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They’ve Got Next: The 40 Under 40 - Jennifer Caringal of Robbins Geller

July 28, 2022, 9:01 AM

Please describe two of your most substantial, recent wins in practice.
In re Am. Realty Cap. Props., Inc. Litig. was the most impactful case of my career, which arose out of ARCP’s manipulative accounting practices. We litigated that case for five years and were up against over a dozen of the biggest and best law firms in the country. We ultimately settled for $1.025 billion, the 15th largest class action settlement of all time.

Similarly, the Patterson case was about holding corporations accountable. Patterson, a leading dental supply distributor, allegedly engaged in anticompetitive behavior by conspiring with competitors to boycott group purchasing organizations. We recently obtained final approval of the Patterson settlement, resulting in one of the top 10 largest securities class action settlements ever in the District of Minnesota. I am very proud of the recoveries in both of these cases.

What is the most important lesson you learned as a first-year attorney and how does it inform your practice today?
Take ownership of your cases from day one. As part of this ownership, when you make a mistake, own up to it. And it is not a matter of if you will make a mistake, it is a matter of when you will make a mistake. But learn from it, and then grow from it. Cases often take years to litigate, so mistakes are bound to happen. We are all human and even the best amongst us will stumble at one point or another, but how you deal with it and learn from it speaks volumes to both your peers and bosses. Learning and growing from mistakes is an important part of developing and growing as an attorney, and will make the next iteration easier to deal with.

How do you define success in your practice?
As a securities litigator who represents plaintiffs, success is measured by the recoveries that we obtain for our clients and members of the class that we represent. Securities trials are rare, so our success often comes before a jury is even picked for a trial, and usually until not after years of hard-fought litigation. For example, I was on the team that litigated In re Am. Realty Cap. Props., Inc. Litig., which we contested for five years. We ultimately secured a $1.025 billion recovery for the class, which yielded a recovery of approximately 50% of the class’s maximum recoverable damages—the highest percentage recovery of any major Private Securities Litigation Reform Act class action prior to trial. The recovery was also one of the 15 largest securities class action settlements in history.

What are you most proud of as a lawyer?
I am most proud of our ability to help people who would otherwise not be able to seek redress for their grievances. Representing plaintiffs in complex securities litigation cases can often feel like a David vs. Goliath battle, especially when we go up against defendants who hire multiple law firms to represent them and seem to have endless resources to litigate cases to the very end. But this has never deterred the attorneys at my firm, and I am proud to be a part of a contingent of attorneys who will never back down in the face of adversity. Outside of my normal area of securities litigation practice, I am incredibly proud of the pro bono work that I have had the opportunity to do over the years, which has included assisting refugees from the Middle East with obtaining asylum.

Who is your greatest mentor in the law and what have they taught you?
It takes a village—I’ve had so many great mentors over the years and it is truly too hard to pick one. The existing group of partners at my firm inspire me every single day, and have so since I first stepped foot at this firm. Their tireless work ethic is unparalleled. They are the smartest people in the room, and their passion for their work knows no boundaries. Securities litigation is a marathon and not a sprint, and the most common themes I’ve heard throughout the years has been to never stop learning and to never give up. Living by those two tenets has brought me much success in litigation over the years.

Just for fun, tell us your two favorite songs on your summer music playlist.
“Roar” by Katy Perry: “I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire, ‘cause I am a champion, and you’re gonna hear me roar!” This song is incredibly motivating for me and gets me pumped up whenever I know I’m about to face a challenge.

“Fight Song” by Rachel Platten: “I’ll play my fight song, And I don’t really care if nobody else believes, ‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me.” I love this song because it’s about believing in yourself no matter the situation.

Jennifer Caringal has led securities litigation trial teams at her firm. She is also active in her firm’s SPAC task force consisting of attorneys, investigators, and forensic accountants dedicated to prosecuting fraud on behalf of injured investors in special purpose acquisition companies. The Chicago native took a year of leave from her firm to work in Turkey with Syrian refugees and support indigent clients in Kenya.

To contact the reporters on this story: Lisa Helem at lhelem@bloombergindustry.com; Kibkabe Araya in Washington at karaya@bloombergindustry.com