Thomas B. Mayhew

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Thomas Mayhew is a trial lawyer who represents companies and individuals in high-stakes business disputes.  He represents both plaintiffs and defendants from the Bay Area's leading industries in cases involving breach of contract, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and other business torts.  He has significant class action experience, litigating more than 30 class actions including claims of false advertising, corporate breach of fiduciary duty, and federal securities law.  While his passion is trying cases in front of juries, judges, and arbitrators, Mr. Mayhew furthers the business goals of his clients by settling cases where a settlement can be reached on favorable terms, whether at an early mediation or on the courthouse steps.   

Mr. Mayhew has handled a number of technology disputes.  He recently obtained summary judgment on a $450 million damages claim in federal court based on a technology development agreement, by showing that an exclusive remedies provision in the contract barred the claim.  He has represented several fabless semiconductor companies in disputes about chip failures.  He was first-chair in a two week arbitration concerning the sale of a technology company involving allegations that the seller had failed to disclose critical issues involving the ownership of the company's IP, and in another case tried an arbitration over the correct calculation of royalties due under a patent infringement settlement. 

Other significant matters in his diverse practice include a $9.89 million jury verdict, including punitive damages, for intentional interference with contract against commercial landlords who prevented a business acquisition; a settlement, on the second day of jury trial, in a multimillion dollar case against a contract manufacturer for negligent quality control; and a nine week bench trial of a complex class action against Bank of America for fraud and "false claims" over the handling of municipal bond issues, which resulted in the bank disgorging over $187.5 million to state and local governments. In a criminal case, he and his co-counsel obtained a complete acquittal and dismissal of all five counts after a three and a half week jury trial. 

Mr. Mayhew defends 17200 and consumer claims in class actions in both federal and state court. He has defended a large number of cases under 17200, involving allegations of false labeling or advertising, kickback schemes, pricing/antitrust violations, and other allegedly "unfair" and "unlawful" business practices.  He has also represented both individuals and corporations in federal securities class actions, derivative suits, and partnership disputes.  Notable matters include defending Nestle Waters in a series of lawsuits claiming that its bottled water was mislabeled as "spring water;" successfully defeating class certification in a federal RICO case against an on-line auctioneer accused of fraudulently bidding on its own items; and representing the Chief Accounting Officer and acting Chief Financial Officer of McKesson in a number of lawsuits over McKesson's purchase of HBOC and the disclosure of accounting problems.

Mr. Mayhew served as president of the Northern California Chapter of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers in 2017, and is the editor of the ABTL Report. He is recognized in Best Lawyers in America in the area of Commercial Litigation and in Benchmark Litigation. He clerked for Judge David Levi of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California, and Judge William W. Schwarzer of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, sitting by designation on the Third Circuit and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeals.