HUESTON HENNIGAN LLP, Managing partner
When Moez Kaba co-founded downtown-based Hueston Hennigan in 2015, he hoped to create the premier go-to litigation firm.
Kaba, now the managing partner of the firm, has racked up an impressive trial record to bolster that reputation. Those victories include a $293 million false advertising and trade secret verdict for Monster Energy and a full defense verdict for Endo Pharmaceuticals against the state. He is launching the firm’s expansion in New York this year.
The son of Pakistani immigrants, Kaba was the first in his family to attend college.
How did you discover your interest in law? And how did you arrive at your specialty?
My interest in the law developed at an early age, as I saw my parents struggle with the legal system as working-class immigrants. Without knowing much about what it even meant to be a lawyer, I believed that the law was a powerful tool to protect and advance rights. My focus is on trial work, which I find to be the most challenging and exhilarating part of our practice. My ability to be an effective trial lawyer is really the product of working with and learning from wonderful colleagues like John Hueston, Brian Hennigan and my other partners and our associates and staff.
Tell us about the most noteworthy or interesting case (or cases) that you’ve been involved with.
Given the nature of practice, focusing on high-stakes, complex litigation, there are many interesting cases I’ve been able to work on. I’ll highlight a particularly important and personal one: In 2020, we began representing Freedom for Immigrants, a California nonprofit that sponsored a hotline for persons in immigration detention to report abuse in the nation’s civil immigration detention facilities. The hotline was featured in an episode of the Netflix show “Orange is the New Black.” On that fictional show, the hotline number was covertly shared amongst immigrants being held, with one character telling another to not let the guards find out because they would shut the hotline down. And incredibly, shortly after the show aired, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement shut the hotline down. Along with my colleagues, we sued ICE, won a preliminary injunction in 2021, got the hotline restored, and ultimately entered into a settlement with ICE so the hotline would be protected going forward.
What do you envision as your next step, career-wise?
In January of this year, I was elected the managing partner of Hueston Hennigan, and we opened an office in New York. It is an exciting and busy time for our firm, with a string of major record-setting victories across practice areas, including contract, tort and IP cases.
How did the pandemic affect your career, and what do you think is on the horizon for the legal industry?
We had several trials during the pandemic (starting in 2020 and continuing to present). In many ways, the pandemic showed the resilience of the legal profession. Courts, counsel and clients adapted to remote work. Our firm built out a virtual courtroom so that we could seamlessly try cases from our offices. Our attorneys quickly adjusted, and I think lawyers across the country became even more efficient. I suspect that we will continue seeing a lot more remote activity — depositions, hearings, etc.
Tell us about branching off with a group of colleagues to form your own firm, especially in a market like Los Angeles.
When the group of us decided to launch Hueston Hennigan, we did so with a vision to be one of the best trial-law firms in the country. That was a unifying purpose and, we thought, a unique opportunity. We trusted each other, we liked each other and we were inspired to build something together. All of these things remain true. We believe that because of our practice and our on-your-feet training, we are able to hire some of the best and brightest attorneys in the country. We are fortunate that our clients trust us with their most important and complex cases. We work hard every day to earn that trust and deliver.