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Pat Benson and Samantha Grant Named to the Daily Journal's List of "Top Women Litigators"

May 10, 2007

Los Angeles, Calif. − May 22, 2007 − Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP, a mid-sized law firm which has provided integrated legal and business solutions for nearly 100 years, announced that Pat Benson, a partner in the firm’s Intellectual Property & Technology practice, and Samantha Grant, a partner in the Labor & Employment practice, have been selected as two of the Daily Journal’s ‘Top Women Litigators.’

 "Pat and Samantha’s selection as ‘Top Women Litigators’ reflect their hard earned and consistent commitment to providing outstanding advocacy and securing superior results for their clients." said Thomas Lambert, managing partner of Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp. "The firm regards both Pat and Samantha as ‘go to’ litigators for handling the more complex litigation issues in their respective areas of practice."

The Daily Journal received approximately 200 nominations throughout the state of California for this year’s prestigious award. The winners were selected by the publication’s editors and featured in the Los Angeles Daily Journal and San Francisco Daily Journal. Selected lawyers were based upon significant court victories over the past year, as well as for their leadership credentials, career achievements and contributions to the legal profession.

 Benson was selected as one of the ‘Top Women Litigators’ for the fifth year in a row. Her receipt of the award this year was based, in part, on her advocacy skills in the high-profile copyright infringement case, Arista Records, Inc. et al v. Flea World, Inc. Filed in the New Jersey District Court, Benson won a summary judgment on behalf of 14 record companies against the operators of the largest flea market on the East Coast. Benson then successfully argued the judgment be upheld before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals – the first of its kind to hold corporate operators of flea markets liable for sales of counterfeit merchandise by individual vendors who rented space at their properties. 

Grant was selected for the award, in part, for her contributions in successfully representing Warner Bros. Television Production, several writers, and an independent production company in Lyle v. Warner Bros. Television Production. The plaintiff, hired as a writers' assistant on the hit television show "Friends," alleged that the use of sexual jokes, stories, comments and expressive gestures by the show's writers constituted sexual harassment. In a unanimous decision, the seven justices of the California Supreme Court rejected Lyle's harassment claims, ruling that because the alleged conduct was not directed at or about her, the conduct did not violate California law. The Court explained that it is not the use of sexual speech that is prohibited by state and federal employment laws but rather speech and conduct that is directed at an employee or group of employees because of their gender. Grant’s nomination comes on the heels of being named one of the "10 Up and Coming African American Lawyers to Watch" in Diversity & the Bar. 

Both Benson and Grant are also known for their contributions and dedicated involvement to the legal profession. Benson lectures extensively on a variety of civil litigation matters and is the former Trustee of the Los Angeles County Bar Foundation. Grant is serving a three-year term as a Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference Lawyer Representative, is an officer of the Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, and a frequent lecturer on emerging trends in employment and labor law for a variety of legal professional organizations, including the American Bar Association. 

About Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp

Established in 1908, Mitchell Silberberg's 125 attorneys provide integrated legal and business solutions addressing its clients' concerns in the following areas: Labor and Employment; Intellectual Property and Technology; Entertainment and New Media; Immigration and Benefits; Tax and Family Wealth Planning; and Environmental Law. Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP has offices in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit www.msk.com.

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