We talked to hundreds of lawyers to find the rising stars whose careers are described below and in the pages that follow. Beginning with a wide and informal canvass that generated more than 200 suggestions, we identified practice areas that seemed rich in opportunity for young litigators and homed in on those for our reporting. That's why the list contains a concentration of appellate, intellectual property, public interest, and products liability lawyers. Others have made a mark as criminal defenders or labor lawyers or securities specialists. All of them have worked relentlessly to get where they are. What follows are the biographies of 50 litigators we expect to see leading the field for years to come.
Jonathan Putnam, 40
Kirkland & Ellis
Putnam litigates intellectual property and commercial disputes for such Fortune 100 companies as Honeywell International, Inc., and General Motors Corporation. The first time he first-chaired a trial, in 2001, Putnam lost 13 pounds -- but won a bet-the-company patent infringement case for Trisport Limited, a sports equipment manufacturer. Putnam recently argued before the Delaware Supreme Court for Honeywell in a breach of contract case that ended in a settlement, and he is defending General Motors in the Connecticut Supreme Court in a $125 million trade secrets dispute. The former Harvard Law Review editor has won five of the six trials he has led.
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