Class Action Defense |
Perkins Coie litigates dozens of putative class actions every year. Over the last several years, we have represented major companies in opposing class action complaints in more than 300 cases, primarily in the areas of antitrust, consumer protection, employment, and securities.
Our class action defense litigators include 13 Fellows of the American College of Trial Lawyers and 40 attorneys listed in Chambers USA.
The following examples illustrate the breadth and depth of the experience we offer clients.
We represent Banner Health, a large hospital system, in a price-fixing case brought by a putative class of temporary per diem and traveler nurses. Our client won a class certification ruling that denied a request to include traveler nurses, which account for the large majority of alleged damages, within the certified class.
Our attorneys defended Marubeni and North Pacific Seafoods in alleged price-fixing claims brought by a class of Bristol Bay salmon fishermen seeking more than $1 billion in damages.
We represented Starbucks in an antitrust class action alleging monopolization of retail coffee store locations. Our team obtained an agreement by opposing counsel to drop the claim, greatly narrowed the scope of e-discovery, and ultimately resolved the case by mediated settlement.
Our attorneys represent Quiznos Franchise Company in a series of putative nationwide and statewide class actions in various jurisdictions which, together, seek over $1 billion in damages. Class certification was denied in the lead case, and other key cases are stayed pending appeal of the class certification denial.
We negotiated a favorable settlement of a putative class action against Google, alleging that the use of the term "Daily Budget" in Google's AdWords program violated, inter alia, California's Unfair Competition Law and False Advertising Act. We presently act as national counsel for Google in two major privacy class actions.
We serve as national coordinating and trial counsel for a major pharmaceutical company in defense of a nationwide MDL consumer protection class action and related state classes and parens patriae and direct actions by state governments under consumer protection, fraud, antitrust and other theories.
We helped the Boeing Company aggressively defend and win two discrimination class actions in rare jury trials.
Our attorneys represented Smart & Final in a wage-and-hour case where a class of retail managers and assistant managers in California brought claims for overtime based on alleged misclassification of exempt and nonexempt employees. Our team planned and implemented a strategy to collect defensive declarations adverse to the class claims, and then successfully marshaled these declarations to negotiate a favorable settlement.
We defended Starbucks in a high-profile class action case where class certification was denied and summary judgment granted.
We represent the outside directors of Washington Mutual Inc. in securities, ERISA and derivative litigation arising from the collapse of the credit and housing markets in the United States.
We successfully defended an officer in the securities class action arising from the collapse of the country's largest mortgage lender, Countrywide Financial Corporation.
Our Approach to Defending Class Actions
Class actions present business as well as litigation issues. We develop a deep understanding of our clients' business and industry and use that knowledge to prevent litigation from derailing legitimate business objectives and practices.
Our lead lawyers engage in all critical aspects of the case, from inception to conclusion, and take a lead role in all material tactical issues and processes. We will not show up for major hearings and delegate the rest of the case to less experienced attorneys.
Our lead trial counsel work with clients at the outset to map out a proactive strategy, take the initiative and provide the best defense of the matter. In a handful of cases, the best strategy may be to lay low, let others take the lead, and seek an early opportunity to secure the least burdensome outcome with minimal defense costs. In most cases, the best strategy is to seize the initiative, define the issues and present a vigorous defense. But regardless of the tactics, a proactive early assessment is part of our approach to all class actions.
We emphasize lean staffing, and our national practice structure enables us to draw on the valuable experience of any of our attorneys and gives us the flexibility and capacity to quickly assemble a large litigation team when necessary. This, combined with our willingness to enter into alternative fee arrangements and our intensive use of more junior attorneys working under the supervision of our most experienced class action lawyers, makes us price competitive for defense of both large and small class actions.
In addition, we take pride in our history of successful collaboration with counsel for co-defendants as well as our ability to maintain professional relationships with opposing counsel. Our focus remains on the merits of the case to bring a resolution as quickly and efficiently as possible. We have a proven ability to succeed in multidistrict class action litigation where "political issues" among plaintiffs', and sometimes defendants', counsel can both drive up costs and create opportunities for favorable resolution.
Document Collection and Management
Our firm’s E-Discovery Services & Strategy group utilizes efficient protocols and provides advice and counseling concerning all aspects of e-discovery, helping our clients save significant time and money on these often document-intensive matters. We also recognize that sometimes the best option for our clients is to help them find the right service providers where they can accomplish certain tasks at a lower cost than we can internally.