News Feed News Description Experienced Justice Department Lawyer Brian Hauck Rejoins Jenner & Block as Partner 4 Jun 2015 Firm Wins Victory for Sports Media Licensing Clients when Judge Dismisses Student Athlete Class Action Complaint <p> Jenner &amp; Block won a victory for clients IMG Worldwide, IMG College, and William Morris Endeavor Entertainment in a highly publicized class action by NCAA student athletes against collegiate conferences, television broadcasters, and other sports media licensing firms.&nbsp; The student athletes alleged that the defendants misappropriated their publicity rights and violated federal antitrust laws by supposedly refusing to compensate the students for their appearances in game broadcasts, footage, and advertisements for the games.&nbsp; On June 4, 2015, US District Judge Kevin H. Sharp dismissed the putative class action, ruling that the plaintiffs failed to present any viable claims. In his 33-page ruling, Judge Sharp&nbsp; wrote that “ the court’s sole task is to determine whether present plaintiffs have alleged sufficient facts or stated a viable claim that they are entitled to monetary compensation because they play in televised games.&nbsp; The court finds that plaintiffs have not done so under any of the theories that they set forth.”&nbsp;&nbsp; The firm team includes Partners <a href="">Richard L. Stone</a>, <a href="">David R. Singer</a>, <a href="">Kenneth L. Doroshow</a> and <a href="">Andrew J. Thomas</a> and Associate <a href="">Mark P. Gaber</a>. &nbsp;News of the dismissal was reported in <em><a href="">Law360</a></em>, <em><a href="">The Hollywood Reporter</a></em> and <em><a href="">Deadline Hollywood</a></em>.</p> 4 Jun 2015 Partner Michael Scodro Installed as Appellate Lawyers Association President <p> Jenner &amp; Block Partner <a href="">Michael A. Scodro</a> was inducted as the 48th president of the Appellate Lawyers Association (ALA) on June 11, 2015.&nbsp; Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan administered the oath of office to Mr. Scodro at a luncheon that was attended by more than 130 guests, including federal and state judges and Justices of the Illinois Supreme Court.</p> <p> The ALA, which was formed in 1968, is an association of lawyers who practice in the courts of review and the judges who serve on those courts.&nbsp; Its mission is to improve standards of quality and competence in appellate advocacy; review legislation and rules affecting appellate jurisdiction and procedure; and help facilitate effective liaisons between appellate lawyers, the appellate bench and the legislature.&nbsp; The association has more than 400 active members throughout Illinois, with approximately three-fourths of them located in the Chicago area.&nbsp; Honorary members include sitting judges from all reviewing courts in Illinois. &nbsp;Mr. Scodro has long been actively involved in the ALA, joining its board of directors in 2009, and then serving as its treasurer, secretary and, most recently, vice president. &nbsp;</p> <p> Before joining Jenner &amp; Block, Mr. Scodro served as the solicitor general of the State of Illinois from 2007 to 2014.&nbsp; In that role, he oversaw both the civil and criminal appeals divisions of the Illinois Attorney General’s office, supervising more than 40 attorneys in appeals in which the state was a party.&nbsp; He has argued cases before the United States Supreme Court, Illinois Supreme Court, Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals and all five districts of the Illinois Appellate Court.</p> 11 Jun 2015 Firm Wins $331 Million Victory for Financially Distressed California Homeowners in National Mortgage Special Deposit Fund Dispute <p> Jenner &amp; Block won a victory on behalf of three nonprofit housing groups when the Superior Court of California in Sacramento ruled that Governor Jerry Brown unlawfully diverted more than $331 million from a mortgage settlement fund that was established to help millions of financially distressed homeowners to instead address budget shortfalls.&nbsp;</p> <p> The California Legislature created&nbsp;the National Mortgage Special Deposit Fund (NMSDF)&nbsp;to hold funds the State received from the 2012 National Mortgage Settlement negotiated by Attorney General Kamala Harris. &nbsp;But soon after California received these funds, Governor Brown — facing a multi-billion-dollar budget deficit — diverted the money to plug holes in the State’s budget.</p> <p> In 2014, three minority groups that assist homeowners — the National Asian American Coalition, COR Community Development Corporation, and the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference — filed a lawsuit challenging Governor Brown’s fund diversions.&nbsp; On June 12, 2015, the Court ruled that it agreed with these groups’ position.&nbsp; The Court declared “that $331,044,084 in offsets were unlawfully diverted from the NMSDF” and that California “is obligated to restore/return those funds to the NMSDF.”&nbsp; It also enjoined California “to restore/return those funds to the NMSDF as soon as there is a sufficient appropriation ‘reasonably’ and ‘generally’ available for such purpose.”&nbsp; The Court ended its ruling by calling on the Legislature and the Governor to “take whatever steps are necessary and appropriate to meet this obligation.”</p> <p> Faith Bautista, president of the National Asian American Coalition, praised the Court’s decision.&nbsp; “The Court understood that Attorney General Harris and the Legislature intended this money to be used to assist California’s thousands of struggling homeowners.”&nbsp; Ms. Bautista also called on the Governor and Legislature to act quickly to restore this money to the NMSDF. &nbsp;“Every day that the Governor and Legislature wait to act is another day that Californians will lose their homes.&nbsp; California homeowners have waited too long for meaningful relief.&nbsp; Please do not ask them to wait any longer.”&nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;In May, the Governor issued the May Revision to his January budget, which reflected a $6.7 billion increase in revenues this year.&nbsp; According to numerous sources, the State has a steadily growing budget surplus, which the non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office estimates will reach $9.6 billion by 2018.&nbsp; Ms. Bautista has called on the Governor and Legislature to use this surplus to comply with the Court’s order.&nbsp; “According to the Governor’s most recent reports, funds are available to restore the NMSDF.&nbsp; We pray that he and the Legislature will take immediate actions to comply with the Court’s order and restore this fund.”</p> <p> “We are grateful for the judge’s decision and look forward to the Governor putting the $331 million back where it belongs so that still struggling California homeowners can get the counseling and assistance they so desperately need,” said Partner <a href="">Neil Barofsky</a>.</p> <p> In addition to Mr. Barofsky, the Jenner &amp; Block team includes Partners <a href="">Rick Richmond</a> and <a href="">Patrick J. Trostle</a> and Associates <a href="">L. David Russell</a>, <a href="">Jeffrey A. Atteberry</a> and <a href="">Ava U. McAlpin</a>. The case was previously reported by <em><a href="">The New York Times</a></em>, <em><a href="">The Wall Street Journal</a></em>, <a href="">the <em>Los Angeles Times</em></a> and <em><a href="">Law360</a></em>, among others.</p> 12 Jun 2015 Chief Information Officer Amol Bargaje Featured in Two Recent Articles <p> Jenner &amp; Block Chief Information Officer <a href="">Amol V. Bargaje</a> is quoted in two recent articles that highlight his role at the firm and his team’s latest innovative project: the “NextJen” desktop.&nbsp; In a Bloomberg BNA “Big Law Business” feature titled “<a href="">Jenner &amp; Block to Unveil ‘NextJen’ Desktop</a>,” Amol is quoted saying that NextJen is “a game changer as we see it. It allows anyone in the firm to work from any device and from any place, and the experience is consistent and uniform.”&nbsp; In a <em>Chicago Lawyer</em> feature titled “<a href="">The Rise of the Law Firm Management Corps</a>,” he observes that he has seen the increasing importance of&nbsp; high-functioning professional staff during his ten years at the firm.&nbsp; “It is a very new trend that is happening in the marketplace due to all the economic pressures on the clients and how they’re wanting law firms to respond more efficiently,” he says.</p> 15 Jun 2015 <i>Chicago Daily Law Bulletin</i> Profiles Mike Scodro as New President of Appellate Lawyers Association <p> Jenner &amp; Block Partner <a href="">Michael A Scodro</a> is the subject of&nbsp; a feature article regarding his new position as president of the Appellate Lawyers Association.&nbsp; Titled “<a href="">Scodro Ready to Pay It Forward</a>,” the article in the <em>Chicago Daily Law Bulletin</em> explains that Mr. Scodro wants to “give back” to the bar group that has made him a better lawyer over the past 10 years.&nbsp; Mr. Scodro discusses his time as the Illinois solicitor general – the post he held for six-and-a-half years before coming to Jenner &amp; Block in 2014 – and his plans for leading the 400-member group.&nbsp; “We’ve got a group of more than 400 lawyers and judges who are really dedicated to improving their skills as appellate advocates and really perfecting the craft of appellate advocacy.&nbsp; That means as a group, we need to provide a wide range of programs for our members to make membership worthwhile. We always want to provide nuts-and-bolts education options, and we will absolutely do that. At the same time, we want to mix in some unique programming as well,” he says.</p> 11 Jun 2015 Firm Wins US Supreme Court Victory for Pro Bono Client Kevan Brumfield <p> On June 18, 2015, the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of firm client Kevan Brumfield in the appeal of his death sentence.&nbsp; In vacating the decision of the Fifth Circuit and remanding the case, the Court adopted the argument made by Partner <a href="">Michael DeSanctis</a>, who presented oral argument on March 30 — that it was unreasonable for a state court in Louisiana to deny Mr. Brumfield a hearing as to his intellectual disability to determine if he can be executed, based on the standards set forth in the Court’s 2002 decision in <em>Atkins v. Virginia</em>.&nbsp; The <em>Atkins</em> decision declared it unconstitutional to execute persons who are intellectually disabled.</p> <p> Mr. Brumfield was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death in Louisiana state court in 1995, seven years before the <em>Atkins</em> decision.&nbsp; After <em>Atkins</em>, his lawyers argued that he should be spared the death penalty because of his intellectual disability. &nbsp;The state court denied the request without a hearing, saying his intellectual disability was not apparent from the transcript of his death sentencing proceeding.&nbsp;</p> <p> Mr. Brumfield then sought habeas relief in Louisiana federal court, where, after seven days of hearings, the judge concluded that Mr. Brumfield was, in fact, intellectually disabled and therefore ineligible for execution.&nbsp; But the Fifth Circuit reversed, ruling that the district court should have deferred to the state court’s determination and that Mr. Brumfield should remain on death row.</p> <p> Jenner &amp; Block took the case at the certiorari stage as a referral from the Southern Center for Human Rights and succeeded in convincing the Court to accept the appeal.&nbsp; In a 5-4 opinion written by Justice Sotomayor, the Court held that the district court was correct to give Mr. Brumfield a new hearing because the state court acted unreasonably in denying Mr. Brumfield any hearing at all.&nbsp; Louisiana’s standard required Mr. Brumfield only to raise a “reasonable doubt” as to his intellectual disability to be entitled to a hearing, and the state court’s explanation as to why Mr. Brumfield had not met that standard was unreasonable.&nbsp; The&nbsp;Court’s decision can be read <a href="">here</a>.</p> <p> In addition to Mr. DeSanctis, the firm’s team representing Mr. Brumfield includes Partner <a href="">Adam G. Unikowsky</a> and Associates <a href="">Amir H. Ali</a>, <a href="">R. Trent McCotter</a>, <a href="">Jan E. Messerschmidt</a>, <a href="">Leah J. Tulin</a> and <a href="">David A. Wishnick</a> and former associate Esteban Morin.</p> 18 Jun 2015 <i>Inside Counsel</i> Spotlights Partner Catherine Steege’s win in <i>Wellness</i> Case <p> Jenner &amp; Block Partner <a href="">Catherine L. Steege</a> is the focus of a recent article in <em>Inside Counsel</em>’s “Women, Influence &amp; Power in Law” blog.&nbsp; The article, titled “<a href="">SCOTUS Sides with Jenner’s Steege in Wellness Case</a>,” highlights Ms. Steege’s victory before the US Supreme Court in the bankruptcy case <em>Wellness Int’l Network, Ltd. v Sharif</em>.&nbsp;</p> <p> Ms. Steege and the firm team represented Wellness International Network in the Chapter 7 bankruptcy of Chicago resident Richard Sharif, who owed Wellness half a million dollars.&nbsp; Wellness sued Mr. Sharif in bankruptcy court, arguing that Mr. Sharif owned assets that he claimed were held in a family trust and that those assets should be used to pay off his debuts.&nbsp; The bankruptcy court entered a default judgment, finding that those assets were part of the bankruptcy estate.&nbsp; The US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois affirmed, but the Seventh Circuit found in Mr. Sharif’s favor, finding that the bankruptcy court lacked the constitutional authority to decide whether the assets in question belonged to the bankruptcy estate.</p> <p> In late May, the Court overruled the Seventh Circuit and remanded the case back to the appeals court, finding that bankruptcy courts do have the authority to adjudicate <em>Stern v. Marshall</em> claims and that doing so does not violate Article III of the US Constitution when parties give knowing and voluntary consent.&nbsp; Since <em>Stern</em>, the courts of appeals have been split over whether litigants can consent to a judgment by the bankruptcy court.</p> <p> Other members of the <em>Wellness</em> team included Partners <a href="">Barry Levenstam</a>, <a href="">Matthew S. Hellman</a> and <a href="">Melissa M. Root</a> and&nbsp; Associates <a href="">Ishan K. Bhabha</a> and <a href="">Landon S. Raiford</a>.</p> <p> The article notes that the <em>Wellness</em> victory is Ms. Steege’s second victory before the Court in two years, having succeeded in <em>Law v Siegel</em> in March 2014.</p> 8 Jun 2015 Suskin Discusses Recent SEC Settlement <p> Jenner &amp; Block Partner <a href="">Howard S. Suskin</a> is quoted in a June 18, 2015, article in <em>Ignites</em>, a Financial Times publication for mutual fund advisors, entitled “SEC Smacks Fund Shop for Sloppy Contract Approval.”&nbsp;&nbsp; The article discusses a recent SEC settlement with mutual fund trustees &nbsp;arising from their alleged failure to follow rules for approving fund advisory contracts.&nbsp; Mr. Suskin discusses how this settlement likely will inform mutual fund advisors and compliance departments about their responsibilities in connection with overseeing advisory contract approvals.</p> 18 Jun 2015 Partner Gabriel Fuentes Honored for Outstanding Pro Bono Service <p> Jenner &amp; Block Partner <a href="">Gabriel A. Fuentes</a> was named the recipient of the Chicago Bar Foundation’s (CBF) 2015 Edward J. Lewis II Pro Bono Service Award.&nbsp; Mr. Fuentes is the first Jenner &amp; Block lawyer to win this award, which recognizes “deep commitment to the fundamental principles of equal protection and equal justice in the community through outstanding pro bono service.”</p> <p> The award was created in 1999 in memory of late Jenner &amp; Block partner Edward Lewis, who was passionate about pro bono causes and public service.&nbsp;</p> <p> Specifically, the award is based on a lawyer’s work on significant pro bono matters; the length and breadth of his or her pro bono commitment and experience; success in involving and inspiring other lawyers to do pro bono work; and other significant accomplishments that have improved access to justice for Chicago-area residents affected by poverty, abuse or discrimination.</p> <p> In a letter informing the firm about Mr. Fuentes’ selection, the CBF’s Director of Pro Bono &amp; Court Advocacy wrote,“The nomination … was a really wonderful statement about Gabe and his work, and the [award selection] committee members were genuinely moved by the stories about his dedication.”</p> <p> In his 17 years with Jenner &amp; Block, Mr. Fuentes has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to pro bono service, not only through direct representation of clients but also through his leadership as Chicago chair of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee for four years and his active participation in organizations dedicated to improving access to justice for the disadvantaged. &nbsp;He exemplifies the Jenner &amp; Block values and traditions of performing pro bono work and serving our communities.</p> <p> Mr. Fuentes will be presented with the award at the CBF’s 17th Annual Pro Bono and Public Service Awards Luncheon on July&nbsp;14, 2015, at the Fairmont Hotel in Chicago. &nbsp;</p> 23 Jun 2015 Victory over MP3tunes Rated among New York’s Top Verdicts of 2014 <p> The <em>New York Law Journal</em> has named Jenner &amp; Block’s victory for client EMI Recorded Music among the <a href="">top 25 New York verdicts of 2014</a>.&nbsp; In the long-running copyright infringement case, the firm’s clients argued that a pair of online music sites willfully allowed illegal sharing of music.&nbsp; In March 2014, a federal jury in New York found MP3tunes, Inc. (a now-bankrupt online music storage locker service) and its former CEO Michael Robertson liable for infringing more than 2,000 copyrights in sound recordings, compositions and cover art owned by EMI, as well as by EMI Music Publishing Ltd., a co-plaintiff in the litigation.&nbsp; The case was significant because the jury found that that MP3Tunes and Robertson had displayed “willful blindness” to infringement and, therefore, were not protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s safe harbor provisions.&nbsp; The team representing EMI Recorded Music was led by Partners <a href="">Andrew H. Bart</a> and <a href="">Luke C. Platzer</a>.</p> 24 Jun 2015 Survey: General Counsel Again Recommend Jenner & Block <p> For the fourth consecutive year, Jenner &amp; Block is recognized in BTI Consulting Group’s list of the firms most recommended by general counsel. The findings, published in BTI”s 15<sup>th</sup> Annual Survey of General Counsel, are the result of 317 independent, in-depth interviews with corporate counsel in more than 16 industry segments.&nbsp; The recommendations reflect personal standards of quality, client service and value.&nbsp; Jenner &amp; Block was among only 18 firms recognized for four consecutive years.&nbsp; <em>Law360</em> reported on the survey results in an article titled “<a href="">The 25 Law Firms GCs Recommend To Their Friends</a>.”</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> 25 Jun 2015 Firm’s Support of Affordable Care Act Subsidies Upheld in US Supreme Court Ruling <p> On June 25, 2015, the US Supreme Court upheld a critical provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), holding that Congress intended the ACA’s insurance subsidies to be available nationwide, not only in states with their own insurance exchanges but also in the 34 states with an insurance exchange operated by the federal government.&nbsp;In reaching that conclusion, the Court relied on an <a href="">amicus brief</a> drafted by the firm, which argued that the economic underpinnings of the ACA require subsidies to be made available for insurance purchased through the federal exchange.&nbsp; According to the brief, “Congress well understood the importance of subsidies to the ACA reforms.&nbsp; The basic economic framework undergirding that statute can be analogized to a stool with three legs.&nbsp; All three legs [<em>non-discrimination rules</em>, <em>individual mandate</em> and <em>premium subsidies</em>] are necessary to foster stable, functioning insurance markets consistent with Congress’ goal of broad, affordable coverage.&nbsp; Economic modeling confirms what Congress understood:&nbsp; without premium subsidies for every eligible person who buys insurance on an Exchange, the ACA cannot achieve its goals.”</p> <p> Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the majority: “Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them.&nbsp; If at all possible, we must interpret the Act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter.”</p> <p> The brief, which the Court cited three times, was submitted on behalf of a group of 52 internationally recognized bipartisan economic scholars, including economists who served in the administrations of Presidents Johnson, Ford, Carter, George H.W. Bush, Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama.&nbsp; The amici include Kenneth Arrow, Peter Diamond and Eric Maskin, recipients of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences; Henry Aaron, a former assistant secretary of the Department of Health Education &amp; Welfare; Alice Rivlin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office; and Lawrence Summers and Laura Tyson, former directors of the National Economic Council.</p> <p> The Jenner &amp; Block team that drafted the brief was led by Partner <a href="">Matthew S. Hellman</a> and included Partner <a href="">Matthew E. Price</a> and Associates <a href="">Julie Straus Harris</a> and <a href="">Previn Warren</a>.</p> <p> News of the Court’s opinion was widely reported, including by <a href="">CNN</a>, <em><a href="">The New York Times</a></em>, <em><a href="">The Los Angeles Times</a></em>, and others.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> 25 Jun 2015 US Supreme Court Cites Firm Amicus Brief in Case About the Constitutionality Of Warrantless Inspection of Hotel Records <p> The US Supreme Court agreed with and cited an <a href=";">amicus brief</a> filed by the firm in its recent decision in<em> City of Los Angeles v. Naranjibhai Patel, et al.</em>&nbsp; The case concerns the constitutionality of a section of the Los Angeles Municipal Code that requires hotel operators to record and keep specific information about their guests on the premises for a ninety-day period and to make those records available to “any officer of the Los Angeles Police Department for inspection” on demand.&nbsp; In a 5-4 opinion on June 22, 2015, the Court held that the section is facially unconstitutional because it fails to provide the operators with an opportunity for pre-compliance review.&nbsp; The Court agreed with the firm’s amicus brief, which argued that (1) the inspection of hotel records is a search within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment and (2) the exception allowing warrantless inspections in the case of closely regulated industries does not apply to the hotel industry. &nbsp;“If such general regulations were sufficient to invoke the closely regulated industry exception, it would be hard to imagine a type of business that would not qualify,” the Court’s opinion read, citing the brief.&nbsp; Filed on behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the brief was written by Partners <a href="">Jessica Ring Amunson</a>, <a href="">Lindsay C. Harrison</a> and <a href="">Jessie K. Liu</a> and Associate <a href="">Amir H. Ali</a>, with the assistance of Senior Paralegal Cheryl L. Olson.</p> 22 Jun 2015 US Supreme Court Cites Firm’s Amicus Brief in Opinion Legalizing Gay Marriage <p> The US Supreme Court, in its historic move that legalized same-sex marriage across the United States, agreed with and cited an <a href="">amicus brief</a> filed by Jenner &amp; Block.&nbsp; The 5-4 <a href="">opinion</a> in <em>Obergefell v. Hodges</em>, written for the majority by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, held that the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage.&nbsp; Of the couples challenging state bans on same-sex marriage, Justice Kennedy wrote that “it would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage.&nbsp; Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. &nbsp;Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. &nbsp;They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. &nbsp;The Constitution grants them that right.”&nbsp; In citing the firm’s amicus brief, filed on behalf of the American Psychological Association and other groups, the opinion observed that “only in more recent years have psychiatrists and others recognized that sexual orientation is both a normal expression of human sexuality and immutable.”&nbsp; The brief was authored by Partner <a href="">Paul M. Smith</a>, chair of the firm’s Appellate and Supreme Court Practice, with the assistance of Associate <a href="">Emily Chapuis</a>.</p> <p> The amicus brief is the most recent expression of the firm’s longstanding commitment to LGBT equality. &nbsp;For many years, the firm has been on the cutting edge in advocating for same-sex marriage and other LGBT causes across the United States.&nbsp; In 2003, Mr. Smith successfully argued before the Court in the groundbreaking <em>Lawrence v. Texas</em> case, which resulted in the Court striking down same-sex anti-sodomy laws. &nbsp;Our involvement in <em>Lawrence</em> led to the firm’s role as co-counsel in <em>Gill v. Office of Personnel Management</em> in 2012, the first major challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).&nbsp; As the United States’ first federal court of appeals decision overturning DOMA, <em>Gill</em> laid the foundation for the Court’s 2013 decision nullifying the provision of the Act that defined marriage as between a man and a woman.&nbsp; Last year, as momentum picked up in the campaign for same-sex marriage, the firm served as co-counsel in a successful move to repeal bans on same-sex marriage in the Fourth Circuit, which encompasses Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.</p> 26 Jun 2015 Paul Smith Chronicles the History of the Fight for Same-Sex Marriage in NBC Broadcast <p> Jenner &amp; Block Partner <a href="">Paul M. Smith</a> discusses the history of the fight for same-sex marriage in the United States in an NBC News <a href="">“Long Story Short</a>” episode.&nbsp; Mr. Smith, chair of the firm’s Appellate and Supreme Court Practice, offers his insight as thelawyerwho in 2003 successfully argued one of the landmark gay-rights cases of the generation, <em>Lawrence v. Texas</em>.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; As Mr. Smith explains in the video, the legal fight leading up to today’s ruling in favor of gay marriage actually began decades ago. In 1986, the Court ruled in <em>Bowers v. Hardwick</em> that there was no constitutional protection for homosexual sex.&nbsp; Viewed by supporters of gay rights as “one or two of the most awful decisions of the Supreme Court,” <em>Bowers v. Hardwick</em> was essentially overruled 17 years later in <em>Lawrence</em>.&nbsp; In <em>Lawrence, </em>two men in Texas were charged with violating the Texas “homosexual conduct” law.&nbsp; Mr. Smith and lawyers for the defense argued, first, that the right to choose sexual activity should be up to the individual and, second, that “it’s just plain discriminatory because the same conduct was illegal for a gay couple but not for a straight couple.” The Court ruled there is a “core area of liberty” that an individual has, and that includes sexuality.&nbsp; After <em>Lawrence</em> came the state-by-state battles to legalize same-sex marriage. While there were victories, starting with Massachusetts in 2004, the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) still held that gay couples were not married in the eyes of the federal government.&nbsp; In 2013, in <em>United States v. Windsor</em>, the Court reversed the critical provision of DOMA that defined marriage as between a man and a woman.&nbsp; At that point, “people started going to federal court all over the country and claiming the right to marriage equality, saying ‘My state won’t marry me,’ or ‘My state won’t recognize my marriage from another state, and that’s unconstitutional,’ and the federal judges, they understood the message, too, so we won something like 20 cases in a row in federal court,” Mr. Smith says.&nbsp; Today’s ruling confirmed that the 14<sup>th</sup> Amendment protects all marriages.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> 26 Jun 2015 Firm Tops <i>American Lawyer</i> Pro Bono Firm Rankings for Second Consecutive Year <p> Jenner &amp; Block once again 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 2015 pro bono rankings.&nbsp; This marks the seventh time the firm has achieved this ranking – and the sixth time the firm has achieved that standing in the past eight years.&nbsp; Jenner &amp; Block previously attained the top spot in 2014, 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.<br /> <br /> The 2015 rankings are based on pro bono hours performed in 2014.&nbsp; Jenner &amp; Block obtained the top ranking through a combination of logging 130.5 average pro bono hours per lawyer and having 85 percent of our lawyers contribute more than 20 hours to pro bono matters.&nbsp; Overall, Jenner &amp; Block lawyers performed more than 57,400 hours of pro bono work in 2014.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> <em>The American Lawyer</em>’s July edition includes an <a href="">article </a>in which Pro Bono Committee Co-Chair <a href="">Andrew W. Vail</a> states that the firm’s “passion and commitment to pro bono remained unwavering” in 2014.&nbsp; The article also spotlights Partner <a href="">Matthew S. Hellman</a>, who took the case of pro se Chapter 7 bankruptcy debtor Stephen Law to the U.S. Supreme Court and achieved a 9-0 victory, and Partner <a href="">Gabrielle Sigel</a>, who represented Alliance for the Great Lakes in a Clean Water Act lawsuit against the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago.</p> <p> <em>For more information about Jenner &amp; Block’s more recent pro bono efforts, we invite you to check out the latest edition of </em><a href="">The Heart of the Matter</a><em>, a compendium of pro bono matters covering 2012 to 2014.</em></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> 29 Jun 2015 US Supreme Court Ruling in Arizona Redistricting Case Lines Up with Firm’s Amicus Brief Argument <p> The US Supreme Court agreed with arguments outlined in a firm <a href=";redirect=">amicus brief</a>&nbsp;in a high-profile Arizona redistricting case.&nbsp; In the case, <em>Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission et al</em>, the Court <a href="">ruled 5-4</a> that an independent redistricting commission in Arizona is constitutional.&nbsp; Writing for the majority, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg endorsed what she called “an endeavor by Arizona voters to address the problem of partisan gerrymandering — the drawing of legislative district lines to subordinate adherents of one political party and entrench a rival party in power.”&nbsp; The decision is in line with the firm’s amicus brief, filed on behalf of the Campaign Legal Center, the League of Women Voters and other reform groups that support the Commission.&nbsp; In an article in the <em><a href="">New Mexico Political Report</a></em>, Partner <a href="">Jessie Ring Amunson</a>, one author of the brief, calls the decision a “total victory” for supporters of independent redistricting.&nbsp;&nbsp; Ms. Amunson observes that “the practice of partisan gerrymandering has reached unprecedented levels in the United States” and adds that such gerrymandering&nbsp;leads to voter apathy and reduced voter participation.&nbsp; Other members of the team authoring the brief included Partner <a href="">Paul M. Smith</a>, Associate <a href="">Michelle R. Singer</a>, Senior Paralegal Cheryl Olson and Legal Secretary Sheree Anyiam.</p> 29 Jun 2015 Partner Michael Scodro Discusses the US Supreme Court’s Recent Term on <i>Chicago Tonight</i> <p> Partner <a href="">Michael A. Scodro</a> appeared on <em>Chicago Tonight</em> to discuss the US Supreme Court’s recent term.&nbsp; Titled “<a href="">Former Supreme Court Clerks on Gay Marriage Ruling</a>,” the episode featured Mr. Scodro’s insight on a range of topics including last weeks’ groundbreaking decision that legalized same-sex marriage and this week’s decision that upheld a controversial form of capital punishment.&nbsp; A clerk to former Justice Sandra Day O’Connor from 1998-99, Mr. Scodro explained that it is “premature” to say that Chief Justice Roberts – who voted in favor of a provision of the Affordable Care Act but against same-sex marriage -- is moving toward the center.&nbsp; “Like all justices, I think the chief justice has particular issues where I think he may fall into more of what’s considered a traditional left or right,”&nbsp; Mr. Scodro said.&nbsp; Mr. Scodro called the legal injection case “very important,” particularly because dissenters Justices Breyer and Ginsburg seemed to question the constitutionality of capital punishment under the Eighth Amendment.&nbsp; Regarding the 5-4 decision legalizing gay marriage, Mr. Scodro observed that there was no reasonable expectation of a unanimous vote.&nbsp; Indeed, he noted, the four dissenters themselves had separate dissents.</p> 29 Jun 2015 <i>DC Super Lawyers</i> Recognizes 25 Jenner & Block Lawyers <p> Thirteen Jenner &amp; Block lawyers were selected for inclusion in <em>Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers</em>&nbsp;in its 2015 guide to the “top 5 percent of attorneys” in the district.&nbsp; In addition, the publication recognized 12 lawyers as “Rising Stars.”&nbsp;</p> <p> The list recognizes attorneys through a comprehensive, peer-review-based evaluation process, which includes surveying thousands of lawyers and asking them to nominate the best attorneys they had personally observed in action.&nbsp; In addition to being named in two practice areas, Partner <a href="">Paul M. Smith</a> was also recognized among the “Top 100” <em>Washington, D.C.</em> <em>Super Lawyers</em>.</p> <p> The following is a complete list of Jenner &amp; Block lawyers listed by <em>Super Lawyers</em>’ primary area of practice:</p> <p style="margin-left:22.5pt;"> <strong>Alternative Dispute Resolution</strong><br /> <a href="">Matthew L. Jacobs</a></p> <p style="margin-left:20.25pt;"> <strong>Appellate</strong><br /> <a href="">David W. DeBruin</a><br /> <a href="">Paul M. Smith</a></p> <p style="margin-left:20.25pt;"> <strong>Bankruptcy: Business</strong><br /> <a href="">David A. Handzo</a></p> <p style="margin-left:20.25pt;"> <strong>Business Litigation</strong><br /> <a href="">David W. DeBruin</a><br /> <a href="">Michael B. DeSanctis</a><br /> <a href="">David A. Handzo</a></p> <p style="margin-left:20.25pt;"> <strong>Class Action/Mass Torts</strong><br /> <a href="">David A. Handzo</a><br /> <a href="">Michael K. Lowman</a></p> <p style="margin-left:20.25pt;"> <strong>Civil Litigation: Defense</strong><br /> <a href="">Thomas J. Perrelli</a></p> <p style="margin-left:20.25pt;"> <strong>Communications</strong><br /> <a href="">Michael B. DeSanctis</a><br /> <a href="">Samuel L. Feder</a></p> <p style="margin-left:20.25pt;"> <strong>Criminal Defense: White Collar</strong><br /> <a href="">David W. DeBruin</a></p> <p style="margin-left:20.25pt;"> <strong>Entertainment and Sports</strong><br /> <a href="">Michael B. DeSanctis</a><br /> <a href="">Thomas J. Perrelli</a></p> <p style="margin-left:20.25pt;"> <strong>Government Contracts</strong><br /> <a href="">Julie M. Carpenter</a><br /> <a href="">David A. Churchill</a><br /> <a href="">W. Jay DeVecchio</a></p> <p style="margin-left:20.25pt;"> <strong>Insurance Coverage</strong><br /> <a href="">Matthew L. Jacobs</a></p> <p style="margin-left:20.25pt;"> <strong>Media and Advertising</strong><br /> <a href="">Paul M. Smith</a></p> <p style="margin-left:20.25pt;"> <strong>Securities Litigation</strong><br /> <a href="">Larry P. Ellsworth</a><br /> <a href="">Michael K. Lowman&nbsp;</a>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<br /> <a href="">Thomas C. Newkirk</a></p> <p style="margin-left:20.25pt;"> <strong>Schools and Education</strong><br /> <a href="">Thomas J. Perrelli</a></p> <p style="margin-left:20.25pt;"> The following is the list of “Rising Stars” and their <em>Super Lawyers</em>’ practice areas: Partners <a href="">Jessica Ring Amunson</a> (Appellate, Civil Litigation: Defense, Constitutional Law); <a href=""><strong>Carrie F. Apfel </strong></a>&nbsp;and <a href="">Daniel E. Chudd </a>(Government Contracts);<a href=""><strong>Melissa A. Cox</strong></a> (General Litigation); <a href="">Matthew E. Price</a> (Appellate, Constitutional Law, Civil Litigation: Defense); <a href="">Joshua M. Segal </a>(Appellate, General Litigation); <a href="">Brian S. Scarbrough</a> (Insurance Coverage); <a href="">Damien C. Specht</a> (Government Contracts, Business/Corporate); <a href="">Adam G. Unikowsky</a> (Appellate, General Litigation, Intellectual Property Litigation, Communications) and <a href="">Scott B. Wilkens</a> (Business Litigation) and Associates <a href="">Marina K. Jenkins</a> (General Litigation) and <a href="">Jan A. Larson</a> (Insurance Coverage).</p> 1 Jul 2015 Intellectual Asset Management’s Guide to the Leading Patent Professionals Ranks the Firm and Four Partners <p> Intellectual Asset Management’s <em><a href=";q=J#office_6053">IAM Patent 1000 2015: The World’s Leading Patent Professionals</a></em> ranks Jenner &amp; Block’s Patent Litigation and Counseling Practice in the “silver tier” and recognizes four partners as leading practitioners.&nbsp; According to the guide, the “compact team punches well above its weight in numbers and acquits itself with distinction in the most sophisticated lawsuits.&nbsp; By approaching matters with a trial lawyer mentality, its practitioners get the job done regardless of the technology at issue.”&nbsp; Managing Partner <a href="">Terrence J. Truax</a>, former co-chair of the practice, is described as a “top-notch lawyer clients like to gloat about working with.”&nbsp; Partner <a href="">Reginald J. Hill</a> is “a great lawyer with sharp litigation instincts.” <a href="">Bradford P. Lyerla</a> is described as an “urbane and trusted counselor.”&nbsp; Practice Chair <em><a href="">Harry J. Roper</a></em><em>is noted as being a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.&nbsp; Intellectual Asset Management conducts more than 1,500 interviews to create the guide, now in its fourth edition. </em></p> 1 Jul 2015 Partners Neil Barofsky and Mary Ellen Callahan Named <i>NLJ</i> Regulatory and Compliance Trailblazers <p> Jenner &amp; Block Partners <a href="">Neil M. Barofsky</a> and <a href="">Mary Ellen Callahan</a> are recognized among <em>The National Law Journal</em>’s “Trailblazers” in the regulatory and compliance area.&nbsp; The honor recognizes people “who have made a difference navigating the ever-changing mandates of regulatory and compliance,” according to the <em>NLJ</em>.&nbsp; The publication notes that the 2015 selections comprise an “exemplary list that catalogs the extraordinary accomplishments of innovative thinkers and leading practitioners.”</p> <p> In its <a href="">profile of Mr. Barofsky</a>, the <em>NLJ</em> explains that, as the country’s financial crisis deepened in 2008, he became the special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program; during that time, he oversaw the Treasury Department’s efforts to ensure compliance related to the $700 billion bailout.&nbsp; “Compliance shouldn’t just be viewed as a revenue-sapping, box-checking exercise,” Neil tells the <em>NLJ</em>.&nbsp; “It needs to be embraced in order to make sure institutions can retain profits and not lose them in settlements.&nbsp; The culture needs to change from the top.”</p> <p> In its <a href="">profile of Ms. Callahan</a>, the <em>NLJ</em> explains that, in 2009, she was named the third chief privacy officer for the Department of Homeland Security and focused on embedding privacy into the infrastructure of the still relatively new agency.&nbsp; She tells the <em>NLJ</em> that she believes the future of privacy is very bright.&nbsp; “The ubiquitous, always-on ‘Internet of Things’ will make it more important than ever,” she says, adding that embedding privacy into the entire life cycle is critical.</p> 2 Jul 2015