Successfully defending complex consumer or class action lawsuits requires a legal team capable of devising the most effective strategies, while protecting your bottom line. The best approach to these potentially costly cases is to quickly develop a comprehensive game plan that focuses on our client’s goals. Because judges in consumer and class action suits respond favorably to thoughtful handling of such cases, our early planning often directly leads to favorable outcomes.
Cases of Note
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.
In re NCAA Name & Likeness Litigation: We represent Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) in a groundbreaking case that will determine how First Amendment protections apply to videogames. This right of publicity case was brought by a putative national class of current and former student athletes in the Northern District of California against EA, the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the Collegiate Licensing Company. Plaintiffs claim EA improperly used the athletes’ likenesses and biographical information in its NCAA Football and NCAA Basketball video games. The case is currently on appeal at the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. At issue is what legal test the circuit will adopt when balancing the right of publicity against rights of free expression.
Former Employees v. Lucasfilm Ltd.: We advised Lucasfilm Ltd. in an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and are now representing the company in a series of antitrust class actions brought by former employees of Lucasfilm, Apple, Intel and Pixar. Plaintiffs allege unlawful agreements related to hiring and employee retention.
Plaintiff v. Consumer Finance Company: We represented a major consumer finance company in a nationwide class action lawsuit concerning allegations of improper consumer lending practices. The case was settled on very favorable terms.
Plaintiffs v. National Milk Producers Federation et al: We are defending one of the largest dairy producers in the country from an antitrust class action. Plaintiffs claim the dairy producers illegally conspired to raise market prices of milk, costing consumers $9.55 billion.
Plaintiff v. Law Firm: We defended a plaintiff's firm in a first-of-its-kind putative class action legal malpractice case. Our client had obtained what was the state's highest jury award for a wage and hour class action. However plaintiffs who were absent class members claimed the award should have been higher. We avoided class certification and settled on favorable terms for our client.
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.
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.
Plaintiffs v. Health Care Company: We represented a national health care company and its subsidiary in a criminal case, and parallel consumer class actions in state and federal court concerning a defective medical device. The criminal case was settled for misdemeanor charges, and the civil and administrative actions were favorably settled.
In re Budeprion Multidistrict Litigation: In a multi-district class action, plaintiffs challenged a drug company's product label under California's unfair competition law and Consumer Legal Remedies Act. We settled the case on extremely favorable terms to our client.