With profound regret, CGL announces the passing of founding partner Jonathan W. Cuneo.
“Throughout his career, Jon advanced and defended the rights of consumers, investors, small businesses and others aggrieved by powerful parties or institutions and that mission continues,” said Charles J. LaDuca, Chairman of the Washington, DC based law firm and a leading litigator
of class action lawsuits on behalf of consumers and homeowners harmed by defective products and materials.
Early in his career, with his Columbia University BA and Cornell University JD, Jon clerked for Judge Edward Tamm of the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, a leading force in the protection of defendants’ rights. Next, Jon served as a Federal Trade Commission attorney and, then, counsel to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee under legendary chairman Peter Rodino (D-NJ). As he developed his private practice founded in 1988, Jon was Washington Counsel on several ground-breaking civil actions including one of the first against “big tobacco” and the largest securities fraud case to-date.
In the “Joe Camel” case, argued in California state courts and successfully settled in 1997, Jon and the litigation team revealed that the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company’s advertising campaign was specifically targeting underage children with its promotional cartoon character. For his role, Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA) called Jon a “real American hero.”
On behalf of thousands of defrauded investors in Enron Corp., Jon and the litigation team recovered more than $7 billion in federal court in 2009. It remains the largest settlement of its kind.
As Jon’s firm grew to become CGL, in one of its most noteworthy cases as lead counsel, it represented Hungarian Holocaust survivors seeking restitution and an accounting from the U.S. Government for personal property seized from the Jewish community by the Hungarian Nazi government and shipped toward Germany on the “Gold Train” during the closing days of World War II. Intercepted by U.S. Army units in Austria, the train was looted. Following five years of litigation, CGL recovered $25.5 million in 2005 from the U.S. Government and won an apology for the conduct of the U.S. Army from the George W. Bush Administration.
“In addition to CGL, Jon co-founded the Committee to Support Antitrust Laws, the American Antitrust Institute and the National Association of Shareholder and Consumer Attorneys, reflecting his devotion to protecting and strengthening rights to a fair and competitive marketplace,” explained Pamela Gilbert, CGL partner and a well-known consumer rights proponent and government affairs counselor. “Jon’s roles as a leader in the bar and a role model for younger lawyers cements a legacy that will last for decades to come.”
“Although Jon will be sorely missed, we carry on with his work as he wished,” CGL chairman LaDuca added. “To honor Jon’s unique achievements and legacy, our firm’s name will remain unchanged,”