News and information Archives

Super Lawyers contributor Martin Kuz wins Peter Jennings Fellowship

We are delighted to share that the wonderful Sacramento-based freelance journalist Martin Kuz, who has penned such great pieces for us as "Can Paxil Cause Birth Defects?" for Texas Super Lawyers and "Googling Kent Walker" for Corporate Counsel Edition, has won a spot in the coveted Peter Jennings Project for Journalists and the Constitution program, which convenes in Philadelphia for three days in March. Congratulations, Martin!

Supreme Beings

Look for these professionals who have been listed to Super Lawyers to make an appearance before the U.S. Supreme Court in the coming weeks.
Tuesday, Nov. 30
CIGNA Corporation, et al. v. Janice C. Amara, et al., with Theodore B. Olson of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Washington, D.C., for the petitioners.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of California, et al. v. Marciano Plata, et al., with Carter G. Phillips of Sidley Austin in Washington, D.C., for the appellants.
Wednesday, Dec. 1
Glen Scott Milner v. Department of the Navy, with David S. Mann of Gendler & Mann in Seattle for the petitioner.
Virginia Office for Protection and Advocacy v. James W. Stewart, III, Commissioner, Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, et al., with E. Duncan Getchell Jr., solicitor general of the Commonwealth of Virginia, for the respondents.
Tuesday, Dec. 7
Janus Capital Group, Inc., et al. v. First Derivative Traders, with Mark Andrew Perry of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher in Washington, D.C., for the petitioners; and David C. Frederick of Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel in Washington, D.C., for the respondent.
Wednesday, Dec. 8
Chase Bank USA, N.A. v. James A. McCoy, Individually and on Behalf of All Others Similarly Situated, with Seth P. Waxman of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr in Washington, D.C., for the petitioner.
Chamber of Commerce of the United States, et al. v. Michael B. Whiting, et al., with Carter G. Phillips of Sidley Austin in Washington, D.C., for the petitioners.

David Lillehaug's new specialty: election recount law

In 2008, the United States Senate race in Minnesota was certified with Republican incumbent Norm Coleman holding a 215-vote margin over Democratic-Farmer-Labor candidate Al Franken. Minneapolis litigator David Lillehaug of Fredrikson & Byron led Franken's legal team during the ensuing automatic recount that led to the DFLer's victory. "When we were done with the last matter, people said to me, 'Well, now you have a new specialty,'" he says. "And my response was, 'The next one will be in 40 years and by then I'll be in the nursing home.'" Lillehaug's estimate was 20 times too large--he's currently working on behalf of DFLer Mark Dayton in the court-ordered recount of the state's 2010 gubernatorial election. He feels good about his client's chances. Going into the recount, Dayton holds an 8,755-vote lead over his opponent Tom Emmer, a margin far beyond what has ever been toppled in a recount, Lillehaug says. "Let me put it this way. We are highly confident that Mark Dayton won the election," he says. "Now our job is to protect that." Meanwhile, he's enjoying the change of pace from normal litigation. "Election matters often proceed at the speed of light," says Lillehaug, who has been listed in Minnesota Super Lawyers every year since 2003. "It gets the adrenaline flowing." Fast also means busy. "I've never worked harder than I did [during the Franken recount,]" he says. "Most days were 7:30 in the morning straight through until 10:30 at night. One Sunday I did have dinner with my family and I said that we should go and get a Christmas tree the next day. My daughter looked at me and said, 'Dad. We have a Christmas tree. It's been up for three days in the living room.'" It's safe to say that he hopes he'll get a say in the Lillehaug family Christmas tree this year. "I'm hoping we don't go to that length in 2010," he says. "I'd be very pleased if Mark Dayton was sworn in as governor on Jan. 3."

Announcing Board of Advisors

We are honored to announce the Super Lawyers Board of Advisors, composed of attorneys who embody excellence in practice. The board will provide advice, feedback and editorial guidance and includes lawyers from across the country, of varied firm sizes, who have consistently appeared at the top of the Super Lawyers lists.

Ready for our close-up

Here's something fun. Super Lawyers is making its Hollywood debut in James L. Brooks' upcoming film, How Do You Know, starring Jack Nicholson, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon and Paul Rudd. Months ago, the film's production company contacted us and requested a digital version of a cover image, and we were happy to comply with one. See if you can spot it. (Hint: pay close attention to the office wall at the 2:05 mark.) The film opens on Dec. 17th.

Christopher Dolan and the question of gender in women's golf

Professional golfer Lana Lawless is physically and legally a woman; it says so right on her birth certificate. But she didn't used to be. She had sexual reassignment surgery in 2005, and at some tournaments, which have new rules requiring that competitors be "born female," this has been a point of controversy.

It's better to be nice than right

Lately I've been traveling the country to meet with attorneys who have been selected to the Super Lawyers list. I've assembled an advisory board, which will be announced in the near future, of lawyers from all firm sizes who are perennially on a Super Lawyers top list in their states. There is something universal about these highly successful and effective practitioners. They are nice. And engaging. And responsive. Our editorial team has found that "the bigger the wig the more gracious they are." Indeed, one attorney told me of a plaque that he keeps on his desk that reads, "It's better to be nice than right." Of course he can say that because he usually wins, but by all outward accounts these are not just words but a way of life.

Some familiar names on the Gulf oil spill Plaintiffs' Steering Committee

Last week, U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in Louisiana appointed 15 lawyers to serve on the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee that will lead the Gulf oil spill litigation. Making the cut were 10 lawyers who have been named to a Super Lawyers list. In addition, five lawyers were named to the plaintiffs' executive committee, and three of them have been named to a Super Lawyers list.

Those selected:

  • Jeffrey A. Breit, Breit, Drescher & Imprevento. Virginia Super Lawyers (2006-2010)
  • Elizabeth J. Cabraser, Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, Northern California Super Lawyers (2004-2010)
  • Philip F. Cossich Jr., Cossich, Sumich, Parsiola & Taylor, Louisiana Super Lawyers (2008-2010)
  • Robert T. Cunningham, Cunningham Bounds, Alabama Super Lawyers (2008-2010)

  • Calvin C. Fayard Jr., Fayard & Honeycutt, Louisiana Super Lawyers (2007-2010)
  • Ervin Gonzalez, Colson Hicks Eidson, Florida Super Lawyers (2006-2010)
  • Rhon E. Jones, Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, Alabama Super Lawyers (2008-2010)

  • Paul M. Sterbcow, Lewis, Kullman, Sterbcow & Abramson, Louisiana Super Lawyers (2010)

  • Scott Summy, Baron & Budd, Texas Super Lawyers (2003-2010)
  • Mikal C. Watts, Watts Guerra Craft, Texas Super Lawyers (2003-2010)
  • On the executive committee, Scott Summy joins Jim Roy, Domengeaux, Wright, Roy & Edwards, Louisiana Super Lawyers (2007-2010), and Stephen J. Herman, Herman, Herman, Katz & Cotlar, Louisiana Super Lawyers (2007-2010).

Greg Coleman takes post-conviction DNA testing argument to Supreme Court

Less than one hour before Henry Skinner was to be executed in Texas in March, he learned that the Supreme Court had stayed his death sentence and would be reviewing his case, which concerned his requests for DNA testing. Today, the case will be heard before the highest court.