Richard J. Doren is a partner in Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s Los Angeles office and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. Mr. Doren has extensive experience in complex civil litigation across a variety of practice areas. He has tried cases in state and federal courts around the country and has argued appeals in numerous appellate courts. He also has extensive experience with class actions and mass actions.
The National Law Journal named Mr. Doren as one of the 20 lawyers featured in its 2017 special report on Winning Litigators. The litigators selected “scored big victories for their clients in high-stakes cases.” Mr. Doren has successfully tried cases involving many different issues, including, for example, healthcare, false advertising, wrongful death, personal injury, partnership disputes, insurance coverage and bad faith, wrongful termination, and the valuation of timberland.
Recent representative matters include:
- A four-week jury trial in Santa Clara County Superior Court in which Mr. Doren’s client, a health insurer and plan administrator, asserted seven different tort claims involving billing fraud against nine defendants involved in the operation of ambulatory surgery centers. In April 2016, the jury rendered a verdict of $37.5 million in favor of Mr. Doren’s client, awarding every dollar Mr. Doren sought on each cause of action. In lieu of an appeal, the matter has since settled for more than $40 million.
- An arbitration in Spring 2017 in West Virginia before three sitting state court judges over a $120 million dispute between an out-of-state insurer and the state’s teachers’ retirement plan over the state’s right to terminate an annuity contract and reinvest the funds in alternative investments. Following the presentation of dozens of witnesses and hundreds of exhibits, Mr. Doren secured a unanimous decision from the panel for his client, with the three state court judges finding that the insurer had acted properly and owed the retirement plan nothing.
- A bench trial in the Southern District of Florida involving 69 consolidated lawsuits brought by family members of individuals killed in an aircraft accident in Milan, Italy. Plaintiffs collectively sought hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. Three days into the proceedings, the Court requested that Mr. Doren’s client renew its motion to dismiss on forum non conveniens grounds and subsequently dismissed the lawsuit.
- A bench trial in bankruptcy court in Corpus Christi, Texas, addressing the value of a 249,000 acre redwood forest and a company town in Northern California. Over the course of the three-week trial, Mr. Doren convinced the court that the forest had a value over $100 million greater than that being asserted by the creditors.
- A three-week jury trial in Los Angeles Superior Court involving an insurance coverage dispute related to environmental exposures, bad faith claims, and a prayer for punitive damages. Mr. Doren obtained a defense verdict.
- A jury trial in the United States District Court for the Central District of California addressing a false advertising dispute between two consumer goods companies. Mr. Doren was retained after an initial verdict against his client. In the months ahead, he had the initial judgment vacated, prepared the case for retrial and, early in the retrial, obtained a ruling excluding all of plaintiff’s evidence of damages, which led to entry of judgment in his client’s favor. He also handled the subsequent appeal, in which the Ninth Circuit unanimously affirmed the trial court’s judgment.
Mr. Doren’s post-trial and appellate work has also involved a broad spectrum of issues. Representative matters include:
- Obtaining the post-trial vacatur of the largest wrongful death judgment in California history, as well as a new trial. Mr. Doren, who was engaged immediately after the $178 million verdict was rendered, was to retry the case, in which the plaintiff was the sole survivor of a family involved in a collision with a long-haul truck. The case settled hours before jury selection was to begin.
- Securing a unanimous affirmance from the D.C. Circuit of the dismissal of a $2 billion class action filed against dozens of insurers and defense contractors. The lawsuit alleged claims under RICO and other statutory and common law theories against dozens of insurers and defense contractors related to alleged abuses of the compensation system for injuries to contractors’ employees working in war zones. Mr. Doren argued the appeal on behalf of all defendants and the dismissal was unanimously affirmed.
- Convincing the Fifth Circuit to reverse an order from the Eastern District of Louisiana denying a motion to dismiss a putative class action seeking insurance coverage under homeowners’ policies for water damage following Hurricane Katrina. Mr. Doren argued on behalf of dozens of insurers that the damage was excluded under the terms of the policies at issue. The Fifth Circuit voted unanimously to reverse the trial court and ordered the dismissal of the action with prejudice.
Mr. Doren has been ranked in Chambers USA in the California – Insurance category since 2008. He graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1982 and received his law degree from the University of San Diego in 1986, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review and graduated cum laude.