Grant Davis-Denny, 35, partner
Munger, Tolles & Olson
Davis-Denny had a significant 2011. He was voted into the partnership at Munger, and he began the year with a favorable claim construction ruling and summary judgment of noninfringement for a major software manufacturer accused of patent infringement. That was followed by the filing of a brief at the U.S. Supreme Court defending the constitutionality of the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Act. He also delivered the opening statement and cross-examined key witnesses in a seven-day arbitration hearing that resulted in the dismissal of all claims against his clients a law firm and two of its attorneys sued for professional negligence by a star of "The Real Housewives of New York." Outside the office, Davis-Denny was formerly chair and now serves on the board of California Common Cause. He also represented death row inmates in obtaining an injunction, affirmed on appeal, against lethal injections in California based on the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation's failure to comply with the Administrative Procedures Act.
Word that best describes you?
Kind of law would you least like to practice?
Asset protection law.
What you'd do if you could take a year off?
Hike one of America's grand trails or bike across the country.
Most unusual hobby?
When I was a kid with a lot of free time, I saw a trick on Happy Days where you see how many coins you can place on one elbow and then catch using the hand on the same arm. I actually got quite good at it, but never broke any records.
"If I had more time, I would have written you a shorter letter."
A lawyer you admire?
My colleague, Brad Phillips, has a top-notch commercial litigation practice, is one of the country's leading public interest impact litigators, and has led organizations like the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Most importantly, he has shown that you can do all this and be an excellent father and husband, too.