Paul Friedman specializes in conducting internal investigations on behalf of companies and audit committees, many of which are global in scope, and focus on alleged price fixing by cartels and corruption issues. He co-chairs the firm’s FCPA + Anti-Corruption Task Force and frequently represents clients in government investigations.
He also specializes in defending class action litigation—particularly securities, antitrust, and consumer cases—in courts across the country. In his 30+ years with the firm, Mr. Friedman has represented a wide range of companies, including some of the largest global companies, audit and special committees, individual directors and officers, venture capital firms, investment banks, and law firms. He is a frequent speaker on the FCPA, securities litigation, cross-border litigation, and internal investigations.
Mr. Friedman was recognized in BTI Consulting Group's Client Service All-Star Team 2006 and 2010 surveys for consistently delivering superior client service. Mr. Friedman has also been recommended in the 2007–2014 Best Lawyers in America directories for Commercial Litigation, Securities Litigation, and Antitrust and has been named to the Northern California Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in California for 2004–2013.
Mr. Friedman was the chair of the Ninth Circuit Advisory Board, a group of senior lawyers appointed from throughout the Ninth Circuit by the chief judge. He was chair of the 2003 Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference and was also chair of the Lawyer Representatives Coordinating Committee of the 2003 Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference. He served as program chair of the 2002 Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference. Mr. Friedman was chair of the lawyer representatives of the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference from the Northern District of California from 1998–2000. In 2002, the bench and bar of the Northern District of California honored him with the Public Service Award in recognition of his service to the court.
Mr. Friedman joined Morrison & Foerster in 1982 and became a partner in 1986. He has served as deputy chair (1987–1990) and chair (1990–1993) of the firm’s Litigation Department. He is chair of the Morrison & Foerster Foundation; a member of the firm’s Executive Committee, Compensation Committee, and board of directors; and is a vice president of the Executive Committee of the Yale Law School Association. He also serves as a board member for Equal Justice Works, the Ninth Judicial Circuit Historical Society, and Berkeley Repertory Theater.
Mr. Friedman was a member of Phi Beta Kappa at the University of California, Berkeley. He was also awarded the University Medal, the highest undergraduate honor at the university, presented to the most distinguished student in the graduating class.
In re Crocs, Inc. Securities Litigation; Wheeler v. Snyder et al. (D. Colo. & Colo. Dist. Ct.)
Representing Crocs, Inc., and certain of its current and former officers and directors in shareholder class actions (claiming violations of the Exchange Act) and derivative lawsuits filed in Colorado. In February 2009, won dismissal of all derivative claims, with prejudice, on first motion to dismiss. No appeal was filed. In February 2011, won dismissal of all claims in the federal class actions on first motion to dismiss. In re Crocs, Inc. Sec. Litig., 07-cv-2351-PAB, 2011 WL 782485 (D. Colo. Feb. 28, 2011). Appeal pending in Tenth Circuit; settlement pending.
California Resale Royalty Act Litigation. (C.D. Cal.; 9th Cir.)
Representing auction house in class action seeking to enforce the California Resale Royalty Act. District Court granted our motion to dismiss and invalidated the 35-year-old statute as unconstitutional. Appeal pending in Ninth Circuit.
International Compliance Review
Conducting anti-corruption compliance review in Mexico for leading international energy corporation.
Asia-Pacific FCPA Investigation
Represented a leading global technology company in an internal investigation of potential FCPA violations in Asia-Pacific countries.
Asia-Pacific FCPA Investigation
Represented a U.S.-based multinational Fortune 50 company in an internal investigation of alleged violations of the FCPA and self-dealing in seven Asia-Pacific countries. Following the conclusion of our investigation and self-reporting, neither the SEC nor the DOJ took any action against our client.
Global Cartel Investigations
Representing a U.S.-based multinational Fortune 50 company in global cartel investigations and all related civil and criminal proceedings in several countries, including class action litigation. Representing a Japan-based company in global cartel investigations.
Precision Associates v. Panalpina, et al. (EDNY)
In 65-defendant class action alleging a global price-fixing cartel in the freight forwarding industry, served as lead defense counsel and successfully argued motion to dismiss on behalf of all defendants, resulting in dismissal for lack of standing and failure to satisfy Twombly on key claims.
Antitrust Multi-District Litigation
Won dismissal with prejudice in 51 separate nationwide class actions, which were combined into one MDL proceeding in the Northern District of Georgia. Plaintiffs alleged that defendants conspired to set fuel surcharge levels on “Less Than Truckload” shipments. On behalf of our Fortune 50 client, we obtained a stay of discovery, and moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground that plaintiffs had not alleged facts to establish a conspiracy under the standards set forth by the Supreme Court in Twombly v. Bell Atlantic. The court granted the motion to dismiss and set a very high standard for any subsequent amendment. The plaintiffs concluded that they could not meet that standard, and the case was dismissed with prejudice.
Late-Payment Fees Class Action
With hundreds of millions of dollars at stake, won dismissal with prejudice of nationwide class action complaint on the first motion to dismiss in case involving cutting-edge preemption issues arising from the collection of late-payment fees that allegedly exceeded the amounts allowable under state law. No appeal filed.
Stock Option Investigations
Conducted internal investigations regarding stock option issues on behalf of several audit committees/special committees.
Nationwide Antitrust Class Action for Fortune 50 Company
Won motion to dismiss without leave to amend for Fortune 50 company in nationwide antitrust class action, which alleged that client unlawfully tied the sale of loss/damage protection to the sale of ground transportation services. No appeal filed.
Billing Adjustment Class Action
Won dismissal with prejudice of putative nationwide class action for our Fortune 50 client alleging unfair business practices for requiring customers to seek billing adjustments for packages that they processed for shipment but decided not to ship. No appeal filed.
BayStar Capital Management, LLC v. Core Pacific-Yamaichi International (H.K.) Limited (C.D. Cal.)
Successfully defended China's largest investment bank in a securities fraud action alleging $100 million in damages. After two years of hard-fought litigation, the case was dismissed, with prejudice, with no payment from our client.
In re Excess Value Insurance Coverage Litigation
2004 WL 1724980 (S.D.N.Y. MDL-1139). Lead defense counsel in 26 state and federal class actions alleging contract, tort, deceptive trade practices, RICO, and antitrust claims challenging collection of insurance premiums in connection with shipments. Successfully implemented a strategy of removing all state cases to federal court and obtained consolidation of the cases in multidistrict litigation proceedings. After motions to dismiss disposed of most claims, the cases settled on favorable terms.
Fulfillment Services, Inc. v. UPS
528 F.3d 614 (Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals). Won dismissal, with prejudice, for UPS in nationwide class action related to compliance with tariff requirements of the Interstate Commerce Act and transportation fees paid by a large class of shippers over a five-year period. Won affirmance of judgment by Ninth Circuit.
EIJ v. UPS
Argued and won affirmance of summary judgment in favor of UPS on fraud, contract, bad faith, and other claims arising from lost shipment. (233 Fed. Appx. 600 (9th Cir. 2007))