Wilkinson Stekloff Wins First-Ever Jury Verdict for Monsanto in Roundup Mass Tort Litigation

After a single day of deliberation, a jury delivered the first-ever verdict for Monsanto yesterday in Clark v. Monsanto, a trial involving claims that the herbicide Roundup causes Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. Wilkinson Stekloff Founding Partner Brian Stekloff first-chaired the trial; Associate Cali Cope-Kasten handled several witnesses, and Partner Kieran Gostin advised on all aspects of trial strategy. Clark was the fourth case in this mass tort to go to trial; the three previous trials resulted in verdicts against Monsanto ranging from $81 million to over $2 billion. Clark was also the first case involving a child plaintiff. The victory was the product of a comprehensive trial strategy. Shortly after being retained as lead trial counsel, Brian convinced the judge to “reverse bifurcate” the case into a first phase focused on causation and a second phase focused on liability and damages. The ruling marked the first time a state court judge has …

Wilkinson Stekloff Partner Moira Penza Quoted in Coverage of High-Profile Trials

Journalists regularly call on Wilkinson Stekloff Partner Moira Penza to serve as a source for their reporting. Moira’s extensive experience on cases receiving intense media attention, and her knowledge of trial strategy, enable her to provide context and insight that helps reporters accurately communicate important nuances of trials to their readers.  Over the past two months, Moria has provided substantive commentary on strategy in the R. Kelly trial to outlets including NPR, The Daily Beast, CNN, and, most recently, The New York Times, in which she provided analysis of the defense’s cross-examination technique.  Moira brings this same deep experience in courtroom strategy to her work on behalf of Wilkinson Stekloff clients, and the firm is fortunate to have her on the team. 

Wilkinson Stekloff Wins Landmark Immigration Appeal

Washington, D.C. — Wilkinson Stekloff associates Chanakya Sethi and Alison Zoschak have secured a major pro bono win in the Ninth Circuit, convincing the court that non-citizens facing reinstatement of prior deportation orders have a right to counsel in their removal proceedings. Chan was appointed to represent Walter Orozco-Lopez as a member of the Ninth Circuit’s pro bono panel and argued the case in April 2021. The precedential decision could affect thousands of individuals in the Ninth Circuit each year. The federal government has for the last decade deported upwards of 100,000 people annually under an expedited procedure that allows for reinstatement of earlier deportation orders. Unlike non-citizens in ordinary removal proceedings, these individuals have been denied the right to an attorney when they have challenged their deportation on the grounds that they fear return to their native countries. Chan and Alison argued that the Immigration and Nationality Act codifies …

Wilkinson Stekloff Partner Kieran Gostin Featured in Law.com’s “How I Made Partner” Series

For its series asking top-tier lawyers about their rise, and the advice they would offer up-and-coming lawyers, Law.com recently featured Wilkinson Stekloff partner Kieran Gostin. Kieran on the biggest surprise about becoming a partner: “…I came to realize that, in many ways, making partner is just the start of your career, and definitely not the culminating event that it can seem like when you are just starting out.”  Kieran’s advice to young associates who want to make partner:  “We are in a client-service business, and it is never too early to really start putting yourself in that mindset every day and focusing on how you can help your clients succeed. COVID-19 has not changed that advice.” Kieran was also recently featured on Benchmark Litigation’s 40 & Under Hot List for the second year in a row, and was named a 2020 National Law Journal D.C. Rising Star. He was recently part …

Wilkinson Stekloff Named Top Fundraiser in Legal Aid Campaign

Washington, D.C. — The Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia recently recognized Wilkinson Stekloff for its contribution to the 2021 Making Justice Real Campaign, an annual fundraiser to support Legal Aid’s mission to provide legal services to people living in poverty in DC. Wilkinson Stekloff raised the most money from firms with 25 to 49 attorneys, contributing a total of $54,000, enough to staff a Legal Aid attorney for seven months. “Our firm has a deep and lasting commitment to providing pro bono representation, and we are honored to support Legal Aid’s mission to improve access to justice for all,” said Wilkinson Stekloff Partner Kosta Stojilkovic. “Especially at a time like this, with so many people in our community facing possible eviction due to the impact of the pandemic, we take seriously our responsibility to support Legal Aid.” Bringing together thousands of people, the 2021 Making Justice Real Campaign has …

Benchmark Litigation Selects Beth Wilkinson for Its 2021 Top 10 Women in Litigation List

Washington, D.C. — Wilkinson Stekloff Founding Partner Beth Wilkinson has been chosen for Benchmark Litigation’s elite group of the 10 leading women litigators who stand out from its iconic Top 250 Women in Litigation 2021 List. Beth has served as lead counsel in over 50 jury trials, including numerous bet-the company, multibillion-dollar cases, and established an unrivaled record of victories in federal and state courts throughout the country. In just the last year, Beth has served as lead trial counsel for Altria in a major administrative trial, successfully represented Judge Emmet Sullivan in mandamus proceedings in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit arising out of his handling of the criminal case involving former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, and directed the defense of multiple other high-profile litigations, including on behalf of Altria, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, USA, and the NFL. Beth’s peerless dedication to excellence has won her the …

Wilkinson Stekloff Featured in Law.com’s “Future of Litigation: What’s Next” Newsletter

Law.com reporter Alaina Lancaster highlighted Wilkinson Stekloff in her “What’s Next” newsletter on innovations in litigation practice. Speaking with partner James Rosenthal, she reported on the firm’s groundbreaking creation of an in-house courtroom for use in a recent remote bench trial. Thanks to the resourceful work of the firm’s technology team, the in-house setup allowed lawyers and witnesses to be in the same room during direct examinations that were streamed virtually to the judge and opposing counsel. Read the full story here.

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 …

ICYMI: Wilkinson Stekloff Partner Ralia E. Polechronis Featured in “How I Made Partner” Series

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Wilkinson Stekloff partner Ralia E. Polechronis has been featured in ALM’s “How I Became Partner” series, which highlights how some of the most prominent lawyers in the field climbed to top positions in the legal world and imparts their advice to newcomers in the legal profession.   Ralia on the stellar partnership at Wilkinson Stekloff:  “Partnership is very much a two-way street—you have to perform, but you also need those already there to cheer you on.” – Ralia Polechronis.  Ralia’s advice to young associates who want to become partner:  “Put yourself out there.  Take risks and ask questions.  Treat each assignment—no matter how mundane—as the most important task for your team and your client.  Make yourself indispensable.  If you are the person partners and your peers go to for the answers, you are doing something right.  Finally, and this is just as important as the other advice, give …

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 …