WASHINGTON – Wilkinson Stekloff 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 right, and we reduced its exposure from $4 billion to $600 million before trial. But it was still a big risk. We were thrilled to reward our client’s trust by winning.
What was the most valuable lesson you learned in your first year practicing law? The importance of mentorship. In my first year, I was fortunate enough to work with senior associates who took the time and effort to get my career off on the right foot. I’ve tried to pass it on and do the same for the more junior lawyers at my firm.
Who is your greatest lawyer mentor and what has he or she taught you? My colleagues at Wilkinson Stekloff. I will never look at any aspect of lawyering—from taking a deposition to writing a brief—the same way because of what I have seen them do in the courtroom.
Please share a brief key to your success. Build good relationships with everyone—your supervisors, your supervisees, opposing counsel, the courtroom deputy, and your ride-share driver. It is the right thing to do. But it will also almost always pay dividends in the short term, and even more so in the long term.
Founded in February 2016, Wilkinson Stekloff has grown to nearly 40 lawyers and has quickly established itself as the leading trial boutique firm in the country. The firm has tried over a dozen cases to verdict across the country, winning the vast majority, and has won several other pre-trial victories in bet-the-company cases.