Jenner & Block
|Jenner & Block LLP|
|Headquarters||353 North Clark
|No. of offices||4|
|No. of attorneys||approximately 450|
|Major practice areas||General practice|
|Key people||Anton R. Valukas, Chairman; Susan C. Levy, Managing Partner|
|Founder||Jacob Newman, Conrad Poppenhusen, and Henry Stern|
|Company type||Limited liability partnership|
|Slogan||When it's a matter of importance.|
|Jenner & Block|
Founded in 1914, Jenner & Block is a national law firm of approximately 450 attorneys with offices in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC. Jenner & Block is internationally recognized as a litigation powerhouse, achieving significant wins from the trial level through the U.S. Supreme Court, and for producing outstanding results in corporate transactions. Jenner & Block has been recognized as among the most elite law firms in the country; among the top U.S. pro bono firms; and as having prominent appellate, insurance, and content, media and entertainment practices. Its clients range from the top ranks of the Fortune 500, large privately held corporations and financial services institutions to emerging companies, family-run businesses and individuals.
Jenner & Block has played a role in some of the most consequential business matters in U.S. history. Its antitrust lawsuit of AT&T, on behalf of MCI, sowed the seeds for the eventual break-up of telecommunications monopoly in the 1980s. In 2007, the firm filed a $1 billion copyright infringement lawsuit on behalf of Viacom against Google, the parent owner of YouTube. In 2009, firm Chairman Anton Valukas was appointed as the examiner in the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, and he hired Jenner & Block to produce the report that captured the findings of a year-long investigation of the bank’s finances. In 2010, the firm oversaw General Motors’s $23.1 billion initial public offering of common stock and Series B mandatory convertible junior preferred stock – the largest U.S. IPO.
Jenner & Block has also established itself in recording significant victories before the Supreme Court regarding free speech, gay rights, copyright, civil procedure, political asylum and other matters. The firm’s first principal litigator, Edward R. Johnston, set the groundwork in 1925 when he earned a landmark win in an antitrust case against the government (Maple Flooring Manufacturers Association v. U.S.) that allowed for trade association members to exchange information.
Founded in 1914 as a partnership in Chicago, the firm has undergone several name changes. From the 1920s to the 1950s, the firm was known as Johnston, Thompson, Raymond & Mayer, led by a leading Chicago trial lawyer, Edward R. Johnston, and a former Chief Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court, Floyd E. Thompson. Their early successes included defending Preston Tucker's company, Tucker Corp., against corporate financing fraud charges. After Albert E. Jenner became a name partner in 1955, he helped the firm cement its reputation as a pro bono powerhouse and established Jenner & Block's longstanding relationship representing General Dynamics. Samuel W. Block was made a name partner in 1964, changing the name of the firm to Raymond Mayer Jenner & Block. The firm became known as Jenner & Block in 1969.
The firm established a national footprint with the creation of an office in Washington, DC, in 1982. A New York office was created in 2005, followed by an office in Los Angeles in 2009. The firm previously had a presence in Dallas and Miami.
Jenner's main offices in Chicago are currently located at 353 North Clark. The main office was located at 330 North Wabash until October 2009.
Viacom v. Google (ongoing)
Jenner & Block represents Viacom in its $1 billion lawsuit against YouTube and Google for “massive intentional copyright infringement” of Viacom’s entertainment properties on the YouTube website. In 2012, the firm won an important victory for Viacom and the content industry when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed the trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of defendants and remanded the case for further proceedings. That decision set a significant precedent interpreting the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s “safe harbors” and establishing the legal standard for copyright protection on websites like YouTube that depend upon user uploaded content to attract viewers and advertising revenue. In April, 2012, Partner Paul Smith was recognized by the American Lawyer as “Litigator of the Week” for leading his team to that appellate victory. On remand, the District Court again granted summary judgment for YouTube . The case is back in the Second Circuit with arguments expected in early 2014. Called a “landmark legal battle” (Financial Times), the case is largely viewed as one of the most significant copyright cases of our time, debating the use of copyrighted videos on Google's YouTube service without permission.
Fox Television Stations et. al v FilmOnX LLC (2013)
The firm won a significant victory for client Fox TV and the entire broadcast industry in one of a series of copyright infringement cases that threaten the current over-the-air broadcasting business model. In September 2013, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a preliminary injunction in favor of Fox and other networks against online television streaming service FilmOn X LLC, prohibiting it from retransmitting the broadcasters’ copyrighted programs over the Internet. The injunction applies nationwide except within the boundaries of the Second Circuit, which previously ruled against the networks in a similar case.
Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association, et al., formerly Schwarzenegger v. EMA, et al. (2011)
Jenner & Block attorneys representing the Entertainment Merchants Association convinced the United States Supreme Court to strike down a California law restricting the sale or rental of violent video and computer games to minors, which they argued ran afoul of the First Amendment’s freedom of speech and expression provision.
Jenner & Block Chairman Anton R. Valukas served as Court-appointed examiner in the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy matter, leading an exhaustive investigation into and producing a universally acclaimed 2,200-page report on the causes of the failure of the global financial services firm. The resulting report, dubbed the “ Valukas Report”, was made public on March 13, 2010. In 2010, Valukas was invited to testify before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services, regarding the findings in the Examiner’s Report, alongside U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Federal Reserve System Chairman Ben Bernanke and SEC Chairperson Mary Schapiro; in 2011, he testified before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance and Investment. The information and insights he shared at these hearings influenced enactment of the Dodd-Frank Act and new SEC and FASB rules, making sweeping changes to America’s financial regulatory environment. For his “central role in the credit crisis,” Directorship named Valukas one of the 100 “most influential people in the boardroom” in 2010 and The American Lawyer Magazine named him its “#1 Newsmaker of the Year.”
General Motors Company IPO (2010)
Jenner & Block served as lead outside counsel to the newly constituted General Motors Company in its initial public offering (IPO). On November 18, 2010, GM stock returned to trading on the New York Stock Exchange under its traditional “GM” stock symbol. The IPO involved concurrent offerings of $15.8 billion of common stock by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the governments of Canada and Ontario, and a UAW VEBA (Employee Benefit) trust and the issuance by GM of $4.4 billion of a new series of convertible preferred stock. Jenner & Block also represented General Motors Company in negotiating a five-year, $5 billion secured revolving credit facility, including a letter of credit sub-facility of up to $500 million, with Citigroup Global Markets, Inc. and Banc of America Securities LLC as joint lead arrangers; Citibank, N.A. as administrative agent; Bank of America, N.A. as the syndication agent; and a syndicate of lenders.
The Court unanimously held that defendant peer-to-peer file sharing companies Grokster and Streamcast (maker of Morpheus) could be sued for inducing copyright infringement for acts taken in the course of marketing file sharing software. The firm represented the plaintiffs, a consortium of 28 of the largest entertainment companies (led by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios).
Lawrence v. Texas (2003)
Partner Paul Smith successfully argued a landmark civil rights case before the U.S. Supreme Court, whose decision in Lawrence v. Texas effectively invalidated same-sex anti-sodomy laws throughout the country. This landmark civil rights decision is widely considered one of the most important gay rights decision in a generation.
The firm represented a group of clients including the American Library Association in challenging anti-indecency provisions of the Communications Decency Act. The Court struck down the provisions, agreeing with the firm that they violated the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of speech. This was the first major Supreme Court ruling on the regulation of materials distributed via the Internet.
MCI v. AT&T (1980)
Jenner & Block rose to national prominence as a litigation firm during its antitrust fight with AT&T in the 1970s. Jenner & Block received the assignment from its former partner, John R. Worthington, who served as the General Counsel of Microwave Communications, Inc., the company that later became MCI Communications. Jenner & Block filed a lawsuit against AT&T in March 1974 alleging that AT&T had monopolized the market for telecommunications services in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act. The case came to trial in 1980 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois based in Chicago. AT&T was represented by what is now Sidley Austin. After several months of trial, on June 13, 1980, a federal jury returned a verdict in favor of MCI in the amount of $600 million. After trebling the judgment as required by the antitrust laws, the $1.8 billion judgment was the largest monetary award in the history of American law. While the judgment was eventually thrown out on appeal and the case was settled for much less, it launched the break-up of the AT&T monopoly and established MCI as AT&T's primary competitor in the long-distance telephone market.
This landmark death penalty case invalidated the death sentence of William Witherspoon for killing a police officer. In 1964, Federal Judge James B. Parsons appointed as new appeals attorneys two past chairmen of the Chicago Bar Association’s Defense of Indigent Prisoners Committee: Jerold S. Solovy and Thomas P. Sullivan. While studying the transcripts from the trial, Jerold Solovy noticed that of 96 potential jurors questioned during the jury selection, 47 were dismissed because they had scruples against the death penalty. Albert E. Jenner Jr. argued in front of the United States Supreme Court that this practice lead to a jury consisting of members in favor of the death penalty due to an Illinois statute that provided challenges for cause in murder trials “of any juror who shall, on being examined, state that he has conscientious scruples against capital punishment, or that he is opposed to the same”. Under the limitations of this statute, Jenner Jr. argued that victims were no longer being tried by a fair and impartial jury, which they were guaranteed under the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments.
Supreme Court Practice
Jenner & Block was one of the first national law firms to establish a Washington D.C. practice specifically focused on appeals before the U.S. Supreme Court. It was once headed by the late Bruce Ennis, Jr., who argued more than a dozen cases before the Supreme Court during his career, including an unprecedented three cases arising under different provisions of the same law, the landmark Telecommunications Act of 1996, see Reno, Turner, and Iowa Utilities Board cases below. The appellate practice is led by Paul M. Smith. A number of lawyers in the Washington D.C. office are former clerks to the Supreme Court.
General Dynamics Corp. v. United States (2011)
The firm was lead counsel for General Dynamics in an important and long-running government contracts case. The Court vacated a ruling of the Federal Circuit adverse to the contractors and remanded for further proceedings.
FCC v. Nextwave (2003)
The firm represented NextWave in its U.S. Supreme Court victory that returned to NextWave billions of dollars worth of wireless phone spectrum licenses that the Federal Communication Commission had attempted to repossess after the company failed to make installment payments on the licenses while reorganizing under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code.
The firm represented a group of public libraries, library associations, library patrons, and web site publishers in challenging the constitutionality of Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA), which required public libraries to use Internet filters as condition for receipt of federal subsidies.
Wiggins v. Smith (2003) The firm represented a death row inmate in a case establishing that attorneys in capital cases must diligently investigate the background of their clients to find possible mitigating evidence that could sway a jury’s or a judge’s sentencing decision. The United States Supreme Court spelled out standards for "effectiveness" in the constitutional right to legal counsel guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment. The court set forth the American Bar Association Guidelines for the Appointment and Performance of Defense Counsel in Death Penalty Cases Guideline 11.8.6.(1989), as a specific guideline by which to measure effectiveness and competence of legal counsel. Kevin Wiggins was represented by Donald Verrilli Jr. for more than a decade during the appeals process.
AT&T v. Iowa Utilities Board (1999)
The 1996 Telecommunications Act (Act) fundamentally altered local telephone markets by ending the monopolies traditionally given to local exchange carriers (LECs) by states and subjecting LECs to a host of duties meant to facilitate market entry. Among these duties: compelling carriers to share their networks with competitors. AT&T challenged their constitutionality on behalf of itself and other existing phone service providers. Jenner & Block successfully argued on behalf of competitive communications providers to defend authority of FCC to set UNE cost-setting methodology. In a complicated split opinion, the Court held that the FCC has rulemaking authority to uphold those provision of the Act in question. Despite the local nature of some of the LECs involved, the Court emphasized their interconnectivity with regional and national carriers. As such, the FCC could also reach local LEC markets and regulate their competitive business practices. Such regulatory authority would include the ability to tell LECs what portions of their services they had to share with new competitors, allow new competitors to use local networks without having to own them, and forbid incumbent LECs from separating their network elements before leasing them to competitors.
Turner Broadcasting System v. FCC (1994)
The firm represented the broadcast industry in defending key provisions of new legislation governing the cable television industry, in both the Court’s initial review setting the appropriate constitutional standard and its final review that the statute met the standard. Both times, the Court’s opinions tracked the specific approach and arguments presented by Jenner & Block.
Maple Flooring Manufacturers Association v. U.S. (1925)
Edward R. Johnston defended against the Department of Justice’s vigorous attack that the exchange of information by trade association members was an antitrust violation. In Maple Flooring, the Supreme Court held that there was no evidence of an agreement to raise prices or any evidence of an increase in prices as a result of the exchange of information. The Maple Flooring Manufacturers’ Association circulated to its members the price components of hard wood flooring; however, the parties to the individual transactions were not identified, the information reflected exclusively past transactions, and the information was available to consumers as well as members of the association. Even though the exchange of information by the association resulted in a stabilization of trade practices and price, the Supreme Court held that those restraints were not "unreasonable" and only became so in a competitive market situation when "improper use is made of that information through any concerted action which operates to restrain the freedom of action of those who buy and sell."
Jenner & Block has been repeatedly recognized by the legal industry. The firm was named by The American Lawyer to its 2013 A-List, recognized by the second consecutive year as among the 20 most elite law firms in the United States. Firms are evaluated based on revenue generation, pro bono commitment, associate satisfaction and diversity representation. The firm has been named five times overall in the 10 years the ranking was instituted in 2003. Chambers USA again recognized Jenner & Block as among the country’s leading law firms in its 2013 edition. Jenner & Block was ranked as a leading firm in 22 areas, including six national categories and 16 state categories. Of those, the firm received six “Band 1” practice rankings, Chambers’ highest level of recommendation, based on its assessment of marketplace commentary and “the volume, complexity and size of work” undertaken. Forty attorneys were recognized as leaders in their respective practice areas. The firm also won the Chambers Award for Excellence in Insurance (Policyholder in 2013). Calling Jenner & Block a “powerful presence on both coasts and in the Midwest,” Chambers USA honored the team, led by Practice Chair John C. Mathias, for its work in “sophisticated, high-stakes” proceedings. In 2012, Chambers honored the Content, Media and Entertainment Practice with the Award for Excellence in media, observing that the firm “has an unparalleled track record in media and entertainment litigation, particularly involving copyright and content protection issues.”
In 2013, Jenner & Block was named to the National Law Journal’s “Appellate Hot List” for the fifth consecutive year base on its exemplary contributions to appellate practice and an impressive overall track record. The firm’s copyright practice also has been recognized nationally in recent years. The Legal 500 has twice heralded Jenner & Block’s copyright practice as No. 1 in the United States – “a pre-eminent choice for copyright litigation,” with a client base “dominated by A-list heavyweights in the entertainment field.” Managing Intellectual Property magazine named Jenner & Block “Copyright Firm of the Year” in 2010 and 2011.
Jenner & Block has a longstanding history of providing legal services to those who cannot afford them. It has been recognized by The American Lawyer as one of the top 10 Pro Bono programs in the United States every year since 1990. Service extends from litigation in trial and appellate courts across the country to transactional work for nonprofits.
In 2012, the firm received the No. 1 national pro bono ranking for the fifth time by The American Lawyer, after attorneys contributed more than 71,000 hours of pro bono work in 2011 on matters that ranged from human rights and civil liberties, asylum and immigration, death penalty matters and disability rights to environmental law and housing and veterans benefits. Jenner & Block was also honored as the top pro bono law firm in the United States in 2010, 2009, 2008 and 1998. The firm was ranked No. 2 in 2013.
Jenner and Block’s commitment to public service is also embodied in two firm awards bestowed annually:
- The Albert E. Jenner, Jr. Pro Bono Award, which recognizes the firm’s attorneys who have provided exceptional legal services to the needy.
- The Jerold S. Solovy Award, which recognizes attorneys who have demonstrated exceptional service to the organized bar and to the community.
Jenner & Block has championed diversity for decades through its desire to establish an inclusive workplace environment and its legal advocacy. It is recognized within the legal industry and beyond for promoting racial diversity, providing an inclusive environment for women and supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals in the workplace. In its 2013 and 2014 surveys, Vault ranked Jenner & Block as among the top five law firms nationally in overall diversity, accounting for results for women, minorities, LGBT and individuals with disabilities, among categories.
• Women Jenner & Block’s inclusion and promotion efforts for women have been recognized by Working Mother magazine and Flex-Time Lawyers LLC (Best Law Firm for Women). The firm’s efforts in placing women partners in its most significant organizational roles and among the ranks of its best compensated attorneys earned Jenner & Block a repeated recognition as a Gold Standard Law Firm by the Women in Law Empowerment Forum in 2013. In the Vault 2014 survey, Jenner & Block is among the top 25 law firms nationally in the following diversity categories: Diversity – Women (Top 10).
• LGBT Jenner & Block has earned a 100 percent rating in the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index survey for nine straight years. Jenner & Block was the first law firm to be inducted into the Chicago Gay & Lesbian Hall of Fame.
- Antitrust and Competition Law
- Appellate and Supreme Court Practice
- Class Action
- Complex Commercial Litigation
- Content, Media and Entertainment
- Election Law and Redistricting
- Environmental and Workplace Health & Safety Law
- ERISA Litigation
- Family Law
- Government Contracts
- Government Controversies and Public Policy
- Health Care Litigation
- Insurance Recovery and Counseling
- Intellectual Property
- International Arbitration
- Japan Practice
- Labor and Employment
- Media and First Amendment
- Patent Litigation and Counseling
- Privacy and Information Governance
- Products Liability
- Professional Responsibility
- Real Estate and Construction Litigation
- Securities Litigation and Enforcement
- Technology Litigation
- Trade Secret and Restrictive Covenant Litigation and Counseling
- Trust & Estate Litigation
- White Collar Defense & Investigations
- Bankruptcy, Workout and Corporate Reorganization
- Climate and Clean Technology Law
- Corporate Finance
- Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation
- Environmental and Workplace Health & Safety Law
- Privacy and Information Governance
- Japan Practice
- Mergers & Acquisitions
- Privacy and Information Governance
- Private Equity/Investment Funds
- Real Estate
- Tax Practice
Throughout its history, the firm has been home to some of the country’s brightest legal minds. Alumni include retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, the late U.S. federal Judge Philip W. Tone and current U.S. Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli, Jr. Name Partner Albert E. Jenner, Jr. (1907-1988) was a powerful force in the state and federal legal community. In his more than 50-year career, Jenner appeared before the Supreme Court many times and handled substantial corporate matters as a result of his long association with Henry Crown’s business interests, including General Dynamics. But Jenner’s influence reached beyond the firm; among other activities, he served as a senior counsel to the Warren Commission that investigated President John F. Kennedy’s assassination and as chief special counsel to the minority of the United States House of Representatives Judicial Committee regarding the impeachment of President Nixon. The late Chairman Emeritus Jerold Solovy (1930-2011) was among the nation’s leading appellate and trial lawyers, regularly cited in the National Law Journal as one of the 100 most influential lawyers in the nation. Retired Partner Joan M. Hall, who began practicing in the 1960s when men dominated the partner ranks, forged such an illustrious career that The American Lawyer celebrated in 2013 by honoring her with its Lifetime Achievement Award. Managing Partner Susan C. Levy is a seasoned commercial litigator and frequent speaker and author who was recognized by the ABA Journal in 2013 as one of six women law firm leaders “on top of her game”. During and following his work on the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, Anton Valukas was recognized by The American Lawyer as Newsmaker of the Year in 2011 and Litigator of the Year in 2012; the National Law Journal listed him as among the 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America in 2013.
Today, the firm counts 14 fellows of the prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers (David Bradford; Robert Byman; Jeffrey Colman; Richard Franch; David Handzo; Donald Harris; William Heinz; Chester Kamin; Kenneth Klein; Terri Mascherin; Harry Roper; Charles Sklarsky; Thomas Sullivan and Valukas); two former U.S. attorneys (Sullivan and Valukas) and eight former assistant U.S. attorneys (Tony Barkow, Neil Barofsky, Gabe Fuentes, Katya Jestin, Jessie Liu, Reid Schar, Charles Sklarsky and Richard Ziegler).
In addition, the firm has retained the services of partners Mary Ellen Callahan, former chief privacy officer at the Department of Homeland Security, and Sam Feder, former general counsel for the Federal Communications Commission. Mr. Barofsky was tapped to work at Jenner & Block after serving as the first special inspector general for the historic federal $700 billion financial bailout program, also known as TARP.
Dozens of Jenner & Block attorneys have transitioned into the public sector, including Verrilli, Michigan Supreme Court Justice David Viviano and Associate White House Counsel Kathleen Hartnett. Tom Perrelli, the former Associate Attorney General of the United States, returned as partner at Jenner & Block in 2012.
Prominent Jenner & Block Lawyers and Alumni (in alphabetical order)
|Name||Title or function|
|Barofsky, Neil||Partner; former Special Inspector General of the Federal Troubled Asset Relief Program|
|Berman, Mitchell||Professor, University of Texas School of Law|
|Block, Samuel W.||Name partner (1911-1970)|
|Bode, Keith F.||Longtime partner, now retired|
|Bradford, David J.||Founder MacArthur Justice Center and current partner|
|Callahan, Mary Ellen||Partner; former Chief Privacy Officer for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security|
|Castillo, Ruben||United States District Judge for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois|
|Chabraja, Nicholas||CEO of General Dynamics|
|Ennis, Jr. Bruce||Former National Legal Director, ACLU|
|Gerken, Heather K.||Professor, Yale Law School|
|Haynes, II, William J.||Former General Counsel, Department of Defense|
|Jenner Jr., Albert. E||Name partner|
|Kappler, Ann||Former General Counsel of Fannie Mae|
|Levy, Susan C.||Managing Partner|
|Marshall, Prentice||United States District Judge for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois|
|Martin, Craig C.||Partner|
|Martinez, Jennifer||Professor, Stanford Law School|
|Mehrberg, Randy||Chief Legal Officer of Exelon; Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Vail Resorts (effective Dec. 2, 2013)|
|Noga, Joseph L.||Former Deputy Chief ofLitigation for GE Capital, the Financial Services Unit of General Electric|
|Oetken, J. Paul||U.S. District Judge for the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York|
|Osborne, Robert S.||Former General Counsel of General Motors|
|Perrelli, Thomas J.||Former Associate Attorney General of the United States|
|Peterson, Ronald R.||Partner|
|Roper, Harry J.||Partner|
|Savner, David||General Counsel of General Dynamics|
|Smith, Paul M.||Partner|
|Solovy, Jerold S.||Firm Chairman Emeritus (1930-2011)|
|Stevens, John Paul||Associate Justice of the Supreme Court|
|Strobel, Russ||CEO of Nicor|
|Sullivan, Barry||Former Dean of Washington & Lee Univ. School of Law, current partner|
|Sullivan, Thomas P.||Former U.S. Attorney and current partner|
|Tone, Phillip||Former Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit|
|Valukas, Anton R.||Former U.S. Attorney and current firm Chairman|
|Verrilli Jr., Donald||Solicitor General of the United States and former Deputy White House Counsel|
|Weissmann, Andrew||FBI General Counsel|
|Worthington, John R.||Longtime General Counsel of MCI Communications|
- Valukas' firm bio
- Levy's firm bio
- Firm history
- “Pileup on Death Row” by Burton H. Wolfe (1973)
- http://www.oyez.org/cases/2000-2009/2002/2002_02_311 (2003)