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americanlawyer.com

JANUARY 2010

special issue

Q uinn EmanuEl

This is oUR fifTh bieNNiAl Litigation Department of the Year

competition. It has become a cliché to note that we've never had a tougher time picking finalists and winners from the scores of submissions. Nevertheless, it's true. The last two years have been a time of unprecedented upheaval for American businesses--and for the lawyers who serve them. To quote a partner from one of our finalist firms, the economic meltdown resulted not just in litigation, but in conflagration. The firms we chose in the overall contest and in the three practice area competitions--product liability, labor and employment, and intellectual property--didn't just survive this trial by fire. They were forged into stronger, faster, smarter litigation departments. As before, we invited every firm in The Am Law 200 to report on litigation activities in a 19-month period, this time January 1, 2008­ July 31, 2009. Every submission was read by at least three American Lawyer journalists. We vetted the strongest entries with calls to clients and opposing counsel. Panels of reporters and editors picked finalists in each category and invited those firms to our offices in New York to plead their cases. At the end, we arrived at the results that follow: four winners, 12 runners-up, and 24 honorable mentions. Congratulations to all of them. --ALIsoN FrANkEL

PHOTOGRAPHY BY MIKE M c GREGOR

Quinn Emanuel

What Rhymes with Win?

With a string of eye-popping victories across a wide swath of subject matters from a bevy of partners, Quinn Emanuel put some distance between itself and the rest of the field.

By Ross Todd

foR big-TickeT iP liTigATioN,

the copy-

october 2009 the Federal Circuit affirmed that decision per curiam. Now, after bringing antitrust counterclaims in response to IGT's suit, Bally is in the plaintiff's seat. Its claims that IGT asserted invalid patents

right infringement fight Quinn Emanuel Urquhart oliver & Hedges took on for client Mattel, Inc., and its Barbie brand is hard to top. The $100 million damages award that partners John Quinn, William Price, and Michael Zeller won at trial against Mattel rival MGA Entertainment, Inc., in August 2008 grabbed headlines (though probably not as many as it would have if they had gotten the nearly $2 billion they sought), but Quinn Emanuel IP litigation chair Claude stern prefers to tout something else. To stern, helping Mattel seize control of the Bratz copyrights, design, and name is the kind of "practical lawyering" the firm's IP lawyers pride themselves on delivering to clients. "Mattel/ Bratz is the new road map for what can happen, if you make a misappropriation," he says. (The road map may be revised: At press time the U.s. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit stayed all equitable relief Mattel had won and told the parties to try to settle the case via mediation. Munger Tolles & olson represented Mattel on the appeal.) The Barbie win is just one reason Quinn Emanuel was able to rise above the competition in this year's IP Litigation Department of the Year contest. Yes, the other finalists boasted solid results in big cases for major clients. But none posted as many huge victories. The wins ranged across venues--from the International Trade Commission to the U.s. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, from the Eastern District of T exas to the Northern District of California--and subject matter--from cell phone and drug patents

to football trademarks and, of course, doll copyrights. on top of all that, no other firm enjoyed so many wins from so many different partners. Take the casino gaming industry case in which partners Charles Verhoeven and Amy Candido earned a major win for client Bally Gaming, Inc., in its patent battle with International Game Technology. The litigation began in 2004, after Bally introduced a bonus wheel­slot machine that IGT claimed infringed patents related to its Wheel of Fortune game--the industry's most popular machine for 13 straight years. Dubbed "the Microsoft of the gaming industry" by the trade press, IGT dominates the slot machine market, especially for devices like the Wheel of Fortune game that have a bonus wheel. That dominance took a hit in october 2008, when Bally won summary judgment on invalidity or noninfringement on six of the patents at issue. In

to thwart competition got a boost when Quinn found documents filed in a separate whistleblower suit between IGT and an ex-employee. "If we are asked to do so by the client," stern says, "we are able to be extremely aggressive on the plaintiff side." (The antitrust case is pending in federal district court in Nevada.) A team led by partner Harold Barza tapped that aggression for seiko Epson Corporation in its bid to keep rivals from importing ink cartridges that infringe its patents. A 2007 trial ended with the ITC issuing an exclusion order that barred more than 1,000 infringing cartridge models from the United states. some importers appealed the order, but the Federal Circuit affirmed it in January 2009, and the U.s. supreme Court denied the importers' cert petition in June. When the exclusion order failed to stop the flow of infringing cartridges into the country, Quinn brought an enforcement proceeding at the ITC on Epson's behalf. After a three-day trial last January, an

ITC administrative law judge recommended

P ractice G rouP S ize

Partners: 86 Associates: 125 Counsel: 13 59% 37%

that the agency impose a $20.5 million penalty against Epson rival Ninestar Technology Co. Ltd. of China. (The full ITC later dropped the fine to $11.1 million.) Meanwhile, playing defense at the ITC in February 2008, Verhoeven and company, working with cocounsel Alston & Bird, helped cellular handset maker Nokia Corporation beat back an enforcement action brought by

P ractice G rouP as Percent of Firm e Stimated Percent of Firm Revenue 2009

o n the d ocket : Quinn is representing Google in a trio of patent infringement suits set for trial in the Eastern District of Texas over the next few months. All three suits challenge the technology that underlies the search giant's Adwords advertising program.

cellular chip maker Qualcomm Incorporated. The

ITC win was part of a multinational patent licens-

tel ruled on summary judgment in May 2008 that its claims were invalid because of obviousness. In september the Federal Circuit ruled that stanford couldn't establish ownership of the patents at issue, first place.

ing battle between the two companies over cellular technology for which Quinn served as Nokia's worldwide coordinating counsel. With the companies reaching a confidential settlement on the eve of trial in July 2008, and since both saw their stock prices rise after the settlement was announced, it's hard to say who got the best of the deal. one way to judge Quinn's work on the matter: Qualcomm has since hired the firm to handle other IP matters. In California, Quinn helped roche Molecular systems, Inc., repel a stanford University patent challenge to roche's HIV tests. Partner Brian Cannon handled the case for roche alongside former partner Adrian Pruetz, who later left Quinn to start her own litigation boutique. After stanford filed suit in 2005 asserting three patents, san Francisco federal district court judge Marilyn Pa-

From leFt: Edward DeFranco, Michael Zeller, Claude Stern, Charles Verhoeven, Victoria Maroulis

second such transfer granted out of the Eastern District. "The key to that victory is that [the Quinn lawyers] were persistent in face of insurmountable odds," says Genentech's vice president of intellectual

meaning that it didn't have standing to sue in the In another case closely watched by the patent bar, the Federal Circuit granted Quinn a writ of mandamus that allowed its client Genentech Inc., a roche subsidiary, and codefendant Biogen Idec Inc. to transfer a case brought by sanofi-Aventis Deutschland

GMBH out of the plaintiff-friendly Eastern District

property Gary Loeb (an ex-Quinn associate). Adds Verhoeven: "That's one decision I've been involved with that any patent lawyer worth their salt has read." Indeed, one rival finalist in this competition referred to the current Eastern District of T exas litigation climate as "the post-Genentech world." (The underlying case was still pending in California's Northern District at press time.) "Winning cases is important," stern says. "I don't want to suggest otherwise." still, he views those wins in grander terms: "We change the game for everybody."

E-mail: [email protected]

of T exas. Quinn sought the writ after federal district court judge ron Clark denied Genentech's motion to transfer. The Federal Circuit found in May 2009 that "the district court improperly used its central location as a consideration" and granted a transfer to the Northern District of California--only the

Reprinted with permission from the January 2010 edition of the THE AMERICAN LAWYER © 2010 ALM Media Properties, LLC. The cover was modified for the sole use of Morgan, Lewis. All rights reserved. Further duplication without permission is prohibited. For information, contact 877-257-3382 or [email protected] # 001-01-10-05

americanlawyer.com

JANUARY 2010

special issue

Q uinn EmanuEl

This is oUR fifTh bieNNiAl Litigation Department of the Year

competition. It has become a cliché to note that we've never had a tougher time picking finalists and winners from the scores of submissions. Nevertheless, it's true. The last two years have been a time of unprecedented upheaval for American businesses--and for the lawyers who serve them. To quote a partner from one of our finalist firms, the economic meltdown resulted not just in litigation, but in conflagration. The firms we chose in the overall contest and in the three practice area competitions--product liability, labor and employment, and intellectual property--didn't just survive this trial by fire. They were forged into stronger, faster, smarter litigation departments. As before, we invited every firm in The Am Law 200 to report on litigation activities in a 19-month period, this time January 1, 2008­ July 31, 2009. Every submission was read by at least three American Lawyer journalists. We vetted the strongest entries with calls to clients and opposing counsel. Panels of reporters and editors picked finalists in each category and invited those firms to our offices in New York to plead their cases. At the end, we arrived at the results that follow: four winners, 12 runners-up, and 24 honorable mentions. Congratulations to all of them. --ALIsoN FrANkEL

PHOTOGRAPHY BY MIKE M c GREGOR

Quinn Emanuel

In Search of Bigger Prey

Barbie's law firm is now suing Wall Street over derivatives gone bad, as Quinn Emanuel ventures beyond its traditional strength in IP.

By Michael D. Goldhaber

The self-pRofessed shARk

of The Am

billion cell phones it makes each year. The battle was waged on a vast scale, in 24 forums around the world, with Quinn as global coordinating counsel. After Quinn's Charles Verhoeven scored a tactical win for Nokia in the International Trade Commission over the rights to second-generation

Law 100 is circling in new waters. Quinn Emanuel Urquhart oliver & Hedges--whose logo is shaped like a shark fin--sharpened its teeth on IP trials for clients like Mattel, Inc., and Nokia Corp. that earned it this year's top honor in that category. But the firm has also made an aggressive plunge into financial litigation of all kinds, where Quinn's lack of a deal practice--and the conflicts that would generate--gives it a unique freedom to sue big banks. Founder John Quinn says that revenues from IP litigation have declined from over 60 percent three years ago to 37 percent of firm revenue in 2009. Meanwhile, disputes over structured finance products have risen from an afterthought to nearly a fifth of firm revenue. "structured products," says Quinn, "is where we've really differentiated ourselves from the pack." A pair of financial litigations accounted for Quinn Emanuel's biggest recoveries in 2008­09. Bankrupt chemical maker solutia Inc. won $2 billion in exit financing from leery lenders on the eve of closing arguments in a 30-deposition, million-document trial in which Quinn faced off against skadden, Arps, slate, Meagher & Flom on three weeks' notice. (The banks say that they were merely fighting over the terms of the loan, and they were pleased with the terms negotiated in the settlement.) Meanwhile, four vulture funds hired Quinn as litigation counsel (with bankruptcy counsel kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman leading settlement talks) and recovered $2.1 billion from Enron Corp.'s shell on a set of Enron-linked notes issued by Citigroup

Inc. with a par value of $2.4 billion. In takehome dollars and cents, these results dominated Quinn's docket. That said, there was nothing shabby about Quinn's IP performance. IP star William Price won the most glamorous trial of 2008, unofficially captioned Barbie v. Bratz, with showmanship worthy of Perry Mason. Mattel's copyright case against Bratz-maker MGA Entertainment, Inc., hinged on the inventor's claim that he designed the doll after leaving Mattel and returning to his stodgy hometown of springfield, Missouri. Bratz's edgy design, the inventor said, was inspired by the teens he saw on his way home from the local old Navy store. Price showed on a map that the local high school was not en route from old Navy to the inventor's home--and passed around the yearbook to prove that springfield teens do not dress urban hip. "Watching Bill Price do a cross-examination is better than anything Hollywood has come up with," says assistant Mattel general counsel Jill Thomas. Barbie walked home with the rights to her chief rival for prom queen. (At press time the U.s. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit had stayed the trial court's order pending appeal.) The stakes in the patent war between Nokia and Qualcomm Incorporated were even higher: setting the royalty that Nokia pays on the half-

cell phone technology, the war settled on the first day of the main trial over third-generation rights. It's hard to judge the confidential settlement, but the enemy general counsel has plenty of respect for Quinn. Qualcomm's Donald rosenberg says settlement talks were eased by his friendship with Verhoeven (dating back to rosenberg's days at International Business Machines Corporation); and he was eager to hire Quinn for a new matter. "one of the benefits of ending the litigation," rosenberg says, "was to clear that conflict." The firm's relative independence from clients helps it win investigatory assignments, because it gives them credibility with regulators. Quinn's regulatory coup of the year was to persuade the

securities and Exchange Commission that Apple

Inc. CEo steve Jobs was unaware of the accounting significance of options backdating, even though he was personally involved in picking the dates. This is now known in silicon Valley as the steve Jobs defense.

D epartment S ize

Partners: 120 Associates: 230 Other: 99 100% 100%

D epartment as Percent of Firm e StimateD percent of Firm Revenue 2009

Clients say that Quinn's strong trial reputation helps drive settlement. "To be honest, they scare people," says Dubai World general counsel George Dalton, who credits the mere act of Quinn's filing suit against MGM Mirage with jump-starting the April renegotiation of the companies' $9 billion joint venture in Las Vegas. Now Wall street has reason to be scared. Quinn is scouring the books of banks worldwide in search of suspect credit default swaps. It has filed structured products actions on deals with a total notional value of over $50 billion. Just on behalf of the monoline insurer MBIA Inc., Quinn has cried fraud against Merrill Lynch International, Countrywide Financial Corporation, IndyMac Bancorp Inc., and royal Bank of Canada. (The banks deny the allegations.) Quinn's postbankruptcy bank claims may be even more ambitious. Acting for Washington Mu-

tual Inc., Quinn alleges more than $10 billion in fraudulent transfers by JPMorgan Chase & Co., which contests the claim. As the conflicts counsel for Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.'s unsecured creditors, Quinn is helping to investigate both JP-

From leFt: Ryan Goldstein, Michael Carlinsky, Kathleen Sullivan, John Potter, Susheel Kirpalani

million and $150 million, respectively, in early settlements with Bank of America and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (on vastly greater claims). But Quinn lost a series of key rulings. Neither New Jersey state judges (in the Parmalat case)

Morgan Chase (Lehman's main clearinghouse) and Barclays Bank PLC (Lehman's eventual purchaser) for potentially tortious conduct in Lehman's dying days. It also seeks the return of $500 million seized after Lehman's bankruptcy by derivatives counterparty Bank of America Corporation. But Quinn belly-flopped in its two biggest financial matters of recent years--the efforts by the Parmalat Finanziaria spA and refco Inc. trustees to implicate banks and auditors in the companies' fraud. At trial in New Jersey state court, Parmalat suffered an embarrassingly onesided loss to Citigroup. Quinn did extract $100

nor federal judges in New York (in the refco case) were willing to let a plaintiff benefit from its own fraud. Quinn appellate star kathleen sullivan still hopes to revive these claims on appeal. sullivan is coming off strong wins in the New York state Court of Appeals on the governor's right to appoint a lieutenant, and in the U.s. supreme Court on superfund arranger liability. If she can reverse the firm's setbacks in refco and Parmalat, Quinn's very impressive last two years will look even better.

E-mail: [email protected]

Reprinted with permission from the January 2010 edition of the THE AMERICAN LAWYER © 2010 ALM Media Properties, LLC. The cover was modified for the sole use of Morgan, Lewis. All rights reserved. Further duplication without permission is prohibited. For information, contact 877-257-3382 or [email protected] # 001-01-10-04

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