Jenner & Block

Jenner & Block Elects 13 New Partners for 2015

Jenner & Block, a national law firm with offices in Chicago, New York, Washington DC and Los Angeles, has elected 13 lawyers across its offices to the partnership, effective January 1, 2015.

“We are proud to announce our 2015 class of partners, an exceptionally talented and diverse group of lawyers from across our firm’s national platform,” Managing Partner Terrence J. Truax said.  “The 13 attorneys – eight women and five men – support a variety of the firm’s practice areas, including Complex Commercial Litigation, White Collar Defense and Investigations, Government Contracts, Appellate, Real Estate and Environmental.  The election of this talented group reaffirms our firm’s unbending commitment to each of our clients to deliver excellence at every turn.”

The new partners are:

  • Kristen M. Boike (Chicago)
    Kristen’s practice involves a wide array of transactional real estate matters; in particular, she has had significant experience with commercial leasing, acquisitions and dispositions, sale leaseback transactions, commercial real estate loans, development and redevelopment projects, corporate mergers and acquisitions, and private placement memoranda.  She is also well versed in issues relating to green and sustainable buildings and has written and presented on such topics.  Kristen has been a member of numerous multidisciplinary firm teams representing key clients in a variety of transactions, including representing General Motors in its Section 363 sale of assets and subsequent securing of a five-year $5 billion senior revolving credit facility, both key to the success of the company’s historic IPO in 2010.  Most recently, Kristen provided real estate counsel as part of a $440 million sale by Archer Daniels Midland of its global chocolate business.  She also has an active pro bono practice, including recently providing legal assistance in connection with construction of a new domestic violence shelter on Chicago’s southwest side and a community center/familyplex for underserved youth and families on the city’s west side.  Kristen is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, where she was an article editor for the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform, a research director for the Voting Rights Initiative of the Election Law Project, and participated in the Urban Communities Clinic.
  • Matthew D. Cipolla (New York)
    Matt represents corporations and individuals in criminal and regulatory matters, including before the United States Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and New York State and local prosecutors’ offices, as well as provides counsel for attendant civil litigations.  He conducts internal investigations and monitorships and represents corporations in complex commercial litigations.  Matt also maintains an active pro bono practice, which has included representing individual criminal defendants in federal and state court, including successfully obtaining a below-Guidelines sentence in the Eastern District of New York and the dismissal of all charges for an individual criminally indicted by the Manhattan District Attorney's Office.  He most recently secured a reversal of a conviction for an individual found to have committed various environmental law violations in the Northern District of New York on grounds of improper exclusion of evidence and prosecutorial misconduct.  In 2014, he was awarded the Albert E. Jenner pro bono award, and in 2010, he was recognized with a Safe Haven Award from Immigration Equality for his representation of LGBT asylum applicants.  Matt graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he served as editor for the Harvard Journal on Legislation.
  • Melissa A. Cox (DC)
    Melissa is a litigator who focuses primarily in the area of commercial litigation.  She has experience representing clients in a wide range of matters, including breach of contract, fraud, business torts, and insurance coverage suits before courts at all levels throughout the country.  She also counsels corporate clients on their obligations under federal and state privacy laws.  In 2014, Super Lawyers named Melissa a “Washington, D.C. Rising Star” and the National LGBT Bar Association honored her as one of the “Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40.”  She has a vibrant pro bono practice, including securing an appellate victory and habeas relief for an inmate before the Seventh Circuit.  Melissa earned her law degree from Yale Law School.  Before law school, she completed masters degrees at the London School of Economics and the University of Oxford.
  • Elizabeth A. Edmondson (New York)
    Elizabeth focuses her practice on counseling clients in complex contractual disputes, particularly in the manufacturing sector, and litigating disputes involving sophisticated financial products and services, including in actions involving securities fraud and breach of contract.  She has represented clients at every stage of litigation, including in eight trials and arbitrations.  She has delivered opening and closing statements in federal court, and conducted multiple direct and cross examinations in court and arbitration.  Elizabeth was a member of the team that won a record-breaking $431 million FINRA arbitration award for STMicroelectronics N.V. and then helped defend that award before the Second Circuit.  In her pro bono work, she has devoted substantial time to vindicating the right of prisoners to receive adequate medical care.  In one such action, Elizabeth helped obtain a substantial settlement for an inmate who had suffered from an untreated brain tumor.  In addition, she has represented a client in a successful bid to avoid deportation and drafted briefs before federal appellate courts on behalf of individuals and non-profit organizations.  Before joining Jenner & Block, Elizabeth completed a clerkship with the Honorable Reena Raggi, U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit.  She graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School, where she served as articles editor for the Harvard Law Review and was on the winning team of the Ames Moot Court Competition.
  • Casey T. Grabenstein (Chicago)
    Casey represents clients in a broad range of litigation matters, including class actions and has experience in all phases of litigation.  He particularly focuses in the area of health care litigation and has represented a large health insurance company in a number of disputes with providers and hospitals and a major health insurance association in a putative nationwide class action.  Casey routinely defends product manufacturers, distributors and retailers in nationwide product liability matters, including serving as national counsel for a major automobile manufacturer and defending large companies in product liability cases across the country.  He also has defended several consumer fraud and securities class actions.  In 2014, Casey was recognized as a “Rising Star” in Business Litigation by Illinois Super Lawyers.  In addition, Casey maintains an active pro bono practice.  He has first-chaired multiple federal jury trials, argued in the Seventh Circuit and served as lead counsel in an immigration trial that resulted in asylum for his client from Tanzania.  He currently represents a client in post-trial death penalty proceedings.  Casey has served as an adjunct professor at Northwestern University Law School, teaching Pre-Trial Legal Interviews and Investigations.  He is a summa cum laude and Order of the Coif graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law, where he was a member of the University of Illinois Law Review, a Harno Scholar and received the Rickert Award for Excellence in Academic Achievement and the CALI Award for Introduction to Intellectual Property.
  • Nancy C. Jacobson (Chicago)
    Nancy has extensive experience in internal investigations and corporate compliance.  She has worked on global compliance reviews involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, as well as investigations of potential fraud, money laundering and theft of intellectual property.  She advises clients on corporate compliance programs and has drafted compliance materials for publicly held and private corporate clients.  Nancy has also represented clients in civil litigation involving claims of tort, breach of contract, product liability, legal malpractice, misappropriation of trade secrets and unfair competition.  Illinois Super Lawyers recognized Nancy as a “Rising Star” in the practice areas of Professional Responsibility: Defense in 2012 and 2013 and Criminal Defense: White Collar in 2014.  Nancy received her J.D. degree from the University of Chicago Law School, where, before attending law school, she had worked in the Office of the College Dean of Students.  She remains actively involved with the university and with issues related to education and education law.  Nancy has also served on the boards of Congregation K.A.M. Isaiah Israel and the Ancona School, an independent private school for children ages 3 through 8th  grade, where she is currently an honorary trustee.
  • Kelly M. Morrison (Los Angeles)
    Kelly concentrates on complex civil litigation, arbitration, and appellate matters, with a focus on class action defense.  She has been a key member of the defense team for dozens of consumer and employment class action lawsuits, achieving dismissals at the pleading stage and denials of class certification.  In addition to her deep experience disposing of cases in early proceedings, Kelly has trial and arbitration hearing experience.  She has also handled a number of appellate matters and has argued in the U.S. Court of Appeals.  Kelly has worked on a variety of pro bono matters, including immigration cases, pre-trial proceedings following the grant of a new trial in a capital habeas matter and a challenge to California’s lethal injection protocol.  In 2014, Southern California Super Lawyers recognized her as “Rising Star” in business litigation.  She has substantial experience with international clients and a background in international law, including a Master of Arts in international relations and economics from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.  Kelly earned her law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law.
  • Rachel S. Morse (Chicago)
    Rachel has significant experience litigating in a variety of substantive areas, including intellectual property disputes, business torts, and contract disputes.  She was a member of a firm team that secured a $101.7 million jury verdict for the client, an S&P 500 healthcare real estate investment trust, in a three-week federal jury trial.  According to The National Law Journal, the verdict was among the top 20 largest verdicts of 2009 and the largest that year for a case of tortious interference with a business expectation.  Law360 highlighted the case as an example of one of the largest verdicts won in recent years in plaintiff-side representation by law firms that typically represent the defense side in commercial litigation.  In 2011, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals not only upheld the jury’s award, but also reversed and remanded the district court’s decision that the firm’s client could not seek punitive damages, eventually leading to a settlement that added $125 million to the jury’s verdict.  In 2013 and 2014, Rachel was named a “Rising Star” in Business Litigation by Illinois Super Lawyers.  Rachel’s pro bono efforts include assisting victims of domestic violence who are seeking emergency and plenary orders of protection.  She also has worked closely with the Illinois Supreme Court Historic Preservation Commission to assist and advise the Illinois Supreme Court in regard to the acquisition, collection, documentation and preservation of the historic aspects of buildings, objects, artifacts, documents and information relating to the Illinois judiciary.  A member of the firm’s Hiring Committee (Chicago), Rachel received her J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2007.
  • Coral A. Negron (Chicago)
    Coral’s practice focuses on internal investigations and corporate compliance.  She has significant experience in matters involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), including conducting compliance monitorships and due diligence reviews, and in conducting internal investigations.  She writes regularly on litigation topics and is an author of Jenner & Block’s FCPA Business Guide 2014.  A summa cum laude graduate of Hillsdale college, Coral received her law degree from Harvard Law School.  After graduating from law school, she served as a law clerk to the Honorable Andrew J. Kleinfeld of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
  • David P. Saunders (Chicago)
    David concentrates his practice on complex contractual litigation and since 2007 has been representing mortgage originators and depositors in lawsuits related to their sale and securitization of mortgage loans.  He helps these companies assess their risk, defending them against securities, common law tort and contract claims.  David also counsels Fortune 100 companies and small businesses on their HIPAA, HITECH, GLBA and state law privacy obligations and is experienced in creating and updating privacy policies as well as handling the repercussions of a data breach.  He also has significant experience arbitrating cases before the American Arbitration Association and in other forums.  In 2013 and 2014, he was recognized as a “Rising Star” in Business Litigation byIllinois Super Lawyers.  With an active pro bono practice, David has represented inmates in several actions in state and federal court, including argument before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.  He also volunteers at Cabrini Green legal aid, where he serves as the vice-chair of the Board of Directors.  A graduate of the University of Chicago, he received his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law.
  • Damien C. Specht (DC)
    Damien is co-chair of the firm’s Government Contracts Corporate Transactions Group.  In that role, he has led government contracts efforts in transactions for clients such as General Dynamics, Metalmark Capital and W.W. Grainger, Inc.  In addition to representing clients in all facets of government contracts mergers and acquisitions, he has experience in a wide variety of government contracts matters, including Federal Acquisition Regulation counseling, negotiation of subcontracts and teaming agreements, contract disputes, size protests, and both pre- and post-award bid protests.  A recognized leader on small business issues, Damien is co-chair of the American Bar Association’s Small Business & Other Socioeconomic Programs Committee and has testified about small business procurement issues before the United States House of Representatives.  He was also named a Washington, DC “Rising Star” in Government Contracts by Super Lawyers in 2014.  Damien graduated with High Honors from The George Washington University Law School (Order of the Coif), where he served as a member of the Public Contract Law Journal.
  • Allison A. Torrence (Chicago)
    Allison has significant experience in environmental litigation, working on cases involving toxic torts, CERCLA, RCRA, the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act, among other matters.  She advises clients on a variety of workplace health and safety issues, including dealing with state and federal regulators following workplace injuries and inspections.  She represents policyholders in insurance coverage disputes relating to environmental issues and counsels clients on a variety of regulatory compliance matters arising under state and federal regulatory schemes.  Allison also uses her experience to aid clients in environmental, health and safety audits and in performing environmental due diligence for complex corporate transactions.  In 2014, Illinois Super Lawyers recognized her as a “Rising Star.”  The Young Lawyers Section of the Chicago Bar Association also honored her with the David C. Hilliard Award for Outstanding Committee Service for her work on the Environmental Law Committee.  Allison earned her law degree from the University of Chicago Law School and her undergraduate degree, with distinction, from the University of Michigan.
  • Adam G. Unikowsky (DC)
    Adam is a litigator who has been involved in numerous patent cases involving a wide range of computer and electrical engineering technologies.  He also has significant experience in appellate, government contracts, telecommunications, copyright, insurance, antitrust, bankruptcy, energy, defamation and complex commercial litigation and has participated in cases in numerous federal courts, state courts and arbitral tribunals.  He maintains an active pro bono practice, including having prevailed in a Seventh Circuit appeal in which he secured habeas relief for a prison inmate and then successfully handled the inmate’s re-sentencing.  Adam has served as a law clerk for Justice Antonin Scalia of the U.S. Supreme Court and Judge Douglas Ginsburg of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.  Adam earned his law degree, magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School, where he was articles co-chair of the Harvard Law Review.  He earned his M.Eng. and his S.B. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.