Wilkinson Walsh Wins Early Release for Client in Pro Bono Compassionate Release Case

Washington, D.C. — Wilkinson Walsh associates Meghan Cleary, Jenna Pavelec, and Matthew Skanchy, with assistance from partner Rakesh Kilaru, associate Betsy Henthorne, and paralegals David Walsh and Jack Satti, recently secured the early release from prison of their pro bono client Steven Pantoja, after he had been incarcerated for almost 30 years. Mr. Pantoja, now 46, had been in custody since he was just 17 years old when Wilkinson Walsh’s successful efforts in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia led to a reduction of Mr. Pantoja’s sentence and his prompt release from prison to rejoin his family. The Wilkinson Walsh team had sought emergency relief under the First Step Act, which allows federal courts to grant early release from prison where “extraordinary and compelling” reasons support a sentence reduction.  In their emergency motion, Wilkinson Walsh forcefully argued that “extraordinary and compelling” reasons supported Mr. Pantoja’s …

American Lawyer Highlights Wilkinson Walsh Amicus Brief Following Landmark SCOTUS Ruling

WASHINGTON — Following the Supreme Court’s landmark civil rights ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, the American Lawyer highlighted an amicus brief filed by Wilkinson Walsh litigators Chanakya Sethi, Angela Cai, and Rakesh Kilaru. The ruling was a major victory for LGBT employees, recognizing that they are protected under the 1964 Civil Rights Act from employment discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. AmLaw quoted Wilkinson Walsh’s brief, featuring it among “a stellar crop of briefs from many of the top law firms in the country.” Wilkinson Walsh filed the brief on behalf of a group of nine leading historians who focus on the history of gender, sexuality, and law in the United States. The brief showcased original research by the historians demonstrating that LGBT individuals brought claims seeking protection under Title VII’s ban on discrimination “because of sex” shortly after the law was enacted, and that some officials …

National Law Journal Recognizes Wilkinson Walsh’s Industry-Leading Products Liability/Mass Tort Trial Practice

WASHINGTON – The National Law Journal selected Wilkinson Walsh as one of its Washington D.C. Litigation Departments of the Year in Products Liability/Mass Torts. NLJ’s selection was based on Wilkinson Walsh’s string of trial victories in high-profile products liability cases.  Most recently, the firm, led by Alex Walsh, Kieran Gostin, and James Rosenthal, won a decisive victory in Bayer v. Farar, a certified consumer class action trial involving $600 million in claimed damages. Previously, the firm reeled off five straight victories in the Xarelto products liability litigation, with Beth Wilkinson, Alex Walsh, Brian Stekloff, Jeremy Barber, Tamarra Matthews Johnson, and Rakesh Kilaru serving in lead roles. NLJ’s profile on the firm highlights commentary from Beth, Alex, and Brian on their strategy and approach to litigation. “We believe that at the heart of every case is a simple compelling narrative, a narrative that shows the jury why our side should prevail,” …

Wilkinson Walsh Wins Early Release for Client in Pro Bono Resentencing Case

Washington, D.C. — Wilkinson Walsh associates Aleshadye Getachew, Samiyyah Ali, and Alysha Bohanon, with assistance from partner Rakesh Kilaru, associate Betsy Henthorne, and paralegal Jack Satti, helped secure the early release of their pro bono client Ricky Bailey. In 1995, Mr. Bailey was sentenced to life in prison for a crime he committed when he was just 16 years old. Following Wilkinson Walsh’s successful efforts, Bailey, now 43, was released from prison after serving more than 25 years. Under the Incarceration Reduction Amendment Act (known as “IRAA”), a Washington, D.C., law passed in 2016, Mr. Bailey was eligible to ask the court to reduce his sentence because he was under 18 at the time of the crime and had served more than 15 years in prison. Wilkinson Walsh successfully argued that Mr. Bailey should be resentenced based on, among other factors, significant mitigating evidence in his personal history, his exemplary …

ICYMI: Wilkinson Walsh Partners Alexandra Walsh and Rakesh Kilaru share their SCOTUS clerk stories

Super Lawyers highlights stories from court’s last 70 years WASHINGTON — Founding Partner Alexandra Walsh and Partner Rakesh Kilaru were two of the seven D.C. lawyers who shared their experiences working as SCOTUS clerks with Super Lawyers Magazine. Founding Partner Alexandra Walsh spoke with Super Lawyers about the moment she was called in for an interview to work for Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Stephen Breyer from 2003-04. Alexandra recalled the moment to Super Lawyers stating, “I had less than 12 hours to prepare. Breyer called me late afternoon and I went in the next morning. In some ways, that was liberating. I said, “Well, we’ll just see how it goes.” It felt a little bit like winning the lottery.” Partner Rakesh Kilaru described his time working in the office of Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Elena Kagan from 2011-12. Rakesh tells Super Lawyers, “We’d often have some pretty fun debates, where Kagan would ask …

Wilkinson Walsh Continues Its Ascent in Chambers and Partners

Firm and Attorneys Moved Up the Ranks in 2020 WASHINGTON — Continuing its rapid rise, Wilkinson Walsh made a strong showing in the 2020 Chambers and Partners rankings.  Chambers recognized the firm as a litigation and products liability powerhouse, and also spotlighted three of the firm’s founding partners. In recognition of the firm’s track record of success in bet-the-company cases, Chambers moved Wilkinson Walsh up to Band 2 for General Litigation.  Additionally, for the first time, Wilkinson Walsh received recognition for success in Product Liability & Mass Torts. Chambers and Partners described Wilkinson Walsh as an “impressive litigation boutique, noted for its expert handling of complex, bet-the-company cases for leading corporate clients across a wide range of sectors, with a substantial market share in the pharmaceutical industry.” Chambers also praised Wilkinson Walsh’s “enviable bench,” including “several leading practitioners with significant federal prosecutorial and public defense experience,” as well as the …

Wilkinson Walsh Lawyers Named to Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America List

Washington – For the second year in a row, Partners Beth Wilkinson, Alexandra Walsh, Brian Stekloff, and Kosta Stojilkovic were named to Lawdragon 500’s list of the 500 Leading Lawyers in America. In its 15th year, the Lawdragon 500 comprises the top legal talent across the profession. Over the last year, all four attorneys have received accolades for their industry-leading accomplishments. For example, Alexandra was named a Law360 Trials MVP of the Year, Beth Wilkinson has received the Chambers USA Lifetime Achievement Award, Brian was named to Washingtonian Magazine’s top lawyers list, and Kosta was named to Benchmark Litigation’s 40 and Under Hot List. Founded in February 2016, Wilkinson Walsh has grown to nearly 45 lawyers and has quickly established itself as the leading boutique trial firm in the country. The firm has tried over a dozen cases to verdict across the country, winning the vast majority, and won several …

Beth Wilkinson Featured on Benchmark Litigation Behind the Trial Podcast

WASHINGTON – Wilkinson Walsh Founding Partner Beth Wilkinson recently joined the Benchmark Litigation Behind the Trial podcast for an in-depth discussion on trial practice. The episode is focused on the art of persuading juries. Wilkinson discussed the front lines of trial practice and some of her tricks of the trade. “One of the arts of trial work is be able to take something that is complicated and get it down to its essence,” Wilkinson said. “I am not an expert in any area of the law, or science or technology. The learning process I go through allows me to turn around and be a teacher to the jury.” Wilkinson’s additional advice included telling lawyers to “start with what do you want to argue in closing arguments.” Wilkinson also emphasized the importance of developing memorable and personally resonant themes: “When you think about learning, the first time you don’t learn it as …

Wilkinson Walsh Partner Moira Penza Named to City & State New York’s Law Power 100 List

Washington – Wilkinson Walsh Partner Moira Penza was named to City & State New York’s Law Power 100 list, recognizing New York’s 100 most influential lawyers. City & State highlighted Moira’s work as an Assistant United States Attorney leading the trial team that convicted Nxivm leader Keith Raniere of racketeering and other charges and her move to Wilkinson Walsh.  Since her return to private practice, Moira has continued to be a leader in her field. She has held key roles in several high-stakes litigations, including serving as co-lead trial counsel for subsidiaries of Allergan in an $8 billion antitrust case in the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island, which settled just days before Moira was set to deliver the opening statement. Currently, Moira, along with Wilkinson Walsh founding partner Beth Wilkinson, is leading her firm’s pro bono representation of Summer Zervos in her defamation case against President …