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July 29, 2021

Law firm partner Joan Haratani to receive 2021 ABA Margaret Brent Award

CHICAGO, July 29, 2021 – Joan Haratani, a partner at Morgan Lewis in San Francisco, is a recipient of the American Bar Association’s 2021 Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award.

Haratani will receive the award, given annually by the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession, at a virtual ceremony at 4 p.m. CDT Thursday, Aug. 5 during the 2021 ABA Hybrid Annual Meeting

In addition to Haratani, the 2021 award recipients include Irma Gonzalez, Joyce Hughes, Pamela Karlan and Ellen Rosenblum.

“These five distinguished women are role models for all women in the legal profession. We honor their achievements and look forward to celebrating with them at the virtual 2021 Margaret Brent Awards ceremony,” said Maureen Mulligan, chair of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession.

Haratani specializes in mass tort litigations. Her practice spans state and federal law, including the Alien Tort Statute, California’s Unfair Competition Law (UCL), pharmaceutical and medical device liability doctrines and national mortgage foreclosure issues. Her crisis work includes serving as one of the lead national counsel in litigations involving the possible contamination of a blood product with hepatitis C. That case resulted in a worldwide recall.

Haratani also represented a major food manufacturer in a high-exposure product liability case alleging the product resulted in apoplexia to an infant, with a demand for more than $50 million in compensatory damages. As first chair trial lawyer, she reached a favorable settlement just as the trial was about to begin.

She frequently represents medical device makers in product liability cases, including litigation involving surgical equipment and implantable intraocular lenses. As co-lead counsel on behalf of a Fortune 50 retail company, Haratani secured a dismissal at the federal court level in a worldwide class action concerning breach of contract allegations. That decision was later affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. Currently, she serves as one of the firm’s national counsel for a financial institution.

Haratani has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in California and as a Top 75 Women Litigator by the Daily Journal. She was selected by the corporate members of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association as a Female Litigator on the Rise in Diversity & the Bar. She was also named one of the 500 most influential Asian Americans in America by Avenue Asia magazine.

Haratani has served as a member of the ABA House of Delegates. She also served as president for the Bar Association of San Francisco, the first woman of color to hold that position. She is a past president of the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area, as well as past regional governor of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. Haratani is a graduate of St. John’s College and received her law degree from the University of California, Davis School of Law.

The ABA Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award, established in 1991, honors outstanding women lawyers who have achieved professional excellence in their area of specialty and have actively paved the way to success for other women in the profession. The award is named for Margaret Brent, the first woman lawyer in America. Brent arrived in the colonies in 1638 and was involved in 124 court cases in more than eight years, winning every case.

Click here for a photo of Haratani.

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