Wilkinson Stekloff Partners Kieran Gostin, Rakesh Kilaru, and Moira Penza named to Benchmark Litigation’s 2021 40 & Under Hot List

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Benchmark Litigation has honored three Wilkinson Stekloff partners on its exclusive “40 & Under Hot List” of the most notable up-and-coming litigators in the U.S. Kieran Gostin, Rakesh Kilaru, and Moira Penza were noted as being among the best and brightest young law firm partners in the country, based on Benchmark research taking into account their work on noteworthy recent cases and input from clients and peers. Benchmark is hailed as the Definitive Guide to America’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys. “We are proud to see our partners recognized for their hard work and dedication to achieving great results for our clients,” said Founding Partner Beth Wilkinson. “As a firm, we’re committed to developing the next generation of trial lawyers. Kieran, Rakesh, and Moira exemplify that emerging leadership and are outstanding role models within the firm.” Kieran has been included on the list for the second year in …

Bloomberg Law Recognizes Partners Moira Penza and Rakesh Kilaru in They’ve Got Next: The 40 Under 40

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Following a nationwide competition, Bloomberg Law honored Wilkinson Stekloff partners Moira Penza and Rakesh Kilaru in its inaugural edition of They’ve Got Next: The 40 Under 40, recognizing them as “stellar young lawyers” who “represent the best of the future of the legal profession.”   In choosing whom to honor, Bloomberg Law spent months reviewing nominees’ records of success for their clients, as well as leadership contributions to their firms and communities, their thoughts on what they’re most proud of as attorneys, lessons learned as first-year attorneys, how they define success, their most influential mentors, and feedback from clients.  Moira and Rakesh stood out as top-notch litigators, “innovators and pro bono advocates.”  The group of honorees was also recognized for their diversity and inclusion efforts, investing “time into making the legal profession a better reflection of our world.”    Moira Penza was recognized for her trial work at Wilkinson …

Wilkinson Stekloff Partner Rakesh Kilaru Named Law360 Rising Star for Sports and Betting

Washington, D.C. – Wilkinson Stekloff Partner Rakesh Kilaru was named one of Law360’s 2021 Rising Stars–a lawyer under the age of 40 whose legal accomplishments “transcend his age.”  Rakesh was selected out of more than 1,400 attorneys across the United States and is one of five recognized for exemplary work in the sports and betting industries.  This latest award builds off Wilkinson Stekloff’s recent recognition as one of Law360’s Sports and Betting Groups of the year in 2020. In an interview with Law360, Kilaru discussed his involvement in every one of the firm’s sports litigation matters so far, representing the NCAA and the NFL.  Rakesh noted the importance of focusing at all times on how “to sway the judge or jury,” while also keeping “in the back of your head how that will play on appeal.”  Speaking about the skills he tries to bring to his clients, Rakesh added, “I’m …

Wilkinson Stekloff Featured as Law360 Sports and Betting Practice Group of the Year

Washington, D.C. – Law360 recently interviewed Partners Beth Wilkinson and Rakesh Kilaru in its feature highlighting Wilkinson Stekloff as a 2020 Sports and Betting Practice Group of the Year. Law360 singled out Wilkinson Stekloff as “an important player in sports law, successfully defending major sports leagues in litigation and conducting misconduct investigations in both football and tennis.”  Law360 focused its recognition on Wilkinson Stekloff’s work representing the NFL in an antitrust dispute over the NFL Sunday Ticket product broadcast media rights, and the NCAA in multiple class actions over its rules regarding the compensation and benefits student-athletes can receive student-athlete image rights.  In the interview, Beth told Law360, “We have spectacular people who really want to be trial lawyers. There’s very few firms where people actually try cases, especially the sports cases we do. Many of them are complicated and high-stakes antitrust cases and that’s why sports leagues and teams …

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

WASHINGTON – Wilkinson Stekloff 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 Stekloff Wins Early Release for Client in Pro Bono Compassionate Release Case

Washington, D.C. — Wilkinson Stekloff 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 Stekloff’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 Stekloff 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 Stekloff forcefully argued that “extraordinary and compelling” reasons supported Mr. Pantoja’s …

American Lawyer Highlights Wilkinson Stekloff 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 Stekloff 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 Stekloff’s brief, featuring it among “a stellar crop of briefs from many of the top law firms in the country.” Wilkinson Stekloff 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 Stekloff Wins Early Release for Client in Pro Bono Resentencing Case

Washington, D.C. — Wilkinson Stekloff 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 Stekloff’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 Stekloff successfully argued that Mr. Bailey should be resentenced based on, among other factors, significant mitigating evidence in his personal history, his exemplary …

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

WASHINGTON –Wilkinson Stekloff 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.