Brian Hennigan, Managing Partner of Hueston Hennigan, has been honored with a 2018 California Lawyer of the Year (CLAY) award. The CLAY award recognize lawyers whose work has had a significant impact on public policy, the law, and the profession.
Mr. Hennigan was cited for his work with former California Supreme Court Justice Carlos R. Moreno in the high-profile investigation into allegations that the University of California’s Office of the President interfered with a state audit.
The UC Board of Regents hired the legal team last summer, after the state auditor publicly accused UC President Janet Napolitano’s office of revising answers on campus surveys. Auditor Elaine M. Howle maintained that Napolitano’s office altered the answers to reflect more favorably on her performance.
Mr. Hennigan led the independent fact-finding project. The team reviewed more than 427,000 pieces of electronic data and documents, and it conducted dozens of interviews. The report ultimately found that although Napolitano knew surveys were being reviewed, there was insufficient evidence to conclude she knew about her aids’ systematic alteration of unfavorable responses.
Judge Moreno and Mr. Hennigan both said work of Michael Behrens, counsel at Hueston Hennigan, and Kasey Mitchell, an associate at the firm, as instrumental to the investigation.
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Alex Romain has been named to Lawdragon’s 2018 list of the “500 Leading Lawyers in America,” one of the legal profession’s most elite directories.
Lawdragon is a legal media company that provides online news and features about the legal industry, including guides to the nation’s leading lawyers. The annual guide is the company’s highest distinction. It recognizes the top practitioners across all practice areas and represents .04 percent of all U.S. lawyers.
About Alex Romain
Alex Romain is a leading national trial lawyer with more than 18 years’ experience in high-stakes complex civil and commercial litigation. Mr. Romain previously was a litigation partner for 10 years at Williams & Connolly LLP, in Washington, D.C. He currently Chairs Hueston Hennigan’s Professional Liability Defense Practice.
In 2017, Benchmark Litigation recognized Mr. Romain as a local “Litigation Star” in the area of general commercial litigation. He was featured in Law360’s Minority Powerbrokers” series and was selected to Savoy Magazine’s list of “Most Influential Black Lawyers.” As a result of his work as lead counsel in the favorable decision, In re Fannie Mae Securities Litigation, 552 F.3d 814 (D.C. Cir. 2009), the National Law Journal named Mr. Romain to its “Appellate Hot List.” That decision that affirmed the trial court’s holding a government agency in contempt. For his work at the USDOJ, in the Office of the Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, Mr. Romain received the U.S. Attorney General’s special Commendation Award for Outstanding Service.
Alex Romain’s complete bio here.
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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 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. At the same time, we maintain 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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Partner Moez Kaba Named to Benchmark Litigation’s “Under 40 Hot List”
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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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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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