Ellyn Hurd ’01, who helped to litigate the first jury trial in the opioid crisis, was not the only alum involved in a high-profile case. BC Law graduates Mathew Rosengart ’87 and Lance Wade ’02 also had their days in court.
Rosengart’s response—after singer Britney Spears requested his help last July to end the conservatorship that had governed her life since 2008—was swift and definitive. In short order, the Greenberg Traurig attorney called for a re-evaluation of the guardianship, put her father, estate conservator Jamie Spears, on notice for his “harmful” handling of his daughter’s affairs, and petitioned for his removal. The walls of the conservatorship had been breached and before long the structure collapsed. On November 12, Rosengart won the pop star’s freedom in a Los Angeles court.
Also last fall and not far away, in a federal courtroom in San Jose, Wade, a Williams & Connolly partner long schooled in high-stakes civil litigation, argued on behalf of Elizabeth Holmes, CEO of the failed blood-testing company Theranos. Saying in his opening arguments that “failure is not a crime,” Wade disputed the eleven fraud charges against Holmes, instead drawing a portrait of her as ambitious but not someone who “went to work every day intending to lie, cheat, and steal.” Ultimately, after fifteen weeks of testimony, which included six days in which the defense put Holmes on the stand, a jury disagreed—somewhat. The trial was not a full-indictment of Holmes; she was convicted on four of the eleven charges.