Finest Law Firm Winners Selected by the Burton Awards


March 22, 2017

New York, New York: The finest law firm writers of 2017 have been announced by the Burton Awards, a non-profit program, which is run in association with the Library of Congress, presented by lead sponsor Law360, and co-sponsored by the American Bar Association. The 25 winners, who will be presented the “Law360 Distinguished Writing Awards” on May 22, 2017, were chosen from the nominations submitted by the nation’s top 1,000 most prestigious and largest law firms.

The Academic Board, which reviewed articles published within the past year, was led by Virginia Wise, Chair; Jeanne Merino, Stanford Law School; Lindsay Saffouri, UC Berkley School of Law, William C. Burton, author and founder of the event; Judge Edward Forstenzer, Superior Court of California (retired); William Ryan, member of the Department of Homeland Security and former Chair of the White House Plain Language Committee.

The award ceremony will be celebrating its eighteenth anniversary at the Library of Congress, followed by a reception, dinner, gala and performance by comedian and impressionist Darrell Hammond. This year, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will receive the “Book of the Year in Law Award” for her work, “My Own Words.” During the program, the Justice will be interviewed on the impact of her book.

The honorary and distinguished members of the Burton Awards Board of Directors include the following leaders in law: Former Chief Judge Richard Posner, 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals; Judge Alex Kozinski, 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals; U.S. Senator John Cornyn; U.S. Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr.; U.S. Senator Mike Crapo; U.S. Senator Michael F. Bennet; Supreme Court Justice Carol Corrigan of California; Yabo Lin, Partner, Sidley Austin LLP; Jane Sullivan Roberts, Partner, Major, Lindsey & Africa; Lisa Rickard, President, U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform; Elissa Lichtenstein, Director, Public Services Division, American Bar Association; Thomas L. Sager, Partner, Ballard Spahr LLP; Les Parrette, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Compliance Officer, Novelis Inc.; James M. Rishwain, Jr., Chairman Emeritus, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP; Betty Whelchel, Head of Public Policy & Regulatory Affairs, BNP Paribas SA; and Stephen R. Mysliwiec, Partner, DLA Piper LLP (US).

Law360, a LexisNexis company, serves as the lead sponsor of the Burton Awards and the distinguished writing awards.

“Clear, compelling writing is an essential tool for all lawyers,” Law360 General Manager Scott Roberts said. “Law360 is proud to be associated with these awards, which recognize the best of the best writers in the legal profession. We salute all of the winners and commend them on demonstrating these talents and sustaining such high standards of written excellence.”

The 2017 Law Firm winners are:

Law Firm Author(s) Article Title
Alston & Bird LLP David A. Brown, Theodore “Ted” Schroeder, Valerie Delp What Corporate Boards Need to Know Before Wading into Politics
Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo PLC Nate Kowalski, Irma Rodriguez Moisa The Cat’s Paw Doctrine: Declawing Summary Judgment
Baker & Hostetler LLP Michael D. Stein How Structural Claim Limitations Can Save Software Patents
Barclay Damon LLP Robert A. Barrer Careless Keystrokes and Bad Decisions – New York Law on Inadvertent Disclosure
Baron & Budd, P.C. Scott Summy, John Fiske, Carla Burke Pickrel Poison in the Well
Bowman & Brooke LLP John Sear, T. Michael Pangburn Anticipating and Avoiding Expert Deposition Fee Disputes
Butler Snow LLP Kari L. Sutherland Funding Litigation and Treatment: Leveling the Playing Field or Exploiting the Little Guy
DLA Piper LLP (US) Mike Piazza, Jonathon Haray, Katie Ruffing Defending Against Insider Trading Claims
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP Benito Romano, Lauren Kaplin, Emily Feirman Cross-Border Overview: Anti-Corruption Enforcement in Latin America
Grant & Eisenhofer P.A. Adam J. Levitt, Nicole E. Negowetti Agricultural “Market Touching:” Modernizing Trespass to Chattels in Crop Contamination Cases
Kelley Drye & Warren LLP Givonna St. Clair Long, Randall Lehner Top 11 Strategies for Avoiding Director and Officer Liability for Negligent, Unsafe, and Unsound Lending Practices
McGuireWoods LLP Andrew J. Trask Litigation Matters: The Curious Case of Tyson Foods v. Bouaphakeo
Mitchell, Blackstock, Ivers & Sneddon PLLC David Ivers ‘Conflict-Free Case Management’ On Collision Course with Integrated Care
Morvillo, Abramowitz, Grand, Iason & Anello PC Edward M. Spiro, Judith L. Mogul A Smaller World, but Personal Jurisdiction Still Matters
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP Roberto J. Gonzalez, Jessica S. Carey The Government’s Making AML Enforcement Personal
Perkins Coie LLP Laura Zagar, William Malley, Stephanie Regenold Environmental Streamlining Measures in Title 41 of the FAST Act: What Will They Mean for Infrastructure Project Developers?
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP Norman Carlin, Brendan Hennessey Adapting to Climate Adaptation: Implications & Opportunities for the Private Sector
Ropes & Gray LLP Ryan Rohlfsen, Timothy Farrell, Dante Roldan The Pilot Program in Practice: A Comparison of Pre- and Post-Program Resolutions
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP Shana A. Elberg Using the Bankruptcy Code for International Restructuring
Steptoe & Johnson LLP Jennifer Quinn-Barabanov The Supreme Court’s 2015-2016 Term Marks a Turning Point for Class Actions
Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP Joel Cohen, James L. Bernard The Movie ‘Spotlight’ and Legal Ethics
Sullivan & Cromwell LLP Melissa Sawyer, Charles T. Dowling M&A Implications of Corporate Governance and Succession Planning for Family-Controlled Businesses
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP David Lender, Eric Hochstadt, Luna Barrington Lower Courts Continue to Disagree on Concreteness Requirement Post-Spokeo
White & Case LLP Richard Kebrdle, Laura Femino A Solution For Competing Foreign Insolvency Proceedings
WilmerHale Benjamin Fernandez, Mark Selwyn Design Patent Post-Grant: Is Anticipation Easier to Prove Than Obviousness?


The Burton Awards, established in 1999, is funded by the Burton Foundation, a non-profit, academic effort devoted to recognizing and rewarding excellence in the legal profession. The Burton Awards honors the finest accomplishments in law, including writing, reform, public service and interest, regulatory innovation, and lifetime achievements in the profession.


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This prominent institution is one of the most celebrated and distinguished libraries in the world. It was established on April 24, 1800, and since that time has grown to become one of the largest repositories in history. The Library of Congress functions as both a national library and as the research arm of the U.S. Congress. It contains more than 32 million catalogued books and more than 62 million manuscripts.


The Founder and Chair of The Burton Awards for Legal Achievement is William C. Burton, Esq., a partner at the law firm of Sagat|Burton LLP. He is a former New York State Assistant Attorney General, a former New York State Assistant Special Prosecutor, and is the author of the first legal thesaurus ever written for the legal profession, entitled BURTON’S LEGAL THESAURUS. The book is now in its 5th edition and quickly approaching its 35th anniversary. When the book was released, the Association of American Publishers recognized it as “one of the Most Innovative and Creative Projects of the year.” In 2011, Mr. Burton was presented the highest honor given by the second largest association of law professors in America, The Legal Writing Institute, for “significantly advancing the cause of legal writing in the profession of law.” More recently, he was awarded the “Blackstone Award” by the Friends of the Law Library of Congress, for “embodying and promoting the best ideals of the institution.”