Hogan Lovells Named to National Law Journal’s 2016 Pro Bono Hot List
20 January 2016
WASHINGTON, 20 January 2016 – Hogan Lovells has been named to The National Law Journal’s 2016 Pro Bono Hot List for the firm’s representation of former federal air marshal Robert J. MacLean, a pro bono client, in his landmark victory before the Supreme Court. Appellate Practice Co-Head Neal Katyal led the Hogan Lovells team and argued the case before the high court.
In 2003, MacLean learned that, despite an imminent hijacking threat, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) planned to remove air marshals from long-distance flights. When DHS did not address the issue, MacLean turned to the media. DHS ultimately reversed itself after a congressional uproar, but the agency still fired MacLean.
The Federal Circuit ruled in MacLean’s favor, finding that he was eligible for federal whistleblower protection. The Department of Justice appealed this decision to the Supreme Court, arguing that the ruling opened the door to leaks that threaten public safety. In a rare victory for government whistleblowers, the Supreme Court upheld the lower court’s decision in a 7-2 vote.
The Pro Bono Hot List recognizes 10 law firms that made exemplary contributions in providing access to justice. The profile of our work on the MacLean case is available on The National Law Journal website.