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Brian Hennessy

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Partner

Brian Hennessy is part of the firm's Intellectual Property and Commercial Litigation practices.  He represents a wide variety of clients in many areas of the law, including intellectual property law, complex commercial litigation, trade secret litigation and class action defense.

Brian tried a two-part federal jury and bench trial against the multi-billion dollar, publicly traded company that owns Santana Row, resulting in a $16 million verdict for his client before The Hon. Ronald M. Whyte in San Jose.  He has handled a multitude of federal court intellectual property lawsuits on behalf of leading Internet industry clients, such as craigslist Inc.  He also has vast experience in successfully defending high-stakes, nationwide class action lawsuits, both pre and post Walmart v. Dukes.

Brian is the Founder and Chairman of The Council of Goodness, a non-profit organization that serves low-income, highly motivated youth who have a passion for helping others and desire a better life. The organization provides long-term mentoring through high school and college in addition to financial aid assistance for education.

Representative Experience: 

Santana Row Trial

Tried two-part federal jury and bench trial against the multi-billion dollar publicly traded company that owns Santana Row, resulting in a $16 million verdict for the client before The Hon. Ronald M. Whyte in San Jose. Handled the opening statement, closing argument, rebuttal and key witnesses, in addition to drafting jury instructions and several successful motions in limine, including drafting and arguing a motion in limine that increased the potential damages from $500,000 to in excess of $10 million.

Intellectual Property Litigation

Filed and handled the representation of over 30 federal court intellectual property lawsuits in the Northern District of California on behalf of leading Internet companies, such as craigslist Inc.

  • craigslist, Inc. v. 3taps, Inc., et al.: Represent craigslist in this case that seeks to protect craigslist from scrapers who mass harvest craigslist content.
  • craigslist Inc. v. Adsoncraigs.com, et al.: Represent craigslist in a trademark and copyright infringement case resulting in a $10 million Judgment in craigslist’s favor.
  • craigslist Inc. v. Kevin Mesiab, et al.: Represent craigslist in a trademark and copyright infringement case resulting in a $6.1 million damages Order in craigslist’s favor.
  • craigslist Inc. v. Autoposterpro Inc., et al. & craigslist v. Brad Johnson, et al.: Represent craigslist in a consolidated trademark and copyright infringement case resulting in a $3 million Judgment in craigslist’s favor.
  • craigslist Inc. v. Paul Hubert, et al.: Represent craigslist in a trademark and copyright infringement case resulting in a $1.2 million Judgment in craigslist’s favor.
  • craigslist Inc. v. Realworks, LLC: Represent craigslist in a copyright infringement case resulting in a $690,917 Judgment in craigslist’s favor.
  • craigslist Inc. v. Red Trumpet, LLC: Represent craigslist in a trademark and copyright infringement case resulting in a $200,000 Judgment.
  • craigslist Inc. v. Troopal Strategies Inc., et al.: Represent craigslist in a trademark and copyright infringement case.
  • craigslist Inc. v. Shui Yung Richard Tse, et al.: Represent craigslist in a copyright infringement and Computer Fraud and Abuse Act case.
  • craigslist Inc. v. J.P. Lamere, et al.: Represent craigslist in a copyright infringement and Computer Fraud and Abuse Act case.
  • craigslist Inc. v. Clbotpro.com, et al.: Represent craigslist in a trademark and copyright infringement case.
  • craigslist Inc. v. Cladgenius.com, et al.: Represent craigslist in a copyright infringement and Computer Fraud and Abuse Act case.
Class Action Defense

Represented Sharper Image Corporation in seven nationwide-class action lawsuits filed in various jurisdictions throughout the country with a class of several million plaintiffs.  Principal drafter of various motions to dismiss, transfer, consolidate, disqualify, as well as motions for summary judgment and appellate briefing.  Principal drafter of the extensive class-action settlement brief.

Represent First Data Corporation in three class action lawsuits filed in New York, New Jersey and California.  Defeated class certification outright in New Jersey.  Defeated a damages class in New York.  California class action is ongoing.

Trade Secret Litigation

Represented various companies in litigation seeking to recover allegedly stolen trade secrets, including a Silicon Valley computer start-up company, which sued its major shareholder for trade secret misappropriation. Successfully reached a favorable settlement, ending the case in approximately three months.

Successfully defended high-stakes trade secret litigation case involving enterprise software, where a former employee left to a competitor company and was alleged to have disclosed confidential information and misused trade secrets.

Successfully represented manufacturer, whose ex-employee joined a competitor and allegedly disclosed confidential information and misappropriated trade secrets.  Effectively created and implemented a strategy that ultimately leveraged a favorable settlement.

Anti-SLAPP/Unfair Business Competition

Principal drafter of an alternative anti-SLAPP/summary judgment motion resulting in the dismissal (in a published opinion) of a $40 million counterclaim for intentional interference with prospective advantage and unfair business competition.  Principal drafter of the appellate briefing to the Federal Circuit, defending the grant of summary judgment.

Brought a strategic Anti-SLAPP Motion based on a company’s right to call the police on an ex-employee that allegedly stole the company’s confidential/trade secret information.  The Motion led to a favorable result in the case for the client.

Dormant Commerce Clause Claim

Successfully represented out-of-state dairy farmers in litigation against the California Department of Food and Agriculture.  Co-drafter of the merits motion for summary judgment, resulting in a permanent injunction of the key portion of California’s Dairy regulations and a finding that the regulations were unconstitutional.  Following summary judgment, principle drafter of the motion for attorneys’ fees, which resulted in a total fee award for Plaintiffs in excess of $2.5 million, representing 98.5% of the attorneys’ fees encompassing seven years of litigation, including fees incurred for a successful victory before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Construction Litigation

Represented various construction clients, including general contractors, in construction litigation on both public and private construction projects.

Professional Recognition

  • Listed in Super Lawyers Magazine as a "Northern California Rising Star," 2013

Community Involvement

  • Council for Goodness, Founder and Chairman of the Board of the Council, 2007 - present
    • The Compassionate Heart Cycle, Founder and Advisory Board Member (a Division of The Council)
    • Students Teaching Academic Reading Success (STARS), Co-Founder and Advisory Board Member (a Division of The Council)
  • East Side Heroes, Co-Founder; Chairman of the Board, 2004 - 2007
  • Public/Inspirational Speaker at various forums throughout the Bay Area, including colleges, high schools, community centers, correctional facilities, fundraising events, etc.
  • 2011 Recipient of Santa Clara University’s Ignatian Award for outstanding service to humanity

Related Employment

  • Thelen Reid Brown Raysman & Steiner LLP, San Francisco, CA, Associate, 2003 - 2006 
  • The Hennessy Law Firm, Founder, 2006 - 2008
  • Extern for the Hon. Ronald Whyte, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, 2002

Education

  • Santa Clara University School of Law, J.D., Order of the Coif, summa cum laude, graduated third in class, 2003
  • Santa Clara University, B.S., magna cum laude, graduated in three years, 2000

Bar Admissions

  • California

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California