October 31, 2017 – Hughes Hubbard has been named to the National Law Journal’s 2017 Appellate Hot List, which recognizes an elite group of lawyers and law firms that “posted hard-fought wins at the U.S. Supreme Court or in federal circuit courts.” 

The firm was selected for this honor after a team led by Jim Dabney won a unanimous Supreme Court victory on May 22 for TC Heartland in the most significant patent case of the past decade. In an 8-0 decision, the Supreme Court granted HHR’s request to overturn venue rules used by federal courts since 1990 that had led to a high concentration of patent cases being filed in a handful of districts that were known for plaintiff-friendly rules and sympathetic juries.

The ruling, which made national headlines, requires patent owners to sue companies where they are incorporated or have an established presence and where the infringement allegedly occurred. The Wall Street Journal editorial board noted that “unanimous Supreme Court decisions that create tectonic shifts in law are rare.”

In an Oct. 30 profile of Dabney in the National Law Journal, Dabney said the firm achieved appellate success by preserving issues in the trial court and successfully executing on appeal. “HHR is fortunate to have trial counsel who double as appellate and even Supreme Court arguing counsel,” he said.

HHR took the case to the high court after lower courts refused to transfer a patent infringement law suit brought by Kraft Foods Group Brands in Delaware federal court to Indiana, where TC Heartland is incorporated and based. HHR pursued a deliberate strategy from Day One, laying the foundation for an eventual Supreme Court appeal.  Following the decision, the parties settled all remaining claims and the Delaware action was dismissed.

The HHR team also included John Duffy, Richard Koehl, Jim Klaiber, Ross Lipman, Tina Schaefer, Emma Baratta, David Lansky, Lynn Russo, Stefanie Lopatkin, Michael Polka, Matt Voas and paralegal Jeff Bednar.