Top Stories

Neal Katyal.

Litigator of the Week: Practice Makes Perfect for This Hogan Lovells Star

By Amanda Bronstad |

Hogan Lovells partner Neal Katyal scored a game changing win in a SCOTUS case that fundamentally alters the growing practice of mass tort litigation--starting right now. How'd he do it? Hint: “It’s not like I sit in my room and read the briefs.”

Oxycontin

A Blast From the (Smoky) Past: Are Opioid Suits the New Big Tobacco?

By Jenna Greene |

As states, cities and counties pile on to sue opioid manufacturers for fueling drug addiction, it's got a familiar feeling: the suits against big tobacco.

An advertisement for Trump University.

How a Nagging Flaw Could (and Should) Un-Do the Trump U Settlement

By Jenna Greene |

“A classic Catch-22.” “A Hobson’s choice.” “Deeply problematic.” That’s how a dozen top law school professors describe the Trump University fraud settlement in an amicus brief. It’s a strong argument—and it may be enough to persuade the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to reverse U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel’s March 31 approval of the settlement.

U.S. Federal Trade Commission building

In Suing to Block Merger of Fantasy Sports Sites, FTC Resists the Trump Steamroller

By Jenna Greene |

Antitrust is not especially political. But there's a perception that Republican administrations tend to be more willing to say yes to corporate mergers. The FTC, however, just issued an emphatic “no," filing suit on Monday to block the merger of two fantasy sports sites.

From Baker Botts to the Bench and Back: When Being a Judge Isn’t the Ultimate Job

By Jenna Greene |

Becoming a judge is supposed to be the brass ring, the crowning glory of a legal career. So what makes someone give it up to go back to private practice?

Kannon Shanmugam.

Litigator of the Week: No Complaints from Kannon Shanmugam

By Tony Mauro |

It has been an eventful spring for Williams and Connolly partner Kannon Shanmugam. In April, his wife Vicki gave birth to their third son, Henry. In May and June, the U.S. Supreme Court delivered two other bundles of joy: victories in both the cases he argued this term. "Two Supreme Court cases and a baby. I can't complain," Shanmugam said.

Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) questions Attorney General Jeff Sessions during a Senate Intelligence Committee regarding the firing of FBI Director James Comey, and Sessions’s alleged meetings with Russian officials, on June 13, 2017.

Girl (Senator) Interrupted: Women Litigators Feel Kamala Harris’ Pain

By Jenna Greene |

For the second time in a week, U.S. Senator Kamala Harris was interrupted by her male colleagues, who told the former prosecutor from California to back off aggressively questioning Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. For women litigators, it’s a depressingly familiar dynamic.

James Hurst.

20 Years, 5 Trials, and It’s Still Not Over: This Case is Like ‘Groundhog Day’ for Kirkland’s Hurst

By Jenna Greene |

In some ways, winning a $26 million jury award for age discrimination in 2002 against Abbott Laboratories was the worst thing that could have happened to former sales manager David Jelinek and his legal team. Because after the verdict was reversed on appeal 12 years ago, they’ve been chasing it ever since. And it’s not working.

Lynne Hermle, Orrick partner

Litigator of the Week: Shooting the Moon for SpaceX

By Ross Todd |

Orrick’s Lynne Hermle, an employment law trial specialist if there ever was one, has developed something of a sub-specialty recently. For the second time in the past eight months, Hermle this week convinced a Los Angeles jury to side with Elon Musk-led SpaceX in a lawsuit brought by a disgruntled former employee.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Jeff Sessions (Gulp) is Right—It’s a Problem to Dole Out Settlement Money to Third Party Groups

By Jenna Greene |

There’s a fine line between government settlements that promote justice and those that amount to windfalls for select non-profit organizations.

CrossFit Clobbers Competitor with Sanctions in False Advertising Case

By Jenna Greene |

It probably shouldn’t come as a surprise: CrossFit will kick your butt in court.

U.S. President Donald Trump sits during a meeting with Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Vietnam's prime minister, not pictured, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, May 31, 2017. Trump hasn't yet decided whether to keep the U.S. in the landmark Paris agreement on climate change but is leaning toward exiting the accord, according to two people familiar with the matter. Photographer: Olivier Douliery/Pool via Bloomberg

Worst. Client. Ever.

By Jenna Greene |

For such a frequent litigant, Donald Trump sure does stink at being a client. It’s a standard instruction, for god’s sake. Don’t talk about your case. Keep your mouth shut and let your lawyers do their thing.

L-R Paul Clement and Todd Cosenza.

When Not Even Paul Clement Can Save Your ($10 Billion) Case

By Jenna Greene |

Not even the former solicitor general could save a $10 billion fraud suit against Barclays Bank PLC. It was a big victory for Willkie Farr and Gallagher—and a nice illustration of why you don’t change horses in mid-stream.

Andrew Tulumello of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.

Litigator of the Week: A Big-League Double Play for This Gibson Dunn Litigator

By Cogan Schneier |

Andrew Tulumello co-chairs Gibson Dunn and Crutcher’s sports law practice, so he’s familiar with the term “double play.” He pulled one off this week, bringing home two big victories for his clients, including a Supreme Court win.

Leaping Litigators: Top 10 Lateral Moves in May

By Jenna Greene |

It’s getting hot outside, and the lateral litigator market is heating up too. High profile real estate and IP litigators found new homes in May, with MoFo and Fried Frank among the winners.

Scales of Justice: When Slack Fill Cases Aren’t Totally Stupid

By Jenna Greene |

Of all the injustices crying out to be righted, slack fill ranks pretty low. But that hasn’t stopped plaintiffs lawyers from bringing a flurry of cases against food and drug companies for under-filling their packaging, leaving empty, non-functional “slack fill” space. But not all cases are created equal.

San Francisco Gold Rush, the 49ers cheerleaders.

Plaintiffs Fumble on Cheerleader Suit

By Jenna Greene |

When a lawsuit involves an antitrust conspiracy with nearly $1 billion on the line, when the case has been covered by media including ABC News, Time Magazine and the Associated Press, when it involves the epitome of a sexy topic—cheerleaders for god’s sake—that’s not usually when a federal judge will urge counsel to let junior associates have a crack at oral argument.

Long & Levit partners Joseph McMonigle, right,  and Jessica MacGregor, left.

Litigators of the Week: When Your Client is a Retired Judge, You Better Bring Your A Game

By Scott Graham |

Defending JAMS Inc. and one of its neutrals over resume padding charges, these litigators soldiered through an unconventional three-week trial in San Diego Superior Court only to be faced with a possible jury deadlock.

Judge Joseph R. Goodwin.

This Federal Judge Is the King of Backlogs—But He’s Not the Only One

By Jenna Greene |

Poor U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin. The West Virginia judge had the biggest backlog of any federal judge in the country, with 20,139 cases pending for more than three years, according to a new report. Who else is in the slow lane?

(Clockwise from top left) Ted Olson, Robert Giuffra, Reid Weingarten and Marc Kasowitz.

Trump Taps Kasowitz—but Why Stop There? Elevator Pitch Suggestions for Olson, Giuffra and Weingarten

By Jenna Greene |

President Donald Trump will reportedly hire Marc Kasowitz as outside counsel to assist in the Russia probe. But why have just one first-chair litigator? Theodore Olson, Robert Giuffra Jr. and Reid Weingarten are also said to be in the running to join the team. What might their elevator pitches sound like?

Jamie Gorelick, left, and Robert Mueller, right.

Robert Mueller, Jamie Gorelick and the Wilmer Problem

By Jenna Greene |

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller III seemed like the perfect pick for special counsel. Except until last week, he was a partner at Wilmer Hale—where his colleague in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office, a fellow member of both the strategic response and regulatory and government affairs groups, was Jamie Gorelick. Jared Kushner’s lawyer. This could be a problem. A big one.

Joe McLaughlin of Simpson Thacher.

Shout-Out: A Pair of Wins for Simpson Thacher Class Action Star

By Jenna Greene |

It was a one-two punch for Simpson Thacher & Bartlett litigator Joseph McLaughlin, who racked up a pair of wins this week.

Joseph Sellers of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll.

Litigator of the Week: A Giant of the Plaintiffs Bar—and a Giant Settlement

By Cogan Schneier |

Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll partner Joseph Sellers just won approval of a major settlement in a decades-old discrimination class action, for what he hopes is the last time.

Shout-Out: Kirkland Wins Dismissal of Suits Blaming Facebook for Terror Attacks

By Jenna Greene |

A team from Kirkland & Ellis led by partner Craig Primis persuaded a federal judge in New York to toss a pair of suits alleging that Facebook Inc. supports terrorist organizations by allowing the groups to use its platform.

Alex Jones and Akin Gump sign

Akin Gump Prevails Over Alex Jones in Chobani Defamation Suit

By Jenna Greene |

Lawyers from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld made short work of conservative radio host Alex Jones, who attacked their client Chobani yogurt for “importing migrant rapists.”

President Donald Trump, left, and White House counsel Don McGahn, right.

The Case for Giving White House Counsel Don McGahn the Boot

By Jenna Greene |

Amidst rumors of an impending White House staff shakeup, there’s a new name on the potential hit list: White House Counsel Donald McGahn. It might not be such a bad idea.

Kentucky Family Court Judge W. Mitchell Nance

Judge Who Won’t Hear Gay Adoption Cases Faces Removal Bid (Or Is He Just Being Honest?)

By Jenna Greene |

Judicial bias is a tricky thing. It shouldn’t exist, of course—donning a black robe should confer superpowers that remove all traces of prejudice from the human mind. But in the real world, it’s not so simple. Which is why a complaint filed on Tuesday against a Kentucky judge raises some difficult questions.

FILE - In this Aug. 11, 2011, file photo, Gigi Jordan, the multimillionaire mother charged with killing her autistic 8-year-old son, appears in Manhattan Supreme court in New York. Jordan was sentenced Thursday, May 28, 2015, to 18 years in prison. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

Millionaire Mom Who Poisoned Son Loses $225M RICO Suit

By Jenna Greene |

It was a sad, sordid case, and it came to a merciful end on Friday, when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit dismissed it with prejudice, handing a win to lawyers from Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan.

An Open Letter to Morgan, Lewis & Bockius: I Hope You Know What You’re Doing

By Jenna Greene |

Just wondering—did you as a firm by chance notice how the president treated Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein last week? Did it give you pause before staking the reputation of your 144-year-old firm on a pledge that Trump has no financial ties to Russia, nope, no siree?

Left to right: Bill Lee and Joseph Mueller, WilmerHale.

Litigators of the Week: Shutting Down a $2 Billion Case Against Intel, Again

By Ben Hancock |

You might say Wilmer's William Lee and Joseph Mueller were in a good position heading into trial in Delaware on behalf of Intel Corp. The day it began, the judge compared their opponent’s case to someone “floating off into the inky blackness of space with no hope of survival or rescue.”

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.

Shout-Out: A Triple Play for Securities Litigators at Wilson Sonsini

By Jenna Greene |

Good things come in threes for securities litigators at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, who racked up three wins in less than a week.

James Comey, left, and Rod Rosenstein, right.

Rod Rosenstein’s Deal with the Devil

By Jenna Greene |

How did Rod Rosenstein, who for two weeks basked in the glow of being one of the few Trump appointees that Democrats didn’t despise, agree to go along with this? Was this the price of being the DAG? Calling Faust—Mephistopheles has a very attractive political appointment for you.

Why This Loss for the Legendary David Boies Is a Gain for the Rest of Us

By Jenna Greene |

If David Boies and co-counsel from Skadden had prevailed before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Tuesday, the government would have owed their clients at least $18.3 billion for claims that an amicus called "a stunning example of avarice."

Confidential Settlement? Not This Time, as Judge Unseals $20M Payment in Waterslide Death

By Jenna Greene |

It’s almost a given: the more horrific the injury, the more appalling the negligence, the more likely the inevitable lawsuit will settle on confidential terms. And so went the lawsuit against a Kansas City, Kansas amusement park, where 10-year-old Caleb Schwab was decapitated on a waterslide last year. Until The Kansas City Star got involved, that is.

Four Top Litigators Compete for Bragging Rights and a $40,000 Prize: Who Gave the Best Closing Argument?

By Jenna Greene |

Talk about a jury of your peers. Four of the top litigators in the country went toe-to-toe Friday at the annual meeting of the litigation section of the American Bar Association in San Francisco, competing before hundreds of attendees to see who gave the best closing argument. Each lawyer ponied up $10,000 to compete.

Rating the ABA Conference Swag

By Jenna Greene |

What do you give a lawyer who has everything? Besides a Ferrari, that is. For the stalwart vendors who exhibit at legal conferences, it’s a dilemma.

Beth Wilkinson of Wilkinson Walsh + Eskovitz.

Litigator of the Week: Going for the Jugular in Blood Thinner Bellwether

By Amanda Bronstad |

A federal jury in New Orleans deliberated for less than two hours before coming back this week with a defense win in the first bellwether trial over the blood thinner Xarelto. That’s a bona fide slam dunk--even for lead defense counsel Beth Wilkinson, who’s notched a streak of trial victories in her career.

Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington during his confirmation hearing to be the next U.S. Attorney General, on Tuesday, January 10, 2017.

When Laughing During a Congressional Hearing Is a Crime—But a Police Shooting Is Not

By Jenna Greene |

The same day that Justice Department lawyers won a criminal conviction against Desiree Fairooz for laughing during the confirmation hearing of Attorney General Jeff Session, they also announced that they didn’t have enough evidence to bring charges against the Louisiana police officers involved in the shooting death of Alton Sterling. Is this how it’s going to be, Mr. Attorney General?

There’s the Kushner Standard for a Security Clearance—and Then There’s Everyone Else

By Jenna Greene |

“No one has a ‘right’ to a security clearance,” the U.S. Supreme Court held 30 years ago in a rare case addressing the issue. Unless, apparently, your name is Jared Kushner.

Federal Judge Dares Plaintiffs Lawyer: Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

By Jenna Greene |

Add this to the list of things judges don’t like: When they make an erudite ruling from the bench dismissing a suit—and five seconds later are told by the plaintiffs’ lawyers that there’s a new witness, and could they please re-file the case? Yes, apples are juicy and delicious, but how many bites do you get?

Spring Awakening: The Top 10 Lateral Litigator Moves in April

By Jenna Greene |

Nothing like a mega-merger to shake up the legal market. Some of the biggest lateral litigator moves this month have come before the impending nuptials of Norton Rose Fulbright and Chadbourne & Parke. Meanwhile, Kirkland & Ellis landed a huge catch, and a trio of Big Law litigators launched a trial boutique.

Theodore Boutrous Jr.

Litigator of the Week: From Zero to Hero in Seven Days

By P.J. D’Annunzio |

It all comes back to square one. That’s how Gibson Dunn appellate litigator Theodore “Ted” Boutrous Jr. describes his strategy for handling appeals—and it helped Travelers Insurance dodge a $36 million bullet.

Freight train with coal in forest

Shout-Out: Kirkland and Crowell Score $109M for Railroad Clients

By Jenna Greene |

Litigators from Kirkland & Ellis and Crowell & Moring scored a $109 million win for their railroad clients in a contract fight with FirstEnergy Solutions Corp. over transporting coal.

U.S. District Judge William Orrick III, Northern District of California

Trump Blasts ‘Unelected’ Judge, But Who Has the Real Immigration Chops?

By Jenna Greene |

I admit, I have a judge crush on William Orrick III, whose place in my affection was cemented when he blocked President Trump’s executive order on sanctuary cities. And while he may be a "single, unelected judge," it's a good bet that he knows more about immigration law than the entire White House staff.

Alex Jones and Akin Gump sign

Akin Gump in the Crosshairs of Conservative Radio Host Alex Jones for Chobani Suit

By Jenna Greene |

Radio host Alex Jones is telling millions of listeners that Akin Gump was actually founded by George Soros--or as Jones calls him, the “Nazi collaborator demon.” That's how Jones explains the firm's representation of yogurt maker Chobani, which just sued him for defamation. Ridiculous? Yes. But a little bit scary too.

When the Second Circuit Says It’s OK to Call Your Boss a ‘Nasty Mother F---er‘

By Jenna Greene |

Is this the death of workplace civility? Open season against employers on Facebook? If you add “#Union” to a post, are you now free to say whatever horrible things you like? Calm down, not so fast. The Second Circuit offered a far more nuanced answer in upholding a controversial decision by the NLRB.

Litigator of the Week: An Appellate Attorney Fends Off Honda in a $55M Fight

By Max Mitchell |

After appellate attorney Howard J. Bashman appeared in front of a panel of Pennsylvania Superior Court judges with a $55 million verdict against Honda at stake, he quickly jumped on his appellate blog, “How Appealing,” to say how well the arguments went, and to subtly dig the opposing counsel for alleged cell phone use in court.

David Sochia.

McKool Smith MP on Market Doldrums, Winning on a Budget and Why Alternative Fees Aren’t the Answer

By Jenna Greene |

These are not the best of times for the business of litigation. The market is stagnant, with clients shying away from bringing new suits, keeping more work in-house and pushing back hard on costs. In a Q&A, McKool Smith managing partner David Sochia, an accomplished litigator who has taken on the mantle of law firm strategist, shares insights on how to thrive.

On her 16th birthday, Makenzie Wethington suffered major injuries from a skydiving accident in Chickasha, Oklahoma.

Payday for 16-Year-Old Girl Whose Parachute Malfunctioned

By Jenna Greene |

Ah personal injury law. Where you take your worst fears and put a price tag on them. Here’s a particularly vivid nightmare: What’s it worth when your parachute doesn’t open? When you plummet 3,000 feet to the ground and somehow survive, but with multiple injuries? That was the question before an Oklahoma federal judge last week after a Texas girl’s 16th birthday celebration went horribly awry.

U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan

Bad News for Trump: Latest Travel Ban Case to Feature Live Testimony

By Jenna Greene |

Here’s a travel ban case with a twist: live witnesses in court. On Tuesday, a federal judge in Washington, D.C. will allow testimony from witnesses including a Sheppard Mullin partner. The move seems distinctly advantageous to the plaintiffs, represented by an army of lawyers from Arnold & Porter.

Michael Imbroscio, left, and Paul Schmidt, right, of Covington & Burling.

The Massive Accutane Litigation Just Fell Apart After Judge Boots Expert ‘Hired Guns’

By Jenna Greene |

Any litigator knows a case can rise or fall on the testimony of an expert witness. A New Jersey state judge made that abundantly clear when he skewered the plaintiffs’ two experts in a long-running fight over the acne drug Accutane, banning their testimony and handing a huge win to Hoffman La Roche and Covington & Burling.

Garrard Beeney of Sullivan & Cromwell.

Litigator of the Week: The Brains Behind BlackBerry’s $815M Blowout

By Ben Hancock |

For a trial lawyer, sometimes backing away from a fight is the smartest move to make. That was the lesson that Sullivan & Cromwell partner Garrard Beeney said stuck with him as he argued his way to an $814.9 million arbitration win for BlackBerry that was handed down this week.

Why is Flying So Terrible? Blame These Antitrust Lawyers

By Jenna Greene |

You don’t have to be beaten and dragged off a flight to conclude that flying coach is a miserable experience these days. Wondering who to blame? Here’s a suggestion: antitrust lawyers--and yes, we're naming names. The ones who rammed through airline mergers--and the ones at DOJ who took the bait.

Lisa Bloom attends the world premiere of 'UNITY' at the DGA Theater on Wednesday, June 24, 2015 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Paul A. Hebert/Invision/AP)

Forget Paul Weiss: Lisa Bloom Wants NY State to Investigate ‘Cesspool’ Fox News

By Jenna Greene |

Arguing that Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison will not conduct an independent inquiry, high-profile plaintiffs lawyer Lisa Bloom on Tuesday asked the New York State Division of Human Rights to investigate sexual harassment at Fox News.

Surgical Gowns

A World of Hurt for King & Spalding in $454M Trial Loss

By Jenna Greene |

Say ouch. Kimberly-Clark Corp. and spin-off Halyard Health Inc. were hit with a $454 million fraud verdict in Los Angeles federal court on Friday in a lawsuit over surgical gowns that allegedly failed to protect medical personnel from infection.

President  Donald Trump.

A Tour of Trump Lawsuits: Flipped Out, Freaked Out and Just Plain Daffy

By Jenna Greene |

When you are president, people like to sue you. A lot.

Craig Hoover and Adam Levin, Hogan Lovells

Litigators of the Week: This Hogan Team Beat Back a $100 Million Class Action

By Robert Storace |

After years of litigating a $100 million class action against Anthem Inc. by 87,000 former employees and retirees of the state of Connecticut, Adam Levin found himself anxiously awaiting the Connecticut Supreme Court’s ruling on March 31.

L-R Lawrence Spiegel and Greg Litt, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & From, New York.

Shout-Out: Skadden Scores in FIFA Ethics Fight

By Jenna Greene |

A team from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom convinced soccer’s international governing body to lift a one-year ban on Saoud Al-Mohannadi, vice-president of the Asian Football Confederation and Qatar Football Association.

Judge Gary Thomas in 1986. He was appointed to the Marin County bench by Gov. Ronald Reagan in 1972. (Marin Independent Journal archives)

Prosecutor Left Paralyzed in Infamous Courthouse Hostage Fight Dies

By Jenna Greene |

The metal detectors, bag searches and armed bailiffs that are standard in courthouses today—this is where it started. In a courtroom in San Rafael, California in 1970 where a horrifying hostage standoff left a judge dead and an assistant DA paralyzed. But Gary Thomas, who went on to become a judge, was never bitter. "I feel blessed," he said.

Snapchat Logo

Ex-Snapchat Exec Goes Scorched Earth in Dispute with Company

By Jenna Greene |

A man who worked briefly at Snapchat before he was fired is making explosive claims that the company misled investors about user metrics in an effort to inflate its valuation before going public--never mind that the dispute is subject to (confidential) arbitration.

In Priest Sex Abuse Cases, a Sickening Calculation—and the Right Answer

By Jenna Greene |

Shouldn’t any diocese that turned a blind eye to pedophile priests be punished monetarily? But what if that means that church goes bankrupt, with no assets left to pay the victims? Is that justice? A federal bankruptcy judge in Minnesota wrestles with the issue.

Lateral Report: The Few, the Proud, the March Movers

By Jenna Greene |

There weren’t many run-of-the-mill lateral litigator moves in March, the kind where a mid-level partner at Big Firm A moves to Big Firm B, spouting something about platforms and synergy. Instead, the most notable March moves were propelled by something extra.

Reid Weingarten, left, and Brian Heberlig, right, of Steptoe & Johnson. November 28, 2016.

Litigators of the Week: How a Steptoe Team Got Their Client Off the Hook in Pay-to-Play Case

By P.J. D'Annunzio |

Reid Weingarten and Brian Heberlig of Steptoe & Johnson had four boxes full of evidence meant to destroy the credibility of Pennsylvania’s former treasurer on the witness stand. Turns out, they didn’t need to open a single box.

At Tesla, Doozy of a Lawsuit Met With Doozy of a Response

By Jenna Greene |

No namby-pamby ‘no comment’ for the electric car maker when it was hit with an employment discrimination lawsuit this week. Instead, Tesla practically litigated its entire case in a press release.

Deanna Rice, counsel at O’Melveny & Myers.

Behind an O’Melveny Lawyer’s SCOTUS Debut: Two Years, Four Moot Courts and a Plan of Attack

By Jenna Greene |

You always remember your first, whether it’s a kiss, a car, a parachute jump—or for a select few, your first argument before the U.S. Supreme Court. At 10 a.m. on Wednesday, O’Melveny & Myers counsel Deanna Rice will join the legal profession’s most elite club.

Keystone Approval: Bittersweet for Sidley Team?

By Jenna Greene |

All but lost in the hubbub over the failure of health care reform was news that the federal government on Friday formally greenlighted the Keystone XL Pipeline. Great news for TransCanada Corp., but perhaps bittersweet for its lawyers at Sidley Austin. A stellar team of litigators was poised to break new legal ground with two novel challenges.

Robin Cohen, partner at McKool Smith in New York City.

When Insurers Refused to Pay Verizon’s $48M Legal Bill, This Lawyer Hit Back

By Greg Land |

McKool Smith insurance recovery practice head Robin Cohen won big in Delaware, forcing insurers to pay Verizon's massive legal bill to several elite firms that successfully defended the company after a failed spin-off.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 30:  Dan Fegan, Chandler Parsons and Matthew Chevallard attend a Del Toro Chandler Parsons Event at Saks Fifth Avenue Beverly Hills on October 30, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Todd Williamson/Getty Images for Saks Fifth Ave / Del Toro)

Foul Shot: Gibson Dunn Slams NBA Agent

By Jenna Greene |

Sometimes you encounter a complaint of such breathtaking nastiness—like this beauty by Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher that evokes the movie "Jerry Maguire"—that you just have to stop and marvel.

FBI Director James Comey.

Cagey Comey’s Silence Could Speak Volumes

In one way, FBI Director James Comey did Donald Trump a favor on Monday when he testified that he found “no information” to back up the president’s claims that Barack Obama wiretapped his phones.

Neil Gorsuch: The Yelp Reviews

By Jenna Greene |

If appellate lawyers wrote Yelp reviews, Neil Gorsuch would get five stars. At least that's the impression from lawyers who shared their memories of arguing before the Supreme Court nominee at the Tenth Circuit.

Left to right: Colleen Roh Sinzdak and Neal Katyal of Hogan Lovells

The Hogan Associate (and Partner) Who Knocked Out the Travel Ban

By Cogan Schneier |

Colleen Roh Sinzdak only had a half a cup of coffee the morning before she argued against President Donald Trump’s newest immigration executive order in the U.S. District Court of Hawaii. But the Hogan Lovells associate knows she talks too fast when she’s had caffeine, and she’s “never argued a case of this magnitude" she said. Little wonder.

OSAKA, JAPAN - SEPTEMBER 26 2016: Human Size T-800 Endoskeleton Model from the Terminator 3D in Universal Studios japan

This is the Most Terrifying Lawsuit Ever

By Jenna Greene |

It’s like something out of “The Terminator.” A Michigan woman who worked in an auto parts factory was killed by a robot that inexplicably left its section and came into hers, where it “hit and crushed [her] head between a hitch assembly.”

A New Way to Get Inside a Juror's Mind

By Ben Hancock |

When I first sat down to meet Rosanna Garcia, the CEO and co-founder of an AI jury selection software startup called Vijilent, she already knew I grew up in Seattle. I hadn’t told her that yet. But she knew anyway.

Matthew Moore of Latham & Watkins.

This Latham Partner Had a Very Good Day

By Jenna Greene |

Five. That’s how many wins Latham & Watkins partner Matthew Moore racked up in a single day before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit last week

John Pierce, of Pierce Sergenian.

This New Litigation Boutique Has Big Law-Size Ambitions

By Jenna Greene |

For a firm that’s barely two months old, litigation boutique Pierce Sergenian is making some bold projections. “I’m a bold guy,” said co-founder John Pierce, a former partner at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan and Latham & Watkins, and—briefly— the co-head of litigation at K&L Gates.

Shout-Out: Kirkland Just Made Chipotle Feel A Lot Better

By Jenna Greene |

Beleaguered Chipotle Mexican Grill has one less thing to worry about, thanks to Kirkland & Ellis. The fast-casual restaurant chain is off the hook in a shareholder class action stemming from a rash of food poisoning outbreaks in 2015.

Left to right: Daniel Pascucci and Joseph Dunn Mintz Levin

When Hiding Assets Doesn’t Work: How Mintz Levin Recovered $20M for Cheated Client

By Jenna Greene |

Winning is great—but not if your client can’t collect. Faced with a defendant who tried just about every trick to hide assets, including a bankruptcy filing, off-shore fund maneuvering and dissolution of the business, a team from Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo wouldn’t take no for an answer.

L-R Bart Williams and Manuel Cachan

Litigators of the Week: How New Lawyers Broke J&J's Losing Streak in Talc Trials

By Amanda Bronstad |

Following a month of trial, a Missouri jury found that Johnson & Johnson wasn’t liable for a Tennessee woman’s ovarian cancer. It was the first defense win in the talcum powder litigation for Johnson & Johnson, which was hit with verdicts of $55 million, $70 million and $72 million last year from jurors in the same St. Louis courthouse. What changed?

Robert Bennett of Hogan Lovells

Bob Bennett Notches Surprise Win in Health Care Fraud Case

By Jenna Greene |

The legendary Hogan Lovells litigator scored a huge—and unexpected—win when a federal judge on Tuesday tossed out the jury’s guilty verdict, ruling that the Justice Department did not prove its criminal case that a prominent Kentucky cardiologist defrauded the government.

I Spy Trouble for Vizio

By Jenna Greene |

Vizio got off for peanuts last month in a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, but the television maker may not be so lucky in a pending MDL.

Katie Marquart, left, and Robert Blume, right.

Gibson Dunn Wins Parole for Afghan Family Inexplicably Detained for Days at LAX

By Jenna Greene |

“The betrayal of this family by the U.S. government shocks the conscience,” wrote lawyers from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and Public Counsel in a habeas petition.

Adam and Amber Briggle and their two children.

Cooley Submits a Powerful—and Personal—Brief in Transgender Bathroom Case

By Jenna Greene |

Sometimes the best way to argue your case is to tell a story. Take the unconventional and deeply moving amicus brief that Cooley and the Transgender Law Center filed last week with the U.S. Supreme Court in Gloucester County School Board v. G.G.

Republican candidate for president Donald Trump.

No, a Good Lawyer Could Not Make a 'Great Case' Out of Trump’s Wiretap Claim

By Jenna Greene |

Unless Obama used a slush fund to hire a rogue ex-spy to sneak into Trump Tower via the elevator shaft, Donald Trump probably shouldn't be making a fuss about his phones being tapped.

Milbank partners Chris Gaspar, left, and Michael Nolan, right.

Shout-Out: Milbank Wins Confirmation of Record-Setting Patent Arbitration Award for Bayer

By Jenna Greene |

In what Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy describes as the largest known arbitration award involving a patent dispute, partners Chris Gaspar and Michael Nolan won confirmation from the U.S. Court of Federal Appeals for a $456 million-plus payment to their client, Bayer CropScience.

Robert Giuffra, left, and Brendan Cullen, right.

Litigators of the Week: Knocking Out the Last of the Enron Suits

By Miriam Rozen |

Some wins take time. Sullivan & Cromwell partners Robert Giuffra Jr. and Brendan Cullen know that for sure--it took them almost 15 years to win dismissal of a would-be class action against UBS stemming from Enron's collapse.

(l-r) Robert Khuzami, Erin Murphy, and John O'Quinn.

A Big Law Prognosis for FCPA, IP and White-Collar Enforcement Under Trump

By Jenna Greene |

Don’t expect a lot of record-setting penalties or “first-ever” prosecutions coming out of the Trump administration—but litigators who specialize in False Claims Act and IP cases should stay busy.

Lateral Love: Top Litigator Moves in February

By Jenna Greene |

Lateral litigator moves appear to have cooled a bit in February, but some big names still found new homes. Here are 10 of the month's most notable moves.

James Sandman.

The Single Worst Thing Trump’s Budget Could Do to Our Justice System

By Jenna Greene |

At a time when the ACLU is raking in donations and basking in high-profile love (those blue ribbons at the Oscars? OMG!), the Legal Services Corp. is like the mousy, overlooked sister—not nearly so glamorous, but doing work that is absolutely essential. We cannot allow it to be destroyed.

Does Virtual Reality Belong in the Courtroom?

By Ben Hancock |

It would certainly help jurors to pay attention, or at least not fall asleep. But would virtual reality re-creations really get a jury closer to the truth?

Benjamin Razi and Bruce Baird of Covington

Covington Team Takes Fight to the Feds to Make Clients Whole

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

Lawyers from Covington & Burling faced a formidable opponent and carried the burden of proof. But the team overcame those challenges to persuade a jury that the federal government should return assets seized from a Chinese couple running an import-export business.

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, DC

How a Slam Dunk Victory Almost Slipped Away—and the Lawyering That Saved It

By Scott Graham |

Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer counsel Krista Carter faced a hot bench at the Federal Circuit earlier this month as she defended what looked like a bulletproof patent infringement judgment.

Flush With Cash, the ACLU Staffs Up—and Gets Ready to ‘Carpet Bomb’

By Jenna Greene |

Since the election, the American Civil Liberties Union has raked in $79 million in online contributions. Here's how it plans to use the money.

Craig Primis, Winn Allen and Devora Allon of Kirkland & Ellis

A Look at the Lawyers Who Won Key Battle in Water War

By Katheryn Hayes Tucker |

From the beginning, the Kirkland team’s strategy was to make it impossible for Florida to build its case against Georgia in an epic battle over water rights.

David Boies of Boies Schiller & Flexner.

War Stories: David Boies on the Long Fight—and ‘Maddening’ Finale—in Defending Hank Greenberg

By Jenna Greene |

In an interview by phone from a sailboat in the Caribbean, David Boies tells the story of how he whittled down the epic litigation against ex-AIG CEO Hank Greenberg, why the case finally settled after 12 years of fighting and what he thinks of New York AG Eric Schneiderman’s attempt to spin the settlement.

Don McGahn

For White House Counsel Donald McGahn, an Unwelcome Spotlight

By Jenna Greene |

If the president’s lawyer is in the news, that usually means something has gone very wrong. Just over three weeks into his tenure as President Trump’s White House counsel, Donald McGahn is discovering this first-hand.

Clara Shin.

Shout-Out: Covington Wins Trade Secrets Trial with $500M on the Line

By Jenna Greene |

With only five months before trial, a team of litigators from Covington & Burling parachuted into a trade secrets case against a division of McKesson Corp. with half a billion dollars at stake.

Pushing Back Against Imaginary Voter Fraud with a Real-Life Lawsuit

By Jenna Greene |

To the Trump administration and its surrogates: consider yourselves warned. You’ll have a fight on your hands if you try to take voting rights away.

Rudy Giuliani.

Will Rudy Giuliani's Loose Lips Sink the Travel Ban for Good?

By Jenna Greene |

Here are two cardinal sins for an attorney: saying something publicly that hurts your client’s case. And bad lawyering. Rudy Giuliani appears to be guilty of both

Volkswagen cars parked at a Volkswagen car dealership in Knoxville, TN.

Court Says ‘Nein’ to Overseas Discovery Bid in VW Case

By Jenna Greene |

Nice try. But no. This week, a magistrate judge in San Francisco sided with VW and rejected five applications by plaintiffs in Europe for access to 20 million pages of documents produced by the automaker in the U.S. MDL.

(l-r) Shaimaa Hussein, Paul Hughes, and Andrew Pincus.

Litigators of the Week: Travel Ban First Responders, Take a Bow

By Robin McDonald |

Working in an atmosphere rife with uncertainty, misinformation and often devoid of communication by government officials, these lawyers surrendered sleep, prepared for every contingency and, in some cases, went with their gut to bring their clients safely to the United States.