A National “Trials Group of the Year” (Law360)
Four trial victories in 2021 alone, including one lauded as a “landmark trial win”—culminated in our seven-year-old firm crowned a National Trials Group of the Year by Law360. And in just the first quarter of 2022, we have scored two additional trial victories, including one with an over $200 million award.
Our “mission of putting a premium on trial work” is evidenced in our recent recognition as one of the “Most Feared Law Firms in Litigation” by BTI Consulting. Described by Chambers as the “go-to firm for bet-the-farm litigation” and by Legal 500 as “a maximum trial threat,” Hueston Hennigan LLP is “enjoying meteoric success.” With lead lawyers named as “Hall of Fame” and among the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in the U.S., we have successfully tried high-stakes business litigation in courts across the country. Through our creative and effective solutions to our clients’ unique problems, we have amassed an extraordinary record of courtroom victories.
As plaintiffs’ counsel, we have secured verdicts, summary judgments, and settlements totaling billions of dollars. As defense counsel, we have helped our diverse clients avoid billions of dollars in exposure through dispositive motion practice, favorable settlements and verdicts, and convincing federal and state regulators to drop charges against them.
We have represented Fortune 500 and other companies across a number of industries, including telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, technology, medical equipment, insurance, entertainment, international gaming, health care, financial services, and consumer debt. We have also represented individuals, universities, startups, developers, nonprofit religious institutions, environmental organizations, government entities, and a variety of pro bono clients.
Won one of “the largest-ever U.S. trademark awards” (Reuters) for Monster Energy Company against rival beverage company Vital Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Following a two-week trial, the arbitrator held that VPX’s Bang Energy does not contain advertised muscle-building creatine and infringed on “Bang” trademark. In the significant ruling, the arbitrator awarded Monster and Orange Bang $175 million in damages, nearly $10 million in attorney’s fees and costs, and a 5% royalty on all future sales of Bang Energy (with over $1.5 billion in annual sales). (See “Monster asks court to enforce $175 mln award against Bang Energy maker,” Reuters; “Monster, Orange Bang Win $175M Against Rival In Arbitration,” Law360).
Won a “landmark” opioid trial for Endo Pharmaceuticals in a $50 billion action. Three of the most populous counties in California and the City of Oakland brought suit against opioid manufacturers alleging false advertising, unfair competition and public nuisance. The jurisdictions claimed that manufacturers’ alleged false and misleading marketing caused a $50 billion public nuisance. The win was hailed as “giv[ing] drug companies their first major victory in the litigation brought by cities and counties across the country over the opioid crisis,” American Lawyer. (See “How Hueston Hennigan Notched A Landmark Opioid Trial Win,” Law360; “Opioid Makers Win Major Victory in California Trial,” New York Times; “Drug Makers Handed First Win Out of Thousands of National Opioid Crisis Lawsuits,” Newsweek).
Secured a $5.15 billion settlement after trial for the Tronox Trust as the litigation trustee responsible for prosecution of consolidated national litigation against Anadarko Petroleum Company and Kerr McGee Corporation for fraudulent transfer of massive environmental, tort, retiree and other liabilities. (See “Tronox Trust Wins Up To $14B In Kerr-McGee Spinoff Row,” Law360; “Anadarko, Kerr-McGee liable for Tronox cleanup costs,” Reuters; “Judge Approves Anadarko’s $5.15 Billion Settlement,” Wall Street Journal).
Prevailed in a $40 billion battle for corporate control of Viacom on behalf of controlling shareholder and Chairman Emeritus Sumner M. Redstone that was waged in the courts of Delaware, Massachusetts, and California. (See “Viacom Saga Comes to End With Redstones Emerging Victorious,” Bloomberg; “Redstone Family Prevails in Fight for Viacom,” The Hollywood Reporter).
In eBay v. Amazon, obtained complete defense judgment after a two-week trial in a case promoted by eBay as an international RICO and fraud conspiracy to unlawfully recruit eBay sellers to Amazon. (See “EBay Accuses Amazon Managers of Conspiring to Poach Its Sellers,” The New York Times; “eBay files lawsuit against Amazon over ‘seller recruitment’,” BBC).
Won a complete defense verdict for PwC after a three-week San Francisco federal trial. Former auditor and SEC whistleblower brought a high-profile lawsuit as part of a worldwide public relations campaign. (See “When Auditors Are Too Close To The Client,” Financial Times; “PwC Rightly Fired Former Auditor, Judge Rules,” Bloomberg Law).
Won a $25 million jury verdict against Samsung in a patent infringement trial in Texas federal court on behalf of Acorn Technologies, an incubator company. (See “Samsung Hit With $25M Semiconductor IP Verdict In EDTX,” Law360; “Samsung Loses Texas Trial Over Patents for Chip-Making Process,” Bloomberg Law; “Samsung loses $25 million jury verdict over semiconductor patents,” Reuters).
Won a complete defense verdict for the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) after a four-week jury trial in a $65 million whistleblower case. Obtained a unanimous jury verdict in a wrongful termination suit filed by a research scientist claiming retaliation in academia and in business ventures after allegedly exposing misuse of government funds. (See “Jury gives Caltech complete win over former researcher’s claims,” Daily Journal; “Hueston Hennigan Beats Back Whistleblower Claim Against Caltech,” American Lawyer).
Secured a complete defense verdict of no infringement and invalidity representing ClearOne Inc. as lead trial counsel in the District of Delaware in a case involving design patent for beamforming microphone arrays against Shure Incorporated. (See “Jury Says Microphone Co. Shure’s Patent Invalid After Trial,” Law360; “ClearOne Beats Rival Microphone Maker’s Design Patent Claims,” Bloomberg).
Won a unanimous defense verdict for Electronic Arts in a jury trial regarding a copyright claim related to The Sims 3, the third installment in the company’s best-selling series of life simulation games. Also won summary judgment for Electronic Arts on a companion claim for alleged trade secret misappropriation and secured affirmance of that ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Won a seven-week jury trial and $89.2 million for Caruso Affiliated in litigation against General Growth Properties (GGP) in a suit for interference with contractual relations. Caruso was awarded the full measure of compensatory damages sought—$74.2 million—plus a $15 million in punitive damages after the jury found that GGP had acted with “malice, oppression or fraud” by interfering with Caruso’s negotiations with The Cheesecake Factory for the Americana at Brand lifestyle center.
Won a trial for the State Bar of California after a high-profile legal battle with its former executive director, defeating all claims of whistleblower retaliation and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. (See “Joe Dunn loses arbitration over his firing by State Bar,” Sacramento Bee).
Won a high-profile, three-week federal jury trial on misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of contract claims for T-Mobile. The jury awarded a multimillion-dollar verdict and found that Huawei Devices USA stole T-Mobile’s smartphone robotic testing technology and violated its contractual obligations to T-Mobile.
Won an eight-figure damages verdict and liability findings on all counts after a three-week jury trial in New York federal court in a case alleging fraud, deceptive business practices, and false advertising. (See “Collecting: Thieves and Forgers Rush in Where Big Spenders Dare to Tread,” Forbes; “How They Won It,” Law360).
Won a patent jury trial against LG Electronics, obtaining a verdict that all asserted claims were infringed and not invalid, resulting in a “Top 50 Verdict in Texas.”
Won a trial for Sumner Redstone to defeat claims of mental incompetence and conspiracy that implicated more than $50 million. Obtained dismissal following our cross-examination of our opponent’s only expert witness, who was compelled to admit that Redstone had not lost his ability to comprehend matters and that removing a former companion from his estate plan was rational.
Won a trial for the University of California, Los Angeles and secured a permanent injunction in civil actions against organizations and individuals threatening violence against faculty members and administrators.
Obtained an acquittal at trial on all charges in a tax evasion prosecution against a motion picture studio executive.
Our innovative preparation for trial and carefully tailored motions strategy often bring trial results without a trial’s cost and time:
Obtained, on the eve of an international arbitration hearing, a nine-figure settlement on behalf of a CEO of a major social networking app.
Successfully challenged on behalf of the Internet Movie Database (IMDb.com) the constitutionality of a California statute restricting online speech. (See “IMDb Sues California Over Law Allowing Actors to Conceal Their Ages,” The Wall Street Journal; “Judge Predicts Doom for Privacy Law on Actor Ages,” Courthouse News Service).
Defeated emergency litigation to prevent Kaiser Permanente from requiring vaccinations for all of its health care providers and staff. (See “Kaiser Permanente Employees Denied Relief from Vaccine Mandate,” Bloomberg Law).
Obtained a groundbreaking victory on behalf of GlaxoSmithKline at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in an opinion holding—for the first time—that discriminating against a juror on the basis of sexual orientation violated the United States Constitution.
Obtained summary judgment for Sempra Energy, a Fortune 500 energy services company, in a cross-border dispute relating to a billion-dollar liquefied natural gas terminal. (See “Sempra wins one showdown with Mexican rancher,” San Diego Tribune).
Represented Western Digital and its SanDisk subsidiaries in their widely publicized dispute with Toshiba over anti-transfer provisions in joint venture agreements governing the multibillion-dollar manufacture and development of NAND flash memory. The dispute encompassed multiple ICC arbitrations and litigation in the California trial and appellate courts, where SanDisk repeatedly secured injunctive relief in aid of the arbitrations. (See “The Toshiba Memory Sale Is Dead–Western Digital Will Benefit,” Seeking Alpha).
Obtained precedent-setting victory in a challenge to the constitutionality of a Malibu land use ordinance described by The New York Times as “one of the most stringent anti-development measures ever attempted in the country.”
Obtained a multimillion-dollar settlement payment to Sumner Redstone from the former companion who demanded more than $50 million at outset of case.
Obtained dismissals and defeated TROs in high-stakes trade secrets cases, including Broadcom v. SpaceX (See “SpaceX Wins First Round,” Courthouse News) and Teva v. Amgen (See “Teva Loses Amgen Spying Suit Over Blood Drug Secrets,” Law360).
Obtained dismissal with prejudice of consolidated federal shareholder litigation arising from a $600 million settlement with the Department of Justice for alleged off-label marketing activities related to Botox.