The National Law Journal has recognized three Wilkinson Stekloff partners in its 2022 Legal Awards. The prestigious annual series highlights the top litigation and appellate work of law firms and attorneys from the previous year.
Wilkinson Stekloff had more individuals distinguished than any other firm. Partners Cali Cope-Kasten and Rakesh Kilaru were both named Rising Stars, while Founding Partner Brian Stekloff is a finalist in the “Winning Litigators” category. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., on October 20.
Cali made partner in early 2022, fresh off acting as trial counsel to help secure the first win for Monsanto in the Roundup mass tort litigation. She has played a critical role in six jury trials, three of which were federal multi-district litigation bellwether cases, and two bench trials. She has argued numerous motions in state and federal courts at the trial and appellate level and is serving as trial counsel for Monsanto in what is set to be the first trial alleging that Roundup and PCBs caused the plaintiff’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Cali was also recently recognized as a 2022 Rising Star of the Courtroom by Business Insider.
Rakesh is currently serving as lead or co-lead counsel in several major class actions, including for the NFL and the NCAA. Since joining Wilkinson Stekloff, he has tried three cases to verdict and played a lead strategic role in 10 different class action or mass tort cases. In recognition of his diverse practice, Rakesh has been named a Rising Star for Sports and Betting by Law360, and one of Bloomberg Law’s 40 Under 40. Benchmark Litigation has identified Rakesh as a “Future Star” and selected him to its 40 and Under Hotlist four years in a row.
Brian’s selection as a Winning Litigator finalist followed a year in which he served as lead trial counsel for Monsanto in its first jury verdict win in the Roundup mass tort litigation, and he won a major Rule 702 and summary judgment victory for Medtronic in hernia mesh litigation in the Central District of California. Brian is a go-to first-chair trial lawyer who has tried over 30 cases to verdict before juries across the country. As Founding Partner of Wilkinson Stekloff, he has helped establish the firm as the leading trial litigation boutique in the country, demonstrating a depth of talent and dexterity of skill unmatched by firms of any size. In recognition of his success, Brian is nationally ranked in Chambers in products liability and mass torts and was recently named a 2023 Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation.
Read the complete list of the National Law Journal Legal Awards 2022 honorees here.