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Jenner & Block Partner Susan J. Kohlmann was featured in a recent IP Law 360 profile on “Outstanding Women” attorneys, highlighting her extensive litigation and intellectual property law experience.
The feature article discussed Ms. Kohlmann’s move to Jenner & Block’s New York office after practicing for 25 years at a large law firm and most recently serving as managing partner at its Manhattan office. Upon her arrival, the article noted that Ms. Kohlmann became involved in the Firm’s widely-publicized representation of Viacom International in a $1 billion infringement lawsuit against YouTube and Google.
According to the article, Ms. Kohlmann has worked on many high-profile IP disputes, including representation of the Andy Warhol estate in a contract dispute. “I have always been interested in media and content issues,” she said. “With the growth of the Internet and e-commerce, I find the issues in this day and age very interesting.”
Pro bono work is also a priority that Ms. Kohlmann plans to continue at Jenner & Block, the IP Law 360 article noted. One of her most significant pro bono cases involved representing a class of 20,000 people with AIDS / HIV in a 1995 suit against New York City, which claimed that the City’s plan to dismantle its division of AIDS services responsible for helping people with the disease receive their entitlements, violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. After nine years of litigation, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York ordered three years of government oversight to ensure that the office did not close down. Ms. Kohlmann was also involved in defending that victory in various appeals.
“It’s like someone in a wheelchair trying to access a building with stairs –they need a ramp,” Ms. Kohlmann told IP Law 360. “This office was the ramp for people with AIDS trying to get their entitlements.”
The article also addressed Ms. Kohlmann’s approach to successfully balancing her work and family life, gained through her experience raising three boys.
“Everybody’s struggling to maintain some semblance of balance, and most of my professional friends have been supportive of one another,” Ms. Kohlmann told IP Law 360. “I’m a firm believer that it can be done, and I hope other women decide to do it too,” she added.