Derek Foran represents public and private companies in complex civil litigation in state and federal courts. His practice focuses on high stakes commercial litigation. Considered a litigation “heavy weight,” he is recognized for his exceptional trial work and was named one of America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators in Northern California.
Derek has extensive trial experience including arguments in appellate courts on behalf of clients. He also maintains an active pro bono practice. In 2016, he was awarded the Christopher Tietze Humanitarian Award for significant, lifetime contributions in the field of reproductive rights. Prior winners of this award include Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun, the ACLU, and three U.S. Senators. His work has been written about in The New York Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times.
Derek is a member of the Board of Governors of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers, Northern California Chapter, and is a member of the Board of Directors of Bay Area Legal Aid. He is also a former member of the Executive Committee of the Civil Litigation Section of the San Francisco Bar Association.
Derek is originally from Ireland. Prior to joining Morrison & Foerster, he clerked for the Honorable Diarmuid O’Scannlain of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Representative Trial Court Matters
- In re Cloudera, Inc. Securities Litigation (Santa Clara Sup. Ct. 2019-present)
Co-lead counsel for leading enterprise data cloud company in case alleging violations of federal securities laws.
- Steven A.W. DeJaray, et al. v. Lattice Semiconductor Corp. (D. Or. 2019-present)
Lead defense counsel for Lattice in a matter alleging false advertising and related claims in federal district court.
- Hunichen v. Atonomi LLC et al. (W.D. Wash. 2019-present)
Co-lead counsel for venture fund in a class action alleging cryptocurrency constituted an unregistered offering under state securities laws.
- John Russo Industrial Sheetmetal, Inc. v. Los Angeles World Airports Authority (San Mateo Sup. Ct. 2013–present)
Co-trial counsel in a six-week jury trial in San Mateo Superior Court for Los Angeles World Airports Authority in a breach of contract action brought by a terminated contractor. Plaintiff’s damages included a claim for millions of dollars in future lost profits. The jury unanimously rejected plaintiff’s claims.
- National Abortion Federation (NAF) v. Center for Medical Progress et al. (U.S.D.C., N.D. Cal. 2015–present)
Lead counsel for the plaintiff in a case that arose out of the controversy surrounding the release of surreptitiously taken videotapes of Planned Parenthood physicians. On behalf of NAF, Derek led a team of lawyers to secure a preliminary injunction, preventing the release of further videotapes. Derek’s work on this matter has been featured in the national media, including The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, American Lawyer, and NPR. Affirmation of summary judgement and request for entry into permanent injunction are currently pending.
- Xplornet Communications Inc. v. Viasat, Inc. (A.A.A. 2018-2019)
Trial counsel for a leading Canadian broadband service provider in an international arbitration matter involving highly-complex contract and related commercial disputes.
- HDMI Licensing LLC Licensing Disputes (2010–present)
Outside litigation counsel for HDMI Licensing LLC, representing the company in a series of ongoing disputes with adopters of HDMI technology over licensing fees due under HDMI’s patent and trademark licensing agreement.
- In re TFT-LCD Antitrust Litigation (U.S.D.C., N.D. Cal. 2006–2015)
Represented Seiko Epson Corporation and its subsidiaries and affiliates in one of the largest antitrust price-fixing matters ever brought in the United States. The cases included direct and indirect purchaser class actions and dozens of large opt-out matters. Cumulative damages sought in these matters were in the billions of dollars.
- Novadaq Technologies Inc. v. Karl Storz GMBH (U.S.D.C., N.D. Cal. 2015)
Represented Novadaq Technologies in a trademark infringement matter filed against Karl Storz regarding the use of the SPIES trademark on fluorescent imaging technology used in surgical devices.
- In re McKesson AWP Litigation (U.S.D.C., Mass. 2006–2012)
Represented McKesson Corporation in a series of RICO, False Claims Act, and antitrust suits alleging pharmaceutical pricing fraud in federal and state healthcare programs.
- Murthy v. IGATE Corporation (Alameda Sup. Ct. 2013–2014)
Represented IGATE Corporation in a high-profile breach of employment contract action brought by the company’s former CEO, Phaneesh Murthy. The case settled months before trial.
- San Francisco District Attorney’s Office (June–August 2013)
Seconded to the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, where he handled multiple criminal cases, including jury trials, on a solo basis.
- United States ex rel. v. Maxxam (U.S.D.C., N.D. Cal. 2009)
Represented Maxxam, Inc. in federal False Claims Act litigation. The matter settled one week into trial in federal district court.
- In Re JDS Uniphase Corporation Securities Litigation (U.S.D.C., N.D. Cal. 2007)
Represented JDS Uniphase and three of its former officers in a class action securities case. Plaintiffs sought damages in excess of $20 billion, one of the largest damages claims ever presented at trial in the United States. After a four-week trial, the jury returned a unanimous verdict on behalf of each of the defendants.
- First California Title Co. v. Financial Title Co. (LA Sup. Ct. 2006)
Represented Mercury Companies, Inc. in a case involving alleged trade secret misappropriation and employee raiding claims. Following a two-month trial, the jury rejected the majority of plaintiffs’ claims, awarding only a fraction of the damages sought.
- Gateway Title Co. v. Mercury Companies, Inc. (LA Sup. Ct. 2006)
Represented Mercury Companies, Inc. in a case brought by a competitor alleging trade secret infringement and employee raiding claims. Plaintiffs sought almost $100 million in compensatory damages. Following a three-month jury trial in LA Superior Court, the jury rejected the vast majority of the plaintiffs’ claims and awarded only minimal damages on the remaining claims.
- California Portland Cement v. New West Energy (JAMS Arbitration 2004)
Represented New West Energy in a case involving allegations of breach of an electricity supply contract arising out of the California energy crisis, in which plaintiffs sought more than $70 million in damages. The arbitrators ruled unanimously in favor of New West Energy on all claims.
Representative Appellate Court Matters
- NAF v. Center for Medical Progress et al., No. 16-15360 (9th Cir. 2016)
Primary author of the briefs on appeal from the district court’s preliminary injunction order in this high-profile matter. In addition, prior to the preliminary injunction order, defendants filed two emergency writs and a direct appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, multiple emergency motions in the Ninth Circuit to stay the trial court proceedings, and an emergency writ and motion to stay proceedings filed in the U.S. Supreme Court. The Ninth Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of NAF on each of these successive appeals and emergency motions.
- Hedlund v. Educ. Resource Institute, Inc., 718 F.3d 848 (9th Cir. 2013)
Appointed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to represent appellant in this matter. This was Derek’s third such appointment. In a precedent-setting opinion involving the standards for receiving a discharge of student debt in bankruptcy, the Ninth Circuit unanimously reversed the trial court’s decision to deny the appellant an undue hardship discharge.
- Vacation Village v. Clark County, Nevada, 497 F.3d 902 (9th Cir. 2007)
Authored amicus curiae brief for Airports Council International, a trade association representing government entities that own and operate airports in the United States. The case involved a claim by local property owners that a zoning ordinance restricting the height of structures on property adjoining a Las Vegas, Nevada airport violated the Takings Clause of the United States Constitution.
- Wah Chang v. Duke Energy Trading and Marketing, LLC, 507 F.3d 1222 (9th Cir. 2007)
Primary author of the appellate briefs in this consolidated appeal involving alleged violations of federal antitrust laws, RICO violations, violations of Oregon antitrust laws, and wrongful interference with contracts relating to the energy crisis in California and the Pacific Northwest. The district court’s decision dismissing the action as barred by the filed rate doctrine, the exclusive jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commision (FERC), and federal preemption, was affirmed on appeal in a 2-1 decision.
- Chaidez v. Gonzalez, 476 F.3d 773 (9th Cir. 2006)
Appointed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to represent appellant in this matter concerning the notice provisions of the Immigration Act of 1990. In a precedent-setting opinion, the Ninth Circuit ruled in favor of Derek’s client and unanimously reversed the trial court’s decision.
- Port of Seattle v. Avista Corp., 175 Fed. Appx. 827 (9th Cir. 2006)
Primary author of briefs on appeal in a case involving alleged violations of federal antitrust laws in the California and Pacific Northwest energy markets. The Ninth Circuit unanimously affirmed the district court’s decision that the claims were barred by the filed rate doctrine and FERC’s exclusive jurisdiction.
- Minidoka Irrigation District v. Dep’t of Interior, 406 F.3d 567 (9th Cir. 2005)
Authored amicus curiae brief on behalf of Calpine Corporation in a case involving the United States’ waiver of sovereign immunity under 43 U.S.C. § 390uu.