40 & Under Hot List - West

Benchmark Litigation Reviews

Dispute resolution
40 and Under West

 

Arizona

Jeffrey Sklar of Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie primarily represents bankruptcy trustees and Arizona court-appointed receivers. Sklar maintains a practice in California as well, where his practice also includes employment class actions, construction litigation, lease disputes, commercial and personal injury matters. In recent years, he has successfully handled multiple ancillary litigations on behalf of the court-appointed receiver for a large construction company. In addition, he played a major role in resolving two significant actions for client Farm Credit Services Southwest, both involving lender-liability claims in the millions of dollars. In the aviation realm, Sklar represented the plaintiff, an owner of a 777 aircraft in a matter over an engine that was allegedly dropped by the defendant, negotiating a multi-million-dollar settlement.

At Osborn Maledon, Kristin Windtberg practices employment and general commercial litigation. Her practice involves government and regulatory issues. Windtberg plays a key and lead role in defending a municipality in a constitutional challenge to an agreement with a private developer. She was also lead partner in a disability discrimination lawsuit brought by a former employee against a national client. Eric Fraser is an appellate litigator whose practice spans government-related issues and intellectual property. Among his recent matters, Fraser was lead appellate counsel for a high-profile case in the Arizona Supreme Court regarding the enforceability of a contract governing the disposition of a divorced couple’s frozen embryos. The court ruled in favor of his client enforcing the contract that stated the embryos would be donated in the event of a divorce. Joseph Roth is another emerging litigator at the firm that makes this year’s list and focuses on complex commercial and government investigation matters.

Polsinelli’s Melissa Ho practices white-collar crime litigation, frequently involving government and regulatory issues and on behalf of healthcare providers. Among her recent maters, Ho obtained a favorable resolution on behalf of an individual whose indictment was lowered to a misdemeanor. Ho also resolved a multi-state and multi-year securities commission inquiry into licensing issues on behalf of a client offering church extension funds. Beyond her practice at the firm, Ho is active in pro bono work, particularly on behalf of adults seeking permanent guardianship of grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

California

At Ad Astra, Kate Young focuses her practice on serving the emerging cannabis industry in several different areas of litigation, including commercial, intellectual property and securities disputes. She has been litigating on behalf of the industry since 2015 and became the president of the National Cannabis Bar Association in September of 2018. Among her current matters, Young is representing a plaintiff in a fraud case against a series of family-owned cannabis companies, alleging the defendants operated a Ponzi scheme. Young was also involved in another cannabis-related fraud case involving the misuse of land that she successfully arbitrated on behalf of their client.

Timothy Yoo at Bird Marella is an intellectual property litigator counselling media and technology companies in protecting their innovations and original content. On behalf of the maker of “Peatos” snack products he successfully resolved a trademark dispute between the company and Frito Lay. In addition to IP litigation, Yoo also handles commercial and business disputes. As co-lead trial counsel, he defended SK Hynix, a semiconductor manufacturer, in a federal jury trial against Microsoft’s captive insurance company. The amount in controversy was $175 million. Following a three-week trial, the jury returned a complete defense verdict on behalf of the client. Yoo is fluent in Korean and used to work for Korea’s largest entertainment company as a purveyor of K-pop music and movies.

Ben Feuer took over managing California Appellate Law Group over three years ago and has grown the firm to 14 lawyers with two offices in California’s hubs, San Francisco and Los Angeles, with an eye towards further growth in the coming years. Feuer has worked as lead appellate counsel on several cases, including one at the California Supreme Court representing a national insurer in a class action, as well as a multimillion-dollar real estate dispute. Outside of his commercial litigation practice, Feuer co-counseled with the former Solicitor General Walter Dellinger to represent former US Senators and Representatives as amici in an Emoluments Clause action against the US President.

Durie Tangri has several emerging litigators, especially in the area of intellectual property, that make this year’s 40 and Under Hot List. After taking over a patent infringement action, Timothy Saulsbury successfully persuaded the Federal Circuit on a mandamus petition in connection with the TC Heartland decision to transfer the case to the Northern District of California. Saulsbury had a significant role in resolving separate patent infringement cases on behalf of FitBit and medical aesthetics company, Invasix. Adam Brausa has also had a successful year representing GoPro and Genentech. On behalf of GoPro, he worked as appeal counsel and persuaded the Federal Circuit to reverse a PTAB decision that catalog was not a printed publication and no available as prior art. As counsel for Genentech, Brausa handled biosimilars actions against Amgen related to Herceptin and Avastin. Joseph Gratz focuses on intellectual property litigation, specifically copyright and trademark law. He defends ResearchGate, a social networking company that is popular with scientists, in litigation against a publishing journal alleging copyright infringement for allowing scientists to post and upload their own published research papers to profiles on ResearchGate. Copyright ownership and, if the publisher has an agreement with one author, can other authors share their own work are some of the central and challenging issues in this case. Gratz codes in Python, a skill that has made copyright litigation more effective and efficient. He wrote a program for a case to identify where each of tens of thousands of particular pieces of content at issue appeared on a party’s website, making a task that would have been weeks, a few hours.

Freeman Mathis & Gary’s Daniel Walsh handles litigation particularly focused on product liability and insurance disputes, as well as construction and government and regulatory issues. In a recent matter, he defended an individual involved in a motorcycle accident that left the plaintiff with catastrophic injuries. Walsh was successful in defending the client, finding a potential source of additional insurance that eventually agreed to pay 35 times the client’s personal insurance limit in order to settle the case.

Noah Perch-Ahern is a partner in Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger’s environmental department focusing on environmental and energy-related litigation. He recently handled numerous CERCLA-related matters, including a multi-party contribution action and a case involving cost recovery, environmental common law and water rights claims. Perch-Ahern was also active in administrative proceedings related to air quality and natural resource issues, as well as a writ proceeding regarding wetlands issues and statutory jurisdiction.

Hueston Hennigan has several emerging litigators that make this year’s list. A consistent nominee every year since the 40 and Under Hotlist’s inception, Moez Kaba engages in a wide array of matters for several high-profile clients. Among his current matters, Kaba currently represents the Navajo Nation, which recently won a key victory prevailing against the US EPA, current and former Gold King Mine owners and operators, as well as other responsible parties’ motion to dismiss. Other notable clients include Amazon, Monster Energy, and Planatir Technologies. Steven Feldman successfully represented Peloton Interactive in a patent infringement lawsuit against competitor Flywheel Sports in what the company said was a “massive win in our fight to protect Peloton’s intellectual property.” In addition to intellectual property litigation, Feldman also handles antitrust, securities and commercial disputes. Both Kaba and Feldman recently represented Bausch Health Companies in a case involving trade secret misappropriation, successfully defeating a $100 million lawsuit brought against the company. Allison Libeu has developed a specialty in handling executive terminations and disputes between business founders, what she calls ‘corporate divorce.’ The practice often involves cutting-edge industries and a unique mix of law, dealing with employment, trade secrets and corporate structure. Among her recent matters, Libeu represented a Fortune 500 company in a trade secret misappropriation and breach of fiduciary duty case the company brought against a former CEO who left to join a rival. A new addition to this year’s 40 and Under Hot List is Vicki Chou, who focuses her practice on complex commercial and white-collar litigation. Among her notable matters, Chou is currently part of a team representing Bill McGlashan, founder of TPG Growth LLC, in the “Varsity Blues” college admissions case. In addition, Chou successfully represented a Fortune 500 CEO against allegations of securities fraud brought by the SEC.

Based in the San Fransico offices of Hunton Andrews Kurth, Samuel Brown once again makes this year’s 40 & Under Hot List and is part of the firm’s environmental practice group. Brown specializes in handling government investigations and enforcement actions, as well as matters relating to wetlands, water quality and groundwater. Among his notable matters, Brown represents Cargill in a case involving alleged breaches of the Clean Water Act. In addition, Brown regularly counsels the City of San Francisco on a wide range of compliance, permitting, enforcement, and other litigation-related matters.

Irell & Manella’s Rebecca Carson involves intellectual property litigation with a focus on patent infringement cases concerning the technology and telecommunications industries. As co-lead counsel, Carson defends Juniper Networks against Finjan in a patent case that involves issues of cybersecurity. Carson is active at the firm beyond her practice as co-hiring partner for the Newport Beach office and is a member of the Pro Bono Committee.

At Kasowitz Benson Torres, Marcus Barber litigates intellectual property disputes with a particular focus on working with Silicon Valley’s technology companies, device makers, and partners based in Asia. Among his current matters, Barber represents Finitiv in a patent infringement case in California, while also serving as lead counsel for another technology client against streaming service Roku in a patent infringement case in the Western District of Texas. Other notable clients include Google, LG, Uber, and Verizon.

Andrew Demko at Katten Muchin Rosenman focuses on consumer class actions involving commercial and product liability disputes, the banking and financial services industries, and technology and telecommunications companies. Demko has taken the lead on major briefs and all aspects of opposing a class certification in several actions, including one in the Northern District of California that is a false advertising and product defect class action involving LED lightbulbs, as well as two identical actions filed in federal courts in New York and Oregon. In another dispute in the District of Hawaii, Demko is co-lead partner in representing banks and large credit unions in a number of active overdraft and NSF fee related class actions.

Justina Sessions of Keker Van Nest & Peters focuses on intellectual property and antitrust disputes as well as general commercial litigation. Sessions successfully engages in high-stakes and complex patent cases and most notably assisted as one of several second-chair lawyers representing witnesses on behalf of Qualcomm against the FTC’s suit alleging its business practices violate antitrust laws. Sessions also served as co-lead counsel representing Essential Access Health, and handled a large multi-patent litigation for security start up ZScaler.

Based in the Silicon Valley offices of Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel, Hannah Lee is a new addition to this year’s 40 and Under Hot List. Lee dedicates her practice to high-stakes patent litigation and has represented several high-profile companies in the life sciences industry. Among her recent matters, Lee was part of the team that successfully defended Regeneron against patent infringement claims brought by Novartis, with the case being dismissed in September 2019. In addition. Lee represents Janssen Pharmaceuticals on several matters, including recently securing a favorable verdict for the client in a patent infringement case against Luye Pharma Group.

At Lewis & Llewellyn, Evangeline Burbidge concentrates on commercial and intellectual property litigation. Among her recent matters, Burbidge served as co-lead partner in a theft of trade secrets dispute, defending Nion Company, a manufacturer of highly-specialized electron microscopes, in a lawsuit brought by Gatan. Burbidge countersued as well, alleging that the plaintiff is attempting to stifle competition and prevent Nion from competing. Ryan Erickson is a commercial litigator who represents both plaintiffs and defendants in a wide array of complex disputes.

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein’s Anne Shaver engages in high-profile labor and employment cases. Shaver recently served as co-lead counsel in a gender discrimination class and collective lawsuit against KPMG, alleging the company’s pay and promotion practices violated the Equal Pay Act and Title VII. Although the court granted conditional certification for the EPA claims, the court declined to certify the class and decertified the EPA collective after the plaintiffs moved for class certification early last year. The court, however, did acknowledge the company’s common pay and promotion policies and gender disparities in both areas. The plaintiffs have filed a Petition to Appeal the Denial of Class Certification under Rule 23(f) before the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Milbank has two emerging litigators in its Los Angeles office that are new additions to this year’s 40 and Under Hot List. Lauren Drake and John Lu focus on intellectual property matters. Both attorneys engage in high-stakes patent, trade secret, and other life sciences-related litigation. Among their current clients, Drake and Lu are part of the Milbank team representing Rosenberger, the world’s third-largest manufacturer of base station antennas, in a high-profile trade secret case.

Daniel Suvor at O’Melveny & Myers engages in several areas including white-collar crime and product liability litigation. He represents companies in disputes before government agencies and state attorneys general, which has created a practice that is equal parts strategic in litigation, politics and policy. Suvor assisted as lead partner in a high-profile licensing dispute between the City of Santa Monica and Bird, a popular electric scooter start-up company. Suvor also represents the County of Los Angeles on immigration issues and he has filed amicus briefs to help further the county’s support of immigrants and local law enforcement priorities. Caitlin Bair focuses her practice on life sciences and white-collar criminal litigation. Bair has extensive experience representing a number of pharmaceutical, medical device, and healthcare companies in high-stakes litigation and investigations. Other litigators at the firm to make this year’s list include Amy LucasCassandra Seto, and Stephen Sullivan.

Amanda Bonn at Susman Godfrey offers a practice covering antitrust, intellectual property, labor and employment and general commercial litigation. Bonn played an active role in representing KBRWyle in a jury trial that encompassed theft of trade secret and breach of contract claims; the jury rejected the plaintiff’s trade secret claim. Oleg Elkhunovich handles intellectual property and antitrust lawsuits. Most notably, Elkhunovich represents cybersecurity company Bitdefender against patent infringement claims in two separate actions. One is set for trial this year and in the other, Elkhunovich obtained a judgement of ineligibility of asserted patents under Section 101 in favor of the client, and this is currently on appeal to the Federal Circuit. The firm has three new entrants this year in California. Krysta Pachman focuses her practice on high-stakes commercial and intellectual property litigation. Among her notable matters, Pachman was part of the Susman Godfrey team that successfully represented a class of derivative traders that alleged Valeant Pharmaceuticals provided non-public information to Pershing Square Capital Management regarding its impending hostile takeover of Allergan. A California Federal judge awarded a substantial settlement to the class, recovering $40 million, one of the largest ever on behalf of derivative investors in an insider trading case. Meng Xi focuses on complex business and intellectual property disputes. Xi represents several high-profile clients in a number of patent infringement and business contract matters. Bryan Caforio currently represents a plaintiff in a $271 million fraud and misrepresentation case, which is set to trial later this year. Caforio had successfully argued to reverse a previous decision for summary judgement in the matter.

Troutman Pepper’s Wynter Deagle dedicates his practice to business and commercial litigation, as well as data privacy and cybersecurity issues. Deagle and Justin Nahama recently served as lead counsel representing CrossFit in highly-publicized Lanham Act, defamation and unfair-competition disputes against the National Strength and Conditioning Association. As plaintiff, the team secured partial summary judgment against the NSCA, obtaining 17 separate issue and evidential sanctions and monetary sanctions. The team defended CrossFit against the NSCA, which resulted in the plaintiff’s voluntary dismissal of all claims after identifying discovery misconduct and recovering over $410,000 in related sanctions, among other victories. Deagle dedicates much of her time to pro bono services, mentorship and advocacy for underserved women and girls. She serves on the firm’s mentoring committee, in which she mentors young women attorneys. Deagle founded the San Diego office’s diverse law student recruiting program and is also Vice-President of the Board of Girls of San Diego County.

Sonal Mehta once again makes this year’s list and recently joined Wilmer Hale’s Palo Alto office. Mehta led client Electronic Arts and Activision Blizzard to complete victory in a longstanding patent infringement case involving techniques for automated lip synchronization in video game animation. Mehta argued both winning summary judgment motions on behalf of all named games, finding no infringement and all asserted claims were invalid for lack of enablement. The case garnered significant attention, as it was one of the first cases post-Alice to test patent eligibility of software inventions. The case is on appeal to the Federal Circuit.


Colorado

Bartlit Beck’s Jameson Jones handles trials and appeals, especially disputes involving commercial and product liability matters. Jones serves as day-to-day lead counsel for ConocoPhillips in climate change-related cases brought by cities such as Oakland and San Francisco, seeking billions of dollars and abatement of harms. He is also lead lawyer representing NL Industries in an action involving lead paint in half of California. Jones argued the appeal and drafted briefs in the trial court, which has resulted in a reduced judgment of joint and several liability from $1.15 billion to around $400 million when entered. As an associate, Jones argued in front of his former boss, Justice Scalia, and received a written opinion that became an important statutory-interpretation case, Lexmark v. Static Control Components.

Davis Graham & Stubbs partner Ben Strawn practices commercial and environmental litigation with a focus on energy, real estate and insurance issues as well. Among his recent matters, Strawn has served as lead counsel in a class action alleging royalty underpayments, which resulted in a successful motion to dismiss, and obtained a preliminary injunction enforcing a non-solicitation contract on behalf of a major insurance company. In an energy-related dispute, Strawn served as trial counsel defending CERCLA contribution claims on behalf of a major energy company.

A new addition to this year’s list is Caitlin McHugh of Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie. From the firm’s Denver offices, McHugh represents a variety of clients in complex commercial, civil, and appellate litigation. Among her representative matters, McHugh successfully represented the founders of an LLC in arbitration regarding insufficient compensation when their client had left the company.

Hawaii

Watanabe Ing partner Ross Shinyama has a diverse practice that covers several areas including general commercial, appellate, labor and employment, government and regulatory, insurance and product liability. Among his recent matters, Shinyama represented the TMT International Observatory in oral arguments before the Hawaii Supreme Court, which ultimately approved the TIO’s $1.4 billion project to build a thirty-meter telescope on Mauna Kea. In addition, Shinyama defended the largest private hospital in Hawaii, QMC, in a personal injury lawsuit against a former surgeon seeking billions in damages.

Montana

Crowley Fleck has several partners that make this year’s 40 and Under Hot ListKelsey Bunkers focuses on several of areas in litigation, including real estate and insurance-related matters over the last year especially. Bunkers has represented land owners involved in easement actions, both as plaintiff and defendant. Among her recent matters, Bunkers defended a client against easement claims across the client’s property, Bunkers negotiated an agreeable solution; as plaintiff obtaining easement on behalf of landowner clients, she successfully received summary judgment granting the easement across the neighboring property. In another case, Bunkers defended a title company against allegations of a wrongful foreclosure and successfully received a dismissal against the client. Based in the firm’s Helena office, Brad Brown handles commercial litigation with a primary focus on construction-related issues across several states including Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming. Among his recent matters, Brown successfully resolved a five-day arbitration in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, representing a pair of homeowners in a dispute with a former contractor who sued the clients for wrongful termination. Brown led the team in also pursuing counterclaims over defects found in the house. Other emerging litigators at the firm include Greg Dorrington and Jill Laslovich.

New Mexico

Modrall Sperling’s Tiffany Roach Martin offers a diverse practice that encompasses product liability, trusts and estates, labor and employment and insurance issues in both federal and state courts. Martin represents clients ranging from international and national companies to regional and local businesses and corporations, as well as individuals. Among her recent matters, Roach Martin successfully defended a national employer against personal injury claims brought by a former employee and his wife. In addition to her practice, Roach Martin serves as a member of the firm’s executive committee and as the recruiting chair. Working alongside Roach Martin is Nathan Nieman, who also has a diverse practice litigating for clients in a variety of industries. Outside his practice, Nieman is involved in significant pro bono work, assisting New Mexico residents in landlord/tenant disputes and representing several non-profit organizations.

Washington

Based in Susman Godfrey’s Seattle office, Andres Healy focuses his practice on commercial and intellectual property litigation. Healy has substantial experience representing plaintiffs in patent infringement actions at the Court of Federal Claims and the US Supreme Court. In the last year, Healy successfully represented a Dutch telecommunications company against patent infringement claims brought by several of the client’s competitors. In addition, Healy currently serves lead counsel to 3G Licensing on a number of patent-related matters.