Andrea E. Neuman is a partner in the New York office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and admitted to practice in both New York and California. Ms. Neuman Co-Chairs Gibson Dunn’s Transnational Litigation Practice Group and is a member of the firm’s International Arbitration, Appellate, Class Action, and Environmental Litigation and Mass Tort Practice Groups.
Ms. Neuman is a high-stakes trial lawyer, whose cases include billion dollar matters in both international and domestic forums. The international features of her work span Central and South America and are comprised of in country as well as U.S. based litigation including foreign plaintiffs. Domestically, her practice spans all U.S. Federal and State courts. She represents clients in an array of industries, including oil and gas, food and agriculture, aerospace, technology, accounting, real estate and financial services. In addition, she has served as trial counsel for state and local governments. She has obtained both defense and multimillion-dollar plaintiff judgments.
Her work is featured in The American Lawyer coverage of Gibson Dunn as “The 2016 Litigation Department of the Year,” “The 2012 Litigation Department of the Year,” and “The 2010 Litigation Department of the Year.” As one American Lawyer article noted when discussing her courtroom accomplishments: “Neuman coaxed one plaintiff to admit that he had been trained to testify ‘like a parrot,’ and she found others so frightened of retribution for testifying that they nearly collapsed during depositions.” As a lead counsel in Chevron’s “case of the century” against plaintiffs’ lawyer Steven Donziger and related foreign litigation she has led multiple Chevron victories. Victories for Dole Food were likewise featured as cover stories in the California Lawyer and Corporate Counsel, and received widespread newspaper coverage, including a front-page feature story in The Wall Street Journal.
Throughout her career, Ms. Neuman has received numerous accolades. She was named by Benchmark Litigation as a “Litigation Star,” one of the nation’s “Top 100 Trial Lawyers,” one of the “Top 250 Women in Litigation,” and repeatedly named one of California’s “Top 100 Lawyers” by the Daily Journal. She was also named as one of Latin America’s “Top 100 Lawyers” and as one of Latin America’s “Top 50 Female Lawyers” by Latinvex, received the “California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year” (CLAY) Award from California Lawyer magazine, “Attorney of the Year” from The Recorder and has been repeatedly recognized as a “Top Female Litigator” in the State of California. Ms. Neuman has also been recognized by The National Law Journal as an “Energy & Environmental Trailblazer” and by The Best Lawyers in America© in the field of Commercial Litigation. Her work is also featured in The American Lawyer‘s “Inside Gibson Dunn’s Winning Chevron Strategy.”
Ms. Neuman received her Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia, and dual degrees from the University’s McIntire School of Commerce with high distinction.
Ms. Neuman has served as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Orange County Child Abuse Prevention Center and on the Board of United Cerebral Palsy of Orange County. She has been a member of the United Way’s Alexis de Tocqueville Society and the Women’s Philanthropic Fund. Ms. Neuman has also served as Co-Chair of BUZZ: An Executive Women’s Think Tank.
- Perez v. Dole Food Company, Inc.: Lead trial counsel representing Dole Food Company against false claims that the company funded and directed the activities of AUC paramilitaries in the banana-growing regions of Colombia and is responsible for hundreds of deaths in connection with Colombia’s internal conflict between warring paramilitaries and guerillas in that region. Early in the litigation, Ms. Neuman succeeded in defeating the plaintiffs’ attempt to proceed under pseudonyms and obtained a cost bond ruling holding that Dole was “likely to prevail” on the merits at trial. As the matter progressed, Dole obtained both an order requiring Plaintiffs’ counsel to submit his electronic devices for forensic inspection and monetary sanctions of tens of thousands of dollars for plaintiffs’ abuse of discovery. The matter resolved when plaintiffs dismissed all their claims with prejudice immediately following testimony confirming witness tampering.
- Eli Lilly, & Co.: Representing Eli Lilly in connection with litigation against its Brazilian subsidiary Eli Lilly do Brasil Ltda. (“Lilly Brazil”) arising from allegations that former workers were sickened by environmental contamination at an industrial facility (the “Brazil Matter”). A judgment was entered against Lilly Brazil by a Brazilian Labor Court in an action brought by a public prosecutor, and numerous cases brought by individuals are currently pending in the Labor Courts at both the trial and appellate level in Brazil. Appeals are ongoing.
- Chevron v. Donziger, et al., S.D.N.Y.; Aguinda v. Chevron, Lago Agrio, Ecuador; Chevron v. Republic of Ecuador, Hague: Represents Chevron internationally in litigation arising out of an environmental case brought in Ecuador in 2003. Lead counsel in Chevron’s RICO and fraud suit against the U.S. lawyer and associates who masterminded an extortion scheme against Chevron that included fraudulently procuring a $9.2 billion Ecuadorian judgment. Gibson Dunn obtained a trial verdict in favor of Chevron, in which the district court held that the scheme against the company constituted racketeering in violation of RICO and federal laws prohibiting attempted extortion, wire fraud, money laundering, witness tampering, obstruction of justice, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. In its 485-page opinion, the court described the case as “extraordinary” and “includ[ing] things that normally come only out of Hollywood,” including “coded emails,” “payments out of a secret account,” videotaped evidence of crimes in progress, and blockbuster evidence that the defendants “wrote the [Ecuadorian] court’s Judgment themselves and promised $500,000 to the Ecuadorian judge to rule in their favor and sign their judgment.” The RICO verdict follows on the heels of dozens of discovery proceedings handled by Ms. Neuman in district courts around the country. These efforts led eight courts to apply the crime-fraud exception to the attorney-client privilege and order production of evidence related to the racketeering scheme. As Chevron requested, the court imposed equitable relief preventing the conspirators from enforcing the judgment in the U.S. and ensuring that they “not be allowed to benefit from [the Ecuadorian judgment] in any way.” The New York Times described the result as a “major victory,” and the Washington Post called it “resounding.” Ms. Neuman continues to advise Chevron on a range of issues flowing from this high-stakes, complex and in the related International Arbitration and foreign enforcement matters.
- Sanchez Osorio v. Dole Food Company, Inc., et al.: Lead trial counsel for Dole in a recognition and enforcement action in the Southern District of Florida where plaintiffs sought to enforce a bellwether $100 million Nicaraguan judgment. Dole defeated enforcement of the Nicaraguan judgment at trial, and the victory was affirmed by the 11th Circuit.
- Dole Food Company, Inc.; DBCP Litigation: Strategic counsel for Dole Food Company in defending its docket of DBCP litigation brought against the company nationally and internationally. Thousands of plaintiffs from Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Ecuador, Honduras, Panama and the Ivory Coast have asserted claims related to alleged DBCP exposure while working on banana farms. Plaintiffs brought claims both across the United States and in the plaintiffs’ countries of origin. After leading the Nicaraguan investigation and intensive, protracted and high-risk discovery, Ms. Neuman obtained the dismissal with prejudice of all remaining claims by Nicaraguan plaintiffs pending in U.S. trial courts, as a sanction for the plaintiffs’ and plaintiffs’ counsel’s fraud on the court, and succeeded in having the only judgment rendered in favor of purported Nicaraguan banana workers remanded by a California Court of Appeal. The remanded judgment was subsequently found to be fraudulent as well.
- In re Redlands Tort Litigation: Trial counsel for Lockheed Martin Corporation in state court toxic tort litigation brought by over 800 individual plaintiffs and two putative classes alleging personal injuries and medical monitoring damages for alleged groundwater contamination with TCE and ammonium perchlorate. Seven successful writs of mandate resulted in the reversal of the trial court on key issues such as punitive damages, burden of proof and statute of limitations. Judgment was entered in client’s favor as to 100% of the first group of test plaintiffs.
- In re Norco Tort Litigation: Counsel for defendant engineering and testing company in toxic tort lawsuits brought by over 100 plaintiffs and a putative class of property owners in which defendant was accused of contaminating the groundwater flowing from a site located in Norco, California. The lawsuit was resolved to client’s advantage with a successful strategy that resulted in the recovery of the client’s fees and costs.
- In re Burbank Environmental Litigation: Trial counsel for aerospace company in federal toxic tort case brought by over 80 plaintiffs and three putative class actions alleging claims for personal injury, wrongful death, property damage, CERCLA response costs, medical monitoring and punitive damages in connection with alleged air and groundwater contamination with TCE, PCE and Cr6. At time of trial, all class allegations had been defeated and only nine plaintiffs remained. The case was settled during trial for an amount below plaintiffs’ hard costs.
- Elsie A. Abel v. Lockheed Martin Corporation: Trial counsel in high-profile toxic tort case involving aircraft and rocket manufacturing facilities. Suits were brought by thousands of residents alleging personal injuries and/or wrongful death stemming from groundwater contamination alleged to have occurred over the span of many decades. A successful Daubert evidentiary hearing to exclude plaintiffs’ Fate and Transport experts and separate hearing on successful motions to exclude testimony of plaintiffs’ causation experts resulted in judgment in the client’s favor.
- Lee Anderson Minnelli v. Liza Minnelli Gest, etc.: Successfully defended Liza Minnelli in a high-profile suit brought by her stepmother, Lee Minnelli, alleging elder abuse and breach of fiduciary duty.
- City of Long Beach v. Exxon Corporation: Trial counsel for state and local government entities in an oil royalty matter, which included a four-month jury trial in California.
- National coordinating counsel in multi-jurisdictional wrongful death and personal injury matters both at the trial and appellate levels, including before the Ninth Circuit and California Supreme Court.
- Lead trial counsel in trust litigation matters, including representations of both major trust companies and the heirs of United Parcel Services, Freedom Communications, Newhall Land and Farming and Farmers Insurance.