O'Melveny Named to Brady Center Legal Action Honor Roll

June 15, 2009

Piper Hall
O'Melveny & Myers LLP

Andrea Rodeschini
O'Melveny & Myers LLP

WASHINGTON, DC - O’Melveny & Myers LLP will be recognized as a Brady Center Legal Action Project Honor Roll member for the Firm’s legacy of successful gun safety advocacy. As part of the Legal Action Project’s 20th anniversary celebration, the Honor Roll recognizes the commitment and dedication of attorneys, law firms, and other partners of the Project for their support in asserting and defending the legal rights of gun violence victims and the use of the legal system to reduce gun violence in courts throughout the country.

Through hard work and determination, the Project has been successful over the past two decades in establishing a body of law holding that those who manufacture, distribute, and sell guns owe a duty to engage in their business responsibly, and may be liable for contribution to criminal or accidental acts of gun violence when they fail to comply.

O’Melveny has long been an advocate for gun safety and has successfully represented various clients on gun-control related matters. For example, O’Melveny represented the Brady Center in Kasler v. Lockyer, a case in which the California Supreme Court upheld the California statutory assault weapons ban against various constitutional challenges, overturning an intermediate court of appeal decision that had held the ban unconstitutional. O’Melveny’s team, led by partner Charles Lifland, was the lead amicus defending the constitutionality of the ban.

In 2008, the Firm represented the District of Columbia government before the United States Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller, unable to persuade the Justices to uphold the District’s 32-year ban on handguns in the face of challenges to the law as a violation of the Second Amendment right to bear arms. Partner Walter Dellinger led O’Melveny’s team and argued the case before the Court. Partner Matthew Shors, counsel Mark Davies, and former associates Geoff Wyatt, Brianne Gorod, and Joseph Blocher made significant contributions to the effort.

Most recently, the Firm filed an amicus brief on behalf of leading history professors and legal historians in support of another handgun ban—this time before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Delivering many of the same arguments advanced in Heller, O’Melveny helped convince the Seventh Circuit panel that the City of Chicago's regulation of handguns is consistent with gun-control efforts taken throughout our Nation’s history. Shors, Wyatt, Anton Metlitsky, Justin Florence, and Micah Smith provided valuable assistance with the case.

“We are extremely pleased to be honored as a supporter of the Brady Center's efforts,” said Shors, who expressed deep appreciation for the dedicated efforts of the Brady Center Legal Action Project to reduce gun-related injuries and deaths in this country.

O’Melveny will be recognized at the Brady Center Legal Action Project’s 20th anniversary celebration on Tuesday, June 16 in Washington, DC. Speakers include Assistant Senate Majority Leader Richard Durbin of Illinois, Representative Carolyn McCarthy of New York, and Brady Center Chair Sarah Brady.

About O’Melveny & Myers LLP

With approximately 1,000 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

About the Brady Center’s Legal Action Project

The Legal Action Project is a program of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, a national non-profit organization working to reduce the tragic toll of gun violence in America though education, research, and legal advocacy. The programs of the Brady Center complement the legislative and grassroots mobilization of its sister organization, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and its network of Million Mom March Chapters. For more information, visit www.gunlawsuits.org. Access court decisions, case descriptions, fact sheets, special reports, and more.