Melvin R. Goldman

Retired Partner | San Francisco | (415) 268-7311
(415) 268-7311

Personal Background

Mr. Goldman graduated from Northwestern University School of Law after serving as Managing Editor of the Law Review and being elected to the Order of the Coif, the law honorary society. He is also a graduate of Stanford University School of Law with the degree of Masters in Law. He has served on the Board of Visitors of both Stanford Law School and Northwestern Law School. He has been listed by San Francisco Magazine as one of the top 100 lawyers in Northern California. In addition, Mr. Goldman has been listed for over 25 years in The Best Lawyers in America, where he is currently named as a leader in the fields of Bet-the-Company Litigation; Criminal Defense - White Collar; Securities - Capital Markets Law; and Commercial Litigation.

Mr. Goldman became a partner of the firm in 1969. He was chair of its Litigation Department and is past chair of the firm's Partner Compensation Committee.

Trial Experience

Active in the trials of lawsuits, Mr. Goldman has successfully defended corporations and their officers and directors before juries in securities and fraud actions, as well as other complex commercial lawsuits. He has taught trial technique to government lawyers and antitrust attorneys, as well as private practitioners, as a faculty member of a program sponsored by the Columbia University School of Law. Mr. Goldman is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

Special Investigations and Reviews

Mr. Goldman has been retained by Boards of Directors and Audit Committees and Special Committees of Boards of Directors to assist in their conduct of investigations and reviews of various matters, including claims or issues raised in derivative or class action lawsuits. Among others, he has been retained by Special Committees of Cisco Systems, Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Company Boards of Directors.

Accounting Experience

In college, Mr. Goldman majored in accounting and was elected to membership in the Beta Gamma Sigma Honorary Society. Before attending law school, he was employed by a public accounting firm as an accountant, where he worked on audits of public and privately held companies. For the past 35 years, Mr. Goldman has specialized in defending security-accounting class actions and derivative suits and SEC and other governmental investigations involving revenue recognition, accruals, reserves, audits, restatements, information systems, internal controls, and other accounting and financial reporting claims.

Lecturing; Bar Associations

Mr. Goldman is active in local, state, and national bar activities. He has lectured to numerous professional organizations in the areas of securities law and complex commercial litigation, including the Practicing Law Institute, California Continuing Education of the Bar, San Diego Securities Regulation Institute, and ALI/ABA. He served as a lawyer representative to the Northern District of California Federal Court Judicial Conference, is a member of the American Law Institute, and is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. He is Past-President of the Bar Association of San Francisco.

Court Admissions

Mr. Goldman is admitted to practice in state and federal courts in California and Illinois, and in the United States Supreme Court.

Securities Litigation

Mr. Goldman's experience with securities litigation reaches back over 40 years when he represented Memorex Corporation in the first large securities class action filed against a Silicon Valley high-tech company. Since then he has been involved in over 100 securities cases, both in California and elsewhere in the United States, representing numerous companies, financial institutions, and their directors and officers in defense of class and derivative litigation and SEC actions and investigations involving a variety of accounting and financial disclosure issues. He has also been retained by law firms and accounting firms in defense of securities claims made against them.

He has lectured widely on securities litigation-related topics. At Stanford University School of Law, he taught a course regarding securities litigation. He has also lectured at the Directors' College presented by Stanford Law School. Mr. Goldman is past chair of the San Francisco Bar Association's Securities Litigation Section.

Antitrust Experience

Mr. Goldman's practice has also focused on the defense of private and government antitrust actions involving individual and class claims of price fixing, market divisions, and other types of claimed collusive activity by industry competitors. He has defended companies charged with antitrust violations in connection with vertical distribution and marketing activities, including resale price maintenance, territorial and product allocations, and exclusive dealing arrangements. He has also brought and defended claims directed at mergers of competitors and of suppliers and distributors. These matters involve a variety of industries and products, including milk, liquor, beer, pharmaceuticals, respirators, ticket sales, books, records, newspapers, television, soft drinks, petroleum, auto windows, chemicals, and tax services.

Mr. Goldman's trial experience includes lengthy jury trials in major antitrust actions. He defended Bergen Brunswig, a drug wholesaler, in a jury trial in federal court in the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago. The claims of a class of all retail pharmacists in the United States were dismissed by the Court at the close of plaintiffs' case, and the dismissal was affirmed by the Court of Appeals. Prior to trial, other drug company defendants had settled their claims by paying several billion dollars to the plaintiffs.

Later, he was retained by Barnes & Noble (to defend the company in an antitrust lawsuit brought by the American Booksellers Association and individual retail booksellers) and by The Coca-Cola Company (to defend antitrust claims of transshippers). Both cases resulted in summary judgments for defendants dismissing plaintiffs' major antitrust claims. He also represented a major banking institution in federal court in New York in its defense to an antitrust action by American Express involving credit cards.

Most recently, he defended Seiko Epson in antitrust damage actions in San Francisco Federal Court involving claims of price-fixing in the sale of LCD panels for TVs, monitors, notebooks and cell phones.

Mr. Goldman has argued antitrust appeals before the Ninth Circuit. He argued cases involving grants of summary judgment to Tower Records in Zoslaw v. Tower Records, et al. (Robinson Patman and Sherman Act section 2) and to McKesson Corporation in Sausalito Pharmacy v. Blue Shield (Sherman Act section 1 and Cartwright Act).

Mr. Goldman has represented companies in the pharmaceutical, liquor, dairy, and construction industries in federal grand jury proceedings involving criminal price fixing investigations. He has defended companies in antitrust lawsuits brought by the U.S. Department of Justice and by the Federal Trade Commission. In addition, Mr. Goldman has counseled numerous companies in connection with antitrust compliance, mergers and acquisitions, and other issues arising under federal and state antitrust laws.

Mr. Goldman has extensive teaching experience in antitrust. He taught all aspects of trial of criminal and civil antitrust cases to government attorneys a faculty member of the Antitrust Trial Practice Program sponsored annually by the Columbia University School of Law. He has lectured at many antitrust courses including those sponsored by the Practising Law Institute, the Conference Board, and the ABA Antitrust Section. He is a past chair of the San Francisco Bar Association's Antitrust Section.

Show More



Unsolicited e-mails and information sent to Morrison & Foerster will not be considered confidential, may be disclosed to others pursuant to our Privacy Policy, may not receive a response, and do not create an attorney-client relationship with Morrison & Foerster. If you are not already a client of Morrison & Foerster, do not include any confidential information in this message. Also, please note that our attorneys do not seek to practice law in any jurisdiction in which they are not properly authorized to do so.