Wilkinson Walsh Partner Kieran Gostin Named National Law Journal D.C. Rising Star

WASHINGTON – Wilkinson Walsh Partner Kieran Gostin was named a 2020 National Law Journal D.C. Rising Star. One of 40 honorees, Kieran was recognized for his role on a trial team that won a defense victory for Bayer in a $600 million certified consumer class action lawsuit and his role in the Farar case, where he successfully cross-examined Plaintiffs’ Florida class representative, one of the four witnesses that testified at trial. The award honors attorneys ranging from a variety of practice areas—from appellate to First Amendment to international trade—representing high-profile clients and securing victories. In a Q&A with the National Law Journal, Kieran outlined his biggest accomplishments, most valuable lesson learned, mentorship, and the key to his success. His responses can be found here and below. Describe your biggest win or accomplishment in practice. A defense verdict in a consumer class action about multivitamin advertising. Our client knew it was …

Wilkinson Walsh Shortlisted for Chambers Diversity & Inclusion Awards: North America 2020

Firm Recognized for Pro Bono Program and for Furthering Diversity and Inclusion WASHINGTON — Chambers and Partners recognized Wilkinson Walsh as an outstanding firm for diversity and inclusion and as one of its private practice pro bono programs of the year. This is the second year in a row that Chambers and Partners has recognized Wilkinson Walsh’s acclaimed pro bono program. Now a 39-lawyer, majority-women-owned powerhouse, Wilkinson Walsh was founded on a commitment to developing the next generation of trial lawyers with a comprehensive focus on diversity and inclusion. Nearly 60 percent of the firm’s lawyers — including both name partners and five of its eleven partners overall — are women. Founding Partner Alexandra Walsh applauded Chambers’ decision, stating, “Since our founding, we have worked hard to create and maintain a diverse and inclusive working environment. Every one of the our trial teams has featured a woman or attorney of …

Wilkinson Walsh Partner Moira Penza Named Law360 Rising Star for Trials

Washington – Wilkinson Walsh Partner Moira Penza was named one of Law360’s 2020 Rising Stars.  The award recognizes Moira as a lawyer “under 40 whose accomplishments transcend” her age and describes how she “knocked it out of the park last summer when she prosecuted the leader of a shadowy New York self-help group [Nxivm] for sex trafficking in a six-week trial, then went to private practice and was hired to lead Allergan into an antitrust battle.” In an interview with Law360, Moira discussed her role as lead prosecutor in the Nixvm case and the challenges she faced during trial.  “Managing that role in a case that I was so invested in, having brought it from start to finish and having come to care for the women who had been victimized, [was] really like being thrown in the deep end.  So when I survived and it could not have gone better …

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 Selected As Industry-Leading “Best Midsize Law Firm To Work For”

WASHINGTON – Vault named Wilkinson Walsh the sixth best midsize law firm to work for in its 2019 Law Firm Rankings.  Among other accolades, Vault ranked Wilkinson Walsh second for compensation, third for diversity, and fourth for pro bono.  These rankings are based on the results of a survey distributed to associates at each law firm, reflecting associates’ views about their firms. In addition, Vault selected Wilkinson Walsh for its “Top 150 Under 150” list, which recognizes “outstanding law firms with fewer attorneys, but no less expertise, than the global megafirms that often dominate rankings and headlines.” Vault is well-known for its influential rankings, ratings, and reviews of thousands of top employers. “Wilkinson Walsh has built a culture of empowering younger attorneys and delivering exceptional results for our clients,” said Wilkinson Walsh Founding Partner Beth Wilkinson.  “I am proud to work with such a diverse team of star litigators, and …