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Eight Robbins Geller Partners Named Leading Lawyers in America by Lawdragon

February 22, 2019

On February 21, 2019, Lawdragon announced that eight Robbins Geller partners have been recognized as Leading Lawyers in America for 2019. “These are lawyers who inspire with their public interest leadership, their vision of the rule of law and its relationship to our lives, our economies and our governance. They assess how to structure the most difficult deals, and how to counsel leaders who abuse, prevaricate and some who actually try to lead,” stated the publication.

Darren J. RobbinsPaul J. GellerSamuel H. RudmanSpencer A. BurkholzDaniel S. DrosmanShawn A. WilliamsRandall J. Baron and Rachel L. Jensen were all honored as Leading Lawyers in America for 2019. Additionally, last year Michael J. Dowd was elevated to the Lawdragon Hall of Fame, which is a permanent recognition.

This year marks the 13th time that Darren Robbins has been included on this list, and Lawdragon has commended him in the past for being “[o]ne of the brightest stars in the securities class action bar.” Over the last two decades, Darren 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, Darren obtained a $125 million settlement in In re LendingClub Sec. Litig., a settlement that ranks among the top 10 largest securities recoveries ever in the Northern District of California, and a $215 million recovery in Schuh v. HCA Holdings, Inc., the largest securities class action recovery ever in Tennessee. 

Like Darren, this marks the 13th time Paul Geller has been selected as a Leading Lawyer. He has previously been commended by Lawdragon for being “involved in some of the country’s most high-profile class actions.” Rated AV by Martindale-Hubbell (the highest rating available) and named a Best Lawyer in America, Paul has served as lead or co-lead counsel in many of the nation’s largest class actions. For instance, he was selected to serve in a leadership position on behalf of governmental entities and other plaintiffs in the sprawling litigation concerning the nationwide prescription opioid epidemic. Paul was also part of the leadership team representing consumers in the massive Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” Emissions case. The San Francisco legal newspaper The Recorder labeled the group that was appointed in that case, which settled for more than $17 billion, a “class action dream team.” Paul is currently serving  as Co-Lead Counsel in In re EpiPen (Epinephrine Injection, USP) Mktg., Sales Practices & Antitrust Litig., a nationwide class action that alleges that pharmaceutical company Mylan N.V. and others engaged in anticompetitive and unfair business conduct in its sale and marketing of the EpiPen Auto-Injector device. More recently, he was one of the lead counsel in the Sony Gaming Networks Data Breach litigation, which resulted in a significant monetary recovery and other benefits to class members.

Sam Rudman’s 25-year securities practice focuses on recognizing and investigating securities fraud, and initiating securities and shareholder class actions to vindicate shareholder rights and recover shareholder losses. Sam has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for shareholders, including a $200 million recovery in Motorola, a $129 million recovery in Doral Financial, an $85 million recovery in Blackstone, a $74 million recovery in First BanCorp, a $65 million recovery in Forest Labs, a $50 million recovery in TD Banknorth, a $48 million recovery in CVS Caremark, and a $34.5 million recovery in L-3 Communications Holdings. Not only does Sam speak frequently on securities law matters, he has also been published in the New York Law Journal and has been recognized as a Leading Lawyer by Chambers USA and a Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation. This is the fourth time that he has been named a Leading Lawyer.

This year marks the second time that Spence Burkholz has been named a Leading Lawyer. He has more than 20 years of experience in prosecuting securities class actions and private actions on behalf of large institutional investors. Spence was one of the lead trial attorneys in Jaffe v. Household International in the Northern District of Illinois, a securities class action that obtained a record-breaking $1.575 billion settlement after 14 years of litigation, including a six-week jury trial in 2009 that resulted in a verdict for plaintiffs. Spence has also recovered billions of dollars for injured shareholders in cases such as Enron ($7.2 billion), WorldCom ($657 million), Countrywide ($500 million) and Qwest ($445 million), to name a few. He has been named a Top 100 Trial Lawyer and as a Plaintiff Attorney of the Year by Benchmark Litigation, a Top Plaintiff Lawyer by the Daily Journal, and a Recommended Lawyer by The Legal 500.

Like Spence, this is the second time Dan Drosman has been selected as a Leading Lawyer. As a former federal prosecutor and one of the Firm’s securities practice leaders, Dan has obtained billions of dollars on behalf of investors. Along with Spence, he served as lead trial counsel in Household International. He also helped secure a $388 million recovery for investors in J.P. Morgan residential mortgage-backed securities in Fort Worth Employees’ Retirement Fund v. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. On a percentage basis, that settlement is the largest recovery ever achieved in an RMBS class action. In a pair of cases – Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, et al. v. Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc. (“Cheyne” litigation) and King County, Washington, et al. v. IKB Deutsche Industriebank AG (“Rhinebridge” litigation) – Dan led a group of attorneys prosecuting fraud claims against the credit rating agencies, where he is distinguished as one of the few plaintiffs’ counsel to defeat the rating agencies’ traditional First Amendment defense and their motions for summary judgment based on the mischaracterization of credit ratings as mere opinions not actionable in fraud. Dan has been named a Top 100 Lawyer by The Daily Journal, a Recommended Lawyer by The Legal 500, a Super Lawyer by Super Lawyers Magazine and named a Best Lawyer in America by Best Lawyers

Shawn Williams has accrued vast experience in shareholder derivative and class action litigation, and has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for corporations and shareholders that were victims of fiduciary failures. He is also responsible for negotiating the implementation of comprehensive corporate governance enhancements, as well as leading multiple securities class actions and shareholder derivative actions in which Robbins Geller has secured significant rulings in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (Knollenberg v. Harmonic, Inc., 152 F. App’x 674 (9th Cir. 2005); Nursing Home Pension Fund, Local 144 v. Oracle Corp., 380 F.3d 1226 (9th Cir. 2004); Lynch v. Rawls, 429 F. App’x 641 (9th Cir. 2011)) and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals (Barrie v. Intervoice-Brite, Inc., 409 F.3d 653 (5th Cir. 2005)). In a shareholder derivative action, City of Westland Police and Fire Ret. Sys. v. Wells Fargo & Co., Shawn and a team of Robbins Geller attorneys secured significant governance reforms and corporate initiatives, including $36.5 million in funding for homeownership down-payment assistance in communities affected by the financial crisis and high foreclosure rates. This is the second time he has received the Leading Lawyer honor.

This honor marks the fourth time Randy Baron has been named a Leading Lawyer. He has worked to advance the practice of shareholder merger and acquisition litigation to achieve substantial monetary recoveries for shareholders for almost two decades. Randy has led a team of lawyers whose accomplishments include obtaining instrumental rulings both at injunction and trial phases, and establishing liability of financial advisors and investment banks. He helped obtain $148 million for shareholders in the Dole Food case, the largest trial verdict ever in a class action challenging a merger transaction, and served as co-lead counsel in the Rural/Metro case, leading former shareholders to a rare victory of nearly $100 million in an award against Royal Bank of Canada Capital Markets LLC (RBC), which had acted as financial advisor to Rural/Metro’s lowball buyout. Randy was also involved in the record-breaking Kinder Morgan case, which yielded a $200 million recovery for investors, the largest M&A class action recovery in history. He has received numerous accolades, including being named Attorney of the Year by California Lawyer, a Litigation Star, National Practice Area Star and State Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation, a Winning Litigator by The National Law Journal, a Leading Lawyer by The Legal 500, a Super Lawyer by Super Lawyers Magazine, and has been twice named a Mergers & Acquisitions Trailblazer by The National Law Journal.

Lastly, Rachel Jensen is recognized as a Leading Lawyer for the third time this year. Recently, she was one of the lead attorneys who secured a historic recovery on behalf of Trump University students nationwide in two class actions against President Donald J. Trump. The settlement provided $25 million and compensated 7,000 class members for over 90% of their losses. Rachel represented the class on a pro bono basis. Previously appointed by Judge Chen to serve on the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in a MDL against Fiat Chrysler and Bosch for installing and concealing defeat devices in “EcoDiesel” SUVs and trucks, Rachel also aided with the recent agreed-upon $840 million settlement that includes provisions requiring Fiat Chrysler to repair more than 100,000 diesel vehicles. The company also agreed to a settlement that provides approximately $300 million to consumers. Rachel also represents drivers against Volkswagen in one of the most brazen corporate frauds in recent history; serves as one of the class counsel in a RICO action against Scotts Miracle-Gro for selling wild bird food products treated with pesticides that are hazardous to birds; and serves as one of the lead counsel on behalf of U.S. policyholders against certain Lloyd’s Syndicates for collusive practices in the Lloyd’s of London insurance market. She was a member of the litigation team that obtained a $125 million settlement in In re LendingClub Sec. Litig., a settlement that ranks among the top ten largest securities recoveries ever in the Northern District of California. Rachel has been named a Plaintiffs’ Lawyer Trailblazer by The National Law Journal, Top Woman Lawyer by the Daily Journal, a Super Lawyer by Super Lawyers Magazine, and has also received local recognition and commendation for her human rights work.

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