Commercial Litigation Matters

  • Brent led a team representing a substantial energy firm in a commercial dispute over contractual indemnity obligations arising from a series of wrongful death actions and a related regulatory investigation.  The case was filed in the US District Court for the Central District of California and settled favorably in 2018.
  • In support of a Japanese manufacturing firm, Brent led a cross-office team through a cross-border dispute regarding the design and construction of a complex manufacturing facility.  The case began when the opposition filed a state court lien against a factory project claiming rights to payment of a substantial amount of money and, following a civil action in the US District Court for the District of South Carolina, ended in 2018 with a favorable settlement in which that opponent delivered a financial payment to the firm's client.
  • Represented News Corp subsidiary Move, Inc., as well as the National Association of Realtors and multiple subsidiary companies in a lawsuit against online real estate portal Zillow.  The plaintiffs, who own and operate the realtor.com website, brought claims for trade secret misappropriation, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty, among others, in the King County Superior Court in Seattle, Washington.  The allegations focused on Zillow’s $3.5 billion acquisition of Trulia, including the misappropriation of trade secrets related to a new product strategy and evidence destruction.  The case ended with a $130M settlement on the first day of trial in 2016.
  • In 2014, led the initial investigation and filing of a civil action against Tata Consultancy Services Limited and its Indian parent company for trade secret misappropriation, breach of contract and violations of the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act, among other claims, in the US District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin.  After extensive discovery and motion practice, the case was tried to a jury in 2016 by partners Rick Richmond and Nick Saros while Brent was engaged on another trial matter.  The jury awarded our client $940 million, which is believed to be the largest jury verdict of any kind in the history of Wisconsin and one of the largest trade secret verdicts in US history.
  • Led a team representing a major energy company in a dispute seeking damages against a media company for breach of contract for failure to procure insurance and provide indemnity as required by a contract and against an insurance company and its servicing agent for breach of certain CGL and excess policies.  The case was filed in the US District Court for the Central District of California and settled favorably in 2015.
  • Led a team in a complex dispute in Nevada relating to the construction of a large commercial retail project.  The case, which involved a half dozen parties and ten insurance companies, settled favorably just before trial.
  • Represents as lead / organizing national counsel a Japanese manufacturer of equipment used in the energy industry in a series of tort claims brought in various state courts across the country.
  • Represented a US defense contractor in a civil matter filed in San Diego Superior Court and removed to the US District Court for the Southern District of California.  The case focused on the training of US special operations personnel and the State Secrets Doctrine.  It settled favorably and was dismissed in 2015.
  • Successfully defended a manufacturing company in a class action alleging that certain employment practices violated California law.  All class claims were dismissed as a result of several motions, and the lone remaining individual claim was settled for a minimal amount in 2014.
  • Successfully defended a major manufacturing firm in a qui tam dispute related to software for certain military aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles.  The case was dismissed with prejudice under Rule 12 and judgment was entered for our client in early 2014.
  • Defended a leading professional services corporation from a negligence claim brought by a national bank.  After a series of motions to dismiss and multiple pleading attempts by the plaintiff, the case was dismissed with prejudice and judgment was entered in favor of the defendant by the US District Court for the Central District of California in 2013.
  • Represented a post-production business in the entertainment industry in a dispute with a vendor from China involving claims for breach of contract and various business torts.  The case settled in 2013.
  • Defended an international information services and publishing firm, including several subsidiary companies and senior executives, in a complex business dispute involving an alleged corporate acquisition and allegations of fiduciary violations, fraud, trade secret misappropriation and the claimed breach of alleged oral employment and intellectual property licensing agreements.  The case went to trial before the US District Court for the Central District of California, resulting in a complete defense verdict in December 2012.
  • Represented a heavy equipment manufacturer from Japan in a business dispute filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of California.  The plaintiffs alleged fraud, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duties in connection with the acquisition of a US company.  The case settled very favorably as discovery closed in 2012 with no evidence of wrongdoing by the defendant.
  • Defended a substantial US manufacturing firm in a dispute related to wholesale pricing for certain products in California.  The plaintiff voluntarily dismissed the case in 2012 after a defense motion was filed with the San Diego Superior Court.
  • Represented in the US District Court for the District of San Diego a major ship-builder in a class action matter relating to certain employment practices.
  • Represented a military hardware manufacturer in defending a products liability claim and in seeking indemnity from the responsible party.  The cross-defendant in the case accepted its indemnity obligations after cross-claims were filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court.
  • Defended a substantial international energy producer in a class action lawsuit alleging improper pricing of electricity produced by a power generating facility in Hawaii.  A motion to dismiss victory was upheld at the Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of Hawaii.
  • Represented an energy company and several citizens in connection with an unfairly written initiative that sought to single out the energy company for a substantial new tax liability.  The team obtained a writ of mandamus from the Los Angeles Superior Court requiring that the ballot materials be written in a fair manner, and the voters then rejected the ballot measure in the Fall 2009 election cycle.
  • Represented an internet retailer in its effort to prevent a former member of the company from misappropriating confidential information to start a competing venture.  The complaint alleged violations of the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duties and other business torts against several defendants, who settled the case quickly after it was filed in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington in 2008.
  • Represented an energy company in a lengthy dispute over a $72 million tax bill relating to a power generating facility’s use of natural gas in the creation of electricity.  The client was fully vindicated following a two-week bench trial before the Los Angeles Superior Court, which rejected the attempt to tax the energy producer.
  • Working with a small group of lawyers on an emergency basis, obtained a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction stopping a former business associate from destroying the value of an investment portfolio valued at more than $2 billion.  The case was filed in Orange County Superior Court, and the orders granting interim relief were successfully defended several times in the California Court of Appeals.
  • Worked with a team of lawyers in New York and Los Angeles to seek a remedy for a defendant’s breach of a most favored nation provision relating to a television licensing deal for 18 stations around the United States.  The case was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court and later settled on favorable terms.
  • With a team of lawyers, assumed responsibility for a large class action matter against a substantial energy company in which the plaintiffs claimed they were owed more than $100 million.  The case favorably settled just before trial.
  • Represented two large defense contractors in a case that spanned several years and resulted in a two month trial in Los Angeles Superior Court regarding a lease for several midrise commercial buildings in Los Angeles and the physical condition of those buildings at the end of the lease term.  The trial was bifurcated into phases and settled after a Phase I trial victory.
  • Defended a group of German and American pharmaceutical firms over a period of years in connection with civil actions brought by the states of California, Alaska, Idaho, Alabama, Hawaii and others alleging fraudulent pricing and reimbursement schemes for pharmaceutical products utilized by state and federal medical plans.
  • Represented, pro bono, a homeless gentleman whose arms were burned by a chemical while working as a day laborer at a meat packing facility in Los Angeles.  The case settled during the discovery period.

Arbitration Matters

  • Successfully led a team of Jenner & Block lawyers representing a technology company in the financial services sector through an arbitration process in 2017-2018 relating to a portfolio of fraudulent loan transactions.  After pre-hearing motions focused on evidence destruction and disclosure misconduct, and an evidentiary hearing on the merits in Chicago, the arbitrator ruled in favor of Jenner & Block’s client and awarded several million dollars in damages for fraud, breach of contract, and lawyers’ fees / costs. 
  • Represented a substantial US manufacturing firm in a real property dispute following the termination of a lease for an industrial facility in Arizona.  The case settled at mediation.
  • Defended a California private equity firm in an arbitration proceeding relating to the value of certain fund distributions.  The case was brought under the rules of the AAA and settled favorably in 2004.
  • Defended a Boston private equity firm’s portfolio company in a three-month AAA arbitration proceeding in which the claimant demanded tens of millions of dollars under a series of acquisition and employment agreements.  During the course of the case, the defense team discovered that the claimant had manipulated financial documents related to the sale of his company and brought a counter-claim for fraud.  The claimant's claims were eventually denied and the counter-claim for fraud was won, causing the claimant to refuse to proceed with the damages phase of the arbitration.
  • Brought claims on behalf of a private equity firm under a AAA provision related to the acquisition of a company in Southern California and successfully obtained a purchase price adjustment.
  • Represented a Japanese manufacturer of heavy equipment for the energy and construction industries in a cross-border arbitration dispute.

Intellectual Property Litigation

  • Working closely with Jenner & Block’s patent litigation team, defended a group of related Japanese electronics manufacturers in two patent infringement matters in the Eastern District of Texas and the Southern District of Texas in 2012.
  • Represented a Japanese computer hardware manufacturer in a licensing dispute with a US patent licensing firm in California.
  • Defended an energy drink company from an aggressive trademark infringement claim from a competitor, resulting in a favorable settlement.
  • Represented an online content distribution company in a keyword advertising trademark dispute in the Northern District of California.
  • Represented the owner of 18 pieces of fine art in a series of litigation matters filed in New York and Los Angeles by the heirs of the deceased artist, who claimed rights in the works.  The disputes later settled on favorable terms.
  • Obtained, with a small group of quality lawyers, an injunction for a defense contractor to stop a competitor from using confidential information and electronic data obtained in violation of fiduciary duties, written contracts, the Trade Secrets Act, and the Computer Fraud & Abuse Act.  The US District Court for the Central District of California entered severe financial and evidentiary sanctions against the defendants and entered an order precluding the defendants from certain business.
  • As part of a large team of quality lawyers, defended an international automotive parts manufacturer from allegations of patent infringement relating to a semiconductor used in an electronic control unit for a power steering system.  At the close of discovery, with summary judgment pending on invalidity and infringement, the plaintiff voluntarily dismissed its case.
  • Represented a software company in a dispute alleging copyright violations of a software product used in the automobile insurance and aftermarket parts industries.  The case resulted in a favorable settlement for our client.
  • Supported the defense of a British bank in a California dispute centered on the ownership and distribution of a film.  The case alleged various copyright violations and breaches of contract, and was settled at a mediation.

Appellate Matters

  • In an appeal before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, successfully represented, in a pro bono matter, an immigrant from China who claimed persecution in her home country due to her Christian faith.  The Ninth Circuit reversed a lower decision finding the client was not credible and found her eligible for asylum and withholding of removal.
  • Successfully led a team representing a pro bono client in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeal, in one of the first deportation proceedings involving someone from the Republic of South Sudan.  The case included a novel development when, a month after the oral argument before the Seventh Circuit, South Sudan declared independence and was recognized as a new republic, fundamentally changing the geopolitical circumstances framing the petition.  The Seventh Circuit vacated removal of the client and ordered the Board of Immigration Appeals to devise a protocol for dealing with future deportations involving the newly recognized country. 
  • Represented a Southern California manufacturing company in the California Court of Appeal defending a decision of the Los Angeles Superior Court that denied certification of a class action proceeding.
  • Working with a small team of Jenner & Block lawyers, represented a substantial energy company in a series of appeals to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal and the US Supreme Court involving claims that leading energy companies should be held responsible for damage from weather events allegedly caused by climate change.