A Civil Appellate Lawyer with Broad Experience in Complex Class-Action Litigation
When dozens of institutional investors chose to opt out of the WorldCom securities class action in order to litigate their own cases, the federal judge presiding over the class action dismissed their opt-out claims as untimely. I briefed and argued their appeal to the Second Circuit, which reversed the district court and reinstated the institutional investors’ claims. See In re WorldCom Securities Litigation, 496 F.3d 245 (2d Cir. 2007). They ultimately settled on better terms than they would have received in the class action.
When Trump University filed a million-dollar defamation counterclaim against a former student who had the nerve to file a class action against it, I handled her appeal – arguing before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that Trump University could not proceed against her without proving that she acted with “actual malice.” See Makaeff v. Trump University, LLC, 715 F.3d 254 (9th Cir. 2013). Required by the Ninth Circuit to apply the “actual malice” standard on remand, the district court dismissed Trump University’s counterclaim against its former student.
When class-action lawyers seek to shortchange the class they were appointed to represent, or demand too much in attorney fees, I’m prepared to represent class members as objectors to inadequate class-action settlements and excessive attorneys’ fee awards. See, e.g., Murray v. Grocery Delivery E-Services USA Inc., 55 F.4th 340 (1st Cir.2022)(vacating approval of class-action settlement where interests of subclasses were not adequately represented); Johnson v. NPAS Solutions, LLC , 975 F.3d 1244 (11th Cir.2020)(reversing approval of a class-action settlement and invalidating the named plaintiff’s $6,000 “incentive award”); Chieftain Royalty Co. v. Enervest Energy Institutional Fund XIII-A, L.P., 888 F.3d 455 (10th Cir. 2017)(reversing a $17.3 million attorneys’ fee award); Lee v. Buth-Na-Bodhaige, Inc., 2019 IL App (5th) 180033, 143 N.E.3d 645 (Ill. App. 5th Dist. 2019)(vacating class-action settlement and attorney’s fee award where class counsel and the named plaintiff who may have suffered from serious conflicts of interest failed to show that the settlement was fair to the class).
That I have obtained favorable results any particular matter does not, of course, mean that I will be able to obtain similar results in another case. Nonetheless, I always strive to obtain justice for my clients and to protect the interests of class members.
A National Practice
Although have been a member of the California bar since 1985, my practice is national in scope. I am admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, and am a member of the bars of the United States Courts of Appeals for the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, Federal, and District of Columbia Circuits. I also am admitted to practice before the United States District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Central, and Eastern Districts of California, and before the United States District Courts for the Western, Eastern, and Northern Districts of Oklahoma. I can handle cases before other courts on a pro hac basis.
I can be reached at 858-263-9581