Business Litigation

BUSINESS LITIGATION ENGAGEMENTS

AGF Reinsurance et al. v. Spar Aerospace LTD
In an action testing the boundaries of industry‑standard contracts, we defended the Canadian manufacturer of a communication satellite that malfunctioned after launch in an action brought by an international consortium of insurance companies that underwrote launch insurance for the mission. Read More
Atmel Corporation v. Ericsson

We represented Atmel, a leading semiconductor manufacturer, in a multi-week arbitration through which we obtained an award of over $43 million arising from Ericsson's misappropriation of Atmel's patented AVR microcontroller technology and Ericsson's multiple breaches of the parties' license agreement.  The International Centre for Dispute Resolution, International Arbitration Tribunal also awarded Atmel a permanent injunction prohibiting Ericsson from continued misappropriation of Atmel's proprietary technology. Read More

BART v. GE Transportation Systems
We represented GE in a $500 million federal court litigation in the Northern District of California involving the development of an experimental train control technology for BART. The case successfully settled after a partial summary judgment motion knocked out BART’s breach of contract claim based on the exclusive remedy provision of the contract.Read More
Bass PLC v. The Promus Companies

Represented Bass in litigation filed in the Southern District of New York, in asserting claims for breach of warranties made in connection with a $2 billion merger through which Bass acquired the domestic Holiday Inn system.  The action settled on favorable terms to Bass. Read More

Boldryev v. Frankel

We represented the original developer of WinAmp, the industry leading MP3 player, involving claims of fraud, copyright infringement, and partnership accounting by an alleged co-developer, following the sale of the company to AOL.  The case was successfully resolved. Read More

Brazil v. Dell Inc.

We defended Dell in a federal court consumer class action alleging false advertising and misrepresentations concerning product discounts and asserting claims for alleged violations of the Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”), Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §§ 17200 et seq., the False Advertising Law (“FAL”), Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17500 et seq., the Consumer Legal Remedies Act (“CLRA”), Cal. Civ. Code §§ 1750 et seq., intentional and negligent misrepresentation, unjust enrichment and breach of contract. Read More

California Independent System Operator Corporation

We have represented the California ISO, the nonprofit corporation that runs California’s electricity grid, in a wide variety of matters.  During the height of the California electricity crisis, we obtained injunctions forcing certain generators to continue supplying electricity, thus alleviating to some degree the rolling blackouts California experienced in winter 2001.  We have also represented the ISO in various arbitrations and disputes with market participants. Read More

Chowdhury v. Northwest Airlines Corp.

With the American Civil Liberties Union, we are representing on a pro bono basis an American citizen of Bangladeshi descent, who was denied permission to board a Northwest Airlines flight shortly after 9/11, even after airport security agents and the FBI cleared the plaintiff to fly.  The case, filed in Federal court, alleges discrimination based on race, color, religion, ancestry and/or national origin. Read More

City of San Jose v. Paine Webber, Jackson Curtis, Inc., et al.

Defended William E. Pollack & Company in trial against claims by the City of San Jose arising from losses in excess of $70 million for alleged securities fraud and churning of City funds invested in reverse repurchase bond transactions.  (U.S. District Court, Northern District of California)Read More

Claydon v. Nestle Waters North America
We successfully defended Nestle Waters in an alleged nationwide consumer class action filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, claiming that Nestle Waters intentionally delivered unordered products to residential and commercial customers.  After four years of litigation, we obtained summary judgment against plaintiff’s nationwide class breach of contract theory, and then defeated class certification on the remaining false advertising, Business & Professions Code section 17200 unfair competition, and fraud claims.Read More
Copeland v. Baskin Robbins U.S.A.

In the trial court we won a complete dismissal of the plaintiff’s case against our client Baskin-Robbins in the face of multimillion dollar claims involving a dispute over a letter of intent and term sheet.  We then successfully defended the judgment on appeal.  Read More

Cox Communications

We have advised Cox Communications and its Bay Area television broadcast stations KTVU and KICU on matters pertaining both to business issues such as relationships with on-air talent and advertisers and to First Amendment issues such as the content of news broadcasts and responses to subpoenas and other inquiries directed to news reporters.  For example, the firm represented a KTVU/Fox reporter in motions to obtain access to wiretaps of his conversations with murder defendant Scott Peterson. Read More

Dajani v. Dell
We defended Dell Inc. in federal court consumer class action alleging violations of various California and Texas consumer protection statutes and common law claims arising from alleged false advertising and misrepresentations concerning ink level warnings in inkjet printers.  We obtained dismissal of all claims at the pleading stage.  Read More
Danisco, et al. v Syngenta

Representing Danicsco in litigation pending in United States District Court for Northern District of California relating to enforceability of restrictive covenant in senior executive employment contract. Read More

Deluxe Data v. Visa International, et al.

In this case, perhaps the first in the country tried under the “inevitable disclosure” trade secrets doctrine, the firm represented Visa, its data processing system, and seven individuals who were sued for having left the plaintiff en masse, allegedly with knowledge of source code and “know-how” related to the functionality in ATM machines worldwide.  The case was tried in state court in Milwaukee for approximately two weeks, and our clients prevailed on every count.  The decision in favor of our clients was affirmed by the Wisconsin Court of Appeals. Read More

Disney Enterprises, Inc. et al. v Hotfile Corp., et al.
We represent an internet file-hosting company against copyright infringement claims brought by five major movie studios in federal district court in Florida.  The case involves cutting-edge issues of law under the DMCA, the Stored Communications Act and the Copyright Act in the cloud-computing context.  Read More
Dr. Bonner
We represented Dr. Bronner’s, a manufacturer of organic skin care products, in an action against several major cosmetic companies asserting that the skin care products of the defendants which were advertised and sold as “organic” were not in fact organic as understood by consumers in California. The critical issue in this action was determination of what constitutes “organic” ingredients in skin care products to justify advertising and presenting those products as “organic.” After several years of litigation in state and federal courts in San Francisco, the matter is currently pending before the USDA. Read More
Dumas et al. v. The Upper Deck Company et al.

Defended an unfair competition class action brought in federal court in San Diego against a distributor of sports trading cards arising from its marketing and advertising practices. Read More

Financial Security Assurance Antitrust Actions
Representing Financial Security Assurance Inc. ("FSA") in a series of cases brought by various municipal bond issuers alleging that FSA and a number of other municipal bond insurer defendants illegally agreed and conspired to artificially inflate the prices of municipal bond insurance in violation of the antitrust laws.  Sacramento Municipal Utility District v. Ambac Financial Group, Inc. et al.; City of Los Angeles Dept. of Water & Power v. Ambac Financial Group, Inc. et al.; and City of Sacramento v. Ambac Financial Group, Inc., et al.Read More
Flat Panel Antitrust Litigation

We represent Dell Inc. in a pending federal multidistrict antitrust litigation. Dell has accused several Japanese and South Korean LCD panel manufacturers of colluding to fix the world-wide prices of LCD screens. The case is scheduled for trial in the Fall of 2012. Read More

Frank-Lin v. Impace Distribution

Represented alcoholic beverage company in lawsuit against manufacturing facility. Case settled for $1.1 million on second day of trial. Read More

Garcia v. Dell Financial Services

We are defending Dell Financial Services in a federal court consumer class action alleging claims for violations of the Penal Code, the UCL, invasion of privacy and negligence arising from the alleged recording of customer phone call without consent.  Read More

Gonzalez v. Abercrombie & Fitch

We are part of an attorney team representing Abercrombie & Fitch in a nationwide class action alleging race and gender discrimination.  Read More

Grunfeld v Taldan Investment Co.
Represented Ernie Grunfeld (current President of Basketball Operations for the Washington Wizards and former NBA star) in a two week trial before U.S. District Court Judge Lowell Jensen to successfully prosecute claims for breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty against Talden Investment Company arising from failed real estate investments.  (U.S. District Court, Northern District of California)Read More
Gump v Wells Fargo Bank (San Francisco Superior Court)
Defended Wells Fargo Bank in a four month trial against multi-million dollar claims for breach of trust and breach of fiduciary duty.  The trial involved a challenge to the bank's role as trustee for the Gump trust, whose primary assets were the Gump's department store in San Francisco, in addition to various real estate holdings and other assets.  (San Francisco Superior Court)Read More
Haggarty v. Stryker Orthopaedics
We represented Stryker in a class action alleging unlawful kickbacks to physicians in order to encourage them to select Stryker medical devices. We substituted in as co-counsel after the matter had been litigated for two years and a motion to dismiss had been denied, and within six months convinced plaintiff to dismiss the case with prejudice in exchange for a waiver of costs. Read More
Hych et al. v. CTS

We represented a telecommunications firm sued in San Diego Superior Court in a consumer unfair practices action alleging “slamming” of telephone customers who were signed up for service contracts without their authorization. We obtained a defense judgment on all claims following trial in San Diego. Read More

Imagine This v. Contel Cellular
We successfully defended a summary judgment for Contel Cellular and its parent company in a tort action. Read More
Individual Actions; Discrimination (Disability)
We represented the Inter-Continental Hotel Group (formerly Six Continents and Holiday Inns) in actions brought by both individuals and government entities relating to handicap accessibility and claims of discrimination brought in both state and federal courts.  Read More
Inter-Continental Hotels Corporation v. California Hotel Acquisition Corporation, et al.
Represented Inter-Continental Hotels Corporation and Bass Hotels and Resorts in various actions pending in federal and state courts in Los Angeles as well as the Ninth Circuit, arising out of the termination of Inter-Continental's management agreement for the Hotel Inter-Continental Los Angeles.  The case involved breach of contract, tort and unfair competition claims.  We subsequently assisted Inter-Continental Hotels in transitioning management of the hotel to Omni Hotels.Read More
Koch v. PLM Corporation, et al.

We defended two class actions filed in Alabama and California against a major equipment leasing corporation arising from its sale to investors of limited partnership units in various equipment leasing funds.  After quickly obtaining a number of favorable rulings, we reached a tentative settlement of all claims which must be approved by the court. Read More

Kristensen et al. v. Great Spring Waters of America, et al.

We defended two consumer class actions against a manufacturer of nationally known bottled water products alleging consumer fraud arising from its labeling and sale of spring water products.  The claims were successfully resolved and the matter dismissed. Read More

Macromedia v. Ashford.com
Represented Macromedia in connection with an action against Ashford.com for claims arising from a software license and consulting agreement relating to Macromedia’s LikeMinds software.  We succeeded in avoiding extensive discovery and obtaining a prompt and favorable settlement for our client.  Read More
MPS Acquisition, Inc. v Micro Power Systems, Inc., et al.
Defended Micro Power Systems, Inc. in a multi-million dollar suit for breach of contract, fraud and conspiracy resulting from failed acquisition negotiations.  Obtained judgment for the defendant, and then acted as lead counsel in a trial in Santa Clara Superior Court before the Honorable Conrad Rushing to successfully establish alter-ego liability against the principals of MPS Acquisition, Inc. to enforce recovery on cross-complaint. Obtained a verdict in favor of plaintiffs on all issues, which was affirmed on appeal.
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Nut Tree
We represented one of three branches of the multi-generational family partnership that owned and operated, among other things, the Nut Tree restaurant and retail complex in Vacaville in partnership dissolution and fiduciary duty litigation.  Through the litigation, we successfully ended years of money losing operations and were able to extricate our clients from the failing partnership at full fair market value levels, despite provisions in the partnership agreement precluding such actions and requiring a buyout at much lower book value prices. Read More
Oestreicher v. Alienware (Dell)
We defended a Dell subsidiary in a consumer class action alleging that high end gaming computers prematurely overheated and failed and asserting claims under the CLRA, UCL, FAL and common law.  Dismissal of all claims at the pleading stage was affirmed on appeal.  Read More
Omstead v. Dell

We defended Dell in federal court consumer class action alleging UCL, FAL, CLRA, Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act and common law claims arising from allegedly fraudulent marketing and advertising of notebook computers.  We obtained early order compelling enforcement of class-waiver arbitration clause in consumer adhesion contracts and then dismissal for lack of prosecution.  The matter has settled, pending court approval of the settlement agreement. Read More

Round Table Franchise Corporation
We have represented Round Table Franchise Corporation for over fifteen years on a wide variety of litigation matters, including franchisee disputes (contract issues, termination issues, and trademark claims),   lease disputes, employment claims, contract disputes and ADA compliance claims. Read More
S.Com v InServe
Successful defended venture capital fund at trial against various alter ego theories seeking to establish liability of investment entity. Read More
SEC v. Abrams
Represented CFO in SEC case relating to alleged backdating of stock option grants and other accounting errors. Read More
SEC v. Leslie
We represented a former software company CEO in defense of a civil enforcement action brought by the SEC alleging accounting improprieties. After obtaining a ruling on summary judgment that significantly narrowed the claims against our client, we negotiated a favorable settlement with the SEC. Read More
Six Continents PLC -- Holiday Inns
We  represented Bass PLC (now Six Continents PLC) in litigation arising out of its $2.3 billion acquisition of Holiday Inns.  Working with a variety of hospitality industry consultants, we successfully prosecuted and ultimately settled Bass’ claim that Holiday Inns misrepresented the condition of its hotels throughout the Untied States. Read More
Steele v. Nokia
Represented Nokia in a first-impression case in which the plaintiff has brought a products liability claim against Nokia arising out of the use of cellular technology in an automobile.  A successful dismissal was obtained. Read More
Stull ex rel. State of California v. Bank of America et al.
In this whistleblower California False Claims Act action, we represented the qui tam plaintiff in a False Claims Act and class action complaint filed in San Francisco Superior Court. We were joined by the State of California and approximately 300 local government entities against Bank of America in a dispute arising from the bank’s breaches of its duties as trustee and paying agent of municipal bond issues. We were lead trial counsel in the first phase of a bifurcated trial which led to the payment in 1998 of a $187.5 million settlement, by far the largest settlement ever achieved in the history of the California False Claims Act. Read More
Sunwest Construction v. Asera Group

Represented Philippine company in a breach of contract action against a supplier of windmills and solar panels. Obtained a stipulated judgment against defendants for the full amount sought, plus fees and costs. Read More

Technology Licensing Agreement Arbitrations
Represented Novartis in a series of arbitrations arising out of technology licensing agreements. Read More
Titeflex
Serve as national coordinating counsel for products liability litigation relating to gas delivery system. Read More
Tourgeman v. Dell Financial Services, et al.
We are defending Dell Financial Services in a federal court consumer class action alleging claims for negligence, invasion of privacy and violations of the UCL arising from allegedly incorrect debt information provided to a purchaser of charged off loans. Read More
Toyota Motor Company Class Action Cases
We have been hired to act as co-lead counsel to Toyota in federal multidistrict litigation class-action cases relating to allegations of unintended acceleration, inappropriate marketing and sales practices, and products liability.  The cases are venued in the federal district court, Central District of California, in Santa Ana, Calif. Read More
Visa v. Maritz
Represented Visa in connection with claims against Maritz arising out of Maritz's attempt to develop and deploy a points based rewards program for Visa and its members. Read More
Weiner v. Cal Shake
Represented a class of homeowners in a trial relating to sale of defective products. Read More