O'Melveny Named to National Law Journal's Appellate Hot List For Third Consecutive Year

April 07, 2010

Andrea Rodeschini
O'Melveny & Myers LLP

Piper Hall
O'Melveny & Myers LLP

O'Melveny & Myers LLP has been named to the National Law Journal's (NLJ) 2010 Appellate Hot List, marking the third consecutive year that the Firm has been selected to this prestigious listing.  O’Melveny’s team has been listed by NLJ among the top appellate practices each year since the weekly legal newspaper inaugurated it in 2007.


The Hot List, denotes law firms that made singular contributions to appellate practice during the past year.  "Having argued more than 75 cases in the US Supreme Court, O'Melveny has compiled a powerful appellate record,” the NLJ writes. "Last year marked another busy year for O'Melveny's appellate practice, led by former acting Solicitor General Walter Dellinger, partners Sri Srinivasan and Jonathan Hacker, and of counsel Irv Gornstein.” 


“This is a real testament to the strength and talent of our appellate practice team,” said Bradley Butwin, head of the Litigation Department.  “As a Firm, we are honored to receive this recognition and proud to be ranked among the leading firms in the United States for our appellate work.”


In its profile of the Firm, the NLJ cited three noteworthy cases: Hertz Corp. v. Friend, 130 S. Ct. 1181 (2010); Abuelhawa v. U.S., 129 S. Ct. 2102 (2009); and Miller v. Bank of America, 46 Cal. 4th 630 (Calif. 2009).

In Hertz, an O'Melveny team achieved a unanimous 9-0 victory for client Hertz Corp. before the United States Supreme Court that establishes an important diversity jurisdiction standard based on where a company’s principal place of business is located. The Supreme Court vacated and remanded an earlier 9th Circuit decision after hearing Srinivasan’s argument urging the Court to adopt the Seventh Circuit’s “nerve center” test.  In addition to Srinivasan, the Washington, DC-based O'Melveny appellate team that handled the case for Hertz included Gornstein and associates Kate Tarbert and Justin Florence.


Srinivasan also successfully argued Abuelhawa before the Court.  The Courts’ unanimous ruling on behalf of client Salman Khade Abuelhawa addressed the question of whether an individual could be held liable for “facilitating” felony drug distribution by using a cell phone to arrange a misdemeanor purchase of drugs for personal use.  In addition to Srinivasan, the team that achieved the rare 9-0 vote in the federal criminal appeal included Gornstein, associate Meaghan McLaine, and former associate Ryan Scott.


In one of several important appellate victories O’Melveny has obtained on behalf of longtime client Bank of America, the Firm prevailed before the California Supreme Court in Miller in a class action concerning the legality of the bank’s practice of balancing directly deposited Social Security benefit funds against account debits for overdrafts and overdraft fees.  In arguing the appeal, Dellinger convinced the California high court to affirm the California Court of Appeal ruling that overturned a verdict against Bank of America worth more than US$1 billion.  Assisting Dellinger in preparation of the oral argument was Hacker, who primarily authored the briefs, Gornstein, and associate Micah Smith.


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