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KEKER & VAN NEST
Size:22 partners, 25 associates, 2 of counsel
Founded:1978
Firm origin:Keker and the other founder, Bill Brockett, were federal public defenders.
The Keker Docket: Playing offenseThe firm han-dles a broad array of disputes. When the menacing Al Davis tried to bully members of the Oakland Raiders ownership, Robert Van Nest stepped in to win the right to ex-amine the team’s books. Now his clients may try to force a team sale.
On the edgeThe firm is at home in areas of intellectual property where the law is unsettled. MGM Stu-dios v. Groksterinvolves the enter-tainment industry’s efforts to control copy-right infringement of their works. Partner Michael Page won the case for Grokster in the trial court and the Ninth Circuit; the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case in March.
Public ServiceKeker & Van Nest lawyers devote a remarkable 8 percent of their time to pro bono. No case was more spectacular than a successful three-year effort to free John Tennison, who spent 13 years in jail for a murder he did not commit. A firm team, led by Elliot Pe-ters established that California prosecutors had withheld exculpatory evidence at Ten-nison’s trial. The firm now is helping Ten-nison seek compensation from the state.
In the dockThe firm’s white-collar criminal defense practice puts it in the headlines. Name partner John Keker is on the short list of lawyers for high-profile corporate executives under criminal inves-tigation.

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