Christopher D. Dusseault is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. He is a member of the firm’s Litigation Department and its Antitrust and Competition, Class Action and Life Sciences practice groups, and previously served as Partner-In-Charge of the Los Angeles and Century City offices.
Mr. Dusseault is an experienced trial and appellate lawyer whose practice focuses on antitrust and other complex commercial litigation. He has tried cases in federal and state courts and before arbitration panels, and has argued appeals before the Ninth Circuit, Seventh Circuit, and California Court of Appeal. Mr. Dusseault has represented clients in a wide range of industries, including medical devices, pharmaceuticals, higher education, entertainment and transportation. He has handled antitrust cases including claims of conspiracy, monopolization, exclusive dealing, and secret rebates . His complex commercial litigation cases have included claims of breach of contract, fraud, wrongful death and patent and trademark infringement. In addition to his business litigation, Mr. Dusseault helped lead the trial team that challenged and overturned California’s prohibition of same-sex marriage, Proposition 8, in Hollingsworth v. Perry.
Mr. Dusseault led Gibson Dunn’s Los Angeles and Century City Offices of Gibson Dunn from 2009-2013. He was named one of California’s “Top 20 Under 40” by the legal publication Daily Journal in 2010, and received Duke Law School’s “Young Alumni Award” for distinguished service to the legal profession and the school in 2009.
Mr. Dusseault is actively involved in the community. Mr. Dusseault currently serves on the Board of Visitors of Duke Law School. He also serves on the Governing Board of LA’s BEST, a nationally recognized after school program serving more than 20,000 children in neighborhoods of Los Angeles most vulnerable to gangs, drugs and crime. Mr. Dusseault served as Chair of the LA’s BEST Governing Board from 2014-2021, and in 2022 was awarded LA’s BEST’s Children’s Champion Award for his years of service to the Children of Los Angeles.
Mr. Dusseault’s representative matters include the following:
- Lead counsel for Duke University in an antitrust class action lawsuit (pending) in which plaintiffs allege that 17 private universities conspired to limit the amount of financial aid available to students in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act.
- Representation of Merck & Co., Inc. in an antitrust MDL proceeding and class action (pending) in which plaintiffs allege an unlawful agreement and conspiracy to delay generic competition in violation of Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act and various state laws
- Lead counsel for Covidien in a consolidated antitrust class action in which purchasers of pulse oximetry products challenged Covidien’s use of loyalty discounts, sole-source contracts and product design changes under Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act. Dusseault led a team that first defeated class certification and then won summary judgment on all claims. The victory was affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
- Representation of CFM International, Inc. in an antitrust case under Section 1 of the Sherman Act in which plaintiff challenged defendants’ decision not to sell aircraft engines to plaintiff for use in the re-engining of 727 aircraft. After securing dismissal of plaintiff’s claims on a motion for summary judgment, Mr. Dusseault successfully argued the appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
- Lead counsel for Santa Catalina Island Company in an antitrust case alleging exclusive dealing and monopolization in violation of Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act with respect to freight access to Catalina Island. Gibson Dunn won dismissal of antitrust claims on a motion to dismiss based on lack of antitrust injury, and that victory was affirmed on appeal by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
- Lead Counsel for Leonard Green & Partners in a case in the Southern District of New York in which plaintiff X One X Movie Archives accused LGP and one of its portfolio companies of attempting to monopolize the market for Marilyn Monroe-related products in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act. Dusseault led a team that won dismissal of all claims against LGP.
- Representation of Columbia Tri-Star Home Entertainment, Inc. in an antitrust case in which independent video retailers challenged as anticompetitive 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.
- Representation of American Airlines in a major predatory pricing and monopolization case brought by the United States Department of Justice. In this highly publicized case, the DOJ accused American Airlines of monopolizing certain routes into and out of DFW Airport. Dusseault was part of a Gibson Dunn team that won summary judgment for American on all claims. The United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirmed.
Complex Civil Litigation Matters
- Lead counsel for NFI in a lawsuit (pending) brought by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office alleging misclassification of truck drivers as independent contractors and involving complex issues regarding the preemption of worker classification law AB5.
- Representation of ev3, a subsidiary of Medtronic, in successful appeal of a $250 million jury verdict arising from ev3’s acquisition of medical device company Appriva and its PLAATO stroke prevention device. After winning unanimous reversal of the jury’s verdict before the Delaware Supreme Court, Mr. Dusseault was retained to serve as lead trial counsel in the retrial of plaintiffs’ breach of contract claims in Delaware Superior Court. The case settled shortly before retrial.
- Representation of two trucking companies in wrongful death actions arising out of collisions with long haul trucks. In each case Plaintiffs sought to recover in excess of $150 million in damages.
- Lead counsel for Panda Restaurant Group in lawsuit alleging fraud, conspiracy and fraudulent transfer in connection with a former business partnership. Dusseault led a team that won the dismissal of all claims, persuading the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois that the causes of action were previously-released shareholder derivative claims. Mr. Dusseault successfully argued the case on appeal before the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
- Lead counsel for Medtronic subsidiaries TSL and Sofradim in litigation of claims for indemnification and declaratory relief against C.R. Bard arising out of more than 11,000 pelvic mesh product liability cases. The dispute was part of a 70,000 case pelvic mesh MDL in the Southern District of West Virginia. Dusseault also served as lead counsel in related actions between the same parties in London, Atlanta and New Jersey.
- Representation of VOOM HD Holdings in a four-week jury trial in which VOOM sued Dish Network for wrongfully terminating a long-term television programming distribution contract. Dusseault served as one of the principal trial lawyers in this highly-publicized case in New York Supreme Court in September/October 2012. The trial ended in a lucrative settlement in which Voom received more than $700 million in cash and a valuable distribution agreement.
- Lead counsel for Co-CEOs of algorithmic trading company in arbitration of claims alleging breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty. Dusseault first-chaired a five-day arbitration after which the arbitrator ruled in favor of Gibson, Dunn’s clients on all claims, denied all requested relief, and awarded them $3 million in attorneys’ fees and costs.
Civil Rights Matters
- Representation of plaintiffs Kris Perry, Sandy Stier, Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the lawsuit that successfully challenged Proposition 8, California’s ban on same-sex marriages. Dusseault was one of the principal trial lawyers during the three-week bench trial that resulted in a finding that Proposition 8 violated the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment and an injunction barring enforcement of Proposition 8. In June 2013, the United States Supreme Court upheld the district court’s decision and permanently restored marriage equality in California.
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.