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 a Finalist in its 2018 Litigation Department of the Year competition.  This award followed our firm’s unprecedented three wins in this biennial competition – as the 2016, 2012 and 2010 Litigation Department of the Year – and 2014 Finalist honors.

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

SFO Successfully Defends Challenge over the Territorial Scope of Compulsory Document Requests

-September 11, 2018

Contractual Duties to Conduct a Business in Accordance With ‘Sound Business Practices’

-July 26, 2018

Miguel Estrada and Robert Weigel Named Litigators of the Week

-August 17, 2018

Wayne Barsky and James Zelenay Named Top Litigators in Los Angeles

-August 14, 2018

President Trump Nominates Judge Brett Kavanaugh To Supreme Court

-July 11, 2018

Second Quarter 2018 Update on Class Actions

-July 18, 2018

Benchmark Litigation Recognizes Gibson Dunn Partners

-July 18, 2018

The Politics of Brexit for those Outside the UK

-July 12, 2018

Allyson Ho Receives Outstanding Appellate Lawyer Award from Texas Bar Foundation

-July 9, 2018

Supreme Court Holds That Public-Sector Union “Agency Fees” Violate The First Amendment

-June 27, 2018

Supreme Court Raises The Bar For Antitrust Plaintiffs Challenging Two-Sided Platforms

-June 25, 2018

Supreme Court Holds That Individuals Have Fourth Amendment Privacy Rights In Cell Phone Location Records

-June 22, 2018

Supreme Court Says That Patent Holders May Recover Lost Foreign Profits Resulting From Patent Infringement In The United States

-June 22, 2018

Acting Associate AG Panuccio Highlights DOJ’s False Claims Act Enforcement Reform Efforts

-June 20, 2018

Supreme Court Rejects Tolling Of Statute Of Limitations For Successive Class Actions

-June 11, 2018

Supreme Court Holds That The Colorado Civil Rights Commission Violated Cake Baker’s Religious Freedom Rights

-June 4, 2018

Supreme Court Round-Up (June 1, 2018)

-June 1, 2018

California Supreme Court Spring 2018 Round-Up

-May 31, 2018

Gibson Dunn Named Winner in Three Categories for D.C. Litigation Department of the Year

-May 29, 2018

The ‘MFW’ Framework Gains Traction Outside the Merger Context

-May 17, 2018

Theodore Olson Named Litigator of the Week

-May 18, 2018

Supreme Court Strikes Down Federal Limits On Sports Gambling

-May 14, 2018

First Quarter 2018 Update on Class Actions

-May 4, 2018

Federal District Court Enjoins Philadelphia Ordinance Prohibiting Employers from Asking Applicants About Their Wage History

-May 2, 2018

Supreme Court Upholds PTO Inter Partes Review of Patent Validity

-April 24, 2018

Supreme Court Clarifies That Inter Partes Review Must Decide All Challenged Claims

-April 24, 2018

Supreme Court Holds That Foreign Corporations Cannot Be Sued Under The Alien Tort Statute

-April 24, 2018

Does a Nonresident Del. Officer’s Service to a Corporation Allow Courts to Compel Testimony?

-April 18, 2018

Supreme Court Holds That Recent Legislation Moots Dispute Over Emails Stored Overseas

-April 17, 2018

Exmark v. Briggs: Role of Claim Language in Damages Apportionment

-February 2, 2018

Supreme Court Round-Up: A Summary of the Court’s Opinions, Cases to Be Argued Next Term, and Other Developments (April 4, 2018)

-April 4, 2018

Percoco Highlights Pre-Verdict Remedies For False Testimony

-March 28, 2018

Supreme Court Holds States May Hear Securities Fraud Class Actions Under The 1933 Act

-March 20, 2018

Brexit – converting the political deal into a legal deal and the end state

-March 12, 2018

Two Gibson Dunn Cases Named Top Verdicts of the Year

-February 28, 2018

Michele Maryott and Theane Evangelis Named Litigators of the Week

-February 16, 2018

Law360 Names Gibson Dunn Among its Transportation 2017 practice Groups of the Year

-February 6, 2018

Fourth Quarter 2017 Update on Class Actions

-January 31, 2018

My Supreme Court Debut: Just Me And My Flash Cards

-January 25, 2018

Viewing Class Settlements Through a New Lens: Part 1 and Part 2

-July 25, 2017

2017 Year-End E-Discovery Update

-January 18, 2018

M&A Report – Delaware Supreme Court Reaffirms the Importance of Deal Price As an Indicator of Fair Value in Appraisal Actions

-December 18, 2017

New Obstacles For VPPA Plaintiffs At 9th Circ.

-December 14, 2017

Court of Chancery Continues Line of Pro-Arbitration Cases

-December 13, 2017

Brexit – Initial deal agreed

-December 8, 2017

Delaware Courts Uphold Strict Limitations on Liability For Oversight Claims

-November 15, 2017

Third Quarter 2017 Update on Class Actions

-November 7, 2017

Local Drone Law Preempted in First-of-its-Kind Ruling

-October 5, 2017

‘Sparton v. O’Neil’: The Effect of Disclaimers on M&A Fraud Claims

-September 27, 2017

Clarity at Long Last: Post-Verdict Compensatory Patent Infringement Damages

-September 15, 2017

Trump Administration Rescinds Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program

-September 5, 2017

A Cautionary Tale For Law Firms Engaging with Prosecutors

-August 30, 2017

Second Quarter 2017 Update on Class Actions

-August 1, 2017

French Market Update – July 2017

-July 20, 2017

Managing Project Risk to Secure Profit

-July 6, 2017

Update on Immigration Executive Order

-June 29, 2017

What the UK Election Result Means for Brexit

-June 9, 2017

The Power to Investigate: Table of Authorities of House and Senate Committees for the 115th Congress

-June 1, 2017

The Gross-Split Production Sharing Contract: The End of an Era for Indonesia’s Upstream Oil and Gas Industry and Traditional PSC Model

-May 31, 2017

First Quarter 2017 Update on Class Actions

-May 19, 2017

A Potentially Far-Reaching Impact For New NYC Freelance Law

-May 12, 2017

What the UK’s Snap General Election Means for Brexit

-April 21, 2017

M&A Report – Delaware Chancery Court Finds Stockholder Vote To Be Coerced and Not Fully Informed in In re Saba Software, Inc. Stockholder Litigation

-April 12, 2017

UK Government Triggers Article 50

-March 29, 2017

Judge Neil Gorsuch’s Potential Impact on the Development of Arbitration Law

-March 16, 2017

Court Orders Block Implementation of New Immigration Executive Order

-March 16, 2017

Webcast: Identifying and Combatting Fraud and Other Misconduct in Transactions and Litigation

-March 16, 2017

Justice Holland’s Lasting Imprint on Corporate Law

-March 14, 2017

Analysis of March 6, 2017 Executive Order on Immigration

-March 7, 2017

Lemons and Lemonade: Making the Most of Grounds for Transferring Venue

-March 6, 2017

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Issues Opinion Upholding Nationwide TRO of January 27 Immigration-Related Executive Order

-February 10, 2017

Litigation Needs to Serve a Clear Purpose

-February 8, 2017

2016 Year-End Update on Class Actions

-February 1, 2017

Recent Developments Regarding Executive Order on Immigration

-February 1, 2017

President Trump Issues Executive Order on Immigration

-January 30, 2017

Canadian Court Upholds Chevron’s Corporate Separateness and Its Right to Defend Against Judgment Obtained by Fraud

-January 27, 2017

Federal Circuit Update (January 2017)

-January 26, 2017

UK Supreme Court Rules Parliament Must Hold Vote on Article 50

-January 24, 2017

Wrapping Up 2016: Major Trends, New Rules and Emerging Caselaw

-January 5, 2017

Delaware Supreme Court Affirms Guidance in Advancement Disputes

-December 28, 2016

Tools of Transition: Procedural Devices That Could Help the President-Elect Implement His Agenda

-November 30, 2016

UK High Court Rules That Parliament Must Vote on Triggering Article 50 Process for Brexit

-November 3, 2016

Third Quarter 2016 Update on Class Actions

-October 27, 2016

Extraterritoriality: The ATS In Focus

-October 25, 2016

Brexit – UK Government Sets Out Process to Leave EU by 2019

-October 3, 2016

Compliance Perspectives on the Developing Contours of the PSQIA

-October 3, 2016

Have Alien Tort Statute Claims Run Their Course?

-September 16, 2016

Special Interests at Stake When Dealing with Distressed Insurers

-September 21, 2016

The Future of German Codetermination

-September 8, 2016

The Gray Zone: What All Lawyers Need To Know About Providing (Or Not Providing) Business Advice After Peterson v. Katten Muchin

-September 15, 2016

Trends Under Amended Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 37 and 26

-September 15, 2016

Guidelines for Managing a Forensic Inspection of ESI

-September 1, 2016

Advice From Law Firm’s In-House Counsel Found Shielded by Privilege

-September 1, 2016

Poor Children Need a New Brown v. Board of Education

-August 29, 2016

Conflicting Courts on Neutral Canons

-August 24, 2016

Rule Of Law Trumps Rhetoric In Chevron’s 2nd Circ. Win

-August 19, 2016

BREXIT – What Next? Key issues if you are doing business in or with the UK and the EU

-June 28, 2016

BREXIT

-June 24, 2016

What Happens If the United Kingdom Votes to Leave the European Union?

-June 21, 2016

U.S. Supreme Court Clarifies Extraterritorial Reach of Civil RICO

-June 21, 2016