The Daily Journal has named Keker & Van Nest partners Susan Harriman and Jan Little to its 2013 list of Top Women Lawyers in California, which includes 75 litigators and 25 corporate transaction specialists. The Daily Journal selected lawyers whose work had a broad impact on the legal community, the nation and society.
Little, a partner at Keker & Van Nest LLP, enjoys representing individuals.
"That's why I enjoy criminal work - standing up for a person against power," she said.
She was recently involved in such a case when she defended former Citigroup executive Brian Stoker against civil charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission connected to the alleged structuring and marketing of $1 billion worth of securities designed to enrich the company at the expense of investors. SEC v. Stoker, CV11-7388 (S.D.N.Y., filed Oct.19, 2011)
"It was a real challenge to try a jury case in front of a cynical New York jury," Little said. And although it was a civil suit, she added, "it felt like a criminal case. The government coming down on an individual and sort of selecting an individual at a very large organization."
After a two-week trial, the jury found Stoker not liable for violations of federal securities laws.
Harriman's ongoing work on a dispute involving royalties on the sales of John Madden Football video games has dominated her practice these days and posed some special challenges.
At issue, Robin Antonick programmed the Madden football video game that was released in 1988 for the Apple II. Antonic v. Electronic Arts Inc., 3:11-CV-01543 CRB (N.D. Cal., filed March 30, 2011).
He alleges that Electronics Arts Inc. owes him royalties on the sales of all Madden video games over the last 22 years, claiming that they are derivative works on the game he first programmed.
EA counters that none of his now outdated source code was ever used in any subsequent Madden game, and also claimed that the lawsuit is time-barred and that the contract doesn't permit Antonick to recover royalties in any event.
"It's a very old case with very old technology," said Harriman, who is representing EA. "We are dealing with old evidence and stale memories. A lot of the things that he's complaining about was before email was widespread and some people weren't yet using it."
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About Jan Nielsen Little
For more than 25 years Jan Little has handled high-stakes criminal investigations and trials and complex civil litigation for publicly-traded corporations, private companies, and senior executives.
About Susan Harriman
Since joining the firm in 1985 and becoming a partner in 1989, Ms. Harriman has handled a wide range of complex business litigation. She has tried state and federal cases involving legal malpractice defense, commercial disputes, real estate, and wrongful termination. She has also arbitrated cases before the American Arbitration Association and the National Association of Securities Dealers.