Morrison & Foerster tries more cases on a regular basis than most large law firms. Our current team of trial lawyers has first-chaired more than 750 jury trials across the country. In addition, we have tried hundreds of cases to arbitrators and administrative bodies.
We have seven members of the prestigious American Board of Trial Advocates and eight Fellows of the American College of Trial Lawyers.
Trial Preparation Philosophy
In an ideal world, all of our clients’ cases would be resolved without a trial. Litigation and trials, in particular, are stressful and expensive. From the moment we begin working on a case, we are looking for ways to resolve the dispute. The most cost-effective way to achieve our clients’ goals is to prepare each case as if it were going to trial. We focus on the key issues, witnesses, and documents at the outset so our clients can assess their case strengths and weaknesses early on. If a matter does not settle, this planning leaves us well positioned to present our client’s case to a judge or jury.
Our trial attorneys have one mission—to achieve the best results for our clients. We do this in two ways: (1) training our lawyers to have the skills essential to successfully trying a case, and (2) managing our resources and experiences so that we efficiently and effectively prepare for trial. We are able to staff our cases with trial teams that reflect the diversity of the jurors who will decide our clients’ cases because of our long-standing commitment to recruiting, training, and advancing women and lawyers of color.
Recent Trial Experience
- 2014: Co-lead counsel in a high-profile patent case leading to a $120 million jury verdict.
- 2014: Defense verdict for the nation’s largest HMO in a case where the plaintiff alleged trade-secrets misappropriation, breach of contract, and other claims.
- 2014: Defense verdict for a major law firm after a five-day jury trial in which a businessman sought to hold our client vicariously liable for the actions of one of its senior of counsel lawyers, who served as an escrow agent for a transaction that turned out to be a Ponzi scheme. The jury determined that the lawyer was not the cause of the plaintiff’s loss. As a result, our client was not vicariously liable.
- 2014: Mistrial following a two-week trial for Palo Alto Networks in a high-stakes patent case involving firewall technology brought by its competitor Juniper Networks.
- 2013: Co-lead counsel in a high-profile patent case securing the largest patent verdict of 2013 (sixth-highest verdict overall).
- 2013: Successfully tried an adversary proceeding against Residential Capital’s junior secured noteholders, defeating their claims of entitlement to hundreds of millions of dollars of post-petition interest.
- 2013: Victory on behalf of 16 food manufacturers in a Proposition 65 lawsuit claiming that baby foods, 100% fruit juices, and packaged fruit and vegetable products should carry health warnings because of trace levels of lead. After a five-week bench trial, the judge rejected the plaintiff’s health warning arguments, as well as the “one day” enforcement policy advanced by the California attorney general and environmental groups. This decision is considered to be one of the most potentially significant trial court decisions in the statute’s 25-year history.
- 2013: Defense verdict for Alaska Airlines in a case brought by a group of first-class passengers who were removed from a flight from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Las Vegas. After a three-week trial, the jury of seven returned a unanimous defense verdict on all counts.
- 2013: Defense victory for Monier Group after an eight-week jury trial in a case seeking more than $250 million in compensatory damages plus punitive damages on behalf of 128,000 potential class members over allegations of false advertising. After deliberations, the jury awarded $7.4 million but the judge set aside the jury verdict, finding that the statistical sampling method used by the plaintiffs’ expert to determine class size, liability, and damages could not be supported.
- 2013: Judgment in favor of a financial services company in a putative EFTA consumer class action following a two-day bench trial.
- 2013 and 2012: Lead defense counsel for founder and former CEO of a high-tech company in DOJ and SEC proceedings alleging stock option backdating and improper revenue recognition. Two jury trials resulted in acquittal on six counts and a hung jury on the remaining count.
- 2012: Lead counsel in a high-profile smartphone case leading to a jury verdict of over $1 billion.
- 2012: Defense verdict on behalf of Sandoz in a patent dispute in the District of Delaware. Allergan brought suit against Sandoz regarding an extended-release treatment for overactive bladder condition, yet had all six of the patents-in-suit ruled invalid due to obviousness following the trial.
- 2012: “Take nothing” defense jury verdict in favor of Cessna Aircraft Company in a four-week trial in the Northern District of Texas. The jury concluded that the crash of a Cessna Caravan 208B aircraft piloted by the plaintiffs' decedent was primarily caused by pilot error. The plaintiffs sought over $75 million in damages.
- 2012: Victory for Sandoz in an Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) litigation case in the District of New Jersey. Hospira alleged that Sandoz’s new product, dexmedetomidine, would infringe two of their patents. After an eight-day trial, the court ruled in favor of our client.
- 2012: Secured a $60 million verdict in a wrongful death trial.