Each December, Lawyers USA selects our Lawyers of the Year, attorneys who have made an important impact on the law in the year that is coming to a close. Our Lawyers of the Year for 2010 include the attorneys who uncovered the robo-signing scandal and brought foreclosures to a halt across the country, the small-firm lawyer who won a U.S. Supreme Court decision invalidating nearly 600 decisions handed down by the National Labor Relations Board while it operated with only two members, and the fourth woman in history to become a Supreme Court justice. All of these professionals achieved major accomplishments in 2010 that earned them the title “Lawyer of the Year.”
|Thomas Cox and Geoffrey Lewis: Uncovering the foreclosure scandal
The tireless efforts of two Maine lawyers brought the “robo-signing” scandal to light this fall, and foreclosures across the country to a screeching halt.
|Robert Eglet: Battling pharmaceutical companies
In May, Robert T. Eglet won a $505 million verdict – $500 million of which was punitive damages – setting a record for the largest punitive award ever issued in the state of Nevada.
|John Gomez: Igniting a Toyota firestorm
When he agreed to take a tragic case involving a family who careened to their death in their 2009 Toyota Lexus ES 350, John Gomez had no idea it would spark a massive recall of millions of vehicles, a federal investigation and a nationwide mass tort over sudden unintended acceleration.
|Jeffrey Hill and Gregory Gold: Largest slip and fall verdict ever
By the time Holly Averyt called solo attorney Jeffrey Hill, every other lawyer had turned her case down.
But Hill and Gregory Gold, two small-firm lawyers, managed to turn a case that no one else wanted into a $15 million jury award, the largest slip and fall verdict in history.
|Elena Kagan: Fourth woman in history to become a U.S. Supreme Court justice
After becoming the first female Dean of Harvard Law School in 2003 and the first female Solicitor General of the United States in 2009, this year Elena Kagan became only the fourth woman in history to sit as a U.S. Supreme Court justice, marking the first time three women have been on the bench at once.
|Stephen B. Kinnaird: A sixth sense about the Sixth Amendment
When Stephen B. Kinnaird stood before the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court urging them to hold that bad advice from a defense attorney about the deportation risks of a guilty plea can amount to a Sixth Amendment violation, he knew he had to tread carefully.
|Kris W. Kobach: Pushing immigration reform
If you want to start a fight, state your views on illegal immigration. No issue will stir up more emotion.
On the frontline of the country’s legal battles over this hottest of hot-button issues is Kris Kobach.
|William Levin: $209 million second-hand asbestos verdict
In April, William Levin won a $209 million asbestos verdict in favor of a pipe cutter’s wife who herself developed mesothelioma from asbestos dust her husband brought home on his clothes for 20 years.
|Sheldon ‘Don’ Richie: Small-firm lawyer fought gov’t and won
When the case New Process Steel v. National Labor Relations Board landed before the U.S. Supreme Court, it was a David vs. Goliath story of sorts.
On one side, there was the federal agency in charge of administering federal labor laws. On the other, an attorney from a small firm – Sheldon ‘Don’ Richie – tasked with convincing the nation’s highest court that NLRB had lacked the authority to operate for more than two years.