In the New Orleans office of Louisiana’s Fishman Haygood, newly minted 40 & Under List partner E. Blair Schilling litigates a variety of commercial matters – her practice emphasizing environmental disputes. Regularly representing landowners and individuals in this regard, Schilling routinely faces off against some of the largest presences in the US market for oil and gas. She currently serves as lead counsel to plaintiffs in a putative class action against Limetree Bay Ventures arising out of a disastrous emissions event at one of the defendant’s St. Croix oil refineries that has not only contaminated the only source of clean drinking water on the island, but has also resulted in widescale crop damage, soil contamination, livestock death, and damage to both real and personal property. The matter, valued at over $700 million, is pending in the District Court of the Virgin Islands. Joining Schilling this year as a 40 & Under star, is commercial litigator Michael Dodson – also of New Orleans – boasts specialized experience in employment, insurance, environmental, and other areas of dispute. Dodson serves as lead counsel to plaintiff Taivon Aples and his minor son in an ongoing – though stayed – suit against Tulane University, the Administrators of the Tulane Educational Trust, and several campus officers arising from a 2019 shooting on the university’s campus. Plaintiffs – the elder of whom was struck in the abdomen by a bullet after fleeing his purportedly wrongful arrest – allege violations of several constitutional rights, including protection against false arrest, unreasonable seizure, and excessive force. Another new 40 & Under List addition, Molly Wells has developed a commercial practice involving contract disputes and the representation of clients in arbitrations. Wells is involved as a member of the Fishman team serving as lead counsel to the Official Stanford Investors Committee in an ongoing matter regarding the high-exposure Stanford International Bank Ponzi scheme.
Hunton Andrews Kurth
The Houston office of Hunton Andrews Kurth maintains its stock of emerging litigators. Joseph Buoni is a complex commercial and bankruptcy litigator with a focus on handling matters for the energy industry, including clients such as Sable Permian Resources and Hi-Crush. Kaylan Dunn is a litigator with experience in handling energy, banking, and real estate disputes. Her practice also includes representing clients in fiduciary litigation with an emphasis on trust and estate litigation. She recently represented a major national trust company in a breach of fiduciary duty case. Courtney Glaser focuses on resolving healthcare-related matters and assists clients in managed care disputes related to billing, privacy and coverage determinations, among other issues.
Shearman & Sterling
Shearman & Sterling’s Houston office features Rachel Mossman, a new addition to this year’s 40 & Under List and an accomplished antitrust litigator who often plays pivotal roles in the cases she works on. She has taken leading roles in two putative antitrust class actions. She represented 1-800-Contacts in a lawsuit alleging that the settlement agreements protecting the client’s trademark in paid search advertising violated the Sherman Act. Mossman is experienced in handling multi-defendant matters and led the team through discovery and depositions of class representatives. The matter resulted in a successful resolution with the class at a fraction of their original demand. She is also involved in defending Paramount Global (f/k/a ViacomCBS and Simon & Schuster) against an antitrust lawsuit brought by the Department of Justice. The matter is connected to the client’s pending merger with Bertelsmann and Penguin Random House.
Weil Gotshal & Manges
Elizabeth Ryan of Dallas and Houston offices of Weil Gotshal & Manges is a complex commercial practitioner who served as lead trial counsel to supermarket/pharmacy chain Giant Eagle in the first bellwether trial in the US to address the potential liability of pharmacies in the ongoing opioid crisis. Retained a mere few weeks before opening statements, Ryan and the lead counsel team successfully defended the client against the plaintiffs’ legal theory that pharmacies presented a significant contribution to the opioid epidemic by dispensing the drug. The team were successful in reaching a favorable settlement for the client.