News Feed News Description Partners Joseph Gromacki and Craig Martin Named in <i>Lawdragon 500</i> <p> Jenner &amp; Block Partners <a href="">Joseph P. Gromacki</a> and <a href="">Craig C. Martin</a> are recognized in the 2017 <em>L<em>awdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America</em></em> guide and will be included in the <em>Lawdragon </em>magazine due out this fall.&nbsp; The guide is developed through a combination of editorial research by <em>Lawdragon</em> staff; submissions from law firms; and an online nomination form that allows visitors to recommend and comment on their favorite lawyers.&nbsp; Mr. Gromacki was named in the 2008, 2011 and 2012 directories, while Mr. Martin was named in the 2016 directory.</p> <p> Mr. Gromacki is chair of the firmwide Corporate Practice and oversees all of the firm’s transactional practices.&nbsp;&nbsp; Companies and their boards seek his assistance with structuring and negotiating public and private mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, public securities offerings and other highly complex corporate transactions.</p> <p> Mr. Martin is the chair of the firm’s Litigation Department and a member of the Policy Committee. Clients seek him out for his strategic and innovative approach in a variety of lawsuits and arbitration proceedings involving complex business and legal issues.&nbsp; He has been recognized as being an elite commercial litigator and boardroom adviser as well as for his extensive philanthropic, community service, and pro bono contributions. From high-profile trials to sensitive investigations, Mr. Martin is a trusted adviser to Fortune 500 corporations and to some of the nation’s most influential families.</p> 23 May 2017 Firm Represents Lonza in Its $2.3 Billion Rights Offering <p> The firm recently represented Switzerland-based Lonza Group AG in its roughly $2.3 billion rights offering.&nbsp; The proceeds will be used to finance a portion of the purchase price of Lonza’s previously announced acquisition of Capsugel S.A., a leading maker of capsules and other dosage forms used for the delivery of drugs and food supplements.&nbsp; The rights offering has been fully underwritten by a banking syndicate led by UBS AG and BofA Merrill Lynch acting as Joint Global Coordinators and Joint Bookrunners. Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs International and J.P. Morgan acted as Joint Bookrunners.</p> <p> The firm acted as international securities counsel for Lonza Group in this equity offering.&nbsp; The cross-disciplinary team representing Lonza included Partners <a href="">Kevin T. Collins</a>, <a href="">Jeffrey R. Shuman</a>, <a href="">Martin C. Glass</a>, <a href="">Jared S. Manes</a>, <a href="">Geoffrey M. Davis</a>, <a href="">Steven M. Siros</a> and <a href="">Lee K. Van Voorhis</a> and Associates <a href="">Rafi W. Mottahedeh</a>, <a href="">Mark A. Reinhardt</a> and <a href="">Wei Xu</a>.</p> 31 May 2017 Jenner & Block Joins Pilot Program to Improve Diversity in Law Firms <p> Jenner &amp; Block is amongst 30&nbsp;leading law firms that are piloting a program to boost diversity in leadership ranks.&nbsp; Called the Mansfield Rule, the program is one of the winning ideas that came out of the 2016 Women in Law Hackathon, hosted by Diversity Lab with Bloomberg Law and Stanford Law School.&nbsp; The Mansfield Rule is named after Arabella Mansfield, the first woman admitted to the practice of law in the United States.&nbsp; Participating firms certify that they considered women and lawyers of color – at least 30 percent of the candidate pool – for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions and lateral positions.</p> <p> The firm’s participation in the Mansfield Rule follows its participation in last year’s inaugural Hackathon.&nbsp; The Hackathon brought together 54 partners from law firms across the United States to tackle the problem of the gender imbalance in leadership.&nbsp; For six months, the partners worked in teams with industry leaders and Stanford Law students to create innovative solutions aimed at advancing and retaining experienced women lawyers in law firms.&nbsp;&nbsp; Their ideas were presented during a “Shark Tank”-style competition last June.</p> <p> Partner <a href="">Reid J. Schar</a> served as the firm’s representative for the Hackathon.&nbsp; <a href="">His team won first place for its proposal</a> of a gender-neutral compensation model titled SMART (Solutions to Measure, Advance and Reward Talent).&nbsp;&nbsp; SMART incorporates a firm’s values and culture, taking into account, in addition to billable hours and business generation, activities related to what women in law firms tend to spend more time on: advancing diversity, committee work, training, pro bono, etc.&nbsp;</p> <p> “We were thrilled to be a part of the Hackathon Alliance, and we are delighted to take the next step with Diversity Lab and join the Mansfield Rule effort, a concrete strategy aimed at improving diversity in the profession,” said <a href="">Susan J. Kohlmann</a>, chair of the firm’s Diversity &amp; Inclusion Committee and managing partner of the New York office.&nbsp; “Jenner &amp; Block is committed to finding innovative ways to improve diversity through strategies like the Mansfield Rule.”</p> <p> Please click <a href="">here</a> to learn more about the Mansfield Rule program.</p> 7 Jun 2017 Partner Adam Unikowsky Achieves Three Supreme Court Wins <p> After arguing three US Supreme Court cases in a 28-day span in March and April 2017, Jenner &amp; Block Partner <a href="">Adam G. Unikowsky</a> achieved unanimous wins in all three. &nbsp;The cases were <em>Howell v. Howell</em>, <em>Honeycutt v. US</em> and <em>Kokesh v. SEC</em>.</p> <p> Mr. Unikowsky authored the successful petitions for certiorari in each case.&nbsp; Based on this record, plus his authorship of one certiorari stage amicus brief in a granted case, Empirical SCOTUS, a blog that analyzes data about the Court, placed Mr. Unikowsky in a tie for first place among all attorneys on cert petitions and cert stage amici filings for the term.</p> <p> Then, within a one-month period beginning with <em>Howell</em> on March 20, 2017, and ending with <em>Kokesh</em> on April 18, 2017, Mr. Unikowsky presented oral arguments in the three cases.&nbsp; Mr. Unikowsky won unanimous victories in all three cases, despite facing opposition from the Justice Department in all three cases, and despite the fact that the vast majority of lower courts had rejected the positions he advanced.</p> <p> In<em> Kokesh</em>, Mr. Unikowsky&nbsp;unanimously won a decision that the five-year statute of limitations in a general federal statute of limitations governing penalties and forfeitures applies to SEC claims seeking disgorgement of illegally obtained profits.&nbsp; The Court rejected the Justice Department’s view that there was no statute of limitations applicable to disgorgement claims.&nbsp; The Court’s landmark ruling reduced the liability of Mr. Unikowsky’s client by at least $29 million, and will dramatically affect the SEC’s ability to obtain disgorgement in enforcement actions under the securities laws and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.&nbsp; The Court rejected the views not only of the Justice Department, but of the vast majority of lower-court cases to have considered the question.&nbsp; And the Supreme Court’s specific basis for its holding—that, as Mr. Unikowsky argued, disgorgement was a “penalty”—had never been accepted by any lower court prior to the Court’s ruling.</p> <p> In <em>Honeycutt</em>, the Court ruled unanimously that federal criminal asset forfeiture statutes apply only to property a defendant actually acquires as the result of the crime, or substitute property under narrowly defined circumstances.&nbsp; It rejected the Justice Department’s position that there is joint and several liability for forfeiture among members of a criminal conspiracy.&nbsp; The Court reached this ruling despite a 9-1 circuit split in favor of the government’s position—and thus rejected the Justice Department’s plea at oral argument that the Court should endorse the rule “that’s prevailed in nine circuits for, in some cases, decades.”</p> <p> In <em>Howell</em>, the Court unanimously agreed with Mr. Unikowsky’s position that federal law pre-empted a state court’s order directing his client, an Air Force veteran, to indemnify his former spouse for the reduction in her portion of his retirement pay resulting from his post-divorce decision to take disability pay.&nbsp;&nbsp;The Court reached this ruling over the opposition of the Justice Department, which, among other things, argued that “the vast majority of States” had rejected veterans’ arguments under these circumstances, going as far as to include an appendix in its brief enumerating all the state court decisions rejecting Mr. Unikowsky’s position.</p> <p> The 8-0 <em>Howell</em> decision was announced on May 15; the 8-0 <em>Honeycutt</em> ruling came down on June 5, 2017.&nbsp; <em>Kokesh</em>, a 9-0 decision that included newly appointed Supreme Court Justice Gorsuch, also came down on June 5.</p> 9 Jun 2017 Firm Achieves Wins in Important Voting Rights Cases in Supreme Court’s 2016 Term <p> The firm achieved a series of victories in important voting rights cases before the US Supreme Court this Term.&nbsp; Most recently, on June 5, 2017, the Court, in <em>North Carolina v. Covington</em>, affirmed the lower court’s holding in an important voting rights case in North Carolina.&nbsp; Jenner &amp; Block Partner <a href="">Jessica Ring Amunson</a> was counsel for the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, which argued that the state had created 28 legislative districts through unconstitutional racial gerrymanders.&nbsp; The lower court had agreed and ordered the state to run special elections in 2017 to fix the issue.&nbsp; The Supreme Court affirmed the district court's finding but vacated its order for special elections in response.&nbsp; In its opinion, the Court left open the possibility of special elections to remedy the constitutional violations and remanded for the district court to provide a more detailed balancing of the equities.<br /> <br /> This victory was the second positive result for Ms. Amunson in the Supreme Court in a two-week period, with regard to voting rights issues.&nbsp; On May 22, the Court agreed with arguments outlined in an amicus brief co-authored by Ms. Amunson and filed on behalf of several voting rights organizations in <em>Cooper v. Harris</em>.&nbsp; The Court struck down two districts in North Carolina’s congressional map, holding that the state had engaged in unconstitutional racial gerrymanders.<br /> <br /> Ms. Amunson also represented a number of voting rights organizations as amici in another important voting rights case, decided earlier this Term on March 1.&nbsp; In <em>Bethune-Hill v. Virginia State Board of Elections,</em> the Supreme Court issued the ruling sought by the firm’s clients in holding that the lower court used the wrong legal standard in determining that race did not predominate in 11 of 12 legislative districts in Virginia.</p> 5 Jun 2017 Firm Files Amicus Briefs in Cases Challenging Guantánamo Military Commissions Jurisdiction <p> On May 31, 2017, Jenner &amp; Block filed two amicus briefs in the Supreme Court on behalf of the National Institute of Military Justice (NIMJ), urging the Court to settle the validity of military commissions’ jurisdiction to try domestic offenses.</p> <p> The first case, <em><a href="">al Bahlul v. United States</a>,</em> challenges the constitutionality of military commissions to try domestic offenses like conspiracy when the defendant’s conduct post-dated the Military Commissions Act.&nbsp; Al Bahlul was convicted by a military commission of three domestic offenses, two of which were thrown out on appeal. On the third charge, conspiracy, the D.C. Circuit fractured, ultimately affirming al Bahlul’s conspiracy convictionbut without a majority rationale.&nbsp; The case thus left unanswered the question of whether commissions can try purely domestic offenses. &nbsp;Jenner &amp; Block’s brief argues that the Supreme Court should hear the case so as to settle once and for all the jurisdiction of post-September 11 military commissions.</p> <p> In the second case, <em><a href="">al Nashiri v. Donald Trump</a></em>, the defendant has been charged with offenses that more closely resemble international war crimes, but the question is whether the acts at issue took place during “hostilities,” which the Military Commissions Act defines as occurring in a “conflict subject to the laws of war.”&nbsp; The D.C. Circuit abstained from resolving al Nashiri’s habeas petition, invoking the doctrine of <em>Councilman</em> abstention under which civil courts leave challenges to military trials to the military courts in the first instance.&nbsp; &nbsp;Jenner &amp; Block’s brief argues that <em>Councilman</em> abstention should not apply to military commissions, and that even in applicable, abstention is inappropriate where al Nashiri is claiming the right not to be tried at all.</p> <p> The firm team, Partner <a href="">Lindsay C. Harrison</a> and Associate <a href="">Tassity Johnson</a>, argue in both briefs that it is time for the Court to settle the jurisdictional bounds of the military commissions, rather than allowing the commissions to continue to operate under a cloud of illegitimacy.</p> 31 May 2017 Partner Adam Unikowsky Featured in Article that Celebrates His US Supreme Court Victories <p> Jenner &amp; Block Partner <a href="">Adam G. Unikowsky</a> gave a lengthy interview to <em>The National Law Journal</em> about his US Supreme Court victories – a total of five, counting this and last term.&nbsp; Titled “<a href="">How Young Jenner Partner ‘Boiled the Oceans’ to Find, Win 5 SCOTUS Cases</a>,” the article includes Mr. Unikowsky’s answers to a series of questions, ranging from how he found the cases to how he used his time before the Court.</p> <p> Click <a href="">here</a> to read more about Mr. Unikowsky’s recent victories.</p> <p> Mr. Unikowsky is a partner in Appellate and Supreme Court Practice.&nbsp; In 2011, he returned to the firm after completing a clerkship for US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.&nbsp;&nbsp; Prior to his clerkship, he had been at Jenner &amp; Block since 2008.&nbsp; He litigates cases in the US Supreme Court, appellate courts, trial courts and administrative agencies.</p> 12 Jun 2017 Partner April Otterberg Appointed to ABA’s Standing Committee on Professional Liability <p> Jenner &amp; Block Partner <a href="">April Otterberg</a> was recently selected to become a member of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Standing Committee on Professional Liability. The Standing Committee on Professional Liability is a source for information on legal malpractice claim statistics, insurance for lawyers, and legal malpractice prevention. The Standing Committee also organizes the national ABA Legal Malpractice Conference twice a year.&nbsp; Ms. Otterberg is serving a three-year term on the committee that begins when the 2017 ABA annual meeting is adjourned.</p> <p> Ms. Otterberg focuses her practice on professional responsibility litigation, which involves defending lawyers and law firms in pending or threatened legal malpractice and related claims, including aiding and abetting, conspiracy, and receivership claims. She is a co-author of the Illinois chapter of the ABA’s Law of Lawyer Liability, and she regularly speaks and writes on a range of professional responsibility topics.</p> <p> Click <a href="">here</a> to learn more about the Standing Committee on Professional Liability.</p> 14 Jun 2017 Jenner & Block Partners Participate in Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Alumni Leadership Symposium <p> Jenner &amp; Block Partner <a href="">Reena R. Bajowala</a> recently served on the Planning Committee for the Leadership Council On Legal Diversity’s Sixth Annual LCLD Fellows Alumni Leadership Symposium that took place from June 1-3, 2017, in New York City.&nbsp; The Symposium kicked off with a Community Service Event, planned by the Outreach Committee, which Ms. Bajowala co-chaired for the 2016-17 year.&nbsp; As part of the event, Fellows participated in a mock networking session with students from the Eagle Academy for Young Men in Brooklyn.&nbsp; During the Symposium, Ms. Bajowala, who founded an annual fundraising and community service participation competition among graduate Fellow classes and founded the Community Service Award, presented the award to the winning class.&nbsp; This year, the Fellows raised $12,500 that will go towards the Eagle Academy.&nbsp; Jenner &amp; Block’s New York office Managing Partner and Chair of the firm’s Diversity Committee <a href="">Susan J. Kohlmann</a> also took part in the Symposium, leading a discussion about diversity with a group of Fellows.&nbsp; Ms. Bajowala is a 2013 LCLD Fellow.&nbsp; Other Jenner &amp; Block Fellows include Partners <a href="">Kelly M. Morrison</a> (2017), <a href="">L. David Russell</a> (2016) and <a href="">Jolene E. Negre</a> (2014).</p> <p> The Leadership Council on Legal Diversity is&nbsp;an organization of more than 265 corporate chief legal officers and law firm managing partners who have dedicated themselves to creating a truly diverse US legal profession.&nbsp; Its Fellows Program works by identifying high-potential mid-career attorneys from diverse backgrounds and setting them on the path to leadership.&nbsp; Over the course of a year, Fellows participate in events and programs intended to foster collaboration and build relationships, including attending in-person conferences and training programs, participating in peer-group projects and attending various events hosted by LCLD’s top leadership, law firm managing partners and general counsel.&nbsp; The Fellows Program&nbsp;has grown to include a vigorous Alumni Program.</p> 1 Jun 2017