Nikki Vo has successfully represented corporations and individuals in all types of complex litigation, including antitrust, intellectual property, legal malpractice and contract disputes. Since joining the firm in 2008, Ms. Vo has been a member of several trial teams, including one that obtained a defense verdict on behalf of a large national law firm after a six-week jury trial in an attorney malpractice case.
Ms. Vo also maintains an active pro bono practice and has represented clients in unlawful detainer, asylum and prisoner civil rights matters.
Cases of Note
Cobarruviaz, et al. v. Instacart: We defeated a putative class action filed against a leading on-demand technology company, Instacart, which connects customers with personal shoppers for grocery shopping and home delivery. The class action addressed an issue critical to the new “sharing economy”: whether personal shoppers who use Instacart’s technology platform were properly considered independent contractors rather than employees. The court issued its order dismissing the class action claims on November 3, 2015.
Chevron v. Stephen Donziger: We served as lead counsel for Steven Donziger—U.S. legal adviser to the group of Ecuadorian citizens who won an $18 billion dollar judgment from Chevron over environmental damage in their country; the largest single pollution judgment ever imposed. In an effort to avoid paying the enormous judgment, Chevron filed a racketeering case against Mr. Donziger in the Southern District of New York.
Internet Company v. Google: An Internet company based in Lafayette, Louisiana filed suit in its local federal court against Google for trademark infringement and unfair competition. The plaintiff alleged Google's various uses of the term "gadget" infringed the federal trademarks "website gadget" and "gadget." We represented Google, and counterclaimed to cancel both marks as not protectable under either federal or Louisiana law because they are generic or at best descriptive and have not attained secondary meaning. The court agreed with us and granted summary judgment, canceling the marks and dismissing the lawsuit.
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.
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. Law Firm: We successfully defended at trial an Am Law 50 law firm and one of its former partners against a $100 million claim. The plaintiff alleged malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty related to estate planning. After an eight-week trial in California state court, we won a complete victory.
Broadcom Corporation v. SiRF Technology and CSR: We served as trial counsel for Broadcom, one of the world’s leading semiconductor companies, against SiRF, a GPS chip manufacturer, and its parent CSR. Broadcom asserted multiple patents covering graphics, video processing, and digital signal processing techniques, as well as claims arising under the Lanham Act and unfair competition laws. This case, along with other actions between the parties, was settled shortly before trial on terms that were very favorable to Broadcom.
Awards and Honors
American Jurisprudence Award in Constitutional Law
Associate editor, Ecology Law Quarterly, UC Berkeley School of Law
Associate editor, Asian Law Journal, UC Berkeley School of Law
“The Attorney-Client Privilege and the Corporate Executive,” 2013. Co-authored with Jan Nielsen Little.
Board Member, Women Lawyers of Alameda County, 2013
President, Vietnamese American Bar Association of Northern California, 2012; Board Member: 2008-2012
Mock Trial Coach, Bar Association of San Francisco
Member, Bar Association of San Francisco