The 100 most influential lawyers in America

For the first time in six years, we offer our take on the country’s most influential lawyers.

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  • Introduction
  • Corrections

    Floyd Abrams
    69, Cahill Gordon & Reindel, New York.

    Argues before the U.S. Supreme Court on First Amendment issues; law professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism; represents news organizations including The New York Times, ABC, NBC, CBS and Time magazine on First Amendment issues; history-making advocate for the Times in the Pentagon Papers case; counsel to the Brooklyn Museum of Art when then-New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani threatened to cut off funds over controversial art; author, Speaking Freely: Trials of the First Amendment.

    Linda L. Addison
    54, Fulbright & Jaworski, Houston.

    Technology specialist, arbitrator, corporate counselor and litigator; lead counsel for the former directed trustee of Enron Corp.’s 401(k) plan, helped secure a $37.5 million settlement; defeated a $500 million breach of contract and fraud claim against Schlumberger Ltd., an oil and gas technology company; lead counsel for Mars Inc., secured a $4.2 million judgment in a pet food patent infringement case; founded the Center for Women in the Legal Profession at the University of Texas School of Law; sits on her firm’s executive committee and promotes healthy work/life balance; author, Texas Practice Guide: Evidence.

    Cesar L. Alvarez
    59, Greenberg Traurig, Miami.

    President and chief executive officer of Greenberg Traurig since 1997; helped lead the firm from 325 lawyers in eight offices in 1997 to 1,584 lawyers in 32 national and international offices; led firm to form strategic alliances with Olswang, a law firm with offices in London and Brussels; first Hispanic managing partner of a major firm; member of the board of directors for Equal Justice Works; chairman of Florida International University College of Law; trustee for the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts; prior to becoming CEO of the firm, practiced securities, corporate and international law.

    Cristina C. Arguedas
    52, Arguedas, Cassman & Headley, Berkeley, Calif.

    Defended corporate officials with Enron, Tosco, British Petroleum and Avant, among others; worked on the team of defense attorneys representing O.J. Simpson on double-murder charges; a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers; has taught criminal trial practice at University of California, Berkeley School of Law and at Yeshiva University Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York; during the past two decades has represented dozens of high-profile clients defending charges related to public corruption, securities fraud, intellectual property theft, environmental offenses and sex crimes; strategy is to prepare aggressively, be direct, get to know the client, work with prosecutors and be discreet.

    C. Mark Baker
    46, Fulbright & Jaworski, Houston

    Co-chairman of his firm’s international department and arbitration and alternative dispute resolution practice, one of the best in the country; represents Yukos Oil in a $16.5 billion arbitration involving its failed merger with Siberia’s Sibneft; represents North American and Brazilian investment consortium seeking $1.6 billion in damages against Brazilian utility Copel; member, board of directors, American Arbitration Association; arbitration panel member for the London Court of International Arbitration; pro bono arbitrator for the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

    Martha Walters Barnett
    59, Holland & Knight, Tallahassee, Fla.

    The first woman hired by her firm in 1973 now sits on its directors committee; past president (2000-2001) of the American Bar Association and chair of the House of Delegates; focuses on administrative and governmental law, election law, telecommunications, public policy and state and local taxation; as tenacious in representing her corporate clients today as she was in the early 1990s, when she led the lobbying effort to provide reparations for survivors of the 1923 Rosewood, Fla., pogrom through the Florida Legislature.

    Robert B. Barnett
    59, Williams & Connolly, Washington

    During 35 years in the law, he has represented clients before almost every executive department in the capital; represents individuals and the world’s largest corporations in litigation, contracts, crisis management and media relations; handled book deals for Bill Clinton, Bob Woodward, Alan Greenspan and many others; represented media figures including Sam Donaldson, Brit Hume and Christiane Amanpour; helped Democratic presidential candidates prepare for national debates in every election since 1976; helped officials from Clinton to Dan Quayle negotiate soft landings in the private sector.

    Fredrick M. Baron
    59, Baron & Budd, Dallas

    Founder of the firm, Baron has built it into one of the largest toxic tort firms in the country; lead attorney in cases involving water contaminated by the gasoline additive MTBE, lead contamination, toxic waste and pesticide exposure; has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court twice to decertify class action settlements involving future claims of asbestos-related injuries; represented 1,600 Tucson, Ariz., residents who claimed exposure to water contaminated by trychloroethylene; past president of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America; founder and past president of Trial Lawyers for Public Justice.

    Fred H. Bartlit
    73, Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott, Chicago

    Having spent 51 weeks participating in trials during the last three years, Bartlit has tried cases involving antitrust, patents, product litigation, white-collar crime, financial and securities law and more; successfully defended Forstmann Little investment funds in a $1 billion case brought by the state of Connecticut; represented Bayer Corp. in patent infringement case that enjoined generic manufacturers from making a version of the antibiotic Cipro; member of George W. Bush’s legal team in the 2000 presidential election dispute.

    Robert F. Bauer
    54, Perkins Coie, Washington

    One of the smartest political campaign lawyers in the business; counsel to the Democratic Party and leaders including John Kerry and Nancy Pelosi; a specialist in the McCain-Feingold campaign contributions law, wrote the authoritative Soft Money Hard Law book series; ran the party’s voter-protection program during the 2004 elections; defended grassroots "527" fundraising committees before Congress and the Federal Election Commission; counsel to Democratic leaders during the Clinton impeachment proceedings.

    Robert S. Bennett
    66, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, Washington

    One of the top white-collar criminal and corporate defense attorneys in the country; represented New York Times reporter Judith Miller in the CIA leak probe, brokering the deal with the special prosecutor to get her out of jail; cut a deferred prosecution agreement for KPMG over sketchy tax shelters; private attorney to President Clinton in the Paula Jones case; defended former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger on Iran-Contra-related charges; special counsel to the Senate Select Committee on Ethics in major investigations; head of Skadden’s international government enforcement and the criminal and civil litigation practices.

    Steve W. Berman
    51, Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, Seattle

    Besides being managing partner of his firm, Berman handles high-profile class actions, including the Enron Corp., Exxon Valdez and The Boeing Co. securities cases, to name just a few; special assistant attorney general for 13 states in the multistate tobacco litigation; forced the U.S. government to set up a $25.5 million trust fund in compensation for Hungarian Holocaust survivors whose property was stolen during World War II; sued General Motors Corp. on behalf of employees and retirees for alleged financial mismanagement; played a leading role in class actions against Merck & Co. and Pfizer over off-label marketing for Lipitor and undisclosed risks from Vioxx, respectively.

    Martin J. Bienenstock
    53, Weil, Gotshal & Manges, New York

    Co-chairman of one of New York’s premier bankruptcy practices and a member of the management committee; his team landed lead roles in two of the biggest bankruptcies in recent years-Enron Corp. and WorldCom Inc.; successfully reorganized Republic Steel; representing Credit Suisse First Boston, persuaded the 3d U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to allow a group of 43 banks to consolidate the assets of bankrupt entities, increasing the value of the claim from $600 million to more than $2.2 billion; leads the team representing General Motors in the Delphi Corp. Chapter 11 case; active in the bankruptcies of Global Crossing Ltd. and Adelphia Business Solutions Inc.; wrote the first draft of Ireland’s restructuring law; counsels companies on governance issues.

    Sheila Birnbaum
    66, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, New York

    Two words: State Farm, as in State Farm Mutual Automotive Insurance Co. v. Campbell, Birnbaum’s landmark 2003 U.S. Supreme Court victory setting proportionality standards for punitive damages-and killing a $145 million punitives award against her client in the bargain; last year she persuaded the Illinois Supreme Court to reverse unanimously a $1 billion award against State Farm in a national class action over nonoriginal replacement parts; head of Skadden’s complex mass tort and insurance group; national or lead defense counsel for Fortune 500 companies in some of the nation’s largest and most complicated mass tort proceedings.

    Franci J. Blassberg
    52, Debevoise & Plimpton, New York

    Built one of the top private equity practices in the world as the co-head of Debevoise’s private equity group and serves on the firm’s management committee; has negotiated complex transactions for 20 years and represents private equity consortiums in multibillion-dollar deals, including the recent $15 billion acquisition of The Hertz Corp. by Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, The Carlyle Group and Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity-the second-largest leveraged buyout to date; pioneered the concept of the private equity practice.

    Dennis J. Block
    63, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, New York

    Orchestrates the sort of multibillion-dollar transactions that transform industries; his Procter & Gamble-Gillette deal last year was notable for its size-at $57.9 billion, the year’s biggest-but also for its innovative two-step, tax-free structure; helped Pfizer Inc. acquire Pharmacia Corp., Quaker Oats to pick up PepsiCo Inc., Houghton Mifflin Co. in its acquisition by Vivendi Universal and Pfizer to acquire Warner-Lambert Co.; other clients include Bear, Stearns & Co., Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc., CBS Corp. and General Electric Co. He has also advised Texaco in discrimination matters.

    Thomas Hale Boggs Jr.
    65, Patton Boggs, Washington

    Maybe national politics are too small for Boggs-lately he’s been striking out for overseas clients for his lobbying practice, including China, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Kazakhstan; the chairman of Patton Boggs’ executive committee, he also helps corporate citizens including Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Mars Inc. petition the government; chief outside consultant to the Association of Trial Lawyers of America; instrumental role in arranging the $1.5 billion federal bailout of Chrysler Corp., the largest such bailout to date.

    David Boies
    65, Boies, Schiller & Flexner, Armonk, N.Y.

    Lands the kind of cases on which history turns, like the disputed 2000 presidential election (as lead counsel to Al Gore he was more successful at the state court level than before the U.S. Supreme Court); as special counsel to the U.S. Department of Justice led the prosecution of the Microsoft antitrust case; the first defender turned to by former Enron Chief Financial Officer Andrew Fastow, he handled early damage control; secured a $500 million settlement for plaintiffs in a price-fixing class action against auction houses Sotheby’s and Christie’s; since leaving Cravath, Swaine & Moore in 1997, he has built his firm to comprise 200 attorneys in nine offices with clients including Tyco International Ltd., Exxon Mobil Corp. and the New York Yankees baseball team.

    Richard C. Breeden
    56, Richard C. Breeden & Co., Greenwich, Conn.

    Tappped last year to monitor Big Four accounting firm KPMG’s compliance with its deferred prosecution deal with the Justice Department over legally suspect tax shelters; his decade spent advising presidents Reagan, Bush and Clinton on economic and financial policy included a term from 1989 to 1993 as chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission; an expert in corporate governance who has made a career since leaving government service of advising corporations on cleaning up their business practices; court-appointed corporate monitor overseeing the financial reordering of the former WorldCom Inc.; economics and policy advisor to the vice president and president.

    Pamela A. Bresnahan
    51, Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease, Washington

    Widely admired, was tapped by the American Bar Association as its chief investigator into John G. Roberts Jr.’s fitness to serve on the Supreme Court; partner and chairwoman of the litigation practice group in the Columbus, Ohio-based firm; advises law firms and lawyers on management and discipline matters; trial and appellate counsel in business and commercial litigation with an emphasis on professional liability defense and coverage litigation; blends policy and counseling work with trial practice; a frequent lecturer on professional and responsibility issues.

    James J. Brosnahan
    72, Morrison & Foerster, San Francisco

    Former prosecutor who defends underdogs of all stripes; took a risk by taking the case of American-born Taliban soldier John Walker Lindh at the height of the nation’s terrorism anxiety, and kept his client off death row; successfully defended manufacturer in first breast implant products liability trial in California; his preindictment negotiations avoided prosecution of a Redding, Calif., cardiologist in a 2005 Medicare fraud investigation involving unnecessary heart surgeries; in 1992, as a member of the Office of the Independent Counsel in the Iran-Contra case, prosecuted Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger.

    Arthur Bryant
    51, Trial Lawyers for Public Justice, Oakland, Calif.

    A near-fatal car accident in 2002 sidelined him for six months while he underwent several major surgeries, but Bryant made a full recovery and remains one of our pre-eminent public interest attorneys; within the past two years he launched the Class Action Preservation Project to protect the public’s right to its day in court, and the Access to Justice Campaign to challenge incursions made against people’s legal rights in the name of the "war on terror"; litigation strategist who in 2002 quarterbacked a 9-0 Supreme Court victory in Sprietsma v. Mercury Maine, overcoming federal pre-emption arguments to preserve the plaintiff’s right to sue over a fatal boat-propeller accident; used the courts to enforce female athletes’ Title IX rights and to fight mountaintop-removal coal mining in West Virginia.

    Elizabeth J. Cabraser
    53, Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, San Francisco

    Class action maven who helped build a small firm into a national player in mass torts and other plaintiffs’ litigation; involved in three federal multidistrict product liability actions, involving Vioxx, Bextra/Celebrex and Guidant Corp.’s defective defibrillators; lead class counsel in the $80 million Tri-State Crematory desecration-of-human remains settlement in 2004; plaintiffs’ co-class counsel in the state and federal Exxon Valdez litigation; teaches complex litigation, mass torts and consumer litigation at Columbia and University of California, Berkeley law schools.

    Morgan Chu
    55, Irell & Manella, Los Angeles

    A leading litigator in high-stakes intellectual property cases; helped build Irell into a national IP powerhouse; won $74 million for TiVo Inc. in a patent infringement case last year in Texas federal court; won two major defense verdicts in 2005-one for a foreign semiconductor manufacturer accused of infringing a U.S. plaintiff’s chip-making technology, the other stemming from a payroll processor’s decision to stop supporting its widely licensed software; won a $500 million jury award in 2002 for City of Hope Hospital against Genentech Inc., one of the largest IP verdicts ever.

    Michael V. Ciresi
    60, Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, Minneapolis

    Known worldwide for his work on mass torts, he recently won more than $40 million for TriStrata Technology Inc. in a patent infringement case against Mary Kay Inc. over anti-aging skin technology; perhaps best known for representing the state of Minnesota and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota against the tobacco industry, which led to a $6.5 billion settlement and the release of millions of pages of industry documents; used $30 million from that recovery to finance a charitable foundation that supports programs including the Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services; was chief counsel to the Indian government against Union Carbide Corp. in the Bhopal disaster.

    Richard E. Climan
    52, Cooley Godward, Palo Alto, Calif.

    Archdealmaker in Silicon Valley, the technology mergers and acquisitions practice group that he built over the past decade represents eBay Inc., Applied Materials Inc., Adobe Systems Inc. and Quest Software Inc., and negotiated some of the biggest technology M&A deals of 2005, including Adobe’s $3.4 billion acquisition of Macromedia Inc., eBay’s $3.9 billion acquisition of Skype Technologies and Oracle Corp.’s $5.8 billion purchase of Siebel Systems; chairs the more than 1,000-strong Committee on Negotiated Acquisitions (affiliated with the ABA’s Section of Business Law), a global forum for issues relevant to M&A practitioners.

    John C. Coffee Jr.
    61, Columbia Law School, New York

    Eminent academic expert on securities law, corporate governance and class actions; scheduled to testify next month before a House committee reviewing the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which he helped draft; the only non-Canadian member of the Task Force on Modernizing Canadian Securities Regulation, which is reviewing Canada’s securities laws; an expert witness in more than a dozen cases last year, including the Visa/MasterMoney antitrust and Royal Ahold and AOL Time Warner securities litigation; advised in the New York Stock Exchange-Archipelago merger; chaired the American Law Institute-American Bar Association Corporate Governance Institute for the past decade; his recent book, Gatekeepers: The Professions and Corporate Governance, examines the failure of corporate watchdogs to prevent the latest instances of financial irregularity.

    H. Rodgin Cohen
    62, Sullivan & Cromwell, New York

    Brahmin of American banking lawyers, handling regulatory, acquisitions and securities matters for domestic and foreign financial institutions; represents The Clearing House, an association of 11 major banks; participated in most of the major recent bank acquisitions in the United States; handled the first hostile takeover in U.S. banking-the Bank of New York’s takeover of Irving Bank Corp.-and the first public offering in the United States by a non-U.S. bank-Barclays Bank PLC; worked on the public offerings of nearly two dozen U.S. banks; participated in the resolution of numerous major bank failures, and, at the recommendation of the Federal Reserve, of the Ohio thrift crisis.

    Cindy Cohn
    42, Electronic Frontier Foundation, San Francisco

    Rushing to the barricades wherever freedom and civil liberties are at stake online, the foundation’s legal director and general counsel oversees strategy and supervises seven staff attorneys; recently launched a class action accusing major telecommunications companies of violating the law and the privacy of customers by collaborating with the National Security Agency to scrutinize U.S. citizens’ communications; advised and filed amicus briefs in support of political activists challenging electronic voting machines in Maryland, California, Texas, Ohio and New Jersey; first became involved with the EFF in 1995, when invited to serve as its lead attorney in Bernstein v. Dept. of Justice, the successful federal court challenge to the U.S. export restrictions on cryptography.

    Gordon K. Davidson
    58, Fenwick & West, Mountain View, Calif.

    His client list boasts some of the country’s most important technology companies-firms like Cisco Systems Inc., Intuit Inc., Sun Microsystems Inc. and Verisign Inc. that are the foundation of the digital economy; has more than 30 public offerings and 100 mergers and acquisitions under his belt, including history’s largest, last year’s $13 billion pairing of Symantec Corp. and Veritas Software Corp; guided Cisco’s acquisition last year of cable TV set-top box manufacturer Scientific Atlanta for $6 billion; worked the largest Internet merger to date, VeriSign’s $17 billion acquisition of Network Solutions Inc. in 2000; adviser to the cream of the venture capital world, including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Mohr Davidow Ventures, Sequoia Capital and Barclays Global Investors.

    Morris S. Dees Jr.
    69, Southern Poverty Law Center, Montgomery, Ala.

    Still in the trenches 35 years after founding the Southern Poverty Law Center, with a hand in every aspect of its work; having used the tort system to put the Aryan Nations out of business in 2000, last year his team used the same tactics to close down Ranch Rescue, a self-styled border patrol that allegedly terrorized people crossing the U.S.-Mexican border; doubled the center’s legal staff over the past two years, adding a new project that’s tackling the exploitation of immigrant workers; the center’s Teaching Tolerance program, designed to foster democratic ideals in the nation’s classrooms, won an Oscar last year for its documentary Mighty Times: The Children’s March.

    Christopher Edley Jr.
    53, University of California, Berkeley School of Law, Berkeley, Calif.

    When Boalt Hall selected Edley from more than 200 applicants for dean in December 2003, the selection committee cited his experience in government and leadership in civil rights law; became the first African-American to lead one of the nation’s top-tier law schools; member, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1999-2005; 23 years as a professor at Harvard Law School and co-founder of the Harvard Civil Rights Project; building a similar think tank at Berkeley; domestic adviser in Carter and Clinton administrations; expert in civil rights and administrative law.

    Kenneth R. Feinberg
    60, The Feinberg Group, Washington

    Leader in mediation and alternative dispute resolution; special master for the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund; long record of work as special master in mass torts and other complex litigation, including personal injury cases involving Agent Orange, asbestos and pregnancy drug DES; selected to determine the allocation of legal fees in Holocaust slave labor litigation; helped to mediate the closing of the Shoreham, N.Y., nuclear plant and American Home Products Corp.’s diet-drug settlement; one of three attorneys who arbitrated the $16 million price for Abraham Zapruder’s Kennedy assassination film; NLJ Attorney of the Year in 2004.

    Jeffrey L. Fisher
    35, Davis Wright Tremaine, Seattle

    Supreme Court and constitutional law expert; criminal defense appellate attorney who has appeared before the Supreme Court four times over the past three court terms, winning twice, with two rulings pending; participated as co-counsel in more than a dozen cases; in 2004, argued successfully for the petitioners in Crawford v. Washington and Blakely v. Washington, the former overruling 25 years of confrontation clause jurisprudence and the latter upending state and federal sentencing guidelines; NLJ named Fisher runner-up for Attorney of the Year in 2004 for those victories; this spring, Fisher argued two more significant Sixth Amendment cases.

    Robert B. Fiske Jr.
    75, Davis Polk & Wardwell, New York

    Still knocking them out of the park, Fiske last year helped the New York Mets exercise a $54 million buyout provision in their cable contract with Cablevision, over vigorous opposition; he was a driving force behind a program that put his firm’s associates to work in the cash-strapped Brooklyn, N.Y., district attorney’s office; led a state commission that prompted a major investment in drug courts in New York; a former U.S. attorney in New York, he is fabled as a top white-collar and civil enforcement defense attorney; served as Whitewater independent counsel during the Clinton administration; helped defend Clark Clifford and Robert Altman in the Bank of Credit and Commerce International scandal, and sucessfully defended a $4 billion suit spawned by the Three Mile Island nuclear accident; clients have included General Electric, Bankers Trust Corp. and Prudential Securities.

    Russell J. Frackman
    59, Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp, Los Angeles

    A leading protector of the rights of the creative community and intellectual property owners; has had a profound and lasting influence on the entertainment industry through his work with the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America; has spent 20 years combating content piracy; his courtroom successes include the landmark decision in A&M Records Inc. v. Napster; lead counsel in high-profile suits involving Internet file sharing, the anti-circumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, alleged copyright infringement against Google Inc., and claims of trademark infringement and unfair competition brought by Mattel Inc.

    Andrew L. Frey
    67, Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw, New York and Washington

    Has argued more than 60 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, plus cases before 11 federal courts of appeals and in 11 state high courts; represented the Clinton administration in its dispute with the Whitewater independent counsel over attorney-client privilege; an expert on punitive damages defense; served for 14 years in the Office of the Solicitor General, primarily as deputy in charge of the government’s criminal litigation before the Supreme Court; a prominent defender of the Bush administration’s authority to shield legal memoranda written by Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr. while a legal aide to the White House.

    Larry S. Gage
    58, Powell Goldstein, Atlanta

    Director of his firm’s health care practice, one of the country’s largest; carved out a unique entrepreneurial role in public sector health care during his 33 years of practice and government service; established the National Association of Public Hospitals, becoming its first and thus far only president; launched several other public health organizations and established partnerships between domestic and foreign hospitals; developed and implemented crucial Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement reforms; negotiated staffing agreements for countless hospitals; fashioned a "fiscal autonomy agreement" between New York City and the city Health and Hospitals Corp.; devised corporate structures to improve the competitiveness and efficiency of public hospitals.

    Deborah Garza
    49, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, Washington

    Veteran of 25 years in public and private sector antitrust practice; has served in senior roles at the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division; regularly counsels leading authorities at the International Competition Network and received a congressional appointment to preside as chairwoman of the Antitrust Modernization Commission; served on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Antitrust Council; mentioned as a potential candidate to head the Antitrust Division; acted as antitrust counsel in significant mergers including AT&T’s pending acquisition of BellSouth, ConocoPhillips’ acquisition of Burlington Resources and MGM Mirage’s purchase of the Mandalay Resort Group; regular clients include the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association, Bacardi, Merck and U.S. Airways.

    John J. Gibbons
    81, Gibbons, Del Deo, Dolan, Griffinger & Vecchione, Newark, N.J

    Former chief judge of the 3d U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (1970-1990) and the author of more than 800 published opinions; heads his firm’s alternative dispute resolution group; founder of the John J. Gibbons Fellowship in Public Interest and Constitutional Law, which pays young attorneys to tackle important causes including campaign finance reform and due process for Guantánamo Bay detainees; argued Rasul v. Bush before the U.S. Supreme Court, establishing the courts’ jurisdiction over the detainees; co-counsel in challenge to New Jersey’s ban on same-sex marriage; director, American Arbitration Association.

    Thomas C. Goldstein
    35, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, Washington

    Heads his firm’s Supreme Court practice; professor of high court litigation at Stanford Law School and Harvard Law School; has argued 16 cases before the high court, with four consecutive victories; search-and-seizure rules, the application of federal disability law to cruise ships and disparate-impact age discrimination are some areas of federal law his cases have explored for corporate, government and individual clients; served as second chair on behalf of Al Gore in Bush v. Gore; responsible for SCOTUSblog, a leading legal Web log devoted to the high court.

    J. Warren Gorrell Jr.
    52, Hogan & Hartson, Washington

    Chairman of the 1,000-lawyer firm, and co-director of the corporate, securities and finance group, he is primarily a transactions lawyer; responsible for major real estate investment trust (REIT) initial public offerings; represented Equity Office Properties Trust in its $7.2 billion acquisition of Spieker Properties Inc., its $4.6 billion acquisition of Cornerstone Properties Inc. and its $3.2 billion acquisition of Beacon Properties Corp.; handled the largest going-private transaction in REIT history, the $5.6 billion CarrAmerica acquisition by Blackstone Group.

    Joseph A. Grundfest
    54, Stanford Law School, Palo Alto, Calif.

    This former SEC commissioner (1985-1990) now educates corporate directors and general counsel as well as law students; a leading voice on corporate governance and government regulation; lectures widely on securities fraud, complex litigaton and corporate governance; leads research at the Stanford Securities Class Action Clearinghouse, which tracks class fraud litigation; in June became co-director of the new Rock Center at Stanford focused on transforming corporate governance; stepped down from Oracle Corp. board of directors last summer after accepting the Rock Center post; senior economist on President’s Council of Economic Advisors (1984-85).

    Michael D. Hausfeld
    60, Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, Washington

    A crusader in the courtroom, has won significant class actions pushing boundaries in human rights and antitrust law; works to establish consumer and investor protections worldwide; seeks reparations from corporations for victims of South African apartheid; represented governments of Poland, Czech Republic, Belarus, Ukraine and Russia in Nazi slave-labor claims from World War II; won a $148 million antitrust award in Vitamin B4 conspiracy; co-lead class counsel against makers of engineered foods and managed health care; represented consumer interests in 2003 European Union Commission hearings in Microsoft antitrust case.

    David G. Hawkins
    62, Natural Resources Defense Council, Washington

    Clean air champion for 35 years, became director of NRDC Climate Center in 2001 to advance solutions to global warming at state, national and international levels; Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) air pollution chief during the Carter administration; frequent witness before Congress; promotes advanced coal technology to contain carbon emissions; tenacious in 1970s fight to block delays in auto-emission cleanup schedules; member of Center for Clean Air Policy and National Academy of Sciences board on environmental and energy systems; honored by EPA in 2005 for lifetime achievement as clean air champion.

    Benjamin W. Heineman Jr.
    62, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, New York

    The architect of the modern law department has turned his sights to law firm practice and academe with the new year, taking senior counsel status at WilmerHale and senior fellowships at Harvard Law School and Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government; in both roles he’s working on matters involving globalization, corporate responsibility, and mediation and arbitration; made his name as an innovator at General Electric Co. by keeping costs down while building a global in-house department; crusader for worldwide corporate compliance with the anti-bribery provisions of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

    Edward D. Herlihy
    59, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, New York

    A consummate deal-maker still attracting attention with billion-dollar transactions; thus far this year he’s had a hand in advising Golden West Financial Corp. in its $25.5 billion acquisition by Wachovia Corp., and in guiding Thermo Electron Corp.’s purchase of Fisher Scientific International Inc. for $12.8 billion; co-chairman of the firm’s executive committee; banking deals are his special forte, especially ones involving takeover fights and proxy contests; helped Bank One Corp. during its $58 billion acquisition by J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., the biggest deal of 2004, and Charter One Financial in a $10.5 billion buyout by Citizens Financial Group Inc. that same year.

    Robert D. Joffe
    63, Cravath, Swaine & Moore, New York

    In his final year as presiding partner, he has been pursuing a steady line of litigation and counseling for some of the world’s biggest companies; antitrust, securities, contract, First Amendment and corporate governance expertise; represents nonmanagement directors in the various regulatory investigations and litigation involving accounting practices at Fannie Mae; represented two former members of the New York Stock Exchange in the litigation over former Chairman Richard Grasso’s $200 million compensation package; advised Time Warner during Carl Icahn’s bid to seize control of the board; chairs a task force weighing reforms to New York state’s system of selecting judges.

    John W. Keker
    62, Keker & Van Nest, San Francisco

    This founding partner, known as a deadly cross-examiner, defends high-stakes, high-profile white-collar cases at trial and on appeal; defended obstruction of justice case against investment banker Frank Quattrone to a tie, lost on retrial but was vindicated on appeal this year and the conviction was tossed; negotiated former Enron Chief Financial Officer Andrew Fastow’s plea deal; won $300 million breast cancer drug patent verdict in 2002 for Genentech; won $195 million trade-secret theft case for Cadence Design Systems Inc. in 2001; was Oliver North’s chief prosecutor in the Iran/Contra scandal; secured favorable settlement last year for Google Inc. in a dispute with Microsoft over the hiring of an executive to run Google’s China facility.

    Randall Kennedy
    51, Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Mass.

    Legal scholar whose focus on freedom of expression and race frequently lands him in the hot seat; was among the group of law professors who unsuccessfully challenged the Solomon Amendment’s linkage of federal financial aid to universities and on-campus military recruiting because of the military’s anti-gay discrimination; caused a stir with his 2002 book, Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word-and recently testified as a defense witness about the epithet’s shifting meaning during a New York hate-crimes trial (stressing that he appeared as a disinterested scholar).

    Robert G. Krupka
    47, Kirkland & Ellis, Los Angeles

    Has secured verdicts worth more than $1 billion and settlements surpassing $2.5 billion; won the 2004 jury trial for medical inventor Gary K. Michelson against Medtronic Inc., leading to the largest patent settlement on record at $1.3 billion; one colleague described him as "master and commander" of that epic litigation, which involved scores of attorneys; co-head of one of the nation’s oldest and most relied-upon intellectual property litigation groups; in 2002, won the largest patent infringement case ever before the International Trade Commission for client Pioneer Corp.

    Carolyn B. Lamm
    57, White & Case, Washington

    International commercial litigation and arbitration are her forte; has represented nations as diverse as Indonesia, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Bulgaria, Switzerland and Sweden in international trade deals; successfully represented Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan in anti-dumping proceedings involving uranium imports to the United States, and Saudi Arabia regarding crude oil; lead counsel in significant international arbitrations involving Indonesia and the Philippines; counsels clients on foreign military sales and proposed trade legislation; represented Russia’s atomic energy minister and was lead counsel for Russian companies Nukem Inc. and Navoi Mining and Metallurgy Combinat in U.S. court disputes; chairwoman of ABA standing committee on federal judiciary and chairwoman of the international litigation committee.

    W. Mark Lanier
    45, The Lanier Law Firm, Houston

    Founder of his eponymous firm, where he is lead litigation counsel and the go-to guy for personal injury plaintiffs; armed with colorful anecdotes, he’s considered an expert in the courtroom; represents numerous plaintiffs in Vioxx lawsuits against Merck; most notably, won a $253 million verdict last year in the first trial against Merck (the award was dropped to $26 million plus interest under Texas laws capping damages); in a separate trial in New Jersey, he won $45 million against Merck on behalf of a Vioxx user who survived his heart attack; $100 million settlement in 2004 for Retractable Technologies against Becton Dickinson & Co.; $115 million verdict in 1998 on behalf of 21 steelworkers harmed by asbestos in an Alabama mill.

    William F. Lee
    56, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, Boston

    As co-managing partner, led the 2004 merger between Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering and Hale and Dorr, where he had been managing partner since 2000, to create a 1,000-attorney behemoth; combined intellectual property and litigation with regulatory practice; added offices in Palo Alto, Calif., and Beijing; has handled more than 175 trials, including a recent patent infringement victory against Hewlett-Packard Co. on behalf of EMC Corp. that settled last year for $325 million while on appeal. Clients have included Atrium Medical Corp. and Gemstar-TV Guide International. Served as associate counsel in the Office of the Independent Counsel in the Iran-Contra investigation; as special assistant to the Massachusetts attorney general, investigated racial bias in the state’s courts.

    Mark A. Lemley
    39, Stanford Law School, Palo Alto, Calif.

    Wrote the book on intellectual property law-or, more precisely, six books, including the two-volume treatise IP and Antitrust; of counsel to Keker & Van Nest in San Francisco, he has a hand in three cases before the Supreme Court this term; one of them, Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings v. Metabolite Laboratories Inc., tests the limits of what’s considered patentable and could set the IP field on its ear; in Phillips v. AWH Corp., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit adopted his position that patent claims should be construed using the text of the patent, rather than relying on dictionary definitions of key terms; established Stanford’s IP litigation clearinghouse, a database of every intellectual property action in the country.

    William Lerach
    60, Lerach Coughlin Stoia GellerRudman & Robbins, San Diego

    An innovative and dominant securities lawyer; his 30-year record of success has recovered tens of billions of dollars for defrauded shareholders; last year, he prevailed against major corporations including Enron Corp. ($7.1 billion in ongoing case), Dynegy Inc. ($474 million recovery) and WorldCom Inc. ($651 million); reputedly inspired 1995 national tort reforms mandating that the plaintiff with the largest financial interest would earn lead-plaintiff status in class actions; spends heavily on resources such as forensic accountants, researchers and fraud-monitoring systems; recently hired a former federal judge to ensure accurate recovery valuation; to this point untouched by the kickback allegations against his former partners at Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman.

    Lawrence Lessig
    45, Stanford Law School, Palo Alto, Calif.

    Cyberlaw’s éminence grise-he’s young, but we’re talking Internet years; founder of Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society, a multidisciplinary exploration of the ways advancing technology will intersect with the law; his Cyberlaw Clinic enlists students to trailblaze new case law; his legal assault on the 1998 Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act did not pan out, but he’s still waging the fight in a number of pending cases; his Creative Commons project promotes more flexible copyright agreements to encourage creativity; his books, including Free Culture, The Future of Ideas and Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace, have resonance within and outside of the legal profession.

    Martin Lipton
    74, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, New York

    Very much a force to be reckoned with after decades in the trenches; advised The Walt Disney Co. board in fending off a takeover bid by Comcast two years ago; likes to play defense-he invented the poison pill during the 1980s and lately has been advising corporate boards on how to withstand assault by aggressive hedge fund investors; sits on the board of trustees of New York University and its School of Law; however, his ties to the New York Stock Exchange were cut two years ago over his role in advising the exchange about former Chairman Richard Grasso’s $200 million compensation package.

    Jack Londen
    53, Morrison & Foerster, San Francisco

    "Mr. Pro Bono," according to his hometown San Francisco Chronicle, Londen is best known as plaintiff’s co-counsel in Williams v. California, a class action settled in 2004 that provided $1 billion to repair decrepit schools, provided up-to-date textbooks and made other improvements; has represented The Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Wells Fargo & Co. and BankAmerica Corp. in a variety of cases involving securities, patent and antitrust law.

    Abbe D. Lowell
    54, Chadbourne & Parke, Washington

    Specializes in helping public figures get out of trouble; adept in cases requiring success not only in a courtroom but also in a committee hearing room, voting booth or newsroom; helped defend President Clinton against impeachment charges; helped former Congressman Gary Condit handle the fallout from Chandra Levy’s disappearance; this year arranged a complex plea agreement for fallen lobbyist Jack Abramoff; won the first case brought by the Justice Department’s Special Savings & Loan Task Force in the 1980s; beat the independent counsel in the corruption trial of former Agriculture Secretary Henry Espy. A proponent of First Amendment protection of lobbyists and news reporters; served pro bono as special counsel to the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights.

    Maureen Mahoney
    51, Latham & Watkins, Washington

    Her appellate work has profoundly influenced business and education; argued the landmark appeal overturning the Enron-related conviction of accounting firm Arthur Andersen; prevailed in the University of Michigan Law School’s U.S. Supreme Court battle to preserve affirmative action; achieved a reversal allowing her client to retain a Cuban trademark for cigars sold in the United States; in a victory for client Symbol Technologies Inc., protected the right of parent corporations to acquire subsidiaries through certain stock transactions; the first woman to receive a special invitation to argue before the Supreme Court.

    Nina B. Matis
    58, Katten Muchin Rosenman, Chicago

    One of the world’s top real estate lawyers; co-chairwoman of her firm’s real estate practice and general counsel to iStar Financial Inc.; concentrates on partnership law and commercial real estate development and acquisition; has generated more than $10 million in client billings for her firm for five consecutive years; routinely handles transactions valued in excess of $500 million, and some worth as much as $1 billion; recently counseled TimberStar in its purchase of nearly 1 million acres of forest land; represented iStar Financial Inc. in The Related Cos. Inc.’s purchase of Equinox Holdings Inc.; participated in the financing of Cerebrus Capital Management L.P.’s acquisition of LNR Corp.

    Alan Mendelson
    58, Latham & Watkins, Menlo Park, Calif.,

    The Johnny Appleseed of Silicon Valley’s emerging biotechnology companies, Alan Mendelson works the deals for venture capital financing, public offerings and acquisition of companies in bioscience and medical devices; co-chairs Latham’s venture and technology group; serves on boards of QLT Inc. and Valentis Inc.; acting general counsel of Cadence Design Systems Inc; member of the emerging companies section governing body of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, 2004; corporate secretary for many public and private companies.

    Patricia Menendez-Cambo
    39, Greenberg Traurig, Miami

    Chairwoman of her firm’s international practice group, she helped to steer Spanish telecommunications powerhouse Telefonica S.A. toward two $1 billion deals that helped to consolidate its digital empire; was U.S. general counsel for the company from 2000 until 2002; advises clients throughout Latin America and Europe; helped to organize one of the first privatization transfers in Poland; a first-generation Cuban-American, she completed her undergraduate degree at 19 and her law degree at 22.

    Walter L. Metcalfe Jr.
    67, Bryan Cave, St. Louis

    Maintains his practice while also tending to his duties as chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, a position he’s held since 2003, and where he’s helping to redesign the nation’s banking system and international marketplace; as his firm’s chairman, he helped lead its expansion in the late 1990s, including substantial growth overseas, before relinquishing the role two years ago; active in St. Louis civic projects, he sits on the boards of Washington University and The Danforth Plant Science Center, which conducts biotechnology research.

    Ira M. Millstein
    79, Weil, Gotshal & Manges, New York

    Appointed by New York Governor George Pataki last year as chairman of a commission overhauling the state’s public authorities; continues to lead his firm as a specialist in antitrust, government regulation and corporate governance; as counselor to corporate boards has agitated for management reforms at General Motors Corp., Westinghouse Electric Co., Bethlehem Steel Corp., Tyco International Ltd., Disney, WellChoice Inc. (formerly Empire Blue Cross) and the New York State Metropolitan Transportation Authority; from 1999-2005 helped to push corporate governance reform into the international policy arena as the chairman of the private sector advisory group to the Global Corporate Governance Forum.

    Stacey J. Mobley
    60, E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., Wilmington, Del.

    An innovator who enforces the "DuPont model," emphasizing the use of fewer outside law firms but better integration of them into the client’s business concerns; prominent proponent of ethnic and gender diversity in the legal profession and the business world; as senior vice president and chief administrative officer oversees all aspects of the company’s operations; appointed to the Delaware Strategic Economic Council, advising the state’s governor on ways to attract economic development.

    Kimberly Moore
    37, George Mason University School of Law, Arlington, Va.

    Recently nominated by President Bush to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, where she will hear appeals from across the country in the fields of patent law, trademarks, international trade and other specialized areas; academic emphasis has been on empirical research into patent law trends-for example, finding that juries tend to be biased toward the little guy; co-wrote the textbook Patent Litigation and Strategy; editor in chief of the Federal Circuit Bar Journal; served as the associate director of the Chicago-Kent College of Law intellectual property law program; worked as an electrical engineer at the Naval Surface Warfare Center before entering law school at Georgetown University.

    Gary Naftalis
    56, Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel, New York

    "The zelig of the white-collar bar: He’s everywhere," as the Wall Street Journal put it, referring to his hordes of high-profile clients; co-chairman of his firm and head of the litigation department, he successfully represented Disney CEO Michael Eisner in last year’s shareholder suit; forestalled threatened federal prosecutions of Kidder, Peabody & Co. for alleged insider trading and Salomon Brothers over its U.S. Treasury auction bidding practices; co-authored The Grand Jury: An Institution on Trial, the leading resource on the topic; on the faculty of Columbia and Harvard Law Schools.

    Stephen C. Neal
    57, Cooley Godward, Palo Alto, Calif.

    Chairman and CEO of Cooley Godward since 2001, Neal represents companies and individuals in civil and criminal matters; lead counsel to PG&E Corp. during its epic bankruptcy; lead trial counsel to AT&T in its successful patent infringement case against Microsoft Corp.; represents Zenith Electronics Corp. in patent infringement case dealing with HDTV technology; serves as special asbestos counsel in the pending USG Corp. bankruptcy; has advised boards of directors and individual directors on corporate governance; clients have included Gilead Sciences Inc., USG, PacifiCare Health Systems, NVIDIA Corp. and General Motors Corp.

    Burt Neuborne
    65, New York University School of Law ,New York

    The legal director of NYU’s Brennan Center for Justice since it opened in 1995, Neuborne is one of the most active civil liberties lawyers in practice and makes frequent appearances before the U.S. Supreme Court; delivered oral arguments in the Holocaust reparations cases settled in 2000; worked on the Pentagon Papers case; regular constitutional law commentator on Court TV; publications include co-authorship of the authoritative Political and Civil Rights in the United States; has served as the American Civil Liberties Union’s national legal director and special counsel to the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund; appeared in Milos Forman’s The People v. Larry Flynt in 1996.

    Ronald L. Olson
    64, Munger, Tolles & Olson, Los Angeles

    High-powered attorney who has represented such companies as Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Shell Oil, Merrill Lynch & Co., Edison International and Universal Studios; has represented California clients in historic cases, including lead role for Merrill Lynch in the Orange County, Calif., bankruptcy; represented MCA Inc. against Viacom/Paramount for ownership of the USA cable network; chairs the board of trustees of the RAND Corp. and sits on several other boards, including the Washington Post Co., California Institute of Technology, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Mayo Clinic Foundation.

    Theodore B. Olson
    65, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Washington

    An elite appellate attorney, Olson is co-chairman of the firm’s appellate and constitutional law group and its crisis management team, and serves on the executive committee; U.S. solicitor general from 2001 to 2004, after which he returned to Gibson Dunn, the firm he had joined in 1965; has argued 43 cases before the Supreme Court, winning 75% of them; victorious advocate in Bush v. Gore; represented the advocacy group Defenders of Property Rights last year in support of the motion picture and recording industries in the copyright case, MGM Studios v. Grokster; served as private counsel to presidents Reagan and George W. Bush.

    Brian Panish
    48, Panish, Shea & Boyle, Los Angeles

    A wrongful death and personal injury plaintiffs’ lawyer, Panish has carved a niche in obtaining high-dollar verdicts-including his $4.9 billion verdict in 1999 against General Motors Corp. over a defective fuel tank that burned a family, the largest personal injury verdict in U.S. history; more recently, in 2005, represented the family of a 4-year-old girl in a pedestrian accident in a case that ended in a $27.4 million verdict; won a $2.8 million verdict for the parents of a passenger on a commuter train hit by a Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway train; obtained $58 million, the largest single plaintiff personal injury verdict in California at the time; represents plaintiffs in 100 cases against makers of welding rods, alleging their products caused Parkinson’s-like sicknesses.

    Carter G. Phillips
    53, Sidley Austin, Washington

    Appellate expert with 42 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court since joining the firm in 1984; handled nine Supreme Court cases in the three years he served as assistant to the U.S. solicitor general; has argued more than 60 cases on appeal; won a favorable ruling this month for Mohawk Industries Inc. in a Supreme Court case arguing that a corporation that uses third parties in recruiting workers does not constitute an "enterprise" under the U.S. Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, and Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Co. in a case testing whether an employer can be sued for retaliation for causing a "materially adverse change in the terms of employment" to an employee who alleges discrimination; persuaded the high court to toss a lower court injunction against eBay Inc. in its patent fight with MercExchange LLC.

    John R. Phillips
    63, Phillips & Cohen, Washington

    Whistleblower advocate who worked with legislators in 1986 to modernize the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act, which allows private citizens to sue companies that are defrauding the government; co-founder of the Center for Law in the Public Interest in Los Angeles; formed his own firm, which has obtained more than $2 billion in qui tam recoveries on the government’s behalf; representing whistleblowers, secured a settlement with money manager Mario Gabelli on behalf of plaintiffs in a civil suit, later joined by the government, alleging that he set up sham companies to obtain discounts and government licenses worth $160 million; founder of Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund, a public interest group representing whistleblowers who file under the False Claims Act.

    Michael Ratner
    63, Center for Constitutional Rights, New York

    A human rights advocate, Ratner is president of this liberal public interest group, which uses litigation to advocate positions on government abuse, torture and civil rights; the 40-year-old nonprofit was among the first to bring suits after Sept. 11, 2001, on behalf of alleged terrorists imprisoned in the U.S. Naval Station in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba; has opposed the Bush administration’s use of executive power in the war on terrorism and the National Security Agency’s domestic spying program; an adjunct professor of law at Columbia University, Ratner has written books including Against War With Iraq and Guantánamo: What the World Should Know.

    Joseph R. Re
    46, Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear, Irvine, Calif.

    Intellectual property litigator for the little guy, Re has obtained $400 million in damages in patent infringement cases this year; has represented small companies against major firms such as Tyco International Ltd., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Logitech Inc.; secured a $265 million settlement, plus $65 million in advanced royalty payments, for Masimo Corp. in a patent infringement suit against a Tyco unit, after having obtained a jury award of $134.5 million; authored numerous briefs on behalf of the American Intellectual Property Law Association; has been a partner at the firm since 1990.

    Gary Reback
    57, Carr & Ferrell, Palo Alto, Calif.

    Antitrust champion and one of the few lawyers taking on the U.S. government hoping to derail large mergers; spearheaded the Justice Department’s antitrust actions against Microsoft Corp.; represents telephone trade association Alliance for Competition in Telecommunications (ACTel) in its attempt to break up the mergers of AT&T and SBC, and Verizon Communications and MCI Inc.; formerly at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Reback has represented some of Silicon Valley’s most important companies; helped convince the Justice Department to sue Microsoft on behalf of Netscape Communications Corp. to block its acquisition of Intuit; represented PeopleSoft in its opposition to a hostile takeover attempt by Oracle Corp.

    Barry Richard
    64, Greenberg Traurig, Tallahassee, Fla.

    One of Florida’s top constitutional lawyers, Richard specializes in complex litigation, appellate, constitutional and government law, mostly in federal court; has argued 200 appellate cases and has been general counsel to the Florida Academy of Trial Lawyers and the Florida Bar in cases before the Florida Supreme Court; cemented national reputation after representing George W. Bush in 46 lawsuits following the 2000 election and in televised arguments before the state high court; in 1998 served as campaign legal counsel to Governor Jeb Bush. Corporate clients include Anheuser-Busch Inc., Caesar’s Palace, Ford Motor Co. and Lehman Brothers.

    Barry C. Scheck
    56, Yeshiva University Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, New York

    Leading proponent of using DNA evidence to exonerate the convicted; his litigation helped establish standards for the admission of forensic DNA technology; co-founder and co-director of the Innocence Project, a nonprofit legal clinic at Cardozo, which to date has helped exonerate 180 wrongfully convicted people-including 14 death row inmates-through post-conviction DNA testing; organized the Innocence Network to encourage other law schools, journalism schools and public defender offices to set up innocence clinics; agitated for the Justice For All Act of 2004, which, among other things, allows federal inmates to apply for post-conviction DNA testing; partner at Cochran Neufeld & Scheck in New York.

    William B. Schultz
    58, partner, Zuckerman Spaeder, Washington

    Champion of generic-drug manufacturers in court and before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration; represents individuals (including those injured by foods and drugs), nonprofit organizations and small biotechnology companies; recently represented Roxane Laboratories Inc. in its successful court fight to sell a generic version of the nasal spray Flonase, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline PLC; advocacy in court and before Congress helped lead to the enactment of the Pediatric Research Equity Act of 2003; former deputy assistant attorney general supervising Justice Department’s tobacco litigation; as former counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Health and the Environment, helped craft the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990 establishing the nutrition labels on food; board member of Center for Science in the Public Interest.

    Victor E. Schwartz
    65, Shook, Hardy & Bacon, Washington

    Leading light of the tort reform movement; general counsel to American Tort Reform Association, whose annual "Judicial Hellholes" report highlights litigation horror stories; co-chairman of the Civil Justice Task Force of the American Legislative Exchange Council, which proposes model tort reform legislation; co-author, Prosser, Wade & Schwartz’s Torts, a leading casebook; frequent appearances before congressional committees, including testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee warning against the criminalizing of products liability law; chairman of the federal interagency task forces on products liability and insurance and accident compensation.

    Richard F. Scruggs
    60, The Scruggs Law Firm, Oxford, Miss.

    Driving force in the multistate $248 billion settlement with the tobacco industry; in so-called "predatory lending" cases, won a $51 million jury verdict against Lehman Brothers Inc. and obtained a $25 million class settlement with The Money Store Inc.; launched litigation against State Farm, Allstate, Nationwide and other insurers on behalf of Mississippi and Alabama Gulf Coast residents whose property was damaged by Hurricane Katrina and whose insurers were unwilling to cover losses; filed multiple class actions alleging not-for-profit hospitals violated their tax-exempt status by charging uninsured poor patients significantly higher prices than the discounted fees charged to insurers, then aggressively trying to collect payment; hired by an orthopedic implant company facing 1,300 suits over the recall of 26,000 hip and knee implants, obtained a $1.1 billion settlement.

    Brad Seligman
    54, The Impact Fund, Berkeley, Calif.

    First-rate civil rights attorney, currently lead counsel in a class action accusing Wal-Mart of gender discrimination, the largest civil rights class action in U.S. history when certified in 2004; litigating a narrower glass-ceiling gender discrimination case against Wal-Mart competitor Costco Wholesale Corp.; negotiated large settlements with companies such as State Farm and Lucky Stores; founder and director of the nonprofit foundation specializing in complex public interest suits, and leveraged it into a national network of plaintiffs-side civil rights class attorneys; gave away grants worth $4 million last year.

    Jerold S. Solovy
    76, Jenner & Block, Chicago

    Dean of the Chicago trial bar and chairman of the firm where he has practiced 50 years; go-to litigator in complex litigation, appeals and high-profile cases; in 2005 was co-lead trial counsel in the $1.6 billion securities fraud verdict in Florida against Morgan Stanley; obtained a declaratory judgment favorable for the Kennedy family against a $53 million claim by a mortgage-holding insurance company in connection with the sale of the Chicago Merchandise Mart; headed a trial team that won a $181 million judgment against DirecTV Inc., Hughes Electronics Corp. and General Motors in a breach of contract suit by General Electric Capital Corp.; handled hundreds of pro bono criminal trials and appeals for indigent individuals; chairman of the Advisory Board of the International Human Rights Law Institute; member of the Illinois Death Penalty Education Project, an independent group studying capital punishment.

    Larry W. Sonsini
    65, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Palo Alto, Calif.

    Dealmaker, corporate matchmaker and top legal adviser to the high-technology world; handled initial public offerings for Google and Apple Computer, Hewlett-Packard’s acquisition of Compaq Computer, Pixar’s acquisition by Disney and Ameritrade Holding Corp.’s acquisition of TD Waterhouse; board member of Echelon Corp., LSI Logic Corp. and Pixar, among others; recognized expert on corporate law, governance and finance; chairman of the New York Stock Exchange regulation, enforcement and listing standards committee and legal advisory committee; teaches securities regulation at University of California, Berkeley School of Law; chief executive and chairman of his firm for more than 20 years.

    Brendan V. Sullivan Jr.
    63, Williams & Connolly, Washington

    Called "Washington’s most ferocious litigator" by Washingtonian magazine, and best known for his investigative and courtroom skills; once named ABC News Person of the Week for his successful representation of Lieutenant Colonel Oliver L. North before the Iran-Contra hearings; defended former Housing and Urban Affairs Secretary Henry Cisneros against accusations that he made false statements to the FBI during a background check; began his trial career in the U.S. Army, defending soldiers in the Presidio mutiny trials in San Francisco during the late 1960s; represented nine state attorneys general against Microsoft Corp. when they were unhappy with the government’s decision to drop its antitrust case against the company.

    Kathleen M. Sullivan
    50, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges, Redwood Shores, Calif.

    Leading constitutional scholar and appellate practitioner; professor of constitutional law at Stanford School of Law and head of its Constitutional Law Center; served as dean from 1999 until 2005, raising $100 million in gifts before stepping down to build a private appellate practice; represented wineries and wine consumers in successful U.S. Supreme Court challenge to a ban on direct interstate wine shipments to consumers; with the late Gerald Gunther, author of Constitutional Law, the leading casebook on the topic; represented Senator Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in a free speech challenge to the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, which the Supreme Court upheld; represents clients pro bono in civil rights and civil liberties cases involving free speech, privacy and equal protection; often mentioned as a possible nominee for the Supreme Court.

    Charles D. Swift
    44, U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps, Arlington, Va.

    A military defense counsel in Department of Defense’s Office of Military Commissions, the venue for the extrajudicial tribunals in which alleged terrorists captured in Iraq and Afghanistan may challenge their detentions; handling a key Supreme Court challenge to the constitutionality of those proceedings; the lieutenant colonel is defending Osama bin Laden’s former driver, Salim Ahmed Hamdan, a Yemeni held at Guantánamo Bay, in a case that will determine whether the Geneva Conventions are enforceable in federal court through habeas corpus petitions; in testimony before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, declared that the military commissions had "abandoned the rule of law" by using torture evidence without disclosing its provenance; participated in the litigation involving the Navy’s now-closed target range at Vieques, Puerto Rico.

    George J. Terwilliger III
    56, White & Case, Washington

    This former U.S. attorney and deputy attorney general has been helping to raise the alarm in recent years against what many see as the erosion of attorney-client privilege in corporate corruption cases; head of his firm’s corporate defense and special litigation practice, he’s represented clients in legislative, administrative and court settings in Washington and abroad; early to spot the coming wave of corporate finance-related investigations and prosecutions-even before the Enron scandal broke-he was a pre-9/11 advocate of stronger counterterrorism tools; prominent member of the GOP litigation team in the contested 2000 presidential election; earlier, was the government’s point main in straightening out the BCCI and savings-and-loan fraud scandals.

    Laurence H. Tribe
    64, Harvard Law School

    One mark of Tribe’s standing was the shock that accompanied the announcement last year that he wouldn’t complete volume two of his updated treatise, American Constitutional Law, because the field is so unsettled; through that work and as a teacher, Tribe has educated generations of lawyers (including Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.) and helped shape the case law; lost Bowers v. Hardwick in 1986 by a single vote of the high court but was vindicated in 2003 when the Supreme Court struck down laws against consensual sodomy in Lawrence v. Texas (to which he contributed an amicus brief); at the heart of such pressing national conflicts as the disputed 2000 election, when with David Boies he argued Al Gore’s position all the way to the Supreme Court; widely quoted and a frequent commentator on legal issues in the mass media; also argues legal issues through opinion pieces in mass publications.

    Bruce G. Vanyo
    60, Katten Muchin Rosenman, Los Angeles

    A litigator for 30 years who has defended 200 major securities cases in 20 states; writes and lectures on securities litigation and shareholder disclosure; Congress sought him out to draft safe-harbor provisions for the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995; cache of technology clients as well as in the airline, life science, movie and banking industries; represented Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Dell Computer Corp., Boeing; chalked up 21 complete victories in court, including seven appellate wins; spent dozen years at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati including as chairman of litigation practice; joined Katten in 2006.

    Patricia M. Wald
    77, Washington

    Not particularly retiring following her 1999 retirement from the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, Wald is at the forefront of national and international legal developments; spent two years as a judge on the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia; consulted with legal authorities in Eastern Europe on behalf of the American Bar Association; trained prosecutors for human rights tribunals for Yugoslavia, Sierra Leone, Rwanda and elsewhere; member President Bush’s WMD Commission, investigating prewar intelligence mistakes; board member, George Soros’ Open Society Institute’s Justice Initiative, which attempts to use the law to promote human rights; co-chairwoman, New Perimeters, a human rights pro bono initiative; board member American Constitution Society; reviewing executive branch power as member of ABA Commission on Signing Statements.

    Seth Waxman
    54, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, Washington

    Landmark Supreme Court victories are just another day at the office for this former U.S. solicitor general, who has nearly 50 oral arguments before the high court under his belt; member of an elite high court bar to whom parties turn in cases like eBay Inc. v. MercExchange, the biggest patent case of the decade; equally influential on the criminal side, last March he persuaded the high court to overrule its own 1989 precedent in declaring that the execution of juveniles no longer passed constitutional muster-sparing the lives of more than 70 people; frequently called upon to testify before Congress on such matters as Supreme Court nominations and habeas corpus reform; legal editor and educator; leader in professional and cultural institutions; vigorous pro bono practice.

    Dan K. Webb
    60, Winston & Strawn, Chicago

    This heavy-hitting former U.S. attorney from Chicago went into private practice in 1985 and now defends clients in the nation’s biggest white-collar criminal and corporate corruption cases; as a lawyer who made his reputation prosecuting rampant corruption in the Cook County, Ill., courts through Operation Greylord, his recent defense clients include former Illinois Governor George Ryan (recently convicted on corruption charges) and Los Angeles entertainment lawyer Terry N. Christensen, charged with wiretapping and conspiracy charges in the Anthony Pellicano scandal; lead co-counsel for Microsoft Corp. in its antitrust case, he won a ruling against the nine states that challenged the federal settlement; represented Philip Morris Cos. in its tobacco-related litigation and the New York Stock Exchange in the matter of former chief Richard Grasso’s compensation; his findings in that matter, "The Webb Report," prompted New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer to file suit.

    Theodore V. Wells Jr.
    56, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, New York

    When vice presidential aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby was indicted for obstruction of justice in the Valerie Plame/CIA leak affair, this is the guy he called; in 2002 persuaded federal prosecutors to forgo potential campaign finance-related charges against former U.S. Senator Robert Torricelli; made his name defending high-profile criminal defendants since the early 1980s, including Democratic and Republican lawmakers and cabinet secretaries, business leaders and corporations; co-chairman of his firm’s litigation department; co-lead counsel to lead defendant Philip Morris in the largest civil RICO action ever, in 2005 his team won reversal on appeal of a trial judge’s ruling that the government could seek $280 billion in RICO penalties; lead counsel for Merck & Co. in federal Vioxx marketing probes; active in politics and the arts, he has served the New Jersey Democratic Party, the NAACP and the United Negro College Fund.

    Reid Weingarten
    56, Steptoe & Johnson LLP, Washington

    As head of Steptoe & Johnson’s white-collar defense group has won acquittals in major trials; successfully represented former Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy, former Tyco International General Counsel Mark Belnick and former Teamsters President Ron Carey; worked as a prosecutor for the public integrity section of the Justice Department in the late 1970s and early 1980s; helped negotiate a plea bargain for former Enron chief accounting officer Richard Causey; has served as special counsel to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s subcommittee on near eastern and south Asian affairs, to head the 1992 "October Surprise" investigation of Ronald Reagan’s 1980 presidential campaign; served as associate independent counsel in the Iran-Contra probe in 1988.

    Mary Jo White
    58, Debevoise & Plimpton, New York

    As U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York between 1993 and 2002, led prosecutions of organized crime figures including John A. Gotti, prosecuted securities fraud and terrorist cases including the bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa, and led the investigations of the al-Queda attacks of Sept. 11, 2001; now chairwoman of the litigation department at Debevoise & Plimpton, she also leads the firm’s white-collar crime group while retaining a significant business litigation caseload; represented HCA Inc. in the insider trading probe of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn.; active in promoting the advancement of women in the profession, as well as in such professional organizations as the American College of Trial Lawyers; served on the board of the Nasdaq from 2002 until earlier this year.

    Richard E. Wiley
    71, Wiley Rein & Fielding, Washington

    This is the fellow to see if you have business before the Federal Communications Commission-he chaired the FCC between 1970 and 1977, and the current chairman and other communications regulators passed through his firm; his 75-attorney communications section is among the profession’s largest and most powerful, providing litigation, lobbying and regulatory assistance to clients including Viacom/CBS, Gannett, Verizon, SBC General Motors and Motorola and the Newspaper Association of America; dubbed the "father of HDTV," he chaired the FCC advisory committee that devised the technical standards for high-definition television; led the mobile phone industry in raising federal pre-emption attacks against state regulators.