Linda Coberly

Partner, Chicago Chicago Managing Partner & Chair of Appellate & Critical Motions Practice at Winston & Strawn LLP

Linda Coberly

Linda Coberly

Partner, Chicago Chicago Managing Partner & Chair of Appellate & Critical Motions Practice at Winston & Strawn LLP

Biography

Linda Coberly is the managing partner of Winston & Strawn LLP’s oldest and largest office. She is a partner in the firm’s Litigation Department and chairs Winston’s Appellate and Critical Motions Practice. She also serves on the firm’s Executive Committee.

Linda focuses her practice on appeals and on critical motions that resolve complex commercial lawsuits before trial. She is known for her strong business sense, excellent briefs, and clear and compelling oral advocacy. She counsels clients on appellate and strategic issues at all stages of litigation, from before trial through and including proceedings before the U.S. Supreme Court. She has briefed and argued appeals in eight different federal courts of appeals and a variety of state appellate and supreme courts.

Linda has extensive experience in corporate fraud and securities litigation—and, in particular, in defending issuers, auditors, and others in tort and securities fraud actions following allegations of fraud. These cases frequently implicate complex issues of pleading, class certification, agency law, damages, standing, and loss causation—as well as the doctrine of in pari delicto, which arises whenever a corporation or trustee attempts to sue a third party for a fraud committed by the corporation’s own management. Linda speaks on these and related topics as a regular faculty member at the industry’s leading conference for accountants’ liability practitioners.

A significant portion of Linda’s practice centers on advising and representing clients with regard to proceedings in the U.S. Supreme Court, drawing upon her experience as a law clerk to Justice Stephen G. Breyer on the Supreme Court and to Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg on the D.C. Circuit. She also frequently represents amici in important business cases before the Court.

Experience

Recent Supreme Court Matters:

* Moya, et v. Garcia, et al. (U.S. Sup. Ct. 2019) (pending): Petition for certiorari in a class action presenting a split of authority with regard to the standard for causation in an overlength detention case.
* Johnson United States (U.S. Sup. Ct. 2018): Amicus brief for a group of Fourth Amendment scholars in support of a petition for certiorari addressing whether a pretextual search based on probable cause to suspect a mere parking violation is consistent with the Fourth Amendment.
* Kokocinski Collins (U.S. Sup. Ct. 2018): Successful opposition to a petition for certiorari that purported to allege a split of authority concerning the appropriate standard of appellate review for the dismissal of a shareholder derivative action at the recommendation of a special litigation committee.
* Hamer Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago (U.S. Sup. Ct. 2017): Representation on the merits in a matter involving whether Rule 4(a)(5)(C) of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure is constitutional.
* Omnicare, v. Laborers Dist. Council Constr. Indus. Pension Fund (U.S. Sup. Ct. 2013): Victory for our client in seeking certiorari and on the merits in a high-profile securities class action presenting issues relating to pleading falsity for claims under Section 11 of the Securities Act of 1933.

Selected Appellate Victories:

* California Court of Appeals, 2013 and 2018 (argued): Won two decisive victories in protracted litigation between a lender and the trustee of a large family trust, defeating the lender’s attempt to accelerate a $325 million promissory
* Wisconsin Court of Appeals, 2018: Won reversal of a decision precluding insurance coverage for claims for copyright infringement and unfair trade practices, defeating application of a “knowing violation”
* Ninth Circuit, 2017 (argued): Obtained a reversal on a critical issue in a bankruptcy-related appeal relating to collateral estoppel, standing, and mootness, as well as to whether certain changes to a confirmed plan were permitted under the Bankruptcy
* Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund v. Apollo Group Inc. (9th Cir. 2014) (argued): Represented Apollo Group, the parent company of the University of Phoenix, in a putative securities class action asserting claims under Section 10(b) based on alleged false statements related to Apollo’s enrollment, revenue growth, and recruiting The suit was dismissed on its merits, and Winston’s appellate group was retained to defend the dismissal on appeal. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the dismissal in all respects in a published decision, concluding that the plaintiffs had failed to plead a material misstatement or omission, loss causation, or scienter. The decision is the first in the Ninth Circuit to hold that loss causation must be pleaded with specificity under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 9(b), though the court recognized that the plaintiffs’ allegations would have been insufficient under Rule 8(a) as well.
* Effie Film, LLC Murphy (2d Cir. May 7, 2014) (argued): Obtained an appellate victory on behalf of the producer of Emma Thompson’s upcoming film Effie Gray, defeating claims that Ms. Thompson’s screenplay infringed a copyright. The screenplay tells the story of the love triangle involving Effie Gray, Victorian art critic John Ruskin, and painter John Everett Millais. The producer of the film brought a successful declaratory judgment action to resolve claims of copyright infringement brought by a playwright who had written a play based on the same historical figures. The Second Circuit rejected Murphy’s appeal in all respects, paving the way for the film’s release.

* Kirschner v. KPMG, et al., 15 N.Y. 3d 446 (on certification), and 626 F.3d 673 (2d Cir. 2010) (argued): Won an outright dismissal of a $2 billion malpractice and aiding and abetting lawsuit against an accounting firm by a litigation trustee appointed in the bankruptcy of brokerage giant Refco, and secured a critical precedent for defendants on the issue of in pari delicto in corporate fraud

Honors & Awards

Linda is one of the nation’s top appellate lawyers, as recognized by Chambers USA (2012, 2014–2018), The Legal 500 U.S. (2018), and U.S. News – Best Lawyers (2013–2020). She was recommended by Legal 500 (2015 and 2016), which also ranked Winston & Strawn in the top tier of firms for appellate practice. Recently, Linda was selected as an honoree for Corporate Counsel’s 2019 Women, Influence & Power in Law Awards in the Innovative Leadership Category, which honors general counsel, in-house leaders, and law firm partners who have demonstrated a commitment to advancing the empowerment of women in law. Linda was named as one of Benchmark Litigation's Top 250 Women in Litigation in 2018 and 2019, and 2020. She was also recognized in Benchmark Litigation 2020 as an "Illinois Litigation Star" for appellate practice. She was also named an "Illinois Litigation Star" in the 2015 and 2016 editions of Benchmark Litigation: The Definitive Guide to America’s Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys. She is listed among Lawdragon’s 500 Leading Lawyers in America (2016) and has been recognized as an Illinois “Super Lawyer” in the area of appellate practice for more than 10 years. In 2011, Linda was named by The American Lawyer as one of the “45 Under 45,” a list of the best women lawyers under 45 in the Am Law 200. In 2019, she was recognized on Crain's Chicago list of "Notable Women Executives Over 50".

Chicago Business Journal recognized Linda on its list of “Women of Influence” for 2017, based upon her impact professionally and as a leader in the Chicago community. In 2015, she was shortlisted by Chambers and Partners for the Chambers Women in Law Awards, USA, as a finalist in the category of “Outstanding Contribution to Furthering the Advancement of Women in the Law.” She was also honored with the Illinois Diversity Council’s 2014 “Leadership Excellence Award,” designed to recognize those who have shown exemplary leadership in their firms and communities and who serve as champions of their organizations’ efforts relating to diversity and inclusion

Overview
Career Highlights

Winston & Strawn LLP

RelSci Relationships

2723

Number of Boards

5

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Partner at Winston & Strawn LLP

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Global Co-Chair, Litigation at Winston & Strawn LLP

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Chair, Summer Program at Winston & Strawn LLP

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Partner at Winston & Strawn LLP

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Partner at Winston & Strawn LLP

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Partner, New York Co-Chair, Antitrust/Competition Practice at Winston & Strawn LLP

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Partner at Winston & Strawn LLP

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Partner at Winston & Strawn LLP

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Partner at Winston & Strawn LLP

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Partner at Winston & Strawn LLP

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Linda Coberly
Partner, Chicago Chicago Managing Partner & Chair of Appellate & Critical Motions Practice at Winston & Strawn LLP
Education
JD, magna cum laude, Order of the Coif
Class of 1995

The University of Michigan, founded in 1817, celebrates a long and distinguished history. It was in 1787 that the Northwest Territorial Ordinance provided public land for this and other Midwestern universities and established a tradition of respect for excellence in higher education. Three Native American nations—the Ojibwa (Chippewa), Odawa (Ottawa), and Bodewadini (Potawatomi)—subsequently granted certain lands for use of the University of Michigan and by the end of the 19th century, Michigan was the largest and most generously supported public university in America and already a leader in graduate education. The University of Michigan Law School, one of the oldest law schools in the nation, was founded in 1859. But unlike other highly selective law schools established in that era, admission was never restricted to the privileged. When Gabriel Hargo graduated from the Law School in 1870, Michigan—then the largest law school in the country—became the second American university to confer a law degree on an African American. That same year, Michigan was the first major law school to admit a woman, and in 1871, graduate Sarah Killgore became the first woman with a law degree in the nation to be admitted to the bar; by 1890, Michigan had graduated more women than any other law school. That commitment to access and diversity joined an equally powerful commitment to excellence, which continues to this day.

AB

Princeton University is a vibrant community of scholarship and learning that stands in the nation's service and in the service of all nations. Chartered in 1746, Princeton is the fourth-oldest college in the United States. Princeton is an independent, coeducational, nondenominational institution that provides undergraduate and graduate instruction in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and engineering. As a world-renowned research university, Princeton seeks to achieve the highest levels of distinction in the discovery and transmission of knowledge and understanding. At the same time, Princeton is distinctive among research universities in its commitment to undergraduate teaching. Today, more than 1,100 faculty members instruct approximately 5,000 undergraduate students and 2,500 graduate students. The University's generous financial aid program ensures that talented students from all economic backgrounds can afford a Princeton education.

Memberships
Member
Current

The Chicago Bar Association is one of the oldest and most active metropolitan bar associations in the United States. The Association's voluntary membership of 22,000 consists largely of lawyers and judges from Cook County and the State of Illinois.

Member
Current

The Chicago Network provides a forum to support and counsel for member careers and to raise awareness of professional, political and social issues faced by women. The company was founded in 1979 and is headquartered in Chicago, IL.

Editor-in-Chief
Prior

The Michigan Law Review is an American law review established in 1902, after Gustavus Ohlinger, a student in the Law Department (now the Law School) of the University of Michigan, approached the dean with a proposal for a law journal. The Michigan Law Review was originally intended as a forum in which the faculty of the Law Department could publish its legal scholarship. The faculty resolution creating the Michigan Law Review required every faculty member to submit two articles per year to the new journal.

Career History
Partner, Chicago Chicago Managing Partner & Chair of Appellate & Critical Motions Practice
Current

Winston & Strawn LLP provides legal services. The company's practice areas include antitrust & trade regulations, employment & labor relations, intellectual property, taxation & trusts, and estates. It was founded in 1853 and is headquartered in Chicago, IL.

Clerk
Prior

The Supreme Court of the United States (abbreviated Scotus since 1879)[1] is the highest federal court in the United States. It has ultimate (and largely discretionary) appellate jurisdiction over all federal courts and over state court cases involving issues of federal law, plus original jurisdiction over a small range of cases. In the legal system of the United States, the Supreme Court is the final interpreter of federal constitutional law, although it may only act within the context of a case in which it has jurisdiction.

Clerk
Prior

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (in case citations, D.C. Cir.) known informally as the D.C. Circuit, is the federal appellate court for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Appeals from the D.C. Circuit, as with all the U.S. Courts of Appeals, are heard on a discretionary basis by the Supreme Court. It should not be confused with the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which is limited in jurisdiction by subject matter rather than geography, or with the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, which is roughly equivalent to a state supreme court in the District of Columbia, established in 1970 to relieve the D.C. Circuit from having to take appeals from the local D.C. trial court.

Boards & Committees
Chair, Board of Directors
Prior

Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights is a nonprofit company headquartered in Chicago, IL, that operates as a human rights organization.The company says this about itself: Heartland Alliance works to advance human rights and champion human dignity by providing services and promoting solutions to achieve a more just global society. Society benefits when all people can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential. Through human service provision, research, and policy and advocacy campaigns, we advance solutions for health and healing, safety and justice, and economic opportunity.

Non-Profit Donations & Grants

Learn how non-profit organizations benefit from RelSci
$5,000 - $10K
2017

Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights is a nonprofit company headquartered in Chicago, IL, that operates as a human rights organization.The company says this about itself: Heartland Alliance works to advance human rights and champion human dignity by providing services and promoting solutions to achieve a more just global society. Society benefits when all people can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential. Through human service provision, research, and policy and advocacy campaigns, we advance solutions for health and healing, safety and justice, and economic opportunity.

$10K - $25K
2016

Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights is a nonprofit company headquartered in Chicago, IL, that operates as a human rights organization.The company says this about itself: Heartland Alliance works to advance human rights and champion human dignity by providing services and promoting solutions to achieve a more just global society. Society benefits when all people can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential. Through human service provision, research, and policy and advocacy campaigns, we advance solutions for health and healing, safety and justice, and economic opportunity.

$10K - $25K
2015

Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights is a nonprofit company headquartered in Chicago, IL, that operates as a human rights organization.The company says this about itself: Heartland Alliance works to advance human rights and champion human dignity by providing services and promoting solutions to achieve a more just global society. Society benefits when all people can participate, prosper, and reach their full potential. Through human service provision, research, and policy and advocacy campaigns, we advance solutions for health and healing, safety and justice, and economic opportunity.

Political Donations
$100
2020

ActBlue is an online toolset that makes it easy for donors to connect with the candidates and causes they support. At ActBlue, the objective is to democratize power by putting powerful fundraising tools in the hands of grassroots donors across the United States.

$25
2020

ActBlue is an online toolset that makes it easy for donors to connect with the candidates and causes they support. At ActBlue, the objective is to democratize power by putting powerful fundraising tools in the hands of grassroots donors across the United States.

$1,250
2012
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