Maurice M. Suh is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. He is Co-Chair of the firm’s Sports Law Practice Group and is a member of the Litigation Department and its White Collar Defense and Investigations and Crisis Management Practice Groups. He focuses his practice on business litigation and the representation of clients in conjunction with white collar, compliance and related government enforcement actions.
Mr. Suh has tried numerous matters in state and federal courts, as well as before domestic and international arbitral bodies. His business litigation matters have involved class actions, securities litigation, RICO, and business torts alleging breach of contract, fraud, tortious interference, breaches of fiduciary duty and corruption allegations. His government enforcement matters have involved the defense of federal and state white collar crime allegations, as well as internal investigations that relate to various government regulations, bribery and FCPA compliance matters. With respect to his sports practice, Mr. Suh has represented elite athletes, teams and sponsors in landmark cases involving media rights, sponsorship and anti-doping matters in court and before arbitration panels in both the United States arbitral system for Olympic movement sports and the International Court for Arbitration of Sport (CAS). Mr. Suh has further advised top sports teams, agents and race organizers in matters related to sponsorship and employment issues, as well as strategic planning.
Mr. Suh has been selected for the Los Angeles Business Journal’s “Best of the Bar” for Litigation list and the Daily Journal’s “Top 100 – California’s Leading Lawyers” list. He has been recognized by the Los Angeles Business Journal’s “Most Influential Minority Lawyers in Los Angeles” list and has been named among the nation’s leading attorneys for the Criminal Defense: White Collar category in The Best Lawyers in America® since 2010.
Business Litigation and White Collar Matters
- Represented Yucaipa investment funds and the former officers and directors of Allied, a Yucaipa portfolio company, in connection with breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraudulent transfer and equitable subordination claims brought by the litigation trustee for the Allied litigation trust, formed after Allied was placed into bankruptcy. In re: ASHINC, Case No. 12-11564 (Bankr. D. Del.); Case No. 12-50947 (Bankr. D. Del.) (Adversary Proceeding).
- Represented PricewaterhouseCoopers against fraud and breach of contract claims brought by the City of Los Angeles arising from the implementation of an enterprise-wide software program controlling billing, water and power usage and customer data and care. The successful defense resulted in a complete and voluntary dismissal of all claims brought by the City of Los Angeles after years of litigation. City of Los Angeles v. Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP, Case No. BC 574690.
- Represented Deutsche Bank in obtaining a complete victory involving class action claims of fraud and violations of mortgage loan statutes in a series of class actions in the Western District of Missouri alleging a violation of Missouri’s Second Mortgage Loan Act with an exposure of over $400 million. The grant of summary judgment was affirmed on appeal before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Further, successfully represented Bank of America, JP Morgan and UBS in connection with class action claims of violations of second mortgage and mortgage-lending statutes. Thomas v. U.S. Bank, et al. (consolidated class action), CV 83549-01, 10 CV 215097, CV 100-4332-01, 01 CV 201263, 03 CV 2016423.
- Represented Toyota in litigation against GM in connection with a dispute arising from the allocation of costs incurred with recalls of automobiles jointly produced by NUMMI, a joint venture between Toyota and GM. Toyota, in prevailing, not only won all claims brought against it, but also successfully negotiated future beneficial cost-sharing allocation agreements.
- Represented Duty Free Shops (DFS) in multiple cases arising from a corruption scheme to unlawfully award to Lotte a duty-free concession agreement worth $500 million. This multi-pronged litigation involved several civil actions before the Superior Court of Guam against the governmental agency, a civil action in the Superior Court of Guam against a competitor, and an international arbitration. DFS v. GIAA, CV0943-14, CV0094-15, CV0198-15; GIAA v. DFS, CVA18-022 (Guam Sup. Ct.); DFS v. Lotte, CV0943-14-01, CV0094-15-01; DFS v. GIAA, CV0595-16, CV0371 and SP0128-16.
- Represented Maximus in arbitration arising from fraud and breach of contract allegations brought by the City of Los Angeles. The arbitral panel eventually found against the City of Los Angeles on the entirety of its claims and found in favor of all counterclaims brought by Maximus. Los Angeles Unified School District v. Maximus Inc., et al., JAMS Ref. No. 1100070648; Los Angeles Unified School District v. Harris Education Consulting and Maximus, Case No. BC 493592 (Petition to Confirm).
- Represented Deloitte Consulting in connection with claims brought by the Los Angeles Unified School District alleging that Deloitte failed to properly implement software governing employee pay, vacation time and benefits. After successfully defending Deloitte against those claims, led the defense of Deloitte in claims brought by third parties in class actions against both LAUSD and Deloitte for failure to properly pay teachers and other LAUSD staff. Lisa McCarrell et al v. Los Angeles Unified School District, BC 383425, BC 368209, BC 383410, BC 383754 (consolidated).
- Represented the CEO and directors of Fresh & Easy in connection with breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract and fraudulent transfer claims arising from the filing of Chapter 11 proceedings by Fresh & Easy, a grocery retailer.
- Represented the CEO and Chairman of the Board of MagnaChip, a chip manufacturer, in connection with an SEC investigation and related securities class actions. Hayes v. MagnaChip Semiconductor Corp. et al., Case No. 3:14-cv-01160-JST.
- Represented a consortium of Korean national banks, including Industrial Bank of Korea, NH Bank, KEB Hana Bank and KB Bank, in successfully pursuing claims of fraud and breach of contract against ASI Corporation. These claims arose from a fraud that occurred in Korea, aided and assisted by co-defendants in the United States. The successful settlements resulted from a global investigation and discovery process. Industrial Bank of Korea et al. v. ASI Corp et al., Case No. 2:17-cv-07646-CBM-FFM.
- Represented Hollywood Park Casino, The Bicycle Club and Celebrity Casinos in connection with a bellwether constitutional and statutory challenge to the legality of the play of games in California Cardrooms, which ended in dismissal with prejudice of the Second Amended Complaint. Rincon Band of Luiseno Mission Indians and Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Mission Indians v. Larry Flynt et al., 37-2018-0058170-CU-NP-CTL.
- Represented Casino Royale in obtaining a successful resolution of a bellwether statutory and compliance challenge to the legality of the game play of certain cards games, all of which potentially impacted the entire California cardroom industry. Whitehouse, Fierro and Ortiz v. Sacramento Casino Royale LLC et al., CV 34-2014-00161427.
- Represented the world’s largest retailer in connection with class action claims alleging violations of California employment law, including policies and practices related to the payment of wages upon the termination of employment. In re Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Wage and Hour Litigation (Smith-Ballard), N.D. Cal, Case Number C 06 02069 SBA (BZ).
- Represented members of the board of directors of Full Tilt Poker in connection with a criminal investigation conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York, which involved the legality of online poker. United States v. Isai Scheinberg, et al., S3 10 Cr. 336 (LAK).
- Represented Nike in connection with various internal investigations.
- Advised Olympic Committees in connection with numerous issues arising from the organization of Summer and Winter games, the requirements of the International Olympic Committee, the requirements of international and national governing bodies and dispute resolution.
- Represented Toyota in connection with its historic sponsorship as a TOP Sponsor for the 2017 – 2024 quadrennial games.
- Represented Olympics TOP sponsors in connection with the sponsorship of the 2017 – 2024 quadrennial games, including those issues arising from Tokyo 2020.
- Represented the World Surfing League in connection with issues related to its debut as an Olympic movement sport.
- Represented Nike in connection with numerous sponsorship matters in Olympic movement and professional sports.
- Represented media rights companies in connection with potential disputes arising from the COVID-19 crisis.
- Represented professional sports teams in connection with sponsorship issues before their respective leagues and national governing bodies.
- Drafted dispute resolution provisions, anti-doping rules and player protocols for the NFL Players Association in connection with collective-bargaining negotiations with the NFL.
- Represented Nike in matters involving the Oregon Project, Nike’s elite running program.
- Represented Alberto Salazar in connection with anti-doping claims brought by USADA.
- Represented Floyd Landis in connection with his disqualification from the 2006 Tour de France.
- Represented Alexandre Vinokourov in connection with his disqualification from the 2007 Tour de France.
- Represented the Astana Team in connection with matters arising from its compliance with IOC rules.
- Represented Justin Gatlin in his successful appeal of a doping suspension.
- Represented Rashid Ramzi and the Bahrain Olympic Committee in connection with matters arising from the Beijing Olympics.
- Represented Richard Sherman in his successful appeal of a suspension arising from a purported violation of the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy.
- Represented Josh Gordon in connection with matters arising from the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
- Represented eSports companies in connection with the development of rules and guidelines for both anti-doping and regulatory concerns.
- Represented Rob Farah, world number one doubles tennis player, in successfully overturning an anti-doping suspension.
Mr. Suh has previously served as Deputy Mayor of Homeland Security and Public Safety for the City of Los Angeles. In that capacity, Mr. Suh had oversight over all homeland security and public safety issues for the City of Los Angeles, including the Port of Los Angeles and Los Angeles World Airports. As Deputy Mayor, Mr. Suh developed the Office of Homeland Security and Public Safety, which has responsibility over the Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles Fire Department and the Emergency Preparedness Department and their combined 17,500 employees and $1.7B budget. As Deputy Mayor, Mr. Suh was the representative for the City of Los Angeles in connection with the consent decree entered into between the United States Department of Justice and the City of Los Angeles arising from the discovery and disclosure of police corruption in the Rampart Division of the Los Angeles Police Department.
In addition, Mr. Suh has served as a Deputy Chief of the Public Corruption and Government Fraud Section of the United States Attorney’s Office of the Central District of California. While there, he prosecuted and supervised a number of public corruption and official misconduct cases against federal and state law enforcement officials, as well as a wide variety of fraud and environmental crimes cases. In that capacity, Mr. Suh has received the Prosecutor of the Year Award (2001, International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators, S.C.), as well as the Director’s Award for Superior Performance as an Assistant United States Attorney and numerous other awards from federal law enforcement agencies.
He has served as Adjunct Professor of Law at both Loyola Law School and The George Washington University National Law Center.
Mr. Suh graduated from Columbia University in 1986 (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and Columbia Law School of Columbia University in 1989.
Mr. Suh has previously served as Co-Chair of the Securities Litigation Committee of the ABA Section of Litigation and as Co-Chair of the Criminal Litigation Committee of the ABA Section of Litigation.
Mr. Suh has served on the Rampart Blue Ribbon Commission, which investigated allegations of police misconduct involving the Rampart Division of the Los Angeles Police Department. Mr. Suh has also served as Deputy General Counsel for the Citizens’ Commission on Jail Violence, which was created by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to investigate the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s use of unjustified force against inmates. The findings of this investigation became part of large-scale change at the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, which also included criminal prosecutions of the Los Angeles County Sheriff.