November 14, 2023

Michael Gottlieb, partner in Willkie’s Litigation Department, has been profiled as a finalist for “Attorney of the Year” by The American Lawyer as part of its 2023 Industry Awards.

He is one of four attorneys recognized as finalists for making “impacts on the profession and their communities that go well beyond their day-to-day practice.” Michael, a nationally recognized litigator and crisis manager based in Washington, D.C., is being honored for his leadership in advancing the rule of law through a series of high-profile litigations.

The profile article highlights Michael’s pro bono representation of Fulton County Georgia election workers Wandrea ArShaye (Shay) Moss and her mother, Ruby Freeman, in their closely watched defamation case against Rudy Giuliani arising from his efforts to undermine the results of the 2020 presidential election. In August, a federal judge found Giuliani liable in the lawsuit. In December, the case is set to go to trial to determine how much Giuliani has to pay Ms. Moss and Ms. Freeman.

Michael discussed that a significant portion of his pro bono work for the last several years has been on behalf of victims of conspiracy theories and similar situations. “More and more people were getting dragged into these kinds of viral online disinformation campaigns, and you just had ordinary people who are having their lives upended, in some cases totally destroyed,” says Gottlieb. “I just got very offended by that. And I thought, here’s a situation where there’s actually tools available in the law that help people combat this and fight back against it.”

Litigation partner Meryl Governski, who works closely with Michael, said his work has given “a legal voice to the fight against bullies, basically being able to use the law as a remedy for people who otherwise may not be able to stand up for themselves.”

The profile notes that outside of his pro bono work, Michael’s client list includes foreign governments, multinational companies, technology start-ups and senior executives—representing clients in complex litigation, investigations and enforcement actions and sanctions and anti-corruption issues.

The Attorney of the Year winner will be announced at an event in New York City on November 15.

Read the full article here. (subscription may be required)

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