Litigation

LEADERS

Overview

Acclaimed as a litigation powerhouse, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and the members of the Litigation Practice Group have a long record of outstanding successes.  The American Lawyer named Gibson Dunn its 2020 Litigation Department of the Year, recognized as the “best of the best.”  This unprecedented achievement was the firm’s fourth win in the last six years of the publication’s biennial “Litigation Department of the Year” competitions, and the sixth time in a row the firm has been a finalist.

The members of our litigation practice group are not just litigators, they are first-rate trial lawyers.  Each year, we try numerous cases to verdicts before juries, judges and arbitrators.  Our clients have trusted us to try their most significant disputes to verdict, and we believe our trial win-loss record is unsurpassed.

We have tried cases and argued appeals before the U.S. Supreme Court and state supreme courts in addition to federal and state courts across the United States involving almost every foreseeable area of controversy.  We also handle disputes before a wide variety of nonjudicial forums, from federal and state agencies to international arbitrations.

Gibson Dunn’s approach emphasizes the full spectrum of services for our clients.  Our litigators are trained to evaluate actual and potential cases at the earliest stages, to first determine if litigation can be avoided, or, if it is filed, whether the matter can be resolved quickly and economically.  We pride ourselves on handling our litigation matters as efficiently as possible.  For the largest cases, we can bring all necessary resources to bear, but for smaller matters, we believe in lean staffing and small teams of litigators with the right knowledge and experience.  Critically, our litigators think not just as lawyers, but as business men and women, tapping into key resources and devising optimal strategies for the most efficient and favorable results.  Gibson Dunn lawyers are fully familiar with a wide array of alternative dispute resolution techniques, including arbitration, mediation, “mini-trials” and the like.  In addition, the conduct of litigation at every stage is done in full and close consultation with our clients.

Gibson Dunn’s trial practice is enhanced by first-rate case management support and technology resources.  Our lawyers utilize technology in a manner that not only enhances their practice, but reduces the cost of litigation.  Our trial technology includes the latest systems available for document storage, retrieval and imaging.  We provide our clients dedicated extranet capabilities where they can access relevant case information and share documents on secure sites developed specifically for each case.  These technology tools allow us to avoid reinventing the wheel; when we begin work on a new case, we are able to access a vast database of research, writing and analysis, and thereby deliver the highest quality work product as efficiently as possible.

Experience

Recent representations include:

  • Representing Chevron Corporation in its successful RICO suit against the purveyors of what The Wall Street Journal called the legal “fraud of the century,” Chevron Corp. v. Donziger et al., Case No. 11-cv-0691 (S.D.N.Y.).  Gibson Dunn was 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 against the company and carrying out an extortionate pressure campaign in the U.S.  Gibson Dunn obtained a trial verdict in favor of Chevron, in which the district court held that the scheme 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 followed on the heels of dozens of discovery proceedings filed by Gibson Dunn in district courts around the country.  Gibson Dunn’s 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.”  Gibson Dunn subsequently obtained Second Circuit affirmance and continues to advise Chevron on a range of issues flowing from this high-stakes, complex matter.
  • Secured a U.S. Supreme Court affirmance for BlueMountain Capital Management, LLC in its closely watched challenge to Puerto Rico’s debt-restructuring law for municipal entities.  In 2014 the Commonwealth’s legislature enacted the Puerto Rico Public Corporation Debt Enforcement and Recovery Act (Recovery Act), a statute that purported to create a binding bankruptcy-like debt-restructuring regime for Puerto Rico’s highly indebted public entities, including its largest electric utility, PREPA.  Gibson Dunn filed suit on behalf of PREPA bondholder BlueMountain shortly after the law was enacted, the District of Puerto Rico agreed that the federal Bankruptcy Code preempts the Recovery Act, and the First Circuit unanimously affirmed.  The Supreme Court’s analysis in affirming the First Circuit is likely to impact express-preemption jurisprudence and provides important protections for holders of municipal bonds.
  • Resolved groundbreaking, multibillion-dollar litigation by NML Capital, Ltd. (an affiliate of Elliott Management Corporation) against the Republic of Argentina when Argentina paid NML more than $2.4 billion to satisfy NML’s claims on the country’s defaulted bonds.  This settlement marked the conclusion of what the Financial Times called the “sovereign debt trial of the century” and ended 13 years of litigation following Argentina’s default in 2001 on more than $80 billion in external debt.  While most of Argentina’s creditors accepted new bonds, worth much less, in exchange for the repudiated bond obligations, NML chose to fight.  After securing judgments, attachments and injunctions against Argentina, the tide turned with two decisive U.S. Supreme Court victories won for NML by Gibson Dunn.  Still unwilling to comply, Argentina continued to resist – and suffer the consequences – until the Republic’s new president initiated negotiations with creditors and the settlement agreement was reached.
  • For CLS Bank, which settles more than $5 trillion in foreign currency transactions daily, we obtained unanimous U.S. Supreme Court affirmance that ended a long-running patent infringement suit brought by Alice Corporation.  The Court affirmed an en banc Federal Circuit ruling, also argued successfully by Gibson Dunn, that Alice’s claims were patent-ineligible as the patents were drawn to the abstract idea of intermediated settlement.
    For Daimler AG, we obtained a U.S. Supreme Court win that limits the ability of plaintiffs to sue foreign companies in U.S. courts for acts that allegedly occurred overseas.  The Ninth Circuit had held that, because German corporation Daimler had an indirect subsidiary that did business in California, Argentine plaintiffs could sue Daimler in California for acts allegedly committed by an Argentine Daimler subsidiary in Argentina in the 1970s.  We persuaded the Court to reject that expansive view of U.S. jurisdiction – unanimously.
  • Representing Dole Food Company, Inc., we obtained dismissals of thousands of toxic tort claims after exposing the plaintiffs’ lawyer’s fraud.  Dole had been flooded with lawsuits filed on behalf of foreign agricultural workers claiming harm from exposure to the pesticide DBCP going back to the 1960s.  When Gibson Dunn took over the company’s defense there were nearly 10,000 claims pending in trial courts across the United States.  After a series of significant victories including appellate wins and the reversal of an early multimillion-dollar verdict, there remained only a single-plaintiff case pending against the company in a Delaware trial court.
  • For Facebook and its founder Mark Zuckerberg we defeated a breach of contract case filed by Paul Ceglia, who claimed he was entitled to an 84% ownership stake in Facebook based on a purported 2003 contract.  After being retained to replace another law firm, we uncovered evidence of fraud and a forgery scheme that resulted in the plaintiff’s arrest on federal felony charges.  In response to our motion to dismiss Ceglia’s breach of contract case, a federal magistrate judge ruled the lawsuit a fraud that should be dismissed with prejudice.  The federal judge presiding over the case adopted that ruling, dismissing the case with prejudice based on Ceglia’s lies, forgeries and litigation misconduct.  We then secured Second Circuit affirmance.
  • For Ford Motor Company we won a victory against the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in a case of major importance to employers navigating the intersection between the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and increased employee telecommuting.  The EEOC brought the case against Ford alleging that it violated the ADA by failing to provide a reasonable accommodation for an employee seeking to work from home because of a medical condition.  The EEOC further alleged that Ford retaliated against the employee, a documented underperformer, by firing her after she filed an EEOC charge.  The district court granted summary judgment to Ford on both claims but a divided Sixth Circuit panel reversed.  Gibson Dunn’s petition for rehearing en banc was granted, and the Circuit’s subsequent ruling reversed the panel decision on the ground that physical attendance is an essential function of most jobs and, thus, employers generally need not approve of open-ended telecommuting arrangements as an accommodation under the ADA.  The Sixth Circuit further held that no reasonable jury could find that Ford fired the employee for any reason other than poor performance.

RECENT PUBLICATIONS

Daily Journal Names Kristin Linsley Among 2020 Top Cyber Lawyers in California

-November 11, 2020

Theodore Boutrous Named a First Amendment Rights Trailblazer

-November 5, 2020

Who’s Who Legal 2020 Guides Recognize 12 Gibson Dunn Partners

-October 30, 2020

Benchmark Litigation US 2021 Gives Top Marks to Gibson Dunn

-October 16, 2020

Natalie Hausknecht Named a 2020 Up and Coming Lawyer

-October 14, 2020

Hong Kong Case Update: The Court of Appeal Confirmed That Pre-Trial Discovery Against a Non-Party Witness for Use in a Foreign Court Is Not Permissible

-October 7, 2020

Law360 Names Eight Gibson Dunn Partners as 2020 MVPs

-October 5, 2020

Gibson Dunn Ranked in the 2021 UK Legal 500

-October 5, 2020

Benchmark Litigation Europe 2021 Names Four Partners Stars

-October 5, 2020

Hong Kong Case Update: Ng Hon Lam Edgar v Secretary For Justice

-September 29, 2020

Hong Kong Case Update: Sham Tsz Kit v Secretary For Justice

-September 29, 2020

Kristin Linsley and Saee Muzumdar Recognized by LMG Americas Women in Business 2020

-September 22, 2020

Thirteen Gibson Dunn Partners Recognized in Expert Guides’ Women in Business Law

-September 22, 2020

Gibson Dunn Adds Litigation Partner Christopher Belelieu in New York

-September 21, 2020

Theodore Boutrous, Marcellus McRae and Debra Wong Yang Named Among California’s Top 100 Lawyers

-September 17, 2020

National Contact Points: A Unique Grievance Mechanism for Resolving Responsible Business Conduct Disputes

-September 17, 2020

Lee Dunst, Mitch Karlan and Richard Parker Named Among National Law Journal’s 2020 Winning Litigators

-September 1, 2020

The future of DACA is far from clear

-September 1, 2020

Ruling in gun case puts every Californian at risk

-September 1, 2020

Liu v. SEC: Supreme Court Cabins SEC Disgorgement Remedy

-August 31, 2020

13 Gibson Dunn Partners Named Lawyers of the Year

-August 20, 2020

New York Attorney General’s Office 18-Month Round-Up

-August 18, 2020

California Supreme Court Announces 7-Factor “Good Cause” Test for Third-Party Subpoenas

-August 17, 2020

Gibson Dunn Adds Former SDNY Prosecutor Karin Portlock as Of Counsel in New York

-August 13, 2020

Who’s Who Legal 2020 Asset Recovery, Energy, and Product Liability Defence Guides Recognize Eight Gibson Dunn Partners

-August 12, 2020

Neb. Ruling May Squash Consent By Registration Theory

-August 11, 2020

Elizabeth Papez Appointed to Administrative Conference of the United States

-August 10, 2020

Jason Meltzer Named a 2020 D.C. Rising Star

-August 7, 2020

Developments in Immigration and Customs Enforcement of Foreign Student Visa Policy Under COVID-19

-August 3, 2020

Privacy Rights after Carpenter: A Check on Prosecutors’ Ability to Intrude on the Attorney-Client Relationship

-July 27, 2020

Second Quarter 2020 Update on Class Actions

-July 24, 2020

Scott Edelman Named 2020 Top Litigator & Trial Lawyer in Los Angeles

-July 23, 2020

Trump’s lawsuit against Bolton will fail

-July 21, 2020

Theodore Boutrous, Matthew McGill and Anne Champion Named Litigators of the Week

-July 17, 2020

Ninth Circuit Asks The New York Court of Appeals Whether Litigation Financing Agreements Are “Usurious”

-July 13, 2020

Gibson Dunn Named the 2020 New York Litigation Department of the Year

-July 7, 2020

Directors’ duties in the age of COVID-19: where to from here?

-June 30, 2020

Supreme Court Reins In, But Does Not Overturn, SEC’s Disgorgement Authority

-June 30, 2020

Best Lawyers in Germany 2021 Recognizes 19 Gibson Dunn Attorneys

-June 26, 2020

Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific Top 100 Women in Litigation Recognizes Two Partners

-June 23, 2020

Administration Should Respect Voice Of America’s Autonomy

-June 15, 2020

Best Lawyers in the United Kingdom 2021 Recognizes 12 Gibson Dunn Attorneys

-June 12, 2020

What To Know About Short-Seller Risks During Pandemic

-June 5, 2020

Susy Bullock Rejoins Gibson Dunn as a Disputes Partner in London

-June 1, 2020

A Glimpse Behind the Curtain: Insights to SEC Enforcement During the Pandemic and Tips for Mitigating Investigative Risk

-May 14, 2020

New York Appellate Division, First Department Lifts March 2020 Suspension Order, Reinstating Key Appellate Deadlines and Effectively Reopening the Court for New Appeals

-May 12, 2020

Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific 2020 Names Three Partners Hong Kong Stars

-May 5, 2020

COVID-19 News Defamation Claims Are Unlikely To Succeed

-May 5, 2020

The Constitutional Consequences of Governmental Responses to COVID-19:  The Right to Travel and the Dormant Commerce Clause

-May 1, 2020

Gibson Dunn Ranked in Legal 500 EMEA 2020

-April 30, 2020

Supreme Court Holds That The Federal Government Must Reimburse Health Insurers For $12 Billion In Losses

-April 28, 2020

Best Practices for Texas Lawyers Negotiating Over Email

-April 27, 2020

Debra Wong Yang Named Among 2020 Top Women Attorneys in Los Angeles

-April 27, 2020

When a Commercial Contract Doesn’t Have a Force Majeure Clause: Common Law Defenses to Contract Enforcement

-April 24, 2020

Gibson Dunn Earns 84 Top-Tier Rankings in Chambers USA 2020

-April 24, 2020

New Risks Resulting from COVID-19 Analyzed under Spectrum of German Criminal, Regulatory and Civil Exposure

-April 21, 2020

New York Governor Cuomo’s Executive Orders Concerning Statutes of Limitations

-April 21, 2020

Trump Likely Doesn’t Have Power To Reopen Businesses

-April 16, 2020

Constitutional Implications of Rent- and Mortgage-Relief Legislation Enacted in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

-April 16, 2020

Force Majeure Primer and Flowchart for Oil and Gas Leases

-April 14, 2020

Scott Edelman, Deborah Stein and Nathaniel Bach Named Litigators of the Week

-April 10, 2020

New York Empire State Development Corporation Further Updates Guidance on Businesses Deemed Essential Under Governor Andrew Cuomo’s “New York State on PAUSE” Executive Order

-April 10, 2020

‘Salzberg’ Opens Door to Creativity in the ‘Outer Band’ of ‘Intra-Corporate Affairs’

-April 9, 2020

Why Trump’s frivolous libel lawsuit against the New York Times is dangerous

-April 8, 2020

Some Protection from Patent Infringement Suits Is Available to Those Who Make and Provide Personal Protective Equipment and Ventilators in Response to the COVID-19 Crisis

-April 9, 2020

Press Pools Protect 1st Amendment During Pandemic

-April 8, 2020

COVID-19: Civil Litigation in Germany

-April 8, 2020

Fiduciary Duties and Board Options in a Time of Pandemic

-April 6, 2020

Gig-Worker Classification in the Age of COVID-19

-April 6, 2020

Litigation Partner Trey Cox Joins Gibson Dunn’s Dallas Office

-April 1, 2020

English Law Force Majeure Clauses: A 4-Step Checklist & Flowchart

-April 1, 2020

Online Dispute Resolution: An Option for Times of Crisis and Calm

-March 31, 2020

Constitutional Implications of Government Regulations and Actions in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

-March 27, 2020

Practical Solutions for Resolving Commercial Disputes When the Courthouse Is Closed

-March 26, 2020

Force Majeure Clauses: A 4-Step Checklist & Flowchart

-March 25, 2020

Mitch Karlan, Lee Dunst and Nancy Hart Named Litigators of the Week

-March 14, 2020

High court ruling will allow egregious misconduct to go unchecked

-March 13, 2020

Lawrence Zweifach Inducted into Lawdragon 500 Hall of Fame

-March 13, 2020

Mylan Denerstein and Randy Mastro Named to City & State New York’s 2020 Law Power 100

-March 9, 2020

Gibson Dunn Wins Three Awards at 2020 Benchmark Litigation US East Awards Ceremony

-February 28, 2020

Gibson Dunn Case Named Top Verdict of the Year

-February 28, 2020

False Claims Act Enforcement Under the Trump Administration

-February 27, 2020

David Battaglia Inducted Into the International Academy of Trial Lawyers

-February 27, 2020

Gibson Dunn Announces Annual Pro Bono Award Winners

-February 6, 2020

Ashley Rogers Named to Dallas Business Journal 40 Under 40

-January 30, 2020

Who’s Who Legal Recognizes 15 Gibson Dunn Partners in Litigation, Corporate Tax and Private Funds

-January 30, 2020

2019 Trade Secrets Roundup and 2020 Trends

-January 30, 2020

Law360 Names Gibson Dunn Among Its 2019 Trials Practice Groups of the Year

-January 16, 2020

Gibson Dunn Named a 2019 Law Firm of the Year

-January 13, 2020

Gibson Dunn Named “Litigation Department of the Year” and Partner Theodore J. Boutrous Jr. Named “Litigator of the Year Grand Prize Winner” by The American Lawyer

-January 2, 2020

Gibson Dunn Named Among Top 100 Law Firms in Germany

-December 23, 2019

Andrew LeGrand Receives Dallas Business Journal’s Minority Business Leader Award

-December 20, 2019

Gibson Dunn Named Litigation Department of the Year and Theodore J. Boutrous Jr. Named Litigator of the Year

-December 5, 2019

Michael Flynn and Michele Maryott Named Among Most Influential in Orange County

-November 26, 2019

Gibson Dunn Promotes 13 Lawyers to Partnership

-November 20, 2019

Gibson Dunn Adds Leading Litigator Markus Rieder in Munich

-November 20, 2019

Five Gibson Dunn Partners Recognized by Who’s Who Legal 2019 Business Crime Defence Guide

-November 6, 2019

Who’s Who Legal Recognizes Ten Gibson Dunn Partners in Project Finance, Product Liability, Energy, and Asset Recovery in 2019

-November 6, 2019

Benchmark Litigation Europe 2020 Names Four Partners Stars

-November 4, 2019

Matthew McGill Named a Sports & Entertainment Trailblazer

-November 1, 2019