3 Lawyers Get MacArthur ‘Genius’ Grants: Business of Law

Three lawyers are among the 21 people named this year’s MacArthur Fellows. Each will receive a “no-strings-attached” award of $625,000, to be paid out over five years by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Mary Bonauto, 53, is a civil rights lawyer and director of Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders. Based in Boston, Bonauto has been, according to the foundation, “a leader in the marriage equality movement.”

Sarah Deer, 41, of Saint Paul, Minnesota, is a professor at William Mitchell College of Law and an “advocate for Native American women at risk of domestic abuse and sexual violence.”

The third recipient, Jonathan Rapping, 48, is a criminal lawyer in Atlanta who “founded a program to help public defenders provide quality legal representation to the indigent.”

The annual “genius awards,” as they are often called, were first given in 1981. The foundation, based in Chicago, was created by John D. MacArthur, who owned and developed Bankers Life & Casualty Co., now a unit of CNO Financial Group Inc., and had numerous real estate holdings in New York and Florida. His wife, Catherine, served as a director of the foundation and held positions in many of his companies.

Law Firm Moves

Orrick Adds Justice Department Lawyer Who Clerked for Ginsburg

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP has hired Kelsi Corkran, formerly of the U.S. Justice Department’s civil appellate staff and most recently law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, as a partner. Corkran will become a member of the firm’s Supreme Court and appellate practice in Washington.

According to a statement from the firm, Corkran has served as lead counsel for the federal government in more than 30 appeals and presented oral argument in 24 cases before 10 different federal appellate courts.

“We are delighted to add a lawyer with Kelsi’s stellar reputation and impressive record to our fast-growing appellate team,” E. Joshua Rosenkranz, head of Orrick’s Supreme Court & Appellate practice, said in the statement.

Corkran also worked at the White House, where she assisted with Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s confirmation, and before joining the Justice Department’s civil appellate staff, she clerked for U.S. Circuit Judge David Tatel in Washington.

Venable Adds Justice Department Lawyer in Washington Office

Courtney Sullivan joined Venable LLP as a counsel in the firm’s Washington office.

Formerly deputy chief prosecutor in the Office of Military Commissions in the Justice Department, Sullivan led cases against conspirators responsible for more than 200 murders in the 2002 bombings in Bali, Indonesia, and 11 murders in the 2003 Marriott bombing in Jakarta.

Sullivan also served as a detailee to the Defense Department in charge of about 50 attorneys investigating and prosecuting international terrorists under the Reformed Military Commissions Act of 2009.

DLA Piper Hires Litigation Partner for New York Office

Karl Buch has joined DLA Piper LLP as a litigation partner in New York.

Buch joins DLA Piper from Pfizer Inc., where he was assistant general counsel, focusing on international investigations as well as internal and government matters. Buch has experience in Asia from his four-year tenure at Pfizer. He also served as an assistant U.S. attorney in New Jersey, the firm said in a statement.

“Karl’s background as a former government prosecutor, in addition to his corporate background, will significantly complement the firm’s global footprint,” Patrick Smith, co-chairman of the firm’s white-collar, corporate-crime and investigations practice, said in the statement.

Hedge-Fund Firm Kleinberg Kaplan Adds Partner From Moses Singer

Hedge fund law firm Kleinberg, Kaplan, Wolff & Cohen PC said Steven Popofsky has joined the firm as a partner in the litigation and risk management department.

With more than 32 years in practice, Popofsky represents corporations, partnerships, private investment funds, individuals and family entities in a variety of complex and business litigation and arbitration matters. Popofsky previously was a litigation partner at Moses & Singer LLP in New York.

“Steve is an experienced litigator and his practice will complement our robust litigation platform,” said Marc R. Rosen, chairman of the firm’s litigation and risk management department.

Locke Lord Brings in Bankruptcy and Restructuring Lawyer Lubell

Daniel Lubell, previously a partner at Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP, has joined Locke Lord LLP as a partner in the bankruptcy, restructuring and insolvency group, based in New York.

Lubell focuses on creditors’ rights and corporate reorganizations, including asset sales, plan negotiations, cross-border insolvency issues and complex bankruptcy court litigation, according to a statement from the firm.

He has represented debtors, creditors and investors in Chapter 11 cases, out-of-court restructurings and other proceedings. He has extensive litigation experience as well.

“Dan’s highly respected ability to provide informed counsel to creditors working through complex financial issues adds depth to the firm in this key practice area and to our New York office,” David Wirt, the chairman of the firm’s bankruptcy, restructuring and insolvency group, said in a statement.


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