Experience

Wit et al. v United Behavioral Health

Chief Magistrate Judge Spero of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California appointed Farella partner Doug Young as the Special Master charged with overseeing implementation of the injunctive relief ordered by the court in this landmark class action regarding coverage of behavioral health claims.

Wells Fargo Bank

Serve as counsel for eighteen Wells Fargo current and former employees ranging from senior executives to a member of the Wells Fargo litigation department to private financial advisers in internal (Audit Committee) and multiple federal government (DOJ, SEC, OCC, and state attorneys general) investigations and civil suits regarding allegations of improper retail and wealth management sales practices and improper consumer lending practices.  

CFO of Publicly Traded Company

Represented current CFO of a publicly traded company in connection with internal disputes and issues with regard to public filings and SEC inquiries. 

Office of the California State Public Defender

Retained to counsel and assist the Office of the California State Public Defender in dealing with certain professional-responsibility issues arising out of post-filing investigations of documents filed in connection with a writ of habeas corpus. Issues must be handled in both superior court and in the State Supreme Court.

Pegastaff v. Corestaff

Counsel for former PG&E executive and subject/target of parallel federal and state investigations, as a key trial witness in state court action alleging discrimination by PG&E in awarding contracts. Successful motion for protective order in May 2017, followed by further law-and-motion activities during jury selection in June 2017.

Hitachi America Auto Parts Investigation

Counsel for a Hitachi Automotive Systems executive in this high-profile antitrust cartel investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division.  Based on the Farella team’s efforts, the client has not been charged in the case and his identity remains confidential.

U.S.A. v. Abrams; SEC v. Abrams

Represented former CFO in U.S. DOJ prosecution and parallel SEC case relating to alleged backdating of stock option grants and tax evasion counts. Though she faced a potential sentence of up to six years, Ms. Abrams ultimately received a much more favorable sentence of only four months in custody.

Former Secretary of State George Shultz

Counsel for former Secretary of State George Shultz as non-party trial witness in two separate cases, one in federal district court in California and one in the Delaware Chancery Court. Colman v. Theranos, et al., U.S. Dist. Ct. N.D. CA and Partner Investments v. Theranos, et al., Delaware Chancery Court

Toyota Unintended Acceleration Economic Loss Class Actions

Co-lead defense counsel for Toyota in federal multidistrict proceedings alleging a putative nationwide class of vehicle owners who claim economic losses stemming from diminution of resale value due to purported concealed defects in electronic throttle control systems.  Plaintiffs asserted claims under the UCL, FAL, CLRA and various statutory warranty and common law claims.

Marks v. National Mortgage Insurance, et al.

Represented a public company and executive leadership team in defense of civil trade-secret allegations.

Federal and State Criminal Investigations of Alleged Misconduct and Public Corruption

In USA v Pacific Gas & Electric Company, represented former vice-president at the public utility company who is target of federal and state criminal investigations into two matters: (1) a gas pipeline explosion; and (2) alleged public corruption issues involving utility and regulator.

Auto Parts Investigation

Representing several individuals in the ongoing antitrust investigations into alleged collusion in the auto parts industry.

Brocade Derivative Litigation

Represented public-company board member in federal derivative action by corporate litigation committee.

U.S. v. Yang

Represented Korean national, Woo Jin Yang of HLDS in U.S. DOJ antitrust price-fixing investigation and prosecution in the Optical Disk Drives industry. Mr. Yang was recently sentenced to six months imprisonment, the lowest sentence of any alleged cartel participant in the investigation.

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.

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. 

U.S. v. Sun Woo Lee

Represented a high-level Korean national executive at Samsung in one of the first in a recent spate of prosecutions by the DOJ Antitrust Division for violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act, Section 1, through participation in alleged cartel conspiracy to fix prices for DRAM semiconductors sold in the United States.

People v. Broderick Boys

We worked with the ACLU to set aside a sweeping permanent injunction issued against alleged members of West Sacramento's 'Broderick Boys' gang. The permanent injunction covers 80% of the city, imposes a lifetime 10 p.m. curfew and affects over 350 individuals, most of whom were never provided notice of the injunction or an opportunity to oppose its imposition. (Pro bono)

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

Represent individuals and corporations in various FCPA issues.

  • Represented executive of international software corporation in investigation of Foreign Corrupt Practices issues arising out of activities in Brazil.
  • Represented a former Chief Technology Officer of a publicly traded health care company in federal Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigation regarding business of China subsidiary.
  • Represented Silicon Valley private software company in federal investigation regarding alleged H-1 visa fraud.
  • Conducted two-month internal investigation into Foreign Corrupt Practices Act-related issues involving China for the Audit Committee at a NASDAQ-traded Silicon Valley computer hardware company.

U.S.A. v. Wittenberg; S.E.C. v. Wittenberg

Represented senior law firm partner criminally prosecuted and civilly accused for trading on client trade secrets.

Silverado Resort and Country Club

We thwarted an attempt by the owner of The Silverado Resort in Napa Valley to terminate our client's long-term management agreement.  We also provided pre-litigation counseling on a variety of property management issues, and general business counseling on the management of the luxury resort.

Cadence v. Avant!; People v. Avant!

In these parallel civil/criminal proceedings, the firm represented the CEO of Avant!, who was among several individual defendants alleged (along with the corporation) of having been involved in the theft of source code belonging to the plaintiff/“victim.”  The issues involved Integrated Circuit Design Automation, defined generally as the field of automated software tools for the design and creation of sophisticated integrated circuits.  The case settled favorably for our client. 

Criminal and Civil Investigations

  • Two investigations for public companies and company boards of directors regarding allegations of stock backdating, one allegedly involving senior executives.
  • Representations of individual corporate executives for involvement in alleged antitrust price-fixing conspiracies in the (i)  airline passenger, (ii) airline shipping,   (iii) computer-parts (several, including DRAM, SRAM, and TFT-LCD), (iv) automotive-parts (three), and other federal antitrust investigations.
  • Representation of senior corporate executive in FCPA investigation of bribery allegations arising in connection with Brazilian corporate office.
  • Representation of senior officer of “Top Four” international accounting firm in federal criminal and S.E.C. civil investigation regarding inappropriate accounting for corporate transactions.
  • Representation of former public utility executive in parallel investigations by DOJ, AG and other organizations.
  • Representation of individual corporate employee in federal criminal investigation into causes of passenger airline crash with multiple fatalities.
  • Representation of individual as target in federal grand jury investigation into alleged bribery in connection with negotiations leading to contract for construction in public club.
  • Multiple representations of individuals as targets in S.E.C. investigations in a wide variety of accounting-related probes at public companies.
  • Representation of public-entity in grand jury investigation into alleged bribery by State Senator.
  • Representation of public company in internal review of compliance standards.
  • Representation of public-company board member in internal investigation following “whistleblower” allegations of sexual and other improprieties by company CEO and alleged cover-up of same.
  • Representation of individuals in connection with I.R.S. investigations of alleged tax improprieties and issues.
  • Representation of California Independent Service Operator in State Senate investigation of issues pertaining to purchase and distribution of power supplies.
  • Appointed as counsel to Ninth Circuit special committee to investigate and report on conduct of sitting judge, under 28 U.S.C. § 353(1) (2012).

Federal Criminal Justice Act Representations

For 18 years served as a court-appointed member of the Federal Criminal Justice Act panel to represent indigent defendants at the trial level. Multiple federal trials and other representations. Also appointed by federal courts, at the trial and appellate levels, to represent three individuals on California’s Death Row: one three-week trial and two Ninth Circuit arguments.

McKesson HBOC Securities Litigation, civil and criminal actions

Represented acting CFO of public company as defendant in internal corporate investigation, federal civil class actions, S.E.C., and as target (but not-prosecuted witness) in federal criminal prosecutions involving alleging inflated earnings as a result of accounting fraud.

Attorney Representations

Regularly represents law firms and individual lawyers in cases where malpractice, conflicts, or ethical issues are at stake. Multiple investigations, 3 trials, and approximately 10 appellate arguments.

Ball v. GTE Moblinet, et al.

Represented public-company cellular phone provider in class action alleging unfair and unlawful business practices in connection with bills for “non-communication” time.

Bell Savings

Represented CEO of public savings and loan in parallel civil class actions and federal criminal investigations.

Budwin v. American Psychological Association

Represented professional association on appeal of court order in favor of member alleging improper censure.

Clark v. Pinnacle, et al.

Represent individual as defendant in two state and one federal fraud action in connection with operation and insurance coverage for Army bases on East and West coast bases.