- University of California at San Diego (B.A., 1991)
- University of Nevada, Las Vegas (M.S., with honors, 1996)
- Cornell Law School (J.D., magna cum laude, 1999)
Rachel Black, who is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee, focuses her practice on high-stakes commercial litigation for plaintiffs and defendants at trial and appellate levels across the country. These complex matters involve a variety of claims, including patent infringement, audit malpractice, financial fraud, unfair business practices, environmental remediation, breach of contract, and antitrust. She provides efficient, dedicated representation for high-profile clients such as General Electric, the world’s leading commercial satellite manufacturer, SSL, and hedge-fund manager, Louis Bacon.
Ms. Black recently served as counsel to the largest political subdivisions in California—including the University of California system, the California State University System, and the County of Los Angeles, to name a few—in a ground-breaking suit against wireless carriers for over-billing the government. In the matter, State of California, et al., On The Go Wireless, LLC, v. CELLCO Partnership, et al, she helped secure settlements of $175 million.
Ms. Black also served as legal counsel to former members of the legendary rock group The Turtles in Flo & Eddie, Inc. v. Sirius XM Radio, Inc. in a certified class action lawsuit against Sirius XM that settled less than 48 hours before the jury trial was scheduled to begin. Sirius XM agreed to pay at least $25.5 million (over $16 million after fees and expenses) and royalties under a 10-year license that is valued up to $62 million (over $41 million after fees and expenses) as compensation for publicly performing without a license Pre-1972 sound recordings. The settlement was approved by the Court and received widespread media coverage from The New York Times, Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, Law360, Rolling Stone, Variety, and Reuters.
Ms. Black is not deterred by any opponent, no matter how formidable. In In re Queen’s University at Kingston et al, Black and a team of Susman Godfrey attorneys represent Queens University in a patent battle against multinational conglomerate Samsung, where the team won a first of its kind recognition of patent agent privilege from the Federal Circuit. Ms. Black was recognized with the Editor’s Choice Award from Managing IP for her efforts on this case.
The legal community has taken note of Ms. Black. In 2022, Lawdragon named her among the Top 500 Leading Litigators in the nation. In 2021, National Law Journal named her a Plaintiffs’ Lawyer Trailblazer and in 2020 it named her an Elite Woman of the Plaintiffs Bar (ALM). Black has been recognized as one of the “Top 50 Washington Women Super Lawyers” every year since 2015, a “Top 100 Washington Super Lawyer” every year since 2017, and a “Washington Super Lawyer” every year since 2012 by Washington Law & Politics Magazine (Thomson Reuters). For its 2018 – 2023 research cycles, Ms. Black was recognized by U.S. News – The Best Lawyers in America® as a top litigator in Seattle in three areas: commercial litigation, intellectual property litigation and patent litigation (Woodward White Inc.).
In 2019, Ms. Black was selected as a Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America, a peer-selected trial lawyer honor society. In January 2012, Ms. Black was elected to The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation. The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation is an honorary organization of lawyers, judges and legal scholars whose public and private careers have demonstrated outstanding dedication to the welfare of their communities and to the highest principles of the legal profession.
Ms. Black is also a powerful advocate for women and diversity in the legal profession. In 2006, Ms. Black founded the Mother Attorneys Mentoring Association of Seattle, a specialty bar organization recognized by the Washington State Bar Association. This organization has paved the way for several related groups around the country.
Ms. Black is a powerful advocate for women and diversity in the legal profession. In 2006, she founded the Mother Attorneys Mentoring Association of Seattle, a specialty bar organization recognized by the Washington State Bar Association. The organization’s goals include empowering and supporting mother attorneys and promoting their advancement within the profession. She served as the President of the organization until 2012 and is currently a member of the Board of Directors. Since its founding, the organization has grown dramatically and has served to inspire the founding of sister organizations in other cities throughout the country, including San Diego, Austin, Denver, Northern Virginia, Los Angeles and Sacramento.
Ms. Black has also been a member of Susman Godfrey’s diversity committee and is a former member of the Washington State Bar Committee for Diversity.