Experience

Electronic Health Record Startup Civil and Criminal Investigations

Counsel to software engineer witnesses in connection with Department of Justice and Department of Health and Human Services parallel civil and criminal investigations into electronic health record certification testing. Company ultimately agreed to $145M civil settlement and criminal fine to resolve related allegations.

Internal and Government Investigation Regarding Cyber Breach

Representing a California privately held corporation in internal and government investigation regarding cyber breach allegedly perpetrated by the company’s chief operating officer against a competitor. 

Biotech False Claims Act Litigation

Counsel to C-suite executives in False Claims Act litigation related to a biotech company’s product efficacy and alleged fraud, as well as employment-related claims.

United States v. Mogal, Zhang, et al.

This trade-secret-theft case was indicted in June 2018 against five former and one current Fitbit employees alleging that each defendant unlawfully possessed trade secrets of their former employer Jawbone, Inc.  We are counsel for the one current Fitbit employee, Ms. Zhang, in a high profile and closely watched federal criminal case pending in the Bay Area.  No trial date has been set.  U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (San Jose Division), Case No. CR 18-00259BLF

United States v. United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC)

Representing an indicted individual in this high-profile trade-secrets-theft case involving alleged trade secrets misappropriated from Micron Technology, Inc.  This is the first case brought under the Department of Justice’s “China Initiative” announced in November 2018, and involves cutting-edge jurisdictional issues.  No trial date has been set. U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (San Francisco Division) Case No. 3:18-cr-00465 MMC

USA v. Aston et al.

Represented UK national indicted for U.S. antitrust Sherman Act Section 1 violations and sentenced to just ten days supervised release. This case involved international extradition and INTERPOL issues. U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (San Francisco Division); Case No. 3:15-cr-00419-WHO.

Yahoo Cyber Breach Investigation

Representing several key executives and numerous employees in the Yahoo Cyber Breach investigation (client identities confidential) and follow-on regulatory and criminal investigations. This investigation involves possibly the most significant data breach in history. In addition to a recently concluded internal investigation by a special committee of Yahoo’s Board, Yahoo and its individuals are under investigation by the SEC, DOJ, and FTC, and are subject to dozens of civil lawsuits, as a result of allegations that some employees at the company knew about the data breach in 2014 and failed to escalate that information appropriately. As lead counsel for the Yahoo individuals in this high profile white collar matter, the Farella team is addressing some of the most complex and evolving white collar defense issues of the present day.

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.  

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.

Uber Technologies, Inc. Cyber Breach Investigation

Representing former Uber Information Security lead in internal and follow-on investigations regarding several alleged un-reported cyber breaches.

California Cleantech Start-up Whistleblower Investigation

Represented committee of the Board of Directors of non-public clean energy start-up in surgical-scope investigation regarding whistleblower allegations of potential False Claims Act and various other violations.  Acquired an in-depth understanding of technical representations made by various executives in order to evaluate weight of whistleblower allegations.  Conducted narrow scope of interviews of executives and board members and reviewed focused set of e-mail communications.

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. 

Controlled Substances Investigation

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

Corporate Governance and Board Advising for GC of Large-Scale Exempt Organization

Provided highly confidential advice and counseling on corporate governance and board relations matters to general counsel of large tax exempt organization.

EB-5 SEC Investigation, Immigration Attorney

Represented immigration attorney in SEC investigation regarding Regional Center marketing activities in the EB5 visa context. 

FCPA Investigation: Former Chief Technology Officer of Publicly Traded Health Care Company

Represented former Chief Technology Officer of a publicly traded health care company in ongoing federal Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) investigation regarding business of China subsidiary.

FINRA Representation

Represented large-scale privately held broker-dealer in a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) investigation regarding business development and cost sharing activities.   

Fintech Executive

Represented a senior financial services executive in internal and Securities and Exchange Commission investigations of financial technology company. 

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

Former Senior Executive of U.S. Pharmaceutical Company

Represented a former senior executive of a cutting-edge drug and biotechnology company in off-label marketing investigations by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and United States Attorneys’ Office.

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.

Insurance and Pharmaceutical Benefits Aggregator and Union Employer

Counsel to company president and union employer in formal disciplinary proceedings regarding union contracts and health insurance. Represented company president and employee witnesses in adversarial hearing. Prevailed before a decision-making panel that cleared client of wrongdoing in post-hearing decision. Ultimately negotiated settlement favorable for client and company.

International Antitrust Price Fixing Representations

Represented Korean, Japanese, and United States targets in twelve separate federal U.S. DOJ antitrust price-fixing investigations (and parallel civil cases) in the DRAM, SRAM, airline, air cargo, LCD, wire harness, CRT, ODD and auto parts industries. 

John Goodman / Goodman Real Estate

Represented board member and co-owner of entity contracted to provide privatized housing for military personnel and their families as a defendant in two suits for fraud (in California and Georgia) and a federal grand jury investigation out of Virginia.  Issues include breaking into federal facilities, insurance fraud, and other frauds.  Monterey Bay Military Housing v. Pinnacle Monterey, et al. and Fort Benning Family Communities, et al.

Molecular Diagnostic Test Company individuals

Represented former medical insurance reimbursement director and current Chief Medical Officer of company which markets a molecular diagnostic test in the cardiology and heart disease space. Parallel criminal and civil federal investigations, and state insurance investigation, occurring 2016-2017 (criminal probe complete as of April 2017, remainder ongoing). Investigations relate to Medicare and private payor reimbursement and health insurance issues, as well as the clinical data supporting the diagnostic test.

National Public Entity Investigation

Conducted internal investigation into materials security and property theft allegations for large-scale national public entity. Conducted dozens of employee interviews and navigated complex legal and union requirements for public entity.

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.

Payment Processor for Crypto-currency Business

Representing principal and founder of payment processor company in investigation by Securities and Exchange Commission and U.S. Department of Justice Tax division regarding crypto-currency business and tax activities.

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.

Pet Food Manufacturing Executive

Represented an executive in a federal criminal investigation in the Midwest regarding allegations of tainted, mislabeled pet food ingredients being sold into the manufacturing process.  Matter involves some of the largest pet food companies in the U.S. and has industry-altering implications.

Firm Highlights

News

Farella Braun + Martel Attorneys, Practices Recognized by Chambers USA 2020

SAN FRANCISCO, April 23, 2020: Farella Braun + Martel announces that Chambers USA has recognized 12 lawyers and five practice areas in the legal directory’s 2020 edition. Individual Rankings: Tyler Gerking – Insurance: Policyholders...

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News

Gov't Drops IP Theft Charges Against Ex-Jawbone Workers

Law360 reported that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California in San Jose moved to dismiss all trade-secret-theft charges against the remaining four defendants in what was originally a six-defendant case...

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Publication

Going it Alone: How to Manage Cybercrime Response With Less Government Help

By: Jessica K. Nall, Chair, White Collar Defense and Corporate Investigations practice and Aviva J. Gilbert, Senior Associate, White Collar Defense and Corporate Investigations practice, Farella Braun + Martel [1] Several years ago when...

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News

Benchmark Litigation Honors Farella’s Doug Young With Hall of Fame Award

Farella Braun + Martel’s Douglas R. Young was honored with Benchmark Litigation ’s Hall of Fame award at its annual awards ceremony on March 5th at the St. Regis in San Francisco. According to...

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Publication

INSIGHT: Are Your Employees Using Messaging Apps for Business Communications? Understanding Compliance Implications

Employees are using ephemeral messaging apps—where messages “disappear"—but do they? Farella Braun + Martel attorneys lay out legal pitfalls and compliance issues and the digital minefield that arises when employees don’t use company-sanctioned email...

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News

Farella Names New White Collar Defense & Internal Corporate Investigations Practice Co-Chairs

SAN FRANCISCO, June 29, 2020: Northern California legal powerhouse Farella Braun + Martel announces that Senior Associates Aviva J. Gilbert and Janice W. Reicher have been appointed co-chairs of its White Collar Defense and...

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Publication

FCC Designates Huawei as National Security Threat

In the ongoing confrontation between the U.S. government and Chinese telecom giant Huawei, the U.S. has dealt another major blow. The Federal Communications Commission issued an order on June 30, effective immediately, declaring that...

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