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Representative Cases

Real Estate | Complex Business Litigation | Patent Litigation | Securities Litigation Practice Group – Representative Engagements | Securities litigation practice group – further representative engagements | SEC Investigation – Insider Trading (Denver Office)

Real Estate

  • Represented a private home owner and obtained a six-figure settlement in an action regarding property damage following a sewage spill from the City sewer system.
  • City of West Hollywood v. MDA Johnson Favaro, Walker Parking Consultants (Cal. Sup. Ct., Los Angeles County):  Represented the City of West Hollywood against the architects of the design and layout of City’s park expansion project, including new a Library, Council Chambers, and parking structures, resulting in a four million dollar settlement for the client.
  • Represented commercial REIT and obtained a settlement in an action brought by a commercial tenant over the ownership of a five million dollar refrigeration unit built into the commercial premises.
  • Bay Area Rapid Transit District (B.A.R.T.) v. Tanforan Park Shopping Center (Cal. Sup. Ct., San Mateo County):  Prosecuted and defended claims of condemnation and severance damages in the Superior Court of California, County of San Mateo, resulting in a favorable jury verdict in excess of $33 million.

Complex Business Litigation

  • City of West Hollywood v. MDA Johnson Favaro, Walker Parking Consultants (Cal. Sup. Ct., Los Angeles County): Represented the City of West Hollywood against the architects of the design and layout of City’s park expansion project, including new a Library, Council Chambers, and parking structures, resulting in a four million dollar settlement for the client.
  • Pabban Development, Inc. v. Kyphon Sarl, et. al. (C.D. Cal.): Represented medical device inventor/developer on a breach of contract matter involving the sale of a patented bone cement delivery system used to treat vertebral compression fractures, with a jury verdict and judgment of $15.4 million plus an award of attorneys’ fees, interest and costs of $8.5 million, which was affirmed by the United Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, resulting in a twenty-five million dollar settlement for the client.
  • RE3W, Inc. v. First American Corp. (Cal. Sup. Ct., Orange County): Lead trial lawyer defending against claims of trade secret misappropriation, breach of oral joint venture agreement, and breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Perini Building Co., Inc. v. MGM Mirage Design Group, et al. (Nevada State Court, Clark County): Lead trial lawyer for Tutor Perini, one of the world’s largest general contractors, in $650 million dispute with MGM over the construction of the CityCenter in Las Vegas.
  • Davis v. Electronic Arts (N.D. Cal.): Represent putative class of retired NFL players in lawsuit seeking in excess of $100 million plus punitive damages for breach of right of publicity in connection with Madden NFL video games.
  • Colonies Partners, L.P. v. San Bernardino County Flood Control District (Cal. Sup. Ct., San Bernardino County): Represented landowners in contemporaneous quiet title and inverse condemnation action against the Flood Control District and the County.  After a lengthy court trial resulted in a decision quieting title in favor of the client’s property, the case settled for $102 million in our client’s favor.
  • Bay Area Rapid Transit District (B.A.R.T.) v. Tanforan Park Shopping Center (Cal. Sup. Ct., San Mateo County): Prosecuted and defended claims of condemnation and severance damages in the Superior Court of California, County of San Mateo, resulting in a favorable jury verdict in excess of $33 million.
  • Clear Channel Communications v. City of Mountain View (Cal. Sup. Ct., Santa Clara County): Obtained summary judgment in favor of the City on claims for breach of lease, fraud and inverse condemnation in connection with an outdoor amphitheater.  Obtained a settlement during the trial on the City’s cross-complaint for fraud, breach of lease and RICO violations, on terms valued at $50 million.
  • In Re Orange County Bankruptcy (C.D. Cal.): Represented class of all non-Orange County public entities that invested in Orange County.  Obtained $115 million settlement, which represented a full return of capital invested, plus all attorneys’ fees and costs.

Patent Litigation

  • Trial Counsel for surf wave simulation ride design and manufacturing company against claims brought by the industry leader. Obtained a complete invalidation of all asserted patents in an action regarding wave simulation machines. Case is currently pending a final judgment.
  • Counsel for international video technology company, obtained an eight figure settlement and future royalties in an action regarding in-flight entertainment systems installed on large commercial airliners.
  • Duhn Oil Tool Co. v. Cooper Cameron Corporation (E.D. Cal.): As lead trial lawyer for Duhn (Seabord Wellhead), obtained an eight figure verdict after a one month jury trial in a patent infringement action involving oil and gas wellhead technology.
  • Counsel for multi-billion dollar, international technology and video screen company in patent infringement litigation involving LCD display technology.
  • Lead lawyer prosecuting declaratory judgment claims of patent invalidity and unenforceability involving Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems.
  • Represented multi-million dollar network infrastructure semiconductor company against claims of infringement of five patents-in-suit for inverse multiplexing over ATM (IMA) devices. Obtained dismissal with prejudice after filing motion to dismiss challenging the complaint and threatening a motion for violation of Rule 11.
  • Represented multi-billion dollar semiconductor and infrastructure software company in patent infringement action related to ethernet technology.
  • Represented tool manufacturer in a patent infringement action involving machines for servicing automotive transmission systems and intake systems.
  • Defended tool manufacturer in a patent infringement action involving an automated system and methods for flushing and refilling automotive braking systems.
  • Lead trial counsel defending communication company against claims of patent infringement and prosecuting claims of patent invalidity and unenforceability involving handset-enabled electronic commerce.
  • Represent the patent-owner multi-million dollar network infrastructure semiconductor company against claims of invalidity and unenforceability for eight of its patents related to speech coder technology.
  • Represented the patent owner multi-million dollar network infrastructure semiconductor company in a patent infringement lawsuit involving patents related to speech coder technology for use in wireless handsets.
  • Defended multi-million dollar network infrastructure semiconductor company in a patent infringement action involving ARM’s pipelined processor technology.
  • Prosecuted patent infringement and trade secret litigation on behalf of a California-based food company involving claims related to a method of processing food.

Securities Litigation Practice Group – Representative Engagements

  • Varjabedian v. Emulex Corp., et al. (Central District of California & Ninth Circuit): Representing Emulex Corporation and its former directors in a shareholder class action lawsuit brought to challenge Emulex’s merger with Avago Wireless Technologies (U.S.A.) Manufacturing, Inc. (now Broadcom Ltd.). Plaintiff filed a lawsuit for violations of Sections 14(d), (e) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, alleging that the tender offer recommendation statement issued in connection with the merger was materially misleading because it did not include a single-page chart from a presentation of Emulex’s financial advisor containing a list of public semiconductor company transactions.  The district court granted defendants’ motion to dismiss because, among other reasons, Section 14(d) does not create a private right of action, and Section 14(e) requires scienter, which plaintiff failed to allege.  After the district court granted defendants’ motion to dismiss, plaintiff appealed, and on April 20, 2018, the Ninth Circuit issued an opinion affirming the dismissal of plaintiff’s 14(d) claim, but reversing the dismissal of the 14(e) claim, holding that such a claim does not require scienter, creating a split with five other circuits.  On remand, the district court again dismissed all claims with prejudice.  Plaintiff has appealed to the Ninth Circuit.
  • Calgon Carbon Corp. v. Inter-Local Pension Fund GCC/IBT (Delaware Chancery Court & Delaware Supreme Court): Represented Calgon Carbon Corporation in a stockholder books and records action in the Delaware Court of Chancery, by which a former stockholder of Calgon is seeking to obtain Calgon’s books and records in order to challenge Calgon’s recently completed merger with Kuraray Co., Ltd. A number of shareholder class action lawsuits were filed after the merger was announced, in federal courts in Delaware and Pennsylvania.  After Calgon issued supplemental proxy statement disclosures, all of the plaintiffs in the federal actions voluntarily dismissed their lawsuits.  Following Calgon’s rejection of a demand, another stockholder filed a lawsuit in the Delaware Court of Chancery, seeking to compel an inspection of books and records pursuant to Section 220 of the Delaware General Corporation Law, purportedly so that the plaintiff may “determine whether wrongdoing or mismanagement has taken place such that it would be appropriate to file claims for breach of fiduciary duty, and to investigate the independence or disinterestedness of the Company’s directors … .”  The Section 220 action was granted in part and denied in part and the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed.
  • In re ITC Holdings Corporation Shareholder Litigation. (Circuit Court, Oakland County, MI): Represented directors and officers of ITC Holdings Corporation in a putative class action shareholder lawsuit challenging the merger of ITC and Fortis Inc. The case proceeded to discovery in late 2016 after the Circuit Court of Oakland County, Michigan denied defendants’ motion to dismiss.  After the merger closed, we filed a motion for summary disposition based on the fully informed vote of a majority of ITC’s shares approving the merger, as well as an opposition to plaintiffs’ motion for class certification.  After the court indicated it was inclined to grant defendants’ motion for summary disposition, favorable settlement reached with class-wide release.
  • Twin River defends breach of fiduciary duty claims (Delaware Chancery Court): Chatham and affiliates, a group of hedge funds, sued the directors and officers of Rhode Island-based casino operator Twin River Worldwide Holdings, Inc., for breach of fiduciary duty and other claims in the Delaware Court of Chancery. Chatham claimed defendants used a tender offer to orchestrate a “pump and dump” scheme in order to inflate the price of Twin River common stock so they could sell their own shares at more favorable prices than available before the tender offer.  The court issued an order granting defendants’ motion to dismiss as to two of the three counts alleged in the complaint, based on alleged breaches of the duty of loyalty and good faith.  The only remaining claim is for an alleged disclosure violation, on which the Court determined plaintiffs only could recover nominal damages.
  • Ambry Genetics defends merger challenge (Delaware Chancery Court): Represented Ambry Genetics Corporation and its directors in a shareholder lawsuit filed in response to Ambry’s announcement that it would be acquired by Konica Minolta, in a transaction valued at up to $1 billion. The complaint alleged, among other things, that the deal was unfair to Ambry’s shareholders and that the information statement issued in connection with the merger was materially false and misleading.  Plaintiff filed a motion for a preliminary injunction seeking to halt the deal.  Concurrently with expedited discovery, Ambry issued a supplemental information statement to moot plaintiff’s disclosure claims, and plaintiff agreed to voluntarily dismiss the action.
  • Ambry defends fiduciary duty claims (Orange County Superior Court): Represented Charles Dunlop, the founder and former Chairman of Ambry Genetics Corporation, in a lawsuit brought by former shareholders who claim they were forced to tender their shares to Ambry in a June 2015 tender offer. In July 2017, Ambry announced that it would be acquired by Konica Minolta, in a transaction valued at up to $1 billion.  Plaintiffs sought to recover damages based on the difference in price between the merger consideration and the price at which they sold their shares to Ambry in 2015.  After motion to dismiss filed based on a Delaware exclusive forum provision in Ambry’s charter, plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed the lawsuit.
  • Ambry Genetics defends tender offer fraud claims (Orange County Superior Court): Representing Ambry Genetics Corporation in a shareholder class action lawsuit pursuant to claims under California’s blue sky laws, Sections 25401 and 25501 of the California Corporations Code. Plaintiffs allege that Ambry made materially false and misleading statements in connection with two tender offers it made to shareholders in June and July 2015.
  • Current and former outside directors of American Apparel defend violation of Section 14(a) allegations (Central District of California): Represented the current and former outside directors of American Apparel in allegations that American Apparel’s proxy statement was materially misleading, in violation of Section 14(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Delaware law, because it failed to disclose that the company’s founder and chief executive officer would be removed from those roles by the board of directors following the annual meeting.
  • Current and former outside directors of American Apparel defend allegations of breach of fiduciary duty:(Delaware Chancery Court; Los Angeles County Superior Court; Delaware Bankruptcy Court): Represented the current and former outside directors of American Apparel in a shareholder plaintiffs’ claim alleging that the board of directors, in suspending and ultimately terminating the company’s founder and chief executive officer, breached their fiduciary duties by failing to act sooner and by failing to adopt certain corporate governance safeguards to protect against a potential takeover and the triggering of a default on the company’s line of credit.
  • Molycorp obtains dismissal of securities class action alleging fraudulent misrepresentations concerning amount of heavy rare earth elements present in Mountain Pass mine (District of Colorado): Represented former and current officers and directors of Molycorp, Inc., a rare earth element company, in a securities class action alleging defendants violated the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
  • Molycorp obtains dismissal of securities class action alleging false financial statements and fraudulent misrepresentations concerning mine modernization project(Southern District of New York): Represented former and current officers and directors of Molycorp, Inc., a rare earth element company, in a securities class action alleging defendants violated the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
  • Avanir Pharmaceuticals defeats motion for preliminary injunction seeking to enjoin shareholder vote (Central District of California): Represented Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in a motion for preliminary injunction that sought to enjoin a shareholder vote on Avanir’s proposed equity compensation plan.
  • United PanAm Financial defends minority shareholders’ “bump-up” action(Orange County Superior Court; 4th District Court of Appeal): Represented United PanAm Financial Corp. (“UPFC”) and obtained dismissal of a minority shareholders’ “bump-up” action seeking to challenge UPFC’s public merger, based on the exclusivity of an appraisal remedy under California law.
  • Energy services company defends against shareholder class action involving proxy statement disclosures(Southern District of California) : Represented an energy services company and its directors in a shareholder class action challenging proxy disclosures concerning the company’s equity compensation plan.
  • Delta Petroleum’s directors defend securities class action (District of Colorado; Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals): Represents Delta Petroleum’s Board of Directors in a securities class action resulting from a drop in the company’s stock price. Obtained dismissal by district court; Tenth Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part. Case settled with cert petition pending before United States Supreme Court.
  • Special committee of pharmaceutical company investigates shareholder derivative demand (Delaware Chancery Court): Represented a special committee of the board of directors of a pharmaceutical company in conducting an internal investigation in response to a shareholder derivative demand letter regarding certain alleged breaches of fiduciary duty relating to a financial restatement.
  • Novatel Wireless defends shareholder class action and shareholder derivative actions regarding misrepresentations concerning their financial results (Southern District of California): Represented Novatel Wireless, Inc. and certain of its officers and directors in shareholder class and derivative actions alleging that Novatel made misrepresentations concerning their financial results and the status and scope of the Company’s internal investigation.

Securities litigation practice group – further representative engagements

  • Represented the management directors of an insurance holdings company in complex litigation resulting from the seizure of a life insurance company by the Insurance Commissioner of California. These lawsuits – 115 cases – included both class and derivative actions, as well as actions by the SEC, the California Department of Insurance, and the Virginia Corporations Commission.
  • Gross v. Weingarten, 217 F.3d 208 (4th Cir. 2000) (Eastern District of Virginia): Represented management directors of a $9 billion insurance holdings company against claims asserted by the Virginia Insurance Commissioner for violation of federal and state securities laws, breach of fiduciary duty and violation of Virginia insurance laws arising out of the management of the company’s “junk bond” portfolio. As co-trial counsel, obtained jury verdict on all counts in favor of defense in one of the largest civil securities cases to proceed to verdict.  On appeal, the Fourth Circuit affirmed the jury verdict and reinstated the management directors’ claim for attorneys’ fees.  The Virginia Supreme Court ordered the payment of $3.5 million in attorneys’ fees to the management directors.
  • Obtained dismissal with prejudice at the pleading stage of all class claims attacking a Las Vegas casino resort company’s acquisition of another resort company. First case within the Ninth Circuit to test the jurisdictional reach of the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act.
  • Represented chief accounting officer of public company against charges of securities fraud. Obtained non-suit at trial and a dismissal of all claims.  On appeal, the non-suit was affirmed.  In a subsequent proceeding, the chief accounting officer was awarded her attorneys’ fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act.
  • Danjaq, S.A. v. MGM/UA Communications Co., 979 F.2d 772 (9th Cir. 1992) (C.D. Cal.): Represented motion picture studio and majority shareholder against claims by co-owner of “James Bond” film series. Ninth Circuit affirmed successful motion for summary judgment.
  • Main Line Pictures, Inc. v. Kim Basinger, et al. (Los Angeles County Superior Court; 2nd District Court of Appeal): Represented independent film production company against well-known actress for breach of acting services agreement. As co-trial counsel, obtained jury verdict in excess of $7 million.

SEC Investigation – Insider Trading (Denver Office)

Representing former sales executive against possible claims for insider trading.  Documents produced, executive examined, anticipating Wells Notice.  Investigation suspended during pandemic.

DOJ Investigation – Money Laundering (Los Angeles Office)

Representing former executive of Dubai-based investment fund against possible claims for aiding and abetting money laundering by fund owner.  Investigation suspended pending pandemic.

Executive Employment Dispute – JAMS (San Diego)

Representing former General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer in arbitration to recover benefits denied under written employment agreement following termination for cause.

Executive Employment Dispute – Pre-Arbitration Negotiation (San Diego)

Representing employer against claims by co-founder and former chief executive officer under written employment agreement following termination without cause.

Executive Employment Dispute – Pre-Arbitration Negotiation (San Diego)

Representing employer vis-à-vis former chief executive officer following resignation without good reason.

Execute Employment Dispute – Pre-Arbitration Negotiation (San Diego)

Representing employer vis-à-vis present chief financial officer regarding the terms of his departure.

Executive Employment Dispute – Pre-Arbitration Negotiation (New York)

Representing former chief executive officer to recover benefits under written employment agreement following termination without cause.