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WASHINGTON, DC, April 6, 2009 — Covington & Burling LLP has again been named to The National Law Journal’s “Appellate Hot List.” This is the second year that the publication has named a “Hot List,” which recognizes 20 firms whose appellate track records included significant recent victories in cases with high financial stakes or that presented important legal principles. The ranking appears in the April 6 issue.
In selecting this year’s “Hot List,” the editors write that they were “faced with a lot of tough choices” as they received dozens of nominations for firms that “really have been shaking things up.” Covington’s profile in the NLJ highlights three noteworthy victories that are briefly described below.
In American Needle Inc. v. National Football League, the 7th Circuit rejected an antitrust challenge to the NFL’s collective licensing of its intellectual property. In affirming summary judgment for the NFL and its member clubs, the court held that in licensing its intellectual property, the league and its member clubs function as a “single entity” whose decisions are essentially immune from challenge under Section 1 of the Sherman Act. Gregg Levy, chair of Covington’s litigation practice, served as lead counsel and argued the appeal.
In Amber Resources Co. v. U.S., Covington secured a $1 billion appellate victory for 11 oil and gas companies that sued the U.S. government for its breach of nearly three dozen oil and gas leases off the coast of California. The Covington team was led by Steven Rosenbaum who argued the case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, supported by Edward Bruce.
Mr. Bruce and Covington also served as co-counsel, along with a team from O’Melveny & Myers, in Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker. In that case, Covington helped persuade the Supreme Court to reduce the $2.5 billion in punitive damages awarded to victims of the Exxon Valdez disaster.
Covington’s appellate practice, led by Robert Long, is 60-members strong, and includes 16 former Supreme Court clerks and six alumni of the solicitor general’s office. Its attorneys have argued more than 50 cases before the Supreme Court and hundreds in state and federal appeals courts.
In 2008, The American Lawyer named Covington as a finalist for “Litigation Department of the Year,” saying the firm “dominated in appellate courts” and had a “glowing reputation” for appellate work.