News Feed News Description Firm Associate Receives Alumni Award from NYU Academic Achievement Program <p> Jenner &amp; Block Associate <a href="">Precious S. Jacobs</a> received the Alumni Trailblazer Award from the Academic Achievement Program (AAP) at New York University (NYU) on November 1.&nbsp; AAP is an NYU program designed to enhance the academic and leadership potential of Black, Latino and Native American students; the gala event at which Precious was honored was held in celebration of AAP’s 25<sup>th</sup>anniversary.&nbsp; The keynote speaker was Dr. Marcia Young-Cantarella, one of the founders of AAP and the daughter of civil rights leader Whitney M. Young Jr.&nbsp;</p> <p> Precious is an associate in the firm’s Litigation Department and focuses her practice on such matters as bankruptcy, products liability, and complex commercial litigation.&nbsp; She is a 2005 <em>cum laude</em> graduate of New York University.&nbsp; Precious received her J.D., <em>magna cum laude</em>, from the University of Illinois College of Law.</p> 21 Nov 2014 Associate Angela Allen Receives Award from Turnaround Association <p> Jenner &amp; Block Associate <a href="">Angela M. Allen</a> will receive the Turnaround Management Association (TMA) Chicago/Midwest Chapter’s “Most Active New Member” Award at the TMA’s Sixth Annual Executive Speaker Forum in Chicago on November 24, 2014.&nbsp; TMA is a global nonprofit organization comprised of turnaround and corporate renewal professionals with more than 9,300 members worldwide.&nbsp; Its mission is to serve as a forum for corporate renewal professionals from all disciplines to promote high standards of practice, foster professional development, and enhance the image of TMA members.</p> <p> The award is being presented to Angela in recognition of her exceptional involvement and interest in the TMA during 2013.&nbsp; For the last two years, Angela has served as co-chair of the Chicago Chapter’s NextGen Committee, which provides networking and educational opportunities to turnaround and corporate restructuring professionals in the early stages of their careers.&nbsp; Recently, she was elected to serve as a Board of Director for the Chicago Chapter for a three year term starting in 2015.&nbsp; The Hon. Mitt Romney will be the keynote speaker at the Forum, which begins at 5 p.m. at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel.&nbsp;</p> <p> Angela is a member of the firm’s Bankruptcy, Workout and Corporate Reorganization Practice.&nbsp;She has represented a broad range of clients, including Chapter 7 and 11 trustees, Chapter 11 debtors, creditors, creditors’ committees, and equity holders in bankruptcies and bankruptcy-related litigation.&nbsp; In addition to her private practice, Angela has been lead associate on multiple bankruptcy-related pro bono matters.&nbsp; She also is active in service to the community and the bar, focusing on military related pro bono and outreach, in addition to her involvement with TMA.</p> <p> Please click <a href="">here</a> for additional information about the event.</p> 21 Nov 2014 Jenner & Block LLP Receives Top Marks in Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Scorecard on LGBT Workplace Equality for 10th Consecutive Year <p> Jenner &amp; Block LLP has received a perfect score on the 2015 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), a national benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices related to LGBT workplace equality, administered by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. This is the 10<sup>th</sup> straight year the firm has achieved a 100 percent rating, again earning the distinction as among the “Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality.”</p> <p> “We are delighted to once again be recognized by HRC for our efforts to promote a diverse workplace and inclusive environment,” said Jenner &amp; Block Managing Partner <a href="">Terrence J. Truax</a>. “Our firm takes great pride in its efforts to support diversity within the legal profession, the community and the greater society, which reflect our core values.”</p> <p> HRC President Chad Griffin said: “In order to achieve a perfect score, a company has to show a deep and serious commitment to treating their LGBT employees fairly and equally on the job. We also look at whether a company is speaking out in the public square to advocate for LGBT equality here in this country and around the world. &nbsp;Jenner &amp; Block not only meets these standards; it goes above and beyond the call of duty, making commitment to equality a fundamental aspect of its corporate values.”</p> <p> Jenner &amp; Block joins the ranks of 366 major U.S. businesses that also earned top marks this year. Of these organizations, 89 are law firms. The 2015 CEI rated 149 law firms out of 972 businesses in the report, which evaluates LGBT-related policies and practices, including non-discrimination workplace protections, domestic partner benefits, transgender-inclusive health care benefits, competency programs, and public engagement with the LGBT community. Jenner &amp; Block’s efforts in satisfying all of the CEI’s criteria results in a 100 percent ranking and the designation as a Best Place to Work for LGBT Equality.</p> <p> For more information on the 2015 Corporate Equality Index or to download a free copy of the report, visit <a href=""></a>.</p> 24 Nov 2014 William C. Pericak, Former Director of Justice Department’s Deepwater Horizon Task Force, Joins Jenner & Block LLP as DC Partner <p> Jenner &amp; Block LLP is pleased to announce that <a href="">William C. Pericak</a>, former director of the Justice Department’s Deepwater Horizon Task Force and a two-decade federal prosecutor, has joined the firm as a partner in our Washington, D.C. office.&nbsp; Mr. Pericak will be a member of the White Collar Defense and Investigations Practice, which is involved in some of the most high-profile investigations anywhere.&nbsp; With 25 years of experience in various roles with Justice, Mr. Pericak will focus on helping clients navigate matters in which their activities draw the scrutiny of government investigators.</p> <p> “The firm has one of the premier white collar defense and investigations practices in the nation,” said Jenner &amp; Block Managing Partner <a href="">Terrence J. Truax</a>.&nbsp; “We are excited to have Bill join the team and build on the firm’s storied tradition of defending our clients in complex criminal prosecutions andinternal&nbsp;investigations.&nbsp; Also, his experience as a trial lawyer further complements our deep bench of first-rate litigators.”</p> <p> From 2011 to 2014, Mr. Pericak directed the multi-agency Deepwater Horizon Task Force, overseeing the prosecution of criminal violations tied to the oil spill of 2010 as well as the selection and oversight of ethics and process safety monitors under the BP plea agreement.&nbsp; Beyond his work on that task force, Mr. Pericak conducted investigations involving Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) violations, health care fraud and securities violations.&nbsp; He helped manage the Department’s Fraud Section, including formulating policies and procedures.&nbsp; During this time, he also supervised the&nbsp; Brooklyn Health Care Fraud Strike Force with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York. &nbsp;&nbsp;In that district, he tried a multimillion-dollar health care fraud case to verdict.</p> <p> “The firm regularly handles some of the highest-profile white-collar matters anywhere,” said <a href="">Jessie K. Liu</a>, a White Collar Defense and Investigations co-chair who is based in Washington, DC.&nbsp; “Bill’s deep experience investigating and litigating significant cases related to FCPA, health care fraud and securities violations augments our top-flight white collar practice, and his presence in DC gives us added depth in the Washington market.”</p> <p> Before joining Justice’s Fraud Section, Mr. Pericak served as an assistant United States attorney, like eight other Jenner &amp; Block partners.&nbsp; As an assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of New York from 1989 to 2011, Mr. Pericak supervised criminal investigations of white collar, narcotics and violent crimes.&nbsp; He led hundreds of grand jury and uncover investigations of bribery, kickbacks, health care and corporate fraud; tax, narcotics and immigration offenses; money laundering; and asset forfeiture.&nbsp; He has tried 20 cases to verdict and briefed and argued 45 appeals.</p> <p> “Jenner &amp; Block has a stellar white collar defense and investigations team and a deep bench of tested trial lawyers,” Mr. Pericak said. “They handle each matter with the utmost integrity. I look forward to working with them on behalf of our clients.”</p> <p> Mr. Pericak received his J.D. from the Boston University School of Law and his B.A. from the State University of New York-Buffalo.&nbsp;</p> 1 Dec 2014 Jenner & Block Wins Dismissal for Nuveen Asset Management in Billion-Dollar Litigation <p> Jenner &amp; Block last week won a significant victory for Nuveen Asset Management in a high-stakes litigation matter in federal court in Minnesota concerning allegations of more than $1 billion in pension plan losses. &nbsp;Plaintiffs asserted claims against U.S. Bank, various U.S. Bank employees and Nuveen for breach of fiduciary duties and prohibited transactions under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA. &nbsp;Plaintiffs alleged that the defendants breached the duty of prudence&nbsp;and duty to diversify by investing the assets of the U.S. Bank Pension&nbsp;Plan entirely in equities, which, they argued, caused the investment&nbsp;loss. &nbsp;Plaintiffs’ claims against Nuveen were grounded in allegations&nbsp;that the investment firm acquired the liabilities of FAF Advisors,&nbsp;Inc., a subsidiary of U.S. Bank, which managed the pension plan’s&nbsp;investments during the putative class period. &nbsp;Nuveen moved to dismiss&nbsp;in April 2014 on the grounds that it did not acquire FAF Advisors’ liabilities under or with respect to the U.S. Bank Pension Plan, and, regardless, that plaintiffs failed to state a claim against FAF Advisors for breach of fiduciary duty or prohibited transactions. &nbsp;The court heard more than three hours of oral argument on the defendants’ motions in June 2014. &nbsp;On November 21, 2014, the court granted our motion and dismissed all claims against Nuveen.</p> <p> The Jenner &amp; Block trial team representing Nuveen included Partners&nbsp;<a href="">Craig C. Martin</a> and <a href="">Amanda S. Amert </a>and Associates <a href="">Brienne M. Letourneau</a>, <a href="">Caroline A. Lindsey</a> and <a href="">Benjamin T. Halbig</a>.</p> 1 Dec 2014 Suskin Discusses How Mutual Fund Boards are Addressing Risks of Cyber Attacks <p> Jenner &amp; Block Partner <a href="">Howard S. Suskin</a> is quoted in a December 2, 2014, article in <em>BoardIQ</em>, a Financial Times publication, entitled &quot;In War Against Hackers, Some Funds Add New Disclosure.&quot;&nbsp; Howard discusses how mutual fund boards are addressing risks of cyber attacks, including enhanced oversight and disclosures in prospectuses</p> 3 Dec 2014 Suskin Discusses Developments Relating to Liquid Alternative Funds <p> Jenner &amp; Block Partner <a href="">Howard S. Suskin</a> is quoted in the December 2, 2014, edition of <em>BoardIQ</em>, a Financial Times publication, in an article entitled &quot;As Alt Interest Grows, Regulators Concerned About Confusion.&quot;&nbsp; Howard discusses developments relating to Liquid Alternative Funds, including how fund boards can take steps to avoid liability arising from the marketing of new fund products, with regard to oversight of internal controls and appropriate risk disclosures.</p> 3 Dec 2014 Craig Martin Profiled in <i>Chicago Lawyer</i> Magazine <p> Jenner &amp; Block Partner <a href="">Craig C. Martin</a> is featured in a lengthy profile in <em>Chicago Lawyer</em> magazine.&nbsp; Titled “<a href="">The Jet-Setting Lawyer: As Litigation Co-Chair at Jenner &amp; Block, Martin Juggles a Life of High-Stakes Cases and Civic Involvement</a>,” the article recalls Craig’s days as an undergraduate at Notre Dame and a law student at Harvard, followed by his move to Chicago in 1989 – including the day he arrived, early, at Jenner &amp; Block to launch his legal career. The article describes his 25-year career, representing individuals and high-profile and Fortune 500 companies and co-chairing the firm’s Litigation Department.&nbsp; It also mentions his civic and community involvement, including his serving on the board and as chairman of the Boys &amp; Girls Club of Chicago. The article quotes Greg Gallopoulos, former managing partner and current senior vice president and general counsel of General Dynamics Corp.; Darryl Bradford, former partner and current senior vice president and general counsel for Exelon Corp.; Andrea Zopp, former vice president and deputy general counsel for Sara Lee Corp. and current president and CEO of Chicago Urban League; and firm Chairman <a href="">Anton R. Valukas</a>.&nbsp; With the firm celebrating its centennial this year, Craig offers his hope for the future: “I believe what makes us unique as an institution is our ruthless focus on equality and values, and I don’t want to change that.&nbsp; I want that to become even more refined and self-defining.&nbsp; What I want is to continue what I’m doing – high-impact litigation – and to be there for our clients when they have moments important to their business and lives.”</p> <p style="margin-left:.5in;"> &nbsp;</p> 5 Dec 2014 U.S. Supreme Court Grants Certiorari in Death Penalty Case Regarding Intellectual Disability <p> On Friday, December 5, the Supreme Court of the United States granted certiorari to consider two issues related to its 2002 decision in <em>Atkins v. Virginia</em> that it is unconstitutional to execute persons who are intellectually disabled.&nbsp; The Court will consider whether a state court acts unreasonably by finding that a petitioner is not intellectually disabled based solely on the evidence presented at his sentencing proceeding; and whether a state court unreasonably applies federal law when it denies funding to a petitioner who has no other means of providing evidence of his intellectual disability.&nbsp;</p> <p> In 1995, Kevan Brumfield was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death in Louisiana state court.&nbsp; At his sentencing hearing, which took place prior to the Supreme Court’s decision in <em>Atkins</em>, Mr. Brumfield’s counsel did not attempt to argue that he should be spared the death penalty because he was intellectually disabled and only limited evidence was presented related to Mr. Brumfield’s mental capacity.&nbsp; After <em>Atkins</em> was decided, Mr. Brumfield sought post-conviction relief from the state court on the basis that he is intellectually disabled, and requested funding to present evidence of his intellectual disability.&nbsp; The state court denied Mr. Brumfield’s intellectual disability claim without a hearing, on the basis that his intellectual disability was not apparent from his sentencing transcript.&nbsp;</p> <p> Mr. Brumfield then sought habeas relief in federal district court.&nbsp; The court concluded that it was unreasonable for the state court to treat Mr. Brumfield’s sentencing transcript as determinative of his intellectual disability and to deny Mr. Brumfield funding to pursue his <em>Atkins</em> claim.&nbsp; Based on evidence presented over a seven-day hearing, the court found that Mr. Brumfield was intellectually disabled and granted him relief from the death penalty.&nbsp; That decision was reversed by the Fifth Circuit, which held that the state court had not acted unreasonably.&nbsp;</p> <p> Having granted certiorari, the Supreme Court will consider both the questions of whether a state court acts unreasonably by treating a petitioner’s pre-<em>Atkins</em> sentencing transcript as determinative of his intellectual disability and of whether a state court unreasonably applies federal law by denying an indigent petitioner funding to pursue his claim of intellectual disability.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p> The Jenner &amp; Block team representing Mr. Brumfield includes Partner <a href="">Michael B. DeSanctis</a> and Associates <a href="">Adam G. Unikowsky</a>, <a href="">Amir H. Ali</a>, <a href="">R. Trent McCotter</a> and <a href="">Esteban M. Morin</a>.</p> 5 Dec 2014 New Jersey Legislative Committee Releases Interim Report on George Washington Bridge Lane Closures <p> The New Jersey Legislative Select Committee on Investigation, a joint panel charged with investigating last year’s closure of access lanes on the George Washington Bridge, has released an interim report.&nbsp; Created in January 2014, the committee retained Jenner &amp; Block Partner <a href="">Reid J. Schar</a>, co-chair of the firm’s White Collar Defense and Investigations Practice and a former assistant U.S. attorney, as its special counsel. The lane closures, which occurred September 9-13, 2013, created massive traffic delays and prompted questions about alleged abuse of power among government leadership.&nbsp; The interim report can be viewed by clicking <a href="">here</a>.</p> 8 Dec 2014 William Pericak Honored with Department of Justice Award for Professionalism <p> Jenner &amp; Block Partner <a href="">William C. Pericak</a> was honored on December 11, 2014, with the U.S. Department of Justice Fraud Section’s John D. Arterberry Award for Professionalism.&nbsp; Bill is the former director of the Justice Department’s Deepwater Horizon Task Force and a two-decade federal prosecutor who joined the firm on December 1, 2014.&nbsp; From 2011 to November 2014, Bill directed the multi-agency Deepwater Horizon Task Force, overseeing the prosecution of criminal violations tied to the oil spill of 2010 as well as the selection and oversight of ethics and process safety monitors under the BP plea agreement.&nbsp; Beyond his work on that task force, he also conducted investigations involving Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations, health care fraud and securities violations.&nbsp; He helped manage the Department’s Fraud Section, including formulating policies and procedures.&nbsp; The award is named after John D. Arterberry, who served in the Fraud Section from 1981 to 2013.&nbsp; Bill is the second recipient of the award.</p> <p> Bill is a seasoned trial lawyer and investigator with a quarter-century of experience with the U.S. Department of Justice.&nbsp; As a member of the&nbsp;White Collar Defense and Investigations Practice, he brings his wealth of experience to clients who are navigating matters in which their activities draw the scrutiny of government investigators.</p> 11 Dec 2014 Del Pozo Quoted in <i>National Law Journal</i> About Major Appellate Civil Rights Victory <p> Jenner &amp; Block Associate <a href="">Eric Del Pozo</a> is quoted in a <em>National Law Journal</em> article that examines the impact of a high-profile civil rights case for which he served as lead author of an influential amicus brief.&nbsp; Titled “<a href="">Ruling Could Bolster Lawsuits Against Police</a>,” (<em>subscription required</em>) the article explains that the U.S. Supreme Court’s May 2014 opinion in <em>Tolan v. Cotton</em> could make it easier for alleged victims of excessive force to fend off summary dismissal of&nbsp; their civil rights lawsuits against police.&nbsp; <em>Tolan</em> concerned the 2008 shooting of an African American man in his own driveway by a police officer in Texas.&nbsp; According to the article, the Court’s per curiam decision admonished lower court judges that when police seek summary judgment in such cases, disputed facts and inferences must be viewed in the light most favorable to the citizen making the claim.&nbsp; Eric was the lead author of a brief filed in the case on behalf of the NACCP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.&nbsp; The article quotes Eric:&nbsp; “The decision surprised us.&nbsp; The court has protected the free speech and religious rights of corporations and requires a warrant before police can scan the call log of an arrestee’s cellphone or attach a GPS device to someone’s car.&nbsp; Yet, for whatever reason, the court has been less solicitous of claims to civil rights infractions in money damages suits.&nbsp; In <em>Tolan</em>, at least, the pendulum swung back a bit in the opposite direction.”</p> 15 Dec 2014 Mary Ellen Callahan Profiled in the <i>National Journal</i> <p> Jenner &amp; Block Partner <a href="">Mary Ellen Callahan</a> is profiled in the <em><a href="">National Journal</a></em>’s “People Column” (<em>subscription required</em>).&nbsp; The article notes that Mary Ellen has been “practicing privacy law since 1998 – almost as long as the Internet has been around.”&nbsp; It describes her move in 2012 from the U.S. Homeland Security Department to Jenner &amp; Block, where she has built the Privacy and Information Governance Practice “from the ground up.”&nbsp; Finally, the article offers Mary Ellen’s insight on how to protect yourself from data theft in this holiday season: educate yourself about privacy controls; don’t sign up for free contests; and check your credit report annually.</p> 16 Dec 2014 Suskin Discusses New Wave of Litigation Against Mutual Fund Managers <p> Jenner &amp; Block Partner <a href="">Howard S. Suskin</a> is quoted in an article in <em>Board IQ</em>, a Financial Times publication, entitled “Claims Against Russell Broadened in New Fee Suit.”&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The article describes a new wave of litigation against mutual fund managers for allegedly excessive subadvisory fees.&nbsp;&nbsp; Howard discusses how the discovery process may affect development of litigation theories in this area.</p> 11 Dec 2014 Smith, Steege Profiled as <i>Law360</i> MVPs <p> Jenner &amp; Block Partners <a href="">Paul M. Smith</a> and <a href="">Catherine L. Steege</a> have been selected by <em>Law360</em> as, respectively, appellate and bankruptcy MVPs.&nbsp; As MVPs, Paul and Cathy are the subjects of in-depth profiles.&nbsp; <a href="">Paul’s profile</a> honors his success in one of the most closely watched copyright cases in years; In June, the U.S. Supreme Court essentially shut down online television streaming service Aereo Inc.&nbsp; The profile notes that the firm represented a group of networks since the case was filed in district court after Aereo launched in 2012.&nbsp; Paul briefed the Court during oral arguments, convincing the justices that they could rule narrowly in the case.&nbsp; “The strategy on the other side was to say it would have all these broad effects.&nbsp; We were saying, decide just this.&nbsp; That will leave open lots of possible ways to distinguish it in the future,” Paul says.&nbsp; The profile also describes Paul’s victory in <em>Harris v. Quinn</em>, in which he stopped the Court from overturning decades-old precedent allowing public unions to charge nonunion workers.&nbsp; Finally, the profile calls Paul “one of the country’s top civil rights litigators,” in 2003 winning the landmark <em>Lawrence v. Texas</em> case that repealed the state’s anti-sodomy law and in 2014 representing a class of same-sex couples in Virginia in a successful challenge of the state’s ban on gay marriage.&nbsp; <a href="">Cathy’s profile</a> honors her “whirlwind year holding accountable the directors of a bankrupt Illinois casino, protecting the benefits of nearly 50,000 American Airlines Corp. retirees and preparing to take on the case of a lifetime before the Supreme Court.”&nbsp; The profile notes Cathy’s victory in September for the Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee for Emerald Casino, whose owners violated Illinois gaming board rules while attempting to relocate.&nbsp; It also describes her successful representation of the American Airlines Section 1114 Retiree Committee in fending off an attempt by the airline’s parent to cut off health and life insurance benefits.&nbsp; And the profile looks ahead to Cathy’s representation of Wellness International Network before the Supreme Court in 2015.&nbsp; That case will clarify bankruptcy courts’ constitutional authority to enter final decisions on whether property in a debtor’s possession belongs to their bankruptcy estate.&nbsp; “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing,” she tells <em>Law360</em>.&nbsp; “It’s certainly one of the most intellectually intense briefing projects that I’ve ever worked on in terms of presenting the arguments and the amount of care that goes into preparation.”</p> 17 Dec 2014 Scodro Named to Committee on Professional Responsibility <p> The Illinois Supreme Court has named Jenner &amp; Block Partner <a href="">Michael A. Scodro</a> to the court’s Committee on Professional Responsibility, for a term beginning on January 1, 2015, and expiring on December 31, 2017.&nbsp; The committee advises and makes recommendations on matters relating to legal ethics and professional responsibility.&nbsp; Mike’s appointment was announced in an order of the court filed on December 12.</p> 12 Dec 2014