The National Law Journal (NLJ) has named Latham & Watkins to its 2015 “Appellate Hot List” for the eighth consecutive year – every year since the list’s inception. The list honors select law firms for “appellate advocacy at its strongest — winning the big cases and changing the law.” In the related article about Latham’s work, NLJ states, “a common thread in a string of recent successes for Latham & Watkins' appellate group was the government — whether battling for or against it.” The article highlighted three of Latham’s premiere cases this year:
- Latham represents the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in Florida v. Georgia, a suit before the U.S. Supreme Court seeking to remedy grave environmental and economic harms caused by Georgia’s over consumption of water along the Chattahoochee and Flint Rivers. In 2014, Florida retained Latham to help convince the Supreme Court to allow this important action to go forward, over the objection of Georgia and the United States. The Latham team – led by Gregory Garre – was successful, and the Supreme Court agreed to allow the case to proceed. In June 2015, following a hearing in which Garre argued on behalf of Florida, a special master issued a ruling denying Georgia’s motion to dismiss the case. The case is proceeding.
- In April 2015, Latham achieved an extraordinary appellate victory against the federal government in a closely watched case when the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit threw out—in its entirety—a $657 million False Claims Act damages award that had been entered against our client, United Technologies Corporation. This is the largest post-trial damages award entered under the False Claims Act. The decision is the latest chapter in a saga stretching back more than 30 years to a contract for fighter jet engines signed in 1983.
- In Campbell-Ewald Co. v Gomez, a case being closely watched by industry and business groups alike, the U.S. Supreme Court granted petition for certiorari filed on behalf of Campbell-Ewald by Latham in May 2015. The case presents an issue of major importance concerning class actions and other cases about whether an offer of complete relief moots an existing controversy. Garre argued the case before the Supreme Court on October 14, 2015.
Latham’s Supreme Court and appellate practice’s headline-grabbing work includes high-stakes and high-profile cases in both federal and state appellate courts. It’s a destination practice for clients in prominent appeals with widespread implications across numerous areas. The group is led by former Solicitor General Gregory Garre and includes partners Richard Bress, J. Scott Ballenger, Melissa Arbus Sherry and of counsel — and legendary Supreme Court advocate — Maureen Mahoney. These lawyers have served at all levels in the US Office of the Solicitor General including as US Solicitor General, US Deputy Solicitor General and Assistants to the US Solicitor General.