Litigator of the Year: Roberta Kaplan
Edith Windsor was mad. She'd been with Thea Spyer for more than 40 years. The women married in Canada in 2007, and Spyer had died after a long illness. Adding to the loss was a hefty estate tax bill. If the United States had recognized their marriage, Windsor would have been entitled to the spousal exemption. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison's Roberta Kaplan, a gay corporate litigator with an independent streak, took the pro bono suit all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. She helped invalidate part of the Defense of Marriage Act and changed the idea of what it means to love until death do you part.