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/////RAINMAKERS 2011


Partner, Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell LLP Denver, CO


HABIB NASRULLAH


28


Years Practicing:


A third-generation lawyer born in India, Habib Nasrullah grew up in Mumbai before moving to Los Angeles to attend the University of Southern California where he graduated with a B.A. in international relations. After considering a career in busi- ness, he succumbed to the call of the family business and earned a J.D. from Georgetown Law Center. “My father was a very successful trial lawyer in Mumbai,”


23 Area of Practice: Product Liability, Mass Tort, & Commercial Litigation


says Nasrullah. “He had doubts that I was suited to practice.” T e younger Nasrullah proved otherwise. Since his earliest associate days at a full service fi rm,


Nasrullah has determinedly strived to bring in work. As a licensed pilot, he used his interest in aviation to meet clients. “In the beginning, I began representing airmen and fl ight schools and later went on to representing aircraft manufacturers and airlines in big product liability and personal injury cases.” Today, his practice focuses on product liability, mass tort,


and complex commercial litigation. He mostly represents pharmaceutical and health care companies, aerospace product manufacturers, and fi nancial institutions. And while product liability comprises the larger piece of his practice, commercial litigation remains a signifi cant part of what he does. Because he competes with fi rms on both coasts for clients, Nasrullah is often traveling, sometimes on his own nickel if necessary. In an interesting, latish career move, Nasrullah served


as an Assistant U.S. Attorney (District of Colorado) from 2004 to 2008. “My motivation was to both serve my country and to gain frontline experience in the courtroom. When I returned to private practice, I noticed that I’d acquired a certain cachet. T ough not my intention, it’s helped in generating new business.”


DIVERSITY & THE BAR® NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2011 MERCEDES COLWIN


Managing Partner, Gordon & Rees LLP New York, NY


Years Practicing:


“T ese lean years require ingen- uity to get work because of the fi erceness of the competition,” says Mercedes Colwin, rainmaking managing partner in Gordon & Rees’ New York offi ce and national legal analyst on the Fox News Network. “It’s important to maintain a constant presence in the marketplace and perform high- quality work at all times.” Prior to joining Gordon & Rees as a defense attorney, in


21 Area of Practice: Commercial Litigation


2006, Colwin headed the litigation team for a regional New York fi rm. Before that she had been a municipal lawyer, an in-house litigator for an insurance company, and a full-time administrative law judge for the New York State Division of Human Rights. All books of business present challenges regardless of


size, says Colwin. Colwin emails, texts, and calls clients around the clock to keep them in the loop on all their litigation matters. “Without a doubt, lawyers with the most accessibility and responsiveness have the advantage.” Growing up in Rego Park, New York, Colwin was


inspired to achieve. “My mother was the fi rst woman in her college to graduate with an engineering degree and was adamant that education was critical to anyone’s success.” Today, Colwin continues to be motivated by her mother’s example. “As a litigator, I measure my success by whether I’m doing the best for my clients in every case. I follow my mother’s golden rule: When you’re lucky enough to have people put their trust in you, you must move heaven and earth to fulfi ll their expectations and work tirelessly in perfecting your craft.”


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