We are taught from day one to think in a holistic way about our clients. No matter what the lawsuit or transaction, we make it a priority to bring detailed knowledge of the objectives of the company, and the people who comprise it, and the whole range of business and legal risks they face. We like to think of clients as partners, and for the long haul. With that philosophy, we’ve been able to develop many very close advisory relationships. There’s nothing more gratifying in the practice of law. Another distinctive aspect of the firm is that it always encourages its lawyers to think beyond the case and to think about the law and its development, and to try out new theories, new deal structures and new arguments. Our founding partners imbued the place with a spirit of innovation, and it carries through everything we do. Not once since the day I showed up have I been discouraged from teaching or writing or pursuing a new solution to a client problem or rethinking an issue from the ground up. We’re a law firm of course, but we’re also a kind of think tank on corporate governance and corporate law. And we remain true to the vision Marty [Lipton] and Herb [Wachtell] articulated when they hung out their shingle: to bring together a small group of deeply committed people who would practice law with maximum intensity and at the highest level. It’s a privilege to be a part of it. LD: What do you do when you’re not working? WS: Objection, foundation! But seriously, I have a wonderful family and I spend every minute with them that I can.

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Alison Ressler SULLIVAN & CROMWELL (LOS ANGELES)


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ALISON RESSLER THE CLEAR MAJORITY OF TRANSACTIONAL

lawyers on the Lawdragon 500 are based in New York, where the storied firm of Sullivan & Cromwell has been based since 1879. And that’s where Alison Ressler, a Brown University and Columbia Law School graduate, should have ended up spending her career. Instead, she has spent it in the firm’s Los Angeles office after a planned two-year stint evolved into a permanent move – and a great one, for both Ressler and the firm. Ressler still made partner a year early and has worked on an endless string of big-ticket deals totaling many billions of dollars. She also has held leadership positions at the firm and currently serves on its management committee. LAWDRAGON: What was going through your mind back when you moved to Los Angeles? ALISON RESSLER: I moved as I was just finishing up

my first year of practice. I made the move because I had recently gotten married and my husband had an opportunity out here. My deal with him was that I only needed to stay two years. As it turned out, here we sit 31 years later. I was concerned back in 1984 that the Los Angeles-based firms didn’t have the quality practice that Sullivan & Cromwell or other very top New York firms offered. When S&C decided they were opening up the office and offered me the opportunity to come in as the junior associate, I didn’t know yet how we would fare in Los Angeles because the firm hadn’t operated there before. It’s turned out to be a terrific part of the overall firm practice, and I never left. LD: What was the office like in those early days? AR: There were eight people when we opened it. The office had interesting, high-profile transactions from the outset. It was clear from the moment I arrived that the office was going to fulfill my personal objective, which was continuing to have an absolute top practice. I was extraordinarily busy from the day I walked in the door. LD: What happened after a few years – were you still hoping to move back? AR: I started having children. I had my first child in

March of 1987, less than two and a half years after I had gotten to LA. I concluded from a personal perspective that I would like to stay and raise my family here, and that I wasn’t sacrificing anything from a

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BY JOHN RYAN professional perspective. I had four children over six years and I made partner in between numbers two and three. LD: Did you come to like LA? AR: I found that with having the practice – the Sullivan & Cromwell practice – it never really felt like I had left New York in terms of the work and also the global perspective. I never lost that because of the nature of our practice. I had the benefit that California had to offer in terms of easier living while maintaining the New York professional mentality. My personal life had California benefits and my professional life had everything you look for with being in the financial center of the world. LD: What do you credit for making partner in that timeframe? There was probably a notion that you had to be in New York. AR: I’m often asked for advice from young lawyers,

both men and women. One of the things I always say is never listen to people tell you what you need to do to be successful because there aren’t rules like that that apply universally. At the beginning of my career, had I listened to people tell me what I wouldn’t be able to accomplish, I’d probably be in a very different place than I am today. I’ve always believed that if you’re great at what you do things will work out. I never thought about or worried about making partner or that I needed to move back to New York. When I was pregnant with my third child, I was actually made partner a year early. LD: Why did you become interested in a transactional practice? AR: The principal features of doing deals all play to

my strengths. Negotiating, strategizing, coming up with tactics, navigating issues, figuring out how to achieve a client’s objective and get something done. Those are all things that I really enjoy doing, and we do that for clients who tend to be very smart and very sophisticated. It is fulfilling working with very smart and sophisticated people across industries and across the globe – helping to get deals done. I am continually challenged and love what I do. LD: Was it harder early on as a woman for people to see you as the person who was really going to lead the negotiation? Did that take a while?

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Kevin Arquit

Judy Barrasso

SIMPSON THACHER NEW YORK

BARRASSO USDIN NEW ORLEANS

Lisa Arrowood

Scott Barshay

ARROWOOD PETERS BOSTON

CRAVATH NEW YORK

Kim Askew

Charlene Barshefsky

K&L GATES DALLAS

WILMERHALE WASHINGTON, D.C.

David Asmus

George Bason

MORGAN LEWIS HOUSTON

DAVIS POLK NEW YORK

Christine Azar

Hilarie Bass

LABATON SUCHAROW WILMINGTON

GREENBERG TRAURIG MIAMI

Baher Azmy

John Baughman

CENTER FOR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS NEW YORK

PAUL WEISS NEW YORK

Corinne Ball

Sam Baxter

JONES DAY NEW YORK

MCKOOL SMITH MARSHALL, TEXAS

Michelle Banks

William Beck

THE GAP SAN FRANCISCO

LATHROP & GAGE KANSAS CITY

Peter Barbur

Candace Beinecke

CRAVATH NEW YORK

HUGHES HUBBARD NEW YORK

Robert Baron

Max Berger

CRAVATH NEW YORK

BERNSTEIN LITOWITZ NEW YORK

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AR: It really didn’t. The closest I came to what you’re

saying is I’d walk into a room and get a feeling early on – sometimes when I was being initially introduced to a group – that maybe they weren’t thinking that I was going to be a key person in the room. Honestly, I never walked out of any meeting without people having a very different view. I was able to have that happen as an associate. One of the things about Sullivan & Cromwell is – and we tell this to associates when we recruit them – that you are given as much responsibility early as you can take. I was always encouraged by the partners I worked with to take on responsibility. If you sit in a meeting and you’re saying the right things and doing the right things and getting the right results, everybody’s going to start listening to you and pay attention. That’s what happened. LD: What does it take to manage such a steady flow of huge deals? AR: You have to be willing, first and foremost, to

work really hard. The thing about M&A work in the environment we currently operate in is that it’s a 24/7 business. When you have transactions going, you have to be willing to sacrifice everything else at the time. If you have multiple transactions going you have to figure out how to orchestrate that in a way that every client you’re working for is going to get the service that they demand – and are entitled to from a firm like ours. I understand that and I think you need an understanding that we’re in a service business, and that what we sell is the quality of our services. It can’t be diminished no matter how busy you are. I’ve always been prepared personally to make those sacrifices. When you’re personally prepared to make sacrifices like that, it sets the tone for the rest of your team. We’re very fortunate to have a group of partners and a group of associates across the firm that are used to doing that and working together to achieve a client’s objective. I think in order to juggle the volume of deals that I have juggled in my career you also need to be very organized, and you need to have a big, good team around you. I am very organized and I have that team. LD: In some of the leadership positions that you’ve had, was that something that you were seeking out or did people come to you to ask you to do it? AR: It goes back to what I said about walking into a room and just ensuring that when you leave, that the people are listening to you. I’ve always believed

that if you’re going to do something you need to do it really well. When you do something really well and you make your presence known, people ask you to do more. That’s what happened. I actually have never sought out leadership positions, but I ended up with them. LD: Are there things that you do or the firm does to try to make sure that women stay and get leadership positions? AR: Yes, it’s something that we really have focused on. For a long time I was the only woman on our committee running the firm. Now we’ve added two others. I think the firm as a whole is focused on what we can and should do to keep our women associates interested in doing what we do and other women partners host regular events, mentor other women, spend time sharing experiences and are available to give guidance. I mentor women here and I always make myself available to anyone at the firm whether it’s a female partner or an associate in terms of giving them guidance on their career and how to achieve their objectives and I believe male partners do the same. My mentors were men and they provided invaluable guidance to me in developing my career. LD: I assume you get to know your clients’ businesses pretty well. Out of all the different types, is there any industry that you’ve really come to enjoy? AR: I love the diversity of industries my clients are

in, but the healthcare field, pharma and biotech, has always been a favorite area of mine and has always been a very substantial percentage of my overall deal flow. I enjoy working on those kinds of transactions, because it’s so important to the lives we all lead – especially when you’re talking about working with companies or products developing innovative cures to disease. LD: Can you talk about some of the extra-practice activities that you devote your time to? AR: Education has been something I’ve always been

passionate about, ensuring that as many people as possible get an opportunity to get a top education, so I’ve been affiliated with schools. I recently became co-chair of the dean’s council at Columbia Law School. I am one of the four officers on the corporation at Brown University. I’m also a member of the board at the Harvard-Westlake school and have been in leadership positions on that board as well. Read the full Q&A at www.lawdragon.com/lawyer-limelights/ alison-ressler.

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Antony Ryan CRAVATH (NEW YORK)


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ANTONY RYAN IN THE ERA OF VASTLY COMPLEX

financial litigation, it’s good to be one of the most trusted advisors to PricewaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte & Touche, among many others. But Cravath’s Antony Ryan did not achieve that role through rigorous accounting training or a background in business. Instead, he learned the niche working alongside Evan Chesler, Tom Rafferty and others as they dissected claims against their clients – in part, by thinking as their clients do. Ryan brings an honest empathy to that work as well as his significant public interest contributions, which include winning freedom for a man wrongfully convicted of murder. His civil litigation practice defines cutting edge. He argued in the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Bear Stearns opt-out litigation on behalf of Deloitte, which is facing claims of facilitating a fraud against a Monaco-based hedge fund. He argued there should be no private right of action under Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and under SEC rule 10b-5 for someone who has entered into a total return swap. He’s also working on an SEC enforcement action for a corporate client that began as an accounting investigation, and has morphed into a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act case about business in China. And he’s working to resuscitate the languishing common-law defense of in pari delicto. State courts are split on whether auditors should be able to defend claims against them by saying it’s the client’s fault, barring their claims because of unclean hands. He won a ruling in 2010 allowing the defense in New York. LAWDRAGON: How does one become an expert in accounting litigation? ANTONY RYAN: I didn’t have any particular accounting

background, that overlay happened by serendipity. I knew I wanted to be a lawyer because I liked debating and was interested in the adversarial process. The only other career I considered was as a history professor. Since I came from an academic family I was interested in something practical where I could make a real world difference. The law has intellectual aspects, but it is a practical endeavor. I thought going to law school was like learning the rules of life. It was

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BY KATRINA DEWEY amazing to me how everything in the world is governed by law. Being able to experience that and have the key handed to you to appreciate that fully was eye-opening. LD: While at Harvard Law School, you spent your second-year summer at Cravath. Can you talk about that? AR: I was very drawn to how immersed, sink or swim,

the work was even as a summer associate. I liked being immediately made a member of the team here and that I had responsibility even as a summer associate. I remember I helped Bob Baron get ready for a client meeting and went with him – it was nice of him to bring me along. And the client asked more and more detailed questions about the nature of the legal analysis I’d undertaken. At some point during the meeting, Bob turned to me. The CEO was himself a former lawyer and he had more ability to interrogate his lawyers. That was a new experience for me, and because I had investigated what he asked about and had formed a view, I felt comfortable in the process. LD: Once you joined Cravath, what was your first exposure to accounting issues? AR: I started out as a litigator and was assigned to a

team for 18 months. At Cravath, our system allows for outstanding training by having us work directly with a partner then rotate to another partner. My first partner was Evan Chesler, and I obviously learned a tremendous amount from him. He was handling a case involving Mid-American Waste Systems in Columbus, Ohio. Evan’s always involved in lots of different kinds of cases, so I was exposed to different types of matters and that case provided an introduction to accounting issues. But I really started to focus on accounting liability as a fifth- or sixth-year associate. I rotated to work with Frank Barron, who was working for PricewaterhouseCoopers on Allegheny Health, which was an SEC investigation and enforcement matter, and also a large private civil litigation. What was so interesting about that case is we were a defendant and subject of an investigation, but this involved a financial fraud the former client had perpetrated on its auditors. That gave us the opportunity to go on the offensive – to ask who had been involved, how they had successfully concealed the fraud from the auditors, how they

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Martha Bergmark

Steven Bochner

VOICES FOR CIVIL JUSTICE WASHINGTON, D.C.

WILSON SONSINI PALO ALTO

Barry Berke

Kathleen Bogas

KRAMER LEVIN NEW YORK

BOGAS KONCIUS BINGHAM FARMS, MICH.

Sean Berkowitz

Hale Boggs

LATHAM & WATKINS CHICAGO

MANATT PHELPS LOS ANGELES

Steve Berman

Christopher Boies

HAGENS BERMAN SEATTLE

BOIES SCHILLER NEW YORK

Erica Berthou

David Boies

DEBEVOISE & PLIMPTON NEW YORK

BOIES SCHILLER NEW YORK

Vineet Bhatia

Mary Bonauto

SUSMAN GODFREY HOUSTON

GAY & LESBIAN ADVOCATES & DEFENDERS BOSTON

Robert Bingle

Andre Bouchard

CORBOY & DEMETRIO CHICAGO

DELAWARE COURT OF CHANCERY WILMINGTON

Bruce Birenboim

Jamie Boucher

PAUL WEISS NEW YORK

SKADDEN WASHINGTON, D.C.

Lisa Blatt

Ted Boutrous

ARNOLD & PORTER WASHINGTON, D.C.

GIBSON DUNN LOS ANGELES

Jeff Bleich

David Braff

MUNGER TOLLES SAN FRANCISCO

SULLIVAN & CROMWELL NEW YORK

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lied to the auditors. Though we were the defendant, the onus was on us to uncover all these facts and to show why the audit had not found this fraud. LD: That sounds like the hallmark Cravath strategy, of taking a step back and looking at things differently. AR: Exactly. We switched the whole lens. In discovery,

we took the initiative to depose people to find out the facts. It was a case where the plaintiffs’ case was ‘look, a fraud occurred, the company is bankrupt, you were the auditors, ipso facto, you are at fault’. The whole burden shifted onto us to explain why the company failed and how the fraud had gone on for some time. For me, there was a very human aspect to the case and helping the auditors. They were auditors who had been running this engagement, whose professional careers were obviously now at stake. They were being impugned as having been a part of this fraud. LD: Accountants are people too? AR: That’s how I feel. Audits are very complex endeavors and involve a lot of judgment. Any time an issue is missed somehow, there’s this immense hindsight bias to say that it must have been obvious, and it’s apparent something wasn’t accounted for properly. But there can be lots of reasons – financial fraud, yes, but there are also differences in accounting judgment.

Few accounting issues are black and white, cut and dried, there really is a lot of judgment and common sense involved. Auditors are professionals trying to do the right thing, trying to make judgments in real time. I remember distinctly defending the three main auditors in that case, the engagement partner and two managers. Being a professional caught up in a malpractice case is a very frustrating experience. You have lawyers saying ‘don’t tell anybody about the case except when you’re under oath’. So you feel kind of helpless, that you don’t have any ability to defend yourself. Having a lawyer who’s a voice for you is very important. So while I had exposure to accounting issues in cases before Allegheny Health, the additional auditor overlay – how they go about conducting an audit – I learned on that case. We ended up settling the case with the SEC and the civil action; the SEC never brought a claim against PwC. While accounting cases have a veneer of complexity and quantitative issues, at bottom accounting cases are great storytelling cases. There’s an underlying clear story about what happened at the company,

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what happened to that company’s business that led to an accounting issue and how that accounting issue was handled. Fundamentally what appeals to me is that these are stories. LD: You have significant experience for PwC and others in international litigation. What are some of the challenges there? AR: Earlier this year, I had a 2nd Circuit argument in-

volving financial fraud in Saudi Arabia, Certain Funds, Accounts and/or Investment Vehicles Managed by Affiliates of Fortress Investment Group L.L.C. v. KPMG L.L.P. It involves a petition for discovery under Section 1782 of the U.S. Code, that allows a litigant in matters outside the U.S. to apply to a U.S. Court to obtain discovery for use in the non-U.S. proceeding. The case was brought by a hedge fund that lost money on debt instruments, such as Sharia-compliant bonds, issued by two Saudi Arabian entities. The hedge fund brought the action in New York, saying they should be able to obtain the work papers of the KPMG and PwC firms that audited the underlying companies in various Arabian countries. My client is PwC International Ltd., which coordinates certain activities of firms in the PwC network. We argue that they are not entitled to the papers. The 1782 area has been on the books for a long time, but used very little over the years. It attracted attention recently in the Ecuadorian oil litigation where it was used to great effect by Chevron and Gibson Dunn to obtain lots of documents. That led people to realize a statute is on the books that can get you U.S.-style discovery even when the underlying case is in a country that wouldn’t otherwise provide for it. Forum non conveniens claims are also significant in this practice. We try to help our clients figure out where they would be best off to have cases located. In the Madoff fund cases, for example, we have had cases in Florida and New York dismissed on forum non conveniens grounds in favor of Ireland and are advising on related cases in various European countries. When you, in particular, have foreign clients, they generally have a strong aversion to being a defendant in any U.S. litigation. They have a view that discovery has run amok. And our greater use of jury trials in civil cases is unusual, it makes foreign companies very nervous. Being able to help demystify the process for them, explain to them what avenues are available to them, is a very important part of a lot of cases we have. Read the full Q&A at www.lawdragon.com/lawyer-limelights/antony-ryan.

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Mark Lebovitch BERNSTEIN LITOWITZ (NEW YORK)


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MARK LEBOVITCH IT’S BEEN A RAPID ASCENT FOR

Mark Lebovitch in the world of corporate governance litigation, from a Delaware Court of Chancery clerkship and a stint at corporate giant Skadden to his current role at the plaintiff-side securities litigation powerhouse Bernstein Litowitz – where he chairs the firm’s impressively active and influential corporate governance and shareholder rights group. His team specializes in derivative litigation and lawsuits over M&A and other transactions for institutional clients, earning recoveries while also achieving corporate governance reforms. A 1999 graduate of New York University School of Law, Lebovitch recently turned 40. LAWDRAGON: How did you develop an interest in corporate governance litigation? MARK LEBOVITCH: I was lucky enough to sign up for former Chancellor Bill Allen’s first Corporations class after he left the court. The Internet boom was just getting started, and until that time, my only career goal was to work at a law firm long enough to figure out how to start the next iVillage or eToys. But like Mick Jagger says, “You can’t always get what you want….” In Professor Allen’s class, I really enjoyed seeing how fiduciary duty law, for all of its standards of review and precedents that seem to say anything and everything, is really all about good faith and personal incentives. That class gave me what I needed; it completely changed my path. LD: I assume that clerking for Vice Chancellor Stephen

Lamb fueled your interest in Delaware law.

ML: Early in my clerkship, I saw that Vice Chancellor Lamb deeply respected the law as written, but also had a curiosity and sense of obligation to figure out what was really going on in each case. He wanted to be sure the application of the law also did justice. That sense of balance stays with me today: The purpose of the law is not simply to get a result in order to end a case and move on to the next one. It is to achieve a just result. If the law compels an unjust result, be intellectually honest about the need to improve the law. LD: To what do you attribute rising to the top of a practice at such a young age? ML: Be disruptive, but show judgment. You need to know when to act out of the box, but also know when to put your head down and just do your work

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BY JOHN RYAN the same way people have done it before you for generations. Some long-ingrained practices are still followed for a reason. Practices sometimes become habit, however, because people get too lazy to question convention. I keep working on it every day. As time goes on, I am more comfortable deciding when to just stay within the lines and when to ignore or deviate from conventional practice. LD: Can you share an example of litigation that has improved corporate governance? ML: I’m very proud of my role in challenging proxy puts in debt agreements. [These provisions can trigger a corporate debt default in the event shareholders vote to change a company’s board of directors.] I remember when Joel Friedlander first called me to talk about a possible case involving proxy puts. We realized that these provisions contravene basic notions of stockholder voting rights. We also saw the opportunity for smart shareholder litigation to really become a force for positive change. After over six years of pressing these cases, I believe the corporate world has finally realized that these provisions cannot be treated as the ordinary, or acceptable, course of business. LD: You’ve acknowledged that the securities litigation bar has been hurt somewhat by frivolous litigation over some M&As. Can you comment on that? ML: Every industry has its flaws, bad actors and structural problems. I think M&A litigation has received so much negative attention because of the sense that lawyers were getting money for nothing. However, that ceaseless public and media focus on the flaws and bad apples in the system has already caused a correction. I think the Delaware judges, in particular, have spent lots of time considering how to achieve a better balance, and I think they are doing so. They are not giving out money for nothing to lawyers who did not earn it. At the same time, I hope judges across the country remember that there are meaningful cases of corporate misconduct out there, being prosecuted by dedicated lawyers who are not looking for a handout, but actually want to fight for investors’ rights, make good law, and earn compensation that recognizes the real risk they assume by pushing their cases aggressively and pursuing novel but important claims. Read the full Q&A at www.lawdragon.com/lawyerlimelights/mark-lebovitch.

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Jamie Wine LATHAM & WATKINS (NEW YORK)


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JAMIE WINE THE WORLD’S LARGEST FINANCIAL AND

accounting firms can thank Latham’s “unassigned system” – allowing young associates to take on cases across different departments – for bringing them Jamie Wine, who explored different practices before focusing on securities and accounting litigation. Wine also credits her mentors, including fellow Lawdragon 500 member Miles Ruthberg, and a support system that has allowed ascent to the top of her practice while raising a family. (She is married with two young children.) The 1995 Harvard Law School graduate excelled in Latham’s Los Angeles headquarters before relocating to New York and has served in a number of firm leadership roles, including a stint on its executive committee. Earlier this year, the National Organization for Women named Wine a “Women of Power & Influence Awards” honoree. LAWDRAGON: Congratulations on the NOW honor. What was your reaction? JAMIE WINE: I felt very humbled, honored and eager to show my appreciation both to NOW and all of the wonderful people who have supported me throughout my career. The National Organization for Women works tirelessly to achieve a level playing field for women so they are able to fulfill their potential. I have benefited from that in my own career so the recognition was particularly meaningful to me. Prior recipients of the award include exemplary women in business, law and politics, including SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White, activist Gloria Steinem, and designer Nicole Miller. Like these inspirational women, I hope that I can show younger professional women that they can fulfill their potential and achieve their goals, whatever they are. LD: What types of cases are keeping you busy these days? Any trends you are seeing? JW: For the last seven years, my practice has been dominated by litigation stemming from the financial crisis, most notably my representation of Deutsche Bank in a number of RMBS [residential mortgagebacked securities] matters and of Ernst & Young in its Lehman-related litigation. While that work is ongoing, the activity in these matters is certainly not as fast and furious as it was a few years ago.

I am fortunate that my practice is varied and I continue to handle a number of matters not strictly tied to the

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BY JOHN RYAN financial crisis. For example, I tried a securities case in federal court earlier this year for one of the large consulting firms. I represent a number of corporate issuers in securities and accounting-related matters, with one very large case headed to trial in January. And I continue to represent the major accounting firms on a variety of litigation and regulatory matters. As for trends, as long as the regulators remain interested in accounting issues and assuming no major shifts in the federal securities laws, my practice will continue to be vibrant. LD: When did you know you wanted to have this type of practice? JW: I always knew I had an interest in litigation, but I

had no idea I would specialize in securities law and accounting issues. I had no background in these areas coming out of college and law school. I majored in political science and English, and had little business background. It is funny to think back now, but when I started my practice, I didn’t even know what an IPO was. And on my first accounting firm case, I had to ask someone what “workpapers” were. I credit my interest in securities and accounting to the unassigned system at Latham, which allows junior associates to take on matters in any department of their choosing. This provided me the opportunity to explore various areas of the law before settling on a specific expertise. Who knew that the corporate transactions I worked on not only would teach me about IPOs, but end up being so relevant to the securities litigation practice that I ultimately developed? I also credit my colleagues because, in addition to being intellectually stimulated and challenged by my practice, I am privileged to work day in and day out with mentors, friends and supporters who make the practice of law so enjoyable. LD: Did you have any reservations about joining a large firm? Large firms generally did not have a great reputation as places for women to work. JW: I had reservations about joining such a large

law firm, though it was much smaller than it is now, but at the time my concern was whether I would get good opportunities and experiences as a young associate. For better or worse, I was not too focused on women’s issues then. I was fortunate to grow up and be educated in environments where the idea

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Stephen Breyer

Ralph Campillo

U.S. SUPREME COURT WASHINGTON, D.C.

SEDGWICK LOS ANGELES

Brad Brian

Raoul Cantero

MUNGER TOLLES LOS ANGELES

WHITE & CASE MIAMI

Rodney Brown

David Caplan

CASCADIA LAW GROUP SEATTLE

DAVIS POLK NEW YORK

Andrew Brownstein

Mats Carlston

WACHTELL LIPTON NEW YORK

WINSTON & STRAWN NEW YORK

Susanna Buergel

Bill Carmody

PAUL WEISS NEW YORK

SUSMAN GODFREY NEW YORK

John Buretta

James Carroll

CRAVATH NEW YORK

SKADDEN BOSTON

David Burman

Douglas Cawley

PERKINS COIE SEATTLE

MCKOOL SMITH DALLAS

Elizabeth Cabraser

Jonathan Cedarbaum

LIEFF CABRASER SAN FRANCISCO

WILMERHALE WASHINGTON, D.C.

Bradley Caldwell

Dale Cendali

CALDWELL CASSADY DALLAS

KIRKLAND & ELLIS NEW YORK

Tim Cameron

Paul Cereghini

CRAVATH NEW YORK

BOWMAN & BROOKE PHOENIX

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that I could not do something or could not do it as well because I was female literally never entered my mind. When I got to Latham, just like every other large law firm at that time, I saw that there were in fact imbalances, particularly in leadership, and this became very important to me. I have always been surrounded at Latham by wonderful colleagues who supported me in my development as an attorney. But at the same time, it was not until I was a young partner that the first woman was elected to Latham’s Executive Committee. I ultimately became the third. I am proud that during my twenty years at the firm, I have seen the firm evolve and become a leader and innovator on women’s issues. LD: Can you identify some of the mentors or mentoring processes that helped you stay at the firm and succeed? JW: Two come to mind. First, our former chairman,

Bob Dell, who ran the firm throughout my entire career, until he retired at the end of last year. Bob’s philosophy was that if you empower younger lawyers they will rise to the challenge. He consciously sought out younger lawyers who he believed would make good leaders, and started to groom them early on by giving them management responsibilities at a young age. I was fortunate to have Bob as one of my supporters and held a number of management positions that exposed me to the various practices and geographies that comprise our firm, and ultimately gained the experience I needed to serve on our Executive Committee. Second, my primary mentor throughout my career, Miles Ruthberg. Miles has mentored me both in my practice and in firm leadership, himself having held a number of management positions, including a tenure on our Executive Committee. From day one he has seen me not as a female attorney, but simply as a hard-working and talented professional who has something meaningful to contribute. He is a great friend, a fabulous lawyer, and someone for whom I have the utmost respect. LD: When you give advice to young attorneys or students interested in a law practice and having a family, do you find yourself giving some of the same advice to both women and men, or is some of it different? JW: In many ways, the advice I give is the same to

male and female attorneys. Work hard, exercise good judgment, provide the highest level of client service, and still find time to have a fulfilling personal life. But

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while I believe men are more focused today on balancing the demands of work with their personal lives, I think women continue to struggle with this more acutely. My advice to younger female attorneys is to continue striving towards their professional goals in addition to personal fulfillment, even if they cannot see right now how they can make it all work. But part of making it work is being OK with the reality of what that means – for me, it is that I cannot have a career like mine and be home every night with my kids. We ourselves, as women, have to be ok with breaking from what are still firmly-held cultural norms. LD: As someone who has done it, are there a few really key pieces of advice that you dole out in almost every conversation on this topic? JW: Be flexible, understanding and have a sense of humor about it all. And surround yourself with a spouse, kids and friends who are that way, too. Between my client practice and management responsibilities at my firm, I have been living an untraditional – and often chaotic! – life where I work long hours, sometimes at odd hours, and also fly off someplace different most weeks. I couldn’t do it without everyone in my support system. And a lot of laughter. LD: What was the reasoning or motivation behind your move from the Los Angeles office to New York? Do you miss LA and do you find yourself defending it to New Yorkers, or were you happy to leave it behind? JW: It’s hard to pin me down on a favorite city. I was

born and raised in Boston and still very fond of it (go Patriots!), I wouldn’t change anything about my many years in LA which were perfect for that time in my life, and I love the culture and excitement of New York and raising my kids here. My move was motivated by a combination of factors – most of my clients were headquartered on the East Coast and much of my work was here, and I felt that there were additional professional opportunities in New York. Latham at that time also wanted to deepen its litigation presence in New York. And on a personal level, with only one child who was then 11-months old, I felt that if I ever were to move back to the East Coast, I should do it before my kids were in school. So over a very short period of time my husband and I discussed it and decided to make the move. It was the best decision we ever made professionally and for our family, and we have never looked back. Read the full Q&A at www.lawdragon.com/lawyerlimelights/jamie-wine.

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Jeffrey Bleich MUNGER TOLLES (SAN FRANCISCO)


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JEFFREY BLEICH JEFFREY BLEICH UNDERSTANDS THE

value of how things work together – whether it’s relationships, parts of government or constituencies. While the Munger Tolles & Olson partner credits a post-college stint as a Coro Fellow for his insight, it might have something to do with his parents. His dad, Charlie, was a dentist in Connecticut, and his mom, Linda, his receptionist. When Charlie recently celebrated his 80th birthday, he told Jeff how lucky he had been to create so many smiles and, as a teacher later on, to teach others how to create a smile. Bleich’s parents taught him well. With an unstoppable work ethic and belief in helping others, he was tapped as Special Counsel to President Barack Obama in his first term, essentially serving as his troubleshooter. He was then appointed Ambassador to Australia, where he helped create a stronger role for the U.S. in the Asia Pacific region by fortifying the U.S.-Australia alliance. While in Canberra, Bleich laid the framework for the world’s largest trade act, the Trans Pacific Partnership. Today, he spends a substantial amount of time counseling Silicon Valley’s tech elite on cybersecurity and international trade issues. And, naturally, he spends a fair amount of time thinking about politics – when he’s not grabbing doughnuts with his daughter or helping a pro bono client whose case touches his heart. LAWDRAGON: You have a long history of excelling in private practice while also doing very significant public interest work. Last year, you successfully represented the family of Hong Yen Chang, an 1886 graduate of Columbia Law School, who was denied admission to the State Bar of California for 125 years. Can you tell me about that case? JEFF BLEICH: Hong Yen Chang was an extraordinary

man, who immigrated to the U.S. from Southern China when he was 13-years old as part of an educational mission. He graduated from Yale and then became a lawyer, becoming the first Chinese immigrant lawyer in the U.S. and admitted to the bar in New York. The State Bar of California, however, denied him admission. More than a century later, his family asked the State Bar to admit him posthumously and they denied the request. They offered instead to provide an honorary membership in the bar. His family thought that was not appropriate, but the State Bar was concerned

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BY KATRINA DEWEY they did not have adequate procedures to admit him posthumously. As a former State Bar president, I had an interest in having the state bar do the right thing, and thought it was likely there were procedures that would permit the state bar to do so. Also, as an Ambassador for other countries, I was sensitive to the importance of assuring other nations that our commitment to equal access and treatment are not just words; they are a hallmark of the American system. Our justice system is admired precisely because we strive to provide equal protection to everyone regardless of whether they were citizens; and we are actually willing to acknowledge where we’ve fallen short in order to do better. Finally, this was an ideal case for me because it involved original jurisdiction in the state supreme court, where I had argued several cases. LD: It sounds like this was a case where you thought there was a real injustice you could do something about. JB: This was an open wound in the Chinese com-

munity that we could help heal and demonstrate our dedication to justice. So between the state bar, the international dimension and the Supreme Court, I couldn’t say no. It was a complicated case and the most complicated thing was raising it at the California Supreme Court as original jurisdiction. We first had to establish a procedural basis for it, as there was no existing process for granting posthumous admission to the state bar. The worst thing to happen would be to file the petition and have the Supreme Court deny it, potentially inflaming old injuries. That was our concern. We wanted to see around all the corners in advance, to avoid any procedural roadblocks. LD: Were you surprised at the opinion? The court wrote in remarkably broad language about the grievous wrong done to Chang by his exclusion – and to “countless others.” JB: None of us expected such an impressive and comprehensive decision. It was beautifully written, went through all the facts, acknowledged the fault of the court and, I think, provided a real measure of justice to the family of Hong Yen Chang and to members of the Chinese community. It made those of us who care about the justice system proud. Talking to his family after was very gratifying. We had a special ceremony to present the bar admission certificate to his family. Members of the state bar trustees and

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William Chandler

Richard Climan

WILSON SONSINI GEORGETOWN, DEL.

WEIL GOTSHAL REDWOOD SHORES, CALIF.

Erwin Chemerinsky

Ty Cobb

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, IRVINE, LAW SCHOOL IRVINE, CALIF.

HOGAN LOVELLS WASHINGTON, D.C.

Evan Chesler

Jay Cohen

CRAVATH NEW YORK

PAUL WEISS NEW YORK

Ken Choe

Lori Cohen

HOGAN LOVELLS WASHINGTON, D.C.

GREENBERG TRAURIG ATLANTA

Morgan Chu

Mary Louise Cohen

IRELL & MANELLA LOS ANGELES

PHILLIPS & COHEN WASHINGTON, D.C.

James Clark

Richard Cohen

CAHILL GORDON NEW YORK

SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER MONTGOMERY, ALA.

Judy Clarke

Robin Cohen

CLARKE & RICE SAN DIEGO

KASOWITZ BENSON NEW YORK

Richard Clary

George Conway

CRAVATH NEW YORK

WACHTELL LIPTON NEW YORK

Paul Clement

Philip Harnett Corboy, Jr.

BANCROFT WASHINGTON, D.C.

CORBOY & DEMETRIO CHICAGO

Jerry Clements

Kelly Corr

LOCKE LORD DALLAS

CORR CRONIN SEATTLE

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the California Supreme Court came together for a beautiful ceremony. His family members gave remarks that this was always his dream. Hong Yen Chang was very successful in other ways, but always wanted to practice law in California. It was a powerful testament to why he loved California and wanted to be a member of this bar that this is a state that would revisit its mistakes and try to do the just thing. In my remarks I quoted Felix Frankfurter, who observed, “Wisdom too often never comes, and so one ought not to reject it merely because it comes late.” LD: You’ve said before – when you were a fifth-year associate and representing Warren Buffett and Bill Clinton as well as homeless people in San Francisco – that the Matrix challenge on behalf of the homeless was your most important case. Can you talk a little about your world view? JB: There are a lot of professions where you can

influence policy, where you can make money and have influence, where you can have a certain amount of fame. And in most of those jobs, you never have to raise your right hand and swear allegiance to the constitution, to laws, to commit to support and defend and advance the laws of your country. It’s a very different job. To me being a lawyer has always been as much a calling as a career. When you become a lawyer, you have a responsibility to society. You are given the capacity to handle some of its most difficult, sensitive issues and to effectively influence the laws under which we all live. Whenever I take on any matter, public or private, I think not only how do I make the best case for my client, but also how does this affect the community? How does this affect society? How do we have a result that will let all of the parties move forward afterward? I just think this is part of what you sign up for as a lawyer. If all you wanted to do is make rich companies richer, there are better careers for that. LD: What experiences led you to start seeing the world that way? JB: Coro was my entrée to thinking more broadly. It

was an accident. When I graduated from Amherst, I applied for grad school at the Kennedy School at Harvard, and I wanted to do something for the year in between. I wandered into the placement office, and Coro was one of the few things available; the only other interview options that late in the semester were the Peace Corps and the CIA. I made it through the interview process, which is very opaque.

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And what you do is work in a rotation - for six weeks with a labor union; six weeks with a corporation; then in government; with a nonprofit; and then on a political campaign. It gives you a sense of all the different careers, how they relate to each other. I started to appreciate that no society can really operate without all of these pieces. It helped me see how we can all work together if we don’t line up with just one group and demonize the others. The only down-side it that it left me with a really undisciplined set of passions. It’s where my interest in juvenile justice started. One project was with a nonprofit looking at the violence rate among juveniles, especially within gangs. I started focusing on dangerous juvenile offenders and worked on a book with a professor at the Kennedy School. Years later, President Clinton came across those chapters and invited me to head up the Youth Violence Commission. It showed me if you pursue what you are passionate about you never know what will come of it. LD: What’s a case you’re working on right now? JB: I’m handling another pro bono case, F.P. v. Monier,

that’s pending in the California Supreme Court waiting for a hearing date. It’s not high profile or high impact. The plaintiff’s plight spoke to me. I’ve done lots of work in domestic violence, and this woman was abused by a relative as a child. She’s in her 30s now. She went through a lot of pain and therapy and eventually got up the nerve to confront her abuser and bring a lawsuit for what he did. She won in a bench trial, and the defendant asked for a written opinion, which the judge passed away without writing. There’s a line of old cases in California that suggested failure to issue a written decision when requested is a per se reversible error. If the Court followed those cases, she’d have to go through the whole ordeal again, face her abuser again, recount the abuse again. Fortunately, the Supreme Court granted review and she asked if I’d represent her. It’s just nice sitting down with her, she’s been through a lot. She has a new baby, is married and she just needed a hand. She was grateful I’m doing it, but I’m grateful for all the training I got so I can have the opportunity to help her. That’s the good stuff. I was talking to my kids this weekend about the weird mix of my life. One day I’m meeting with Presidential candidates and the next day I’m trying to get the neighbor’s dog to the vet because we found him limping. Read the full Q&A at www.lawdragon.com/ lawyer-limelights/jeffrey-bleich.

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David Tolbert INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE (NEW YORK)


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DAVID TOLBERT DAVID TOLBERT’S PASSION FOR HUMAN

rights and his interest in forging a legal career were rooted in his experience of growing up in the segregated South. But it was his travels abroad as a student and young lawyer that triggered his desire to bring an international component to his career. It’s safe to say that Tolbert, now five-plus years into his tenure as President of the International Center for Transitional Justice, has succeeded in this goal. When he took the job in March 2010, Tolbert had a wealth of experience that included nine years – including nearly four as deputy chief prosecutor – at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), followed by stints working as a United Nations expert for the Khmer Rouge trials in Cambodia and as registrar for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. Prior to his first ICTY job in 1996, Tolbert worked for the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, and he interrupted his ICTY service with three years as the executive director of the American Bar Association’s Central European and Eurasian Law Initiative. The International Center for Transitional Justice, or ICTJ, is a nonprofit that assists societies with devising and implementing strategies to address massive human rights violations. This effort can take many forms: prosecutions, truth commissions, reparations, institutional reforms, memorials. ICTJ provides expertise on all justice mechanisms and across a daunting array of post-conflict situations across the globe, working on the local level with victims, civil society groups and governments. As Tolbert and other observers point out, now does not appear to be a golden era for accountability efforts for human rights violations – a harsh truth that highlights the importance of the ICTJ’s work. LAWDRAGON: What led you to take this position at the ICTJ after serving high-level roles in the tribunals? DAVID TOLBERT: I was drawn to ICTJ’s broad approach and use of comparative experience in addressing massive human rights abuses. ICTJ wrestles with the question of how to assist countries that have experienced massive human rights violations and finding ways to help them move toward respecting human rights. Experience across a range of countries points to accountability for these violations as a critical element in reestablishing a society on the basis of respect for human rights and the rule of law.

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BY JOHN RYAN While criminal justice processes, like those I worked on earlier in my career, are an important form of accountability, there are other equally important, and sometimes more appropriate, approaches to addressing the past. Truth commissions and commissions of inquiry often are more effective in describing what happened in a society and often “get at” the root causes of conflict. Moreover, experience shows that it is important to ensure that victims participate in the process and that the injuries they have suffered are addressed, thus reparations have played an important role in recognizing victims. Reform of state institutions can play a very important role in ensuring non-recurrence of the abuses. Thus, these approaches of accountability, acknowledgment and reform have been shown to be effective in helping societies recover from massive human rights abuses and to move forward on the basis of a society that respects rights. So, it is this broader approach that attracted me to ICTJ’s work. If I look at my experience at the ICTY, by many measures it is a successful tribunal. However, there were over 120 people brought to justice, and 10,000 perpetrators in Bosnia alone – so there’s a lot more that needs to happen to address the impunity gap and to ensure that victims are reintegrated into society. LD: The broad approach also creates a lot of work. You advise on the full range of justice mechanisms and are active in many situations. DT: Indeed, this work is very challenging. We’re stretched thin, and there are places that I think we ought to be working but simply don’t have the resources. We have greater impact than our funding would imply because we have some of the best experts in the world on these issues, and we also take very seriously what happens on the ground.

Our work is very context-driven, and that’s what I really look for in our country offices – excellent political analysis and relationship building, both at the national and international level. I think it’s that combination of expertise and understanding the local context that makes ICTJ so effective. We are engaged with the victims on the ground and operate where there’s some political space in which to push governments to take steps on accountability. We are taken seriously because we can speak with authority about these elements of acknowledgement,

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500 accountability and reform with hands-on, comparative experience as well as research on these areas. Nonetheless we have to make difficult decisions about where we are putting our resources. When the Arab Spring occurred, we were called by many to be engaged, and it turned out Tunisia was the right place for ICTJ to be most deeply engaged. We also tried to work in Egypt, but the door closed quickly. There are situations that are more open or have entry points for our work, Colombia comes to mind in this respect. Others like the Democratic Republic of the Congo will have a very incremental kind of progress. LD: Do you have any particular philosophy when getting involved, such as trying to make sure socieites use a combination of justice mechanisms? DT: We’ve talked a lot about this in the context of ICTJ’s new strategic plan. We would push back against any kind of formulaic approach – that a country has to implement these four or more measures, and they have to be sequenced in a particular way. The direction primarily must be determined by the national context and driven by what we call active social forces – a broader definition of civil society, including social movements, religious institutions, trade unions, etc. – in those countries. Each measure can have an important role to play and oftentimes there’s an interrelationship between them, such as when truth commissions uncover evidence that ultimately leads to prosecutions, or makes findings for reparations. But we have pushed back from a check-the-box approach.

We work with countries and try to bring in the lessons or the experiences of other societies. Ultimately, it is for that society to define its own path subject to certain international norms, but I think we can provide important comparative experience to inform these decisions and processes. We find that many people are hungry for this comparative experience. LD: Earlier this year you wrote an essay called “A Wrong Turn for Human Rights,” arguing that it’s not just a time of horrendous human rights abuses but also for the level of commitment towards ending them and holding perpetrators accountable. Why is this happening? DT: I think part of that is a cycle the world is in which, if anything, has gotten worse since I wrote the article. If we look at the 1990s, when horrible things happened – Srebrenica, Bosnia, Rwanda – there was

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some kind of reaction to that. The international community established the ICTY, the Rwanda tribunal, ultimately the International Criminal Court (ICC), the Sierra Leone court. There were 10 truth commissions and a number of other steps taken in reaction to the events. But now, if one is hard-nosed about it, the West as a champion of these steps has lost a lot of credibility – the U.S. in particular, with Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, torture after 9/11. There are geopolitical trends, as well, such as the Middle East coming apart. If we think about accountability, where the worst human rights abuses happen, perhaps the most serious are now in Syria and there are no serious efforts to address these crimes. With the ICC, which is obviously something I still support, I think there was and still is a little lack of realism – one could hardly expect one court in The Hague, with a fairly limited reach, to address all of the massive crimes within its jurisdiction. LD: Do you see any cause for hope? DT: There are things that you can point to that are going in the right direction. I don’t think it’s a completely bleak picture. The peace process in Colombia is potentially of historic importance. The case against Hissène Habré [former dictator of Chad] in Senegal, which is in its early stages, is encouraging. I think there are many active civil society groups across the world who are not going to let past abuses be swept under the proverbial carpet. The Arab Spring didn’t go the way we would have liked, but that does not necessarily mean that the passion for justice, respect, human rights and dignity isn’t there. I don’t think these issues or activists are just going to disappear. LD: Can the ICC regain its footing? DT: The court has faced some really difficult circumstances. But history shows courts in a number of instances have recovered their reputations and regained their credibility. The U.S. Supreme Court has wrecked its reputation a number of times – Plessy v. Ferguson, the Dred Scott decision, Bush v. Gore – and yet, over time, it has reestablished that reputation. Other courts on both the national and international level have rebuilt their reputations.

I do think the current situation at the ICC is discouraging at the moment. The ICC reminds me a little bit of what Antonio Cassese at one point said about the ICTY: that it’s a giant without arms or legs. The ICTY eventually became relatively successful and was able to build the requisite political support, which


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provided “the arms and legs,” for it to achieve its mandate. The ICC doesn’t have the requisite support as yet, and it needs some things to go better so it can begin to establish a better reputation and more respect. LD: How did the ICTJ come to play such a big role in the transitional justice efforts in Colombia.? DT: We’ve had a strong office in Colombia for some time which is both very connected to civil society and also that’s called on by the parties for advice. My view is that ICTJ has been the “go-to” organization with respect to these issues, and it’s interesting how transitional justice seems to be on everybody’s lips in Colombia. We’ve been deeply engaged with the legal authorities, on the proposed truth commission, reparations programs, and gender issues. We gave a good deal of advice on the truth commission that is now moving forward after the agreement reached in June between the government and FARC rebels [The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia]. On the prosecution side, we’ve also helped in terms of giving advice on the prioritization of cases, including having an expert implanted in the attorney general’s office to provide advice.

When I go to Colombia, there are big questions now about these prosecutions: Where do you draw the line? Not everyone who has committed a crime can be prosecuted – there is simply not the capacity. There is great resistance in several quarters about serving prison sentences. Are there alternative sentence arrangements that should be implemented? This is a significant issue on the FARC side. What’s going to happen with the government officials who are suspects? What about within the military? How are these issues going to be handled? LD: What are some big-picture issues that you will be dealing with in the year ahead? DT: Gender justice definitely is a key issue going forward and one that we will be emphasizing, as empowering women is a critical issue in all the contexts in which we work. I think the social and economic aspects of transitional justice probably will get more attention. I also think we will continue to have this issue of the “peace versus justice” debate. I know it’s an old debate, but it seems to be coming back – Colombia brings it back in a way, and so do some of the ICC cases.

The situation in Africa is one that we’ll continue to deal with. The African Union is looking at develop-

ing its own transitional justice policy. What does that really mean? Is it a way to avoid prosecutions? With that, there may be a bit of a struggle around what transitional justice means. We also have the issue of economic crimes, and how those may be addressed. This may be a way to look at some crimes in African nations in a way that has support there, as they would be pursuing Western businesses as opposed to national governments. In the West, are we going to continue to see a decline in a commitment to accountability for human rights violations? If economic crises continue, there is a concern that the commitment to human rights will continue to wane. There’s also the issue of terrorism, and how we look at groups like ISIS. How do human rights activists deal with these new forces on the scene and the atrocities they are committing? The issue of refugees flooding into Europe from Syria and Iraq is one that is bound to have serious repercussions. How do we, from a transitional justice point of view, try to address those issues? LD: I read that you grew up in North Carolina and that some of the race issues you saw had a big impact. Is that where your interest in human rights came from? DT: My elementary school was segregated, so segregation was a very real experience for me. My paternal ancestors were from South Carolina. They had opposed secession in the Civil War period, had opposed slavery, and had tried to defend the rights of African Americans. My grandfather was an attorney in South Carolina who defended African Americans. He was assaulted and crosses were burned in the yard and a number of other acts of violence were taken against him. That’s something of a hidden history in our family. I didn’t really know too much about it until I did research in this area. My grandfather ended up committing suicide, I think, because of all the pressure. This is a very southern, almost Faulknerian type of story. I feel this real identity with him and what the family tried to do during those times.

I didn’t hear much of the story from my parents, who were quite conservative politically. In any event, I have felt this deep sense of injustice regarding the society I grew up in. I think that’s what might have led me to go into the law. I wanted my life somehow or another to be about some of those issues. That was part of my motivation. People like Martin Luther King were very inspirational to me. Read the full Q&A at www.lawdragon.com/lawyerlimelights/david-tolbert.

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Nina Cortell

Luke Dauchot

HAYNES & BOONE DALLAS

KIRKLAND & ELLIS CHICAGO

Trey Cox

Jon Davidson

LYNN TILLOTSON DALLAS

LAMBDA LEGAL NEW YORK

Gregory Craig

Cari Dawson

SKADDEN WASHINGTON, D.C.

ALSTON & BIRD ATLANTA

Thomas Cranmer

Joe DeMarco

MILLER CANFIELD TROY, MICH.

DEVORE & DEMARCO NEW YORK

Susan Creighton

Thomas Demetrio

WILSON SONSINI WASHINGTON, D.C.

CORBOY & DEMETRIO CHICAGO

William Curbow

Robert Denham

SIMPSON THACHER NEW YORK

MUNGER TOLLES LOS ANGELES

Lisa Damon

Paul Denis

SEYFARTH SHAW BOSTON

DECHERT WASHINGTON, D.C.

John Daniels

Kelly Dermody

QUARLES & BRADY MILWAUKEE

LIEFF CABRASER SAN FRANCISCO

Catherine Dargan

Patricia Dodge

COVINGTON & BURLING WASHINGTON, D.C.

MEYER UNKOVIC PITTSBURGH

Frank Darras

Diane Doolittle

DARRASLAW ONTARIO, CALIF.

QUINN EMANUEL REDWOOD SHORES, CALIF.

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Jeffrey Kessler WINSTON & STRAWN (NEW YORK)


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Rema Bureau

Demetrius Patao

Lois Music

Penny Aguilar

Floria Schlecht

Mervin Ginder

Mattie Hostetler

Evelia Wohl

Doreen Stills

Zackary Caster

Ressie Dombrosky

Catarina Truax

Etha Kestner

Ali Miyashiro

Erinn Landen

Rosalie Rubalcaba

Vanetta Dodgen

Waldo Dee

Verona Farver

Anglea Haggins

Kaye Marcinek

Ileana Macneil

Yoshiko Holaway

Danyell Chmiel

Cody Longenecker

Marketta Minardi

Idell Zerangue

Marty Bise

Daphine Gershon

Venetta Blakeslee

Ozie Mari

Elke Gidley

Lanny Devane

Tyrone Rafter

Keely Rugg

Lu Salzano

Charles Reuss

Lowell Fye

Viola Kinloch HOLLAND & HART (DENVER)

Vernon Peraza

Micki Zimmerman

Janene Rotondo

Maynard Zeno

Helga Searcy

Jane Michaels

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JANE MICHAELS JANE MICHAELS MAY HAVE COME OUT

West on a “whim,” but the Boston University School of Law graduate certainly made the most of the opportunities that awaited her in Denver. She clerked at the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and embarked on a litigation career at Holland & Hart, where she serves as chair of the firm’s trial practice. The Lawdragon 500 member has excelled in all manner of complex commercial and intellectual property cases, with a long track record of success in patent infringement and other disputes for clients across the software, Internet, communications, manufacturing, energy and biotech industries. Michaels also spends part of her practice arbitrating and mediating complex cases. LAWDRAGON: I see you did your undergrad, master’s and law school all in the Boston area, after having been born in Pittsburgh. Did you grow up in Pittsburgh? JANE MICHAELS: Yes, I was raised in Pittsburgh. Look-

ing back on it, it was a great place to grow up. I am grateful for the Midwestern values and enduring friendships. Pittsburgh is a passionate sports town, and yet Pittsburghers also have a genuine, enthusiastic appreciation for the arts. My dad was a devoted Pirates and Steelers fan, as well as a beloved pediatrician. My mom is a talented artist. I feel particularly lucky to have benefitted from the left-brained logic of my phenomenal father and the right-brained vision of my creative mother. Both of my parents gave me a healthy sense of roots – and wings. LD: What brought you out West after having done all your education in and around Boston, and did you think you would stay out there? JM: It sounds crazy. Sheer whim brought me out West.

Yet, by 20/20 hindsight, it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I like Boston a lot – and am so fortunate to have gone to college, graduate school and law school there. But I felt an urge to head off to a new area of the country, where the opportunities seemed to be as vast as the landscape. I’ve never looked back – I simply love living in Colorado. LD: How did you come to develop a litigation practice with such a strong IP focus? Was that something you had as a young lawyer or was there a turning point in your career that put you on this path?

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BY JOHN RYAN JM: In law school my favorite course was tax, so back

then I thought I might become a tax lawyer. But when I graduated from law school, I had a wonderful opportunity to clerk for Judge William E. Doyle, who was on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver. That clerkship had a huge influence on my career path. I realized that my real passion was litigation. I was eager to become a persuasive advocate for my clients in the courtroom. Right after my clerkship and shortly after I joined Holland & Hart, I was fortunate to work with Ed Kahn, a brilliant trial lawyer, who let me argue motions and take an active role at trial, even though I was only a puppy lawyer at the time. In the beginning of my career I handled commercial litigation. Throughout the years, the cases became more complex, and many of them revolved around computer software issues. Several bet-the-company trade secrets cases kindled my growing passion for intellectual property law. Learning the technology intrigued me. Understanding the law, the technology and other complicated issues well enough to convey complex concepts simply and persuasively to judges and juries became my mission. As Albert Einstein once said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” I was drawn to IP litigation from that point forward. LD: What keeps you excited about it? It seems like you are regularly diving into an interesting mix of technological and other complex matters. JM: I thoroughly enjoy learning about new industries,

understanding different technologies and getting to know the people who are behind the story. Being a litigator is, at first, a little like being an investigative reporter. Our initial job is to dig into the voluminous facts of a case to find the key evidence. The primary role of an effective trial lawyer is to crystallize the critical facts, frame the underlying theme of a case and then communicate the client’s story simply and convincingly. That’s what keeps me excited about IP litigation as well as complex commercial litigation.

LD: In terms of your skill set, was there a mentor or a professional experience that you feel was especially influential in your development into an elite trial lawyer? JM: I was fortunate to have learned how to practice

law from many talented lawyers at Holland & Hart. One lawyer, in particular, had a major impact on my

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William Dougherty

Michael Elkin

SIMPSON THACHER NEW YORK

WINSTON & STRAWN NEW YORK

Mike Dowd

Howard Ellin

ROBBINS GELLER SAN DIEGO

SKADDEN NEW YORK

David Drummond

Michael Elsner

GOOGLE PALO ALTO

MOTLEY RICE MT. PLEASANT, S.C.

Carey Dunne

Adam Emmerich

DAVIS POLK NEW YORK

WACHTELL LIPTON NEW YORK

Daralyn Durie

Graham Esdale

DURIE TANGRI SAN FRANCISCO

BEASLEY ALLEN MONTGOMERY, ALA.

Brian Duwe

Miguel Estrada

SKADDEN CHICAGO

GIBSON DUNN WASHINGTON, D.C.

Karen Dyer

Alan Exelrod

BOIES SCHILLER NEW YORK

RUDY EXELROD SAN FRANCISCO

Scott Edelman

Greg Ezring

MILBANK NEW YORK

PAUL WEISS NEW YORK

Jay Eisenhofer

Leslie Gordon Fagen

GRANT & EISENHOFER NEW YORK

PAUL WEISS NEW YORK

Dianne Elderkin

Jeffrey Fisher

AKIN GUMP PHILADELPHIA

STANFORD LAW SCHOOL STANFORD, CALIF.

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career. Bill McClearn, who passed away in 2012, was my primary mentor at the firm. Bill was not only a superlative advocate, but also the epitome of professionalism and integrity. His high standards of excellence, dedication to clients, impeccable ethics and just plain good judgment were my guiding lights. I will always be grateful for his wise leadership. Watching Bill in the courtroom gave me a unique opportunity to learn the most important lessons in litigation from an inspirational role model. LD: Are there any routines you go through, or superstitions that you have, before starting a trial or arbitration? JM: I always feel compelled to re-read the rules of evidence before I start a trial. I can’t begin to count how many times I have read those rules. But, it’s been worth it, even if only for peace of mind. My mantra is: “The only thing better than being prepared is being better prepared.” LD: How much of your practice is spent handling disputes yourself as a mediator or arbitrator? JM: Over the past 25 years, I have devoted a small

portion of my practice to handling disputes as the mediator or arbitrator. It has been a fulfilling role in many respects, and I have received such positive feedback that, at this point, I intend to focus a larger percentage of my time serving as an arbitrator or mediator. Since over 95% of cases ultimately settle, I can help lawyers and their clients reach a resolution more cost-effectively at an earlier stage of the litigation or even before a lawsuit has been filed. I’m proud of my successful track record as a mediator in facilitating settlement of disputes, sometimes in the wee hours of the morning.

Litigation has become so expensive, particularly with the costs inherent in extensive discovery and document production. As an arbitrator who can hear the evidence and reach a rational decision in a matter of months after a case has been filed, I gain a sense of satisfaction in knowing that I’ve saved the parties substantial litigation costs and, by deciding their cases fairly and expeditiously, I’ve helped them move forward with their primary business objectives. LD: As a senior leader in the firm, can you discuss anything that you and Holland & Hart do to make sure that young women lawyers advance at the firm? JM: It’s important to me and to Holland & Hart that

young women lawyers succeed at the firm. Like many of our attorneys, I make sure that I involve the

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women lawyers with whom I’m working on a case at every possible stage of the litigation. I think it’s also critical to introduce female associates to clients and to model the elusive art of business development in order to cultivate the next generation of rainmakers. Back when I was a young associate, the firm’s female associates drafted a maternity leave policy, which the firm ultimately adopted. At that time, it was one of the first maternity leave policies implemented by any law firm in the country. The firm has also adopted a policy for attorneys to work reduced hours in order to balance work with other commitments in their lives, without having any negative impact on their careers or advancement within the firm. I think it’s imperative to break down institutional barriers and to develop these types of innovative policies so that women can enter, succeed and remain in the practice of law. It is evident by looking at the number of women in leadership roles at Holland & Hart that the firm is committed to ensuring that our women lawyers progress to partnership and into leadership roles. LD: Over the past 10 years, can you identify one area or aspect of your practice that has changed the most? JM: Over the past 10 years, technology has had a sig-

nificant impact on all of us. Social media has changed the way many people in society communicate. These technological changes affect our pretrial preparation and courtroom communication. In addition, during the discovery process, millions of documents are produced electronically. We use software tools and predictive coding technology to review those documents, rather than scores of lawyers huddled over scores of boxes, reading dusty papers in corporate basements or warehouses around the country. In many courtrooms, we can use software tools to pull up documents for each juror to read electronically on a computer located at his or her seat in the jury box. We can cross-examine witnesses with instantly accessible videotaped portions of their depositions. We can prepare demonstrative exhibits or power point demonstrations for closing arguments on the fly, using new-generation litigation software technology. The basic principles of persuasion have not changed. But, the tools to be persuasive have changed significantly over the past 10 years. Many younger jurors are accustomed to absorbing information in short sound bites. As communicators, we need to be nimble in communicating effectively with them.

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Bruce Yannett DEBEVOISE & PL IMPTON (NEW YORK)


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BRUCE YANNETT LIKE MANY MASTERS OF THE DEFENSE

bar, Bruce Yannett gained much of his early experience on the other side. For Yannett, the New Yorkbased deputy presiding partner of Debevoise & Plimpton and chair of its white-collar and regulatory defense group, that experience just happened to be working on the Iran-Contra matter from 1987 to 1988 under Lawrence Walsh’s Office of Independent Counsel. He then served a stint as a federal prosecutor in Washington, D.C., until 1992, including time in the transactional and major crimes unit that involved prosecuting international crimes. At Debevoise, Yannett leveraged that experience to become a leading expert on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) – a particular strength for the firm. His highly lauded work for the audit committee of Siemens AG – accused of bribing government officials around the globe – led to a 2008 settlement with U.S. and German officials that was far more favorable as a result of his team’s investigative work and cooperation with the authorities. LAWDRAGON: What was it like clerking for the highly lauded Judge Edward Weinfeld near the end of his four decades of service on the federal bench? BRUCE YANNETT: Clerking for Judge Weinfeld was without question one of the most significant experiences of my career. The judge held himself and everyone around him to the highest standards of professionalism, preparation and dedication. He worked legendary hours, six days a week, even in his mid-80s when I clerked for him – which made for a grueling year for his clerks. He remained a fully active district court judge until his death, never taking senior status. His insistence on getting everything right – not just the law but the facts as well – was imbued in his clerks throughout the year we spent with him. One of the joys was eating breakfast with him in chambers on Saturday mornings, during which he would regale us with stories of growing up in New York City in the early 1900s, reminisce on his friendship with Judge Learned Hand, or discuss a recent ruling by the Supreme Court. LD: What memory stands out from the Iran-Contra work? BY: The memory that stands out for me was the remarkable level of responsibility I had as a young lawyer, from interviewing the Secretary of Defense, to negotiating with the Government of Israel for

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BY JOHN RYAN access to evidence and witnesses, to dealing with highly classified intelligence information at the CIA, NSA and Pentagon. LD: You had started at Debevoise before the govern-

ment service. Why did you go back there?

BY: Debevoise was and is a very special place to work. The lawyers and staff who have the privilege of working for the firm are both superb professionals and people of the utmost integrity. The firm values and lauds public service and throughout its history its ranks have included dozens of partners who have held important government positions. And, of course, Debevoise truly has world-class practices, not the least of which is white collar. LD: How did the FCPA expertise develop? BY: Having worked on international criminal matters at the Iran-Contra Independent Counsel’s Office and as an AUSA investigating terrorism and money-laundering cases, I have had an interest in such matters throughout my time at Debevoise. I began writing, speaking and representing clients in FCPA matters long before the explosion in FCPA prosecutions 10 years ago. It was our experience representing a U.S. company facing FCPA issues in Germany that helped us get retained two years later by Siemens. LD: You won great acclaim for the Siemens investigation. Is there a lesson you draw from that matter? BY: One key lesson is to remember that in every country outside the U.S., we must understand and respect that country’s laws, rules and practices. The U.S. criminal justice system is not replicated in very many countries. Simply because the U.S. approaches issues one way does not mean that is the only legitimate approach that can be taken. LD: You have the type of practice where it’s preferred that the matter is resolved before charges are filed. How do you succeed in that area? BY: We believe that our reputation across federal and state agencies for honesty and fair dealing serves our clients well. While we aggressively advocate on our clients’ behalf, we do so without distorting the evidence or “playing games.” Because of this reputation, when we make a representation to the government, it is treated as reliable and credible. Read the full Q&A at www.lawdragon.com/lawyer-limelights/bruce-yannett.

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Adam Streisand SHEPPARD MULLIN (LOS ANGELES)


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ADAM STREISAND DONALD STERLING’S DAYS AS THE

owner of the Los Angeles Clippers may have been numbered after his racist remarks were recorded and released, but just how quickly the end would come was an open question. Luckily for fans (most of them, anyway), and the NBA, prospective owner Steve Ballmer contacted one of the true masters of the practice of trusts and estates – Adam Streisand – who invoked an obscure section of the probate code to set in motion an emergency trial that resulted in Shelly Sterling being able to sell the franchise for $2 billion. The litigation showcased Streisand’s mastery of the law as well as his notable skills as a trial lawyer. A longtime Loeb & Loeb partner before his move to Sheppard Mullin earlier this year, Streisand has litigated many high-profile celebrity estates. But he takes great pride in the non-celebrity clients whom he has guided through “arduous, emotional” journeys involving their most intimate matters. It has made the trusts and estates practice – something he never thought about doing when entering the law – uniquely rewarding. Also rewarding for the 1991 American University law graduate (and dragon-tattooed cousin to Barbra Streisand) is intense exercise, whether biking along the coast or hiking in more punishing locations. LAWDRAGON: Donald Sterling had become quite

unpopular, but can you discuss what strategy you pursued to enable the sale of the team to your client within the quick timespan it all took place?

ADAM STREISAND: I was the architect of the strategy

for Steve Ballmer to acquire the L.A. Clippers for the record-shattering price of $2 billion and his lead trial lawyer against Donald Sterling in successfully implementing that strategy. When Steve Ballmer contacted me, Mr. Ballmer was in the midst of what seemed to all concerned like an intractable problem. Shelly Sterling invoked a procedure under her trust with her husband Donald Sterling aimed at removing him as a trustee on the grounds that he lacked capacity to manage the affairs of the trust. Shelly was willing to sell the L.A. Clippers to Steve Ballmer for $2 billion. Mr. Ballmer asked me what could be done to ensure that Shelly could legitimately sell the team as the purported trustee of the trust and persuade the NBA he was the legal owner of the team?

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BY JOHN RYAN Shelly Sterling’s counsel suggested that she could send a probate Notice of Proposed Action to Donald but had no better ideas. I told Mr. Ballmer that would be a terrible mistake. The Notice would give Donald 45 days to send a letter indicating he objected and then Shelly would have to file a petition seeking to establish her right to sell the team, which would take at least two years to get to trial and lead to at least two more years of appeals. I laid out the strategy: We would invoke an obscure section of the Probate Code – section 1310(b). Numerous practitioners and law professors commented publicly after I implemented the strategy that they had never heard of it before. Section 1310(b) allowed Mr. Ballmer and Shelly Sterling to obtain an emergency trial within 30 days of filing and an order confirming the sale that could not be appealed or unwound. We just needed to prove at trial, which we did, that there would be substantial injury or harm to the Trust and the team if the sale were not consummated. My direct examination of Richard Parsons, interim CEO of the Clippers, was the linchpin. He testified the team was in a “death spiral” as a result of Donald’s actions, and if there were no change in ownership, it appeared that sponsors wouldn’t sponsor, players wouldn’t play, coaches wouldn’t coach and season ticket holders wouldn’t renew. LD: Was there an extra element of satisfaction in this case for helping to improve an entire region’s professional sports situation? AS: It was incredibly significant to me to play a major

role in ousting Donald Sterling from the Clippers and professional sports. I have no sympathy for the arguments by many that he lost his team because of comments he made in private conversations that were surreptitiously tape recorded. He is a racist and I do not care whether he intended his comments to go no further than his mistress. I am gratified that racists are now being exposed on a seemingly daily basis thanks to audio and video recording devices that are now prevalent in our society.

Yes, Steve Ballmer is a breath of fresh air and a great owner for the Clippers. And yes, it’s been terrific that fans truly appreciate my efforts that brought about this change. But what is most important to me is that I was able to make Donald Sterling pay the consequences for his untenable attitudes and

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Ora Fisher

Todd Freed

LATHAM & WATKINS PALO ALTO

SKADDEN NEW YORK

Patrick Fitzgerald

Agnieszka Fryszman

SKADDEN CHICAGO

COHEN MILSTEIN WASHINGTON, D.C.

Fidelma Fitzpatrick

Kenneth Gallo

MOTLEY RICE NEW YORK

PAUL WEISS WASHINGTON, D.C.

Keith Flaum

Sergio Galvis

WEIL GOTSHAL PALO ALTO

SULLIVAN & CROMWELL NEW YORK

Jayne Fleming

Lyle Ganske

REED SMITH NEW YORK

JONES DAY CLEVELAND

Jodi Westbrook Flowers

James Garner

MOTLEY RICE MT. PLEASANT, S.C.

SHER GARNER NEW ORLEANS

C. Parker Folse

Gregory Garre

SUSMAN GODFREY SEATTLE

LATHAM & WATKINS WASHINGTON, D.C.

David Fox

Willie Gary

KIRKLAND & ELLIS NEW YORK

THE GARY LAW GROUP STUART, FLA.

Stacy Fox

Deborah Garza

DUPONT WILMINGTON

COVINGTON & BURLING WASHINGTON, D.C.

David Frederick

Steven Gavin

KELLOGG HUBER WASHINGTON, D.C.

WINSTON & STRAWN CHICAGO

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set an example of what can and should happen to those who think like him.

time do you put into it, and how many miles might you accumulate in a given week?

LD: Was a trusts and estates practice on your radar at all early in your career? What do you find satisfying about it?

AS: I’m a bit of an adventurist, or I’d say, I’m someone

AS: Trusts and estates? On my radar? No way. I didn’t

take it in law school and never imagined I would have the slightest interest. But a former partner of mine who was a trust and estate litigator asked me to work with him. He promised me that I would love it and that it was a chance to be the proverbial big fish in a small pond. I agreed to give it a try and was riveted from the first case. I am a trial lawyer at heart, and a trial lawyer is a storyteller. There are no more compelling stories to be told than those involving the most intimate and important relationships of our lives, those involving our families. These are relationships that make us who we are and that impel us to act in the most human ways, whether out of fear, or jealousy, or loathing, love, entitlement or avarice. These are the most human stories and they resonate with all of us to one degree or another. As trial lawyers, we are confronted with putting together bits and pieces, and shards of memory, all told through a prism of interpretation, embellishment and manipulation, sometimes deliberately, other times innocently. It’s like reading a novel told from the point of view of different characters, all observing the same facts yet seeing them in different colors and shapes. And the story has to be pieced together and a version of it told next to one competing for the same attention. But your story must be the most persuasive and that takes an enormous amount of sensitivity, insight and, as my colleagues are fond of saying, it requires me at the right time to “bring the thunder.” But that is not all. My clients are traveling an arduous, emotional journey in these cases. There is so much that brings them to this place where they find themselves in a war they cannot fight on their own, one that drains them and frightens them and stresses them beyond what they have ever previously experienced. My clients appreciate me in a way I never thought I’d be appreciated in my life. They really feel that I have given them strength, a voice they never had, a champion for their cause, and peace they never thought they’d regain. There is nothing more satisfying. LD: I hear you’re quite the competitive cyclist. Can you talk a little bit about how this started? How much

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who loves challenge, though I have no intention of bungee jumping or leaping out of an airplane. I’ve camped near the North Pole and nearly froze to death. I’ve taken my cameras to Timbuktu, only days after the New York Times reported widespread kidnappings there by Al Qaeda, and many other forsaken places on the planet. I’ve trekked to 19,000 feet in the Himalaya. And I’ve crossed the Pyrenees from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean on my bike. I try and ride up into the Santa Monica mountains on Saturdays and Sundays and depending on whether I’m training for a ride, I try to get a ride or two or three in during the week. LD: Why did you choose to move to Sheppard Mullin? AS: My move to Sheppard Mullin was a seismic shift.

I was with Loeb & Loeb for 21 years. But I wanted a more youthful, dynamic and growing law firm in which to invest the next 20 years of my career. I also wanted to be part of a strong, California-based law firm, and that was no longer Loeb. There were a number of law firms that were extremely solicitous and excited by the prospect that I might consider a move.

Sheppard employed a full-court press to let me know that they really wanted me, which meant a lot to me, but I chose Sheppard because there are so many business generators in my generation who are contributing to the impressive growth and expansion of the business (check), the firm is national and international in its presence, but has the biggest footprint of any firm all up and down the California coast (check), there is complete transparency and an actual commitment at every level to collaboration (check), and I just truly love the people and knew I would be really happy (double check). LD: As Lawdragon celebrates its 10th year, can you identify or discuss one area of your practice that has changed the most in the past 10 years? AS: The single biggest change in our practice has

been the rise in conservatorship cases. As people are living longer, the incidents of dementia are on the rise, and the battles over the control or disposition of family wealth are occurring more frequently while the head of the family empire is still alive. Read the full Q&A at www.lawdragon.com/lawyerlimelights/adam-streisand.

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Jodi Westbrook Flowers MOTLEY RICE (CHARLESTON, S.C.)


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JODI WESTBROOK FLOWERS FOURTEEN YEARS AFTER THE SEPT. 11

terrorist attacks, many victims and their families are still waiting for justice and compensation. This ongoing struggle has formed a significant part of the litigation practice led by Jodi Westbrook Flowers at Motley Rice, whose lawyers have waged a multifaceted and multijurisdictional pursuit for accountability. Flowers serves on the executive committee in the massive multidistrict litigation (MDL) against the alleged financiers and supporters of al Qaeda, and she represents individuals participating in the new Victims Compensation Fund. The Motley team also successfully represented those who opted out of the initial victim fund to pursue litigation against the aviation industry over security lapses. In these battles and others, Flowers is carrying on the work of the late Ronald Motley, the legendary firm founder who passed away in 2013. She clerked for Motley as a student at the University of South Carolina School of Law, then later cut her teeth on the historic tobacco litigation of the 1990s that Motley spearheaded to an epic and historic settlement. In a groundbreaking trial last year, the Motley Rice anti-terrorism team won a unanimous jury verdict in Brooklyn federal court holding Arab Bank liable for financing terrorist attacks by Hamas in Israel and the Palestinian Territories. Flowers, who is based in the firm’s headquarters in Charleston, S.C., also applies her mentor’s lessons to a range of mass tort cases outside of the terrorism and human rights arenas, playing lead roles in litigation stemming from the BP oil spill and faulty GM ignition switches. LAWDRAGON: What is the status of the 9/11 MDL? JODI WESTBROOK FLOWERS: In the 9/11 MDL, we currently await the district court’s decision on Saudi Arabia’s recently renewed motion to dismiss. Motley Rice and I are proud of the work we have done for the 9/11 families, be it in the context of assistance with the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund I or II, against the aviation industry for negligent security measures, or against the sponsors of international terrorism. We trust in our courts and civil justice system to set the record straight one day. The Anti-Terrorism and Human Rights practice group I lead at Motley Rice represents the 9/11 families, families killed or injured by Libyan terrorism under Qadhafi – Lockerbie, LaBelle disco, and IRA bomb-

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BY JOHN RYAN ings – victims of suicide bombings in Sri Lanka, victims of international hotel bombings, victims of torture, human trafficking and other human rights abuses. LD: Please talk a little bit about your work for the current Victims Compensation Fund. JF: What has happened to the health of the rescue,

recovery and clean-up workers at the 9/11 sites in the wake of 9/11 is a national tragedy. The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund II is a start at addressing the public health crisis, but only a start. The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund and World Trade Center Health programs need 100 percent funding to address the public health disaster that is occurring and to fully compensate those injured and dying from toxic exposures. Many clients have suffered immense tragedies leaving them to deal with the aftermath of intense trauma, like terrorism, that few are equipped to handle alone. Victims and survivors often feel that their suffering will never end, and the claims process can make it worse. I and others at Motley Rice work to try to bring the workers and residents we represent some measure of compensation for their damages. It is too soon to comment on the case values given the uncertainty about full funding for the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. LD: Can you share some thoughts on the significance of the Arab Bank verdict? JF: The Brooklyn jury’s verdict in the fall of 2014

holding Arab Bank liable for financing the Hamas terrorist attacks was one heard around the world and an historical event in our civil justice system, and I am very proud of this result. My hope is it will have a chilling effect on financial sponsorship of international terrorism over time. Terrorist organizations would have a difficult time sustaining themselves if they are not funneled cash that allows them to travel, recruit and train members, or plan and carry out attacks. The case was an eleven-year battle with grueling discovery and briefing schedules, multiple appeals and finally a full liability trial with a unanimous jury verdict under the Anti-Terrorism Act. I give the lion’s share of the credit for this result to my late partner Ron Motley for his unparalleled courage and to my current partner Michael Elsner for his deft, Herculean effort in litigating the Arab Bank liability case to verdict.

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Faith Gay

Robert Giuffra

QUINN EMANUEL NEW YORK

SULLIVAN & CROMWELL NEW YORK

Paul Geller

Patricia Glaser

ROBBINS GELLER BOCA RATON

GLASER WEIL LOS ANGELES

Glenn Gerstell

Richard Godfrey

MILBANK WASHINGTON, D.C.

KIRKLAND & ELLIS CHICAGO

Robin Gibbs

Donald Godwin

GIBBS & BRUNS HOUSTON

GODWIN LEWIS DALLAS

Douglas Gibson

Jay Goffman

COVINGTON & BURLING WASHINGTON, D.C.

SKADDEN NEW YORK

James Giddens

David Goldschmidt

HUGHES HUBBARD NEW YORK

SKADDEN NEW YORK

Lisa Gilford

Marcia Goldstein

SKADDEN LOS ANGELES

WEIL GOTSHAL NEW YORK

Rodney Gilstrap

Sandra Goldstein

U.S. DISTRICT COURT, EASTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS MARSHALL, TEXAS

CRAVATH NEW YORK

Ruth Ginsburg

Tom Goldstein

U.S. SUPREME COURT WASHINGTON, D.C.

GOLDSTEIN RUSSELL WASHINGTON, D.C.

Thomas Girardi

Elaine Golin

GIRARDI | KEESE LOS ANGELES

WACHTELL LIPTON NEW YORK

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.LD: How did you get into this area of law? Did you ever envision doing anything like this in law school? JF: In law school, I wanted to work with clients

who needed a voice, to make a difference where I could. After passing the bar, I hung out a shingle and planned to do family law in hopes of helping children. Instead Ron Motley, whom I clerked for in law school, told me I would spend my career fighting over pots and pans. The comment gave me pause, and when Motley asked me “to look at a few” (million) tobacco documents with him in 1993, after he took over the Haines v. Liggett case, I started reading liability documents and embarked on the tobacco litigation. After seven long years, the cases resolved. During that time, I became completely hooked on mass torts. Ironically, torts was my least favorite law school class. I recall being outraged at the notion that corporations make decisions based on money value over the value of human life. It astounded me conceptually, logically, morally. LD: Is there a lesson or particular experience that stands out from working on the tobacco litigation? JF: So many experiences from the tobacco cases

stand out in my mind. I enjoyed working with public health experts and representing Mississippi’s Attorney General, Mike Moore, and Florida’s Governor, Lawton Childs. Working with tobacco whistleblowers was challenging and rewarding. The deposition of Dr. Jeffrey Wigand in the State of Mississippi tobacco case was much better than as depicted in the movie “The Insider”; uncovering the details of R.J. Reynolds’ “Mouse House,” a research lab in the 1960’s where the RJR scientists grew cancerous legions on mice by painting the animals’ skin with cigarette tar. In response to this scientific result, RJR shut down the Mouse House, destroyed the animals and equipment, and gathered the lab notes for the legal department; the first time reading the Brown & Williamson documents that Merrell Williams exposed, a treasure trove of liability documents. And when Bennet LeBow of Lorillard decided to break ranks with big tobacco – all of these were landmark moments. LD: Ronald Motley was also a regular Lawdragon 500

member. Can you share something you learned from him that continues to impact you today? JF: I am fortunate to have known Ron Motley. Ron’s

ability to connect with the jury, his brilliance, wit and skill in the courtroom were innate, unteachable, and legendary. Yet Ron leads still by the example he set, by the way he prepared his cases for trial.

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Lessons I learned from Ron? No fight is too big and never back away from a fight, but pick your battles. Be curious and vigilant; find out your clients’ goals; sign the clients yourself; go to their homes; sit in their kitchens; hear their stories; pursue the truth and justice they seek. Look for the cover-up, but beware the conspiracy theory; always get an ethical opinion; prep your witness well, but vet them better; read everything, read the footnotes too; don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good; learn the facts and law of your case cold before facing your jury; make time to educate the judge about your case; be the most prepared person in the room; use your vocabulary; put the important evidence, law or point on page one of your filing; your reputation for honesty is the only real currency in the practice of law; let the defendant’s written words speak for themselves at trial; seek out the foremost experts in the field to help teach you and the jury the issues in your case; leave no stone unturned in the search for relevant evidence; and never give up a trial date. Ron understood the power of informal discovery and how much you can learn about your adversary in the public domain long before Google. Ron kept his sense of humor intact and understood that the most important thing we do as advocates for our clients is bring them some measure of justice. Ron taught me that and so much more. LD: What type of mentality does it take to work on these types of cases? How do you keep seeing the light at the end of the tunnel for your clients? JF: Often in complex mass tort or terrorism cases,

you cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel. It is a bit of an endurance test. You need curiosity, tenacity, motivation and vigilance. Get to know your clients, understand their goals, then work to ensure that they are met. Most of my clients seek answers to questions that have been kept silent by powerful interests. LD: What do you do to relax or to clear your head outside the office? JF: I couldn’t do the work that I do without the sup-

port of my family, friends and dedicated co-workers. I look forward to spending time with my family and friends – they keep me grounded. I also enjoy art, music, concerts, backgammon, theatre, travel. Read the full Q&A at www.lawdragon.com/lawyerlimelights/jodi-westbrook-flowers.

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Doug Hallward-Driemeier ROPES & GRAY (WASHINGTON, D.C.)


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DOUG HALLWARD-DRIEMEIER AS A VETERAN OF THE SOLICITOR GENERAL’S

office and the Justice Department’s civil appellate team, Doug Hallward-Driemeier has handled his share of high-stakes appellate arguments, including many before the U.S. Supreme Court. But he admits to feeling the “additional weight” of the historic marriage-equality case of Obergefell v. Hodges, which he argued with fellow Lawdragon 500 member Mary Bonauto of Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD). Bonauto handled the question of whether the 14th Amendment requires states to issue same-sex marriage licenses, while HallwardDriemeier (Harvard Law, 1994) took on the matter of whether the 14th Amendment requires states to recognize marriages of same-sex couples when performed legally in other states. They prevailed on both issues in Justice Anthony Kennedy’s June 26 opinion, by a 5-4 vote, reversing a ruling by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Senior staff attorney Chris Stoll of the National Center for Lesbian Rights contacted Hallward-Driemeier, the Washington, D.C.-based head of Ropes & Gray‘s appellate and Supreme Court practice, shortly after the setback at the 6th Circuit upholding gay-marriage bans. LAWDRAGON: Why did the organization come to you? DOUG HALLWARD-DRIEMEIER: Chris Stoll is a friend from college – we were both at DePauw University in Indiana together – and we were also at law school together. He knew that we had been involved in a large number of the marriage cases representing a group of amici, and so he knew we were generally familiar with all the issues but would not have any kind of conflicts. That’s the kind of email that one responds to immediately. That was Friday evening, the day after the decision came down from the 6th Circuit, and by Saturday we had an associate team up and running and getting ready to draft the petition. We basically had to draft a petition for cert in four days.

BY JOHN RYAN it would have the full support of the firm, and that indeed was absolutely the case. LD: Why was it important to you personally? DHD: I have many, many friends who are gay. I remember one very dear friend who was a groomsman in my wedding, and at the time my wife and I were very conscious of drafting our marriage vows and all the language in the service to be gender inclusive. Shortly after that, he and his boyfriend got engaged and had what was then called a commitment ceremony at a church up in Canada, and we went to that to celebrate with them. I remember him saying to me at the time, “You know, maybe one of these days you’ll be a justice on the Supreme Court, and you’ll be able to be the one to write the decision to extend marriage equality to all couples.”

It’s just been something that is personal in that way. I also have three children, and as a parent I want them each to have the full opportunity to find fulfillment in marriage as I have. It’s also that, at a broader level, this is the kind of thing that I went to law school for – the idea that the challenge to live up to the promise of the constitution can be used to make life better for so many of our fellow citizens. LD: With that much on the line, what were you thinking the day of or the night before arguments?

LD: It sounds like it was an automatic “yes” for you. It wasn’t something that you had to think about?

DHD: Well, I would say that I did feel the additional weight of this case. There were hundreds of thousands of couples and millions of individuals, all their family and friends, whose hopes were riding on this. But I’ll be honest: It was also a source of strength. I actually remember sitting in the courtroom while Mary Bonauto was doing her argument, and I sort of had this moment where I really felt the pressure. My body was really tense. But what I thought of was, “It’s not the weight of all these people, it’s their presence with me that I should be focusing on.” And I took real strength from that. In the end it was a huge help. I had friends who were out on the steps in a prayer group. I thought of them, and I thought of all my family and friends who were sending up their thoughts and prayers for me.

DHD: There was no question we would do it. This is an issue that is very important to me personally, and it’s an issue that, as I said, the firm had been committed to for quite some time. There was no question that

LD: Knowing the court as well as you do, and the justices, what stood out for you in terms of a key challenge or one thing you had to argue well without being interrupted too much?

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David Gordon

Benjamin Gruenstein

LATHAM & WATKINS NEW YORK

CRAVATH NEW YORK

Jamie Gorelick

Dan Grunfeld

WILMERHALE WASHINGTON, D.C.

MORGAN LEWIS LOS ANGELES

Ilene Knable Gotts

Nina Gussack

WACHTELL LIPTON NEW YORK

PEPPER HAMILTON PHILADELPHIA

Stuart Grant

Richard Hall

GRANT & EISENHOFER WILMINGTON

CRAVATH NEW YORK

Nicholas Gravante

Douglas Hallward-Driemeier

BOIES SCHILLER NEW YORK

ROPES & GRAY WASHINGTON, D.C.

Sal Graziano

Jeffrey Hammes

BERNSTEIN LITOWITZ NEW YORK

KIRKLAND & ELLIS CHICAGO

Karen Green

Deborah Hankinson

WILMERHALE BOSTON

HANKINSON LAW FIRM DALLAS

Mark Greene

Kamala Harris

CRAVATH NEW YORK

ATTORNEY GENERAL OF CALIFORNIA SACRAMENTO

Nicholas Groombridge

Mark Harris

PAUL WEISS NEW YORK

AXIOM NEW YORK

Stuart Grossman

Geoffrey Harrison

GROSSMAN ROTH MIAMI

SUSMAN GODFREY HOUSTON

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DHD: I knew that it was going to be hotly contested. I knew there were going to be tough questions that were designed to trip me up to the extent they could, and those certainly came from expected quarters. But I also knew that it was important for me to turn those around and be able to state the affirmative argument – to really communicate the most important point of our argument – which was that the marriages of our clients are as fundamental to them and their lives as the marriages of the justices. What was terrific was that, in the rebuttal time, I was able to really convey that. I was able to take each of our plaintiff couples and tell each of their stories to illustrate and support that point.

I think I was able to forcefully communicate how important these marriages were, and how demeaning and damaging to them and the stability of their families these laws were. In Justice Kennedy’s opinion, it’s quite evident that he got it, that these couples are not trying to demean marriage, they honor it and that’s why they want theirs respected. LD: Did you walk out thinking your side had won? DHD: I felt that we had put forward our arguments well. I was optimistic but I certainly was not confident. I was hopeful but until I was in the courtroom and heard him announce the opinion I wasn’t counting my chickens. LD: You touched on this a few minutes ago, but when you were in college or in law school, is this what you envisioned doing? DHD: In one sense, it was the thing that inspired me to go to law school in the first place. It was the civil rights movement, and how legal lions like Thurgood Marshall had been able to use the law to vindicate rights. I always had thought of myself as likely to be an appellate litigator. I wanted to be a litigator, I wanted to be someone who was actively involved in cases, but it’s always been the brief writing and legal argument that most interested me and where I felt I had the most to contribute. I’ve been very fortunate that early on I was able to get a position in the Justice Department that allowed me to develop those skills. LD: What do you recall from your first argument before the Supreme Court? DHD: I just remember being so nervous while I was up there that my throat got dry. And when I reached for the glass of water that they set next to the podium, my hand was shaking so much that I knew that I couldn’t pick the glass up or else I would spill it

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all over the place. So I just grabbed back onto the podium and held on for dear life, as they say. I am now sufficiently comfortable in the court that I can stop and pick up the glass and have a sip of water. Of course, being there as often as I have, it does make a big difference just in terms of one’s comfort level and knowing what to expect, and knowing the nature of the exchanges that you’ll be having with the justices. It’s being confident that you can do that, including dealing with the difficult questions and steering them back to where you want to be. LD: Regardless of the court, do you have any routines that you do before every argument? DHD: I do. My routine is that I go on a long walk. What I find is that I need to put down the paper and I need to push away from the computer. Instead of continuing to revise the Q&A or reread the briefs and opinions, at some point you just need to start thinking it through and vocalizing – at least in your head – how you’re going to respond to questions on the difficult topics. What I do is just go on a really, really long walk and do my own moot in my head. For the marriage case I didn’t trust myself to do that by myself so I had a few of my colleagues go with me on that walk, and it was great preparation. LD: What brought you back to Ropes & Gray after such a significant stint in government? DHD: While I was in government I met a lot of what I regarded as refugees from private practice who had really not enjoyed their experience there and were running for cover. I had as an associate really enjoyed my experience, and I think that it had a lot to do with the culture here at the firm. When I was looking for a place to go, I knew enough not to take for granted that culture of teamwork and collegiality, especially when trying to build a practice without a Rolodex of clients. I knew I would only be successful at a place where people were really working together and happy to bring me in. It’s been successful beyond my most optimistic hopes. LD: As you said, married, three kids – what do you do for fun? DHD: I am a baseball coach currently for my youngest son’s baseball team. I’m also an assistant Scout master so we go on campouts and things like that. We also try to find a little time to get away so that the kids spend some time with their cousins. Read the full Q&A at www.lawdragon.com/lawyerlimelights/doug-hallward-driemeier.

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Randi McGinn MCGINN CARPENTER (ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.)


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RANDI MCGINN THERE’S TRIAL-LAWYER TOUGH, AND THEN

there’s Randi McGinn tough – the little extra something that makes one a genuine badass and, in her case, one of the most accomplished plaintiffs’ lawyers in the nation at Albuquerque-based McGinn Carpenter, which she founded and now runs with four women partners. Whether it’s a depressing (at least at first) family move from Los Angeles to small town New Mexico as a high school student, giving birth the day before the bar exam or being denied a bank loan when trying to start her own practice, McGinn has blown by challenges to become the best at her craft – a trial lawyer, what she calls “storytelling on steroids.”

When jurors go out and buy you a gift while the trial is still going, you know you’re doing something right. Another sign, of the more serious variety, is when the district attorney in Albuquerque taps you to become the special prosecutor in the murder case against two police officers who shot James Boyd, a homeless man. That happened earlier this year after a judge disqualified the DA’s office from the case. McGinn developed her trial skills prosecuting violent crimes in Albuquerque and in her civil practice has successfully litigated cases involving excessive force. McGinn, a graduate of the University of New Mexico School of Law, is also the author of the trial guide book “Changing Laws, Saving Lives” and is married to New Mexico Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Daniels. LAWDRAGON: Can you talk a little bit about what brought your family to New Mexico? RANDI MCGINN: At age 14, after my first year at a large high school in Los Angeles, my Air Force father was transferred to Holloman Air Force Base outside of the small town of Alamogordo, N.M. As my parents and four siblings drove from the West Coast, the surroundings became more and more desolate. No ocean, no green, not a single palm tree. When I opened the sliding glass door of our new home on the base, there was nothing but the stark Chihuahuan desert. My first thought was that I should just kill myself now as my life, at least the life I had known as a blonde, beach-going Southern Californian, was over.

In hindsight, the move to New Mexico was the best thing that ever happened to me. I was a mischievous

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BY JOHN RYAN teenager. The great thing about living in a small town was that when you were acting out – “borrowing” the giant Big Boy mascot from the local drive-in restaurant, stealing 100 lit Halloween pumpkins to place around the town fountain, sneaking out to White Sands in the middle of the night, for which the statute of limitations has run – people tend to call your parents rather than the police. Rather than a dark prison cell, my youthful hijinks gave me great stories to tell – first as a journalist and then as a trial lawyer. When my family moved on, I stayed. I had fallen in love with the state of New Mexico, a place where the 100-mile views in every direction let you see not only where you are going, but where you have been. LD: What led you to switch from journalism to wanting to go to law school? RM: I was working as a newspaper reporter and writing spec articles for blind submission to national magazines. Of course, all of my articles were being quickly rejected, unread with form letters. I asked my uncle, Noel McGinn, a Harvard professor, for advice on how to get the editors to look at what I was writing. He suggested that getting an advanced degree would help establish credibility. That’s right: I didn’t go to law school to save the world, but so that people would read what I wrote.

Once at law school, I discovered my true calling in the courtroom. It turned out being a trial lawyer was storytelling on steroids. Not only did you get to investigate and find the true story amongst the morass of facts, you got to write the script, direct the witnesses and star in the trial. For me, it was a kind of verbal alchemy. By truthfully telling a client’s story, you could turn words into justice. LD: Your bio notes that you gave birth to a daughter the day before you took the bar exam. How was that possible? RM: The secret? Sitting on big pillows. My daughter

has always had impeccable timing. She was due on the first day of the three-day bar exam, but popped out a day early after a short four-hour labor. My mother, Jean McGinn, came into town to watch her while I was in the bar exam and would bring her by at lunch to breastfeed. The truth is that after the adrenaline of giving birth, all the pressure was off. If I flunked, everyone would chalk it up to the delivery

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500 rather than my lack of preparation. As a postscript, my daughter Heather McGinn, just gave birth to her first child on June 30, 2015. His name is Calder Bulleit Baumgartel.

My law firm is now five women partners and three male associates. I had to laugh last year when the bank who turned down my initial line of credit called seeking our business.

LD: What was it like in the DA’s office in those early years prosecuting violent crimes, as a woman?

LD: Your book “Changing Laws, Saving Lives” pro-

RM: Even though my law school class was 50 percent women, when I graduated there were still not many women in the courtroom. Since I wasn’t able to find a female mentor, I had to stumble along figuring out things on my own. I started out emulating the male trial lawyers by wearing the same dark blue or black suits and white shirt, complete with rosette tie. After seeing a picture of myself in this get-up, complete with my long hair tamed in a severe bun, I looked like a daguerreotype of my great-grandfather. This was not me at all. Off came the suits and I stepped into clothing that reflected my true personality – flowing dresses, sweaters and killer heels or boots. Rather than being a challenge, it has been my experience that being a woman is an advantage in the courtroom. The courtroom is the great equalizer. The traditional stereotypes about women break in our favor with the jury.

As a young lawyer, when a male lawyer kept repeatedly making loud and aggressive objections to interrupt a direct examination, one of the male jurors finally had enough. The juror stood up in the jury box and said, “Now you just leave her alone!” Once, as I was giving a closing argument standing next to the jury rail, a woman old enough to never have had the chance to go to law school leaned out of the box and patted me on the arm. One jury even went out and bought me a present while the trial was still ongoing. Luckily, they didn’t give it to me until after the verdict was rendered or it might have created a mistrial. LD: I’m sure you also faced some challenges starting your own firm. RM: There was only one challenge to starting my own firm – the female loan officer at the bank where I had been doing business for years. I went to her for a $10,000 line of credit, an amount which seemed astronomical to me at the time. After reviewing the list of my 30 open cases and my predictions for when money would be coming due in each of them, she snapped her loan folder closed and said, “Honey, I think you better keep working for someone else for awhile.” My response to her resounding lack of faith in my future was to find a new bank.

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vides a lot of advice for taking on corporate defendants. Can you share a lesson or insight that was particularly difficult to learn – one that took longer for you to identify and or learn how to master in complex litigations? RM: One of the few things that strikes fear in the hearts of corporate wrongdoers is the American jury. It is the one incorruptible group that is almost impossible to buy or bribe. When it is at its best, it operates to protect the community and punish dangerous behavior. The lesson for trial lawyers is to push the case to trial as hard and as fast as you can. Most insurance companies and corporate baddies will not agree to change their ways or pay to fix your client’s injuries until they can see the whites of the jurors’ eyes. LD: Obviously it was not the financial consideration

involved – what led to your interest in taking on the role of special prosecutor in the Boyd shooting? RM: The James Boyd shooting is the first prosecution of an Albuquerque Police Department officer for an on-duty shooting in the past 50 years. This despite the fact that the APD has killed more citizens per capita than any police department in the nation. After our local District Attorney filed murder charges against two officers in this case, their attorneys moved to disqualify her from the case claiming a bias against the APD, which had started an investigation into her after charges were filed. When the motion was granted, she contacted me and requested that I become a special prosecutor in the case.

What is not well known is that I turned her down when first approached. I thought it important for this first prosecution that a real DA, someone with the imprimatur of the state, prosecute this case. She approached all twelve District Attorneys in the state and the Attorney General’s offi ce. None of them would even look at the fi le out of concern for lack of resources or retaliation. I took the case because who will protect us from the police if they are free to violate the law? Read the full Q&A at www.lawdragon.com/lawyerlimelights/randi-mcginn.

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SHERRILYN IFILL

BY JEFF SCHULT

IF ANY ORGANIZATION CAN BE SAID TO

people’s expectations of what is possible.

have shaped and framed the modern discussion of civil rights in America, it is the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. “The best civil rights law firm in American history,” as President Obama called it, has never been content to rest on its laurels, and Sherrilyn Ifill, named president of the LDF in 2012, has determinedly pushed the mission and dream of equal rights forward on every front. In a year that has been marked by the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act and the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, Ifill, NYU Law ’87, has made the most of opportunities to remind the country both of how far it has come and how far it has to go when it comes to providing for equality under the law, political and economic fairness and justice, and human rights. LAWDRAGON: You’re the seventh President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, a firm that has played a pivotal role in civil and human rights law and litigation in the United States for 75 years. Do you ever sit at your desk and wonder, “What would Thurgood Marshall have done?” And what do you think he’d have to say about the NAACP LDF in 2014? SHERRILYN IFILL: No pressure, right? Actually I do channel former Director-Counsels quite a bit. I find that each one in their own way was creative, bold and original. I push myself to be more courageous largely because of the example that each of them set. I think that Marshall would love the work we are doing and our powerful voice. I speak with Mrs. Marshall a fair amount (she sits on our board), and she keeps up with our work. I think we’d be in good shape if Justice Marshall were asked about us today. LD: You’ve worked in civil rights, one way or the other, for much of your professional career. How do you measure progress? Is it disheartening to still be litigating over the Voting Rights Act? SI: It’s disappointing to be sure. We all hoped that America would move faster towards racial equality. But anyone doing this work knows that progress is full of stops and starts. We measure progress not only by the creation of access and opportunity, but also by material changes in the lives of real people. I also think it’s important to see progress as changing

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LD: You’ve said your mentor was Derrick Bell, who was the first tenured African-American Professor of Law at Harvard Law and taught at NYU Law. How did that relationship develop and what did you learn from him? SI: Derrick Bell was one of my mentors (I have been blessed with many mentors) and he principally encouraged me when I was writing my book. In fact it was Prof. Bell who insisted that I apply to MacDowell, the writing colony, to break through writing some critical chapters. I applied and was accepted and wrote for 8 hours a day, every day for a month. Best of all, he never allowed me to develop a sense of satisfaction – even about civil rights victories. And he saw the subtle and devastating ways in which victories were often infected early on with the seeds of future defeats. Brilliant, insightful and compassionate man. Plus he was just fun. LD: How much does your role as president have to do with fundraising? Does the NAACP LDF have enough resources to fulfill its broad mission? SI: Fundraising is a key part of my job and no, we do not have enough to fulfill our mission. LDF has become an institution and people just expect us to do what we do. But we need resources to support this work. Our attorneys work so hard, and carry such a heavy load and yet to pay just for their travel, for depositions, for expert witnesses is a struggle. Every lawyer in this country should be a supporter of LDF. That’s how significant our role has been in shaping the rule of law and transforming the profession. LD: Among your writings is a critically acclaimed book on the history of lynching in the U.S. Are there have shaped and framed the modern discussion of civil rights in America, it is the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. “The best civil rights law firm in American history,” as President Obama called it, has never been content to rest on its laurels, and Sherrilyn Ifill, named president of the LDF in 2012, has determinedly pushed the mission and dream of equal rights forward on every front. have shaped and framed the modern discussion of civil rights in America, it is the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. “The best civil rights law firm in American history,” as President Obama called it, has never been content to rest on its laurels, and

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Jamie Boucher SKADDEN (WASHINGTON, D.C.)

Todd Freed SKADDEN (NEW YORK)


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JAMIE BOUCHER AND TODD FREED JAMIE BOUCHER AND TODD FREED

took notably different paths toget to Skadden: Boucher spent time as a legislative aide in the U.S. Senate before heading to Georgetown University Law Center, while Freed rose through the ranks in his family’s cardealership business in Ohio before deciding on law school at Ohio State University. Both were well-served by their earlier careers as they ascended to the top of their respective practices. Boucher, based in D.C., specializes in regulatory and enforcement matters for financial institutions, while the New York-based Freed focuses on big-ticket deals for financial services clients, with a particular expertise in the insurance industry. LAWDRAGON: Can you talk about the early jobs you had that led you to pursue a law degree? JAMIE BOUCHER: Before joining Skadden, I worked

for 12 years in government and the private sector on matters involving international trade and investment regulation, so I started my career having an interest in international financial services. Serving as the legislative adviser for international trade and foreign policy to former U.S. Senator Frank H. Murkowski and as an adviser to the American League for Exports and Security Assistance on trade and national security issues piqued my interest and knowledge in the area. After I left government, I decided to pursue a second career and went to law school. My time in the Senate showed me that there were many ways people used their law degrees in the private and public sectors, which was very appealing to me. When I joined Skadden, I started in the International Trade Group and later joined the Financial Institutions Regulation and Enforcement practice. While my career path has been anything but linear, when I look back, each phase seems to be a logical progression from the previous one. TODD FREED: I have had only one job other than with Skadden. Our family owned several car dealerships in Ohio where I grew up. From an early age, I worked in the dealerships. I started out washing cars and making coffee and worked my way up. There was no special treatment for being the owner’s son. In my various roles within the family business, I learned a lot about customer service and employee, expense and time management. We sold our last car dealership several years after I graduated from college. After that, I was looking for the next challenge in my life and with a number of family members practicing law,

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BY JOHN RYAN

it was a natural choice. Also, I believe the experience I gained while working in the family dealerships has helped me appreciate and counsel clients on the business issues that arise in M&A transactions. LD: Is there a matter from recent years that stands out? TF: State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company’s $1.5 billion sale of its Canadian property, casualty and life insurance businesses, as well as its Canadian mutual fund, loan and living benefits companies, to integrated financial services company Desjardins Group stands out for me. This transaction marked the first major M&A deal for State Farm in its 90-year history; and, as such, was unprecedented and transformative for the client. The planning, structuring and negotiation of the transaction took almost 18 months and was notably complex in that its structure was that of four separate transactions in one: one, a stock sale; two, a reinsurance transaction; three, a transfer of the entire State Farm Canadian agent force; and four, a $400 million preferred share investment in Desjardins Group’s post-closing property and casualty insurance business. We successfully accomplished this multi-faceted deal by working closely with the State Farm team to address issues including legal and financial matters, operational concerns, and regulatory and transition issues, while navigating and harmonizing the numerous challenges unique to each of these four separate transactions. JB: To me, the firm’s work for BNP Paribas in resolv-

ing a multijurisdictional investigation involving the DOJ, the Manhattan District Attorney, OFAC, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the New York Department of Financial Services truly stands out. The investigation was into the bank’s historic compliance with U.S. economic sanctions laws and related laws. In June 2014, BNP entered into settlements with the U.S. authorities, including entering a guilty plea with the DOJ and the district attorney for conspiring to violate the Trading with the Enemy Act and the International Economic Emergencies Power Act and the New York Falsification of Business records statute, respectively. LD: How do the firm’s many different practices and components work together? JB: At Skadden, having the understanding of a global company’s business and legal needs is paramount. Starting from that perspective, I’ve helped build

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Natasha Harrison

Mark Holscher

BOIES SCHILLER NEW YORK

KIRKLAND & ELLIS LOS ANGELES

Janice Hartman

Heidi Hubbard

K&L GATES PITTSBURGH

WILLIAMS & CONNOLLY WASHINGTON, D.C.

Michael Hausfeld

James Hurst

HAUSFELD WASHINGTON, D.C.

KIRKLAND & ELLIS CHICAGO

Kris Heinzelman

Sherrilyn Ifill

CRAVATH NEW YORK

NAACP LEGAL DEFENSE AND EDUCATIONAL FUND NEW YORK

Edward Herlihy

William Isaacson

WACHTELL LIPTON NEW YORK

BOIES SCHILLER WASHINGTON, D.C.

Russ Herman

Valerie Ford Jacob

HERMAN HERMAN NEW ORLEANS

FRESHFIELDS NEW YORK

Stephen Herman

Jameel Jaffer

HERMAN HERMAN NEW ORLEANS

AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION NEW YORK

Lynne Hermle

Christy Jones

ORRICK MENLO PARK

BUTLER SNOW JACKSON, MISS.

William Hines

Patrick Jones

JONES WALKER NEW ORLEANS

JONES KELLEHER BOSTON

Jennifer Hobbs

Nora Jordan

SIMPSON THACHER NEW YORK

DAVIS POLK NEW YORK

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a team of international specialists in the areas of internal investigations, voluntary disclosures, and the resolution of administrative and enforcement proceedings in the cross-border financial services space. Our group can quickly mobilize an international network of attorneys to seamlessly support our global client base, and through these efforts, we’ve been able to grow the D.C.-based practice into a global leader with teams in several offices. Our culture is one that works with clients to develop legal strategies with an eye toward advancing their business goals and long-term growth. TF: Many people talk about Skadden’s “one-firm” approach as being one of the key distinguishing factors in the firm’s success. We really work together as a multidisciplinary team to address all of a client’s needs day-in and day-out. For example, we are often called on to quickly assemble a cross-border team to represent clients in high-profile M&A transactions. This often encompasses specialties in addition to our financial services M&A expertise, such as employee benefits, corporate finance, litigation, tax and intellectual property. Frequently, we are selected by potential clients specifically because we have the ability to assemble a team with bestin-class financial services expertise and experience supported by word-class specialist attorneys who hit the ground running. LD: Can each of you identify a trend in your practice,? TF: Multinational insurers and investment firms have

primarily fueled this year’s robust insurance M&A market. We continue to experience strong interest from current and prospective foreign insurance companies in acquiring U.S., Bermuda and Lloyd’s platforms — in some cases to build out current operations and in other cases as a core strategic growth imperative. We have seen particular interest from Asian insurers and financial services companies in exploring opportunities in the United States and at Lloyd’s. In regards to the United States, in particular, the learning curve in understanding the competitive, regulatory and consumer dynamics in the market has accelerated for a number of these foreign companies over the past year. Interestingly, this foreign interest has not been limited to just public companies or to one particular sector of the insurance market; hence our view is that sizeable opportunities across the spectrum remain. We have been spending a lot of time with these clients on helping them gain a full understanding of the 50-state insurance regulatory landscape in the United States, as well as assisting

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them in identifying possible acquisition opportunities. JB: On the regulatory front, our client base remains extremely focused on complying with the myriad requirements arising out of Dodd-Frank. In Europe, there is a lot of focus on the implementation of the Single Supervisory Mechanism and the role of the European Central Bank. LD: What has been the impact of the recent turmoil in world markets and do you see that continuing? JB: My work is primarily on the investigation and enforcement side, which remains extremely active as more global regulators are entering into the mix. I don’t see that trend changing anytime in the near future. TF: On the transactional side, the volatility in the credit markets has to date not slowed our insurance M&A pipeline. The likely reason is that insurance companies are often constrained in the amount of leverage they can take on because of rating agency requirements. Deals with a significant stock component in the insurance industry are analyzed based on stock price and book value per share, and those metrics do not always track in tandem. To date, we have not seen any pending discussions on stock-forstock deals hit a roadblock as a result of stock market volatility, but it is always a risk that the target stock runs up or the buyer’s stock experiences weakness as the parties are working through valuation issues. LD: What advice do you have for young lawyers? JB: It is so important to utilize your network – both in-

ternally and externally. Opportunities are everywhere and it is essential to keep an open mind. If someone had asked me 30 years ago if I could imagine myself as a banking lawyer, I would not have dreamed of it. Yet, I have a career that is very international in scope, which is what I always wanted. TF: I always encourage junior associates to ask ques-

tions. Asking questions helps to ensure there is a clear line of communication between junior and senior lawyers regarding assignments, and in providing advice and developing work product for clients in the most efficient manner. Asking questions also helps to ensure that you are understanding the big picture of a transaction and not just focusing on one discrete issue. It is also a great learning experience and most senior lawyers appreciate the opportunity to mentor. One important caveat, always put in the effort to come up with your own views and positions in advance because during the course of discussion you will want to be an active and informed participant. LAWDRAGON 500 ISSUE 16 | WWW.LAWDRAGON.COM L A W D R A G O N 5 0 0 I S S U E 1 6 | W W W . L A W D R A G O N . C O M141 2


Amy Fisch Solomon GIRARDI | KEESE (LOS ANGELES)


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AMY FISCH SOLOMON IT WILL SURPRISE NO ONE THAT

Amy Fisch Solomon devised her own pre-law major as an undergrad – with an emphasis on speech communication – before heading to Loyola Law School, Los Angeles. She has put her ability to communicate with jurors and judges to use in more than 30 trials and many more settlement negotiations, netting billions of dollars for injured parties and their families. Solomon has spent her entire career – after an initial career in ballet – at the storied Los Angeles plaintiff’s firm of Girardi | Keese, where she started as a clerk. She also works as a neutral and contributes her time to a wide range of public interest activities. LAWDRAGON: How did you develop an interest in a plaintiffs’-side trial practice? AMY FISCH SOLOMON: I developed an interest in

plaintiff-side trial practice after having an exceptional torts professor my first year and then finding Girardi | Keese my second year. I really was drawn to advocating for those without a voice, and the thought of doing so via jury trials certainly appealed to my prior career as a classical ballet dancer. LD: Can you talk about your undergrad major? AFS: Once I decided that I wanted to go on to law

school after college, I wanted to prepare myself for law school as best I could. It seemed to me that the typical journey through a Political Science degree was not the most well-rounded approach. I went to the chair of the Speech Communications Department and said I wanted to develop a “pre-law” major. He allowed me to submit a proposal, which I did. I put together courses from several disciplines, including Speech Communication, Philosophy, Psychology/Sociology, Business and Political Science. I was also an English Minor. I felt this multi-faceted approach was much more interesting than a straight poli-sci major, and also served me well when I applied to law schools as I believe the breadth and diversity of my studies was appealing to the admissions committees. Certainly, the courses in Speech Communication gave me a strong foundation for trial work. LD: What has kept you at this type of practice? AFS: I will celebrate my 30th year at Girardi | Keese

next May. I have stayed here doing what I do be-

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BY JOHN RYAN cause of the opportunity and support. What drives me to keep taking on these cases are the stories my clients bring to me that I feel compelled to tell to the “world,” as it were, in order to obtain justice for them. I have always had an extreme sense of justice – of fairness. I can’t tolerate what isn’t fair or just. This concept runs deeply for me, in that I am very careful to choose cases that I truly believe in. LD: Has your style as a trial lawyer changed over time? AFS: Absolutely. I am constantly learning from doing as well as from listening to others. As time goes on and one becomes more comfortable in their role, one has more freedom and confidence to try new ways to perform one’s job. LD: Why do you also work as a neutral? AFS: I love being the problem solver. When two, or

more, sides come to me with problems, it is quite a wonderful feeling to be the one who is able to lead all concerned to an outcome that puts the problems to rest. People can move on with their lives. I definitely see my own cases differently the more I work as a neutral. I feel more creative in how to approach my own cases, as well as applying tools as a neutral to help others. LD: Can you discuss any other extra-practice or pro bono work that is near and dear to your heart?

AFS: I have been doing a lot of outside things – whether serving on boards of various organizations such as Inner City Law Center, Western Justice Center, Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, Consumer Attorneys of California, State Bar Judicial Nominee Evaluation Committee, Bench/Bar Committees, and others, it adds an extra dimension to my practice, or to me. There is so much we all have the capacity to give and do for others less fortunate or to strengthen organizations that help others. I can’t imagine not doing these things. LD: What advice do you give to young lawyers or law students who want to have a similar practice? AFS: I tell everyone who wants to follow in my foot-

steps to work harder than you think you are capable; always practice with the utmost of ethics and civility; always give back to those who need it most. Read the full Q&A at www.lawdragon.com/lawyerlimelights/amy-fisch-solomon.

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Elena Kagan

Neal Katyal

U.S. SUPREME COURT WASHINGTON, D.C.

HOGAN LOVELLS WASHINGTON, D.C.

Peter Kalis

David Katz

K&L GATES PITTSBURGH

WACHTELL LIPTON NEW YORK

Stacy Kanter

Kenzo Kawanabe

SKADDEN NEW YORK

DAVIS GRAHAM DENVER

Roberta Kaplan

Skip Keesal

PAUL WEISS NEW YORK

KEESAL YOUNG LONG BEACH, CALIF.

David Kappos

John Keker

CRAVATH NEW YORK

KEKER & VAN NEST SAN FRANCISCO

Brad Karp

Jennifer Keller

PAUL WEISS NEW YORK

KELLER RACKAUCKAS IRVINE, CALIF.

David Karp

Michael Kelly

WACHTELL LIPTON NEW YORK

WALKUP MELODIA SAN FRANCISCO

Jay Kasner

Stasia Kelly

SKADDEN NEW YORK

DLA PIPER WASHINGTON, D.C.

Marc Kasowitz

Erika Kelton

KASOWITZ BENSON NEW YORK

PHILLIPS & COHEN WASHINGTON, D.C.

Greg Katsas

Anthony Kennedy

JONES DAY WASHINGTON, D.C.

U.S. SUPREME COURT WASHINGTON, D.C.

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PHOTO BY: MICHELLE NOLAN


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SHERRILYN IFILL

BY JEFF SCHULT

IF ANY ORGANIZATION CAN BE SAID TO

people’s expectations of what is possible.

have shaped and framed the modern discussion of civil rights in America, it is the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. “The best civil rights law firm in American history,” as President Obama called it, has never been content to rest on its laurels, and Sherrilyn Ifill, named president of the LDF in 2012, has determinedly pushed the mission and dream of equal rights forward on every front. In a year that has been marked by the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act and the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, Ifill, NYU Law ’87, has made the most of opportunities to remind the country both of how far it has come and how far it has to go when it comes to providing for equality under the law, political and economic fairness and justice, and human rights. LAWDRAGON: You’re the seventh President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, a firm that has played a pivotal role in civil and human rights law and litigation in the United States for 75 years. Do you ever sit at your desk and wonder, “What would Thurgood Marshall have done?” And what do you think he’d have to say about the NAACP LDF in 2014? SHERRILYN IFILL: No pressure, right? Actually I do channel former Director-Counsels quite a bit. I find that each one in their own way was creative, bold and original. I push myself to be more courageous largely because of the example that each of them set. I think that Marshall would love the work we are doing and our powerful voice. I speak with Mrs. Marshall a fair amount (she sits on our board), and she keeps up with our work. I think we’d be in good shape if Justice Marshall were asked about us today. LD: You’ve worked in civil rights, one way or the other, for much of your professional career. How do you measure progress? Is it disheartening to still be litigating over the Voting Rights Act? SI: It’s disappointing to be sure. We all hoped that America would move faster towards racial equality. But anyone doing this work knows that progress is full of stops and starts. We measure progress not only by the creation of access and opportunity, but also by material changes in the lives of real people. I also think it’s important to see progress as changing

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LD: You’ve said your mentor was Derrick Bell, who was the first tenured African-American Professor of Law at Harvard Law and taught at NYU Law. How did that relationship develop and what did you learn from him? SI: Derrick Bell was one of my mentors (I have been blessed with many mentors) and he principally encouraged me when I was writing my book. In fact it was Prof. Bell who insisted that I apply to MacDowell, the writing colony, to break through writing some critical chapters. I applied and was accepted and wrote for 8 hours a day, every day for a month. Best of all, he never allowed me to develop a sense of satisfaction – even about civil rights victories. And he saw the subtle and devastating ways in which victories were often infected early on with the seeds of future defeats. Brilliant, insightful and compassionate man. Plus he was just fun. LD: How much does your role as president have to do with fundraising? Does the NAACP LDF have enough resources to fulfill its broad mission? SI: Fundraising is a key part of my job and no, we do not have enough to fulfill our mission. LDF has become an institution and people just expect us to do what we do. But we need resources to support this work. Our attorneys work so hard, and carry such a heavy load and yet to pay just for their travel, for depositions, for expert witnesses is a struggle. Every lawyer in this country should be a supporter of LDF. That’s how significant our role has been in shaping the rule of law and transforming the profession. LD: Among your writings is a critically acclaimed book on the history of lynching in the U.S. Are there have shaped and framed the modern discussion of civil rights in America, it is the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. “The best civil rights law firm in American history,” as President Obama called it, has never been content to rest on its laurels, and Sherrilyn Ifill, named president of the LDF in 2012, has determinedly pushed the mission and dream of equal rights forward on every front. have shaped and framed the modern discussion of civil rights in America, it is the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. “The best civil rights law firm in American history,” as President Obama called it, Joseph Power has never been content to rest on its laurels, and

POWER ROGERS (CHICAGO)

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Parker Folse SUSMAN GODFREY (SEATTLE)


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PARKER FOLSE PARKER FOLSE SAYS HE’S LIVED A

charmed life, and talking to him in Susman Godfrey’s Seattle office, it’s tough to disagree. Raised in Austin, he clerked for Justice William Rehnquist, and lives on eight acres in Bainbridge Island. He takes the ferry to work. He’s tried four cases in the past year, all patent matters. He notched one of his first patent successes for TwoWay Media, one of the first streaming radio services, in a case against AOL and in 2013 won a verdict for the company against AT&T, resulting in a $40 million judgment that was upheld by the Federal Circuit this year. More recently, he went home to Texas and tried his first case in Marshall, winning $32.5M for DataQuill against ZTE over use of its patents in smart-phone technology. And then there’s the $536M settlement with Microsoft – including an $88M contingency fee – he won for Novell without ever filing a lawsuit. Look a little closer, and you also see the grace of someone who sees fortune in what others consider adversity. That generosity of spirit has won over juries, colleagues and judges to the tunes of billions and made Folse one of the most elite and accomplished partners at the very, very elite and accomplished Susman Godfrey. LAWDRAGON: Tell me about your upbringing, how you came to be a lawyer? PARKER FOLSE: There weren’t any lawyers in my

family. I think what put the idea in my head was my mother, Marlee Baker, who was a remarkable person. She and my father were divorced when I was six. She raised me and my brother, Gabriel, as a single mother in Austin and she worked the whole time. She’d gotten her degree in music, so for a while she taught music and was a solo pianist for the Austin symphony. She also worked in the Texas legislature for a long time, including a stint as Barbara Jordan’s first secretary when she was first elected to the Texas Legislature. For a time she was a real estate broker and there was also a stretch where she was a columnist for the Austin American-Statesman. She always had tremendous ambitions for us. We moved back and forth between apartments, when she could afford it, and living with her parents when she couldn’t. My grandfather was a retired school superintendent who also sold schoolbooks around

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BY KATRINA DEWEY the state. He was the closest thing to a father figure I had while growing up. My mother, by the way, went to University of Texas Law School at 49; she started the year I graduated. She practiced as a criminal defense lawyer. LD: You clerked for 9th Circuit Judge Joseph Sneed, and then U.S. Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist. What was that like? PF: It was great. Judge Sneed grew up in West Texas, and had been assistant dean at UT Law School. He was a conservative Republican, and Carly Fiorina is his daughter. There’s no way this could have gotten mapped out – a left-of-center Democrat like me hired by a conservative Republican on the 9th Circuit. Judge Sneed had a habit of hiring a clerk from the University of Texas Law School each year, and had one of his first clerks who lived in Austin do his interviewing at UT. I had a good record in law school, and I guess I made a decent impression. No one talked about my politics.

I applied to many Supreme Court justices, and I guess Justice Rehnquist was interested in seeing me because I clerked for Judge Sneed. He also never asked me during the interview about political beliefs; he asked me questions about growing up, what areas of law I found interesting, trying to get a sense of what kind of person I was. Throughout his entire time on the bench, he was always interested in hiring clerks from a diverse range of law schools and really believed the top people at any law school were fungible. He wanted people who felt it would be special to clerk at the Court. I think that helped me too. LD: Did you enjoy your time clerking for Rehnquist? PF: Absolutely. I disagreed with a lot of his judicial philosophies, but really admired him as a person. As with Judge Sneed, I felt they were my clients, I was their lawyer, and my job was to do the best I could for them. Nobody appointed me to the Supreme Court, so my job was to carry out their wishes as best I could. It wound up opening all sorts of doors, even to this day.

For example, one of my co-clerks for Justice Rehnquist, federal district judge David Campbell in Phoenix, was the chair of the federal Advisory Committee on Civil Rules and he recommended that I be considered for appointment to the committee

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Thomas Kennedy

Edwin Kneedler

SKADDEN NEW YORK

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON, D.C.

David Kessler

Karen Koehler

KESSLER TOPAZ RADNOR, PENN.

STRITMATTER KESSLER SEATTLE

Jeffrey Kessler

Kim Koopersmith

WINSTON & STRAWN NEW YORK

AKIN GUMP WASHINGTON, D.C.

Kenton King

Meyer Koplow

SKADDEN PALO ALTO

WACHTELL LIPTON NEW YORK

Adam Klein

Joshua Korff

OUTTEN & GOLDEN NEW YORK

KIRKLAND & ELLIS CHICAGO

Gayle Klein

Alan Kornberg

MCKOOL SMITH NEW YORK

PAUL WEISS NEW YORK

Jeff Klein

Walter Lack

WEIL GOTSHAL NEW YORK

ENGSTROM LIPSCOMB LOS ANGELES

Tom Kline

William Lafferty

KLINE & SPECTER PHILADELPHIA

MORRIS NICHOLS WILMINGTON

Lou Kling

Jeffrey Lamken

SKADDEN NEW YORK

MOLOLAMKEN WASHINGTON, D.C.

Ethan Klingsberg

Carolyn Lamm

CLEARY GOTTLIEB NEW YORK

WHITE & CASE WASHINGTON, D.C.

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as one of the members from private practice. And I was then appointed in 2012, and re-appointed this year, by Chief Justice Roberts, who was a Rehnquist clerk the year before Judge Campbell and I started the job. He stuck around to help train us for a few weeks that summer. That probably never would have happened but for this sequence of events that began with Judge Sneed. LD: Any personal memories of Justice Rehnquist? PF: Many. I’ll never forget the day, Jan. 13, 1982, when an Air Florida plane crashed into the 14th Street Bridge on the Potomac taking off from National Airport. Lots of people went into the water and died. It shut down traffic and the bridge across the Potomac that Justice Rehnquist used to get home. So he had his driver turn around and take him back to the court.

I lived in a little studio apartment right across the street from the back of the Supreme Court building. I went in the next morning and found the Boss sitting in his office looking haggard and drinking cranberry juice and eating an Oreo cookie. He looked like he hadn’t shaved or slept much. He explained he had to spend the night at the court – there was a room in the upper floors of the court with a cot. He was a very formal person, very personally shy in some ways. So with some trepidation I said, if you like, I would like to invite you over to my apartment and I’ll fix you breakfast. I made him bacon and eggs in my crappy little kitchen. LD: Any other thoughts about him? PF: He was super smart and had an incredible mem-

ory. We’d be sitting in his office talking about a case and he’d think of some Supreme Court decision that was relevant, stand up and walk over and pull the volume off the wall. He would know what volume of the reporters it was in. He also had a realpolitik view of the law, and as much as anything else, that’s something I took away from my year at the Court, shedding some of the unrealistically idealistic perspectives you get in law school about judges and the methods of constitutional and statutory intrepretation. I suppose it came home to me that the law is made by human beings who are political creatures, whether they are judges or legislators. There is not really some inherent truth about what this statute or constitutional provision means, independent of who is interpreting it. It’s going to depend on those interpreting it and what shaped their lives up to that point. LD: Sounds like you learned a pretty valuable lesson.

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PF: There are definitely differences between persuading a jury in a trial and persuading a judge, but there’s also an awful lot in common. Judges are above and perhaps even jaded about some forms of persuasion, but they’re still human beings. I think a lot of judges start out in making a decision with some sort of view about what’s fair or unfair and the equities of the situation, and sometimes that has nothing to do with the law. Lawyers who are blind to that in the way they write briefs or argue are making a mistake.

That’s what litigators and trial lawyers do. You have the interest of your client that you’re supposed to protect and advance consistent with ethics and morals, and you always have to take what you have to work with and make the best out of it. And you have to do that in a way that’s credible. That’s doubly true in trials. Juries are very good at smelling phonies, and their attitude about lawyers, I suspect, is to be suspicious from the outset. They know that you are an advocate for your client, so they’re going to take everything you say with a grain of salt. If you stack on top of that some layer of pretense, saying things you don’t believe or trying to be someone you’re not, that makes it worse. The key is to find something that makes you feel passionately about your case, your position, your client, and let that come out. But it has to be genuine. LD: That’s an interesting balance at Susman Godfrey,

where the model is to bet on your client’s case.

PF: The first stories you hear when you’re meeting with a potential client are usually a gilding of the lily – particularly when someone is talking with us about a potential contingent fee engagement. They want us, or someone like us. They need a lawyer they don’t have to pay because they can’t in many instances, so it’s a bit of a sales job. That takes a little time to figure out.

Every lawyer at our firm eventually learns this. You have to cross-examine people who are trying to hire you, examine documents, dig as hard as you can to separate what’s true from what’s wishful thinking about the potential case being presented to us. It’s inevitable over the course of discovery that things you didn’t know are going to come out. Sometimes they dramatically change the picture of the case you had in your head. Sometimes it makes hard cases better and sometimes it does the opposite. Read the full Q&A at www.lawdragon.com/lawyerlimelights/parker-folse.

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Raoul Cantero WHITE & CASE (MIAMI)


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RAOUL CANTERO A LOVE OF FICTION WRITING AS A

college student – and the influence of one writing professor in particular – played an unlikely but crucial role in the state of Florida having its first Hispanic justice on the state Supreme Court. Raoul Cantero combined his writing chops and his degree from Harvard Law to develop a leading appellate practice that eventually led then-Gov. Jeb Bush to appoint Cantero, whose parents were born in Cuba, to the Tallahassee-based high court in 2002. The family’s deep family ties to Miami led Cantero to decide to move back there and return to private practice after a six-year tenure. He chose White & Case, where he heads the firm’s Miami commercial litigation practice and also serves as its global head of diversity. LAWDRAGON: Can you talk about where you grew up and how you developed an interest in the law? RAOUL CANTERO: My parents came from Cuba. I was born in Madrid, Spain, and when I was nine-months old we came to the United States. I grew up in Miami speaking Spanish as a first language, and English as a second language. In high school, I liked to do the mock trials and thought I would be good at law. At college I started majoring in criminology. Then, on the advice of some lawyer friends of my father’s, I changed my major to English and writing, and I developed an affinity for writing fiction. I ended up majoring in fiction writing and business, and minoring in math and philosophy. My father graduated from law school in Cuba, but we emigrated before he had a chance to practice there, and he never practiced here. LD: I assume your affinity for writing played a role in your eventual focus on appellate law. RC: When I started in college I was probably a mediocre writer, but this one fiction writing professor changed my life. The first day of class he said, “If you’re going to law school or medical school, don’t take my class because I don’t give out A’s.” But he had this one policy that if you turned in a story, and you didn’t like the grade that you got, you were welcome to edit and revise it, and bring it back for a different grade. He also had office hours where he would explain to you the problems he had with your story. I started getting C-minuses on my stories, but I kept bringing back draft after draft on particular stories, and in the meantime a new story would be

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BY JOHN RYAN due. I would be working on the third draft of story one, and the second draft of story two, and the first draft of story three, and it kept building up. I worked really hard that semester, and finally I got an A – perhaps more from persistence than competence. It really taught me the importance of editing and constant rewriting. When I graduated from law school I clerked for a federal judge, so by the time I started working for a firm I had developed a proficiency in writing. I joined a small firm made up of former state prosecutors, and they were really good trial lawyers. But they all hated to write and never had time to actually sit down and write anything. Whenever there was an appeal, they would give it to me to write. I was the 13th attorney at that firm, and by the time I was appointed to the Florida Supreme Court, we were about 150 attorneys. As the firm had grown over the years, the appeals gravitated toward me. LD: How did the appointment come about? Were you overwhelmed when it happened? RC: Certainly, I had never ever planned to even apply to be on the Florida Supreme Court, although I did want to be a judge one day. I planned to be maybe an appellate judge, but in my home community of Miami. I hadn’t planned to move to Tallahassee and be on the Florida Supreme Court. As the vacancy was opening up, people started approaching me about applying because I did have a specialty in appeals, and I had argued several times in the Florida Supreme Court. Back then, this was 2001-2002, there weren’t too many Hispanics that specialized in appeals. I didn’t think about it much at first, and speaking to my wife, she was hesitant about moving. We prayed over it and finally decided to apply. Yes, when I was appointed it was overwhelming. To me it was a celebration of the whole Hispanic community, and I felt also a responsibility as the first Hispanic to make sure that I did a good job, that I was a good example for other Hispanics and that I would make my community proud.

Sometimes, during my tenure there, when I missed Miami and our home community, I was wondering why I had accepted the job. But one day during oral arguments, this group of undergraduates from the University of Florida had come to watch. The marshal of the court had told me during a break in the argu-

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Stewart Landefeld

William Lee

PERKINS COIE SEATTLE

WILMERHALE BOSTON

Steven Lane

Yoon-Young Lee

HERMAN HERMAN NEW ORLEANS

WILMERHALE WASHINGTON, D.C.

Tom Lane

Eduardo Leite

WINSTON & STRAWN NEW YORK

BAKER & MCKENZIE CHICAGO

Mark Lanier

Heather Lennox

LANIER LAW FIRM HOUSTON

JONES DAY NEW YORK

David Lash

Sandra Leung

O’MELVENY & MYERS LOS ANGELES

BRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB NEW YORK

Travis Laster

Andrew Levander

DELAWARE COURT OF CHANCERY WILMINGTON

DECHERT NEW YORK

Wendi Lazar

Ava Lias-Booker

OUTTEN GOLDEN NEW YORK

MCGUIRE WOODS BALTIMORE

Marianne LeBlanc

David Lira

SUGARMAN BOSTON

GIRARDI | KEESE LOS ANGELES

Mark Lebovitch

Cheryl Little

BERNSTEIN LITOWITZ NEW YORK

AMERICANS FOR IMMIGRANT JUSTICE MIAMI

Michele Lee

Judy Livingston

U.S. PATENT & TRADEMARK OFFICE WASHINGTON, D.C.

KRAMER DILLOF NEW YORK

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ments that one of the students wanted to meet me. I went out there to meet him, and he was a student who had just arrived from Cuba maybe a couple of years before. He still had a heavy Cuban accent and had gotten a scholarship to go to the university. He told me how proud he was that we had a Hispanic on the court and that he knew it was possible to reach whatever heights we wanted to as Hispanics, that I was an example to the community. That was an affirmation to me of why I had done it, and the importance of having a Hispanic on the court.

RC: Once I had decided to leave I made a public announcement so the governor could start thinking about my replacement. Firms started calling me, and I decided that I was going to talk to everybody who called and not exclude anybody. As the interview process went on, it became clear to me that I thought I should go to a multinational firm with a substantial litigation presence in Miami. That kind of narrowed it down because of the international firms in Miami, many did not have large offices here or large litigation departments.

LD: I know that in other articles you have said that the Terri Schiavo case really stands out, when looking back at your tenure. Do you still feel that way?

At the time I came here there were 100 lawyers in Miami at White & Case, and about 40 of them in litigation. I thought that having a large litigation department would give me an entry into handling appeals, and also into the arbitration area. I thought that being in Miami, international arbitration would be one of the areas that I could focus on in addition to appeals, and White & Case offered a combination of all those things.

RC: Well, there certainly were some important cases while we were there, but yes. There’s a saying that you don’t really become a judge until you rule against the person who appointed you. That was the first case in which we ruled against the Bush administration, and the legislature. We did it unanimously. We all agreed it was the legal thing to do. To me it showed that regardless of who appoints you, you have to apply the law as you see it. That’s why it was an important case to me. A lot of people accused us of being an activist court. That’s actually an example, not of judicial activism, but of restraint, because we were following the separation of powers and were also giving discretion to the trial judge to make factual findings, and not deviating from the factual findings. The term judicial activism, while it has its place, is often overused. LD: How did you start to think about leaving the court? RC: It began with my family clamoring to move back to Miami. We come from a very large extended family with a lot of aunts and uncles, nephews, nieces and cousins. Every month there’s somebody’s birthday to celebrate, or some communion, or graduation or something else. My kids really missed that camaraderie of being with the extended family. My wife and I at some point said, “I guess it’s time.” I didn’t think I would be leaving after six years. If I had stayed two more years, I would have become chief justice, and then I would have been chief justice for two years. I thought I would be staying at least ten years. As it worked out, they’ve loved being back and have thrived in Miami, and we do have a great extended family and I was able to make a career here. I don’t regret the decision. LD: What type of practice were you seeking and how did you end up at White & Case?

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LD: As the global head of diversity, can you talk a little bit about what the firm is doing in that area? RC: First, let me mention that we’ve been rated number one in diversity among the big law firms for two years [in the American Lawyer’s “Diversity Scorecard”]. I don’t think we can rest on our laurels in that regard, because the numbers are still pretty low, and if we lose a couple of minority lawyers, our numbers can drop very quickly. One thing we’re doing is we have affinity groups within the firm for minority attorneys so that they can discuss their issues and problems. We are making lawyers aware of what they call “unconscious” bias, where you don’t mean to be discriminatory against a minority attorney, or a woman, but sometimes you might have an unconscious bias.

Another thing we are doing is trying to get on campus to the minority groups at select law schools before the on-campus interview process in August, and to connect with minority students in the spring – so that going into on-campus interviews they already know about us, they know that we care about minority representation, and they choose to interview with us. There still aren’t a whole lot of minority law students, and the ones that are at the top of their class are very coveted, so we want to make sure we get in touch with them early in the process and recruit them. It takes persistence. Read the full Q&A at www.lawdragon.com/lawyerlimelights/raoul-cantero.

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Harriet Pearson HOGAN LOVELLS (WASHINGTON, D.C.)


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HARRIET PEARSON HOGAN LOVELLS SCORED BIG IN 2012

when Harriet Pearson joined the firm’s Washington, D.C., office after a lengthy stint at IBM, where she was Vice President, Security Counsel and Chief Privacy Officer and had become one of the nation’s leading authorities in cybersecurity legal matters. Pearson’s cutting-edge practice advises clients on their policies related to privacy and cybersecurity and assists them in responding to breaches and other incidents; the Hogan team often acts as “breach and crisis counsel” in such situations. Pearson, a UCLA Law graduate, cochairs the Georgetown Cybersecurity Law Institute and has served in a number of other leadership and board positions within her field. LAWDRAGON: When at IBM did you start to develop

an interest in cybersecurity and privacy issues?

HARRIET PEARSON: We identified data privacy and security as key policy issues in the mid-1990s and I managed many of the company’s early initiatives in this area. Working at the heart of a major global technology company I also saw the many different ways these issues intersect with business and realized the value of an enterprise-wide strategy – today, some call it privacy and security “by design.” I proposed the Chief Privacy Officer position to unify the company’s approach and when the company appointed me CPO in the year 2000 it was one of the first companies to formalize the role. LD: What about this area of law drew you to it? HP: Data privacy has been an issue for decades, but it was the coming digitization and interconnection of seemingly everything that caught my attention and convinced me to dive in for the long-term. The speed with which technology is transforming every sector challenges existing privacy, legal and policy frameworks, and it is now widely understood that cyber risk is a top-tier issue that must be addressed comprehensively including via law. How do we protect data, and the systems on which it resides, while putting it to its most productive use? These are among the big questions, and the big risks, of our time. LD: Are there a few key things that in-house counsel aren’t doing enough of to deal with these challenges? HP : In my experience, in-house counsel are now fully engaged with cyber and privacy issues. If only they could manufacture more hours in their

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BY JOHN RYAN day! In all seriousness, with the existing issues on their plates, the additional challenge of counseling on the technically-complex and high-stakes issues in these areas can strain in-house resources. Tapping external specialized resources, including via non-traditional arrangements such as retainers and project-based work, is something we see businesses doing. Reaching out to peer colleagues, especially on an industry sector basis, can also be incredibly helpful to confirm and inform individual company assessments and strategies. LD: What are some of the challenges of guiding companies in evolving regulatory environments? HP: I believe that we are in a time of transition, at least in the United States. Let’s say a company has been hit by a cyber attack. On the one hand, there has been a crime committed and the company is a victim. On the other hand, there is every chance that the company will face scrutiny and likely litigation and perhaps enforcement action from a variety of entities. Deciding what to do, in a timely way (given statutorily-imposed notification timelines) is a highlystrategic and nuanced exercise that benefits from advance planning and experience. LD: How do you stay up on an evolving field that involves a number of high-tech issues? HP: I look to our practice’s blog, the Chronicle of Data Protection, as well as online posts by academics, technologists and business strategists, for timely updates on key developments. As co-chair of the Cybersecurity Law Institute, now planning for the fourth annual conference at the Georgetown Law Center, I am constantly reviewing new developments in cyber law so that we program the most current issues and speakers. And every Friday afternoon our team prepares a bulletized update on the week’s developments to clients who have requested it – overseeing its preparation pretty much forces me to stay current. LD: What do you do to relax? HP: I enjoy cycling, hiking and kayaking with my family. We’re fortunate that there are lovely places within an easy drive from DC. My husband has a standing goal to find places with spotty cell coverage to help us stay disconnected for a few hours. Read the full Q&A at www.lawdragon.com/lawyerlimelights/harriet-pearson.

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Chris Seeger SEEGER WEISS (NEW YORK)


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CHRIS SEEGER IN HIS EARLY DAYS, CHRIS SEEGER NEVER

expected to even go to college, never mind end up playing a star role in several of the nation’s most visible and complex litigations. The Seeger Weiss co-founder worked as a carpenter, like his father, and was already 23-years-old before starting college. Though he started on the corporate side of the fence after graduating from Cardozo Law, it wasn’t long before his blue-collar upbringing compelled a switch to the plaintiffs’ side. “When I started representing plaintiffs, I fell in love with the white-knight aspect of it,” Seeger says. Seeger has come to specialize in leading massive multidistrict litigations, including his negotiation of the global settlement on behalf former NFL players who sued the league over concussion-related injuries. Seeger also has played leadership roles in litigation netting billions in recoveries from pharmaceutical companies and in the $800-million settlement for those damaged by defective Chinese drywall installed after Hurricane Katrina. A former boxer, Seeger likes to start his days training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He won his age and weight class in the 2012 Pan American games. LAWDRAGON: How did you end up getting leadership roles in these massive cases? CHRIS SEEGER: I started Seeger Weiss in 1999 but

was out on my own starting in 1993. I was sort of floundering around, getting experience. In 1999, I got involved in two big drug cases, the Propulsid litigation against Johnson & Johnson and the Rezulin litigation against Pfizer. I wasn’t well-known and would try to get into meetings of the plaintiffs’ lawyers but really no one was giving me the time of day – I kept showing up and they kept ignoring me. When the Rezulin litigation came to New York I thought that maybe I’d be on the committee, but I was excluded. And that’s fine – you have to prove yourself and make an impact on the litigation. But then Dave Buchanan [of Seeger Weiss] and I worked a Rezulin case in state court and got a really big verdict, and then everybody in the plaintiffs’ bar took notice. Instead of crawling under a rock when people ignored us, we really kept at it, put some elbow grease into it and made ourselves noticed more. Then I got invited to the plaintiffs’ steering committee, and the rest is history.

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BY JOHN RYAN LD: What does it take to manage this type of litigation? CS: You have to be able to compartmentalize. With

leadership, a lot of it is personality. When speaking with people you have to appreciate their time and their work, but the other side of it is that it doesn’t matter if an attorney has had a similar role in 10 past litigations – if the person doesn’t deserve to be there, you have to be prepared to make that change. You also have to be looking for new talent and be willing to give people opportunities. LD: Can you give some insight into how you push the cases toward trial or settlement? CS: When leading these cases you have to be able

to put on your War Department hat and your State Department hat. On the one hand, you have to push these trials, you have to bring the fight constantly to these defendants. They can never feel they can outspend you, or outwork you. But at the same time, you’ve got to be able to become part of the State Department and be reasonable when it comes time to settle. At the time the case is settling, you’re really no longer totally at war. You’ve already gone to war, you’ve won a few battles and lost a few battles but you have to be able to say: “OK, I’ve got a bunch of injured people so I need compensation for them and I need enough of it so everyone is fairly compensated.” Usually on the other side the defense needs global peace, so you kind of start from that point. LD: One of your high-profile recent cases is the NFL concussion litigation. What do you take away from that in terms of what it achieved? CS: Well, that litigation started out to accomplish one

thing and we did it. That was to get financial help to retired players who are suffering from injuries related to their concussions – people who could no longer take care of themselves, take care of their families, who had big medical expenses. This settlement does that. We also knew that there are over 20,000 retired players who have been exposed to head hits. Even if they weren’t exhibiting symptoms today of ALS, Parkinson’s or dementia, they could get sick tomorrow, and into the future, so we wanted to get them all tested and into a program where we could track them and see where their heath is, starting today. We accomplished that, and we also got some money for education.

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George Lombardi

Colleen Mahoney

WINSTON & STRAWN CHICAGO

SKADDEN WASHINGTON, D.C.

Simon Lorne

Neal Manne

MILLENNIUM CAPITAL NEW YORK

SUSMAN GODFREY HOUSTON

Kathleen Love

Greg Markel

MCGINN CARPENTER ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.

CADWALADER NEW YORK

Jonathan Lowy

Steve Marks

BRADY ENTER TO PREVENT HANDGUN VIOLENCE WASHINGTON, D.C.

PODHURST ORSECK MIAMI

Paola Lozano

Bill Marler

SKADDEN NEW YORK

MARLER CLARK SEATTLE

Martin Lueck

David Marriott

ROBINS KAPLAN MINNEAPOLIS

CRAVATH NEW YORK

Joan Lukey

Katharine Martin

CHOATE HALL BOSTON

WILSON SONSINI PALO ALTO

Loretta Lynch

Wally Martinez

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON, D.C.

HUNTON & WILLIAMS NEW YORK

Mike Lynn

Mark Martins

LYNN TILLOTSON DALLAS

OFFICE OF MILITARY COMMISSIONS ALEXANDRIA, VA.

Mark MacDougall

Marco Masotti

AKIN GUMP WASHINGTON, D.C.

PAUL WEISS NEW YORK

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Another benefit is that we have made the game safer. If you’ve noticed since we’ve filed this litigation, the NFL has limited the amount of helmet-to-helmet hitting. If a player suffers a concussion, he is going to be out until he is cleared by a neurologist. We have improved the health of the players, we’ve helped make it safer and at the same time we’ve provided significant compensation and benefits to the retired players who all have been exposed to this. I think I’ve got at this point in my career a nice resume, but this is one of the most satisfying cases I’ve worked on. It’s also, in some respects, one of the most misunderstood and misrepresented. LD: In some of these litigations, you’ve also won trials before the settlement phase. Obviously a lot is at stake in those cases. Do you still get nervous? CS: I do. As an athlete, I boxed up until I was in my mid 20s and even as an adult I train in a sport called Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, which I compete in. For that I get very nervous and what I do – what I’ve always done – is over-prepare. I get in fantastic shape and then I’m always extremely nervous, but the minute the bell rings or the whistle blows, I’m ready to go.

I’ve always analogized trials to that aspect of my life because I try to over-prepare. You have to be absolutely prepared for everything because these trials are complicated, and every time you turn a corner, there’s a new obstacle. You’re also up against the absolute best defense lawyers in the country. The best money can buy. So I want to be as prepared or better prepared than they are. If I’m up at midnight and I have a sense that these guys may be getting a little tired, or I start getting a little tired, I keep saying to myself, “I’m going to put a little bit more time in because while he’s sleeping, I’m preparing.” I’m 55 now, and that’s still the way I prepare. The next part is that, once it starts, once the judge says, “OK, go ahead, give your opening statement,” the nerves go away and it’s just work. And then we just keep working until we’re done. LD: I was going to ask about the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. How did you get into that? CS: I have five kids, four boys and one girl. I wanted my boys to wrestle. I didn’t want them to box like I did because, well, I know a lot about concussions now. I wanted them to wrestle, and they were going to a school that didn’t have a wrestling program so I found Jiu Jitsu when looking around for them. I took them to it not thinking that I would do it. But I was there

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watching the classes and I kind of said, “Hey, you know, I think I can do that. I’d like to give it a try.” And I’m still doing it. I did it at 7:00 this morning. It’s my therapy. The sparring sessions are 100%. You don’t pull anything, you’re actually wrestling and trying to submit your opponent even in the training sessions. LD: You go up against the best defense lawyers in these cases. Can you share a few opponents that you’ve come to admire? CS: I’m going to leave some names off. One that comes to mind just from recent experience in the NFL litigation is Brad Karp from Paul Weiss. I think he is extremely honorable. A fierce competitor, a fierce advocate for his client but when he says something you can rely on it. He’s very good at expressing what he needs out of the deal, which gives me guidance as to what I can deliver. Other fierce competitors – they’ll try to blow your case out of the water, but they are fair, honest and have the highest ethical standards – are Doug Marvin from Williams & Connolly, Ted Mayer from Hughes Hubbard and Nina Gussack of Pepper Hamilton. There are a number I could mention. The guys at the very top of the game on the defense bar don’t get there by being unethical or dishonest. They need to have credibility. LD: What do you look for in lawyers joining your firm? CS: It’s not a hard and fast rule, but we have a number of people at our firm who started out at big defense firms. I’m a blue-collar guy who didn’t go to Harvard or Yale, so I don’t really care that you come from a white-shoe law firm, but it can be helpful because typically you learn really good practice mechanics at those places.

But overall I’m looking for somebody who’s smart and hungry, and who cares. I tell lawyers that start at my firm, and I tell law students this, and it’s really something I’ve felt my whole career: Your client in any particular case might be just another case to you, but to them that case is everything. You have to remember that when you’re dealing with your clients. It’s not just with our lawyers but also our staff. If I were to ever hear – and in a long time of doing this there have been a few instances – a person not answering the phone or dealing with a client the way I think is appropriate, I’ll let that person go. Clients come first. You have to be smart, you’ve got to be hungry and tenacious, but you’ve got to care. Read the full Q&A at www.lawdragon.com/lawyerlimelights/christopher-seeger.

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Colette Matzzie

Christopher Meade

PHILLIPS & COHEN WASHINGTON, D.C.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY WASHINGTON, D.C.

Michele Coleman Mayes

Mark Mendelsohn

NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY NEW YORK

PAUL WEISS WASHINGTON, D.C.

Brian McCarthy

Carlos Méndez-Peñate

SKADDEN LOS ANGELES

AKERMAN LLP NEW YORK

Randi McGinn

Lee Meyerson

MCGINN CARPENTER ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.

SIMPSON THACHER NEW YORK

Patrick McGroder

Jane Michaels

GALLAGHER & KENNEDY PHOENIX

HOLLAND & HART DENVER

Jami Wintz McKeon

Dale Minami

MORGAN LEWIS PHILADELPHIA

MINAMI TAMAKI SAN FRANCISCO

Mike McKool

Martha Minow

MCKOOL SMITH DALLAS

HARVARD LAW SCHOOL CAMBRIDGE

William McLucas

Ted Mirvis

WILMERHALE WASHINGTON, D.C.

WACHTELL LIPTON NEW YORK

Matthew McNicholas

Jeffrey Mishkin

MCNICHOLAS & MCNICHOLAS LOS ANGELES

SKADDEN NEW YORK

John Mead

Steve Molo

SULLIVAN & CROMWELL NEW YORK

MOLOLAMKEN NEW YORK

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SHERRILYN IFILL

BY JEFF SCHULT

IF ANY ORGANIZATION CAN BE SAID TO

people’s expectations of what is possible.

have shaped and framed the modern discussion of civil rights in America, it is the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. “The best civil rights law firm in American history,” as President Obama called it, has never been content to rest on its laurels, and Sherrilyn Ifill, named president of the LDF in 2012, has determinedly pushed the mission and dream of equal rights forward on every front. In a year that has been marked by the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act and the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, Ifill, NYU Law ’87, has made the most of opportunities to remind the country both of how far it has come and how far it has to go when it comes to providing for equality under the law, political and economic fairness and justice, and human rights. LAWDRAGON: You’re the seventh President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, a firm that has played a pivotal role in civil and human rights law and litigation in the United States for 75 years. Do you ever sit at your desk and wonder, “What would Thurgood Marshall have done?” And what do you think he’d have to say about the NAACP LDF in 2014? SHERRILYN IFILL: No pressure, right? Actually I do channel former Director-Counsels quite a bit. I find that each one in their own way was creative, bold and original. I push myself to be more courageous largely because of the example that each of them set. I think that Marshall would love the work we are doing and our powerful voice. I speak with Mrs. Marshall a fair amount (she sits on our board), and she keeps up with our work. I think we’d be in good shape if Justice Marshall were asked about us today. LD: You’ve worked in civil rights, one way or the other, for much of your professional career. How do you measure progress? Is it disheartening to still be litigating over the Voting Rights Act? SI: It’s disappointing to be sure. We all hoped that America would move faster towards racial equality. But anyone doing this work knows that progress is full of stops and starts. We measure progress not only by the creation of access and opportunity, but also by material changes in the lives of real people. I also think it’s important to see progress as changing

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LD: You’ve said your mentor was Derrick Bell, who was the first tenured African-American Professor of Law at Harvard Law and taught at NYU Law. How did that relationship develop and what did you learn from him? SI: Derrick Bell was one of my mentors (I have been blessed with many mentors) and he principally encouraged me when I was writing my book. In fact it was Prof. Bell who insisted that I apply to MacDowell, the writing colony, to break through writing some critical chapters. I applied and was accepted and wrote for 8 hours a day, every day for a month. Best of all, he never allowed me to develop a sense of satisfaction – even about civil rights victories. And he saw the subtle and devastating ways in which victories were often infected early on with the seeds of future defeats. Brilliant, insightful and compassionate man. Plus he was just fun. LD: How much does your role as president have to do with fundraising? Does the NAACP LDF have enough resources to fulfill its broad mission? SI: Fundraising is a key part of my job and no, we do not have enough to fulfill our mission. LDF has become an institution and people just expect us to do what we do. But we need resources to support this work. Our attorneys work so hard, and carry such a heavy load and yet to pay just for their travel, for depositions, for expert witnesses is a struggle. Every lawyer in this country should be a supporter of LDF. That’s how significant our role has been in shaping the rule of law and transforming the profession. LD: Among your writings is a critically acclaimed book on the history of lynching in the U.S. Are there have shaped and framed the modern discussion of civil rights in America, it is the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. “The best civil rights law firm in American history,” as President Obama called it, has never been content to rest on its laurels, and Sherrilyn Ifill, named president of the LDF in 2012, has determinedly pushed the mission and dream of equal rights forward on every front. have shaped and framed the modern discussion of civil rights in America, it is the NAACP Legal Defense and West Educational Fund. Tony “The best civil rights law firm PEPSICO (PURCHASE, N.Y.) in American history,” as President Obama called it, has never been content to rest on its laurels, and

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Joseph Re KNOBBE MARTENS (IRVINE, CALIF.)


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JOSEPH RE OUR 10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION OF

the Lawdragon 500 features an impressive array of verdicts and settlements, and sitting near the top is Masimo’s victory over Philips Electronics North America in Delaware federal court. Last fall, a jury rejected Philips’ infringement claims of $170 million and awarded Masimo more than $466 million for infringement of two Masimo patents related to measuring patient blood oxygen levels and pulse rates. Joseph Re led the Knobbe Martens team on the case, notching another impressive result for longtime client Masimo and adding to his overall stellar record in patent litigation. Re, based in the firm’s Irvine, Calif., office, received his law degree from St. John’s University School of Law and a B.S. in civil engineering from Rutgers University. He and his 11 siblings grew up in a lawyerly household, with a mother who worked as a lawyer and a father as a federal judge (Edward Re, chief judge of the U.S. Court of International Trade) and law professor at St. John’s. Re also clerked for Chief Judge Howard Markey of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit before joining Knobbe Martens in 1987. LAWDRAGON: Your client Masimo has a likable “Ameri-

can success” story. But what in addition to that made you confident about prevailing? JOSEPH RE: I felt that Masimo’s contributions to

healthcare were indisputable. With its patented innovations, Masimo has saved lives, prevented blindness, detected diseases, and reduced healthcare costs. I felt it impossible that anyone would think inventions like these do not deserve patent protection. Joe Kiani, Masimo’s founder and lead inventor, is still the CEO of the company and he is so good at teaching the technology and its benefits. I know of no better witness. LD: What do you do before trials to make sure jurors see the case from your clients’ perspective? JR: I make sure my witnesses and my team can explain

the technology quickly and simply. I have a good idea if jurors understand the issues by observing several focus groups of lay people and listening to my most trusted jury consultant, and my wife. LD: Masimo has been with you and the firm for a while. Is that typical?

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BY JOHN RYAN JR: Masimo is a great example of a client that used all of the firm’s services as we both grew. The relationship started when we filed patent applications in 1991 for Masimo, and now it includes massive litigation in many areas, patent interferences, patent reexaminations, trademark work, agreement work and counseling. In 2007, Masimo became a publicly held company. By being completely immersed in Masimo’s business, the firm is able to better serve Masimo. Obviously that is good for both the client and the firm. LD: Did having a father as a federal judge have some influence on the course of your career? JR: He would always lecture to his 12 children, and

his thousands of students, “Your word is all you have.” Nothing got him more upset than when he thought someone was not being candid with him. His writings and lectures always include the ABC of lawyering: “Always Be Candid.”

LD: When you pursued your B.S. in civil engineering, did you know you wanted a legal career or were you more up-in-the-air about what you might do? JR: I always knew I wanted a legal career since I

was about 12. My home was inundated with the law. My mother was a lawyer and met my father in law school back in 1949. He taught law for 55 years. He brought his work home every day and it was dinner conversation to help him decide all sorts of cases. LD: I assume also that working for Chief Judge Howard Markey was quite an important experience. JR: He was a great patent lawyer and always em-

phasized how important the patent system is and was to this country. He did everything he could to uphold the patent system and the rule of law. He was a great influence on me and my philosophy about intellectual property. LD: What drew you to and kept you at Knobbe? JR: Nice people drew me here to practice law. I stayed

here because everyone helps each other out in getting and serving clients. I do not feel we compete with one another. And the work is important too! Although I am in court all over the country, having such a great location as a home base isn’t too bad either. Read the full Q&A at www.lawdragon.com/lawyerlimelights/joseph-re.

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Carlos Méndez-Peñate AKERMAN LLP (NEW YORK)


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CARLOS MÉNDEZ-PEÑATE PRESIDENT OBAMA’S DEC. 17, 2014,

announcement on changes in U.S.-Cuba relations caught most Americans off guard. Carlos MéndezPeñate, who lived in Havana until the age of nine, counts himself among those surprised by the full extent of the regulatory changes for U.S. individuals and businesses, but he was at least prepared. The Akerman LLP partner, a 1976 graduate of Yale Law School, has had an active Cuba practice for several years as part of his broader corporate finance work. He has been structuring deals throughout Latin America for more than 30 years.

It’s safe to say that the Cuba side of his practice will be growing with the expanded export, banking and travel opportunities now available. Méndez-Peñate has extensive contacts in Cuba; last year, he was part of a high-level delegation that went to Cuba with the Council of Americas to discuss the ongoing economic reforms in the country. Of course, much uncertainly remains: The embargo stays in effect pending congressional action, and the thawing of relations between the U.S. and Cuba will be complicated by claims that U.S.-based exiles have on their old properties. Nevertheless, for Méndez-Peñate the changes are providing new ways to help clients and to connect with his childhood. LAWDRAGON: Can you talk about how you left Cuba

and came to the U.S. as a 9-year-old?

CARLOS MÉNDEZ-PEÑATE: My father was a partner at

the Havana law firm of Lazo & Cubas, one of the largest law firms on the island. Most of the clients were U.S. corporations and multinationals. When Castro came to power in 1959, and after the deterioration in relations with the United States began, he started expropriating the property of my dad’s clients. In addition, our family became pariahs because we did not support the Castro government. And so things began to get very uncomfortable. After the failure of the Bay of Pigs invasion in the spring of 1961, it became clear that we could no longer remain on the island. It became a police state. Our house was searched by militiamen, as was my father’s law office. They just made your life miserable. So we left.

BY JOHN RYAN is why we came here rather than Miami. In those days, you went wherever you could get a job. Most exiled Cubans, including my parents, were very well educated people, so once they perfected or learned English, they were able to thrive and succeed. It is unfortunate that this large pool of human talent was removed from the island. They have really never been replaced. LD: You were very young at the time. Do you remember the uprooting experience well? CMP: I remember as it were yesterday. I recall the day of the Bay of Pigs invasion and the bombings – we could see the bombers in the distance and hoped that the bombs were not going to fall on us. The militiamen coming to search our house – I can picture it in an instant.

I have been going to Havana fairly frequently recently, and I have been back to my old house. When I was down there last year with the Council of the Americas, I was interviewed by CCTV in front of my boyhood home. I have been back to my home and the whole neighborhood, and that brings all the memories back. It was gratifying to reconnect with my childhood. LD: Your Cuba practice has been going for a long time. How did it start? CMP: This Cuba practice at Akerman started several years ago. It started with three of us, two partners in Miami and myself in New York, who are all Cuban, very interested in Cuba and convinced of the inevitability that the Castro regime will pass into history. We have all believed that better times will come to Cuba – democracy, freedom of expression, and all the good things that we hold dear will eventually come back.

LD: Why did your family come to New York?

I was actually doing some Cuban work at Coudert Brothers in the ’90s. People would call about the embargo, asking, “Can I do this, can I do that?” In those days, the answer usually was, “No, you can’t do that if you’re an American.” We would talk regularly to the [Treasury Department’s] Office of Foreign Assets Control, and developed relationships with them, because under the embargo you must be licensed by the Treasury Department to do just about anything in Cuba.

CMP: My dad was lucky enough to get a job with one of his corporate clients in New York, so that

We also started traveling to Cuba and taking some of our clients there recently. The two major exceptions

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Maura Monaghan

Daniel Neff

DEBEVOISE & PLIMPTON NEW YORK

WACHTELL LIPTON NEW YORK

Tom Moore

Lynn Neuner

KRAMER DILLOF NEW YORK

SIMPSON THACHER NEW YORK

Mark Morton

David Nevin

POTTER ANDERSON WILMINGTON

NEVIN BENJAMIN BOISE, IDAHO

Sara Moss

Steve Newborn

ESTEE LAUDER NEW YORK

WEIL GOTSHAL NEW YORK

Elizabeth Mulvey

Craig Newman

CROWE MULVEY BOSTON

PATTERSON BELKNAP NEW YORK

Francis Patrick Murphy

Blair Nicholas

CORBOY & DEMETRIO CHICAGO

BERNSTEIN LITOWITZ SAN DIEGO

Scott Musoff

Tom Nolan

SKADDEN NEW YORK

SKADDEN LOS ANGELES

Gary Naftalis

Eileen Nugent

KRAMER LEVIN NEW YORK

SKADDEN NEW YORK

Steve Neal

Andrew Nussbaum

COOLEY LLP PALO ALTO

WACHTELL LIPTON NEW YORK

Laura Neebling

Maureen O’Rourke

PERKINS COIE SEATTLE

BOSTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW BOSTON

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to the embargo have been pharmaceuticals and food. We have gotten to know the various functionaries at the Ministries, and the people who make and implement policy, as well as the Cuban Mission in New York and the Ambassador in Washington. We know them very well. So we have gotten to know both sides of the equation, the Cuban side and the U.S. side. That prepared us, I think, very nicely for what happened on December 17. LD: Were you surprised by the President’s announcement? Was that on your radar screen at all? CMP: We were expecting something, because the Council of the Americas and other organizations had made proposals and generated White Papers along the lines announced by the President on December 17. But we were not prepared for the extent to which these recommendations were actually incorporated into the announcement. We were obviously delighted that Alan Gross was freed, and that 53 Cuban political prisoners were freed. We thought the changes would be more incremental, a baby-steps type of approach, and it certainly was not that. LD: I assume in most Latin American countries you have lawyers on the ground that you trust and work with regularly. What’s the legal scene like in Cuba? CMP: There are attorneys on the ground down there. There are no big firms anymore, like there used to be pre-Castro, but in fact we do know a number of practitioners down there that we deal with. We are in the process of working with these lawyers to have a steadier relationship going forward. We are U.S. lawyers, we give U.S. legal advice, and we can steer clients through the government maze down there that we know well. But when it comes time to actually implement transactions, sometimes we will rely on Cuban counsel because it is a civil code country. We do not practice civil code law nor do we practice Cuban law.

The situation will mature, I think, in the next few years. The University of Havana continues to graduate lawyers. In fact, my great uncle, Rodolfo Méndez-Peñate, was the Rector at the University of Havana, back in the 1940s, and before that he was the Dean of the Law School, so I know a little bit about that. The Cuban bar was always a very scholarly and learned bar. I recently met the current Dean of the Law School of the University of Havana when I was down there, and she is very serious about training good lawyers. Cuban lawyers have done some work with foreign

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investors because the Europeans and others are there, so they are not totally unsophisticated. But I think that the level of work, and the sophistication of the work, will grow exponentially in the years to come. LD: How extensive will the claims process be with families who had property taken when Castro came to power? CMP: Certain Cuban families had extensive holdings in Cuba, including very valuable beachfront properties and will pursue claims to have their property restored. In addition, the DuPont family of Wilmington owned thousands of acres in Varadero, which now has a lot of hotels, some built on their properties. There has to be some resolution of those claims. I do not believe they will just walk away from those claims, nor should they. These are lands that were legitimately owned by them, and in many cases have been in their families for generations.

On, the positive side, and I have heard this first hand, from Cuban officials, the Cuban government is willing to negotiate, as to registered claims of U.S persons and recognizes they owe compensation. That said, the Cubans will argue, “Yes, we owe you X amount of dollars, but, on the other hand, you imposed this embargo on us that has caused billions of dollars in losses on us, and so we should set off one against the other.” That is where the conversation will start, I think. But I do not think it is going to end there. LD: Are you worried about Cuba possibly one day being “spoiled” by development? CMP: Sure, that is a concern. Because the Cubans are so controlling and bureaucratic in their own way they will control the influx of both capital and other projects pretty closely, so that will be a factor. But at the end of the day, you cannot stop progress. If I had to guess, I think Cuba will more resemble the Dominican Republic and other Caribbean countries in the next few years and there will likely be substantial development.

Obviously there are some places in the DR that are overbuilt, but there are some gorgeous places and resorts. I think that it will work itself out. I am not too concerned about it. I am not in favor of having a monolith government or institution deciding what development should happen or not. I am very much in favor of letting the free market determine what the highest and best use of property and similar assets should be. Read the full Q&A at www.lawdragon.com/lawyerlimelights/carlos-mendez-penate.

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Cheryl Little AMERICANS FOR IMMIGRANT JUSTICE (MIAMI)


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CHERYL LITTLE TO SAY THAT CHERYL LITTLE AND HER

organization have an uphill battle in today’s political environment is an understatement. Still, the executive director and co-founder of Americans for Immigrant Justice holds out hope for the nation’s immigration system, despite feeling outrage at many of the injustices she and her team witness as a matter of depressing routine. AI Justice provides direct services to thousands of immigrants and refugees, advocates for policy changes, educates the public on its core issues and brings impact litigation to spur reform. As a student at the University of Miami School of Law, Little wrote a paper on Haitian refugees – and she has never really looked back. Little worked at the Haitian Refugee Center and then Florida Rural Legal Services before co-founding the group that became AI Justice. She has earned widespread acclaim for her tireless work over the past few decades. LAWDRAGON: On the direct services front, are there any trends you are seeing in the matters your organization is spending its time on? CHERYL LITTLE: In early 2014, staff caseloads increased dramatically as an increasing number of unaccompanied children fleeing Central America ended up in South Florida. El Salvador now rivals Honduras as the murder capital of the world and Guatemala is also among the most dangerous countries on earth. Many of the young boys we’ve seen were ordered to join brutal gangs or pay with their lives. Countless young girls have been raped and threatened with death if they refused to be gang members’ “girlfriends.” Children even fear going to school because gang members lurk nearby to recruit them.

On any given day last year our legal staff were seeing upwards of 250 children who woke up in South Florida shelters, facing deportation and with no right to appointed counsel. AI Justice is the only agency authorized by the federal government to provide services to children in shelters awaiting release to sponsors, to inform them of their basic rights and determine whether they have a legitimate claim to residency in the United States. As of July 2015, over 7,300 children were released to sponsors in Florida. Our agency’s challenges increased in late July 2014, when the Obama Administration expedited the chil-

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BY JOHN RYAN dren’s cases and our attorneys scrambled to keep up with the Immigration Court’s “rocket docket.” Immigration judges themselves expressed concern that the fast pace of the children’s docket did not allow them sufficient time to fairly adjudicate cases. LD: What are kids encountering when they get here? CL: Children undertake the perilous journey here as a

last resort, because they lack protection in their home country. Once here, they encounter a system that is complex, bewildering and frightening and need an attorney to navigate the convoluted worlds of State Juvenile and Family courts, Immigration courts, and the Asylum Office. It is virtually impossible to ensure an unaccompanied child’s “best interest” when the child does not have an attorney. Often hanging in the balance is whether a child will have a shot at the American Dream or be sent home to face violence, abuse, or even death. Barely half the children whose cases were completed since mid-July 2014 had legal representation and thousands – more than 15,000 – have already received deportation orders. A recent United Nations Refugee Agency expressed concern that countless children who are being removed potentially qualify for refugee status and could face persecution by street gangs and drug cartels upon return. AI Justice received a one year, $1.12 million government grant in the fall of 2014 to represent hundreds of arriving children in court. This grant expired on September 30th and we don’t know whether we will continue to receive funding for this critical work. LD: Can you share an overall assessment of the Obama administration’s record on immigration? CL: On June 15, 2012, President Obama exercised his executive authority to defer the deportation of DREAMers – people brought to the United States as children – allowing them to get a work permit and in states like Florida to obtain a much-coveted driver’s license and pay less expensive in-state college tuition – the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. Following his re-election, Obama announced a similar initiative to grant deferred action to parents of American citizen and legal resident children (DAPA), but this initiative was put on hold by Texas judges after 26 states, including Florida, challenged Obama’s directive.

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Obama greatly expanded “Secure Communities,” or S Comm, a federal enforcement program that partnered Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents with local police. The program’s stated goal of targeting serious criminals fell far short of the mark and instead led to the deportation of an unprecedented number of immigrants with no criminal history or minor traffic violations only who would have qualified for relief under the bipartisan immigration bill passed by the Senate in 2013. The Administration ended the S Comm program in late 2014, acknowledging that it wasn’t working. Miami has been labeled a “Sanctuary City” because for the most part it ended its participation in Secure Communities in 2013. LD : What has been the fallout of mass deportations? CL: The fallout has been devastating, especially for vulnerable children, many of whom have ended up in foster care following their parent’s removal. And President Obama’s decision to “fast track” the cases of children fleeing Central America has made it far more difficult for them to find lawyers and fight their deportation. Similarly, last year the Obama Administration began warehousing Central American mothers and children — some toddlers — in detention camps on the Southwest border and forcing them to have their asylum claims heard without adequate due process. The Administration’s claim that this was necessary for purposes of “national security,” to deter mass migration, has been soundly rejected by a federal court judge who has given the Administration two months to begin releasing families seeking refuge and implement a more humane detention policy.

Six years out, immigrants feel beaten down as their hopes for immigration reform have been dashed time and again, including in 2013 when a bipartisan immigration bill that passed the Senate was not even taken up by House Republicans and again in November 2014 when Obama’s directive granting a temporary reprieve from deportation to parents of American citizen children (DAPA) was put on hold by

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500 Nevertheless, many immigrants feel betrayed by President Obama, recalling his promise when first running for President to make comprehensive immigration reform a priority and failing to do so early on when Democrats had the majority in both the House and Senate. Today, he is widely known in immigrant communities as the Deporter-in-Chief, having the distinction of deporting a record two-million-plus immigrants since taking office.

Texas judges. As one client told me, “it always feels like one step forward, three steps back.” LD: Do you feel as though comments that tend to demonize or raise the fear factor about immigrants drown out more reasonable commentary? CL: Those who believe that all we need to do is

throw more money at the border and deport all the “illegals” have done a pretty good job of getting their message out. If you hear something over and over again, you tend to believe it’s true. Every time I hear that an immigrant has committed a crime on the news I cringe because these cases generally get a lot of media coverage, even though numerous studies confirm that immigrants have lower crime rates than our native-born population. On the other hand, hate crimes against immigrants, like the brutal killing of 18-year old Onesimo Marcelino Lopez-Ramos in Jupiter, Florida, on his way home from work this past April by three young white men who said they were targeting immigrants — or “Guat-hunting” as one of them told police — tend to be ignored. Since Donald Trump has surged in the polls, immigrant bashing is on steroids. I’d like to see the media focus more on actual facts regarding immigrants and immigration rather than filling the airwaves with xenophobic soundbites that spawn fear and hatemongering. LD: Is there any way to counter the negativity? CL: I have found that one of the best ways to counter anti-immigrant sentiment is when immigrants tell their own stories. In January 2010, four of our clients who attended Miami Dade College walked 1,500 miles from Miami to Washington, D.C., to call attention to promote the DREAM Act and the need for comprehensive immigration reform. They called the march the “Trail of Dreams.” Along the way they met with local residents and politicians, sharing their personal stories and calling on leaders to fix the system that forces people like them and their families to live in the shadows. Every day during their walk they were on social media, helping to create a movement, and generating significant media attention.

Their four-month walk launched a national campaign to pressure politicians to support meaningful immigration reform. Today, their work has taken on a life of its own and gives me hope that positive change on immigration is inevitable. LD: What is a type of abuse faced by immigrants here that most Americans probably don’t know about?

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CL: For years ICE detainees have been the fastestgrowing prison population in the country. Since Obama took office, this population has skyrocketed, with more than 2.3 million deportations, including 440,000 in 2013 alone. The alarming increase in ICE detention is in large part due to a 2009 Congressional mandate, appropriating funds every year to maintain at least 34,000 immigrant detention beds daily, at a cost to U.S. taxpayers of about $2 billion a year. As a result, ICE has signed contracts with numerous facilities nationwide, including with Miami’s Krome Detention Center and the Broward Transitional Center, which together are guaranteed 950 occupied beds daily. No other law enforcement agency has quotas for the number of people it must jail, with good reason.

The real beneficiaries of the bed mandate are county jails, like Florida’s Glades and Baker County jails, and to a larger extent the private prison industry, whose two largest contractors, the GEO Group and Correctional Corporation of America (CCA), have seen their stocks soar in recent years. Not surprisingly, for-profit businesses have spent millions lobbying Congress to keep the quota. LD: Can you discuss one of your impact cases that you feel has a good chance of improving an important aspect of the immigration system? CL: AI Justice’s Lucha Program, “The Struggle,” assists survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking. These immigrants often are invisible and too afraid to complain of abuse at home or in the workplace. In 2009 we brought a case on behalf of two domestic workers who were recruited in Peru at different times to work for a prominent executive and his wife who lived in a fashionable area of Miami. Our clients slept in a converted closet next to the garbage chute, were forced to work day and night, and were denied adequate food and urgently needed medical care. Their passports were withheld and their employers threatened them with deportation and arrest if they attempted to escape.

We co-counseled a civil suit on their behalf in federal court, and the judge recognized that our clients had been terrorized, controlled and manipulated by their employers. The jury found violations by defendants on five counts, including for human trafficking, and awarded the women $125,000. The court added liquidated damages for the minimum wage violations. This was the first time a jury awarded damages for civil trafficking based on legal and psychological coercion. The terms of the settlement are confidential.

This win not only gave our two former clients their dignity back and a sense of justice for the first time in their lives, but it has empowered other women in similar situations to come out of the shadows and defend their basic rights. LD: You’ve really devoted your entire career to these issues. How did this interest start? CL: I entered law school to pursue public interest

work. After my first year at the progressive Antioch School of Law in D.C., I transferred to the University of Miami and interned at Miami-Dade County’s Public Defenders office, which was a wonderful experience. In my third year of law school, I signed up for a course which required students to write a paper on a topic of their choice, and I chose: “Haitian Refugees: A People In Search of Hope.” This prompted me to learn more about the plight of Haitian refugees and I applied for a job at the Haitian Refugee Center (HRC), which I thankfully got. I started working there after graduation and was there for seven amazing years. I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything. When I left HRC I worked for a few years with Florida Rural Legal Services (FRLS). While I enjoyed working there, it appeared that a law would soon pass limiting FRLS’ ability to help immigrants who weren’t already legal, so in 1995 two FRLS attorneys, Sisters Catherine Cassidy and Maureen Kelleher, and I worked to create Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center (FIAC), which became AI Justice. LD: Do you and your colleagues tend to stay in touch with some former clients to see how they are doing? CL: We have closed more than 90,000 cases since opening our doors in January 1996, so we aren’t in touch with many former clients. However, I’m happy to say that we continue to hear from a number of them, and are thrilled by their many accomplishments. They frequently tell us that the happiest day of their lives is the day they become American citizens.

While I admit that from time to time I’m motivated by outrage over the injustices immigrants continually face, ultimately our clients are my inspiration. Despite the harsh treatment they too often receive upon arrival here, they love this country and are not bitter. The want nothing more than to become legal so they can give back to the country they now call home. When I see their strength and courage in the face of enormous obstacles, how can I give up? Read the full Q&A at www.lawdragon.com/lawyerlimelights/cheryl-little-of-americans-for-immigrantjustice.

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Bill Ohlemeyer

Brian Pastuszenski

BOIES SCHILLER NEW YORK

GOODWIN PROCTER BOSTON

Regina Olshan

Diane Patrick

SKADDEN NEW YORK

ROPES & GRAY BOSTON

Ron Olson

Kathy Patrick

MUNGER TOLLES LOS ANGELES

GIBBS & BRUNS HOUSTON

Ted Olson

Harriet Pearson

GIBSON DUNN WASHINGTON, D.C.

HOGAN LOVELLS WASHINGTON, D.C.

Wayne Outten

Gerard Pecht

OUTTEN GOLDEN NEW YORK

NORTON ROSE FULBRIGHT HOUSTON

Keith Pagnani

Kim Peretti

SULLIVAN & CROMWELL NEW YORK

ALSTON & BIRD WASHINGTON, D.C.

Brian Panish

Thomas Perrelli

PANISH SHEA LOS ANGELES

JENNER & BLOCK WASHINGTON, D.C.

Robin Panovka

Kathleen Flynn Peterson

WACHTELL LIPTON NEW YORK

ROBINS KAPLAN MINNEAPOLIS

C. Allen Parker

Carter Phillips

CRAVATH NEW YORK

SIDLEY WASHINGTON, D.C.

Stephanie Parker

Aaron Podhurst

JONES DAY ATLANTA

PODHURST ORSECK MIAMI

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SHERRILYN IFILL

BY JEFF SCHULT

IF ANY ORGANIZATION CAN BE SAID TO

HERMAN HERMAN (NEW ORLEANS) people’s expectations of what is possible.

have shaped and framed the modern discussion of civil rights in America, it is the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. “The best civil rights law firm in American history,” as President Obama called it, has never been content to rest on its laurels, and Sherrilyn Ifill, named president of the LDF in 2012, has determinedly pushed the mission and dream of equal rights forward on every front. In a year that has been marked by the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act and the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, Ifill, NYU Law ’87, has made the most of opportunities to remind the country both of how far it has come and how far it has to go when it comes to providing for equality under the law, political and economic fairness and justice, and human rights. LAWDRAGON: You’re the seventh President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, a firm that has played a pivotal role in civil and human rights law and litigation in the United States for 75 years. Do you ever sit at your desk and wonder, “What would Thurgood Marshall have done?” And what do you think he’d have to say about the NAACP LDF in 2014? SHERRILYN IFILL: No pressure, right? Actually I do channel former Director-Counsels quite a bit. I find that each one in their own way was creative, bold and original. I push myself to be more courageous largely because of the example that each of them set. I think that Marshall would love the work we are doing and our powerful voice. I speak with Mrs. Marshall a fair amount (she sits on our board), and she keeps up with our work. I think we’d be in good shape if Justice Marshall were asked about us today. LD: You’ve worked in civil rights, one way or the other, for much of your professional career. How do you measure progress? Is it disheartening to still be litigating over the Voting Rights Act? SI: It’s disappointing to be sure. We all hoped that America would move faster towards racial equality. But anyone doing this work knows that progress is full of stops and starts. We measure progress not only by the creation of access and opportunity, but also by material changes in the lives of real people. I also think it’s important to see progress as changing

PHOTO BY: XXXX XXXXX

Russ Herman LD: You’ve said your mentor was Derrick Bell, who was the first tenured African-American Professor of Law at Harvard Law and taught at NYU Law. How did that relationship develop and what did you learn from him? SI: Derrick Bell was one of my mentors (I have been blessed with many mentors) and he principally encouraged me when I was writing my book. In fact it was Prof. Bell who insisted that I apply to MacDowell, the writing colony, to break through writing some critical chapters. I applied and was accepted and wrote for 8 hours a day, every day for a month. Best of all, he never allowed me to develop a sense of satisfaction – even about civil rights victories. And he saw the subtle and devastating ways in which victories were often infected early on with the seeds of future defeats. Brilliant, insightful and compassionate man. Plus he was just fun. LD: How much does your role as president have to do with fundraising? Does the NAACP LDF have enough resources to fulfill its broad mission? SI: Fundraising is a key part of my job and no, we do not have enough to fulfill our mission. LDF has become an institution and people just expect us to do what we do. But we need resources to support this work. Our attorneys work so hard, and carry such a heavy load and yet to pay just for their travel, for depositions, for expert witnesses is a struggle. Every lawyer in this country should be a supporter of LDF. That’s how significant our role has been in shaping the rule of law and transforming the profession. LD: Among your writings is a critically acclaimed book on the history of lynching in the U.S. Are there have shaped and framed the modern discussion of civil rights in America, it is the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. “The best civil rights law firm in American history,” as President Obama called it, has never been content to rest on its laurels, and Sherrilyn Ifill, named president of the LDF in 2012, has determinedly pushed the mission and dream of equal rights forward on every front. have shaped and framed the modern discussion of civil rights in America, it is the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. “The best civil rights law firm in American history,” as President Obama called it, has never been content to rest on its laurels, and

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John Tarantino ADLER POLLOCK (PROVIDENCE, R.I.)


500

JOHN TARANTINO IN THE LEGAL WORLD, JOHN TARANTINO

is simply Mr. Rhode Island. Despite a brief flirtation with Duke Law School as a prospective student, Tarantino has never seriously considered straying too far from his home town of Providence. (Even when he attended Boston College of Law, Tarantino decided to commute.) And there’s been no need: Tarantino has established a nationally renowned trial practice at Adler Pollock & Sheehan. From his legendary defense of Atlantic Richfield Co. in the state’s lead-paint trial to his defense of political officials accused of bribery and fraud, not to mention a bevy of lower-profile, but no less important pro bono cases, Tarantino has thrived in all manner of civil and criminal litigation – a skill set he first built defending drunk-driving cases. He is just one of 50 lawyers recognized in the Lawdragon Legends for being selected for the Lawdragon 500 each year since it was established in 2005. LAWDRAGON: Your practice is quite diverse. How do you decide which cases to take on? JOHN TARANTINO: I do have an extremely diverse

practice, handling both civil and criminal matters. The types of cases that I have tried include product liability, toxic tort, civil rights, computer crimes, environmental crimes, bribery, honest services, securities, pension obligations and several constitutional-based claims in both the state and federal courts. I also am fortunate to have an appellate practice as well as a trial practice and have had the opportunity to argue many times before the Rhode Island Supreme Court and the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. I take on cases where I believe there is something important at stake – and that importance may be an economic, political or social matter, a civil right, a constitutional issue, etc.

BY JOHN RYAN practice. I have had a number of opportunities during the course of my career to practice elsewhere, but none of those opportunities ever caused me to seriously consider leaving here. Finally, the nature of my practice has taken me to many larger cities to try cases and at times, to live for weeks or months; I always enjoy returning home to Providence. LD: I read that you actually stayed in Providence while going to BC Law. JT: I was seriously considering going to Duke Law School, but my wife and I then learned during the decision-making process that she was pregnant and that our first child would be born a few months after I was to start law school. For us, that meant I needed to go to law school in Boston, because both of our families were here and it would have been very difficult for us, and particularly for my wife and new child, if we were in North Carolina without any family presence or assistance.

We had an inexpensive apartment in Providence – much less expensive than it would have cost to move to Boston – and my wife also had a job in Rhode Island that we needed her to keep as long as possible so that I would be able to go to law school and work part-time, if possible. I had a very good friend who was going to business school at Babson [College in Boston] and he decided to commute from Rhode Island as well. So, we would meet each morning at my apartment in Providence. I would drive him to Babson in Wellesley, then turn around to head to BC Law School in Newton. Then at the end of the day – usually a very long day – I would drive back to Wellesley, pick him up and then we would both head back to Rhode Island.

LD: What is it about Providence that kept you there?

LD: How did you develop into the type of trial lawyer you became?

JT: Rhode Island is my home and that fact is what kept

JT: I developed into a trial lawyer by trying cases. I

me in Providence. I love the state and the people who live here. My law firm, Adler Pollock & Sheehan, took a chance on me even before I had graduated from law school, hiring me as a summer associate and then on a part-time basis during my third year of law school. The firm had faith in me and has always been good and fair to me. Providence is a great place to practice, has terrific lawyers, fine judges in both our state and federal courts, and an excellent and collegial Bar. I cannot think of a better place to

PHOTO BY: KEN RICHARDSON

was very aggressive in seeking out litigation cases that would go to trial when I first started here. I began trying many criminal cases because we represented a pre-paid legal services plan that allowed for the defense of a variety of criminal cases, as well as certain civil matters. At that same time, the drunk driving laws were changing and many of the legal services plan members were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. At that time Rhode Island, for the first time, had mandatory license suspensions

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Karen Popp

Joseph Re

SIDLEY WASHINGTON, D.C.

KNOBBE MARTENS NEWPORT BEACH, CALF.

Frank Porcelli

Tom Reid

FISH & RICHARDSON BOSTON

DAVIS POLK NEW YORK

Richard Posner

Kenneth Reilly

7TH U.S. CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS CHICAGO

SHOOK HARDY MIAMI

Benjamin Powell

Lorin Reisner

WILMERHALE WASHINGTON, D.C.

PAUL WEISS NEW YORK

Joseph Power

John Reiss

POWER ROGERS CHICAGO

WHITE & CASE NEW YORK

Therese Pritchard

Alison Ressler

BRYAN CAVE WASHINGTON, D.C.

SULLIVAN & CROMWELL LOS ANGELES

Gregory Pryor

Michael Rhodes

WHITE & CASE NEW YORK

COOLEY SAN DIEGO

Marvin Putnam

Darren Robbins

LATHAM & WATKINS LOS ANGELES

ROBBINS GELLER SAN DIEGO

John Quinn

John Roberts

QUINN EMANUEL LOS ANGELES

U.S. SUPREME COURT WASHINGTON, D.C.

Gordon Rather

Graham Robinson

WRIGHT LINDSEY LITTLE ROCK, ARK.

SKADDEN BOSTON

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500

without exception for offenses and jail terms for second, third and additional violations. Therefore, at least for my clients, many of them did not want to plead, but rather wanted to take a chance and try the case. That fact got me into court a great deal and allowed me to develop my trial skills in an area of law that was very difficult to try and that had interesting and challenging evidentiary issues, constitutional issues, expert witness issues and the like. I said then, and I still believe today, that if you can successfully try drunk driving cases and develop the skills necessary to do so, then you can try any kind of case. The skill set is transferable. I eventually changed my practice to handle many civil cases, commercial cases, and felony white-collar cases; but the skills that I developed initially in trying drunk driving cases helped me to become a good trial lawyer. I also learned how to think through complex issues by modeling my approach after John Bomster, who during the early years of my practice was the Chair of our firm’s litigation department. John was one of the finest lawyers, and had one of the great legal minds that I have ever run across. He helped me greatly to become a better and more well-rounded lawyer. LD: One commonality among a good number of

your cases is successfully defending companies or individuals accused of some pretty bad behavior. How do you succeed in these cases? JT: The key, in my view, is to get jurors to trust you and to trust in the case you are presenting. If the jurors believe that you believe in the case that you are presenting – particularly if the case is long and the jurors get the opportunity to know you over the course of weeks or months – that perception and belief will go a long way in having the jurors set aside any preconceived notions they may have about the client that you are representing as well as any alleged bad behavior. You will have a fair chance to make your case and convince them why your client should win. LD: Is there a lesser-known case over the years that stands out as particularly memorable in some way? JT: I represented an African-American male, in his early 20s, who had learning disabilities and other cognitive problems. Even though he was in his early 20s, he had the mindset and cognitive ability of a young child. He was charged with exposing himself to a young girl at a playground in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and was charged with a felony, which if he were convicted, would have caused him to register

PHOTO BY: XXXX XXXXX

as a sex offender. I was able to get all of the charges dismissed – although it took more than a year of motion practice, investigation and preliminary hearings to do so. The young man – who is now in his 40s – was able to find employment and live with some other men in a group home facility. I took on this case on a pro bono basis, but it was and will always be an extremely rewarding case for me. LD: What’s your stance on the Pawtucket Red Sox possibly moving to Providence? JT: First and foremost, I want the Pawtucket Red Sox

to remain in Rhode Island. I have been to McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket many times and brought my children there when they were younger. I also am an ardent Boston Red Sox fan and my firm has season tickets, so the Red Sox and the Red Sox organization are important to me. That said, because my firm represents some of the decision makers on this issue, I do not believe that it would be appropriate to express my personal stance or thought process on whether the Pawtucket Red Sox should move to Providence from Pawtucket. LD: Do you have a restaurant in the city? JT: My favorite restaurant now – and for many years – is Capriccio in downtown Providence. It has some of the finest food and service in any restaurant anywhere. If you are ever in Providence, I highly recommend a visit to Capriccio. Everything on their menu is first class. LD: We’ve been asking some of the Lawdragon 500 members this as part of our 10-year anniversary: Can you identify an area of your practice or personal life that has changed the most in the past 10 years? JT: With respect to my practice, the number of my

high-profile and bet-the-ranch cases that have actually gone to trial in the past 10 years stands out. Most cases still settle; but whether as a result of the nature of some of the cases that I have handled or the inability of my clients and their adversaries to reach some common ground, a number of my cases – many of which were quite lengthy – both civil and criminal have gone to trial. Each of these cases has been challenging in its own right, with complex facts, law, interesting expert witness issues and high stakes. In my personal life, what has changed most in the last 10 years is the fact that all of my children are grown, married, have their own families and their own personal and professional success, which is quite rewarding.

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Stephen Robinson

Miles Ruthberg

SKADDEN NEW YORK

LATHAM & WATKINS NEW YORK

Pete Romatowski

Antony Ryan

JONES DAY WASHINGTON, D.C.

CRAVATH NEW YORK

Anthony Romero

Faiza Saeed

AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION NEW YORK

CRAVATH NEW YORK

Steven Rosenblum

Kelli Sager

WACHTELL LIPTON NEW YORK

DAVIS WRIGHT LOS ANGELES

Joshua Rosenkranz

Susan Saltzstein

ORRICK NEW YORK

SKADDEN NEW YORK

Hannah Ross

Hollis Salzman

BERNSTEIN LITOWITZ NEW YORK

ROBINS KAPLAN NEW YORK

Paul Rowe

Gloria Santona

WACHTELL LIPTON NEW YORK

MCDONALDS CHICAGO

Charles Ruck

Richard Sarver

LATHAM & WATKINS COSTA MESA, CALIF.

BARRASSO USDIN NEW ORLEANS

Kim Rucker

John Savarese

KRAFT NORTHFIELD, ILL.

WACHTELL LIPTON NEW YORK

Kathryn Ruemmler

William Savitt

LATHAM & WATKINS WASHINGTON, D.C.

WACHTELL LIPTON NEW YORK

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500

Steve Molo MOLOLAMKEN (NEW YORK)

SHERRILYN IFILL

BY JEFF SCHULT

IF ANY ORGANIZATION CAN BE SAID TO

people’s expectations of what is possible.

have shaped and framed the modern discussion of civil rights in America, it is the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. “The best civil rights law firm in American history,” as President Obama called it, has never been content to rest on its laurels, and Sherrilyn Ifill, named president of the LDF in 2012, has determinedly pushed the mission and dream of equal rights forward on every front. In a year that has been marked by the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act and the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, Ifill, NYU Law ’87, has made the most of opportunities to remind the country both of how far it has come and how far it has to go when it comes to providing for equality under the law, political and economic fairness and justice, and human rights. LAWDRAGON: You’re the seventh President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, a firm that has played a pivotal role in civil and human rights law and litigation in the United States for 75 years. Do you ever sit at your desk and wonder, “What would Thurgood Marshall have done?” And what do you think he’d have to say about the NAACP LDF in 2014? SHERRILYN IFILL: No pressure, right? Actually I do channel former Director-Counsels quite a bit. I find that each one in their own way was creative, bold and original. I push myself to be more courageous largely because of the example that each of them set. I think that Marshall would love the work we are doing and our powerful voice. I speak with Mrs. Marshall a fair amount (she sits on our board), and she keeps up with our work. I think we’d be in good shape if Justice Marshall were asked about us today. LD: You’ve worked in civil rights, one way or the other, for much of your professional career. How do you measure progress? Is it disheartening to still be litigating over the Voting Rights Act? SI: It’s disappointing to be sure. We all hoped that America would move faster towards racial equality. But anyone doing this work knows that progress is full of stops and starts. We measure progress not only by the creation of access and opportunity, but also by material changes in the lives of real people. I also think it’s important to see progress as changing

PHOTO BY: XXXX XXXXX

LD: You’ve said your mentor was Derrick Bell, who was the first tenured African-American Professor of Law at Harvard Law and taught at NYU Law. How did that relationship develop and what did you learn from him? SI: Derrick Bell was one of my mentors (I have been blessed with many mentors) and he principally encouraged me when I was writing my book. In fact it was Prof. Bell who insisted that I apply to MacDowell, the writing colony, to break through writing some critical chapters. I applied and was accepted and wrote for 8 hours a day, every day for a month. Best of all, he never allowed me to develop a sense of satisfaction – even about civil rights victories. And he saw the subtle and devastating ways in which victories were often infected early on with the seeds of future defeats. Brilliant, insightful and compassionate man. Plus he was just fun. LD: How much does your role as president have to do with fundraising? Does the NAACP LDF have enough resources to fulfill its broad mission? SI: Fundraising is a key part of my job and no, we do not have enough to fulfill our mission. LDF has become an institution and people just expect us to do what we do. But we need resources to support this work. Our attorneys work so hard, and carry such a heavy load and yet to pay just for their travel, for depositions, for expert witnesses is a struggle. Every lawyer in this country should be a supporter of LDF. That’s how significant our role has been in shaping the rule of law and transforming the profession. LD: Among your writings is a critically acclaimed book on the history of lynching in the U.S. Are there have shaped and framed the modern discussion of civil rights in America, it is the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. “The best civil rights law firm in American history,” as President Obama called it, has never been content to rest on its laurels, and Sherrilyn Ifill, named president of the LDF in 2012, has determinedly pushed the mission and dream of equal rights forward on every front. have shaped and framed the modern discussion of civil rights in America, it is the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. “The best civil rights law firm in American history,” as President Obama called it, has never been content to rest on its laurels, and

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David Lash O’MELVENY & MYERS (LOS ANGELES)


500

DAVID LASH THE JUSTICE GAP IN AMERICA FORMS

one of the more serious social and economic divides in our country. With resources for legal aid and nonprofit legal service providers perennially stretched thin, the burden to represent the under-represented falls to law firms, often large multinational ones. Firms have redoubled their efforts by professionalizing their pro bono programs, hiring experienced attorneys to manage this aspect of their practices, focusing concentrated efforts on their legal services for the poor and disadvantaged.

One of the leaders of this movement is David Lash, counsel in O’Melveny & Myers’ Los Angeles offices. Lash manages the firm’s public interest and pro bono services program. He has led the O’Melveny program to the ABA’s Pro Bono Publico Award and has molded it into one of the top 10 programs in the country. Prior to joining O’Melveny, he was Executive Director of Bet Tzedek, one of the largest non-profit legal services agencies in the United States. Lash also is a member and past president of The Association of Pro Bono Counsel (APBCo), a membership organization with more than 150 attorneys and practice group managers who run pro bono practices in 100 of the largest law firms in the world.

BY JEFFREY ANDERSON LD: Tell us about the Association of Pro Bono Counsel. DL: It was formed in response to this growing trend in big-time firms to hire pro bono lawyers to run firm-wide programs. It was intended to bring professional management to pro bono practices, creating an administrative structure just as would be found in regard to the operation of other substantive areas of the firms’ practice, much like securities work or class action litigation or other practice groups. The idea was that by having lawyers charged with the responsibility of running firm pro bono programs, the visibility of those program would be raised, the substantive work would be overseen in a professional and organized way, and there would be a lawyer having responsibility for client relationships, risk management issues, and other administrative aspects of the work, just as all practice areas of the firm generally have. APBCo promotes that philosophy. LD: Whose idea was it?

LD: How did you make the transition to directing O’Melveny’s pro bono program from Bet Tzedek?

DL: There was a group of lawyers: Amanda Smith from Morgan Lewis, Greg McConnell from Winston & Strawn, Maureen Alger at Cooley, Sarah Lynn Cohen at Shearman & Sterling and Angela Vigil at Baker & McKenzie. They were having drinks after a conference and they realized pro bono lawyers were becoming a community. It was sort of like, “Should we be doing something with this?” Soon after its founding, I joined the organization and began attending annual meetings, participating in programming, and reaping the benefits of the quickly evolving list-serve that enhanced a national dialogue among our growing community of peers. When non-founders began rising in the organization’s leadership, I was chosen to serve a term as president of APBCo.

DL: When I joined the firm, I was working on com-

LD: What kind of impact has the association had?

LAWDRAGON: What does it mean for firms like yours to have a more centralized pro bono program? DAVID LASH: I have huge resources at my disposal. The firm is supportive and that allows me to cultivate a respectful approach to treating pro bono like any other legal work.

mercial litigation and spending about 15 percent of my time on administering and growing the pro bono program. After a couple of years of my involvement in administering and growing the program, the firm’s pro bono hours doubled. As a result, firm leadership asked me if I would consider being the full-time Managing Counsel of Pro Bono and Public Interest Services because they were so pleased about the growth, and that if I could help facilitate such improved performance with just a small portion of my time, they were anxious to expand my role and further increase firm-wide pro bono performance.

PHOTO BY: AMY CANTRELL

DL: It’s been huge. The American Bar Association contacts us. We’ve gotten involved in policy work in response to a surge in cases coming out of the immigrant detention centers. APBCo leaders met with Vice President Joe Biden to discuss issues of access to justice on a national level. As a result of that historic meeting with the Vice-President, and with his enthusiastic support, APBCo has launched a nationwide pro bono program in 10 cities around the country, creating a pro bono project on a scale that never before has occurred. Read the full Q&A at www.lawdragon.com/lawyer-limelights/david-lash.

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Thomas Ajamie AJAMIE LLP (NEW YORK AND HOUSTON)


500

THOMAS AJAMIE THE REASON WHY YOU MAY SEE

Thomas Ajamie’s face more than most other Lawdragon 500 members is that he likes doing TV appearances – what he considers a little bit work, a little bit fun. He has a talent for explaining complex issues, typically something related to financial fraud, in terms that non-experts can understand. That was also the approach behind “Financial Serial Killers: Inside the World of Wall Street Money Hustlers, Swindlers, and Con Men,” the book he authored with Bruce Kelly to help people protect their investments – so they don’t have to hire a lawyer. Of course, if they ever do, Ajamie is as good a choice as any. He has a long track record of large recoveries for victims of fi nancial fraud at trials and arbitrations, and also spends about half his practice on other complex commercial litigation. He has to his credit a $112 million jury verdict in a civil RICO case and a $429.5 million award given by an arbitration panel, among many others. Ajamie did his undergraduate work at Arizona State University and received his law degree from the University of Notre Dame School of Law. Extremely grateful for how education changed his life, Ajamie gives back through The Ajamie Scholarship Fund to promote tolerance and equality. LAWDRAGON: You’ve been doing this for a while. Are you ever surprised by the extent or type of fraud you see? TOM AJAMIE: No, I’m not surprised. Even though I’ve

been handling these cases for 30 years, I still remain disappointed when I see financial fraud. I think that’s probably positive because I haven’t become callous to these events. Financial fraud happens with a regular frequency and is rampant at all levels. This area of law is active and it continues to grow. Greed is a strong force.

BY JOHN RYAN the average person who might have a savings of $50,000 or $100,000, and falls victim to a scam. It’s hard for that person to find a lawyer because these are expensive cases to pursue. The concept behind the book was to share my experiences and to give advice about how people can protect their money and ask the right questions in finding a financial advisor and a broker. Hopefully, it’s preventative advice that costs only the price of a book. LD: When did you know you wanted to work on these types of cases? Did you consider another type of practice earlier in your career? TA: I knew early on I wanted to be a courtroom lawyer.

I was hired out of law school by Baker Botts, and they trained me very well. We had financial cases there and I started to see and love the world of finance. I did not have a business background – I studied political science and foreign languages, so I had a classic liberal arts background. I began seeing cases of financial scams and fraud – utter devastation of families who lost all their savings and their homes. I saw divorces, children being pulled out of school, and older people unable to afford medicine. It had a profound impact on me and I decided to represent these fraud victims as well as wealthier clients such as pension funds and high-net-worth individuals. There weren’t that many lawyers doing that type of work then and there still aren’t today. LD: How do you decide what cases to take on? You must hear a lot of sad stories, but you can’t take them all. TA: You can’t take them all, and I must say we are

LD: Talk a bit about your book, “Financial Serial Killers.” What was your motivation behind writing that? Who were you trying to reach?

literally inundated with requests for representation. That was another reason I wanted to write the book – there are not enough hours in the day for me to take every case we get a call about. Smaller cases are more difficult to take on because people can’t afford our time. We do some pro bono work for fraud victims, but we can’t help them all because we have to run the firm.

TA: I want to try to educate the public about the many different ways that they can be scammed of their savings. The companies we represent, the wealthy individuals we represent, the pension funds – they can all afford lawyers. I’m especially concerned for

When we are evaluating a new matter, we look at it very carefully to make sure it’s a serious case of fraud. I often focus on cases where there’s some kind of criminal behavior, such as theft of funds or forgery of documents. All kinds of investing can have some

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Philippe Selendy

U.S. SUPREME COURT WASHINGTON, D.C.

QUINN EMANUEL NEW YORK

Jonathan Schiller

Joseph Sellers

BOIES SCHILLER NEW YORK

COHEN MILSTEIN WASHINGTON, D.C.

Allison Schneirov

Karen Patton Seymour

SKADDEN NEW YORK

SULLIVAN & CROMWELL NEW YORK

Paul Schnell

Kannon Shanmugam

SKADDEN NEW YORK

WILLIAMS & CONNOLLY WASHINGTON, D.C.

Rodd Schreiber

Joseph Shenker

SKADDEN CHICAGO

SULLIVAN & CROMWELL NEW YORK

Steve Schulman

Leopold Sher

AKIN GUMP WASHINGTON

SHER GARNER NEW ORLEANS

Robert Schumer

Jonathan Sherman

PAUL WEISS NEW YORK

BOIES SCHILLER WASHINGTON, D.C.

Ronald Schutz

Nancy Shilepsky

ROBINS KAPLAN MINNEAPOLIS

SHILEPSKY HARTLEY BOSTON

Chris Seeger

Paul Shim

SEEGER WEISS NEW YORK

CLEARY GOTTLIEB NEW YORK

David Segre

David Siegel

WILSON SONSINI PALO ALTO

IRELL & MANELLA LOS ANGELES

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degree of risk, right? The value of investments can go up and the value can go down, and that’s just part of the risk of investing. We don’t take cases simply because someone has lost money. That’s not the criteria. We want to see whether there was some malicious behavior that caused the loss. LD: How do you prepare for a case and explain your client’s case in a way that makes them understand the fraud that happened? TA: There are a lot of jurors, and even arbitrators,

who say, “Well, if you invest in the stock market, it’s just risk per se.” We try to weed those people out who have a bias that investing is risky per se. But, like I said, we often take cases that involve a criminal element. Then it’s easier to persuade a jury or arbitration panel that the behavior really is wrong. We can show that there’s some type of illegal or illicit activity that caused our client’s damage. LD: What do you look for when you’re trying to add people to your team that can work on these types of cases? Are there certain types of personality traits that stand out as necessary? TA: First of all, it requires intelligence. We have a couple of federal circuit court clerks, as well as lawyers who graduated top of their class. That’s one element of the team. Second, we want people with trial experience. We don’t hire first-, second- and third-year lawyers. We want lawyers who have experience going into court – those who have argued a lot of hearings and who can stand up and convey a client’s story. That’s very important.

Because we are a small firm, we also look for people who can get along with others. In large law firms you may have to tolerate the prima donnas or the screamers or those who are abusive. We can’t tolerate that in a small firm. We want people who work well as a team, who maintain composure under tremendous amounts of pressure, and who treat each other with respect. Everyone’s really intense here, but we expect everyone in the room to express their opinion without any fighting. We don’t need that and I have no patience for it. LD: Can you talk a little bit about the foundation in

your name, and why you started that?

TA: It’s called the Ajamie Scholarship Fund, and it provides scholarships to university students. The reason I founded it 14 years ago was because education completely changed my life. I was the first person from my family to receive a college educa-

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tion, and when I went to Notre Dame Law School it completely put my life on a positive trajectory. Without education, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona, in a solid middleclass family. But the education put me on a quick and rapid ascent and gave me what I consider to be a fabulous life. I am very grateful and I just want to contribute back to students to make sure that they can have the education that will improve their lives. Money should not be an impediment to education. I wish that all education in this country was free. It’s not. The quality of education can differ based on institutions and the really good institutions are often expensive. So I’m just trying to do my small part in helping students who need financial assistance for their education. LD: With your practice and your role in running the firm, do you get time away from the office? TA: Yes. But first of all, I find my career to be exciting and I really mean that. I’m fortunate. I travel a tremendous amount, which is great. I have cases across the country and clients around the world. I have clients in London, Paris, Hong Kong, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, and other locations. And of course we have clients and cases across the United States. It’s been interesting to see the world, to see our country, and meet people from everywhere. LD: What do you do for non-work activities? TA: My other pastimes include swimming and run-

ning. I’m a big supporter of independent film and the arts. I’ve been a supporter of the Sundance Institute for 14 years. They promote and underwrite independent films that few people see but they have important messages. I’m a big fan of documentaries. The documentary film is another way to educate people, which in turn can change society in a positive way. LD: It seems that you also like to speak about these topics, which is consistent with your goals for doing the book. TA: Another thing I enjoy is television appearances.

I’ve done well over 200 programs. I like the opportunity to go on television and speak to viewers about legal topics that might seem complicated. It’s rewarding to be able to take a complex issue and explain it to an audience in a condensed three-tosix minute segment. I don’t know if that falls under the work or leisure category because I really find it a lot of fun.

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Wendi Lazar OUTTEN & GOLDEN (NEW YORK)


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WENDI LAZAR WENDI LAZAR, A PARTNER AND CO-CHAIR

of the Executive and Professionals Practice Group at Outten & Golden, describes her path to employment law as an evolutionary one. She worked as a news and film producer before entering the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, which she initially saw as a way to enhance her media career. But Lazar has since become one of the nation’s leading lawyers focused on representing high-level employees, and she is passionate about helping them navigate the “transparent and often treacherous” terrain of their jobs. In 2014, Lazar was elected as a Fellow to the College of Labor & Employment Lawyers. LAWDRAGON: What did this recent honor mean to you? WENDI LAZAR: The College is one of the greatest honors for a lawyer in employment law. You need to be eligible in terms of experience and tenure but thereafter, you need to be sponsored, then nominated and supported by lawyers on both sides of the aisle — in other words to be respected by your peers and your adversaries for qualities of civility, excellence, and outstanding contributions. I was elected in my first year of eligibility, which was unexpected, and then supported by so many colleagues that I feel overwhelming pride, fellowship and at the same time, great humility as a new member. I also look forward to nominating other qualified women now, who as a group remain a minority in the College. LD: What led to your interest in employment law? WL: My choice of employment law was an evolutionary one. I started a practice 18 years ago doing a combination of business, employment and immigration law – and what tied it all together was that I represented talent. As a prior producer in news and feature film, I represented international talent across industries and specialties – in media, financial services and other small partnerships as well as public companies. LD: You have been at Outten & Golden for ten years after having a small niche practice representing talent. How has your practice changed at a larger firm? WL: My partners at Outten, and particularly Wayne

Outten, have supported the development of a unique practice representing executives, professionals, teams of employees in mergers and acquisitions, as well as expatriate and other cross-border matters

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BY JOHN RYAN globally and throughout the U.S. When I came to the firm ten years ago, Wayne already had an active and successful practice in this arena, but with the support of the firm and my own unique background and experience, we were able to expand this practice to become one of the most important individual side global practices in the U.S., with our biggest competitors being the large management side firms that represent individuals on a case by case basis, often having conflicts. We now have a sophisticated multinational practice, comprised of several partners and associates, whose primary goal is to continue to expand our full-service executive practice and work alongside our network of foreign lawyers, tax experts and other executive support professionals globally. We have contributed to the international employment practice by leading the ABA’s Labor and Employment Section in this area and by writing and speaking both in the U.S. and abroad. LD: Was there an important mentor early in your career? WL: I went to law school as a grownup and started my own law practice after a short stint as a trial attorney with the government. I had a lot of gumption and little experience in a law practice. I went with my instincts, some business acumen, and very little money in the bank and miraculously was successful. I partnered with some amazingly smart clients and was passionate about their success above all. Having been involved with high level talent in the media, I had a good understanding of the demands of representing individuals and expanded that to other industries – such as tech, private equity, advertising and branding. The digital world was in its infancy but I had a head start conceptually in media. My parents were both entrepreneurs and I think that motivated me to strike out on my own – I grew up thinking I could do anything as long as I worked hard.

I have to say that organizations like the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA), the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the Women’s Bar mentored me as a new lawyer and I am eternally grateful to them and their mentorship. LD: What do you like about representing your clients? WL: I like working with smart, creative and motivated clients. Not every high level employee is able to think strategically and to necessarily represent their own interests well, and I pride myself in being their advisor

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Roman Silberfeld

Todd Smith

ROBINS KAPLAN LOS ANGELES

POWER ROGERS CHICAGO

Gerald Silk

Abby Cohen Smutny

BERNSTEIN LITOWITZ NEW YORK

WHITE & CASE NEW YORK

Bruce Singal

Amy Fisch Solomon

DONOGHUE BARRETT BOSTON

GIRARDI | KEESE LOS ANGELES

Stuart Singer

Larry Sonsini

BOIES SCHILLER NEW YORK

WILSON SONSINI PALO ALTO

Pankaj Sinha

Sonia Sotomayor

SKADDEN NEW YORK

U.S. SUPREME COURT WASHINGTON, D.C.

Rachel Skaistis

Lisa Sotto

CRAVATH NEW YORK

HUNTON & WILLIAMS NEW YORK

Daniel Slifkin

Robert Spatt

CRAVATH NEW YORK

SIMPSON THACHER NEW YORK

Brad Smith

Shanin Specter

MICROSOFT REDMOND, WASH.

KLINE & SPECTER PHILADELPHIA

Leslie Smith

Richard Stark

KIRKLAND & ELLIS CHICAGO

CRAVATH NEW YORK

Paul Smith

Myron Steele

JENNER & BLOCK WASHINGTON, D.C.

POTTER ANDERSON DOVER, DEL.

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and often their advocate. I like partnering with them to make their careers better and to empower them. Most of my clients are extremely demanding but so am I, and I relate to their needs, challenges, and fears, and helping them manage their strategies and often help them create new ones. Executive women, in particular, are still struggling across industries to define themselves and manage their careers against difficult odds. I find this part of my practice very satisfying when I can help catapult their careers, protect them from injustice and work behind the scenes at the same time to preserve what they have achieved in their careers. LD: How has your practice changed over the years in the world of contracts? WL: The workplace has changed much more than the practice of employment law itself but in terms of equality, sadly the change is slow and uneven. In the last 10 years I have seen our firm grow exponentially: in size, location and in the many areas of the law we have pioneered. Wage-and-hour cases have exploded and class actions continue to be the greatest tool against systemic discrimination in the U.S. But the workplace has gotten worse for employees with the proliferation of the digital world and the internet, and so the challenges remain. The workplace has become a transparent and often treacherous place, and there are no safe havens for the unwary, and overly honest or profuse writers of emails. Companies have used email and the Internet against employees, and the stakes are high particularly in industries where bonuses are deferred and equity is earned over the long term, so any suggestion of wrongdoing can be fatal.

In terms of public companies, plans and policies have become more uniform as the individual’s rights and remedies are lost in the fine print. Restrictive covenants that are applied to the masses and mandatory arbitration are good examples of this trend. Employees – even high level executives and professional partners – are victim to agreements that bind them often before they even know what they are signing and often without the advice of counsel. That has created a need that has kept our practice busy and our advice critical. LD: Can you discuss your work on restrictive cov-

enants and how much of your practice that takes up?

WL: I have co-edited the first international treatise on trade secrets and restrictive covenants for BNA Bloomberg that has both a plaintiff and manage-

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ment side perspective and crosses all borders. With 39 country authors and nine editors, the book was more than a labor of love. My restrictive covenant practice is non-stop in terms of counseling executives, professionals (lawyers, doctors, and financial managing directors and partners) on leaving one business to start another, moving their business across states and country borders, expanding and moving their teams from company to company and country to country. I love the fact that you can wake up as a defendant and go to sleep as a plaintiff – all on the same case as this is a fast paced area of the law – and injunctive relief is at its core. Your adversary one day is your ally the next and strategy is critical. LD: What is the most common mistake that highlevel professionals make when taking on a new job? WL: I used to say not having a written agreement, but I think it is not fully understanding the offer of employment and the policies, practices and culture that they are entering into. This takes time, work and exploration and it means reading or hiring the right attorney to read the fine print in terms of handbooks, policies, non competes, and equity agreements. Much of this is available to the public online and yet, an executive falls in love at the interview and fails to read the pre-nup – often culminating in a divorce where the company has the upper hand. LD: Do you ever miss your days as a producer? Did that experience help prepare you for being a lawyer? WL: I started my film career as a journalist and editor and both these skills made me think, ask questions and find out everything about my subject – all the details I need to know about a person, a product, a place or a business. These skills are what make a great lawyer – going behind the person, studying their needs, motivations, experience and being their advocate. I pride myself in being the representative my clients want me to be for them – not necessarily what I want to be. Like a great journalist, removing yourself from the process is key to be a successful and honest representative for someone else. LD: What do you do for fun? WL: I spend time with my family, my parents, my children and my husband. I am also a jock who loves food. I like to cook, to eat and to work out. When I really get down time, I love the ocean, the theater, the tennis court and in case I am feeling too good about myself, there is always the golf course.

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Wally Martinez HUNTON & WILLIAMS (NEW YORK)


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WALLY MARTINEZ PROVING THAT YOUTH IS NO BARRIER

to success at large global law firms, Wally Martinez became managing partner of Hunton & Williams – founded in 1901 in Richmond, Va. – at the age of 39. That was in 2006. Nearly a decade later, the New Yorkbased leader is proud of the accomplishments of the 800-plus attorney, 19-office law firm, including the fact that it is regularly recognized as a great place to work. A 1991 University of Pennsylvania Law School graduate, Martinez’s practice focuses on white-collar defense and business litigation. He was a founding partner of Hunton & Williams’ Miami office and left the firm in 2004 to serve a stint as general counsel at beverages company Diageo North America. LAWDRAGON : Why did you make that move in 2004? WALLY MARTINEZ: This was an exciting opportunity for me for several reasons. First, Diageo is a dynamic, global company, and I was very excited to help steer the legal function as we supported the growth of this terrific company. But most importantly for me now, it gave me the opportunity to really understand how a client thinks and operates and that is one of the best perspectives a lawyer in private practice can have. LD: What lessons did you take away from the job? WM: I learned several lessons: One, our global corporate clients want practical, business-oriented solutions that will help them minimize risk and gain a clear path toward pursuing opportunities. Two, our clients’ businesses are complex – understanding the nuances of the business and the business structure is incredibly important. It’s also one of the reasons our firm has developed and focused on a depth of industry experience. Finally, I learned that clients expect high-quality legal services and responsive service. Where the value add comes in is in our perspective on the broad range of business issues impacting the company, in our ability to help “see around the corner” and in helping identify issues and potential challenges – as well as opportunities – in advance. That often requires innovative thinking on their behalf. LD: What were your goals as managing partner? WM: At Hunton & Williams, the value we place on our clients, lawyers, staff and community is in our DNA. Leading an international firm at the beginning of the 21st century presented new challenges: new technology, new paradigms for staffing, greater need

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BY JOHN RYAN for communication inside the firm and with clients, and greater need to provide pro bono representation to those in need. Our goal was to address these challenges and continue to ensure that Hunton & Williams is well-positioned for the future. LD: What do you consider your biggest achievements? WM: As you know, this past decade has been a time of extraordinary change for the legal world. The accomplishments of which I am most proud involve many people – attorneys and staff alike. Some of the work we’ve done that I am most proud of includes the growth and expansion of client relationships. We have a long history with a number of our clients – many have been with the firm for decades. We have been an innovator in the area of strategic partnerships with clients, an early advocate for and adopter of alternative fee arrangements, and an investor in the technologies that make our work and processes more efficient. Another accomplishment is the development and execution of a long-term strategic plan, including positioning as a leader in our key industries: energy, real estate, financial services, and retail and consumer products. The firm’s industry depth in these areas is significant across our transactional, regulatory, and litigation practices.

I am also proud of the firm receiving continuous top rankings as one of the best places to work – whether it’s market-focused, gender-focused, or family-focused, Hunton & Williams continues to be recognized as a great place to work. I am extremely proud of our culture and believe these accolades reflect much of what we are about as a firm. LD: What do you see for the future? WM: I am excited about the future. We know there are challenges in the legal industry, but we have a strong foundation of relationships with key clients that go back decades, and we are also forwardlooking and globally minded. We are creative – we think about new markets, new practices, problems our clients will be facing of which they may not be aware, and better ways of doing things all the time. What I am most excited about is our next generation of leaders – some of whom hold leadership roles with clients and within the firm and others who are rising into those roles. It is that generation that will continue the good work that started generations before us. It’s an exciting time for Hunton & Williams.

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Morgan Chu IRELL & MANELLA (LOS ANGELES)


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MORGAN CHU

BY KATRINA DEWEY

THERE IS A WEIGHTLESSNESS TO

was not a tiger father.” I do not remember either of them ever telling me or my brothers what to do. I do not remember them telling me to do my homework. There were times I did my homework, and there were plenty of times I did not.

He dropped out of high school, traveled, and then talked his way into UCLA without a high school diploma. He was on his path to becoming a professional student when he met Helen, now his wife, whose father was not sure this kinetic young man could ever settle down. He earned five degrees by the time he was 25: from UCLA, a B.A., M.A. and Ph.D.; an M.S.L. from Yale; and a J.D. in two years from Harvard Law School. He joined Irell & Manella after a self-designed spring clerkship and could not choose between litigation or transaction so worked in both departments, some said 75% time in each department.

LD: Were your parents both born in China?

Morgan Chu, wise and exuberant all at once. Perhaps that’s fitting for someone whose life has been not so much about defying expectations as disregarding them entirely.

And that is how you get to be one of the foremost intellectual property lawyers in the United States. At one law firm for his entire career, Los Angeles’ Irell & Manella LLP, he is noted for his huge wins for City of Hope, TiVo and Texas Instruments, his philanthropy, and his pathbreaking career as one of the first Asian-American managing partners in a major U.S. law firm. Morgan and his similarly regaled brothers, Steven and Gilbert, broke the mold with achievement, but whereas his brothers’ paths were in science and medicine – fields where Asian Americans had made more of a mark, Morgan chose law. LAWDRAGON: So much has been written about you and your brothers. Your oldest brother, Gilbert, is a professor of medicine and biochemistry at Stanford, while your middle brother, Steven, won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1997, and was the Secretary of Energy under President Obama. What was it like at your dinner table? Did your parents give nightly quizzes on chemistry? MORGAN CHU: No, there were no nightly quizzes

about anything. Our growing up was unremarkable. After my mother passed away a couple years ago, we had a little memorial for her. Each of my brothers spoke. When I spoke, I said, “Contrary to what a lot of people might think, our mother was not a tiger mother, in any way, shape or form. Our father

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MC: That’s right. They grew up there and came to the U.S. as young adults when they were in their 20s. It was in the middle of World War II and most of their families were not able to leave China. My mother was one of five kids; she was the only one who was able to leave China. My father was one of eleven; only he and two of his sisters were able to leave China.

It was not easy leaving China. My mother actually went to India to find a way to come to the United States. She had to wait to get aboard a freighter because there was a war going on, and there were Japanese submarines that would sink any ship. She waited three months in India for a chance, and then boarded a freighter. It sailed far south to avoid Japanese submarines. She ends up getting to the United States on the west coast and then boards a train to Boston. She and my father had known each other earlier. They get together and eventually are married. LD: You grew up in New York – were born in New York City and then grew up in Garden City before moving to Southern California when you were in high school. What did your mom and dad do? MC: My father was a chemical engineer, and he taught at Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn. My mom mostly took care of three kids. She would also get part-time jobs. An example would be a part-time job running a cash register at Abraham & Straus, a department store. I did not realize at the time that she had gone to college in China and how startling that was for a woman.

My father went to MIT for graduate school; that’s where he got his doctorate. My mother, when she met up with my father in the U.S., enrolled in graduate school at MIT. They got married and started a family, so she dropped out. The great bulk of that I did not know growing up because she did not say anything. She was a mom who was good at making Chinese food and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and earning a little extra money at A&S.

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Catherine Stetson

Steven Sunshine

HOGAN LOVELLS WASHINGTON, D.C.

SKADDEN NEW YORK

Bryan Stevenson

Steve Susman

EQUAL JUSTICE INITIATIVE MONTGOMERY, ALA.

SUSMAN GODFREY HOUSTON

David Stickney

Deanell Reece Tacha

BERNSTEIN LITOWITZ NEW YORK

PEPPERDINE SCHOOL OF LAW MALIBU, CALIF.

Christina Storm

John Tarantino

LAWYERS WITHOUT BORDERS NEW HAVEN, CONN.

ADLER POLLOCK PROVIDENCE, R.I.

Adam Streisand

N. Denise Taylor

SHEPPARD MULLIN LOS ANGELES

TAYLOR & BLESSEY LOS ANGELES

Leo Strine

Alexander Thomas

DELAWARE SUPREME COURT WILMINGTON

REED SMITH WASHINGTON, D.C.

Paul Stritmatter

Clarence Thomas

STRITMATTER KESSLER SEATTLE

U.S. SUPREME COURT WASHINGTON, D.C.

Angela Styles

Sally Thurston

CROWELL & MORING WASHINGTON, D.C.

SKADDEN NEW YORK

Diane Sullivan

Mary Ann Todd

WEIL GOTSHAL NEW YORK

MUNGER TOLLES LOS ANGELES

Kathleen Sullivan

David Tolbert

QUINN EMANUEL NEW YORK

INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE NEW YORK

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LD: Did it have any resonance to you that you are Chinese American as you progressed through law school and then into a law firm? MC: Of course, because, well, there were not any other Asian Americans at Irell & Manella. That was largely true in corporate law firms. There were far fewer Asian faces in prominence practicing law. I was also aware of the fact that quite naturally people perceive other people based on their experiences or generalizations or stereotypes.

After I got to know a client well, we were having lunch one day, and he says, “Morgan, you’re not at all what I expect you to be like.” We were very friendly. We enjoyed working with each other. I said, “What do you mean?” He said, “Well, I thought you’d be timid and you’re not timid. I thought you would not be aggressive enough; meaning intellectually or trying to stake out a position or trying to move the ball forward.” He did not mean being loud or boisterous. He said, “But you’re incredibly aggressive with everything.” He went on and on, basically telling me a list of stereotypes that many people have about Asians; most of which do not match what a client wants from their lawyer. LD: At the time enrolled at Harvard, what was your plan for your law degree? MC: I did not have in mind that I would be a lawyer, much less being a lawyer in private practice. Once I was at school, I noticed in the fall that people were getting dressed up and I asked them about it. My classmates said, “Oh, people are interviewing for law firms.”

a thousand other subjects. They also have wonderful athletic facilities and they have gyms and swimming pools and sporting events – so what’s not to like about being part of a university? And what’s not to like about being a professional student? LD: Among your many cases, it must have been very meaningful to help the hospital and research center City of Hope. You won a $500 million verdict against Genentech, which ultimately paid over $565 million. The compensatory damages upheld by the California Supreme Court was the largest damage award ever affirmed by on appeal by California courts. MC: That’s right. It was a special case for us in many ways – everyone at the firm felt that way. There was a legal assistant I’d worked with a lot and she’d been retired for eight years. Right before the case goes to trial, she calls me and says, “I’ve heard from other people that you’re going to trial for City of Hope. I’m calling to wish you good luck and I just really want you to win.” She tells me about the fact that her daughter had cancer and had gone to City of Hope and was successfully treated for her cancer. LD: Do you still represent City of Hope? MC: Yes, on a wide variety of different things. I’m very much in touch with them. They’re a big part of the lives of people at Irell & Manella. We have, as an example, a quilting group that includes many people on our staff and retired staff members. They get together in the evenings and weekends to make quilts. Quite a number of years ago they said, “Why don’t we make quilts and take them to City of Hope and give them to patients?” Every year they do that, hand delivering quilts to patients.

MC: I just thought I would learn something about the law. I thought it was an interesting subject and I had a career path of being a professional student. That is what Helen would say, that is what her father told Helen. I probably could have been a student literally for the rest of my life and enjoyed it.

We also had a member of our staff a number of years ago pass away. She’d been a secretary at the firm for quite a number of years and she was single. She had a much larger estate than what one would imagine. After she passed away she gave the great bulk of her estate to City of Hope. She never said anything about it. There is today a nurses’ station at City of Hope that’s named after her.

Universities are wonderful. They have very nice settings; whether they are in a city or outside of a city. They have film festivals, old movies. They have interesting speakers in all areas with many different points of view. There’s always a renewal aspect; always new students coming onto campus. New ideas. They do not focus just on one thing; there are people who have great expertise in archaeology or art history or

We may be the only law firm with the distinction that a graduate school is named after us. It is today the Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences at the City of Hope. It is a Ph.D. granting institution. The graduate school had been in existence for several decades and we made a contribution to create an endowment. Read the full Q&A at www.lawdragon. com/lawyer-limelights/morgan-chu.

LD: Then why did you go to law school?

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Nancy Shilepsky SHILEPSKY HARTLEY (BOSTON)


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NANCY SHILEPSKY ON THE EMPLOYEE SIDE OF THE

employment bar, few lawyers have accomplished as much as Nancy Shilepsky has in more than 35 years of practice. The managing partner of Boston-based Shilepsky Hartley Michon Robb LLP has excelled in litigating discrimination and wrongful termination cases, and she is one of the few Lawdragon 500 members to specialize in counseling high-level professionals in their employment matters. This year, Shilepsky, a graduate of Boston University School of Law, was selected as a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America. Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly also chose her for induction into its Circle of Excellence. LAWDRAGON: Was there a professor or experience at BU that was particularly influential on your career? NANCY SHILEPSKY: Bob Burdick ran the legal services clinical program in which I took part while in law school. I worked with Bob representing people with psychiatric disabilities opposing involuntary commitment and forced medication. I learned from Bob how to represent disempowered clients effectively. What I learned served me well throughout my career. We had to work harder and smarter, and do our best to level the playing field for our clients.

Wrongful termination cases are not that different. In both, it is my job not just to respond to allegations made against my clients but to point out the other side’s flaws. In wrongful termination cases, that involves poking holes in the alleged legitimate reasons for a termination. I describe it as turning on the overhead lights so as to expose what is really going on. It is why discovery is so important in employment work. The discovery “abuses” I see are employers’ counsel playing “hide the ball” with the evidence the employee needs to impeach an employer’s alleged lawful motive and, in discrimination cases, prove pretext. Those are the types of issues that make employment work intellectually challenging and rewarding. LD: What do you find satisfying about representing executives and other high-level professionals? NS: I find executive advocacy to be professionally satisfying work. It has allowed me to use my brain in different ways. For example, I am not a tax lawyer, and we always work with tax lawyers, but years ago I

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BY JOHN RYAN realized that I needed to understand certain aspects of tax law so as to properly represent my executive clients. As a BU alum, I had the opportunity and honor to audit Jonathan Zorn’s graduate-level tax class on executive compensation. Also, as jury trials, and even bench trials, become increasingly uncommon, executive advocacy allows me to continue to litigate, albeit in the arbitral forum. LD: What trends are you seeing in your practice in terms of issues faced by your clients? NS : In the past, regarding new employment and

retention arrangements, I was able to rely heavily on “comps” – the arrangements provided to other executives in comparable companies and industries. Now, Compensation Committees and their consultants may be interested in tightening the belt on executive compensation, sometimes just to make a point. Some, however, are doing this just as more diverse candidates are stepping up and into top executive roles. I have pointed that out and have suggested that the timing of such belt-tightening is, perhaps, not ideal. Also, turnover is faster than ever. I remind clients of the importance of having protections in place should things not work out before, for example, equity is fully vested. This is especially true in private start-ups and during changes in control. A founding CEO may not be the person who the next round of investors think has the expertise to position the company for acquisition, or an acquirer may not need another senior executive. Everyone likes to be wooed, but it is my job to be sure that there is substance and protections behind flowery words. LD: You’ve also earned accolades for public service. Can you discuss an extra-practice or public-interest activity that is near and dear to your heart? NS: One aspect of my public service is the mentoring I do primarily for newer lawyers. To take our mentoring work up a notch, we created the Women’s Bar Association’s Women’s Leadership Initiative. Along with Michele Whitham of Foley Hoag, I co-chaired the Initiative during its formative years. I am proud to say that Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy was a member of our pilot class. Read the full Q&A at www.lawdragon.com/lawyerlimelights/nancy-shilepsky.

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James Garner SHER GARNER (NEW ORLEANS)

Leopold Sher SHER GARNER (NEW ORLEANS)


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JAMES GARNER AND LEOPOLD SHER LEOPOLD SHER AND JAMES GARNER

have been through hell and high water together since leaving their old firm to start Sher Garner in 1999. But never was the water as high as on August 29, 2005. That, of course, was the day the levees broke in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. We sat down to talk with them in August, as the 10th anniversary of the disaster approached. By some accounts, the city has lost hundreds of lawyers in the 10 years since. But in that decade, Sher Garner has emerged stronger than ever in no small part because of a decision Sher and Garner made “in 60 seconds” to represent the city’s institutions against certain insurers in hopes of saving the city. We’re sitting in their offices on Poydras Street, just blocks from the Superdome, where third-world scenes of devastation and misery played out. Outside, it’s humid of course, and there’s a sense that New Orleans is back in business. The Superdome is now the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and the Central Business District is more vibrant and bustling than ever. The journey through those days, and the decade since, has been one of extraordinary determination by many New Orleans law firms, including Sher Garner. Their mission was nothing less than to help New Orleans survive by getting its critical institutions back in business – and helping one very special client while they were at it. LAWDRAGON: Take me back to the days before Hur-

ricane Katrina hit. What was going on with you both and the firm? JAMES GARNER: I was sitting here on August 27. It

was a Saturday and I was in my office with Chris Chocheles getting ready for a trial. I have a big TV in my office and we were watching as the hurricane was getting ready to hit Pensacola. LEE SHER: I wasn’t here. On Sunday afternoon be-

fore the storm hit, my wife, Karen, and I were in the process of taking our daughter, Samantha, to the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia for freshman move-in and we were on the last plane they let fly out of New Orleans before shutting the airport down for the hurricane.

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BY KATRINA DEWEY JG: My wife, Tracie, called around 2 p.m. and said we

had to move. So we closed the doors and moved the computers into the conference rooms, away from the outside windows. I got home and we evacuated Sunday morning at 6 a.m. for the eight-hour drive to Baton Rouge. A drive that normally takes about an hour-and-a-half. I was on the phone with Lee, who was in Philly, and was in touch with his 89-year old father, Joseph, who stayed in his home on Broadway Street near Tulane. We made it to Baton Rouge, to my grandmother’s house, which had no power. My uncle had a generator, so we got enough power to see what was happening, and I could call Lee. LS: The day after the levees broke, the ground-floor basement of the apartment building where I grew up flooded with five feet of water. And my Dad was in his apartment on the first floor right above. LD: How did you balance this – the fear for your father, and keep the presence of mind to get your firm functioning quickly in Baton Rouge? JG: On Monday night, the levees had broken, and

we’re seeing all the Google images. We were at my aunt’s house in Baton Rouge, and she’s a realtor. I realized we had to move. So by Tuesday, my aunt was grabbing up every rental, from Zachary to Prairieville. By that Wednesday, we had rented 30 houses in the Baton Rouge area. Then on Wednesday, I hooked up with our partner Rick Richter, who had evacuated to St. Francisville. Rick, dressed in Jimmy Buffet fashion, picked me up, and we drove around to find rental space for the office and ended up on Essen Lane in Baton Rouge. All of our people had been in 30,000+ square-feet of space in New Orleans, and now we had 10,000 square-feet in Baton Rouge. It was very cozy. That week, we had telephones and computers installed and were able to open the next week, the day after Labor Day. We obtained supplies for everyone – from underwear to soap, and took folks to the Piccadilly Cafeteria across the street. Lee got back Sunday night before Labor Day and helped us put our daughter Margaret’s baby bed together.

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500 We were going to Best Buy, Target, and Conn’s furniture for televisions, supplies, furniture and appliances. Everything was happening in such a compressed period. LD: How were you feeling during that week? JG: In the middle of it, you’re just reacting. Adrenalin keeps you from being distracted. We had 85 employees to take care of. LS: And I was trying to get my father out of New

Orleans, and keep everyone’s spirits up. It was the beginning of the school year, so we also had to get our people’s kids into new schools in and around the Baton Rouge area. You need to remember that New Orleans was under water and closed down. Our team in Baton Rouge found clothing, housing, food, and supplies for our people, and schools for their kids. We told everybody we’d take care of their families, their insurance claims, and that they’d continue to get paid. And nobody missed a paycheck. Ever. And that was whether they could work or not. Between the Sunday before Katrina hit and the day after the storm passed, the population of Baton Rouge nearly doubled with all of us evacuees from the New Orleans area. So it’s not like you had your pick of the litter of housing, office space, supplies, clothing, food and other normal stuff we take for granted. Our guys on the ground in Baton Rouge were running around like crazy trying to secure all those things for our people while everyone else was trying to do the same thing. JG: Needing to house my parents, Adrian and Mary

Ann, and my wife, Tracie, and our three children, Ethan, Caitlin and Margaret, I bought a house sight unseen from a bank on Perkins Road. The bank lent me the money with no backup, no documents and no signatures. LD: Lee, tell me a bit more about your dad’s situation. I remember he is a Holocaust survivor. It’s unbelievable he also lived through Katrina. LS: Three weeks before Katrina, my dad had a heart attack. He’s a strong man – not physically, he’s slight, about 5’3” – but considering all that he has been through in his life, he’s very strong. My wife, Karen, insisted on taking him on the trip with us to move our daughter into Penn in Philadelphia, but he would not go no matter how much my wife begged and pleaded with him. He said the rigors of traveling would be harder on him considering his then condition than remaining in his comfortable apartment.

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So he stayed. He said, “I’ve been through hurricane after hurricane. I will be fine.” When the city flooded, my dad got stranded. We appealed to the governor’s office, the military, emergency-preparedness groups, social and religious service agencies, and people we knew in high places. And they all promised to go pick him up. But there was too much water and he was not a priority. So, by the Thursday after the hurricane, he’d had no running water, no fresh food, no working bathrooms. He was doing OK, however, as he regularly told us and our daughter, Rose, who was calling him several times a day from Los Angeles, where she was safely ensconced in her third year of college at USC. Coincidentally, the week before the hurricane hit, Karen had arranged for “Lifeline” to be installed at my dad’s apartment and the installer must have fortified his telephone landline so it continued to work – not always, but intermittently. There might have been a handful of working phones in the city, and my dad’s rotary phone was one of them! LD: This is such a hard conversation to have, even 10 years later. What happened to him? LS: While stranded in Philadelphia, we hadn’t slept in three days trying to get someone to rescue my dad. We were speaking with him regularly much to our relief and comfort. About noon on Thursday he called to tell us he was still doing well but added: “Look, there’s a guy here who wants to rescue me. Should I go?”

And we later learned the story of this “guy.” My dad and the three other people stranded in the same apartment building with my dad were on their front porches on that Thursday morning when they saw a young looking man walking through chest-deep water down Broadway Street in front of my dad’s apartment building. They called to the guy and told him that if he wanted to take a respite from walking in the deep water that he should come up and join them. And the guy shouted back “I don’t need rest. I want to save people.” That “guy” was just a solo Good Samaritan unconnected to any group or organization, an angel. His name, we later learned, is Juan Parke. While I was on the phone with my dad that Thursday at noon, I thought it might be the last time I would ever talk to him. I told my dad to go with the man. I explained to him that everyone in the world had promised us they’d rescue him and nobody did. I asked my dad how the man was planning on rescuing them. My dad told us that a skiff that had been


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tied to a metal roof of a garage at the back of their apartment building for the last 40 or 50 years had blown off in the storm, and it was just bobbing in the flood waters. One of the others in the building had seen the skiff in the water and directed Mr. Parke to the skiff. But the skiff only fit two people. So Mr. Parke used the skiff to rescue the four people in the apartment building one by one and took them to dry land at Loyola University on St. Charles Avenue – one of the rare spots in the city that was dry. Incidentally, one of the four people in the apartment building with my dad was a retired Loyola ballet teacher who had parked her car at Loyola in its parking deck. My dad and the others were able to get in that car and they made their way to the Mississippi River Bridge through downed trees, power poles and other debris. At the crown of the bridge there were thousands of stranded, desperate people who had no place to go because the city was flooded. But they managed to get their car across the bridge and through that crowd and they drove to Baton Rouge where my dad was able to connect with my brother, who had that morning driven from his home in Dallas with the hope of helping to rescue my dad from there. And Juan Parke? He went on to use that same skiff to rescue 20 other stranded people! LD: There were so many heroic and so many tragic stories from those days. JG: We had another one – another great client of ours,

Enterprise Rental Car. They got us rental cars – 24-foot trucks. Toward the end of the next week – about 10 days after, once the water subsided – a group of our partners came and got into the building, grabbed computers and phones and took them all to Baton Rouge.

And then the phones started ringing. Children’s Hospital, Touro Hospital, individuals. They all needed help and we were available because we were up and back in business. This was around the time when people started writing articles about whether New Orleans should even be rebuilt! And Touro was shut down with $100 million in damage. Liberty Bank, the World Trade Center, Xavier and Dillard Universities, Canal Place. Everybody needed help. LD: Did you have any qualms about suing insurers? After all your firm was only six-years old when the hurricane hit and you had a thriving commercial litigation and business practice. JG: It was a fork in the road. We had been and generally are an hourly law firm – a defense firm doing

insurance defense work. Most hourly defense lawyers didn’t want to sue insurance companies. And that decision has cost us some work. Some of our insurer clients certainly understood that we had no choice but to rebuild our homes and those of our families. We had an obligation to our City to help it rebuild and come back to life. We owe a great debt of gratitude to those insurer clients who understood and continue to use us until this day. Others didn’t understand. We could not in good conscience not take care of our families and New Orleans institutions. And our will to stand with our families and City took us to the Louisiana Supreme Court. The case is Joseph Sher v. Lafayette Insurance Company – the named plaintiff is Lee’s father and involves the house that Lee grew up in at 1410 Broadway Street, a few blocks from our alma mater, Tulane University Lee’s dad is a core part of this whole story, from getting him out to going to the Supreme Court where his bad-faith verdict against Lafayette was upheld. Lee’s dad is a modern-day hero. 89-years old at the time, he survived the Nazi concentration and work camps, and watched his family members die in the ghettos of Poland. After the war he and Lee’s mother, Rachel, traveled to New Orleans and landed at Poland Avenue at the Port of Embarkation on the Industrial Canal in the upper Ninth Ward of New Orleans. Lee was born in New Orleans and their family of four, including Lee’s older brother, Martin, put down their New Orleans roots. The family rode out Hurricane Betsy in 1965 at their apartment at 1410 Broadway and his dad, Joe, decided to do the same in Katrina. Despite the evidence that water was wind driven through the windows, walls and roof, Lafayette Insurance Company refused to pay Lee’s dad’s claim, with the defense that the home was in poor shape. Fortunately for us, Lafayette’s underwriting file had notes about how well maintained the home was and the jury took very little time to award damages and find Lafayette in bad faith. The insurance litigation raised our firm’s profile, but this wasn’t really about a business decision. We were making a decision to protect family, friends and our City. We are first and foremost New Orleanians. We dedicated ourselves to rebuilding the City, helping its institutions, our employees and one another. And we made that decision knowing there would be effects. Read the full feature at www.lawdragon.com/featurearticles/leopold-sher-and-james-garner-10-yearsafter-hurricane-katrina.

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Steve Toll

Paul Vizcarrondo

COHEN MILSTEIN WASHINGTON, D.C.

WACHTELL LIPTON NEW YORK

Robert Townsend

Wanji Walcott

CRAVATH NEW YORK

AMERICAN EXPRESS NEW YORK

Max Tribble

Helgi Walker

SUSMAN GODFREY LOS ANGELES

GIBSON DUNN WASHINGTON, D.C.

Jonathan Turley

Leigh Walton

GEORG E WASHINGTON LAW SCHOOL WASHINGTON, D.C.

BASS BERRY NASHVILLE

Karen Valihura

F. Joseph Warin

DELAWARE SUPREME COURT WILMINGTON

GIBSON DUNN WASHINGTON, D.C.

Chilton Davis Varner

Maurice Watson

KING & SPALDING ATLANTA

HUSCH BLACKWELL KANSAS CITY, MO.

Christine Varney

Seth Waxman

CRAVATH NEW YORK

WILMER HALE WASHINGTON, D.C.

Charles Verhoeven

Dan Webb

QUINN EMANUEL SAN FRANCISCO

WINSTON & STRAWN CHICAGO

Donald Verrilli

Trent Webb

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON, D.C.

SHOOK HARDY KANSAS CITY

D. Jean Veta

Ted Wells

COVINGTON & BURLING WASHINGTON, D.C.

PAUL WEISS NEW YORK

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SHERRILYN IFILL

BY JEFF SCHULT

IF ANY ORGANIZATION CAN BE SAID TO

people’s expectations of what is possible.

have shaped and framed the modern discussion of civil rights in America, it is the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. “The best civil rights law firm in American history,” as President Obama called it, has never been content to rest on its laurels, and Sherrilyn Ifill, named president of the LDF in 2012, has determinedly pushed the mission and dream of equal rights forward on every front. In a year that has been marked by the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act and the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, Ifill, NYU Law ’87, has made the most of opportunities to remind the country both of how far it has come and how far it has to go when it comes to providing for equality under the law, political and economic fairness and justice, and human rights. LAWDRAGON: You’re the seventh President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, a firm that has played a pivotal role in civil and human rights law and litigation in the United States for 75 years. Do you ever sit at your desk and wonder, “What would Thurgood Marshall have done?” And what do you think he’d have to say about the NAACP LDF in 2014? SHERRILYN IFILL: No pressure, right? Actually I do channel former Director-Counsels quite a bit. I find that each one in their own way was creative, bold and original. I push myself to be more courageous largely because of the example that each of them set. I think that Marshall would love the work we are doing and our powerful voice. I speak with Mrs. Marshall a fair amount (she sits on our board), and she keeps up with our work. I think we’d be in good shape if Justice Marshall were asked about us today. LD: You’ve worked in civil rights, one way or the other, for much of your professional career. How do you measure progress? Is it disheartening to still be litigating over the Voting Rights Act? SI: It’s disappointing to be sure. We all hoped that America would move faster towards racial equality. But anyone doing this work knows that progress is full of stops and starts. We measure progress not only by the creation of access and opportunity, but also by material changes in the lives of real people. I also think it’s important to see progress as changing

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Stuart Grant

GRANT & EISENHOFER (WILMINGTON)

LD: You’ve said your mentor was Derrick Bell, who

was the first tenured African-American Professor of Law at Harvard Law and taught at NYU Law. How did that relationship develop and what did you learn from him? SI: Derrick Bell was one of my mentors (I have been blessed with many mentors) and he principally encouraged me when I was writing my book. In fact it was Prof. Bell who insisted that I apply to MacDowell, the writing colony, to break through writing some critical chapters. I applied and was accepted and wrote for 8 hours a day, every day for a month. Best of all, he never allowed me to develop a sense of satisfaction – even about civil rights victories. And he saw the subtle and devastating ways in which victories were often infected early on with the seeds of future defeats. Brilliant, insightful and compassionate man. Plus he was just fun. LD: How much does your role as president have to do with fundraising? Does the NAACP LDF have enough resources to fulfill its broad mission? SI: Fundraising is a key part of my job and no, we do not have enough to fulfill our mission. LDF has become an institution and people just expect us to do what we do. But we need resources to support this work. Our attorneys work so hard, and carry such a heavy load and yet to pay just for their travel, for depositions, for expert witnesses is a struggle. Every lawyer in this country should be a supporter of LDF. That’s how significant our role has been in shaping the rule of law and transforming the profession. LD: Among your writings is a critically acclaimed book on the history of lynching in the U.S. Are there have shaped and framed the modern discussion of civil rights in America, it is the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. “The best civil rights law firm in American history,” as President Obama called it, has never been content to rest on its laurels, and Sherrilyn Ifill, named president of the LDF in 2012, has determinedly pushed the mission and dream of equal rights forward on every front. have shaped and framed the modern discussion of civil rights in America, it is the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. “The best civil rights law firm in American history,” as President Obama called it, has never been content to rest on its laurels, and

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Skip Keesal KEESAL YOUNG (LONG BEACH, CALIF.)


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SKIP KEESAL AS A YOUNG LAWYER, SKIP KEESAL

BY JOHN RYAN the world want people to represent them with style and grace, and we certainly try to do that.

decided to set up shop in Long Beach, reasoning that – if the business tanked – he would have easy access to play volleyball, a hobby he picked up as an undergrad at California State University, Long Beach. Instead, his firm thrived and Keesal has garnered an endless string of awards for his diverse litigation practice, including a standout securities arbitration specialty, as well as his charitable contributions, many of them made to the Long Beach community. Keesal founded his firm, Keesal, Young & Logan, in 1970, five years after he graduated from University of Southern California School of Law,.

SK: I played volleyball at Cal State Long Beach and loved it. When I decided to go out on my own I thought that if I was in downtown Long Beach and didn’t have any business – and I never believed I would – then I could go across the street and play volleyball. Fortunately I never had to play volleyball but that set us up in Long Beach and we’ve got 45-50 lawyers here in nice offices.

LAWDRAGON: What was it like to grow up on a ranch? Did that have a big impact on you?

LD: Can you talk about your firm’s commitment to the community?

SKIP KEESAL: I’m not sure to what extent it affects my life now. I’ve always been somebody who has enjoyed the outdoors. I love horses, and I have a horse now. I enjoyed riding horseback when our family first went to Tucson, and we ultimately moved there. We had a ranch and built a roping arena on the property. I rodeoed professionally for many years, seriously for a couple of those years. I still have a roping horse, although time has prevented me from doing that recently. On my 60th birthday and my horse’s 30th birthday, we went into a roping competition and nobody told me or my horse we were too old, and we came out on top. I love that, I love the competition of it. I like the idea of being outside and doing something different than the indoor practice of law.

SK: My bottom line here is that we’re all in this together, in terms of the community, in terms of charity and in terms of our Foundation. We really feel strongly that we’ve had a good break. If we can help other people, in particular children, medically challenged people, people who would not otherwise get a break – education being an important part of that – we want to be here to help them to the extent we can.

LD: What drove you to pursue a career in the law? SK: When I was 10 or 11 somebody said, “You’ve got a good gift of gab and should probably be a lawyer.” Without much direction of my own, I thought, “If they think that’s a good idea, I should probably do that.” I always imagined that, if I would be a lawyer, I would be a trial lawyer. I thought that was the ultimate. If you’re going to be a lawyer, you ought to be able to back up your position and be comfortable that, if it came to a trial, your position would be vindicated. LD: Is there a lesson that carries through all of your trial and arbitration work? SK: You have to be 100 percent straightforward and forthcoming. Our motto here is like the Ritz Carlton – ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen. The JP Morgan Chases and UBS’s and Phillip 66s of

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LD: Why did you start the practice and keep it in Long Beach?

Twenty-eight of our 80 lawyers are on boards of directors, unceremoniously, not looking for credit but because they want to help. They’re not required to do that; they ask if it’s OK on some occasions, on others they just do it. The point is that if you have really delightful, forward-thinking, practical lawyers they can probably really be of value to a board of directors of some of these charities. LD: I read that one of your mottos is “Lead from the side.” Can you describe what you mean by that? SK: A number of cases that we try have been with other law firms and are transferred over to us. That’s difficult for the lawyers from whom it’s being transferred. I always want to keep them involved. The thought is that they have pride and may have seen things a little differently than the client, but if we win, we all win, and if we lose, we all lose. There’s always an incredible amount of historical knowledge that they have about the cases. So rather than push ourselves to the front, I believe in helping to move the project ahead from the side. I think that’s worked out well. Read the full Q&A at www.lawdragon.com/lawyerlimelights/skip-keesal-of-keesal-young.

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William Isaacson BOIES SCHILLER (WASHINGTON, D.C.)


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WILLIAM ISAACSON WILLIAM ISAACSON WOULD HAVE DONE

just fine at his old firm, but he’s happy he made the move with fellow Kaye Scholer partner Jonathan Schiller to get in on the ground floor of the epically successful Boies, Schiller & Flexner. That was in 1997. Since then, Isaacson has worked on a fascinating mix of complex antitrust cases, starting with his work in the late 1990s on the firm’s groundbreaking work to break up a global vitamin cartel. And the firm has grown to more than 200 lawyers across 13 offices in the United States and one in London. In recent years, the University of Virginia School of Law graduate served as trial counsel in the antitrust case against Chinese vitamin C manufacturers, resulting in a $162-million verdict in 2013, and in the O’Bannon v. NCAA antitrust trial last year that successfully challenged NCAA amateurism rules. In that case, a federal judge ruled that the NCAA was violating antitrust rules by barring college athletes from being paid for the use of their names, images and likenesses.

Also in 2014, he successfully defended Apple against antitrust claims over an iTunes software update related to iPods. Though the case had dragged on for a decade, the jury took just a few hours to find in Apple’s favor. Isaacson, who is based in the firm’s Washington, D.C., office, also specializes in international arbitration. At the time of this interview, Isaacson was wrapping up a trial in Las Vegas for client Oracle in its long-running copyright infringement dispute against competitor Rimini Street. The case resulted in a $50 million verdict for Oracle.

BY JOHN RYAN anything from that experience that proved to be important for your career? WI: Judge Winter was definitely a mentor. He had a big influence on how I write and I am sure he is smiling somewhere because I do not split infinitives any more. While I was clerking for him I did find that I was more interested in the trial record as it came up from the lower court than the case law that was being applied in the 4th Circuit, which gave me an indication that I wanted to be a trial lawyer. So, yes, the experience was a very big influence and helped me clarify that. LD: Your B.A. at the University of Redlands stands out because David Boies went there a few decades earlier – and it’s not a school that comes up too much with lawyers we have covered, especially those on the East Coast. Just curious – did you and he have any alumni connection before your decision to join the new firm? WI: It is a coincidence. I went to the University of Redlands for completely different reasons, some of which were to do with my interest in debating and the scholarship I was offered. I did know and even met David Boies’ son, David Boies III, who was also a student there, but I had no idea that one day I would be working with the David Boies we all know. I later met David through my work with Jonathan Schiller. LD: I assume you were doing pretty well at Kaye Scholer. Was it hard to leave that behind for something as uncertain as a new law firm? What was your mindset at the time?

WILLIAM ISAACSON: I went to the University of Redlands on a debate scholarship, and I was a debater in high school as well. Like many people who are on their feet debating all the time, I wondered whether being a trial lawyer would be a good fit for me.

WI: I had just made partner about a year beforehand, but it was an easy decision to go and start something new with Jonathan Schiller and David Boies. I always wanted to be able to say that I was there at the start of something. The way it came about for me was that one day I wandered into Jonathan’s office and he said, “I just spoke to David and we’re starting a law firm. Are you in?” And I said, “Sure.” When I went home, I said to my wife, Sophia, “I think I was supposed to say, ‘Let me talk to Sophia and sleep on it and let you know tomorrow.’ But I said ‘sure.’”

LD: You clerked for Chief Judge Harrison Winter of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals towards the end of his long career as a judge. Can you share

I thought the new firm had a good chance of success, but nothing like what actually happened. I thought we’d be a very interesting boutique with interesting

LAWDRAGON: I noticed that you were into debate in

college. Did you have a strong sense then, or even before, that you wanted to be a trial lawyer? If not, when did this interest start?

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500 Tony West

Marc Wolinsky

PEPSICO PURCHASE, N.Y.

WACHTELL LIPTON NEW YORK

William Whelan

Bruce Yannett

CRAVATH NEW YORK

DEBEVOISE & PLIMPTON NEW YORK

John White

Steve Yerrid

CRAVATH NEW YORK

THE YERRID LAW FIRM TAMPA

Mary Jo White

Michael Young

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION WASHINGTON, D.C.

WILLKIE FARR NEW YORK

K. Craig Wildfang

Steve Zack

ROBINS KAPLAN MINNEAPOLIS

BOIES SCHILLER MIAMI

David Wilkins

Taurie Zeitzer

HARVARD LAW SCHOOL BOSTON

PAUL WEISS NEW YORK

Beth Wilkinson

Kenneth Ziman

PAUL WEISS WASHINGTON, D.C.

SKADDEN NEW YORK

Greg Williams

David Zornow

RICHARDS LAYTON WILMINGTON

SKADDEN NEW YORK

Jamie Wine

Damien Zoubek

LATHAM & WATKINS NEW YORK

CRAVATH NEW YORK

Christopher Wolf

Mark Zwillinger

HOGAN LOVELLS WASHINGTON, D.C.

ZWILLGEN WASHINGTON, D.C.

Don Wolfe POTTER ANDERSON WILMINGTON

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clients and challenging cases, but I don’t think I or anyone else had any idea that the firm would achieve this level of success. LD: A number of things stand out when reading about

your work on the vitamin cases over the years: You clearly have to do your own digging and investigation, I assume without relying too much on younger lawyers to do the research, and you have to invest a lot of time that might not pay off. It also seems like a little luck helps, in terms of getting a tip here or there. Can you talk a little bit about why you like this type of litigation practice? It must be exciting, but it also seems exhausting and risky. WI: It is extremely interesting and gratifying when you uncover some violations of law that should be ended. I have done a fair amount of digging and investigation in my spare time. It is on my own time, because I do not think it’s fair to ask other people to do research for you that is basically speculative. And, as you said, a little luck helps. And sometimes you build relationships that then come through when something happens 10 years later. I’ve done a lot of that, too. LD: Please go into more detail about the litigation relating to vitamins. How did that litigation originally start, and how did it evolve into the Vitamin C case? WI: The original vitamins case came from a whistleblower who came to Jonathan Schiller, and I was there at that meeting. It involved price-fixing for several vitamins. I learned in the ensuing litigation that the Vitamin C part of that conspiracy broke up because of inexpensive Chinese competition. One of the clients later called me up and said the market has been consolidated into four Chinese companies and prices were going up.

I thought that was interesting. It was not enough for a lawsuit, but it got me thinking. I started researching on my own time, and as I was sitting at my kitchen table at home I found an article in English saying that prices of Vitamin C are going down and that an emergency meeting was being called between the companies to see what could be done about it. I could see from price information I had that, after the emergency meeting, prices had doubled. I called my wife’s cousin, who imported goods from China, for some help, and we found more and more information about price fixing on Chinese websites.

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LD: The antitrust litigation over Apple’s iPod had been going on for about a decade, then the jury took just a few hours to reach a defense verdict. Were you surprised by the brevity of deliberations? Why do you think the jury saw your client’s position so clearly? WI: I do not comment on the work that my co-counsel Karen Dunn and I did for Apple specifically. Sometimes we get a trial where we love our case and we’re able to communicate clearly to the jury. LD: Can you identify a key part, or a few parts, of the O’Bannon trial that you feel was especially important in the favorable outcome? Did you personally learn or uncover information during the proceedings that make you confident that NCAA athletes will ultimately prevail? WI: My role as co-lead trial counsel for O’Bannon, which I am very proud of, was to confront NCAA witnesses with what was really going on in terms of their treatment of athletes, despite the rhetoric of amateurism. This was an important public airing of what really goes on with college football and basketball. As a result of Judge Claudia Wilken’s finding of an antitrust violation and the affirming of that violation by the 9th Circuit, antitrust cases against the NCAA can be tried based on the evidence. The NCAA does not have the blanket antitrust immunity that they have been claiming. Judge Wilken’s decision on liability, which was recently affirmed by the 9th Circuit, is a very important decision.

In addition, we spent a lot of time showing Judge Wilken the business of college sports: photos of stadiums, and sports facilities that showed the athletes were players first and students second. And we showed her how the colleges promoted the sale of player cards, jerseys, photos, and other merchandise. In the end, what was most important was Judge Wilken’s knowledge of antitrust law. LD: In addition to the Boies Schiller litigators, it seems like you get to work with a lot of great lawyers outside of the firm. Can you share one or a few that you admire, and why? WI: I am grateful to Michael Hausfeld, who started the O’Bannon case, for asking me to act as trial counsel with him, just as I am grateful to Ed O’Bannon and my other clients for the opportunity to represent them at trial.

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Jayne Fleming REED SMITH (NEW YORK)


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JAYNE FLEMING AFTER GETTING HER LAW DEGREE FROM

Boalt Hall in 2000, Jayne Fleming joined a large law firm for the money – a job to support her children. But in handling pro bono matters as part of her appellate practice at Crosby Heafey, which later merged with Reed Smith, she developed a passion for human rights cases that eventually led her to focus her career in the area. As Reed Smith’s pro bono counsel and leader of the human rights team, Fleming helps coordinate the firm’s public interest work while handling her own impressive array of cases, which focuses on asylum claims for individuals around the globe. Fleming and the firm have done a vast amount of work in Haiti, which has included the development of a mobile legal clinic to help refugees. She also independently established The Patricia Fleming Fund, in her memory of her mother, to provided additional assistance to Haiti’s most vulnerable populations. LAWDRAGON: What was the path to becoming pro bono counsel and human rights team leader? JAYNE FLEMING: I joined Crosby Heafey as a full time appellate lawyer after I graduated from Berkeley law. It was great training and I worked with some superb appellate lawyers, such as Kathy Banke, Ray Cardozo and Jim Martin. I stayed in the appellate group for five years, but was always handling pro bono cases in addition to my commercial caseload. I argued my first Ninth Circuit appeal as a first year lawyer. It was a pro bono case (Garcia-Martinez v. Ashcroft) and led to a landmark decision on an issue related to mass rape during the Guatemalan civil war. That case got me hooked on human rights law – I took more and more pro bono cases over the next five years, but always carried a full time commercial caseload, as well.

By my fifth year Crosby Heafey had merged with Reed Smith, which was a much larger international firm. I was at a point in my career where I had to decide whether I would stay on the traditional partner track or take a different path. I was passionate about human rights work, so I asked if I could devote a hundred percent of my time to developing our pro bono programs at the firm. Reed Smith was looking to expand its pro bono programs at that time, so it worked out perfectly. LD: Can you describe your day-to-day job?

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BY JOHN RYAN JF: My day-to-day job is about 40 percent direct client representation in human rights cases, 40 percent mentoring and supervising lawyers on human rights cases, and 20 percent coordinating pro bono opportunities and interfacing with non-profits and legal service providers. We tend to develop signature projects that we staff with large teams of lawyers, so we’re not bogged down in a lot of day-to-day coordination of single cases. For example, we had a project in Haiti that was staffed with dozens of lawyers and paralegals and the management of that project was very streamlined over five years. We also represent Sean Penn’s nonprofit in Haiti and have about 15 lawyers on that representation. I serve as the equivalent of General Counsel to his NGO and coordinate all of the legal work our firm is handling.

We’ve just started a project in the Middle East and will create teams of lawyers for the project. We currently have 16 lawyers working on a rule of law project in Afghanistan, which I’m helping to coordinate. The advantage of large projects is that you can engage many lawyers while minimizing the need for micromanagement of a dozen small projects. Of course, we also have what some people call the “bread and butter of pro bono” – individual cases in the areas of domestic violence, homelessness, poverty law, etc., but our lawyers don’t require a lot of supervision on those cases. LD: How does the firm decide what cases to take? JF: We allow our lawyers to take on pro bono cases

in whatever areas they feel passionate about, so long as they qualify as pro bono. It’s a very bottomup approach, which I think creates the most vibrant and interesting pro bono practice. We also bring pro bono opportunities to our lawyers and rally volunteers for large projects and cases. These tend to be more time-intensive projects where we’re seeking volunteers to be part of a team. For example, we have nine capital cases and have created teams of lawyers to staff those cases. Our goal is to have a diverse menu of opportunities, while simultaneously making sure that lawyers have the latitude to find opportunities in areas of personal interest. LD: How did your interest in asylum cases begin? JF: I have a political science degree with a focus on

international development, so my interest in global affairs predates law school. However, I did not go to

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LD: Could you discuss some of the legal or logistical challenges associated with these cases? JF: It’s a good question with many possible answers.

I think there are three primary challenges common to all cases: One, courts in the United States have adopted such a narrow interpretation of refugee law that many people who deserve protection lose their cases and are deported back to danger; two, obtaining evidence to support cases is expensive and logistically challenging; and three, figuring out the strongest claim is hard because it requires probing into extremely painful areas and this puts torture survivors and asylum seekers at risk of re-trauma. Some clients will not be able to remember or recount details of past torture because they are so deeply traumatized; others will make up alternative stories because it is too painful to recount the real one. The lawyer’s job is to overcome these challenges and present a credible case that meets the legal requirements for asylum.

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500 law school so that I could become a human rights lawyer. I went to law school so that I could support my children. I was a single parent facing the very practical issue of how I would provide for them. When I was in law school at Berkeley, my goal was to graduate and get a job. I didn’t volunteer for legal clinics or take classes related to asylum or human rights law. As a first year lawyer at a commercial firm, I took on that pro bono case for a Guatemalan woman who had been gang raped by soldiers during the civil war. This case reawakened my interest in international development and global affairs. I took one pro bono case after another and another, always seeking to represent clients from parts of the world that I was interested in learning about. This is how I developed expertise as a human rights lawyer. Now, fifteen years later, I suppose you could say I’m using my political science degree in a way that I never dreamed possible.

of any of the grounds enumerated in the refugee statute, and (b) she filed her application one month after the one year deadline for seeking asylum. She was still a minor and suffering PTSD. Plainly, courts are interpreting the law too narrowly if this girl did not qualify for refugee protection. LD: How about logistical challenges? JF: We had a case last year involving a Honduran

mother and child who fled their country because of threats to their life. They were riding on top of the train in Mexico and fell off and were pulled under the train. The child lost his leg; the mother’s arm was crushed. We were trying to get them into the United States for medical care. The mother had no identity documents, which meant we could not prove who she was. Without this proof, the United States would not even consider her application for protection. This sort of logistical challenge can doom a case. We flew to Honduras twice to deal with consular officials in the capital and her local village in order to get her a birth certificate. It was costly, time-intensive, and logistically complicated. We had to involve a U.S. senator, an ambassador in Mexico, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and multiple other high level officials. You can see how impossible this might be for small practitioners. Ultimately, we got her a birth certificate and won the case. LD: And can you talk more about challenges faced when trying to find the strongest claims? JF: Many victims of persecution and torture suffer

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Some of the symptoms of PTSD are avoidance of traumatic memories, disassociation and detachment from the past torture, becoming flooded by memories of past trauma, and/ or total memory loss, or “blocking.” It’s very difficult for lawyers without mental health training to figure out what happened, fit the narrative within a legal framework, and prepare a client to testify in court.

kidnapped at the age of 16. Her abductor raped her repeatedly over a month to break down her defenses; he was planning to force her into prostitution in Greece. She escaped, and fled to the states through a high school exchange program. Although the man she had escaped was searching for her, an immigration judge denied her asylum. He ruled: (a) she was not persecuted on account

We had a case for a client from Syria that illustrates the challenges. The client testified about torture in Syria and the judge found him not credible because there were inconsistencies in his story. He could not remember certain details of the torture, for example, exactly how many days it had gone on, how many torturers there were. He was facing deportation to Syria. We accepted his case on appeal and hired a doctor to do a forensic medical exam. The doctor diagnosed him with PTSD and wrote a report explaining why he had memory loss and gaps in his story. More importantly, the doctor discovered burns on

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LD: Can we flesh those out a bit, starting with chal-

lenges associated with the laws involved?

JF: I have a case involving an Albanian girl who was

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his body that were consistent with burns from electric shocks. Photos and medical descriptions of the burns became forensic evidence in the case. Without this medical testimony, the client would have been sent back to his torturers. LD: Do you worry about burnout for yourself? JF: Burnout and vicarious trauma are very real and

serious threats to advocates who do this work full time. It’s critical to put protections into place to guard against it. One way that we do this is by team-staffing cases. For example, we never allow our lawyers to handle human rights cases, capital cases or police brutality cases alone. Team staffing creates an automatic sounding board, someone you can share the stress with, and someone who can serve as a check on “savior syndrome,” the belief that you’re the only one in the world who can help the client. On a personal level, I learned about burnout the hard way. I was traveling to Haiti six times a year and working with hundreds of victims of trauma. The work became overwhelming after three years and I had to scale it back. Fortunately, I was able to turn to my colleagues at the firm and ask for support, which they provided with great compassion. LD: With Haiti, why did you first go down there and what led you to become so deeply involved? JF: I went to Haiti after the earthquake because I

saw a humanitarian disaster and wanted to help. It’s the same impulse that most people had to the crisis. I was interested in evaluating the impact of the disaster through a human rights lens because human rights violations often go hand-in-hand with massive displacement of populations. In Haiti, over a million individuals were displaced from their homes and living in camps. We documented staggering levels of sexual violence in and around the camps in Haiti, which is what caused us to develop a major project there and return some thirty times over the next five years. There was a need, and we had the capacity to try and help, so we did. LD: What were the goals behind the formation of the mobile clinic? JF: The mobile refugee clinic grew out of Haiti. At the

most basic level, it involves sending legal teams to the center of a humanitarian crisis in order to help highly vulnerable refugees and displaced persons. The goal is to evacuate those at highest risk of death to a place where they may obtain protection and care. So far, we have evacuated over sixty women and children from

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Haiti and Central America. We launched a project in the Middle East in early 2015 and are taking our second mobile clinic to Jordan this month. LD: So this is a model that you and the other partners have talked about as a model for other situations? JF: We have talked internally at our firm about how

this model can be replicated by other organizations and firms. We’ve talked with UNHCR in DC about this and they agree it is a viable idea. We’re testing how “mobile” the clinic truly can be by undertaking a project in the Middle East. If we’re successful there, we will take it to Africa. We will also try and engage other law firms and organizations to join in our efforts. LD: Finally, can you also talk about your decision to start The Patricia Fleming Fund and whom that helps? JF: My mother, Patricia Fleming, was a tremendous

humanitarian and she was deeply passionate about social justice. I was working in Haiti before she died and I told her about the women I met there. She told me that she wanted me to give all of her dresses to women in Haiti after she died. She passed away a month later. I took all of her dresses to Haiti. This was the emotional connection between my mom and Haiti. There were non-legal costs associated with our work that we needed to cover. I asked friends and colleagues to chip in, and the Patricia Fleming Foundation was born. Since then, we’ve raised over $400,000, which includes $100,000 from UNHCR. We control how every dollar is spent and all of the funds have gone to women and children in Haiti. We used the funds to pay for safe houses for women and girls who were raped; we’ve provided housing to hundreds of women and children over the last five years. We have also used funds for medical care, livelihood projects, psychosocial support, food, clean water and other subsistence needs for families in our programs. In terms of logistics, when we need to pay for something in Haiti (e.g., a lease on a safe house, medical care) we wire the funds to our women’s liaison in Port au Prince and she pays the bill. We also have a case manager who monitors all of our families on a weekly basis so that we know that they are safe and their needs are met. That photo with the plants (pg. 208) has a little story behind it. My mother was a gardener and she believed plants were healing. With very traumatized clients, I’ve started taking them plants. An Iraqi client in Jordan recently told me that she is watching her plant grow and it is giving her hope. This made my day.

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Dragon With Dragon Tattoo ADAM STREISAND, MALIBU, CALIF.


Advocates for Workplace Fairness

Congratulations to Wayne Outten, Adam Klein, and Wendi Lazar for inclusion in the 2014 Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America

Outten & Golden focuses on a global scale on advising and representing individuals and groups in employment, partnership, and related workplace matters. The firm counsels individuals on employment and severance agreements; handles complex compensation and benefits issues (including matters involving I.R.C. Sections 409A and 280G, bonuses, commissions, and stock and option agreements and awards), and advises professional partners (including accountants, doctors, and lawyers) with contractual and strategic issues. It also represents employees with a wide variety of claims, including discrimination and harassment based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, race, disability, national origin, religion, and age, as well as retaliation, whistleblower, and contract claims. Outten & Golden is also at the forefront of family leave issues and veterans’ workplace rights. The firm handles some of the largest class action and impact litigations in the United States involving a wide range of employment issues, including economic exploitation, gender- and race-based discrimination, wage-and-hour violations, violations of the WARN Act, and other systemic workers’ rights issues.

Our 10 practice groups • Employee Benefits • Executives & Professionals • Financial Services • Sexual Harassment & Sex Discrimination • Family Responsibilities & Disabilities Discrimination • Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Transgender Workplace Rights • Discrimination & Retaliation • Whistleblower Retaliation • Class & Collective Actions • WARN Act Wayne N. Outten is the co-founder and managing partner of Outten & Golden and co-chairs its Executives & Professionals Practice Group. Adam T. Klein founded the firm’s class action practice and co-chairs the firm’s Class Action Practice Group. Wendi S. Lazar is Partner & Co-Chair of the Executives and Professionals Practice Group.

New York Chicago San Francisco www.outtengolden.com