Lawyer Limelight: Carlos Mendez-Penate

Photo provided by Akerman

President Obama’s Dec. 17 announcement on changes in U.S.-Cuba relations caught most Americans off guard. Carlos Méndez-Peñate, who lived in Havana until the age of nine, counts himself among those surprised at the full extent of the regulatory changes for U.S. individuals and businesses, but he was at least prepared. The Akerman LLP partner has had an active Cuba practice for the past decade as part of his broader corporate finance work. He has been structuring deals throughout Latin America for more than 30 … [Read more...]

Lawyer Limelight: Naomi Roht-Arriaza


Much has changed since Naomi Roht-Arriaza, as a UC Berkeley law student, first started looking into the legal responsibilities that nations might have to hold perpetrators of massive human rights violations accountable. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, transitional justice – which involves the use of prosecutions, truth commissions, reparations, institutional reforms, memorials and other mechanisms to address past abuses – had not yet taken shape as its own field. (Roht-Arriaza earned both a J.D. and master's of public policy … [Read more...]

Lawyer Limelight: Jonathan Lowy

Photo by Eli Meir Kaplan

There are a significant number of people in the United States who would say that what Jon Lowy does for a living is downright un-American. But the lines have been long drawn in the war on guns and Lowy, Director of the Legal Action Project at the Brady Center in Washington, D.C., has spent much of his legal career on the front lines and as a master strategist in the battle to hold politicians, gun manufacturers, sellers and owners accountable for gun safety and, when appropriate, the deaths and maimings caused by firearms. Lawdragon: … [Read more...]

Lawyer Limelight: Thomas Perrelli

Photo by Eli Meir Kaplan

Thomas Perrelli may be better known for his forays into public service than he is as a Jenner & Block partner, but his zigzag path to the top of the legal profession has kept him “interested and happy” and given him a unique perspective that clients consider vital. The 1992 Harvard Law graduate joined Jenner & Block freshly out of law school, but left the firm in 1997 to serve as counsel to then U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, rising to the position of Deputy Assistant Attorney General before returning to Jenner & … [Read more...]

Lawyer Limelight: Charla Aldous

Photo by Justin Clemons

In her 28 years as a trial lawyer, Dallas attorney Charla Aldous has earned just about every type of distinction and award in her line of work. And for good reason. She has tried nearly 200 cases for injured clients and their families with verdicts totaling in excess of $750 million, easily making her one of the most successful plaintiffs’ lawyers of her generation. Aldous of Aldous Law Firm is a member of the prestigious Inner Circle of Advocates, which is limited to 100 of the best plaintiff-side lawyers in the nation, and was recently … [Read more...]

Lawdragon Limelight: Joan Lukey

Photo by Ken Richardson

It is not exaggeration to call Joan Lukey the doyenne of the Boston Bar, and she has few equals in the U.S. in experience in big jury cases. A past president of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and the first woman to hold the position, she spent nearly 30 years as a partner at WilmerHale before joining Ropes & Gray in 2008 and then Choate Hall & Stewart in October 2014 to head the firm's complex trial and appellate group. Her victory for Patricia Cornwell before a jury last year, with a $50.9M judgment against the firm that … [Read more...]

Lawyer Limelight: Gerald Silk

Photo by Laura Barisonzi

As the leading plaintiffs’ securities litigation firm in the nation, Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann is bound to make an impact after any corporate fraud scandal, pushing for both recoveries and reforms. A key member of that tireless army is Gerald Silk, who also heads the Bernstein Litowitz team that evaluates which cases to take on. Investors around the world are happy that Silk, the son of a plaintiffs’ lawyer, switched sides after initially doing defense work at Weil, Gotshal & Manges. The 1995 Brooklyn Law … [Read more...]

Lawyer Limelight: Daralyn Durie

Photo by Gregory Cowley

There are few trial lawyers in the exclusive world of Silicon Valley high-tech circles as trusted as Daralyn Durie, name partner at Durie Tangri in San Francisco. The founder of the 18-lawyer litigation firm has a client list that includes Facebook, Google, Genentech, Twitter and LinkedIn. In addition to her intellectual property practice, Durie defends class actions and represents law firms on liability matters. Fellow litigators, including opposing counsel, admire her and call her a “lawyer’s lawyer.” Durie has also been … [Read more...]

Lawyer Limelight: Marla Persky

Marla Persky in Shanghai, China

In case you were wondering what a 30-year law career culminating in a decade as General Counsel at a multinational pharmaceutical company prepares you for doing with the rest of your life, we thought we’d ask Marla Persky pretty much that exact question, among a few others. Yes, she’s doing a little gardening in her so-called retirement – but she always managed to find some time for that. But it turns out her illustrious legal career propelled her toward entrepreneurship. Persky has launched two companies since leaving … [Read more...]

Lawyer Limelight: Susan Saltzstein and Allison Schneirov

Photo by Laura Barisonzi

Making partner was not a big focus for either Allison Schneirov (photo, left) or Susan Saltzstein when they joined Skadden more than 20 years ago. As it turns out, they not only made partner but rose to the top of their practices nationally, Schneirov as a transactional lawyer and Saltzstein as a litigator. The two lawyers were friendly during college at the University of Pennsylvania, though Saltzstein was a year ahead. “Allison may not remember that we were in the same history class, but I do,” Saltzstein … [Read more...]