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Law360's Weekly Verdict: Legal Lions & Lambs

A team of three U.K. lawyers triumphed as top legal lions this week with a victory for Intel in its appeal to the EU’s highest court of a $1.26 billion antitrust penalty, while Beck Redden became a legal lamb after a jury slammed its client, Johnson & Johnson unit Ethicon, with a $57.1 million verdict over defective pelvic mesh implants.

Legal Lions

Heading up this week’s legal lions are U.K.’s Monckton Chambers and Ashurst, which landed a big win Wednesday when the European Union’s highest court sided with their client, Intel Corp., in the company’s appeal of a €1.06 billion ($1.26 billion) antitrust penalty, sending the case back to a lower court to re-examine whether the chipmaker abused its dominance by offering its customers illegal loyalty rebates. Intel is represented by Daniel Beard of Monckton Chambers and Nigel Parr and Ross Mackenzie of Ashurst.

Jenner & Block LLP earned a spot on the legal lions list Tuesday when a California federal jury awarded its client, Waverly Scott Kaffaga, $13.15 million in her lawsuit accusing John Steinbeck’s daughter-in-law of intentionally lying about her stake in the late author’s works to sabotage movie deals for “The Grapes of Wrath” and “East of Eden” arranged by Kaffaga. Kaffaga is represented by Susan J. Kohlmann, Alison I. Stein and Andrew J. Thomas of Jenner & Block LLP.

Next up are Paul Hastings LLP and Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell LLP, which secured a favorable decision for computer security company Trend Micro Inc. Thursday. A Delaware federal judge ruled that nonpracticing entity Intellectual Ventures LLC should cover a portion of Trend Micro’s legal fees, based on an “unusual” circumstance of an expert witness changing his position during a patent trial and later admitting he had done so. Trend Micro is represented by Yar R. Chaikovsky and Philip Ou of Paul Hastings LLP and Karen Jacobs and Michael J. Flynn of Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell LLP.

Also asserting their dominance this week were Crowell & Moring LLP and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz. The law firms served as counsel for United Technologies Corp. in its $23 billion deal announced Monday to buy fellow aerospace company Rockwell Collins in cash and stock. The Wachtell Lipton team is led by corporate partners Martin Lipton, Joshua R. Cammaker and Edward J. Lee and includes corporate associates Mark A Stagliano, Kathleen C. Iannone, and Elizabeth A. Ingriselli; antitrust of counsel Michael H. Byowitz and associate Lori S. Sherman; executive compensation and benefits partner Jeannemarie O’Brien and associate Erica E. Bonnett; finance partner Eric M. Rosof, associate Emily D. Johnson and law clerk Haley C. Sylvester; and tax partner T. Eiko Stange and associate David B. Sturgeon. The Crowell & Moring team, which served as lead antitrust counsel, includes partners Wm. Randolph Smith and Shawn R. Johnson and counsel Megan L. Wolf.

The Seventh Circuit said Friday it would not revive a lawsuit by Wrigley Field-area rooftop owners accusing the Chicago Cubs of breaching a contract preventing the obstruction of stadium sightlines, siding with arguments made by the team’s lawyers at Kirkland & Ellis LLP and finding that the deal's language and Major League Baseball's antitrust exemption bar the claims. The Chicago Cubs are represented by Andrew Kassof, Daniel E. Laytin, Paul D. Clement, Diana M. Watral and Rachel Haig of Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

Legal Lambs

First up on this week’s list of legal lambs is Beck Redden LLP. A Philadelphia jury on Thursday awarded $57.1 million in damages to a woman who accused the law firm’s client, a Johnson & Johnson unit, of manufacturing a defective pelvic mesh implant that scarred her urethra and left her incontinent. The award easily eclipses verdicts won by plaintiffs in four prior cases tried as part of a mass tort program over allegedly defective pelvic mesh implants sold by Ethicon Inc. Ethicon is represented by W. Curt Webb and Kat Gallagher of Beck Redden LLP.

In a blow to attorneys at Belin McCormick PC and Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, an Iowa federal judge on Tuesday said two Titan International Inc. subsidiaries, Titan Tire Corp. and Dico Inc., are liable for $11 million for selling buildings contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyl in an effort to dodge their environmental responsibilities. Dico and Titan Tire are represented by Mark McCormick and Stephen H. Lochner of Belin McCormick PC, and Thomas D. Lupo, Sergio E. Acosta, Michael Iasparro and Joel D. Bertocchi of Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP.

In a loss for Sony Corp.’s attorneys at Foster Murphy Altman & Nickel PC and Wolf Greenfield & Sacks PC, a U.S. International Trade Commission judge found Friday that the company infringed two Fujifilm Corp. patents on data storage technology, which could lead to an exclusion order barring imports of Sony’s products. Sony is represented by James B. Altman, Barbara A. Murphy, David F. Nickel, Susan Koegel, Kandis C. Gibson and Matthew Duescher of Foster Murphy Altman & Nickel PC, and Gregory F. Corbett, Charles T. Steenburg, Hunter D. Keeton, Chelsea A. Loughran, Jason W. Balich, Elizabeth A. DiMarco, John L. Strand and Bryan Conley of Wolf Greenfield & Sacks PC.

U.S. Department of Justice lawyers made a potentially serious error in a Libor-rigging case against a former Deutsche Bank trader Wednesday when they mistakenly revealed the nature of testimony he was compelled to give to U.K. authorities in a separate probe. The government is represented by Carol L. Sipperly, Alison L. Anderson, Richard A. Powers and Michael Koenig, with Deborah Brittain Shaw and Christopher Jackson on the separate taint team.

Last up on the legal lambs list this week are Latham & Watkins LLP and Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell LLP. A Delaware federal judge dealt a blow to the law firms’ client, drug manufacturer Mallinckrodt, in a patent suit against Praxair on Tuesday, when he ruled that several patents covering the respiratory drug Inomax were invalid for claiming only natural phenomena, and found other patents were not infringed. Mallinckrodt is represented by Kenneth Schuler, David Callahan, Marc Zubick, Brenda Danek, Sarah Wang, Jamie Wine, David Kowalski, Nicholas Yu, Michelle Ma and Inge Osman of Latham & Watkins LLP and Jack Blumenfeld and Derek Fahnestock of Morris Nichols Arsht & Tunnell LLP.