Mia Mazza's practice focuses on representing issuers and related parties in federal and state securities litigation, including shareholder class actions, derivative actions, internal corporate investigations, and other matters involving director and officer liability. She has represented clients from a broad range of industries, including financial services, computer hardware and software, clean energy, and consumer products. Selected representative matters are listed below.
Ms. Mazza is the founder and current co-chair of Morrison & Foerster's E-Discovery Task Force. In this role she leads a team of partners that serves as an internal resource for the firm's litigators in addressing e-discovery challenges as they arise in practice. The E-Discovery Task Force is also responsible for internal training, establishing internal risk management policies around e-discovery, maintaining the firm's E-Discovery Handbook, and advising on vendor management issues.
In her role as a firm expert on e-discovery practice, Ms. Mazza has also led discovery efforts on some of the firm's most significant matters outside the realm of securities litigation and investigations. Her work in this area has extended to cases involving consumer protection law, trade secrets, patent and trademark infringement, and California's Proposition 65.
Ms. Mazza counsels clients on all aspects of data lifecycle management, with a primary focus on mitigating the risks and costs associated with discovery of data in litigation and investigations. She is regularly asked by clients to provide recommendations on corporate record-retention policies, and to advise on thorny and complex issues such as email management.
Before joining the firm, Ms. Mazza served as a deputy attorney general for the California Department of Justice. In that role, she represented the People of the State of California in criminal appeals and federal habeas matters. While in law school, Ms. Mazza clerked for the Alameda County District Attorney's Office, the United States Department of Justice, and the United States Attorney for the Northern District of California.
Ms. Mazza earned her B.A. from the University of Southern California, where she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and the Trojan Marching Band. She earned her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law, where she was the recipient of the Ecology Law Research Institute Writing Grant for her comment, “The New Evidentiary Privilege for Environmental Audit Reports: Making the Worst of a Bad Situation,” 23 ECOLOGY L.Q. 79 (1996).
Ms. Mazza is a member of the Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals, the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics, 2020 Women on Boards, the National Association of Women Lawyers, the Association of Records Managers and Administrators (ARMA International), and other national, state, and local bar and professional associations. She is an alumnus of the Hastings Leadership Academy for Women and serves as co-chair of the firm’s Berkeley Law School (Boalt Hall) alumni recruiting team.
Representative Securities Litigation Matters and Investigations
- In re Infineon Technologies Corp. Securities Litigation (N.D. Cal., 9th Cir.).
For German semiconductor manufacturer and several current and former officers, won dismissal of 90% of securities class based on defense that the federal securities laws do not apply to "foreign cubed" transactions – foreign securities purchased by foreign investors on a foreign exchange. The lower court denied our challenge, but the Ninth Circuit took the rare step of granting an interlocutory appeal to address the question. We ultimately prevailed in the Ninth Circuit, and then in the district court on remand, after the Supreme Court provided guidance in Morrison v. National Australia Bank (a case in which we filed an amicus brief that was cited in the Supreme Court's opinion). Subsequently settled with the remaining 10% of the class, composed solely of American Depositary Share purchasers. (2011)
- In re Clorox Co. Securities Litigation (N.D. Cal., 9th Cir.).
Won motion for summary judgment on behalf of The Clorox Company and several of its officers in securities class action alleging misrepresentations about Clorox's business, earnings, and financial results, and its ability to continue to achieve profitable growth. Secured affirmance of the ruling in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. (2004)
- In re Capital One Corp. Securities Litigation (E.D. Va., 4th Cir.).
Won dismissal on the pleadings for Capital One Financial Corp. and several of its officers in securities class action filed in Eastern District of Virginia. Successfully defended the ruling in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. (2004)
- In re Providian Financial Corporation Securities Litigation (N.D. Cal.).
Successfully defended Providian Financial Corporation and several of its former officers in a securities class action, a derivative action, and an opt-out case. Obtained the dismissal of one officer on summary judgment in the class action. Ultimately negotiated a settlement within the limits of the insurance policy, and with no contribution by the company or individual defendants, in all three matters. (2006)
- In re SunPower Securities Litigation (N.D. Cal.).
Representing solar products manufacturer and several of its current and former officers in securities class action involving restated financials. (Pending)
- Stock Option Backdating-Related Litigation (Santa Clara County Super.).
Defended Silicon Valley semiconductor manufacturer in action brought by former senior officer related to internal stock option backdating investigation. Secured favorable resolution for client. (2011)
- Internal Investigation for Silicon Valley Software Company.
Conducted stock option backdating investigation for Special Committee of the Board of Directors of global software company. Obtained auditors' full signoff within two weeks of initiating investigation, allowing client to file quarterly financial statement on time. (2006)
- Acquisition-Related Investigation. Represented leading software company as acquirer in post-merger inquiry into whether aquiree had overstated revenue in order to obtain purchase price adjustment. Matter settled on favorable terms before arbitration. (2008)
- Internal Investigation for Global Health Care Foundation.
On behalf of Special Committee of the Board of Directors, led inquiry into possible FCPA violations and misuse of government funds for nonprofit agency focused on developing innovative methods for fighting AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. (2010)
Representative E-Discovery Matters
- Fruit Juice and Baby Food Proposition 65 Litigation.
Representing defendants in action brought under Proposition 65 against more than 20 manufacturers and sellers of fruit juice and baby food. (Pending)
- Capital One Consumer Credit Card Class Action.
Managed and defended fast-track e-discovery efforts in class action involving late fees charged against credit card consumers.(2007)
- Trade Secret–Related Commercial Litigation.
Representing plaintiffs in commercial action involving theft of trade secrets, conspiracy, and related allegations in the aircraft sales and leasing industry. (Pending)
- Mobile Device Patent Litigation.
Managed all e-discovery efforts and led successful offensive discovery campaign in high-profile patent case for Silicon Valley mobile device manufacturer. Trial resulted in significant jury award for our client. (2012)