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Wiley Rein & Fielding rose one place among the 20 top-grossing firms in the D.C. area. The firm grossed $132 million, and profits per partner rose by 14 percent, to $715,000, while revenue per lawyer made a more modest push from $522,000 to $535,000. Chairman Richard Wiley calls 2003 the firm’s “best year yet.” Wiley Rein lawyers represented New York’s Viacom International Inc. in its programming dispute with the EchoStar Communications Corp., the Littleton, Colo.-based owner of the DISH Network. EchoStar had protested a rate hike instituted by Viacom for carriage of certain channels. Viacom scored a victory when a judge in the Northern District of California denied EchoStar’s request for a preliminary injunction, after which the two parties settled. The General Motors Corp. looked to the firm’s attorneys in its sale of Hughes Electronics Corp./DirecTV to the News Corp. The Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice approved the $6.6 billion deal shortly before the end of the year. The firm also continued to do appellate and regulatory work for Verizon Communications. Wiley represented a handful of media clients, including the Gannett Co. and the Newspaper Association of America, in a case in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit appealing the FCC’s new media ownership rules. Those clients believe that the commission should deregulate the media industry further and defended its move to loosen ownership restrictions on newspapers and broadcasters. The court stayed the commission’s order in September, preventing the rules from being enforced until court review is complete. Oral arguments were in February, and a decision is expected sometime this summer. The firm scored another victory for client Verizon Internet Services Inc. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit held that the Recording Industry Association of America had no authority to obtain subpoenas compelling Verizon to disclose information about subscribers the RIAA said infringed its members’ software copyrights. The firm chalked up a win in October when a jury in a Baltimore federal court awarded nearly $20 million to Wiley Rein client Lowry’s Reports Inc., a newsletter covering stock market conditions. The jury found that Legg Mason had infringed Lowrey’s copyrights. In another intellectual property matter, the federal District Court in Richmond, Va., awarded nearly $50 million in damages, enhanced damages, attorney fees, and interest to Wiley Rein client NTP Inc. In 2002, a jury determined that Research in Motion Ltd.’s BlackBerry software infringed patents assigned to NTP. Wiley Rein attorney Jan Baran represented Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in a First Amendment challenge to the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, also known as the McCain-Feingold Act. In December, the Supreme Court upheld much of the law. The firm’s government contracts group, led by partner Scott McCaleb, has played a major role in defending the Boeing Co. in a federal trade secrets lawsuit in Florida brought by the Lockheed Martin Corp. The case arose out of events involving Boeing’s contracts with the Air Force for space launch services. The case is pending. In insurance matters, Wiley Rein represents the Zurich American Insurance Co. in key disputes over the extent of coverage for the World Trade Center. The firm also represents insurers in director-and-officer coverage matters relating to major corporate scandals, including the controversies regarding mutual fund practices. In D&O coverage, Wiley Rein insurance lawyers chalked up a victory for the Genesis Insurance Co. in Cutter & Buck Inc. v. Genesis Insurance Co. In March a U.S. district court, rejecting the claims of clothing designer and manufacturer Cutter & Buck, ruled that Genesis Insurance properly rescinded a directors and officers liability insurance policy after the Seattle-based clothing manufacturer intentionally misrepresented itself to Wiley Rein’s client.

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