Top Legal Industry News Updates for Fall 2022: Law Firm Hirings, Legal Industry Recognition, Women in Law, and More
Welcome back to another edition of the National Law Review’s legal news roundup! Please read on for the latest updates in law firm hiring and expansion, pro bono efforts, industry awards and recognition, and a spotlight on women in law! Additionally, be sure to check out the latest episode of our Legal News Reach podcast: The Perfect Storm: Law Firm Marketing & Business Development Budgeting with Beth Cuzzone, Global Practice Leader of Intapp.
Law Firm Hiring and Expansion
Kristian R. Sullivan has joined the Patent Prosecution & Litigation practice group at Womble Bond Dickinson. Based in Houston, Mr. Sullivan has a great deal of experience in intellectual property services, including the drafting of IP-related agreements, performing freedom-to-operate analyses, and the securing of important IP assets. He has worked across a great number of industries, such as energy, automotive, technology, and construction.
“The Houston economic market has a high concentration of clients in the advanced manufacturing and oil/gas industries. As such, there is a demand for patent prosecution attorneys with mechanical engineering experience to do this work,” said Jeff Whittle, Womble Bond Dickinson’s Houston Office Managing Partner and Energy Sector Co-Lead. “Kristian’s strong mechanical experience, including in oil and gas, will be a boost for the Houston office and add further depth to the firm’s Patent Prosecution & Litigation group and growing Energy sector team.”
Sidley Austin LLP has added James Lu as a Partner in the Corporate practice group. Mr. Lu, who focuses his practice on representing venture capital and private equity investors at leading companies, is based in the firm’s Century City office. He has a great deal of experience in many areas, primarily public and private securities offerings, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, and cross-border transactions.
“James is the trusted advisor that every client — and law firm — wants on its team. He combines market leading intelligence from two continents with a range of transactional expertise,” said Dan Clivner, co-leader of the firm’s global M&A and Private Equity practice. “Many of our partners have worked with James and couldn’t be happier to call him ‘our partner.’”
Danette R. Edwards, former Senior Counsel at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, has joined Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP’s Securities Litigation practice as a Partner. Ms. Edwards, who has vast experience leading enforcement efforts at the SEC and litigating complex cases involving anti-fraud and other securities laws, joins the firm at its office in Washington, D.C.
"Danette is a strong addition to our Securities Litigation team because she offers our clients exceptional experience on all types of SEC-related matters," said Bruce G. Vanyo, chair of Katten's Securities Litigation practice. "Her impressive skill set and extraordinary background strengthens Katten's already widely recognized reputation for defending high-stakes securities matters for some of the country's most prestigious companies."
Einhorn, Barbarito, Frost & Botwinick, PC has announced the addition of three new associates: Alma A. Godinez, Angelica M. Mercado, and T. Matthew Wolfe II. Ms. Godinez focuses her practice on personal injury matters involving medical malpractice, products liability, and other accidents. Ms. Mercado practices family and matrimonial law, with experience drafting motions and emergent applications related to matrimonial and non-dissolution matters. Mr. Wolfe II focuses his practice on wills, trusts, estates, and taxation matters, with a particular emphasis on topics such as family wealth transfer and preservation planning, charitable giving, and retirement planning.
“We are pleased to welcome these three exceptional young professionals to the firm and we know that their experience in several of our key practice areas will enhance our ability to serve our clients,” said Patricia M. Barbarito, Co-Managing Partner of Einhorn Barbarito.
Legal Industry Awards and Recognition
Jason Rubinstein, Partner at Gilbert LLP, has been named to the Board of Directors of the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia. Representing tenants facing evictions and assisting injured individuals to obtain important medical treatments, Mr. Rubinstein has made a special effort to prioritize pro bono work throughout his career. Beyond this work, at Gilbert, he has focused his practice on insurance recovery and strategic risk management.
“The work Legal Aid does for persons living in poverty in the District is unparalleled,” said Mr. Rubinstein of the honor, “and I look forward to helping to provide the leadership and legal assistance necessary to assist those in need.”
New York Law Journal recognized IMS Consulting & Expert Services as the winners of the “Best Of” 2022 award survey. They were named a Top 3 recipients in the “Best of” category for Online Jury Research Provider. Winners for this award were selected based on the results of a crafted ballot containing several dozen categories for attorneys and firm administrators to vote on.
IMS’ Vice President of Client Services, Chris Sizemore, commented, “We’re thrilled to be selected by our clients as one of New York’s top legal service providers. IMS consultants help reduce uncertainty before and at trial by understanding the psychology of the jury to identify and refine persuasive themes that will better connect with decision makers in the case—juries, judges, and arbitrators.”
On September 22, 2022, Bruno R. Marasso, partner at Romanucci & Blandin, LLC, was installed as President of the Justinian Society of Lawyers. Mr. Marasso has received numerous awards previously, including the Emerging Lawyer award by Law Bulletin Publishing Company every year since 2017, a Rising Star by Super Lawyer every year since 2018, a naming to Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch for 2021, and a naming to the list of Best Lawyers in America for 2023.
On his recent appointment, Mr. Marasso shared, “Romanucci & Blandin has a rich history in serving the Justinian Society of Lawyers and I am proud to continue it with my term as President. As Justinians, we pride ourselves in contributing to both the legal profession and to the community and I am humbled to serve in this role.” Mr. Marasso recently served as Vice President of the Justinian Society of Lawyers and focuses his practice on the areas of automobile collisions, wrongful death, premises liability, and institutional misconduct.
Diversity and Inclusion in the Field
The Arab American Foundation has selected Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick Associate Ali W. Latif for inclusion on their “40 Under 40” list for his role in empowering the national Arab American community. Ms. Latif is a trilingual Palestinian-American based in Columbus, Ohio who specializes in business, immigration, and environmental law. Prior to joining Shumaker, Latif owned his own firm, where he represented marginalized clients. He still prioritizes disadvantaged communities, spending hundreds of hours providing free legal services for low-income clients with the Legal Aid Society of Columbus. In 2019, he received the LASC/CBA/CBF New Attorney Pro Bono Award.
Shumaker Partner and Diversity and Inclusion Committee Co-Chair Cheri Budzynski says, “We are excited that Ali has the opportunity to be celebrated for his passion and leadership in connecting and empowering Arab Americans. As part of the firm’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, we recognize that our legal system needs to adapt to represent diversity and the people of our nation.”
Corporate Counsel Women of Color has chosen Foley & Lardner Senior Counsel Lauren Champaign to receive their “Next Gen Emerging Millennial Leader” award, which celebrates young attorneys with exceptional legal talent and community orientation. A commercial litigator specializing in securities, product liability, antitrust, and consumer finance, Ms. Champaign also co-founded Foley’s Racial Justice and Equity Practice Group.
Ms. Champaign has previously volunteered with numerous legal aid organizations, such as the D.C. Legal Aid Society’s Housing Division, and served as the Deputy GOTV Director for President Obama’s Philadelphia re-election campaign. There, she contributed to increased voter turnout and eventual victory, and as a Regional Field Director for Obama for America, she was featured in the Washington Post and PBS Now for her organizing work in South Carolina and Chicago. Ms. Champaign and her five fellow awardees will be feted at an October 7th ceremony during Corporate Counsel’s Career Strategies Conference.
Barnes & Thornburg Partner Robyn Maguire has been included on Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly’s “Top Women of Law” list, which showcases women leading the legal field through education, mentorship, and innovation. Ms. Maguire practices complex civil litigation in Boston, where she manages product liability, real estate, and land use disputes.
Ms. Maguire is an active member of her local pro bono and volunteer community, assisting clients with housing and asylum matters and submitting amicus briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court and U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit for issues related to immigration and employment discrimination. She chairs the Town of Hingham Zoning Board of Appeals and is an executive committee and board member for Lawyers for Civil Rights. She has previously been recognized as a “Rising Star” and “Super Lawyer” in Massachusetts Super Lawyers and on the “Top Ten Verdicts” list in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. Maguire and her fellow nominees will be profiled in the magazine’s November issue and honored at an awards ceremony.