Townsend and Townsend and Crew - History


Kilpatrick Stockton was formed by the 1997 merger of two firms, Kilpatrick & Cody of Atlanta, Georgia, and Petree Stockton of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The firm that would become Kilpatrick & Cody was founded in 1874 by Milton W. Candler and William S. Thomson. The firm became in-house counsel for the Coca-Cola company, and as early as 1893 secured federal registration of the Coca-Cola trademark.

In 1978, the firm counseled The Northwestern Bank in a merger with First Union National Bank. The transaction was a harbinger of the mass bank consolidation that would take place in the next three decades. The next year, the firm took on representation of the town of Triana, Alabama, whose water had been polluted by the pesticide DDT. The firm eventually secured a recovery of $26 million, plus all annual health care costs for the injured townspeople.

In 2000, Kilpatrick Stockton successfully represented Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s family in a lawsuit over the CBS network's unauthorized use of the famous "I Have a Dream" speech. In 2001, the firm took on the defense of the Houghton Mifflin Company's parody The Wind Done Gone. In a precedent-setting case, the firm defeated a pre-publication restraining order from Margaret Mitchell's estate.

Also in 2001, the firm participated in a groundbreaking win in the case of Cobell v. Kempthorne. Elouise Cobell brought a class-action suit on behalf of hundreds of thousands of plaintiffs alleging that the United States mismanaged funds held by it in trust for Native Americans. The plaintiffs prevailed in the first stage of the case, proving that the government mismanaged trust funds. The accounting portion of the case has not been resolved (as of July 2006).

On January 1, 2011, Kilpatrick Stockton and Townsend and Townsend and Crew merged to form Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP.

In 2011, the firm assisted Sony in its lawsuit against George Hotz and some people associated with the group fail0verflow, for "jailbreaking" the PlayStation 3. This included the attempted subpoena of Hotz's webhost to gather information about visitors to the site, as well as attempted subpoenas of YouTube, Twitter, Blogger and Paypal.

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