Wilkinson Walsh Secures Victory for NCAA in Defamation Suit by former USC Football Coach

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WASHINGTON – Wilkinson Walsh + Eskovitz, led by Partners Kosta Stojilkovic and Rakesh Kilaru, and Counsel Kori Bell, won a complete victory for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in a lawsuit brought by former University of Southern California (USC) assistant football coach Todd McNair.  The jury concluded that the NCAA had not defamed McNair in a Committee on Infractions report issued in 2010. McNair filed this lawsuit seven years ago, shortly after the Committee on Infractions report was upheld by a separate appeals committee.  Apart from many other findings against USC, the Committee found that McNair knew about the improper benefits that star running back Reggie Bush had received while at USC, and failed to provide truthful information about them.  In his lawsuit, McNair alleged that the statements about him in the report were false and defamatory.  He also brought claims for breach of contract and negligence. The trial …

CFPB Dismisses Enforcement Action Against Wilkinson Walsh Tribal Client

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WASHINGTON – On January 18, 2018, the CFPB announced the dismissal of a lawsuit brought against the economic development arms of the Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake, a sovereign Indian Nation based in California.  The Tribe had retained WW+E in February 2017, shortly after the Tribe was first contacted by the CFPB, to serve as lead counsel in the event the Bureau decided to bring an enforcement action against its economic development arms, which provide loans over the internet to customers throughout the country who freely consent to tribal jurisdiction as a condition of obtaining their loans. In April 2017, the CFPB sued the tribal arms in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, claiming that the loans they originate violate federal law and regulations because they allegedly violate the laws of several different states. WW+E’s team moved to transfer the case to the U.S. District Court …

Experienced Defense Attorney Kieran Gostin Promoted To WW+E Counsel

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WASHINGTON – Wilkinson Walsh + Eskovitz today announced that Kieran Gostin has been promoted to Counsel effective January 1, 2018. Since joining WW+E as an associate, Kieran has used his breadth of experience representing government and corporate clients to secure major victories for WW+E’s clients. Kieran most recently helped Bayer win the first state-court bellwether trial over the blood-thinner Xarelto; the trial court entered judgment for Bayer and Janssen notwithstanding a jury verdict in favor of the plaintiff.  He also played a significant role in helping Bayer obtain victories in the first two federal MDL trials relating to Xarelto, with both juries returning complete defense verdicts in under two hours. Kieran’s promotion is a testament to the considerable talent WW+E has amassed in under two years and the ongoing expansion of the firm.  Since its inception, WW+E has grown to nearly 40 lawyers and has quickly established itself as the …

Wilkinson Walsh Wins Victory for Bayer in First State-Court Xarelto Trial

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WASHINGTON – On January 9, 2018, Wilkinson Walsh + Eskovitz, led by Founding Partners Beth Wilkinson and Alexandra Walsh, won the first state-court bellwether trial over the blood-thinner Xarelto when the trial court entered judgment for Bayer and Janssen notwithstanding a jury verdict in favor of the plaintiff.  Wilkinson and WW+E had previously secured two full defense verdicts for Bayer in similar cases in the federal multi-district litigation in Louisiana. In December 2017, a jury in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas awarded nearly $28 million to plaintiff Lynn Hartman in a lawsuit that alleged that Bayer and Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals were liable for claims that the Xarelto label did not adequately instruct doctors on the risks of bleeding associated with the anticoagulant Xarelto.  Bayer and Janssen then filed motions for judgment notwithstanding the verdict and a new trial.  The motions raised two key points (among many …

Law360 MVP: Wilkinson Walsh’s Beth Wilkinson

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Law360, New York — Wilkinson Walsh & Eskovitz PLLC’s Beth Wilkinson only co-founded her firm a year ago, and she and her team have already scored major victories defending Georgia Pacific from a $10 billion antitrust suit and winning the first two trials in the high-stakes Xarelto litigation, securing her a place as one of Law360’s 2017 Trials MVPs. The story is available here. Her biggest accomplishment this year: Wilkinson said that despite the many trial and motion victories her young firm has notched up this past year, her biggest accomplishment is undoubtedly the founding of Wilkinson Walsh itself back in January. “The building of our firm and the incredibly talented people we’ve managed to get together to work on these cases has been nothing short of amazing,” Wilkinson said. “We started with 17 lawyers and now we’re at 40, and we’re already taking on big, bet-the-company cases that people normally think only BigLaw can …

Talented Litigator Rakesh Kilaru Elected To WW+E Partnership

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WASHINGTON – Wilkinson Walsh + Eskovitz today announced that Rakesh Kilaru has been elected to the partnership effective January 1, 2018. Since joining WW+E, Rakesh has brought his considerable legal skills and strategic judgment to bear for many of WW+E’s clients, including Georgia Pacific LLP, the Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake, and the NCAA.  Among many other matters, Rakesh played a key role in helping Georgia Pacific win summary judgment in August 2017 in an antitrust class action claiming over $10 billion in damages. Rakesh’s hiring and promotion continues WW+E’s impressive expansion; in under two years, the firm has grown to nearly 40 lawyers and has quickly established itself as the leading boutique trial firm in the country. Rakesh is the firm’s 10th partner. “I couldn’t be more excited to join the supremely talented partnership at Wilkinson Walsh + Eskovitz,” said Mr. Kilaru. “It’s been thrilling to work alongside the …

Five WW+E Associates Honored by DC Volunteer Lawyers Project For Exceptional Advocacy

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Washington, D.C. – The DC Volunteer Lawyers Project (DCVLP) recently honored five Wilkinson Walsh + Eskovitz associates as DCVLP’s Domestic Relations Branch Volunteers of the Year, recognizing their dedication on behalf of victims of domestic abuse and their children.   The DCVLP honorees were WW+E associates Hal Brewster, Cali Cope-Kasten, Ash Jamali, Meg Loftus, and Kirsten Nelson. Ash, Meg, and Kirsten were honored for a significant trial victory earlier this year.  Working with DCVLP and under the supervision of partner Jeremy Barber, they prevailed in securing for their pro bono client full physical and legal custody over her two young children.  WW+E’s client divorced her husband in 2015 after suffering months of domestic abuse. In January 2017, her ex-husband (the plaintiff) filed a lawsuit seeking primary custody of their two children, falsely claiming that she had effectively kidnapped the children when she moved from the District of Columbia to Maryland. At …

Beth Wilkinson Joins Recode Decode Podcast

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WASHINGTON –Wilkinson, Walsh + Eskovitz Founding Partner Beth Wilkinson joined the Recode Decode podcast hosted by Kara Swisher for a conversation about the intersection of technology, law, and politics. Wilkinson was joined on the show by Yelp VP of Public Policy Luther Lowe and special guest co-host Hilary Rosen. This episode of the podcast—released just days after executives from Google, Facebook and Twitter testified on Capitol Hill—focused on relations between Silicon Valley and Washington. “There’s a focus in the government on what’s on the front page when they use their investigative resources, and that’s the same for the FBI, and there can be that perfect storm, and that’s where tech is right now,” Wilkinson said on the podcast.  “They’re in the crosshairs of the government.  You have Congress adding to that . . . and that puts these companies in a very difficult place where they want to cooperate publicly …

Vault Names Wilkinson Walsh + Eskovitz One Of The Best Midsize Firms To Work For

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WASHINGTON – Wilkinson Walsh + Eskovitz today was named by Vault as one of the best midsize firms to work for, in the publication’s new 2018 Midsize Quality of Life Rankings and Top 150 Under 150 list. Coming in at #6 overall, WW+E boasted strong marks in all categories in the review including compensation, diversity, firm culture, quality of life, and overall satisfaction. “We joined together to launch a different kind of firm, one that successfully serves our clients with tight-knit teams of smart, innovative, and highly skilled litigators committed to delivering excellent results,” said founding partner Beth Wilkinson. “Our record in courtrooms across the country speaks for itself and our commitment to training the next generation of trial lawyers by giving them early responsibility will ensure that we continue to excel.” The Midsize Quality of Life rankings are based on the results of a survey distributed to associates at …

NCAA Taps Beth Wilkinson as Lead Trial Counsel for Jenkins case

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NCAA has hired Beth Wilkinson and Wilkinson Walsh + Eskovitz to lead the trial team in Jenkins v. NCAA, a class action antitrust suit challenging NCAA rules preserving amateurism for student-athletes. In a press release announcing the engagement, NCAA Chief Legal Officer Donald Remy said, “Beth’s unparalleled track record of success throughout her career in high-profile cases, as well as her past representations in antitrust matters and of the sports and higher education communities, make her especially well-suited to lead the defense of the association as the litigation proceeds. We welcome Beth and her colleagues to the team of talented attorneys from Skadden representing the Association, as well as the excellent counsel representing the NCAA conferences.” For more on this announcement read here.  Contact: media@wilkinsonwalsh.com