Christopher D. Dusseault is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and recently completed a five-year term as Co-Partner in Charge of both the Los Angeles and Century City offices. He is a member of the firm's Litigation Department and its Antitrust and Competition, Media, Entertainment and Technology, and Appellate and Constitutional Law Practice Groups.
Mr. Dusseault is an experienced trial lawyer whose practice focuses on high-stakes, high-profile litigation, with a specialization in antitrust matters. Mr. Dusseault represents clients in a wide range of industries in connection with their most challenging problems, providing a balance of aggressive advocacy and calm counsel. He has tried cases in federal and state trial courts throughout the nation, and has argued and won appeals before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh and Ninth Circuits and the California Court of Appeal. Recently, Mr. Dusseault was a key member of the legal team in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the case that successfully challenged and overturned California's Proposition 8 before the United States Supreme Court.
In 2010, Mr. Dusseault was named one of California's "Top 20 Under 40" by the legal publication Daily Journal. The Daily Journal cited Mr. Dusseault's work on the Perry case, his successful defense of a major antitrust lawsuit for Tyco Healthcare Group, and his leadership of Gibson Dunn's Los Angeles office. In 2009, Mr. Dusseault was honored by Duke Law School with its "Young Alumni Award," given to a graduate from the last 15 years for distinguished service to the legal profession and to the school. Mr. Dusseault has been named a California Super Lawyer every year since 2007.
Mr. Dusseault's corporate clients include Covidien, Panda Restaurant Group, CrossFit, Spectranetics, Manhole Adjusting Inc., Sony Pictures Entertainment, AIG and Lawson Software, among others.
Mr. Dusseault received his B.A. degree summa cum laude from Yale University in 1991. He received his J.D. degree with high honors from Duke University School of Law in 1994, where he was Special Projects and Notes Editor of Law and Contemporary Problems and Vice-Chairman of the Moot Court Board. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Dusseault served as law clerk to The Honorable Robert E. Payne in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Mr. Dusseault currently serves as Chair of the Governing Board of LA's BEST, a nationally recognized after school program.
Mr. Dusseault's representative matters include the following:
- Representation of Panda Restaurant Group in Massuda v. Panda Restaurant Group, a lawsuit arising out of a transaction between Panda and a former business partner.Mr. Dusseault served as lead trial counsel and led Panda's defense against claims of fraud, conspiracy, and fraudulent transfer.In 2013, Mr. Dusseault secured a complete victory for Panda, persuading the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois that all causes of action were improper and already-released shareholder derivative claims, and that any individual claims failed as a matter of law.In 2014, Mr. Dusseault argued the case on appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, which affirmed the district court's dismissal of all claims.
- Representation of Covidien subsidiary ev3 in Lesh v. ev3, a lawsuit arising from ev3's acquisition of Appriva, a company owning a single medical device. When ev3 did not achieve and pay plaintiffs for certain "milestones" set forth in the merger agreement, plaintiffs sued for breach of contract and a Delaware jury awarded plaintiffs $250 million in damages. Gibson Dunn was retained to represent ev3 in the appeal, and Mr. Dusseault led the appellate team that handled all briefing, argument before a three-judge panel of the Delaware Supreme Court, and then re-argument before the Court en banc. In September 2014, the Delaware Supreme Court unanimously reversed the jury's verdict and ordered a new trial, accepting Gibson Dunn's argument that the trial judge erred by allowing plaintiffs to use language from a non-binding letter of intent to describe ev3's obligations under the merger agreement. Mr. Dusseault will serve as lead trial counsel in the re-trial, which is expected to take place in 2015.
- Representation of Covidien, formerly known as Tyco Healthcare Group, in Allied Orthopedic Appliances v. Tyco Healthcare Group, a consolidated antitrust class action in which direct purchasers of pulse oximetry products challenged business practices including loyalty discounts, sole-source contracting and product design changes under Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act.Mr. Dusseault led a team that first defeated plaintiffs' motion for class certification and then won summary judgment on all claims.This victory was affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
- Representation of Kris Perry, Sandy Stier, Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the successful challenge to California's Proposition 8, the constitutional amendment that stripped gay men and lesbians of their previously recognized right to marry.Mr. Dusseault was a leader of the Perry trial team, acting as "field marshal" for pre-trial and trial activities and examining key expert witnesses at trial.On appeal, Mr. Dusseault was actively involved in the drafting of the briefs filed with the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court.In June 2013, the United States Supreme Court upheld the district court's judgment and injunction striking down Proposition 8.
- Representation of VOOM HD Holdings in VOOM v. EchoStar, a breach of contract case in which VOOM sued EchoStar, now known as Dish Network, for wrongfully terminating a long-term television programming distribution contract.Mr. Dusseault served as one of the principal trial counsel in this highly-publicized case which culminated in a four-week jury trial in New York Supreme Court in September/October 2012.The team's aggressive trial strategy led to evidentiary sanctions against the defendant for destruction of evidence, and, ultimately, to a lucrative settlement for VOOM valued at well over $1 billion.
- Representation of Lawson Software in a three-week patent contempt trial in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in April 2013.After the district court found Lawson to be in contempt of a modified injunction and imposed compensatory and coercive daily fines, Mr. Dusseault was part of the Gibson Dunn team that appealed those findings to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.In July 2014, the Federal Circuit vacated the district court's injunction, contempt findings and sanctions in their entirety, remanding the case to the district court with instructions to dismiss the case.
- Representation of Co-CEOs of a limited liability company engaged in algorithmic trading in an arbitration involving claims of breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty.Mr. Dusseault first-chaired the five-day trial.The Arbitrator ruled in favor of Gibson, Dunn's clients on all claims and denied all requested relief.Mr. Dusseault subsequently won an award of nearly $3 million in attorneys' fees and costs for his clients.
- Representation of CFM International, Inc. (a joint venture of GE Aircraft Engines and Snecma) in Aviation Upgrade Technologies, Inc. v. Boeing et al., 78 Fed. Appx. 223 (9th Cir. 2003), in which plaintiff brought claims under Section 1 of the Sherman Act challenging defendants' decision not to sell aircraft engines to plaintiff for use in there-engining of 727 aircraft.After securing dismissal of plaintiff's claims on a motion for summary judgment, Mr. Dusseault argued the appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.The Ninth Circuit affirmed the grant of summary judgment.
- Representation of Warner Music Group in Radikal Records v. Warner Music Group and TSR Records v. Warner Music Group, in which plaintiffs, both independent record labels, sued Warner Music under the federal antitrust laws and California tort law based on alleged "payola" practices with respect to radio airplay.Warner Music successfully moved to dismiss plaintiffs' state law claims for intentional interference with prospective economic advantage.
- Representation of Columbia Tri-Star Home Entertainment, Inc. in Eddins v. Sumner Redstone, et al., in which independent video retailers sued the home video divisions of the major motion picture studios challenging the revenue-sharing model by which videotapes are distributed to the major video chains such as Blockbuster and Hollywood Video. Columbia and the other defendants obtained partial summary judgment, winning dismissal of plaintiffs' claims that the defendants conspired to deny to plaintiffs the revenue-sharing terms made available to Blockbuster.