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Four Arnold & Porter Attorneys Named as 2022 ‘West Trailblazers’ by The American Lawyer

August 3, 2022

Arnold & Porter partners Dipanwita Amar, Matt Douglas, Ellen Kaye Fleishhacker, and Timothy Macdonald were named to The American Lawyer’s 2022 “West Trailblazers” report. The report highlights attorneys who have "moved the needle in the legal industry" and are “truly agents of change.”

Amar, who also was recently named as one of The National Law Journal's 2022 "Employment Law Trailblazers,” told The American Lawyer about her recent work with California’s Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA), which has occupied a lot of her time over the past year. She spoke about her recent work for a client that was hit with multiple PAGA suits in multiple courts throughout California. Amar and her team were able to find an efficient way to litigate duplicative matters, but this isn’t an issue that she thinks will be going away any time soon.

Douglas and Macdonald were both recognized by The American Lawyer for their successful representation of seven protestors who sued the City of Denver claiming officers used excessive force responding to demonstrations in the summer of 2020 in the wake of George Floyd’s murder. The jury found the city and police committed a variety of First and Fourth Amendment violations and awarded a total of $14 million to the 12 plaintiffs who went to trial.

“The goal in bringing the case was to attempt to effect substantial change in the way police departments respond to peaceful protests, and the message sent by the jury will hopefully be a catalyst for such change, both in Denver and around the U.S.,” Douglas told the publication.

Macdonald, who is head of the firm’s Denver office echoed Douglas’s words, saying that the “clients filed the lawsuit to push for change in the Denver police department to prevent the use of force on people peacefully exercising their First Amendment rights. The jury showed that citizens will not tolerate excessive force on peaceful protesters.”

Fleishhacker, who serves as co-managing partner at the firm, was recognized by The American Lawyer for her career long effort to find ways to combine business with positive social change, a quest that eventually led her to working with “impact investment funds,” also known as “ESG investment funds.” Fleishhacker said she is “genuinely hopeful that impact investing and other forms of ESG activity will help address the pressing environmental and social challenges that we currently face, and that the evolving law and regulation around it will both protect investors and enable this activity.”