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Our first runner-up this week is a team from Kirkland & Ellis that won a rare Texas ruling vacating a death sentence for ineffective assistance of counsel. In a 193-page decision, Judge W. Edwin Denman this week found that prior defense counsel’s failure to investigate intellectual disability as a defense for James Harris violated his constitutional right to counsel and undermined confidence in his death sentence for a 2013 stabbing and robbery committed while he was on drugs. The case now heads to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals for a final decision on whether the death sentence should be vacated. The Kirkland team was led by Mike Williams and Erica Williams, and included Alex Russell, Don Hong, Grace Brier, Abby Hollenstein, Ashley Walters, and Travis Langenkamp. The team also included former Kirkland lawyers Seantyel Hardy, Paul Suitter, and Victor Van Dyk.

It’s pretty much a given that if you’re up against Kirkland’s Paul Clement on appeal and you secure an unprecedented remedy in a private antitrust suit, you’ve got quite the nomination on your hands. A team led by Benjamin Horwich of Munger Tolles & Olson working for doormaker Steves and Sons Inc. lands runner-up honors this week with just such a case. Pitted against Clement on appeal, Horwich and company convinced the Fourth Circuit to affirm a district court’s first-of-its-kind divestiture order in a private antitrust suit against rival JELD-WEN. The ruling forces JELD-WEN to divest a Pennsylvania doorskin factory it picked up as part of a 2012 merger. The full team working for Steves included Munger’s Glenn Pomerantz and Lewis Powell III of Hunton Andrews Kurth, who landed LOTW honors in 2018 for their work at the trial court, as well as Kyle Mach, Emily Curran-Huberty, Ted Dane and Kuruvilla Olasa at Munger; Maya Eckstein, John Martin and R. Dennis Fairbanks at Hunton and Marvin Grady Pipkin of Pipkin Law.

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Ross Todd

Ross Todd is the Editor/columnist for the Am Law Litigation Daily. He writes about litigation of all sorts. Previously, Ross was the Bureau Chief of The Recorder, ALM's California affiliate. Contact Ross at [email protected] On Twitter: @Ross_Todd.

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