Kirkland partners Sandra Goldstein, Stefan Atkinson, Sierra Elizabeth, Dan Cellucci, Jenny Lee and associate Amal El Bakhar were recognized as runners-up in The Am Law Litigation Daily’s "Litigator of the Week" column for their work for client Constellation Brands.
"... Raise a glass of beer to a trial team at Kirkland & Ellis led by Sandra Goldstein, Stefan Atkinson and Sierra Elizabeth—and by that, we mean hard seltzer. A unanimous federal jury in Manhattan this week sided with Kirkland client Constellation Brands on the question of whether Corona Hard Seltzer and Modelo Ranch Water constitute “beer” or “Mexican-style beer” under the company’s agreement with Modelo to use the Corona and Modelo trademarks on “beer” sold in the United States. Modelo and its parent company Anheuser-Busch argued Constellation made billions in profits through the license agreement and that the seltzer products exceeded its bounds. Last year U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan who is overseeing the case wrote in his summary judgment ruling that “Modelo has more dictionaries on its side of this debate over the meaning of ‘beer’ than does [Constellation].” But the judge allowed the case to proceed to trial finding the meaning in the underlying agreement ambiguous. So, cheers once again to the Kirkland trial team, which also included partners Dan Cellucci, Jenny Lee and associate Amal El Bakhar."