News Feed News Description Firm Reclaims <i>AmLaw</i> #1 Pro Bono Firm Ranking <p> Jenner &amp; Block has been recognized as the No. 1 law firm in the country for pro bono service by <em>The American Lawyer</em> magazine in its 2014 pro bono rankings.&nbsp; This marks the sixth time the firm has achieved this ranking—and the fifth time the firm has done so in the past seven years.&nbsp; Jenner &amp; Block previously attained the top spot in 2012, 2010, 2009, 2008 and 1998 and has placed among the leading 10 pro bono programs nationwide every year since the<em>AmLaw</em> survey began in 1990.&nbsp;</p> <p> The 2014 rankings are based on pro bono hours performed in 2013.&nbsp; Jenner &amp; Block obtained the top ranking through a combination of logging 175 average pro bono hours per attorney and having 87 percent of our attorneys contribute more than 20 hours to pro bono matters – 100 percent of associates and approximately 72 percent of partners.&nbsp; Overall, Jenner &amp; Block attorneys performed more than 79,700 hours of pro bono work in 2013—a firm record.&nbsp;</p> <p> <em>The American Lawyer’s </em>July edition includes a <a href="">long article</a> describing the firm's pro bono program and noting that its 175-hour average equals a month of “save-the-world work” for every lawyer in the firm.&nbsp; The&nbsp;article quotes Pro Bono Committee Co-Chair <a href="">Jeff Koppy</a> as explaining, “It doesn’t take a lot of cajoling, because everybody buys in at Jenner.”&nbsp; The article also spotlights Partner <a href="">Reena Bajowala </a>for her representation of tenants of Evergreen Terrace in Joliet, Illinois; the firm’s <a href="">transactional work on a solar power plant in Rwanda</a>; and the firm’s <a href="">win for Nicole Harris</a>.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> 2 Jul 2014 Melissa Cox, Eddie Jauregui Selected as “Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40” <p> Jenner &amp; Block Associates <a href="">Melissa A. Cox</a> and <a href="">Eddie&nbsp; A. Jauregui</a> have been named 2014 “Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40” by the National LGBT Bar Association.&nbsp; The annual award, now in its fifth year, recognizes 40 LGBT legal professionals under the age of 40, from across the country, “who have distinguished themselves in their field and demonstrated a profound commitment to LGBT equality.”</p> <p> The LGBT Bar is the nation’s largest organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and allied legal professionals.&nbsp; Its announcement of the selections noted, “These young professionals represent the very best of our profession.&nbsp; They come from law firms, non-profits, corporations and the government.&nbsp; Their extraordinary accomplishments underscore the significant talent the LGBT community brings to the legal profession, and highlight the real change our members make in the lives of their clients, their community and their country, every single day.”</p> <p> Both Melissa and Eddie have flourishing litigation practices in their respective areas.&nbsp; Melissa is a member of the firm’s Complex Commercial Litigation Practice.&nbsp; Currently, she is a key member of a firm team representing Marriott and Ritz-Carlton in a management contract dispute with a luxury hotel owner.</p> <p> As a member of the firm’s White Collar Defense and Investigations Practice, Eddie has played a significant role in expanding the firm’s international footprint, working on internal investigations as well as on a variety of high-profile proceedings, including representing clients in the United States and overseas (Japan) in matters involving the Department of Justice.</p> <p> In addition, Eddie and Melissa maintain active pro bono practices, participate in organized bar activities and serve on firm committees – Melissa currently co-chairs the Associates Committee; Eddie is a member of the Associate Board of the Diversity &amp; Inclusion Committee.</p> <p> Melissa and Eddie will be recognized at an awards luncheon on August 23, 2014, during the Lavender Law Conference &amp; Career Fair in New York City.</p> 7 Jul 2014 Jenner & Block Client Wins at U.S. Supreme Court <p> Jenner &amp; Block recently won a victory before the U.S. Supreme Court, on behalf of Firm client Nomura Home Equity Loan, when the Court granted Nomura’s Petition for Certiorari in&nbsp;<em>Nomura Home Equity Loan, et al. v. National Credit Union Administration (NCUA)</em>, vacated the adverse decision of the Tenth Circuit, and remanded the matter to the Tenth Circuit for reconsideration in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling on a similar issue in another case.&nbsp; The NCUA is the federal agency that regulates, charters and supervises federal credit unions.&nbsp; Nomura and several other banks had asked the Court to vacate an opinion of the Tenth Circuit, affirming a District Court of Kansas order, which had held that NCUA’s securities law claims, stemming from the sale of residential mortgage-backed securities were not time-barred because a so-called “extender statute” – a federal law that allows NCUA more time to file claims beyond that permitted by the applicable statute of limitations – allowed the NCUA more time to file claims beyond that permitted by the Securities Act statute of repose. &nbsp;</p> <p> On June 16, 2014, the Supreme Court issued an order granting Nomura’s cert petition, vacating the judgment below, and remanding the case to the Tenth Circuit to consider whether the Supreme Court’s ruling one week earlier, in another case, had a bearing on the <em>Nomura </em>case.&nbsp; In this other case, <em>CTS Corp. v. Waldburger, </em>the Supreme Court held that a federal pollution cleanup law extending the CERCLA statute of limitations, which never mentions statutes of repose, did not preempt North Carolina’s statute of repose for environmental cleanups.&nbsp; That ruling calls into question whether a federal law extending statute of limitations for actions brought by NCUA, but which never mentions statutes of repose, also permits NCUA to file actions beyond the applicable statute of repose period.&nbsp; The Tenth Circuit has asked for expedited briefing on the effect of this Supreme Court’s ruling on the <em>Nomura </em>case.&nbsp; Partner <a href="">Barbara S. Steiner</a> led the team that included Partners <a href="">Matthew S. Hellman</a>, <a href="">Barry Levenstam</a>, <a href="">Paul M. Smith</a> and <a href="">Matthew J. Thomas</a>; Associates <a href="">Nicole C. Berg</a>, <a href="">Casey T. Grabenstein</a> and <a href="">Christopher J. Karacic</a>; and Paralegals W. Michael Hughes and Mary Frances Patston.</p> 7 Jul 2014 Steven Trybus Named Vice-Chair of Federal Circuit Bar Association Patent Litigation Committee <p> Jenner &amp; Block Partner <a href="">Steven R. Trybus</a> has been named a vice-chair of the Patent Litigation Committee of the Federal Circuit Bar Association (FCBA) for 2014-2015.&nbsp; The committee studies decisions of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the federal district courts.&nbsp; It focuses on the impact of patent law and trial procedure, makes recommendations to the FCBA Board, and assists in developing programs for the organization’s regional and national meetings.&nbsp; It is currently addressing two important projects: drafting updated Markman guidelines and preparing a Model Jury Verdict form.</p> <p> Steve is a member of the firm’s Patent Litigation and Counseling and Technology Litigation Practices.&nbsp; He concentrates on patent infringement litigation in court and in contested U.S. Patent and Trademark Office proceedings and related counseling.&nbsp;&nbsp;He is experienced in a variety of technologies ranging from electronics, software, telecommunications and optical media to polymers, petroleum refining, pharmaceuticals and medical devices.&nbsp; He also has worked with technology related to containers, food processing equipment and other mechanical devices.</p> 8 Jul 2014 Melissa Root Named a Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow for 2015 <p> Jenner &amp; Block Partner <a href="">Melissa M. Root</a> has been named a 2015 Fellow of Leadership Greater Chicago,&nbsp;a 30-year-old nonprofit organization whose purpose is to cultivate a growing and diverse group of business, public and civic leaders for the Chicago area.</p> <p> Each year, approximately 35 of the city’s most promising young individuals are selected for the program.&nbsp; Criteria include a demonstrated capacity for leadership in their chosen careers, a likelihood of achieving positions of substantial responsibility, a record of civic activity and/or a genuine interest in becoming more involved in the Greater Chicago civic arena.</p> <p> The program’s goal is to foster a lifelong commitment to civic engagement among its diverse Fellows, who represent business, civic, nonprofit and government sectors. &nbsp;With the first Fellows class nominated in 1984, the program to date counts more than 900 alumni, including First Lady Michelle Obama; U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan; Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez; Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan; Valerie Jarrett, senior adviser to President Obama; and&nbsp;President of the Chicago Board of Education David Vitale.&nbsp;</p> <p> Other Jenner &amp; Block attorneys who have been selected for this prestigious program include Partners <a href="">Debbie L. Berman</a>, who currently serves as Vice President of the LGC Board; <a href="">Amanda S. Amert</a>; <a href="">Matthew D. Basil</a>; <a href="">Philip L. Harris</a>; <a href="">Keri L. Holleb Hotaling</a>; <a href="">Eric A. Sacks</a>; <a href="">Michael A. Scodro</a>; and <a href="">John R. Storino</a>.</p> <p> As a Fellow, Melissa will participate in an intensive 10-month program, studying complex urban issues and meeting with the decision-makers who are working to solve them.&nbsp; It is an unparalleled opportunity for in-depth learning about the issues facing the Chicago area and becoming part of a diverse network of leaders working to make a difference.</p> <p> Melissa is a member of the firm’s Bankruptcy, Workout and Corporate Reorganization; Bankruptcy Litigation; and ERISA Litigation Practices.&nbsp; She represents a broad range of clients, including Chapter 11 debtors, creditors' committees, Chapter 7 trustees, and creditors and also advises clients in out-of-court restructurings and in purchasing distressed assets. &nbsp;For the past three years, Melissa has been named a “Rising Star” in Bankruptcy &amp; Creditor/Debtor Rights by <em>Illinois Super Lawyers. &nbsp;</em>She&nbsp;is a former Chair of the Board of Directors of the International Women's Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation (Chicago Network) and presently serves on its board of directors.&nbsp; She also currently serves as the programming chair of the American Bar Association’s Bankruptcy &amp; Insolvency Litigation Committee and recently completed a two-year term as a member of the Bench/Bar Liaison Committee for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois. &nbsp;She currently serves as Vice Chair of the Associate Board of the Young Women’s Leadership Charter School, the only all-girls public school in Chicago.</p> 10 Jul 2014 Root Appointed Co-Chair of ABA Bankruptcy and Insolvency Committee <p> Jenner &amp; Block Partner <a href="">Melissa M. Root</a> has been appointed co-chair of the American Bar Association’s Bankruptcy and Insolvency Litigation Committee.&nbsp; Melissa will start her year-long term in September.&nbsp; The Committee has more than 500 members and oversees 11 subcommittees.</p> <p> Melissa is a member of the Bankruptcy, Workout and Corporate Reorganization, Bankruptcy Litigation and ERISA Litigation Practices.&nbsp; She is experienced in sizeable bankruptcy cases. She frequently represents parties in large complex bankruptcy litigation matters and also frequently represents debtors and trustees in Chapter 11 cases. She also serves as the programming chair of the Bankruptcy &amp; Insolvency Litigation Committee of the American Bar Association.</p> 11 Jul 2014 Damien Specht Testifies Before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce <p> <a href="">Damien C. Specht</a>, special counsel at Jenner &amp; Block and co-chair of the firm’s Government Contracts Corporate Transactions Practice Group, testified on July 15, 2014, before the House Committee on Small Business, Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce. &nbsp;Damien was invited to provide his perspective on the Small Business Administration’s implementation of specialized contracting rules. &nbsp;At Jenner &amp; Block, he focuses on corporate transactions and compliance counseling for large and small government contractors.</p> <p> In his testimony, Damien offered his perspective on three yet-to-be implemented contracting reforms arising from the enacted 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA): &nbsp;expansion of&nbsp;the SBA’s mentor-protégé program; regulation of other agency mentor-protégé programs; andimplementation of a safe harbor for small businesses that misrepresent their size. &nbsp;He advocated for expanding the SBA’s mentor-protégé program beyond small disadvantaged businesses and noted that this expansion would provide large business contractors with more reliable small business partners. &nbsp;He also spoke of the need to create greater awareness of the SBA mentor-protégé program in the contracting community, as the opportunities for small and large-scale contractors to bid together as joint venturers offer distinct business advantages. &nbsp;Furthermore, Damien testified that Congress should expand the Small Business Administration’s current safe harbor provisions for size misrepresentation because the current provisions are inadequate and create high risk for small businesses who seek to compete for government contracts. &nbsp;</p> <p> Please <a href="">click </a><a href="">here</a> to read Damien's testimony and <a href="">click here</a> to view a video.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> 15 Jul 2014 Stromberg Profiled as a <i>Law360</i> Dealmaker <p> Jenner &amp; Block Partner <a href="">G. Thomas Stromberg</a> is featured in a <em>Law360</em> profile.&nbsp; Titled “<a href="">Dealmakers Q&amp;A: Jenner &amp; Block’s Tom Stromberg</a>,” the article includes Tom’s answers to five questions: 1. his most challenging deal (a Fortune 500 manufacturer in the&nbsp; United States that was entering into multiple joint ventures with a Chinese company); 2. aspects of regulation affecting his practice that need reform (the California Finance Lenders Law); 3. upcoming trends (developments in the junior capital markets, acquisitions by Asian companies); 4. his advice to an aspiring dealmaker (learn the basics; understand the deal motivation; understand the business world; know the basics of accounting; and find a mentor); and 5. a dealmaker outside his firm who has impressed him (Michael Tyler, general counsel, Jacobs Engineering).</p> <p> Tom is a partner in the Transactional Department and a member of the Corporate and Mergers and Acquisitions Practices.&nbsp; He concentrates his practice in representing managed money that is invested in the acquisition and financing of private companies.</p> 17 Jul 2014 Jessica Hertz, Former Counsel to Vice President Biden, Joins Jenner & Block <p> <a href="">Jessica R. Hertz</a> has joined Jenner &amp; Block as a member of the firm’s Litigation Department and the Government Controversies and Public Policy Litigation Practice in its Washington, D.C. office.</p> <p> Ms. Hertz joins the firm after more than five years in senior positions in the Executive Branch.&nbsp; Most recently, she served as principal deputy counsel to Vice President Joseph R. Biden for nearly two years, during which time she provided strategic advice on a wide range of compliance and risk management issues.</p> <p> Before joining Vice President Biden, Ms. Hertz served in the U.S. Department of Justice as counsel to Deputy Attorney General James Cole.&nbsp; She also served as a special assistant U.S. attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.&nbsp; Before that, Ms. Hertz served in the U.S. Office of Management and Budget as counselor to the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, where she focused on regulatory compliance and public policy matters.</p> <p> As senior counsel, she will work closely with Partner <a href="">Thomas J. Perrelli</a>, co-chair of the Government Controversies and Public Policy Litigation Practice, in representing clients with significant disputes with the federal and state governments, with a particular focus on the financial services and education sectors.&nbsp;</p> <p> Mr. Perrelli recently was appointed to monitor a $7 billion settlement agreement between the Department of Justice and Citigroup over the sale of mortgage securities.&nbsp; In May, Mr. Perrelli was appointed as an independent settlement administrator to oversee compliance by Ashford University and its parent company Bridgepoint Education, with provisions related to recruitment and enrollment practices in a settlement with the Iowa Attorney General.&nbsp;</p> <p> Ms. Hertz’s association with the firm adds to several high-profile hires in the past year that include <a href="">Neil M. Barofsky</a>, the former special inspector general for TARP; <a href="">Joseph L. Noga</a>, the former deputy chief of litigation for GE Capital; and <a href="">Jeremy M. Creelan</a>, former special counsel to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.</p> <p> “The caliber of Jenner &amp; Block’s corporate investigations practice is demonstrated by the firm’s recent high-profile assignments, including its appointment as monitor in several recent cases,” said Jenner &amp; Block Managing Partner <a href="">Terrence J. Truax</a>.&nbsp; “Jessica’s reputation for the highest quality work enhances our ability to provide our clients with the sophisticated legal services they need, especially where legal issues are intertwined with significant political or policy challenges.”</p> <p> According to Mr. Perrelli, “Jessica’s blend of investigation, political, and policy experience will significantly augment the firm’s capabilities in representing private clients dealing with regulatory or other disputes with the government.&nbsp; In particular, Jessica’s experience with educational institutions will enhance our growing practice in this area.”&nbsp;</p> <p> Ms. Hertz graduated <em>cum laude</em> from Harvard College and received her law degree from the University of Chicago Law School, where she served as articles editor of its <em>Law Review</em>.&nbsp; Following law school graduation, she served as a clerk to the Hon. Sonia Sotomayor (now U.S. Supreme Court Justice) at the U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit.&nbsp; She then clerked for the Hon. Barbara Jones, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, before beginning her government service.</p> <p> Ms. Hertz is admitted to practice in New York.</p> 23 Jul 2014 Reena Bajowala named to Lawyers of Color “Hot List” <p> Jenner &amp; Block Partner <a href="">Reena Bajowala</a> has been named to the second annual Lawyers of Color “Hot List,” a distinction for early- to mid-career minority attorneys under 40 who are excelling in the profession.&nbsp; She was honored at a reception hosted by Quarles &amp; Brady last week and is profiled in the July issue of <em>Lawyers of Color Hot List 2014</em>.</p> <p> Reena is a partner in the firm’s Complex Commercial Litigation Practice.&nbsp; She is also a member of the Class Action, Technology Litigation and ERISA Litigation Practices.&nbsp; She has handled a variety of complex commercial litigation matters involving financial transactions, consumer fraud, corporate reorganization and benefits plans.&nbsp; She is an experienced trial attorney who recently served as first chair on two federal trials. &nbsp;Reena regularly counsels and defends employers and service providers in federal actions involving defined contribution, defined benefit, employer stock option, short-term disability and other ERISA-governed plans.</p> <p> Reena has been actively involved in efforts to foster diversity in the legal profession throughout her career.&nbsp; In 2014, she received a &nbsp;“Most Powerful &amp; Influential Woman Award” from the Illinois Diversity Council.&nbsp; She is a 2013 Fellow of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity. &nbsp;Reena serves on the firm’s Diversity &amp; Inclusion Committee and is one of the founders of the firm’s Mother Circle.&nbsp;</p> <p> Lawyers of Color was initially focused on publications for the Black Lawyer but has expanded its reach to lawyers of South Asian American, Pacific Asian American, Hispanic and Native American heritage and also provides research, career development and brand marketing opportunities for lawyers of color.</p> 25 Jul 2014 Partner Ken Klein Honored for Exceptional Service as LA Law Library Trustee <p> The LA Law Library will hold a reception honoring Partner <a href="">Kenneth D. Klein</a> for serving for more than two decades on the library’s board of trustees.&nbsp; The law library, established in 1891, is the second largest public library in the United States and is a global leader in providing state-of-the-art legal research and services.&nbsp; Seven board of trustee members govern the library, including five Superior Court judges who are appointed by the presiding judge of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County and two attorneys who are appointed by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.&nbsp; Ken is one of the longest serving trustees.&nbsp; The reception will be held on July 30, 2014 at the LA Law Library in Los Angeles.</p> <p> Ken is a Fellow of the prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers.&nbsp; His experience includes a wide range of complex business litigation matters that have resulted in numerous trials in both federal and state courts.&nbsp; He has been lead counsel in a substantial number of cases, including litigation involving breach of contract, fraud, sexual and racial discrimination, accounting malpractice, consumer class actions, tortious inference, and antitrust.&nbsp; Ken is a frequent contributor to the <em>Los Angeles Daily Journal</em> and has been named to the <em>Southern California Super Lawyers</em> list every year since 2005.</p> 29 Jul 2014 Jenner & Block Helps Successfully Advocate for 4th Circuit’s Rejection of Virginia’s Same-Sex Marriage Ban <p> Jenner &amp; Block helped achieve a victory for approximately 14,000 same-sex couples in Virginia when, on July 28, 2014, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled 2-1 to affirm a district court ruling striking down the commonwealth’s ban on gay marriage.</p> <p> In <em>Bostic v. Shaefer</em>, Jenner &amp; Block along with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the ACLU of Virginia and Lambda Legal represent a class of all unmarried same-sex couples in Virginia and all same-sex couples in Virginia who had already married in a different jurisdiction (the Harris Class). The class action was originally filed as separate litigation in the Western District of Virginia on behalf of Joanne Harris, Jessica Duff, Christy Berghoff and Victoria Kidd as class representatives for all same-sex couples in Virginia who wish to marry there or who have married in other jurisdictions. After a court in the Eastern District of Virginia struck down Virginia's marriage bans in <em>Bostic</em>, the Harris Class intervened as a party at the Fourth Circuit to have its constitutional challenges decided as part of the Bostic litigation.</p> <p> In his opinion, Judge Henry F. Floyd wrote: “Civil marriage is one of the cornerstones of our way of life. It allows individuals to celebrate and publicly declare their intentions to form lifelong partnerships, which provide unparalleled intimacy, companionship, emotional support, and security. The choice of whether and whom to marry is an intensely personal decision that alters the course of an individual’s life. Denying same-sex couples this choice prohibits them from participating fully in our society, which is precisely the type of segregation that the Fourteenth Amendment cannot countenance.” &nbsp;</p> <p> The decision will go into effect in 21 days, unless the defendants file a motion to stay the ruling.&nbsp;The ruling would also be stayed if the defendants ask the full court of appeals to review the case.</p> <p> Since the Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act in <em>U.S. v. Windsor</em> last year, federal appeals courts have now declared three times that state laws denying same-sex couples the ability to marry or refusing to recognize the out-of-state marriages of same-sex couples are unconstitutional. &nbsp;The Fourth Circuit’s ruling could affect similar bans in the remaining states in that circuit – North Carolina, South Carolina and West Virginia. &nbsp;</p> <p> Members of the Jenner &amp; Block team for the Fourth Circuit appeal include Partners <a href="">Paul M. Smith</a> and <a href="">Luke C. Platzer</a> and Associate <a href="">Mark P. Gaber</a>.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> 28 Jul 2014