Court Denies Class Certification in HP Suit 

Munger, Tolles & Olson has won a denial of class certification on behalf of Hewlett-Packard Co. in a long-running shareholder dispute. Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge James Kleinberg issued his ruling on April 25, confirming a tentative ruling earlier in the month. 

Munger Tolles' James C. Rutten and Mark R. Conrad represent HP in the matter and argued the case at the April 15 hearing. Judge Kleinberg said then that he would likely deny class certification “on the grounds that the plaintiffs had failed to carry their burden of demonstrating commonality,” Law360 reported.

The 2003 lawsuit claims that HP violated fiduciary and statutory duties when it transferred shares to the state of California “held by minority shareholders under the claim that they were lost and unknown without notice,” the publication said.

Mr. Rutten argued that the plaintiffs' attorneys “have had eight years of litigation and have no evidence that this is a case that should be tried on a classwide basis, only assertion after assertion after assertion. They have no plan.”

Mr. Rutten is a litigation partner in the Los Angeles office of with Munger Tolles. He devotes approximately half his practice to complex securities and shareholder derivative litigation, and the other half to other commercial litigation matters, including in the areas of unfair competition, contract disputes, general tort law and consumer law.

Mr. Conrad is a litigation associate in the San Francisco office of Munger Tolles. He represents corporations and corporate officers in complex commercial litigation at the trial and appellate levels in both California and the federal courts.