On My Side 2020 Honoree
Litigation Team of the Year
Pro Bono Litigation Team for Ms. Lisa Ricchio
The Litigation Team of the Year Award honors a litigation team that has shown exceptional skill in securing justice for survivors of sex trafficking and forced labor. The Human Trafficking Legal Center recognizes the WilmerHale pro bono team representing Ms. Lisa Ricchio for their litigation success in a precedent-setting sex and labor trafficking case. The team filed a civil case against a motel and its owners and managers, alleging that the defendants "knowingly benefited" from the trafficking. The case, referred by the Human Trafficking Legal Center and brought in federal court in Massachusetts, was originally dismissed. The WilmerHale team appealed to the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals. Justice Souter, sitting by designation, reversed the dismissal and reinstated the case. Justice Souter's decision set an important precedent, establishing that sexual servitude is actionable as involuntary servitude under federal law. The case ended after Ms. Ricchio's courageous testimony before a jury in federal district court.
Accepting the award on behalf of the WilmerHale team, Cynthia Vreeland
Cindy Vreeland is a partner in the Litigation/Controversy Department, and a member of the firm's Intellectual Property Litigation Practice Group.
Ms. Vreeland focuses her practice on patent and trade secret litigation. She has represented clients in a variety of jurisdictions across the country, and has successfully tried cases in federal district courts and the US International Trade Commission in technologies ranging from wireless devices, semiconductor chips and computer storage, to medical devices, pharmaceuticals and superconducting materials. Ms. Vreeland was one of two IP litigators selected by Law360 for its inaugural list of Top Female Trial Attorneys. She has also been recognized by the Best Lawyers in America, Managing IP, IAM Patent 1000 and Boston Magazine for her work in the area of intellectual property litigation.