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O’Melveny’s Appellate Practice Featured in The NLJ’s 2012 Appellate Hot List Issue

June 18, 2012 The Supreme Court and Appellate Practice at O’Melveny & Myers LLP is the subject of the June 18, 2012, article “The torch is passed at O'Melveny & Myers,” part of The National Law Journal’s 2012 Appellate Hot List special issue. The article notes that the busy practice is headed by partner Jonathan Hacker, who has led the group since Sri Srinivasan’s departure last August to become chief deputy solicitor general. Hacker’s Supreme Court victory for Viad Corp. in Kurns v. Railroad Friction Products Corp. is highlighted. In Kurns, the Court affirmed a lower court ruling for O’Melveny’s client Viad Corp., agreeing with O’Melveny that design-defect and failure-to-warn claims challenging the use of asbestos in locomotives manufactured more than 50 years ago could not proceed because a federal statute called the Locomotive Inspection Act gave the Federal Railroad Administration the exclusive authority to regulate the design, material, and construction of locomotives.

The article also discusses partner Walter Dellinger’s role in the watershed Supreme Court ruling in January in United States v. Jones. Dellinger and other O'Melveny lawyers prepared briefs and organized four moot courts in preparation for the oral arguments on behalf of client Antoine Jones, The NLJ notes. In one of the first Supreme Court decisions to address the scope of privacy in the context of satellite surveillance and could have a significant impact on police procedure, the Court unanimously held that the Fourth Amendment prohibited law enforcement from using GPS devices to conduct surveillance on suspects without a valid warrant.

Other cases highlighted in the piece include a May win by Hacker and partner Brian Boyle for Ford Motor Co. vacating a US$2 billion jury verdict in favor of a class of Ford dealers, a pending matter for Liggett Group LLC involving a challenge to federal regulation mandating graphic warnings on cigarette packages and in advertisements, and a number of cases under the Alien Tort Statute.

Hacker told The NLJ he expects that during the next several years the Firm's Appellate Practice will grow. "I think the work that we do is too important and interesting to be kept to ourselves," he said.