Gay, Kathleen Sullivan, Law Firm Names, Lesbians, SCOTUS, SCOTUS Potential, Supreme Court

CHECK YOU FIRM NAME: Quinn Emanuel Adds Kathleen Sullivan to the Stationery

An ATL favorite, Quinn Emanuel, is making a change to its firm name. From the Quinn press release:

John B. Quinn announced today that the firm he and Eric Emanuel founded 25 years ago will change its name, and henceforth be known as Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP. The decision to add Kathleen M. Sullivan as a name partner was made in recognition of her extraordinary contributions to the firm and the profession. Sullivan is a partner in the firm’s New York City office and heads the firm’s national appellate practice.

Congratulations to former Stanford Law School dean Sullivan.

Of course, now that she’s a name partner, we are eagerly awaiting for the ATL community to honor Kathleen Sullivan with her own meme. John Quinn doesn’t use capital letters. Bill Urquhart … really likes capital letters. We can’t wait to see what Sullivan comes up with.

Read the full press release, plus an UPDATE with some observations from Lat, after the jump.

UPDATE: Lat here. Some additional food for thought about the QE name change:

1. Kathleen Sullivan is often mentioned as a possible Supreme Court nominee. What does the name change say about her possible SCOTUS hopes?

Does this mean she wants to focus on private practice and is losing interest in — or doesn’t think she’d be nominated to — the high court (which may have another vacancy very soon)? Or, on the other hand, does she think that the added prominence of being a name partner at a major firm could advance her Supreme Court ambitions? See Abe Fortas, a name partner of Arnold Fortas & Porter (which became Arnold & Porter after he joined the Supreme Court).

2. According to a commenter, Sullivan may be “the first openly GLBT name partner of a major law firm.”

If so, it’s quite a milestone. But if this is not correct, please email us (subject line: “Openly LGBT Biglaw partner”). Thanks.


QUINN EMANUEL URQUHART & SULLIVAN — PRESS RELEASE

John B. Quinn announced today that the firm he and Eric Emanuel founded 25 years ago will change its name, and henceforth be known as Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP. The decision to add Kathleen M. Sullivan as a name partner was made in recognition of her extraordinary contributions to the firm and the profession. Sullivan is a partner in the firm’s New York City office and heads the firm’s national appellate practice.

Quinn commented, “Kathleen Sullivan would be on anyone’s list of the top three or four advocates practicing in the United States today. She has not only built a thriving appellate practice at the firm, but has played a key role in the firm’s trial practice, arguing important motions in federal and state courts around the country. Her inclusion in the firm’s name reflects the integration of our trial and appellate practices and our strengths as a national law firm with major presences in both the California and New York markets.”
Sullivan, a former Harvard Law School professor who led Stanford Law School for five years as its dean, began practicing law in 1982 as an associate of Laurence H. Tribe and has practiced continuously since, arguing appeals in the United States Supreme Court and numerous state high courts and federal courts of appeal. She joined Quinn Emanuel in 2005.

Since that time, Sullivan has won numerous prominent cases. In a recent victory the New York Times called “stunning,” she persuaded the New York Court of Appeals to uphold, by a vote of 4-3, Governor David Paterson’s power to appoint Richard Ravitch lieutenant governor. This past year she also won an 8-1 victory for Shell Oil in the United States Supreme Court, which held that shipping useful products cannot make a company an “arranger” of waste disposal under the Superfund statute. And she won another landmark victory in the United States Supreme Court when it ruled, 5-4, that states may not bar wineries from shipping to consumers out-of-state. She has represented a wide range of clients, including Nokia, Samsung, Pfizer, Motorola, Coca-Cola, Siebel Systems, Oracle, Intuit, Hearst News, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, Allegheny Energy, PG&E, AIG, and CNA.

“I am thrilled to have been added to the name of this unique and magnificent law firm,” Sullivan said. “My colleagues at Quinn Emanuel combine legal brilliance, energy and creativity in a way that consistently produces rare and remarkable results for our clients. I am deeply committed to our firm’s litigation practice, and look forward to our continued growth.”

Recently named the American Lawyer’s IP Firm of the year and one of six finalists for the American Lawyer’s best business litigation firm of the year, Quinn Emanuel has 400+ lawyers and offices in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Chicago, Tokyo, London and Germany. The firm reported per-partner profits of $3.1 million for 2009. The New York office of Quinn Emanuel, which opened in 2001 with three lawyers and now numbers 140 lawyers, has contributed significantly to the firm’s rapidly growing national and international practice.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP is the largest law firm in the world devoted solely to business litigation. Firm lawyers have tried over 1290 cases, winning over 90% percent of them. When representing defendants, our trial experience gets us better settlements or defense verdicts. When representing plaintiffs, our lawyers have won over $10 billion in judgments and settlements. We are the only law firm in the United States that has won four nine-figure jury verdicts in the last seven years. We have also obtained four nine-figure and two ten-figure settlements in the same period. Further information about the firm is available at www.quinnemanuel.com.

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