Midsize Hot List, The National Law Journal, 2011

The National Law Journal named Zuckerman Spaeder LLP to its 2011 “Midsize Hot List,” an annual recognition of U.S. law firms with 50-150 attorneys. According to The National Law Journal, the 2011 Midsize Hot List includes firms that “demonstrated excellence in the courtroom or boardroom; that spotted a niche that eluded their competitors or that excelled on many fronts; that developed innovative management, billing or training structures; that changed the face of the country’s cities; that set the standard for midsize practice.”

“As The National Law Journal notes, our firm is defined by our top attorneys, along with the high-profile cases and complex litigation we take on,” said firm partner and executive committee member Cy Smith. “We are at our best when working on challenging and often closely-watched cases. That has certainly been the case in the last year, during which time we’ve represented Tribune creditors, sought justice for terrorism victims, won a landmark victory for Medicaid recipients, and defended internationally-known executives.”

The National Law Journal writes, “Zuckerman Spaeder is selective about the cases it takes, believes in lean staffing and gets results … [The firm] has always maintained a high partner-to-associate ratio. The theory is that keeping the firm lean with top attorneys allows more direct partner contact with clients and allows the firm to tackle big cases at lower cost than larger firms.”

The magazine also called attention to the firm’s “robust legal profession and ethics practice,” which is led by partner Thomas B. Mason who also serves as the Chairman of the Washington, DC Bar’s Legal Ethics Committee.

In its description of the firm, The National Law Journal highlighted several ongoing and recently resolved cases that define Zuckerman Spaeder as an aggressive litigation boutique. The article described recent white collar victories—including the firm’s recent win in the dismissal of wire fraud, conspiracy and money laundering charges against David Wittig in a case known as the "Enron of Kansas.” It also described the firm’s landmark class action settlement against the state of Maryland for overcharging Medicaid recipients on their co-payments for nursing home care—one of the largest judgments ever against the state.

Looking ahead to future potential victories, The National Law Journal noted that Zuckerman Spaeder currently represents families of Americans injured or killed in terrorist attacks in litigation against the Arab Bank and other financial institutions that have provided support to terrorists. The article also described Zuckerman Spaeder’s role as special counsel to the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the bankruptcy of the Tribune Company—for which partner James Sottile gave closing remarks in June and a decision is still pending.

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Katie Munroe
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