Litigation

From Hollywood to the Gulf of Mexico to Wall Street, Munger, Tolles & Olson is tackling some of the most high-profile cases across a range of industries. Our litigators have fought to stop music and film piracy, are guiding large financial institutions through significant litigation stemming from the mortgage crisis and are entrenched in defending a client in actions and investigations involving the oil spill in the gulf.

We work closely with clients to proactively approach any situation, whether to successfully avoid litigation or serve as advocates in court or other proceedings. Our low leverage means matters are staffed efficiently with clients benefiting from a tightly knit team. The firm possesses a long track record of achieving results and an unequaled reputation for finding creative solutions.

Munger Tolles also has a “deep bench of trial lawyers,” as noted by The American Lawyer. We are frequently tapped to take bet-the-company cases to trial in jurisdictions nationwide. Our success in some of the last decade’s most prominent trials − from representing bond king Jeffrey Gundlach in his case against Trust Company of the West to guiding Rambus through numerous trials related to its patent rights − stems from the high caliber of our litigators, from the most seasoned attorneys to our most junior colleagues.

The firm is recognized in Chambers USA’s top tier for litigation in California, and many of the firm’s litigators are individually ranked. Munger Tolles has four Fellows in the American College of Trial Lawyers and two former Chairs of the ABA Section of Litigation.

We believe that clerkships provide valuable experience. Nearly 70 percent of our attorneys served as law clerks to federal judges. Beyond clerkships, our attorneys also have experiences that bring an additional dimension to our client service. Many of our litigators honed their courtroom skills while serving as assistant U.S. attorneys and a number of our lawyers have advanced degrees in relevant subject matter areas, including physics, engineering and medicine.

A sample of the firm’s recent litigation and trial work includes representing:

  • DoubleLine Capital and certain of its founders, including CEO Jeffrey Gundlach, in winning a $66.7 million jury verdict against his former employer, Trust Company of the West (TCW). The jury awarded no damages on TCW’s complaint against DoubleLine and the individual defendants.
  • Transocean and certain of its subsidiaries, which owned or operated the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, in litigation arising from the April 20, 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. We represent Transocean in multi-district litigation and other civil proceedings and ongoing criminal investigations.
  • Rambus in litigation involving the world’s largest DRAM manufacturers in a closely watched 10-year battle for the rights to the fundamental design of memory chips used in nearly all major computing devices.
  • Bank of America as lead counsel in a $10 billion lawsuit filed by AIG alleging fraud in connection with AIG’s investments in residential mortgage-backed securities originated or underwritten by BofA and its subsidiaries between 2005 and 2007.
  • Vostu, Brazil’s market leader in social gaming, in its defense and countersuit against copyright infringement claims made in the United States and Brazil by popular U.S. gaming company Zynga.
  • Sony Music Entertainment, EMI Group, Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group in gaining a permanent injunction to shut down one of the most pervasive online file-copying services — LimeWire — and obtained a $105 million settlement in the midst of a damages trial.
  • Abbott Laboratories, as co-counsel, in obtaining a defense jury verdict on antitrust claims brought by GlaxoSmithKline, another of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, relating to Abbott’s repricing of the drug Norvir. The Oakland, Calif. jury rejected GlaxoSmithKline's $571 million antitrust damage claim, which would have been subject to automatic trebling.
  • Wells Fargo in its settlement of a consolidated residential mortgage backed securities class action litigation. Accused of making misrepresentations in connection with the sale of more than $35 billion in mortgage-backed securities, the settlement was successfully reached at $125 million.
  • LG in its defense against a class action antitrust case stemming from allegations of price-fixing among manufacturers of display panels. The matter was successfully resolved on behalf of LG in April 2012.
  • The Motion Picture Association of America in obtaining a permanent injunction against the operators of Zediva, an unlicensed video-on-demand service.
  • Berkshire Hathaway in successfully defending multijurisdictional stockholder litigation challenging acquisitions by Berkshire of Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Wesco Financial Corporation.