Practice Areas & Industries: Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

 





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Practice/Industry Group Overview

Sheppard Mullin's Litigation Practice involves all aspects of business and commercial litigation, including antitrust, creditors' rights, banking and financial institutions, construction, communications, general business, insurance, intellectual property, products liability, professional liability defense, real estate, environmental, securities, white collar criminal defense, and trust and estate litigation.

Our litigators represent clients in a broad spectrum of industries such as computers and information technology, financial services, aerospace, manufacturing, transportation, communications, pharmaceuticals, advertising, print and broadcast media, franchising, petroleum production and refining, real estate, insurance, construction, and food and beverage manufacturing, among others.

The attorneys in our Litigation Practice have substantial experience in a wide variety of vehicles for dispute resolution, including litigation, arbitration, and mediation.


 
 
Articles Authored by Lawyers at this office:

Delaware Supreme Court Holds Receiver is Required to Defend Lawsuits Brought After a Corporation is Wound-Up; Finds No Generally Applicable Statute of Limitation for Claims Against a Dissolved Corporation
James W. Geriak,James Hill,John P. Stigi, December 17, 2013
In Anderson v Krafft-Murphy Co. Inc., 2013 Del. LEXIS 597 (Del. Nov. 26, 2013), the Delaware Supreme Court held that Sections 278 and 279 of the Delaware General Corporation Law, 8 Del. C. §§ 278-279, require a dissolved corporation to act through a court-appointed trustee or receiver to...

$2.3 Million Trial Verdict against Newegg
Lai L. Yip, December 10, 2013
On November 25, 2013, the jury in TQP Development, LLC v. 1-800-Flowers.com, et al., U.S.D.C., E.D. Tex., No. 2:11-cv-00248-JRG-RSP, returned a $2.3 million verdict for plaintiff TQP Development, LLC (“TQP”) against Newegg, Inc. (“Newegg”) in TQP’s suit for...

Kraft v. Cracker Barrel: A Summary of Judge Posner’s Opinion and an Alternative Reverse Confusion Theory of Liability
Paul Bost, December 05, 2013
In a unanimous opinion authored by Judge Posner, the Seventh Circuit recently upheld the district judge’s granting of plaintiff Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC’s motion to preliminarily enjoin defendant Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc.’s sale of food products to grocery stores...

Major League Baseball’s Antitrust “Exemption” Is Immune From Judicial Overrule
Thomas D. Nevins, November 18, 2013
The City of San Jose, California, entered into an option contract to lease land to the Oakland A’s, a Major League Baseball (“MLB”) club, for the construction of a new stadium. The land was within the exclusive territory of another MLB club, the San Francisco Giants, who refused...

Second Circuit Applies Morrison to Criminal Prosecution Under Section 10(b) and Rule 10b-5
Jeff Kern,Thomas M. Monahan,John P. Stigi, October 24, 2013
In United States v. Vilar, Case Nos. 10-521(L), 10-580(CON), 10-4639(CON), 2013 WL 4608948 (2d Cir. Aug. 30, 2013), the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, 15 U.S.C. § 78j(b), and Securities & Exchange...

Second Circuit Clarifies Scope of SLUSA Preclusion
Robin A. Achen,John P. Stigi, October 23, 2013
In Trezziova v. Kohn (In re Herald, Primeo & Thema Sec. Litig.), No. 12-156-cv, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 19132 (2d Cir. Sept. 16, 2013), the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the dismissal of state law class action claims alleging, among other claims, that defendants...

Sonic Calabasas Is a Tactical Retreat from Supreme Court FAA Precedent
Thomas R. Kaufman, October 23, 2013
On October 17, 2013, in Sonic-Calabasas A, Inc. v. Moreno, the California Supreme Court issued a 73-page decision (excluding concurrence and dissent) that attempted to construe the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”) decisions (Concepcion and American...

Tenth Circuit Finds that Jury Must Determine Whether “Notes Are Securities” in a Securities Fraud Action
Mercedes A. Cook,David F. Geneson,John P. Stigi, October 23, 2013
In United States v. McKye, No. 12-6108, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 17297 (10th Cir. Aug. 20, 2013), the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit reversed the conviction of Brian William McKye for securities fraud in violation of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, 15 U.S.C....

Third Circuit Joins With the Seventh, Ninth and Eleventh Circuits in Holding That Plaintiffs Asserting 1933 Act Claims Need Not Plead Compliance With the Statute of Limitations, Splitting With the First, Eighth and Tenth Circuits
Sarah E. Aberg,John P. Stigi, October 23, 2013
In Pension Trust Fund for Operating Engineers v. Mortgage Asset Securitization Transactions, Inc., No. 12-3454, 2013 WL 5184064 (3d Cir. Sept. 17, 2013), the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit joined the Seventh, Ninth and Eleventh Circuits, holding that Section 13 of the...

Federal Circuit Affirms Inequitable Conduct Determination Under Therasense “But For” Exception and Reaffirms Significance of Rohm & Haas
Martin Bader,Stephen S. Korniczky,Matthew M. Mueller, October 14, 2013
Today, the Federal Circuit upheld the District Court’s inequitable conduct verdict based on the submission of false affidavits to the United States Patent & Trademark Office (“PTO”). Intellect Wireless, Inc. v. HTC Corp., 2012-1658. In its precedential opinion, the Federal...

Additional Price of a Judicial Reaction: Waiver of One's Contractual Right to Arbitration
Brian B. Garrett, September 26, 2013
In Volpe v. Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc., No. 652308/2012, Judge Eileen Bransten denied plaintiff Ray Volpe’s (“Volpe”) motion to compel arbitration and granted defendant The Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc.’s (“IPG”) cross-motion to stay arbitration....

First Department Sustains Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act and Other Claims Against Subsidiaries and Officers of Lehman Brothers Based Upon An Allegedly Improper Asset Substitution on the Eve of the Lehman Brothers Collapse
Thomas M. Monahan, September 26, 2013
In Aetna Life Insurance Company v. Appalachian Asset Management Corp, et al., 2013 Slip Op 05506 (1st Dep’t July 30, 2013) the Appellate Division affirmed the April 13, 2012 decision of the New York County Supreme Court, Commercial Division (Ramos, J.), which sustained claims by Aetna Life...

In the Wake of the California Supreme Court’s Harris Decision, A FEHA Claimant Must Show Discrimination was a “Substantial Motivating Factor” and An Employer Waives its Mixed-Motive Defense by Failing to Assert It in Its Answer
Travis J. Anderson,Gregg A. Fisch, September 23, 2013
It now should be clear to employers in California that the litigation rules are different as to what must be presented in discrimination lawsuits to succeed. Notably, just last week, in Alamo v. Practice Management Information Corp., B230909 (2nd Dist., Div. 7, Sept. 5, 2013), the California Court...

Ninth Circuit Fumbles The Ball In Videogame Likeness Cases
Valerie E. Alter,Benjamin R. Mulcahy,Kent R. Raygor, September 16, 2013
Creating a new rule that gives videogames much more limited protection than other expressive works, the Ninth Circuit has ruled that realistically depicting college athletes in videogames showing them doing what they became famous for doing—in this case, playing football—is not...

In the wake of the California Supreme Court's Harris Decision, A FEHA Claimant Must Show Discrimination was a "Substantial Motivating Factor" and An Employer Waives its Mixed-Motive Defense by Failing to Assert It in Its Answer
Travis J. Anderson,Gregg A. Fisch, September 12, 2013
It now should be clear to employers in California that the litigation rules are different as to what must be presented in discrimination lawsuits to succeed. Notably, just last week, in Alamo v. Practice Management Information Corp., B230909 (2nd Dist., Div. 7, Sept. 5, 2013), the California Court...

Ninth Circuit Falls In Line With Supreme Court Ruling on Class Action Removals
Thomas R. Kaufman, September 02, 2013
In Rodriguez v. AT&T Mobility, LLC, the Ninth Circuit continues a string of recent decisions cracking down on district courts’ tendency to remand class actions on the purported basis that the defendant failed to meet the burden of proof that subject matter jurisdiction exists. District courts...

Adopting Thresholds of Significance Under CEQA Not Subject to CEQA Review
Kyndra Joy Casper, August 29, 2013
In California Building Industry Association v. Bay Area Air Quality Management District (CBIA) (Case No. A135335 (Cal. Ct. App. 1st, August 13, 2013)), the First District Court of Appeal overturned the trial court and held that the thresholds of significance adopted by the Bay Area Air Quality...

Argentina's Financial Fate Now Depends on the U.S. Supreme Court
Marcos Vergara del Carril, August 29, 2013
The Second Circuit has affirmed the injunctions against Argentina in NML Capital, Ltd. v. Republic of Argentina, a case that we have been following in this blog, although the amended injunctions shall be stayed pending the resolution by the Supreme Court of a timely petition for a writ of...

Eighth Circuit Applies Negligence Standard to SEC Enforcement Claims for Violations of Section 14(a) and Rules 14a-9, 13b2-1 and 13b2-2
, August 29, 2013
In SEC v. Das, No. 12-2780, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 15327 (8th Cir. July 29, 2013), the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court’s delivery of jury instructions applying a negligence standard to alleged violations of Section 14(a) of the Securities...

Ninth Circuit Vacates Dismissal and Remands Shareholder Derivative "Say-on-Pay" Suits to California State Court
, August 29, 2013
In Dennis v. Hart, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 15648 (9th Cir. July 31, 2013), the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that plaintiffs’ “say-on-pay” shareholder derivative suits alleging breach of fiduciary duty were improperly removed to federal court, vacated the...

Second Circuit Holds That The Fair Labor Standards Act Does Not Bar The Enforcement of Class Action Waivers
Sean J. Kirby, August 17, 2013
Over the past week, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (“Second Circuit”) has issued two decisions in which it affirmatively held that: (i) a plaintiff cannot use the “effective vindication doctrine” to invalidate a class action waiver of claims...

Another Circuit Court Finds President's NLRB Recess Appointments Unconstitutional
Ryan Duffy,Kevin J. Smith, August 13, 2013
Last month, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit raised the stakes on what has become one of the most prominent topics in the labor law community in recent times with its 2-1 decision in National Labor Relations Board v. Enterprise Leasing Co. SE, LLC, 2013 WL 3722388 (4th Cir....

Unusual Circumstances: California Supreme Court Upholds Limited Use of Future Conditions Baseline Under CEQA
Kyndra Joy Casper, August 13, 2013
On August 5, 2013, the California Supreme Court issued a split decision in Neighbors for Smart Rail v. Exposition Metro Line Construction Authority, et al. The court held that a lead agency may choose to avoid using an existing conditions baseline only where (1) the departure is justified by...

Second Circuit Rules that a "Bare-Bones" Complaint Rephrasing the Text of the FLSA is Insufficient to State an Overtime Claim
Jonathan Sokolowski,Jonathan Stoler, August 09, 2013
In Dejesus v. HF Management Systems Services, LLC, No. 12-4565 (2d Cir. Aug. 5, 2013), the Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of plaintiff Ramona Dejesus’ (“Plaintiff”) Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and New York Labor Law (“NYLL”)...

Dang v. San Francisco Forty Niners - Consumers can Challenge Reebok's Exclusive NFL Apparel Deal Based Just on a Market of Garments Bearing NFL Team Logos
Leo Caseria,David R. Garcia, August 08, 2013
On August 2, 2013, District Judge Edward J. Davila denied a motion to dismiss antitrust claims brought by consumers of NFL apparel against Reebok and the NFL in Dang v. San Francisco Forty Niners, Case No. 5:12-CV-5481 (N.D. Cal.). Plaintiff seeks to represent a class of NFL apparel purchasers who...

United States v. Windsor Creates New Estate Planning Opportunities For Married Same-Sex Couples
, August 07, 2013
The recent United States Supreme Court ruling in United States v. Windsor invalidated Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, which had defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman. The ruling greatly expands the estate planning techniques available for married same-sex couples who live...

Cherry Picking Contract Provisions in Bankruptcy: Not so Taboo After All?
Blanka K. Wolfe, August 07, 2013
One of the quintessential principles of the Bankruptcy Code is that when a debtor assumes an executory contract, it must assume the contract as a whole - a debtor cannot cherry pick the contract provisions it wants to assume while rejecting others. Two recent bankruptcy court decisions - In re...

First Circuit Finds that a Private Equity Fund Can Be Liable for the Pension Obligations of its Portfolio Company
, August 07, 2013
In Sun Capital Partners III, L.P. et al. v. New England Teamsters & Trucking Industry Pension Fund, No. 12-2312, 2013 WL 3814985 (1st Cir. July 24, 2013), the First Circuit held that a private equity fund could be liable for its bankrupt portfolio company’s withdrawal liability imposed...

Considerations for US Employers Post-DOMA
Megan Grant,Karin Hunter Johnson, July 31, 2013
When the Supreme Court issued its opinion in U.S. v. Windsor on June 26, it invalidated the federal definitions of “spouse” and “marriage,” and, in so doing, altered employer obligations with respect to same-sex marriages. Although the media coverage of this decision has...

New Jersey Supreme Court Expands State Law Retaliation Claims
Adam Pekor,Kevin J. Smith, July 23, 2013
On July 17, 2013, the Supreme Court of New Jersey expanded the state’s already broad Law Against Discrimination (LAD), holding that an employee’s complaints about inappropriate workplace conduct need not identify any specific victim of discrimination or harassment to constitute...

Second Circuit Imposes Individual Liability on New York Mayoral Candidate for Fair Labor Standards Act Settlement
Brian D. Murphy,Kevin J. Smith, July 16, 2013
On July 9, 2013, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued its opinion in Torres et al. v. Gristedes Operating Corp. et al., Case No. 11-4035, affirming the Southern District of New York’s imposition of individual “employer” liability on New York City...

The Supreme Court Gets It Right On Takings - And Wrong - A View from "Inside the Curtilage": The Property Owner's Perspective
Deborah M. Rosenthal, July 16, 2013
In Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District, the Supreme Court cleared up two important, nagging issues with wide applicability and importance to property owners across the country. First, the 5-member majority, led by Justice Alito, held that a government cannot avoid Fifth Amendment...

DOMA Goes Down - Copyright Goes Up - U.S. v. Windsor, Supreme Court, No. 12-307, Decided June 26, 2013
Edwin Komen, July 03, 2013
The Supreme Court today handed down a far reaching decision throwing out an attempt by Congress to deny the benefits conferred by federal law on same sex couples legally married under state law holding that the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”), as so applied, constituted a deprivation...

Delaware Chancery Court Establishes Procedural Framework for Obtaining Business Judgment Review for Going Private Transaction Sponsored By Majority Stockholders
, June 28, 2013
In In re MFW Shareholder Litigation, C.A. No. 6566-CS, 2013 WL 2436341 (Del. Ch. May 29, 2013), the Delaware Court of Chancery analyzed one of the most important open questions of Delaware corporate law: whether it is possible for majority stockholders to structure a going private transaction to...

Fifth Circuit Holds That Securities Fraud Defendants May Not Rebut the Fraud-on-the-Market Presumption at the Class Certification Stage Through Evidence of No Price Impact
, June 28, 2013
In Erica P. John Fund, Inc. v. Halliburton Co., No. 12-10544, 2013 WL 1809760 (5th Cir. Apr. 30, 2013), the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that a defendant in a securities fraud class action is not entitled to rebut the fraud-on-the-market presumption of reliance at the...

Supreme Court Continues To Expand FAA Preemption
Thomas R. Kaufman, June 25, 2013
Do you hear that? . . . . It is the wailing and moaning of plaintiff’s attorneys across the country.

Failure To Separately Notice Consideration Of CEQA Document Violates Brown Act
Eric Dilulio, June 20, 2013
In San Joaquin Raptor Rescue Center v. County of Merced, the California Court of Appeal for the Fifth District held that the Merced County Planning Commission violated the Brown Act by adopting a CEQA mitigated negative declaration without specifically noticing it on the Commission’s agenda....

EIR Not Needed Before Starting Eminent Domain Proceeding
Claudia Gutierrez, June 18, 2013
In Golden Gate Land Holdings, LLC v. East Bay Regional Park District, the California Court of Appeals considered whether an Environmental Impact Report (“EIR”) must be prepared where the California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) and eminent domain law intersect. Golden...

New FCC Interpretation Of "Express Consent" To Increase TCPA Class Action Liability
Adrienne W. Lee,Shannon Z. Petersen, June 14, 2013
Plaintiffs frequently sue businesses in class actions for violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, 47 U.S.C. § 227 (the “TCPA”). The TCPA generally prohibits calls and text messages to cell phones using automated systems or artificial or pre-recorded voice unless...

Sixth Circuit Splits with Second and Ninth Circuits Regarding Need to Allege Defendants' State of Mind for Claims Challenging Soft Information Under Section 11 of the Securities Act of 1933
, June 14, 2013
In Indiana State District Council of Laborers & Hod Carriers Pension & Welfare Fund v. Omnicare, Inc., 2013 WL 2248970 (6th Cir. May 23, 2013), the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that a claim alleging a false statement of opinion or belief in a registration...

Delaware Court Provides Critical Guidance as to the Commercial Reasonableness of a UCC Article 9 Foreclosure Sale
Raphaela Taylor, June 13, 2013
Secured lenders often resort to non-judicial foreclosure sales of personal property upon a borrower’s default. Article 9, Part 6 of the Uniform Commercial Code requires that every aspect of such a sale must be commercially reasonable. However, the courts have historically provided little...

Ninth Circuit Rules that Comcast Does Not Kill Wage and Hour Class Actions
Thomas R. Kaufman, May 31, 2013
On Tuesday, the Ninth Circuit decided Leyva v. Medline Industries, Inc., reversing an order denying class certification in a wage and hour case. The decision represents the first interpretation from the Ninth Circuit of the scope of the Supreme Court’s decision in Comcast Corp. v. Behrend...

6 Ways to do Business Overseas While Reducing the Perils of Future Litigation
Juan C. Castañeda, May 28, 2013
As an executive or in-house counsel, your work likely reaches across the globe.

Second Circuit Holds that Allegations of Direct Fraudulent Representations Are Necessary for Market Manipulation Claims Under Section 10(b) and Rule 10b-5
, May 28, 2013
In Fezzani v. Bear, Stearns & Co., Inc., No. 09-4414-cv, 2013 WL 1876534 (2d Cir. May 7, 2013), a 2-1 majority of a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that plaintiffs’ failure to plead direct misrepresentations from defendant to plaintiffs was fatal to...

An Unreasonable Royalty Rate is No Gaming Matter
Mercedes A. Cook, May 27, 2013
The Honorable Judge James L. Robart recently took on the challenging task of determining a reasonable and non-discriminatory (“RAND”) royalty rate for Motorola’s standards-essential patents (“SEP”). Microsoft Corp. v. Motorola, Inc., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60233, No....

The Ninth Circuit Holds that Bankruptcy Courts Have Authority to Recharacterize Debt as Equity
Robert K. Sahyan, May 18, 2013
On April 30, 2013, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the bankruptcy court has authority to recharacterize as equity, rather than debt, advances of funds made purportedly as a loan to the recipient prior to its bankruptcy. In re Fitness Holdings International, Inc.,...

Ninth Circuit Holds that Federal Securities Laws Preempt California Labor Code's Ban on Forced Patronage at Brokerage Firms
, May 16, 2013
In McDaniel v. Wells Fargo Investments, LLC, Nos. 11-17017, 11-55859, 11-55943, 11-55958, 2013 WL 1405949 (9th Cir. Apr. 9, 2013), the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of four class action lawsuits filed by employees against brokerage firms Wells Fargo,...

First Department Upholds Commercial Division Decision Striking Parties' Answer And Entering Default Judgment As A Sanction For Discovery Violations
Valentina Shenderovich, May 03, 2013
In Suffolk P.E.T. Mgt., LLC v. Anand, 2013 NY Slip Op 02335 (First Dep’t April 4, 2013), the Appellate Division, First Department affirmed an Order by the Supreme Court, New York County Commercial Division (Bernard J. Fried, J.) to strike defendants’ answer for noncompliance with...

Student Loans: Nondischargeability Questioned in Seventh Circuit and Beyond
Adam McNeile, May 02, 2013
Conventional wisdom says that it is nearly impossible to obtain a discharge of student loan debt in bankruptcy. Indeed, Section 523(a)(8) expressly excepts student loans from discharge, unless the exception of such indebtedness from discharge would impose an undue hardship upon the debtor. But two...

United States Supreme Court Decides Question of Corporate Liability Under Alien Tort Statute On Broader Grounds
, May 01, 2013
In Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co., No. 10-1491, 2013 WL 1628935 (U.S. Apr. 17, 2013), the Supreme Court of the United States addressed the circuit split that arose following the 2010 decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co.,...

Delaware Supreme Court Affirms Preclusive Effect of Non-Delaware Dismissals and Rejects Irrebuttable Presumption That a Derivative Plaintiff Who Fails to Conduct a Section 220 Inspection Is an Inadequate Representative
, April 25, 2013
In Pyott v. Louisiana Municipal Police Employees’ Retirement System, No. 380, 2012, 2013 WL 1364695 (Del. Apr. 4, 2013), the Delaware Supreme Court held the Delaware Court of Chancery erred in refusing to dismiss a derivative complaint nearly identical to one brought by different stockholders...

New Disability Access Law Imposes Notification Requirements For Commercial Leases
Lydia Lake,Pamela L. Westhoff, April 24, 2013
On July 1, 2013, pursuant to newly enacted California Civil Code Section 1938, owners of commercial real property must state on every lease form or rental agreement whether the property leased has undergone inspection by a Certified Access Specialist (commonly referred to as a “CASp”)...