About Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP
Kasowitz is one of the leading litigation law firms in the country. The firm believes that our unique structure and collegial culture distinguish us from other prominent law firms.
Profiled by Chambers Associate, a prominent career guide published by the leading legal publisher Chambers and Partners, the firm’s “aggressive litigation stance has put it firmly on the map. Its formidable courtroom approach attracts go-getting, self-assured associates.” Chambers Associate also notes that Kasowitz is a firm that “should appeal to bold, dynamic and proactive types.”
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- Kasowitz secured a decisive jury verdict in favor of its client, a pump manufacturer, facing thousands of asbestos-related bodily injury lawsuits and against several excess insurance companies. 2012
- The firm defeated a motion for Rule 23 class certification on behalf of a New York-based Dunkin' Donuts franchisee in an action brought by former employees in the Southern District of New York claiming wage law violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act and New York Labor Law. The primary claims alleged were failure to pay proper wages and gratuities (i.e., tip-pooling violations) to thousands of non-exempt employees and unlawful pay docking of managers and assistant managers at 25 store locations.
- In August 2012, Kasowitz's Intellectual Property group won appeals in two separate cases before the Federal Circuit. On August 14, 2012 the Federal Circuit upheld Kasowitz's win for Hitachi in MagSil and M.I.T. v. Hitachi, finding M.I.T's patent to be invalid for lack of enablement. In the underlying litigation, MagSil and M.I.T alleged that Hitachi infringed M.I.T's patent and sought more than $100 million in damages. But just weeks before trial, after all other major players in the disk drive industry had settled, Hitachi won summary judgment that the asserted patent is invalid. This victory was featured as one of Corporate Counsel's Top 10 IP Litigation Wins of 2011.
- Just a week later, Kasowitz notched a second Federal Circuit win in Jang v. Boston Scientific, in which Dr. G. David Jang seeks to recover $100 million from Boston Scientific for its use of his patented stent designs. After replacing original counsel following an adverse judgment in the district court, the Kasowitz team represented Dr. Jang in his appeal of that decision to the Federal Circuit. On August 22, the Federal Circuit reversed the district court and revived Dr. Jang's claims.
- In an important decision affecting criminal prosecutions of corporations, among others, the U.S. Supreme Court in United States v. Southern Union, on June 21, 2012, granted the appeal of Kasowitz client, Southern Union Company, holding that the Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution require that a jury, not a judge, find beyond a reasonable doubt any fact that increases a criminal fine beyond a prescribed statutory maximum. Here, a Rhode Island federal judge had imposed a fine of $18 million on Southern Union following its conviction by a jury on one of three counts of violating the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, even though the violation carried a maximum fine of only $50,000 per day of violation, and the Government never requested, and the jury never made, a finding of the length of the alleged violation.
- On March 1, 2012, United States District Judge Jose L. Linares of the District of New Jersey granted summary judgment dismissal of an age discrimination lawsuit brought by a 74-year old former executive against Kasowitz client ADP Statewide Insurance Agencies Inc. ("ADP"), a subsidiary of National Financial Partners, a leading benefits, insurance and wealth management firm.
- On October 20, 2011, a civil jury in Orange County Superior Court in California returned a verdict in favor of the firm's clients, the Franciscan Friars of California and Fr. Alexander Manville. The case involved claims by two brothers that they had been sexually molested by Fr. Manville and another Franciscan Friar nearly 20 years ago. Such cases are rarely tried and are even more rarely won by the defense. But here the jury, which consisted of seven women and five men, found that the alleged abuse never happened and that the accusations were fabricated. The trial took five weeks.
- On September 1, 2010, Kasowitz, on behalf of its client Dr. W. Scott Harkonen, former CEO of InterMune, Inc., won summary dismissal of all claims with prejudice brought by a class of consumer plaintiffs against Dr. Harkonen for allegedly misbranding InterMune's drug Actimmune and making false claims about Actimmune's effectiveness for patients suffering from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).
- Kasowitz recently obtained the summary dismissal of two disputes brought against its client, Women Model Management ("Women"), a leading fashion modeling agency. On October 2, 2009, New York State Supreme Court Justice Marylin G. Diamond awarded summary judgment to Kasowitz's client in a lawsuit filed by one of Women's competitor agencies (1 Model Management, LLC v. Kavoussi). The action had alleged that a model manager employed by Women unlawfully solicited models, misappropriated alleged confidential information and trade secrets and engaged in unfair competition. Dismissing the action in its entirety, Justice Diamond also denied the competitor agency's cross-motion for partial summary judgment and motion for leave to amend to add Women as a defendant and expand the litigation to include the alleged solicitation of two additional fashion models. This victory follows Kasowitz's dismissal of a separate lawsuit brought by an alleged former shareholder of Women (Shahrik v. Men Women Model Management, Inc. et al.). On June 17, 2009, New York State Supreme Court Justice Barbara R. Kapnick granted Women's motion to dismiss the complaint, holding that the plaintiff failed to state causes of action for fraud, breach of fiduciary duty or trademark infringement as a matter of law.
- A federal jury in the Eastern District of Texas on February 9, 2012, rendered a verdict in favor of defendants, including Google and YouTube, finding invalid two notorious patents alleged by Plaintiffs to have broad application across the interactive web and to cover all embedded browser applications and plug-ins on the internet. Plaintiffs Eolas Technologies and the Regents of the University of California claimed that a host of web sites violated their patents and sought over $600 million in damages in a scheduled multi-phase trial, more than half of that sum from Google and Yahoo! alone. Several companies that were named as defendants settled with Eolas prior to trial. Kasowitz was brought in by Google and YouTube in late 2011 to serve as lead trial counsel.
Area of practice
Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP practices law in the following areas and works with its clients to provide the best possible legal solutions.
Affirmative Litigation and Recovery
Banking and Capital Markets Litigation
Complex Financial Products Litigation
Creditors' Rights and Bankruptcy
Employment Practices and Litigation
Intellectual Property Litigation
International Disputes and Cross Border Litigation
Investigations and White Collar Defense
Mass Tort Toxic Tort and Product Liability Litigation
Matrimonial and Family Law
Real Estate and Hotel Litigation
Real Estate - Transactional
Awards and recognitions
Kasowitz has achieved high rankings in the 2012-2013 publication of U.S. News - Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms." The firm has been ranked, locally and nationally, in the areas of General Commercial Litigation, Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights, Insurance Law, Labor & Employment, Real Estate, Patent Litigation, Eminent Domain & Condemnation, White-Collar Litigation and Family Law.
Kasowitz's Creditors' Rights & Bankruptcy group has been ranked in the 2013 edition of IFLR 1000 in the area of restructuring and insolvency.
The firm has been recognized in Benchmark Litigation's 2013 edition. The firm was ranked as "Highly Recommended" for Litigation in New York. It was also nationally ranked for General Commercial Litigation, with Marc E. Kasowitz ranked as a star in the area, for Bankruptcy, with David M. Friedman ranked as a star in the area, and for Insurance, with Robin L. Cohen ranked as a star in the area.
The American Lawyer listed Kasowitz as a "2011 Newsmaker of the Year," describing the firm as a "litigation heavyweight" and highlighting the firm's complex financial litigation experience and expertise.
The firm was honored by The Legal Aid Society as one of the recipients of its 2011 Pro Bono Publico Awards for outstanding service to The Legal Aid Society and its clients.
Kasowitz's insurance recovery practice received the Chambers USA 2011 Award for Excellence. The award honors outstanding lawyers and law firms across the U.S., reflecting both pre-eminence in key practice areas and achievements over the last 12 months. Chambers USA ranked Kasowitz as one of the leading insurance coverage practices both nationally and in New York.
Kasowitz has diverse and inclusive work environment. It values the individual abilities and perspectives of each employee. The firm strongly believes that diversity attracts talented attorneys who can give its clients excellent service. It acknowledges its success to its personnel of all backgrounds with unique skills, talents, perspectives and experience.
The firm devotes time and resources to maintaining a diverse workplace. Kasowitz recruits at Howard Law School and the Northeast Black Law Student Association (NEBLSA) Job Fair, utilizes various law school diversity directories and participates in the LeGal Job Fair. To enhance and maintain its diversity, the firm increases the number of minorities in its workforce.
Committed to the development of minority attorneys, Kasowitz creates opportunities for those with minority backgrounds and uses their skills and knowledge for fostering both personal and professional advancement. With such an aim, the firm supports minority organizations such as the Cuban and Puerto Rican Bar Associations. In addition to yearly training programs and networking events, Kasowitz provides every diverse attorney the opportunity to attend a minority program of his/her choice.
The firm was ranked 33rd in the nation in the Corporate Counsel Diversity Scorecard, placing Kasowitz in the top 15 percent of most diverse law firms in the country.
Kasowitz is committed to recruiting, mentoring and retaining woman attorneys. It gives all the support its woman lawyers need for their professional development and fosters a supportive and inclusive work environment. The firm sponsors attendance at the Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Distinguished Lecture on Women and the Law, organized by the New York City Bar.
This law firm is known for promoting woman attorneys and is dedicated to women's initiatives and gender equality in the legal profession. Half of Kasowitz attorneys are women and over the past few years approximately half of the attorneys promoted as partners have been women. Its women's initiatives are a testimony to its overall approach to achieving a diverse workplace.
Summer associate program
Kasowitz offers an 11-week summer program in its New York office and pursues a relatively small class size (approximately 15-20 summer associates) so that each associate gets individual attention. Selected mid-level associates, referred to as work assignment coordinators, provide work assignments to summer associates who are free to choose practice areas they are interested in. The firm takes care to help them become top lawyers.
The primary objective of the summer program is to provide students with quality work assignments and professional experiences reflective of the depth and complexity of the firm's practice. Summer associates get hands-on experience of trying cases, drafting motions and agreements, and are exposed to courtroom appearances, depositions and client meetings. The program provides law students with an experience as close as possible to that of a first-year associate, as well as the opportunity to gain insight into the work and culture of the firm.
Summer associates take part in formal training programs, a partner lunch series and an associate mentor program, all of which are devised to help them understand the working of the firm. Summer associates receive continuous feedback from the attorneys with whom they work and are provided with a formal exit review.
Training programs for summer associates is an ongoing process. Mock deposition programs with court reporters and videographers present are held as part of the summer program. The working hours are manageable.
Each associate gets $55 per person budget for a lunch, and $70-100 for cocktails/dinner. Social events, including Yankees game, Karaoke Night, a community service event through Project Sunshine and an art tour, are organized twice a month. The annual all lawyer and summer associate retreat is held at a country club in Westchester, New York.
Kasowitz matches contributions to student-funded law school programs, while the summer associate is at school. Since 2009, the firm has made permanent offers of employment to 100 percent of its summer associates.
Every year, a few summer associates have the opportunity to participate in a two-week pro bono externship with a legal services organization. This program is organized by New York Lawyers for the Public Interest. Associates will work on child support, custody and other matters on behalf of low-income clients referred by inMotion.
The firm coordinates various charitable events like the Citymeals-on-Wheels "Eat Cheap for Charity" program and Operation Backpack. It also hosts social events throughout the summer, in an informal environment that gives an opportunity to associates to know its attorneys and vice versa.
Campus interviews are usually held at the following places:
Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
Columbia University Law School
Cornell Law School
Duke University School of Law
Emory University School of Law
Fordham University School of Law
Georgetown University Law Center
Harvard Law School
Howard University School of Law
New York University School of Law
University of Michigan Law School
University of Pennsylvania Law School
University of Virginia School of Law
Working for the Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP
Kasowitz fosters friendly and supportive environment. Partners and senior attorneys have an open-door policy that encourages camaraderie and allows free exchange of ideas. Associates directly work with experienced partners in an informal atmosphere that fosters close working relationship both with colleagues and clients. Though it is a bid firm, it has small firm environs. In such a collegial atmosphere, you have opportunities to grow personally and professionally.