Boies, Schiller & Flexner
So what if it’s more than 20 years since he’s had a clear-cut win in the 9th? Any lawyers who find themselves facing down David Boies’ gold-rimmed reading glasses and Lands End suit know they’re in the presence of a superstar. As Time magazine — in the context of Boies’ representation of then-Vice President Gore in the Florida recount case — put it: “No lawyer in memory ever won so much by losing.”
Similarly, it could qualify as a personal victory that Boies’ client, the music-file-sharing-for-free Napster Inc., remains up and running after the 9th Circuit’s ruling last month, and despite this week’s order from the district court enjoining Napster from distributing copyrighted material. Based in Armonk, N.Y., his litigation boutique, Boies, Schiller & Flexner, has represented Calvin Klein, Don Imus and, in the Microsoft antitrust case, the U.S. Department of Justice.
Law Offices of Ramsey Clark
The long, tall Texan — who now works out of New York — has a 9th Circuit record that stretches through some 50 cases back to the early 1960s, when he was an assistant federal prosecutor. The son of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thomas C. Clark, Ramsey Clark was U.S. attorney general in the Johnson administration.
Hewing to his liberal credentials — “If you believe in rights, you defend them” is a favorite expression — Clark has had a number of clients on the fringe, including Branch Davidians and Gypsies. Most recently, he was arguing last December before an en banc panel that the state of Idaho has a right to criminally prosecute an FBI sharpshooter for the 1992 deaths at Ruby Ridge.
Roger Jon Diamond
Santa Monica, Calif.
Is your neighborhood homeowners’ association up in arms about your plans to have bikini-clad waitresses in your supper club? Have we got the attorney for you.
Perpetually upbeat Roger Jon Diamond is perhaps the nation’s best-known defender of adult bookstores, strip joints and other X-rated clients whose First Amendment rights may or may not be at risk under local ordinances. Although it is rare for any practitioner to appear more than once a year before the 9th, Diamond had three wins there last year. Not all of the Santa Monica, Calif.-based lawyer’s clients are in the adult entertainment mold, although many seem to share pariah status. He recently represented a man who pleaded guilty to mishandling human remains in his parents’ funeral home, and then (successfully) sued Los Angeles District Attorney Gil Garcetti for reneging on the plea bargain.
Morrison & Foerster
One of her favorite quotes is that “restructuring governments is not for the short-winded,” and after a half century in public eye, Shirley M. Hufstedler is still arguing complex litigation, sitting on reform commissions and putting her stamp on the legal system.
She was one of the first women to be named to the federal bench, sitting on the 9th Circuit from 1968 to 1979 and leaving to join President Carter’s cabinet as education secretary. Three years ago, she represented an appellant in a landmark arbitration-clause case, LaPine v. Kyocera, involving a $250 million-plus award in which the review provision was under attack. She prevailed with the argument that “some lawyers don’t wise up until their clients have a disaster,” and the award was vacated. Denver-born Hufstedler is a longtime California resident and a senior counsel in the Los Angeles office of San Francisco’s Morrison & Foerster.
Miriam A. Krinsky
U.S. Department of Justice
When the 9th Circuit needed a single lawyer to represent all practitioners on its 10-member Evaluation Committee, Miriam A. Krinsky was the obvious choice. As chief of criminal appeals for the U.S. attorney’s office, Krinsky stood front-and-center in the government’s efforts to keep behind bars Charles Keating of savings and loan fame as well as the two police officers convicted of beating Rodney King. Despite more than 100 published opinions logged to her name in the past decade, she’s also active in all sorts of community reform groups. She sits on the 9th Circuit’s Rules Committee, heads the city of Los Angeles’ high-profile ethics committee and is in line for the presidency of the Los Angeles County Bar Association.
When she led bar efforts to educate the public about what she believed was a misleading juvenile justice initiative pushed by then-Governor Pete Wilson, some questioned the time and work it would take. Her simple answer: “Somebody’s got to take the lead.”
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