• Benjamin J. Horwich
  • Carolyn Hoecker Luedtke
  • Erin J. Cox
  • Kenneth M. Trujillo-Jamison
  • Kevin S. Masuda
  • Mary Ann Todd

Meet Our Lawyers

 

The value of having worked for the government is in understanding how it makes decisions, how it thinks about problems and where its interests lie.

Benjamin J. HorwichLitigation

I can still vividly picture the great relief I felt that the justice system was able to deliver a solution for my client in a time of real crisis.

Carolyn Hoecker LuedtkeLitigation

I went toe-to-toe with the lead trial lawyer on the other side, who’d been practicing law for 40 years.

Erin J. CoxLitigation

If you see something that you’d like to change or improve and you raise your hand, you will be given the opportunity and resources to solve it.

Kenneth M. Trujillo-JamisonLitigation

We saw the whole cycle with Beats, from a 20-person company to a more than $3 billion transaction, in a relatively short period of time.

Kevin S. MasudaCorporate

I always felt that people really cared about me as an individual part of the firm and pushed to do what could be done to make sure it was working.

Mary Ann ToddCorporate

Benjamin J. Horwich

One thing that is particularly important to understand about the government’s processes for making decisions is that the government involves literally dozens of offices with disparate − and sometimes conflicting − interests on a given matter. The value of having worked for the government is in understanding how it makes decisions, how it thinks about problems and where its interests lie.

Just a few weeks after I started at Munger Tolles, I represented a client in a case involving a citizen suit brought by an environmental organization for alleged contamination. The U.S. government expressed interest in weighing in on the case in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  That is exactly the sort of process that I would have managed in my previous role as an Assistant to the Solicitor General in the U.S. Department of Justice. My understanding of the government’s decision-making process allowed me to identify the interested agencies, predict their perspectives on the issues, and advise our client on the most effective way to approach the key players. 

Munger Tolles appreciates the value of the firsthand experience that its lawyers get in other pursuits. The firm was a natural fit for me because the government also tends to operate in very lean teams where attorneys have a lot of responsibility from the start. At the DOJ, I was privileged to work with some of the sharpest, most capable lawyers that the profession has to offer. I came to Munger Tolles because I wanted to go to a place like that − one where, without question, anyone that you work with is at the top of their game. I haven’t once been disappointed. 

Carolyn Hoecker Luedtke

One of my favorite things in my job is getting to know the client and their business, and then figuring out how we can use the court system to both protect their rights and to tell their story. It is particularly fun to tell the stories of my video game clients because we get to do it with graphics, images and gameplay videos, which helps us teach the court about the product. And I get to play the games as part of my research – an added bonus!

One of my most meaningful cases in this area was representing Vostu, the largest social gaming company in South America at the time. I visited their headquarters in Buenos Aires, met the employees, and saw what a great company they had built. They were sued by Zynga for copyright infringement in California and Brazil. The Brazilian court issued an injunction that would have essentially shut down the company.

We fought that, asking a federal judge to stop the Brazilian court from shutting the company down. On the eve of the injunction going into effect in Brazil, the judge granted our temporary restraining order, sparing the company and the jobs of all those people. I can still vividly picture the great relief I felt that the justice system was able to deliver a solution for my client in a time of real crisis. 

I took great satisfaction from representing a company at their hardest time, facing one of the most difficult problems a company could face, and providing them relief through the court system.

Erin J. Cox

I joined the Wells Fargo trial team at the end of 2012. I’d been at the firm a little over two years—I was in my third year out of law school when Bart Williams, the lead trial lawyer, asked me if I would jump on the case.

Bart and the team were very generous with opportunities. It was motivating to rise to the occasion and to fulfill those expectations. I worked closely on witness preparation, writing examination outlines, and constructing the closing. I sat at counsel table every day in court, took part in sidebars with the judge, argued motions. I went toe-to-toe with the lead trial lawyer on the other side, who’d been practicing law for 40 years. Our argument took the entire morning; I probably argued for about an hour and a half. That was my first oral argument.

After a seven-week jury trial, we won a unanimous defense verdict.

From very early on, I’ve been given the opportunity to be a thought partner on everything and have been involved in strategic decision-making. People use shorthand like “early responsibility,” but I think it’s more than that. I think that it’s an ethos, a culture of giving people as much responsibility as they’re capable of handling, and not having different echelons that limit the type of opportunities you’ll be offered just because you haven’t done something before. That leads to new challenges all the time, which is both rewarding and, I think, necessary for an associate to not just develop skills, but thrive. 

Kenneth M. Trujillo-Jamison

My wife and I are both environmentally conscious. At home, we only use eco-friendly products and recycle. When I started at the firm, I noticed there were a bunch of things that seemed easy to fix, such as eliminating the use of individual plastic water bottles at firm lunches. I didn’t exactly know why we hadn’t changed them yet, or why we couldn’t change them now.

In a firm lunch during my first month here, there was a presentation about our green efforts. I expressed my views and had some other conversations about changes I wanted to see. Even with just a short time at the firm under my belt, I was given a budget and began to co-chair the firm’s Green Committee.

That’s an example of that early Munger Tolles responsibility. If you see something that you’d like to change or improve and you raise your hand, you will be given the opportunity and resources to solve it. Within a few meetings we had replaced the individual plastic water bottles with pitchers of water, and we had made a number of other eco-friendly changes including offering more recycling and composting options for waste, reducing paper usage, and increasing the firm’s overall awareness of our environmental footprint.

Kevin S. Masuda

Our firm represented an initial equity holder of Beats in 2008, and we began to represent Beats in 2011 when they first sought outside financing. At that time, they had about 20 employees and their brand was taking off.

It was incredible to see the creativity and genius of our client creating a new market for premium headphones, and then to help them achieve their goals through financings, strategic transactions, and acquisitions. As technology changed the way music was being consumed, our client developed a superior product to take advantage of such technological changes while at the same time marketing to a demographic that demands both technology and style. In essence, a premium headphone became part of our daily life.

We regularly represent clients that are sold, but our relationship with Beats was different. The period from formation to sale was short. They transformed their business from a royalties company to an independent manufacturing company while growing exponentially. As outside counsel, we had a lot of fun being part of this ride. We saw the whole cycle with Beats, from a 20-person company to a more than $3 billion transaction, in a relatively short period of time.

One thing that Munger Tolles does incredibly well — and it starts at the top — is to develop firm relationships (as opposed to individual lawyer relationships) and open up opportunities for other lawyers. The senior lawyers at the firm have done this for me throughout my almost 20 years here. I had other lawyers working with me on deals for this client, and it was especially rewarding working as a team as the client’s needs evolved from start to finish.

Mary Ann Todd

I was a second-year lawyer when I had a child. It has become much more common to have children when you are an associate, but at the time, it was not that common. People at the firm were incredibly supportive about my doing that and helped find ways to make it work within my work demands. Working remotely was not as easy then as it is now.

From the very early stages, I always felt that people really cared about me as an individual part of the firm and pushed to do what could be done to make sure it was working. The firm continues to be that way.

In an age when so many people move around from firm to firm, one of the reasons I point to for being with the firm for more than 20 years, in addition to the high-quality work, is the fact that I always felt like I had great colleagues who really supported me and cared about what I was doing. We have a number of lawyers who’ve been here that long, but it is unusual in the profession to have such loyalty to a firm.

Now I try to provide the support I received to others. Everybody has unique demands, whether those demands include children or other obligations, like taking care of parents. Everyone here cares about one another in a way that makes a difference.