Best Lawyers® Names Eight Robbins Geller Attorneys as Best Lawyers in America and Selects Paul Geller as Lawyer of the Year for 2018

August 15, 2017

On August 15, 2017, Best Lawyers® announced that eight Robbins Geller attorneys were chosen for its 2018 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. The publication additionally selected name partner Paul J. Geller as Lawyer of the Year for 2018. The Best Lawyers in America are selected based on peer review of leading lawyers regarding the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same location and legal practice area. Lawyer of the Year is then determined based on individual attorneys who have the “highest overall peer-feedback for a specific practice area and geographic location.” Only one attorney per specialty and location receive the Lawyer of the Year accolade. For more information regarding Best Lawyers’ methodology, visit their website.

Geller appeared on the Best Lawyers in America list for the first time last year, making this year the second time that he has been named a Best Lawyer in America in the area of “Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Plaintiffs.” This marks the first time that he has additionally been chosen as Lawyer of the Year, in the “Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Plaintiffs” category. In his 23 years of litigation experience, Geller has obtained substantial recoveries for defrauded consumers and investors. He was selected to serve in a leadership position on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee on behalf of consumers in the massive Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” Emissions case, and he, along with the committee and government agencies, reached a settlement that yielded over $17 billion, the largest consumer class action settlement in history.

For the ninth consecutive year, Darren J. Robbins was selected as a Best Lawyer in America in the areas of “Derivatives and Futures Law” and “Litigation – Securities.”  Over the last two decades, Robbins has served as lead counsel in more than 100 securities class actions and has recovered billions of dollars for injured shareholders. Most recently, he led a shareholder derivative action brought by several pension funds on behalf of Community Health Systems, Inc., which yielded a $60 million payment to Community Health (the largest recovery ever in a shareholder derivative action in Tennessee and the Sixth Circuit), as well as groundbreaking corporate governance reforms. In addition, he obtained a $215 million recovery in Schuh v. HCA Holdings, Inc., the largest securities class action recovery ever in Tennessee.

Recognized for the last four consecutive years, Michael J. Dowd was again selected as a Best Lawyer in the “Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Plaintiffs” category. Practicing securities litigation for 20 years, Dowd has prosecuted dozens of complex securities cases and has obtained billions of dollars for investors. His most notable cases include UnitedHealth ($925 million recovery), WorldCom ($657 million recovery), AOL Time Warner ($629 million recovery), Qwest ($445 million recovery), Pfizer, Inc. ($400 million recovery) and most recently, Household International ($1.575 billion recovery). 

Selected to the Best Lawyers in America list every year since 2006, Patrick J. Coughlin was again selected as a Best Lawyer in the area of “Commercial Litigation.” Formerly an Assistant U.S. Attorney, Coughlin has prosecuted several prominent securities class actions, including the Enron case, in which $7.2 billion was recovered, the largest securities class action in history; and the HealthSouth litigation, in which a $671 million recovery was obtained. He obtained a $590.5 million recovery in the Private Equity antitrust case, Dahl v. Bain Capital Partners, LLC, the largest class action antitrust settlement ever in which no civil or criminal government antitrust action was taken. 

Lastly, this year marks the first time that partners Spencer A. Burkholz, Travis E. Downs III, David W. Mitchell and Dennis J. Herman have been selected as Best Lawyers in America. For nearly 20 years, partner Burkholz, who was selected as a Best Lawyer in the “Litigation – Securities” category, has successfully prosecuted several high-profile securities class actions that resulted in historical recoveries for investors. Along with Dowd, he litigated the 14-year-long Household International case, obtaining a record-breaking $1.575 billion recovery, the largest ever following a securities fraud class action trial, the largest securities fraud settlement in the Seventh Circuit and the seventh largest settlement ever in a post-PSLRA securities fraud case. He served as co-lead counsel in the Countrywide MBS case, which yielded a $500 million recovery, the largest residential mortgage-backed securities purchaser class action recovery in history. Additionally, he worked alongside Coughlin in the Enron case and again worked with Dowd in the WorldCom case, the largest opt-out (non-class) securities action recovery, which yielded a $657 million recovery.

Downs was chosen as a Best Lawyer in the “Derivatives and Futures Law” category, having litigated several notable complex shareholder derivative actions, including working with Robbins in Community Health Sys. ($60 million in financial relief and unprecedented corporate governance reforms) and litigating In re Marvell Tech. Grp. Ltd. Derivative Litig. ($54 million in financial relief and extensive corporate governance enhancements). Additionally, Downs helped secure significant governance reforms and corporate initiatives for Wells Fargo & Co. in City of Westland Police and Fire Ret. Sys. v. Stumpf, including $36.5 million in funding for homeownership down-payment assistance in communities affected by the financial crisis and high foreclosure rates.

Mitchell, selected as a Best Lawyer in the “Litigation – Antitrust” category, not only focuses on antitrust and securities fraud litigation, but also the Firm’s antitrust benchmark rate litigations and pay-for-delay actions. He has served as lead or co-lead counsel in numerous cases and has helped achieve substantial settlements for shareholders, such as working alongside Coughlin to successfully obtain more than $590 million for shareholders in Dahl v. Bain Capital Partners, LLC, the largest antitrust class action settlement involving market allocation in which no government antitrust action was taken. He is currently representing investors in a series of antitrust actions involving the manipulation of benchmark rates, including the ISDAFix Benchmark litigation, which to date has resulted in the recovery of nearly $400 million on behalf of investors.

By combining skills developed as an award-winning journalist with knowledge gained graduating second in his class at Stanford Law, Herman, named a Best Lawyer in the “Litigation-Securities” category, has repeatedly achieved success on behalf of wronged investors. He has achieved substantial recoveries for investors in cases against Massey Energy Co. ($265 million recovery), Coca-Cola Company ($137 million recovery), VeriSign Corp. ($78 million recovery), Psychiatric Solutions, Inc. ($65 million recovery), St. Jude Medical, Inc. ($50 million recovery), and NorthWestern Corp. ($40 million recovery), to name a few.

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