Christofferson, Kubota, Smith Named Among Top Women Lawyers in California in 2011 by the Daily Journal
Legal Newspaper Recognizes Three O'Melveny Partners For Practice Excellence
O’Melveny & Myers LLP
O’Melveny & Myers LLP
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA ─ MAY 13, 2011 ─ O’Melveny & Myers LLP partners Carla Christofferson, Carolyn Kubota, and Linda Smith have been named to the Daily Journal 's list of the “Top 100 Women Lawyers in California," published in a special supplement to the newspaper's May 11 issue. The list identifies female lawyers in the state who have achieved important victories in the most significant cases over the past year and who have established themselves as leaders both in their practice areas and in the profession at large.
"While our greatest reward comes with achieving pivotal victories for our clients, we are gratified that the outstanding trial advocacy displayed by these three partners once again has earned them a place on this esteemed list," said Brad Butwin, Chair of O'Melveny's Litigation Department. "We applaud Carla, Carolyn, and Linda for the excellence that is evidenced by the multiple recognitions they have received."
For Smith, this year's recognition marks a remarkable eight consecutive appearances on the Daily Journal's top women lawyers list. Smith is a partner based in the Firm's Century City office and a member of the Business Trial and Litigation Practice. With a focus on major litigation, she has been lead trial counsel in several large and complex cases involving many different types of law, including antitrust, securities, RICO, professional liability, and environmental. Smith represents clients in a wide variety of industries, including entertainment, healthcare, and technology.
Smith spoke to the Daily Journal about a particularly high-profile case in which she currently is representing the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA). The HFPA filed suit last year in Los Angeles federal court against Dick Clark Productions and its owner, private equity firm Red Capital Partners, in a dispute over the rights to the lucrative Golden Globes awards show. HFPA's claims include trademark infringement, false association, breach of contract and declaratory relief. Smith's team recently marked a victory in the case when the court denied Dick Clark Productions’ motion to dismiss, and set trial to determine broadcast rights to the show for the next several years. One of Smith's most significant victories in 2010 was the conclusion of the massive and long-running private antitrust case brought on behalf of Advanced Micro Devices by a team of O’Melveny litigators—led by Smith and partners Charles Diamond and Mark Samuels—against Intel for unlawful maintenance of its monopoly in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act. On the eve of trial, Intel agreed to pay AMD US$1.25 billion and commit to a series of game-changing reforms of its marketplace behavior.
Kubota, a Los Angeles-based partner in the Firm's White Collar Defense and Corporate Investigations Practice, is a four-time winner of the Daily Journal's top women lawyers honor. She has extensive trial experience, including 20 jury and bench trials in state and federal courts, and numerous contested evidentiary hearings, and is undefeated at trial. Kubota's practice is focused on civil and criminal trials, white-collar criminal defense, internal corporate investigations, and civil fraud actions. A former assistant US attorney, Kubota served for more than 12 years in the Los Angeles US attorney's office.
Kubota gave the Daily Journal some insight into a new trend she sees emerging in her practice: multiplaintiff lawsuits, or "mass actions." Plaintiffs increasingly are filing these mass actions, which share basic issues but fall below the standard set for class actions, when denied class-action certification by the court, she explained. The mass-action strategy is "an interesting maneuver by plaintiffs," Kubota said. "It's a way to get the benefits of class-action litigation, but without the constraints of a class action." Kubota currently is leading an O'Melveny team preparing one such case for trial. In Currithers v. FedEx Ground Package System, Kubota is defending FedEx in a mass action in the US District Court in Michigan brought by 19 current and former independent contractors alleging claims of recession, fraud, unjust enrichment, and similar claims in connection with their employment classification. Last year, Kubota helped obtain favorable settlements in class action cases for Southern California Edison and Qwest Communications.
Christofferson, whom the Daily Journal also designated a top woman practitioner in 2008 and 2009, is the Managing Partner of O’Melveny’s Los Angeles office and a member of the Firm's Business Trial and Litigation Practice. She focuses on commercial litigation, including litigation involving copyrights, unfair trade practices, accountant liability, music law, tax fraud, and contract disputes. She also is a frequent speaker on law firm leadership, women’s issues, and other legal issues at business groups, bar and judges associations, and citizens groups.
In a conversation with the Daily Journal, Christofferson recounted a key turning point in a November 2010 bench trial in Anchorage, Alaska, in which she led an O'Melveny team representing Exxon Mobil Corporation and Exxon Shipping Company in a contract dispute involving a 2006 settlement between Exxon and seafood processor Nautilus Marine Enterprises, Inc. (NME) related to the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. Christofferson lead her team in assembling expert testimony demonstrating that documents had been altered by the opposing side, and also obtained an admission during her cross-examination. The result was a complete trial victory for Exxon. Christofferson also has played a leading role in two important administrative trials in Alaska for Exxon, challenging the state's attempt to terminate Exxon's drilling rights at a natural gas reservoir, and is overseeing more than 50 active matters for client Trader Joe's.
About O’Melveny’s Business Trial and Litigation Practice
The lawyers in the Business Trial and Litigation Practice at O’Melveny & Myers LLP represent prominent clients in high-stakes litigation. Whether facing a national or international commercial dispute, charges from a governmental agency, or a single-plaintiff suit with broad implications, prominent clients entrust their largest and most sensitive matters to us. Although most large firms can litigate a case, few actually understand how to shape a dispute for trial the way we do. The sheer breadth of our trial experience distinguishes our practice. We have taken hundreds of cases to trial, more than half of them before juries. And we produce impressive results: four out of every five of our trials produced a favorable outcome for clients.
About O'Melveny's White Collar Defense and Corporate Investigations Practice
The lawyers in the White Collar Defense and Corporate Investigations Practice at O’Melveny & Myers LLP represent companies, audit committees, and executives in high-stakes government investigations and trials, and in parallel administrative and civil proceedings throughout the United States and the world. Our team also conducts internal investigations and compliance reviews for public companies, broker-dealers, and investment advisers to assess the adequacy and assist in the development of policies, procedures, and internal controls for such entities.
About O’Melveny & Myers LLP
With approximately 900 lawyers in 14 offices worldwide, O’Melveny & Myers LLP helps industry leaders across a broad array of sectors manage the complex challenges of succeeding in the global economy. We are a values-driven law firm, guided by the principles of excellence, leadership, and citizenship. Our commitment to these values is reflected in our dedication to improving access to justice through pro bono work and championing initiatives that increase the diversity of the legal profession. For more information, please visit www.omm.com.
May 13, 2011