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Moez Kaba Talks Diversity with Benchmark Litigation

Benchmark Q & A with Moez Kaba

Moez Kaba is the youngest partner at one of the country’s premier trial boutiques, Hueston Hennigan, a Los Angeles-based shop formed by a group of former Irell & Manella commercial litigation partners. The firm has earned considerable traction in the legal community via some high-stakes and high-profile appointments. Kaba, a co-founder of the firm, reflects both the firm’s approach as well as the cultural and generational shift in the US litigation landscape. In this Q&A with Benchmark’s Michael Rafalowich, he discusses these issues at length.

You are one of the youngest, if not the youngest, partner at your firm, yet you are one of its founders. Was the generational depth a business model mandate upon the formation of the firm or did it just happen organically?

The generational depth at our firm was both by design and by chance. A small core group of us worked together at our prior firm on the most challenging and high-stakes disputes for our business clients. There we came to value each other as colleagues and friends. When we launched our own firm, we brought together a deep bench of young, talented lawyers who shared our vision for a trial litigation practice. We take tough and interesting cases for commercial and public and quasi-public clients while maintaining a commitment to pro bono work.

We focus heavily on training young attorneys.  They are prepared and confident in front of judges and juries. I’m the youngest partner, but not the youngest lawyer at the firm by far. The most senior partner, name partner Brian Hennigan, graduated law school 30 years before me. Our other name partner, John Hueston, graduated law school in the 1990’s. That speaks to type of firm we are. We have tried to match vigor and new approaches with experience and perspective. Ours is a tough practice, a demanding practice, with creative, hard-working people on teams that span the generational spectrum. And I think this sort of diversity increasingly mirrors the legal departments of our clients.

It seems as though your generation of litigators is not only bringing a fresh perspective in terms of age but it also seems to be a notably more diverse crop than that of 15 or even 10 years ago. Have you noticed more diversity among younger partners?

Definitely. It’s exciting to see so many terrific lawyers who look different and have different experiences but share a passion for the law. I think that’s also a product of law schools and the firms themselves, both of which are fostering a more diverse recruiting environment.

This is also driven by client demand. Clients are increasingly holding firms accountable for assembling diverse teams. You see the same thing at the U.S. Attorney’s office. What’s most promising to me is that these are the people who will get jobs in government and be appointed to the bench. Diversity in law firms today results in more diverse public leadership tomorrow. I am proud, however, that Hueston Hennigan’s partnership itself is majority diverse.

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Rising Stars: Seven Hueston Hennigan Attorneys Named to 2016 List

Hueston Hennigan is excited to announce that seven of its lawyers have been named Rising Stars by Super Lawyers magazine in 2016. The list includes three partners: Doug Dixon, Moez Kaba and Allison Libeu, and four associates: Steve Feldman, Padraic Foran, Xinlin Morrow and Andrew Walsh. This is a noteworthy achievement for a firm that was launched with two offices in January of 2015.

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Recorder: Hueston Hennigan Best 2016 White Collar Defense Department

The Recorder has announced that Hueston Hennigan is the recipient of a 2016 Litigation Department of the Year award. The Recorder focused specifically on Hueston Hennigan’s White Collar/Crisis Management practice. The firm, which opened its doors in 2015, was recognized for its success in representing clients in high stakes white collar and government matters. Among other notable successes in 2015, Hueston Hennigan successfully had all felony charges dismissed against Waste Management Hawaii, Inc. after four years of litigation and investigation by the federal government, and vigorously defended a client faced with numerous charges by the SEC that ultimately the government declined to pursue.

From The Recorder: The Awards recognize California litigation practices that delivered exceptional results on their clients’ most critical and challenging matters. Recorder editors sifted through 148 nominations looking for decisive victories at trial or on appeal. They considered the degree of difficulty, dollar value and importance of each matter to the client; the depth and breadth of the practice; and the use of strategic approaches that proved successful.

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Six Partners Named 2016 Southern California Super Lawyers

Hueston Hennigan LLP is pleased to announce that six partners have been named Southern California Super Lawyers for 2016. The firm extends congratulations to partners Marshall Camp and Alison Plessman, who join our previously recognized partners: Brian Hennigan, John Hueston, Alex Giza, and Robert Klieger, on this year’s list.

Prior to being named Super Lawyers, Ms. Plessman and Mr. Camp, along with partners Douglas Dixon and Moez Kaba, repeatedly were named to Super Lawyers’ “Rising Stars” list of outstanding attorneys. Mr. Kaba also has been named to Super Lawyers’ Top 100 Up and Coming Lawyers list. Nearly half of Hueston Hennigan’s partners have been selected to be on a Super Lawyers top 100 attorneys list, and all told, over 25% of the attorneys at Hueston Hennigan, including associates Xinlin Li and Andrew Walsh, have been named either “Super Lawyers” or “Rising Stars” in the past year – Hueston Hennigan’s first year as a firm.

Super Lawyers magazine rates outstanding lawyers working in more than 70 practice areas who have attained significant peer recognition and professional achievement. Its annual selections are made using a process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates, and peer reviews by practice area.

No more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected to receive this honor.

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