Rachael E. Meny
Partner

rmeny@kvn.com
Tel. (415) 676-2245

Education

University of Michigan Law School, J.D., cum laude, 1995

Mills College, B.A., 1992

Bar Admissions

California

Rachael E. Meny

Rachael Meny has extensive experience handling trade secret and employee mobility disputes, complex civil litigations and white collar criminal matters. She has successfully represented companies, venture funds and partnerships, and individuals in litigation regarding trade secrets/employee mobility, securities fraud, mortgage fraud, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations, breaches of fiduciary duty, breaches of contract claims, Business and Professions Code Section 17200, unfair business practices, antitrust and intellectual property matters. 

Ms. Meny has extensive experience representing technology companies, other companies and executives throughout the U.S. in pre-litigation and litigation disputes regarding trade secrets, employee mobility and non-competition matters. Ms. Meny litigates such matters in state and federal courts, but also frequently provides counseling and advice on pre-litigation disputes that allows such matters to be successfully resolved before litigation.

Ms. Meny has also represented individuals in numerous internal corporate investigations, and governmental agency investigations involving the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice.

Cases of Note

Jerry Kowal v. Netflix, Inc. and Amazon.com, Inc.: We defended Netflix and its senior executives from a high-profile employee defamation and blacklisting suit. The suit was brought by former Netflix employee Jerry Kowal, who departed Netflix for a similar position at Amazon. Netflix determined that Kowal had taken its confidential and proprietary information. When Amazon learned of Kowal’s action, it fired him. Kowal sued Netflix, its CEO and Chief Content Officer, and Amazon, alleging that Amazon wrongfully fired him based on Netflix’s defamatory claims. We drafted an early special motion to strike pursuant to California’s anti-SLAPP statute. The court granted the motion in its entirety and dismissed all of Kowal’s claims against Netflix and its senior executives.

Suffolk Technologies LLC v. AOL Inc. and Google Inc.: A Virginia federal judge granted our motion for summary judgment on all but one of Suffolk’s patent infringement claims, and issued a Daubert ruling striking the plaintiff’s expert damages opinion in its entirety. Soon after, Suffolk stipulated to invalidity on the last remaining claim. Suffolk had claimed that Google’s Adsense advertising placement technology, which selectively places paid advertisements for a company’s product or service on the Web page of another, used a similar protocol to the one under patent with Suffolk.

Taxi Company v. Ride-Sharing Company: We defended a popular ride-sharing company in this unfair competition case. Prior to the hearing on the first motion, we convinced the plaintiffs to dismiss our client from the complaint.

Microsoft Corporation v. Google Inc.: We defended Google in numerous state and federal court actions alleging trade secret misappropriation. The litigation began when our client left Microsoft Corporation to head Google’s China operations. We litigated the case through the preliminary injunction stage and resolved it on favorable terms.

Plaintiff v. Investment Funds: We achieved an early resolution of numerous state and federal court actions for a venture fund company and one of its partners. Our clients faced trade secret misappropriation, copyright infringement, and breach of contract claims in both state court and in federal court. We were able to remove the state court action to federal court, and then secure an early settlement for our clients.

Plaintiffs v. Real Estate Investors: We defended certain real estate investors against alter ego claims, in both state and federal court. These alter ego claims were brought in an effort to hold our clients personally liable for a $7.5 million judgment against their company and to pierce the corporate veil protecting our client's real estate investment firm. Following a multi-week bench trial, the court entered judgment for our clients and awarded them attorneys' fees.

Plaintiffs v. Automobile Manufacturers: We defended automakers in multi-forum, antitrust litigation involving restrictions on car exports in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Plaintiffs, alleging a broad conspiracy among all major automobile manufacturers and distributors, sought damages of more than $1 billion. We won summary judgment in the lead federal litigation, in several state cases, and in the California state court class action. We also achieved early dismissal of numerous state court actions.

Private School System v. Northern California County: We defended a California county and certain of its Supervisors against claims that its land use decision regarding a Christian school violated the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) and aspects of the US Constitution. After a multi-week trial in federal court, a jury resolved the case in our client’s favor, denying the school system's request for tens of millions in damages. The plaintiff appealed, but withdrew their appeal after receiving our appellate brief.

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Telecommunications Company: On behalf of a special committee of our client's board of directors, we conducted an international investigation into alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA.) We made a determination as to whether any FCPA violations occurred and handled the resolution of related governmental investigations and claims.

Henderson v. Petersen et al: We represented a prisoner in a civil rights suit against three correctional officers who beat him in Pelican Bay State Prison and one officer who failed to intervene to stop the beating. After the plaintiff's case survived summary judgment, the federal court asked us to step in and represent him at trial. Following a five-day trial and five hours of jury deliberation, Defendants settled the case for nearly twice the number the plaintiff presented to the jury.

Awards and Honors

  • Top Defense Verdicts, Daily Journal, 2008. John Keker and Rachael Meny cited for successfully defending the County of Alameda against a claim for $30 million in damages and injunctive relief.
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent in Commercial Litigation, Securities Law, and Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers  
  • Northern California Super Lawyer, Securities Litigation, 2006
  • Co-President, Women Law Students Association, University of Michigan Law School
  • Phi Beta Kappa, Mills College

Professional Affiliations

  • Member, Women in Securities
  • Board member and Development Committee member, Employment Law Center
  • Board member, the Family Violence Appellate Project
  • Member, California Women Lawyers
  • Member, California Women Lawyers' Foundation Committee
  • Member, ABA White Collar Crime Section and ABA Litigation Section
  • High school mock trial coach
  • Former board member, Mills College Alumnae Association Board of Governors, 2002-2005

Publications and Speaking Engagements

  • "Strategies for Minimizing Risk of Privacy Class Actions," Today's General Counsel, 2014
  • "Updates on Non-Competes and Employee Issues," in-house client presentation, 2014
  • "What Makes a Good Case?" Bridgeport's Class Action Litigation & Management Conference, 2013
  • "When Key Employees Go to Competitors," The Recorder, 2011
  • “Defending Securities Class Actions,” ALI-ABA, 1997
  • “The Securities Litigation Landscape - Three Years Into The Reform Act Era,” 1999

Jerry Kowal v. Netflix, Inc. and Amazon.com, Inc.: We defended Netflix and its senior executives from a high-profile employee defamation and blacklisting suit. The suit was brought by former Netflix employee Jerry Kowal, who departed Netflix for a similar position at Amazon. Netflix determined that Kowal had taken its confidential and proprietary information. When Amazon learned of Kowal’s action, it fired him. Kowal sued Netflix, its CEO and Chief Content Officer, and Amazon, alleging that Amazon wrongfully fired him based on Netflix’s defamatory claims. We drafted an early special motion to strike pursuant to California’s anti-SLAPP statute. The court granted the motion in its entirety and dismissed all of Kowal’s claims against Netflix and its senior executives.

Microsoft Corporation v. Google Inc.: We defended Google in numerous state and federal court actions alleging trade secret misappropriation. The litigation began when our client left Microsoft Corporation to head Google’s China operations. We litigated the case through the preliminary injunction stage and resolved it on favorable terms.

Health Testing Company v. Biotechnology Company: We represented and advised health testing company Counsyl in handling claims that it had improperly hired certain employees, caused them to violate their non-competition and non-solicitation agreements, and misappropriated trade secrets. We were able to help our client resolve such claims without litigation and also helped our client revise and strengthen its internal policies on such issues.

Internet Company v. Internet Company: We represented and advised an internet company in threatened litigation regarding its hiring of a senior executive from another internet company. Through extensive negotiations, we were able to obtain a settlement of this matter that allowed the senior executive to continue work with minimal interference.

Network Hardware Manufacturer v. Employee: We represented and advised a network hardware manufacturer regarding claims against a former employee who had improperly used confidential company information.

Internet Company v. Mobile Phone Company: We represented and advised a mobile phone company in threatened arbitration regarding its hiring of a senior executive from other internet company. Through extensive negotiations, we were able to obtain a settlement of this matter that allowed the senior executive to continue work with minimal interference.

Movie Company v. Internet Company: We represented and advised an internet company regarding claims brought by a movie company that the internet company could not hire a senior executive from the movie company due to the executive’s unusual employment agreement and due to non-competition and trade secret concerns. We were able to help resolve such claims without litigation so that the senior executive could be hired.

Employment Services Company v. Competitor: We represented and advised an employment services company regarding its efforts to hire an executive with a non-competition agreement. We were able to help the company hire this executive without interference from the executive’s former employer.

CA, Inc. d/b/a CA Technologies v. New Relic, Inc.: We are defending software analytics company, New Relic, Inc., from patent infringement allegations in the Eastern District of New York. The case is set for trial in November 2014.

Internet Company v. Internet Company: We represented and advised a startup Internet company regarding claims brought against it by a well-established Internet company that the startup had improperly hired certain employees and that such employees had violated their non-competition and non-solicitation agreements with their former employer. We were able to help resolve those claims without litigation and without interference with the employees' work at the startup company.

Internet Company v. Employee: We represented and advised an Internet company when one of its employees was sued by his former employer in state court for allegedly violating a non-compete agreement and for allegedly misappropriating trade secrets. We helped the Internet company and its employee move the case to a more appropriate jurisdiction and to obtain a favorable ruling on a preliminary injunction motion that allowed early resolution of the claims.

Internet Company v. Internet Company: We represented and advised a small internet company regarding claims that it had improperly hired certain employees with non-competition and non-solicitation agreements with, and confidential information from, a former employer. We were able to help resolve such claims without litigation and without interference to the employees’ work.

Internet Company v. Internet Company: We represented and advised a small internet company when certain of its employees were hired by a competitor. We were able to help the internet company obtain protection of its confidential information without resort to litigation.

Gaming Company v. Computer Company: We represented and advised a gaming company regarding its efforts to hire an employee with a non-competition agreement. We were able to help the company hire this employee.

Former Employee v. Internet Search Engine: We defended a leading high-tech company from an age and disability discrimination suit brought by a former executive. We were able to help our client reach a successful settlement.

Taxi Company v. Ride-Sharing Company: We defended a popular ride-sharing company in this unfair competition case. Prior to the hearing on the first motion, we convinced the plaintiffs to dismiss our client from the complaint.

AUL Corporation v. Executives: We represented three individuals in a breach of contract and California corporations code action relating to terms of an investment contract. We settled favorably on the eve of trial.

Plaintiff v. Medical Group: We represented a California medical group in class action litigation concerning false advertising, Section 17200 and other consumer protection claims. In conjunction with the counsel defending a related organization, we defeated the class certification, resolved the case before trial, and obtained a favorable settlement for a small fraction of the demand.

Mortgage Fraud Cases: We represent a national lender in various state and federal court litigations regarding mortgage fraud-related claims, both as plaintiff and as defendant. We have obtained numerous favorable rulings for the lender regarding cutting-edge, mortgage fraud-related issues, including favorable rulings on the scope of federal lending statutes such as RESPA, TILA, and federal preemption of state causes of action.

Plaintiffs v. Credit Card Processor: We defended a national credit card processor in class action litigation related to alleged Section 17200 and other consumer protection violations. We showed that a forum selection clause in the merchant agreements precluded this type of complaint from being filed in the Northern District of California, thereby securing a dismissal and terminating the litigation.

Investment Firm Partnership Dispute: We provided pre-litigation and negotiation strategies regarding our client's rights under his investment partnership, fund agreements, and various partnership disputes. As a result, our client obtained a satisfactory buy-out of his partnership interests and avoided litigation.

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Securities Firm Founder: The IRS and Department of Justice investigated our client, the founder of several securities firms, for criminal tax and securities charges. The investigation was dropped; no charges were filed.

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Former Chief Financial Officer: We represented the former chief financial officer of a software company against Securities and Exchange Commission allegations of securities fraud in the company’s revenue recognition practices. We secured a dismissal on the eve of trial.

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Chief Executive and Chief Financial Officers: We represented the CEO and CFO of a communications technology company in a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation, a lawsuit filed with the SEC, related civil lawsuits filed by investors, and a related bankruptcy action. We resolved all of the lawsuits on favorable terms.

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Telecommunications Company: On behalf of a special committee of our client's board of directors, we conducted an international investigation into alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA.) We made a determination as to whether any FCPA violations occurred and handled the resolution of related governmental investigations and claims.

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