May 20, 2002

In the Firm's second victory for its client WorldCom in as many weeks, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled 8-0 for WorldCom in an important telecommunications case, Verizon v. Maryland.  The Court rejected claims of state utility commissions that the 11th Amendment barred federal court suits against them to enforce provisions of the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996.  The Court also adopted WorldCom's arguments on the nature and scope of federal court jurisdiction.

The decision involving so-called "reciprocal compensation" protects hundreds of millions of dollars in judgments that Jenner & Block has obtained on behalf of WorldCom in over 25 cases against the Bell Companies for breaching agreements under which they promised to compensate WorldCom for delivering calls to Internet Service Providers.

Paul M. Smith led the team and presented the argument in the Supreme Court.  He was assisted by Partners Darryl Bradford, Donald B. Verrilli Jr., John Hamill, William Hohengarten, Michael DeSanctis and Mark Schneider, among many others who have worked on these cases for more than four years.