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Wiley Rein’s Tessa Capeloto Profiled by Law360 as ‘Rising Star’

October 21, 2019

Tessa Capeloto, of counsel in Wiley Rein’s International Trade and National Security practices, was profiled by Law360 as a 2019 “Rising Star” in International Trade. Ms. Capeloto is recognized as one of the top four lawyers in her practice area on this elite national list of attorneys under 40 whose legal accomplishments transcend their age.

Ms. Capeloto’s success on the behalf of the Coalition for Fair Trade of Hardwood Plywood was highlighted by Law360 as her biggest accomplishment of the past year. She was part of a Wiley Rein team that fought hard for the coalition, eventually earning a big win, years after the coalition lost its previous bid to secure levies on shipments from China, when the group was represented by different counsel. As a result, anti-dumping duties were levied by the U.S. Department of Commerce in November 2017 that went as high as 183.36% with countervailing duties up to 194.9% on Chinese wood. The U.S. International Trade Commission unanimously concluded in December 2017 that the domestic industry had been harmed by the Chinese imports, and the tariffs took effect in early 2018.

“We made some very aggressive arguments,” Ms. Capeloto said about the matter. “Our litigation strategy was different.”

“Oftentimes, it can make the difference between mills shutting down or greatly reducing their production [and] increasing their production and being a healthy and profitable operation,” Ms. Capeloto told Law360. “It has a huge impact on our clients, not only on the company themselves, but also on the workers and on their families, and all the different companies that rely on them as well.”

When asked what motivates her, Ms. Capeloto said that it’s the high stakes for her clients that push her through the tough cases.

“If we win, it can mean that people keep their jobs," she said. "If we lose, we know that people can, and in some cases that they do, lose their jobs. There’s a lot riding on these cases.”

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