Samantha Grant and Pat Benson of the Santa Monica law firm Mitchell, Silberberg & Knupp LLP have been named the Daily Journal’s “Top Women Litigators.”

Grant is a partner in the firm and a Playa del Rey resident. She practices in the Labor & Employment Division of the firm, and Benson, also a partner in the firm, practices in the Property & Technology Division.

“Pat and Samantha’s selection as ‘Top Women Litigators’ reflects their hard-earned and consistent commitment to providing outstanding advocacy and securing superior results for their clients.” said Thomas Lambert, managing partner of Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp. “The firm regards both Pat and Samantha as ‘go to’ litigators for handling the more complex litigation issues in their respective areas of practice.”

The Daily Journal received approximately 200 nominations from throughout the State of California for this year’s award. The winners were selected by the publication’s editors and featured in the Los Angeles Daily Journal and San Francisco Daily Journal. Selection was based upon significant court victories over the past year, as well their leadership credentials, career achievements and contributions to the legal profession.

Grant was selected for the award, in part, for her contributions in successfully representing Warner Bros. Television Production, several writers and an independent production company in Lyle v. Warner Bros. Television Production. The plaintiff, hired as a writers’ assistant on the television show Friends, alleged that the use of sexual jokes, stories, comments and expressive gestures by the show’s writers constituted harassment.

In a unanimous decision, the seven justices of the California Supreme Court rejected Lyle’s harassment claims, ruling that because the alleged conduct was not directed at or about her, the conduct did not violate California law.

Grant’s nomination comes on the heels of being named one of the “10 Up and Coming African American Lawyers to Watch” in Diversity.

Benson was selected as one of the Top Women Litigators for the fifth year in a row. Her receipt of the award this year was based, in part, on her advocacy skills in the high-profile copyright infringement case, Arista Records, Inc. et al v. Flea World, Inc., filed in the New Jersey District Court.

Benson won a summary judgment on behalf of 14 record companies against the operators of a flea market on the East Coast, and also argued successfully for the judgment before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals — said to be the first of its kind to hold corporate operators of flea markets liable for sales of counterfeit merchandise by individual vendors who rented space at their properties.

Grant is serving a three-year term as a Ninth Circuit judicial conference lawyer representative, is an officer of the Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, and is a frequent lecturer on emerging trends in employment and labor law for a variety of legal professional organizations, including the American Bar Association.

Benson lectures extensively on a variety of civil litigation matters and is the former Trustee of the Los Angeles County Bar Foundation.

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