When John Keker comes to court, opposing lawyers know they're in for a brawl. The ex-Marine, 69, rose to prominence by prosecuting Oliver North following the Iran-Contra scandal. Today, he ranks among the most sought-after trial lawyers in the country. His clients include disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong, the Major League Baseball Players Association and American Honda Motor Co. Businessmen in trouble call upon him, and he provided firepower during HTC Corp.'s patent battles with Apple Inc., before the two firms settled in November. Top-gun plaintiffs lawyers William Lerach and Steven Donziger both turned to Keker in their hour of need.
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The National Law Journal has selected 100 lawyers who shape the legal world through their work in the courtroom, at the negotiating table, in the classroom or in government. They have taken on major legal battles and orchestrated the biggest corporate deals. They've tackled unpopular causes and helped run giant corporations.