April 08, 2009

Jenner & Block was recognized by The National Law Journal in the newspaper’s 2009 “Appellate Hot List,” which recognizes 20 law firms “with stellar records in appellate advocacy” that were involved in “the most important appeals of the year,” and firms that possess “an impressive legacy overall.”

In recognizing Jenner & Block, The National Law Journal noted that the Firm argued 21 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court during the last seven years.  The newspaper also highlighted three of Jenner & Block’s recent cases:

  • Partner David W. DeBruin’s victory before the U.S. Supreme Court in Bridge v. Phoenix Bond & Indemnity Co., which resolved a long standing circuit court split related to RICO claims. 
  • Partner Susan J. Kohlmann’s win before the Second Circuit in Penguin Group (USA) Inc. v. Steinbeck, in which the court, “vindicated the estate of novelist John Steinbeck's widow, Elaine, in this decades-long legal battle over the rights to many of Steinbeck's best-known early works,” The National Law Journal wrote. 
  • Partners Paul M. Smith and Katherine A. Fallow’s victory for the video game industry before the Eight Circuit in Entertainment Software Ass'n v. Swanson, in which the appellate court struck down on First Amendment grounds an attempt to regulate the sale of certain video games based on their content.  The newspaper noted that Jenner & Block “has secured similar victories for its video game industry clients in a raft of states.”

“We’re proud of the appellate successes we’ve achieved on behalf of our clients and pleased The National Law Journal has recognized Jenner & Block in this prestigious list,” said Paul M. Smith, Chair of the Firm’s Appellate and Supreme Court Practice.  The National Law Journal noted that Mr. Smith is a “seasoned Supreme Court litigator,” having argued 13 times before the Court. 

“This recognition is a testament to the ongoing breadth and depth of our Litigation Department and highlights the unique strengths of our Appellate Practice,” said Susan C. Levy, Jenner & Block’s Managing Partner. 

The cases argued by the Firm have long been among the most significant.  Jenner & Block’s landmark victories have included Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd. (2005) (addressing secondary liability of Internet file-sharing services), Wiggins v. Smith (2003) (addressing standards for effective counsel in the death penalty sentencing phase), Lawrence v. Texas (2003) (holding all sodomy laws unconstitutional), and even Witherspoon v. Illinois (1968) (holding that it is unconstitutional in a murder trial to exclude all jurors who object to the death penalty). 

In January 2008, the Firm presented arguments in the Supreme Court twice within three days in two high-visibility cases — Baze v. Rees, involving the constitutionality of the lethal injection execution method, and Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, involving the constitutionality of the Indiana voter ID law. 

Already in 2009, the Firm has had two arguments in the Supreme Court.  One was Nken v. Holder, argued by Associate Lindsay C. Harrison on January 21.  That case will resolve a circuit conflict over standards for granting stays of orders of deportation pending appeal.  The other was Montejo v. Louisiana, involving the Sixth Amendment right to counsel.

The Firm submitted over twenty 2008-09 appellate victories to The National Law Journal to consider for this award, representing a wide range of significant matters on behalf of Firm clients in federal and state courts of appeals across the country.  

For further information about these cases and Jenner & Block’s Appellate and Supreme Court Practice, please click here.