Practice Areas & Industries: Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP


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Practice/Industry Group Overview

Sutherland litigators resolve disputes through many processes, including negotiation, mediation, arbitration, trial and appeal.

At Sutherland, we know our clients’ businesses and industries and work to support their objectives through creative and efficient dispute avoidance and resolution solutions. We represent regional, national and international clients in securities, insurance, energy, construction, financial services, manufacturing, banking, pharmaceuticals, technology and defense, among other industries. We recognize that a business win includes many factors, and are conscious of the disruptive impact litigation can have on a client’s executives and business operations. Risk management and avoidance are an integral part of our counseling services.

When litigation is unavoidable or presents the best alternative, we work with our clients to plan strategy and eliminate unnecessary costs. An early adopter of legal project management, our award-winning initiative provides easy-to-use tools that enhance client service and transparency, create efficiencies and add value to every assignment—regardless of size. With legal project management, we customize a litigation plan to fit each case and client.

We apply our business and industry knowledge not only to strategic advocacy for solving the current problem, but also to recommendations for avoiding future risks. Clients trust us with large and complex cases significant to their businesses. With over 80 years of litigation experience and more than 100 litigators, Sutherland can provide predictable results. We offer early case analysis and resolution strategy designed to save our clients time and money and to free their internal resources for productive business pursuits. We also offer a deep bench and extensive trial experience when the client’s objective requires a forced resolution through the traditional legal system.

Why Sutherland
We build a foundation of trust and transparency for all our client engagements. Our lawyers invest in both the process and outcome, and are dedicated to achieving successful results.

Business value. Clients say our participation in strategy and planning discussions adds demonstrable value to the case management. We look for the most efficient and effective way to resolve each client’s matter.

Public policy and government regulation. Sutherland has long been involved in public policy and government regulation. For example, our firm played an active role in the development of the over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives markets.

Breadth and depth. Our litigators successfully resolve cases in federal and state courts in all fifty states. We handle appeals before the U.S. Supreme Court and all 13 federal circuit courts of appeals, numerous state courts of appeal and state supreme courts. We also appear before federal and state administrative agencies and arbitration panels, including the International Trade Commission and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and arbitrate cases in many domestic and international arbitral forums.

Cutting-edge litigation management and technology tools. Sutherland is a leader in early case assessment, legal project management and electronic data organization. Clients rely on our e-discovery capabilities and trial management skills. We offer trained, experienced and supervised lower cost alternatives for massive data review and can save our client money with production or discovery in large-scale litigation or investigations.

Nuts And Bolts
Drawing from the strengths and experience of more than 100 litigators, Sutherland has proven records of success in many areas of dispute resolution, including:

  • Accountants' & Attorneys' Liability
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Antitrust
  • Appellate
  • Aviation
  • Bankruptcy, Restructuring & Creditors' Rights
  • Broker-Dealer
  • Class Action Defense
  • Complex Business Litigation
  • Construction
  • Consumer Financial Services
  • Crisis Management
  • Dealer & Franchise
  • Director & Officer Liability
  • Education, Government & Civil Rights
  • Electronic Discovery & Data Management
  • Labor & Employment
  • Energy Litigation
  • Environmental
  • Financial Services Litigation
  • Insurance Litigation
  • Intellectual Property Litigation
  • Internal Investigations
  • ITC Section 337 Litigation
  • Maritime & Shipping
  • Product Liability - Commercial
  • Securities Enforcement & Litigation
  • Tax Controversy & Litigation
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • White Collar Defense

Take Action
Clients trust Sutherland to understand their unique business objectives and deliver innovative and exceptional service. We justify that trust with performance and results.

Selected Experience
Sutherland wins for a major life insurance company and financial services provider in defending retained asset account program in federal trial court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
This litigation challenged Metropolitan Life Insurance Company’s retained asset account program, which pays life insurance policy beneficiaries through accounts that are credited with the policy proceeds. Sutherland represented MetLife and defeated all plaintiff claims. Motion for summary judgment was granted on September 10, 2010; the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed district court’s grant of summary judgment and dismissed the putative class action on December 7, 2011.

Sutherland guides drilling contractor through litigation, crisis management and regulatory inquiries following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Sutherland has represented Transocean Offshore Deepwater Drilling Inc.’s legal responses in cases and investigations arising from the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Sutherland represents major regional investment firm in parallel federal and state investigations stemming from the subprime mortgage crisis.
Sutherland defended and guided our client through three years of investigations, settling all claims on the eve of trial for far less than the regulators had demanded, and for significantly reduced charges.

Articles Authored by Lawyers at this office:

Has the Tortoise Become the Hare? Patent Litigation Reform Gaining Momentum
Ann G. Fort,Daniel J. Warren, November 20, 2013
After the years-long process leading up to the enactment of the America Invents Act, stakeholders in the patent field could be forgiven for assuming that this year’s new legislative and administrative proposals for curbing patent litigation abuses were nothing more than the beginning of a...

Georgia Supreme Court Declines to Review Decision Regarding Limitation-of-Liability Clauses in Customer Contracts
, November 08, 2013
This week, the Georgia Supreme Court denied a request to review a divided Georgia Court of Appeals decision with potentially far-reaching consequences for companies that do business in Georgia and rely on limitation-of-liability clauses in their customer contracts. Monitronics International v....

Florida Announces DMF Search Requirement and Date-of-Death Dormancy Trigger
, October 16, 2013
In an administrative declaratory ruling, the Florida Department of Financial Services (DFS) announced that Florida’s unclaimed property statute requires life insurers to search the Social Security Administration Death Master File (DMF) to seek out information on potential deaths of insureds. ...

SEC Awards Whistleblower More Than $14 Million - Largest Award to Date
, October 07, 2013
In a press release issued on October 1, 2013, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC or Commission) announced its largest whistleblower award yet of $14 million. The recipient of the award is an individual whistleblower who reported information that led to a successful enforcement action...

A Marriage Made in Washington: Treasury and IRS Recognize Same-Sex Marriages for Tax Purposes
, September 02, 2013
On August 29, the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor, jointly announced the issuance of Revenue Ruling 2013-17 (the Ruling), providing guidance on the federal taxation of...

High Court's Decision Next Term May Increase Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Litigation
, August 29, 2013
This November, in Lawson v. FMR LLC, the United States Supreme Court will hear argument on whether “whistleblowers” employed by a privately held contractor or subcontractor of a publicly traded company are protected from retaliation by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX). The Court...

Litigation Update on 14 Patronage Capital Cases in Eight States
Benjamin C. Morgan,James A. Orr, August 29, 2013
Since 2009, at least 14 cases have been filed against electric cooperatives over patronage capital (or capital credits) in eight states: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas. Sutherland has previously issued Legal Alerts regarding these...

California Supreme Court Confirms That Intangible Assets Are (Still) Not Subject to Property Taxation
, August 26, 2013
In a unanimous decision issued on August 12, 2013, the California Supreme Court held that the California State Board of Equalization (the BOE) may not assess the value of intangible Emission Reduction Credits (ERCs) when valuing taxable power plant property. Elk Hills Power, LLC v. Board of...

Federal District Court Validates Insurer’s Retention of Policy Proceeds Until Receiving Proof of Death
, August 26, 2013
On August 20, 2013, the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts dismissed a putative class action over an insurer’s alleged failure to timely pay life insurance policy death benefits to beneficiaries. Feingold v. John Hancock Life Insurance Co., No. 1:13-cv-10185-JLT...

Fifth Circuit Creates Split on Scope of Retaliation Protection for “Whistleblowers” Under Dodd-Frank
, August 09, 2013
Since the enactment of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in 2010, a number of federal courts have grappled with the scope of the Act’s new protections for employee “whistleblowers.” Until recently, however, no federal court of appeals had addressed the...

From Insurer’s Shield to Insured’s Sword: California Supreme Court Authorizes Policyholder Unfair Competition Law Claims for Unfair Insurance Practices
David W. Arrojo,Wilson G. Barmeyer,Phillip E. Stano,Steuart H. Thomsen, August 09, 2013
On August 1, 2013, the California Supreme Court ruled in Zhang v. The Superior Court of San Bernardino County, No. S178542 (Cal. Aug. 1, 2013) that insurance practices violating the state’s Unfair Insurance Practices Act (UIPA) may also support a first-party action under California’s...

Georgia Court of Appeals: Fine Print Too Small to Save Limitation-of-Liability Clause in Home Security Contract
, August 01, 2013
A decision by the Georgia Court of Appeals has potentially far-reaching consequences for companies that include limitation-of-liability clauses in their customer contracts. In Monitronics International v. Veasley, the Georgia Court of Appeals upheld a $9 million jury verdict against an alarm...

Georgia Recognizes Defective Construction as an "Occurrence" for Liability Insurance Purposes
, July 25, 2013
The highest court in Georgia has recently added that jurisdiction to the growing list that considers defective construction, including defects in the work of a general contractor, to be an “occurrence” under the general contractor’s commercial general liability (CGL) insurance...