Blanca Young is a litigation partner in the San Francisco office of Munger, Tolles & Olson. Ms. Young’s complex litigation practice focuses on intellectual property disputes, fraud and unfair competition, government and internal investigations, and trials.
Ms. Young has tried cases to judges, juries, and arbitrators across a wide range of substantive areas, including intellectual property, business disputes, and consumer litigation, among others. She has represented clients in several recent high profile trials. In 2022, Ms. Young was part of a trial team that knocked $100 million off of the plaintiff’s requested damages for patent infringement. In 2019, she was one of the lead trial counsel for the plaintiff in a mass copyright infringement case and delivered a closing argument that helped to secure one of the largest verdicts ever in such a case. In 2019, she was part of another trial team in a pharmaceutical patent case that, on appeal, resulted in a complete defense victory for the client when the Federal Circuit found the asserted patent claims to be invalid. Ms. Young is a past co-chair of the ABA Section of Litigation’s Trial Practice and Trial Evidence Committees.
Clients often turn to Ms. Young for representation in high stakes intellectual property disputes. She has represented movie and television studios, recording companies, streaming services, and entertainment trade associations in disputes related to copyright infringement and the exercise of their First Amendment rights. She also represents clients in patent litigation, including patent infringement cases and in litigation alleging antitrust violations related to the settlement of patent litigation. Notable matters include:
- Secured dismissal of a putative class action lawsuit against Netflix alleging that the series Thirteen Reasons Why caused suicides in young people who watched the show.
- Won a $62.4 million jury verdict for movie studios in a mass piracy case against VidAngel, a movie streaming service. The result was honored as a Daily Journal Top Verdict and earned Ms. Young a place on the National Law Journal’s list of Winning Litigators.
- Won a defense verdict as lead trial counsel for a producer of a true crime series against a now-convicted criminal who sought to block the producer’s investigatory journalism.
- Successfully defended Kite Pharmaceuticals (a subsidiary of Gilead Sciences, Inc.) against accusations that Kite’s life-saving blood cancer treatment Yescarta infringed patents held by Juno Therapeutics. The jury’s $1.2 billion verdict in favor of Juno was reversed on appeal after the Federal Circuit found the patent claims were invalid, resulting in a complete defense victory for Kite.
Fraud, Unfair Competition, and Government and Internal Investigations
Ms. Young frequently represents corporations and executives in government and internal investigations, and in litigation under state and federal anti-fraud and unfair competition statutes, including the False Claims Act. She has handled such matters across a broad range of industries including the financial services, insurance, education, railroad, defense, and energy industries. Ms. Young serves on the board of the Federal Bar Association’s Qui Tam Section and is a frequent speaker and author on the False Claims Act. Representative matters include:
- Represented a university in connection the nationwide “Varsity Blues” controversy arising from a college consultant’s fraudulent activities to secure colleges admissions by misrepresenting applicants as student athletes.
- Represented a major educational institution and its CEO in numerous government investigations and in multiple government and private lawsuits related to compliance with Higher Education Act requirements.
- Represented an insurance company in a series of qui tam matters alleging fraud in connection with the adjustment of claims in the aftermath of major hurricanes.
- Defending a government contractor in litigation arising from its work to evaluate the integrity of data collected by another contractor at Hunters Point Naval Shipyard in San Francisco.
- Defending a national laboratory against allegations of whistleblower retaliation.
Ms. Young’s pro bono work focuses on criminal justice and access to justice. She has represented individuals in habeas proceedings in state and federal court. In connection with a Blue Ribbon Panel on Transparency, Accountability, and Fairness in Law Enforcement, Ms. Young led a working group investigating the San Francisco Police Department after the discovery of racially biased text messages sent by San Francisco police officers.
Ms. Young is a past member of the San Francisco Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral and Information Service Committee and the San Francisco Bar Association’s Judiciary Committee. In 2011, Ms. Young received an Award of Merit from the Bar Association of San Francisco for her efforts to secure funding for San Francisco’s courts during a time of fiscal crisis.
A former co-chair of MTO’s Diversity Committee, Ms. Young is also deeply committed to promoting diversity and inclusion within the firm and in the legal profession. Ms. Young is a long-time co-chair of the firm’s Associate Review Committee.
Education and Clerkships
Ms. Young received a B.A., magna cum laude, from Yale University. Ms. Young received her J.D. from UCLA School of Law, where she graduated second in her class. After law school, Ms. Young served as a law clerk to the Honorable William B. Shubb of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California.