The DC office concentrates on appellate and Supreme Court advocacy, content, media and entertainment matters, complex commercial litigation, First Amendment litigation, government contracts issues, insurance recovery and counseling, SEC matters, white collar defense, privacy and data breach counseling, communications industry litigation, regulatory counseling, and hospitality and gaming.
The Appellate & Supreme Court Practice is regularly ranked by Chambers USA. In 2015, Law360 honored the practice as an “Appellate Practice of the Year,” citing the team’s victory over online broadcaster Aereo. The Content, Media & Entertainment practice and its lawyers are widely recognized as among the best in the United States. Chambers USA honored the team with its “Award for Excellence” in 2014, marking the second time in three years that this group has been named as the No. 1 media and entertainment practice in the United States.
Our lawyers have been involved in such significant litigation as:
- Serving as the government-appointed, independent monitor to determine Citigroup Inc.’s compliance with consumer relief obligations, valued at $2.5 billion, under its settlement with the US Department of Justice and five states. The settlement resolved possible federal and state legal claims for violations of law regarding the packaging, marketing, sale, structuring, arrangement and issuance of residential mortgage-backed securities and collateralized debt obligations between 2006 and 2007.
- Winning a US Supreme Court victory for broadcasting company clients in their high-profile battle with online streaming service Aereo, Inc. In a 6-3 vote, the Court ruled that Aereo’s retransmission of copyrighted over-the-air television programming without broadcaster authorization is a violation of copyright law.
- Preserving a US$105 million verdict on appeal against ExxonMobil for polluting the City of New York’s groundwater with the gasoline additive methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE). Exxon appealed the verdict, and a Jenner & Block represented the City on appeal. The Second Circuit upheld the entirety of the district court decision, and the US Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal.
- Winning a groundbreaking victory for clients ProBuild Holdings, Inc. and ProBuild Company, LLC with the defeat of two motions for summary judgment brought against ProBuild as part of longstanding litigation that focused on the use of Chinese drywall.
- Successfully defending Marriott International against various tort and breach of contract claims involving the development of the 1,000-room JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa. After the project experienced cost overruns, the owner filed suit alleging, among other things, that Marriott provided fraudulent budget estimates before transferring development responsibility for the resort to the plaintiff. The owner sought $200 million in damages. The Texas court granted summary judgment on the majority of the owner’s tort claims, and two days before the start of the trial on the remaining counts, the owner voluntarily dismissed the case in order to appeal the earlier summary judgment rulings. In December 2013, the lower court’s grant of summary judgment was affirmed by the Texas Court of Appeals. In May 2014, the Texas Supreme Court denied the owner’s petition, thereby delivering Marriott a total victory in the case.
- Achieving a perfect record representing the video game industry in challenges to strike down nine state and local laws regulating “violent” games; we then represented the Entertainment Merchants Association and Entertainment Software Association in the US Supreme Court in a successful First Amendment challenge to a California law that would have restricted the sale or rental of “violent” video games to anyone under the age of 18.
- Shaping an entire body of jurisprudence to allow content creators to protect their intellectual property on the internet and in other new media. Starting with the seminal A&M Records v. Napster and MGM v. Grokster decisions and continuing with victories for motion picture studios and recording companies, in digital copyright infringement cases involving the secondary liability of operators of BitTorrent websites and providers of access to Usenet, we represent key players in the entertainment industry in the highest profile cases at the intersection of content protection and constantly evolving technologies.
- Obtaining a US$1 billion ruling for SoundExchange members in litigation over satellite radio royalty rates, in cutting-edge content protection work.
- Successfully representing The Ritz-Carlton in an international arbitration between Ritz-Carlton and the hotel’s owner in which the owner sought millions of dollars in damages for alleged breach of contract and sought to terminate the management agreement for cause. The owner lost all claims and was ordered to pay Ritz-Carlton’s attorney fees. The arbitration award was confirmed by a federal court and Ritz-Carlton’s management agreement remains intact.
- Successfully representing Marriott in McIntyre, et al. v. Marriott International, Inc., et al. as lead counsel in a nationwide class action complaint filed by purchasers of timeshare properties from Marriott. The complaint alleged that Marriott had violated the federal Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974, along with several common law causes of action. We won total dismissal of the complaint with prejudice.
- Successfully representing insurance policyholders in international arbitrations, recovering millions of dollars on our clients’ behalf, either as a result of final awards by arbitration panels or settlements.
- Winning dismissal of two putative class actions against Internet service providers Embarq and CenturyTel (which recently merged and then acquired Qwest to form the third-largest local telephone company in the United States, called CenturyLink), claiming violations of the federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act.
- Representing the Cayuga Indian Nation in several constitutional litigation matters, most notably a declaratory judgment action that successfully blocked criminal prosecutions of tribal leaders for selling unstamped cigarettes. In May 2010, New York’s highest state court ruled in favor of the Cayuga Nation, marking the successful completion of litigation filed in 2008, preventing criminal prosecution of tribe officials and returning a key revenue stream to the Nation.