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Law360: Appellate Group of the Year - O’MelvenyDecember 03, 2020
O’Melveny has been named an Appellate Practice Group of the Year by Law360. In conferring the award, the publication recognized the firm’s successes before the US Supreme Court in 2020.
O’Melveny special counsel Jeffrey Fisher described the group as “incredibly nimble” and capable of participating in a variety of cases and projects, including pro bono work. “From my perspective, our group’s lawyers are generalists who also have specialized knowledge,” he said. “We’re not just doing one thing, and because of that, we can see parallels over different areas of the law.”
This past term, Fisher represented a Louisiana man who had been convicted of murder by 10 out of 12 jurors in Louisiana state court in Ramos v. Louisiana, arguing that the Sixth and 14th Amendments required jury verdicts in state court to be unanimous for criminal convictions. In a 6-3 vote, the Court overturned a decades-old precedent that permitted Louisiana and Oregon to convict people without the votes of all jurors.
Fisher and O’Melveny counsel Kendall Turner also represented Texas inmate Gonzalo Holguin-Hernandez in an appeal of the length of his sentence in Holguin-Hernandez v. US. The case examined whether Holguin-Hernandez forfeited his right to appeal his sentence when he did not express his objection at the end of his sentecing hearing. Turner argued the case before the Court last year and secured a 9-0 ruling in favor of Holguin-Hernandez.
“For me, it was a great opportunity to argue before the Supreme Court so early in my career. The firm was supportive and put the wind in my sails,” Turner said. “More senior attorneys would normally keep that opportunity to themselves, but at O’Melveny, I’ve had the chance to argue those kinds of cases.”
Law360 subscribers can read the full article here.