Wilkinson Walsh Partners Rakesh Kilaru and Kieran Gostin Named to Benchmark Litigation “40 & Under Hot List”

WASHINGTON – Wilkinson Walsh Partners Rakesh Kilaru and Kieran Gostin were named to the 2020 Benchmark Litigation “40 & Under Hot List.” Benchmark recognized them as leading and notable up-and-coming litigation partners in the United States. This marks the third consecutive year Rakesh has been recognized by Benchmark. Founding Partner Beth Wilkinson said, “Rakesh and Kieran continue to demonstrate what it means to be stellar attorneys and exemplary role models. I am proud to see their hard work and dedication to achieving the greatest result for their clients in the courtroom being honored and recognized. We are thrilled to have them as part of our team and look forward to their future accomplishments.” Benchmark recognized Rakesh for his involvement in a “wide range of antitrust, sports, product liability, commercial, class action, and appellate litigation,” including high-profile antitrust cases for the national Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the National Football League …

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 …

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 Celebrates Another Outstanding Year of High Stakes Trials and Accolades for the Next Generation of Trial Lawyers

WASHINGTON –Wilkinson Walsh enters its fifth year having cemented its status as the premier trial litigation boutique in the country. 2019 featured three high-stakes, high-pressure trials, in which different partners served as lead trial counsel and eight partners in total had stand-up roles. The firm continued to receive accolades for its successes in delivering results to its clients while deepening its diverse bench of go-to litigators.

Wilkinson Walsh Associates Win Client’s Release in Pro Bono Resentencing Case

Washington, D.C. — Wilkinson Walsh associates Betsy Henthorne and Hayter Whitman, with assistance from partner Rakesh Kilaru, helped secure the early release of their pro bono client, Momolu Stewart, who had been sentenced to life in prison at the age of 16. Following Wilkinson Walsh’s successful efforts, Stewart, who is now 39 years old, was released from prison this week.  Under a recent Washington, D.C., law, the Incarceration Reduction Amendment Act (known as “IRAA”), Stewart 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 Stewart should be resentenced based on, among other factors, the circumstances of his childhood, his accomplishments during his time in prison, and his demonstrated rehabilitation and fitness to society.  “The Wilkinson Walsh team is honored to stand beside Mr. Stewart …

Wilkinson Walsh Partners Rakesh Kilaru, Kosta Stojilkovic Again Named to Benchmark Litigation’s “40 & Under Hot List”

WASHINGTON – For the second consecutive year, Wilkinson Walsh partners Rakesh Kilaru and Kosta Stojilkovic have been selected as leading litigation attorneys in Benchmark Litigation’s 2019 “40 & Under Hot List.” The annual ranking recognizes the “best and brightest law firm partners who stand out in their practices throughout the US” and who are “among the top young talent in their respective litigation communities.” “Rakesh and Kosta continue to demonstrate what it means to be stellar attorneys and exemplary role models,” said Wilkinson Walsh Founding Partner Beth Wilkinson. “Their back-to-back recognitions from Benchmark validate the unparalleled performance that we see on a daily basis in the office and in the courtroom. On behalf of the entire firm, we are so proud of their accomplishments and look forward to their continued success.” Kosta and Rakesh joined Wilkinson Walsh from the federal government. Kosta was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern …

Wilkinson Walsh Celebrates Banner Year of High Stakes Trial Wins By Next Generation Of Trial Lawyers

WASHINGTON – Wilkinson Walsh is racing into its fourth year after notching a series of high-profile victories, led by a large and diverse group of partners. In 2018, all of Wilkinson Walsh’s partners participated in trials and case-dispositive hearings, and several other attorneys achieved significant on-their-feet experience, including through pro bono cases. The firm earned repeated recognition for the depth and successes of its bench and added a new crop of talented litigators to its roster. Wilkinson Walsh won three trials in 2018, each of which was first-chaired by a different partner: On April 27, 2018, Wilkinson Walsh, led by Brian Stekloff, Jeremy Barber, and Lori McGill, won a unanimous defense verdict for Bayer and Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals in Russell v. Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., the second state-court Xarelto bellwether trial in the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas. On May 21, 2018, Wilkinson Walsh, led by Kosta Stojilkovic …

Appeals Court Upholds Major Antitrust Win for Wilkinson Walsh Client Georgia Pacific

WASHINGTON,D.C. — The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit unanimously upheld a major trial court win for Wilkinson Walsh client Georgia Pacific, affirming the dismissal of a high stakes antitrust class action lawsuit involving over $10 billion in claimed damages. Georgia Pacific hired Wilkinson Walsh to handle all aspects of summary judgment briefing and trial after the trial court certified Plaintiffs’ proposed class. The Wilkinson Walsh team, led by Beth Wilkinson, Alexandra Walsh, Brant Bishop, and Rakesh Kilaru, developed an evidentiary record focused on the absence of any evidence against Georgia Pacific, and filed independent briefs challenging Plaintiffs’ expert witnesses and seeking summary judgment. In June 2017, the court issued a Daubert opinion that imposed key limits on the testimony Plaintiffs’ witnesses could offer at trial, adopting several of Wilkinson Walsh’s arguments. On August 3, 2017, Wilkinson Walsh won summary judgment for Georgia Pacific. The court’s decision came …