FORMER DOJ COUNSEL EVA SCHUELLER ELECTED TO PARTNERSHIP
BraunHagey & Borden LLP is proud to announce the elevation of Eva Schueller to Partner. Eva joined BHB in 2014 and has been an integral part of the firm’s high profile litigation group ever since. “Eva is an outstanding litigator and one of the hardest working advocates you will ever meet,” said Noah Hagey, the firm’s Managing Partner. “Her integrity and passion for the law, as well as grace and humor under pressure, exemplify what the firm stands for. We are thrilled to welcome her as a Partner.”
BHB HIRES NEW LITIGATION ASSOCIATES
Toby Rowe is a 2014 JD graduate of Georgetown University Law Center. His practice focuses on commercial IP and contract disputes, as well as regulatory investigations and defense of putative class action claims. Toby has litigated cases on behalf of Fortune 100 companies, government entities, growth companies, and industrial clients. Toby lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Prior to law school, Toby received his BA in English from Wheaton College (Mass.).
Amit Rana is a 2013 JD graduate of UC Davis School of Law. Amit focuses on complex commercial litigation, with an emphasis on business tort and contract disputes. Amit has defended and prosecuted a variety of civil actions including unfair competition, labor and employment, fraud, breach of fiduciary duties, breach of contract, and regulatory actions. He recently represented shareholders in a complex investor dispute, a national franchisor in multiple related consumer class actions, and major technology client against false advertising and consumer fraud claims. Prior to law school, Amit received his BA from the University of Michigan.
Winter is here, snow is in the Sierras and Expo West is around the corner ... which means time for BHB's Winter 2017 CPG / Tech Law Update. Also, a few legal updates on FDA guidelines, GMO regulation and farm bill changes.
BHB RAISES THE STAKES FOR CAMBODIA'S SMALL HUMAN RIGHTS COMMUNITY
The Los Angeles Times recently published an article about the assassination of a high-profile critic of the Cambodian government, featuring the firm’s work on behalf of individuals seeking evidence related to the killing for use in pending foreign proceedings in Cambodia and before the International Criminal Court. The murder occurred at a gas station in Phnom Penh run by Chevron’s subsidiary, and was captured by the station’s video surveillance. The Cambodian government has refused to release the Chevron video files. The assassination led to massive protests in Cambodia and a crack-down on those raising questions about whether any government officials were involved. The firm hopes to use U.S. discovery laws to introduce fairness into proceedings underway in Cambodia and the Hague related to the assassination.
EXPANDING FOOD, CPG AND TECH PRACTICE
The firm's Food, CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods), and Tech practice is growing! We now represent startups and established brands in all stages of growth and investment, including industry-leading innovators, such as NuLo®, SkinnyPop®, Babyganics®, Vega®, Chameleon Cold Brew®, and Drink Daily Greens®.
BHB DISMISSES FALSE LABELING CLASS ACTION AND OBTAINS SANCTIONS AGAINST PLAINTIFF
BHB has dismissed more false labeling class actions than almost any firm in the country. We recently dismissed class claims initiated by notorious plaintiff troll, Gregory Weston, Esq. The firm demonstrated that its client's labeling was approved by FDA regulations and Congress. Plaintiff's counsel sought to file a frivolous appeal, which the Ninth Circuit rejected and ordered sanctions upon the firm's motion.
BHB MANAGING PARTNER NOAH HAGEY PROFILED IN LAW 360'S TRIAL PROS
Noah Hagey was recently profiled by Law 360, in an interview for their "Trial Pros" series. In addition to sharing stories from past trials, including a temporary interruption of his cross of a damages expert caused by a bomb scare at the courthouse, Noah detailed his trial prep routine, and offered advice to fellow trial lawyers about collaboration among the entire trial team. Noah has led trial victories for his clients in a variety of civil matters, including class action, contract, fraud, trademark, patent, and antitrust cases. One of those victories discussed in the interview resulted in a $36 million lost profits award for a Delaware investment firm, one of the largest trial judgments in the country that year. Read the full interview here.
BHB AWARDED ATTORNEY'S FEES IN NEW YORK CONFIRMATION PROCEEDING ON BEHALF OF FOOD CLIENT
After obtaining court confirmation of an arbitration award on behalf of its national food company client, the Southern District of New York awarded BHB all of the attorneys' fees and costs it incurred in seeking confirmation. BHB filed the arbitration on behalf of it client to stop a former executive of one of its portfolio brands from breaching a non-compete.
BHB WINS NEW YORK ARBITRATION DISPUTE ON BEHALF OF PRIVATE EQUITY FUNDS
After litigating in multiple venues for over a year, the firm obtained an arbitration award for two private equity fund clients in a breach of contract case. BHB's clients were awarded broad injunctive relief and a sizable award of attorneys' fees, and the opposing party's counterclaims were all summarily dismissed. The private equity funds brought the arbitration to remedy various breaches of prior settlement agreements by a former business partner.
BHB CLIENTS NAMED MOST INNOVATIVE CONSUMER BRANDS OF 2016
Two of BHB's long-time clients were recently named by CircleUp as two of the 25 Most Innovative Consumer Brands of 2016. Austin, TX based Chameleon Cold Brew makes organic, fair trade and delicious cold brew coffee that was recently named the best cold brew coffee in America by Thrillist. Nulo, also hailing from Austin, makes small batch, natural pet food that helps pets stay active and healthy. Congratulations to Chameleon and Nulo!
BHB RESOLVES PRE-SUIT CLAIMS ALLEGING CLIENT'S BRAND NAME IS DECEPTIVE
The firm recently resolved a series of claims challenging our client's brand name as misleading. After an all-day mediation and protracted follow-on negotiations for almost a month, BHB secured an agreement that protected the client and its brand.
BHB SECURES PRE-ANSWER DISMISSAL OF LITIGATION AGAINST REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT CLIENT
BHB secured dismissal of claims concerning the acquisition and management of a commercial shopping center. Plaintiff had sued for breach of an asset management agreement in California Superior Court, claiming it was owed a substantial finder's fee, as well as management fees and cash flow from the property. BHB discovered, however, that Plaintiff had fraudulently sought to remove its client from the acquisition and had failed to perform diligence on the property. After threatening sanctions for the filing of false complaint, the case was favorably settled and dismissed.
BHB REPRESENTS INVESTOR IN SUIT AGAINST HEDGE FUND
BHB succeeded in dismissing claims against its pooled investment fund client, and obtained a ruling permitting breach of fiduciary duty and contract claims to proceed against New York-based hedge fund. BHB represents a wide array of hedge fund, private equity, and other financial services firms in business and investment disputes in New York, California, and Delaware.
BHB DEFENDS FOOD CLIENTS FROM THREATENED CLASS ACTIONS
BHB represents dozens of highly branded food product companies who are frequently targeted by plaintiff's lawyers looking for their next class action payday. In the past few months, BHB has responded to numerous demand letters threatening putative class actions for allegedly false labeling, including claims that products are deceptively labeled "all natural" or make misleading health claims. BHB's detailed and informed response to these demands allowed the cases to be resolved quickly and without distraction and expense.
BHB SECURES RELIEF FOR CLIENTS IN IMPACT AND PRO BONO LITIGATION
We are proud of our impact and pro bono practice. In recent months, the firm:
• Negotiated a settlement for a low-income, protected class victim of contractor fraud in West Oakland.
• Represented an Eritrean refugee in obtaining housing benefits and services which had previously been wrongfully denied.
• Counseled an international women's rights organization.
• Represented a prisoner in an excessive force civil rights suit in federal court.
• Advised a non-profit trade association that promotes plant based foods.
• Secured public records related to environmental water abuse on behalf of the Animal Legal Defense Fund.
• Represented a United Nations official on freedom of association and assembly litigation in the U.S.
• Continued to advocate in state and federal court on cases involving the non-profit California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform.
BHB HELPS POLICYHOLDERS SECURE COVERAGE FOR LIABILITY CLAIMS
Even when an insurance company drags its feet or initially refuses to cover a liability claim, BHB frequently is still able to help its clients secure insurance benefits. In a recent case, when a driver for a healthy food delivery startup was involved in a serious auto accident, the company was concerned that the amount of potential recovery might exceed the limits of the company's auto insurance policy. BHB helped secure a settlement within the insurance policy limits to avoid a potential excess exposure, and advised the client on how to improve its insurance protection going forward. In another case, the client's insurer balked at defending a professional liability suit. BHB helped obtain a defense of the suit at the insurer's expense.
BHB'S RESIDENT DUMPING SUIT GAINS NATIONAL ATTENTION
BHB's impact litigation against the State of California to end nursing home resident dumping was recently featured in an article in The Atlantic by Anna Gorman and in a 7-minute radio segment on NPR by Ina Jaffe. BHB brought this case because the State does not enforce federal laws preventing facilities from dumping their poorest and sickest residents into hospitals to make space for more "lucrative" clients. As a result, many individuals are being warehoused in hospital beds, causing devastating injury to the residents and their loved ones and costing Californians over $70 million in unnecessary hospitalization costs.
LAW360'S COVERAGE OF BHB'S LATEST CLASS ACTION DEFENSE VICTORY
Law360 recently covered the firm's achievement in "crumbl[ing] a proposed class action" against a long-time BHB client. The dismissal is just the latest successful result BHB has obtained as part of its growing class action defense practice-to date the firm has defeated over 40 class actions, with not a single class certified against its clients. Read the article about the dismissal in Law360. The opinion dismissing the claims can be found here.
NINTH CIRCUIT SIGNALS MORE ACTIVE ROLE FOR DISTRICT COURTS IN POLICING IMPLAUSIBLE LABELING CLAIMS
The Daily Journal recently published our article about a recent Ninth Circuit decision directing district court judges to use their real world experience and common sense to ferret out frivolous claims at the pleading stage. The article focuses on how the Court’s decision in Ebner v. Fresh Inc., 13-56644 (March 17, 2016) will embolden more district courts to dismiss such cases at their inception, before defendants are forced to incur significant litigation costs defending against such suits.
FOOD NAVIGATOR PROFILES BHB'S NEW PRACTICE GROUP
An interview in Food Navigator highlights BHB’s new practice group providing general counsel services to food, beverage and other consumer products companies. Many companies “adopt a piecemeal, after-the-fact approach after they have gone to market, and fail to understand how important an IP could be in raising money, and selling the business further down the line. We want to offer a preventative care practice.” Defending against labeling claims continues to be a core part of the practice. “Pretty much every large food company has been hit with labeling litigation and plaintiff’s lawyers are now hitting smaller and smaller companies; we’ve seen demand letters to very very small food companies, and that can be really damaging to a company that’s just starting out.”
NEW VERMONT GMO LABELING LAW'S IMPACT ON FOOD MANUFACTURER'S LABELING PRACTICES
A Vermont law which requires labeling for most human food products containing genetically modified ingredients is set to go into effect in July 2016 and has many food products companies scrambling as they decide how to adapt their labeling. In an article in Food Navigator, BHB discusses the implications of Vermont’s new labeling law: “There is no current consensus in the industry on how companies will comply with the law in Vermont. A practical approach could have been for retailers to sticker products before they go on the shelf, but the law has disincentivized that. Retailers are not generally responsible for compliance, but the law provides that if retailers choose to sticker, they could be rendered ‘manufacturers’ under the law and liable for compliance. Therefore, unless companies can tightly segregate their distribution, they may choose to label nationwide.” BHB’s new practice group providing general counsel services to food companies is currently advising clients on this issue.
BHB LOOKS AT NINTH CIRCUIT BALANCING ACT IN "ALL NATURAL" CLASS ACTION
A Daily Journal article authored by BHB attorneys, Andrew Levine delves into some current legal issues surrounding class actions and "all natural" lawsuits in the Ninth Circuit. In an attempt to balance a putative class plaintiff's right to precertification discovery with local rules requiring that motions for certification be filed within a set time period, the Ninth Circuit revived a putative class action that likely could never be certified and cautioned that districts courts should be careful not to use such rules to close the certification gate on plaintiffs before they have a reasonable opportunity to obtain necessary precertification discovery.
LEGAL ANALYSIS BY BHB LITIGATORS: NFL LEARNED FROM ITS DISTRICT COURT FUMBLES IN DEFLATEGATE
An article by Noah Hagey, Greg Call and Eva Schueller in Sports, Employment, New York and Appellate Law360 explores the legal story of the NFL’s fumble in its handling of the Deflategate case and its attempts to punish Tom Brady. Deflategate is only part of a surprising and ongoing pattern by the NFL of mishandling challenges to its decisions. While the NFL is broadly considered a “top modern storyteller,” it has repeatedly failed in presenting its side of the story and has shown a lack of understanding of how to win its own arbitration cases.
NPR FEATURES BHB'S SUIT AGAINST THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA TO PREVENT ILLEGAL NURSING HOME EVICTIONS
As part of the ongoing coverage of a lawsuit we filed in November against the state of California on behalf of evicted nursing home residents, veteran NPR correspondent Ina Jaffe reports on the case for Morning Edition:
BHB PREVAILS AGAINST “FOOD PLAINTIFF” FIRM KNOWN FOR RECYCLING PLAINTIFFS AND FILING FRIVOLOUS DUPLICATIVE CUT-AND-PASTE CLASS ACTION COMPLAINTS
BHB obtained dismissal of mislabeling claims asserted in a proposed class action against long-time client B&G Foods, Inc. The Court found that B&G’s labeling complied with FDA regulations and Plaintiff’s labeling claims were “expressly preempted” by federal law. A California Federal Court also stayed the remaining “use” claims, pending further guidance from the FDA. Well before receiving Plaintiff’s demand letter, B&G Foods had already begun phasing out the ingredients at issue, and had removed the subject labeling from its products, even though, as the Court found, the labeling fully complied with FDA regulations. Nonetheless, Plaintiff’s counsel demanded a mid-six-figure settlement in exchange for not filing suit. When B&G Foods refused to pay pizzo for protection from class litigation, Plaintiff’s counsel filed a class complaint. Plaintiff, a serial litigator who has been involved in nearly 30 lawsuits (including one in which he claimed to have created the cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants), has acted as class representative in other frivolous labeling cases brought by the same firm against food products companies. The Court’s ruling followed California and Ninth Circuit precedent dismissing identical false labeling claims, and echoes a trend of dismissals of similar shakedown efforts by “food plaintiff” attorneys whose misconduct has increasingly served as the basis for malicious prosecution claims. Read the article about the dismissal in Law360. The opinion can be found here. This dismissal is the latest victory for BHB in a series of over 40 class actions that the firm has successfully defeated. On BHB’s watch, not a single class has ever been certified against a firm client.
BHB LEGAL JUSTICE FELLOWSHIP: PASSIONATE ABOUT PRO BONO AND IMPACT LITIGATION?
BHB is looking to hire a Legal Justice Fellow in our San Francisco office to assist the firm's active impact litigation practice. This mid-level attorney will be responsible for litigating impact cases and coordinating the firm's pro bono opportunities. The firm will continue to focus on bringing actions to resolve systemic unlawful activity, help under-served communities, work with the government on qui tam matters, defend statutes against constitutional challenge, and/or strike down unjust laws. Current and past firm areas of focus have included elder abuse, environmental protection and indigent defense. Candidates should have significant litigation experience with a top national law firm, passion for litigation, and a commitment to public interest work. For more information and to apply, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
LESSONS IN M&A FROM THE DOLE DECISION
Noah Hagey's and Greg Call's "In Practice" column for The Recorder outlines essential takeways from the recent Dole decision in the Delaware Court of Chancery. The court ruled that the 2013 $1.2 billion management buyout of the Dole Food Co., the second largest award ever by a Delaware court in connection with an M&A transaction, was not fair enough. "The Delaware Court of Chancery opinions arguably have more impact on San Francisco and Silicon Valley companies than even our own state and federal courts. This is because Delaware has long been and remains the preferred state of incorporation for California-based companies, from startups to established Fortune 500 firms. . . . The Delaware Court of Chancery is seen by most corporate lawyers as management-friendly, predictable and highly skeptical of outsized shareholder claims. For the most part, Chancery Court opinions support this perception—except when they don't."
BHB FILES CANHR LAWSUIT AGAINST STATE OF CALIFORNIA TO STOP ILLEGAL DUMPING OF NURSING HOME RESIDENTS
As reported in Reuters, NPR affiliate station Southern California Public Radio, Sacramento's Business Journal, and McKnights, the firm filed a lawsuit in federal court in San Francisco against Secretary of the California Department of Health & Human Services to stop illegal nursing home resident dumping. The suit alleges that the agencies overseen by Secretary Dooley are willfully ignoring federal laws that require the State to provide for “prompt readmission” of nursing home residents who have been temporarily hospitalized. The State affords displaced residents a readmission hearing as required by federal law, but does nothing to enforce the readmission orders issued by its officers. Because there is no consequence for doing so, many nursing homes refuse to re-admit long-term residents they have sent to hospitals to increase profits and make space for more lucrative short-term Medicare and private pay residents. As a result, these residents are warehoused in more expensive hospital beds, which causes “cruel and irreparable injury” to the residents and has cost Californians over $70 million in unnecessary hospitalization costs. The suit seeks an injunction to prohibit the State from continuing to violate federal law and other equitable relief. Matthew Borden is representing the plaintiffs, the non-profit California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR) and three nursing home residents.
BHB PRESENTATION ON LEGAL CHALLENGES OF FOOD LABELING AT PERRIN CONFERENCE
Noah Hagey recently spoke to a group of national thought leaders in litigation about class action trends and labeling risk for consumer product companies at the Perrin Conference in Washington, D.C. Noah's presentation, Challenges Facing the Food and Beverage Industries in Complex Consumer Litigations, addressed the inclusion of seemingly benign, but often legally-challenging labeling terms like natural, fresh, healthy, and artisanal. He noted that while the use of those terms pose intrinsic risk, many viable alternatives exist. BHB has years of experience helping highly-branded food clients navigate potential labeling pitfalls. Visit the firm's blog, FoodFights for the latest on legal issues in branding, labeling and manufacturing food products.
BLOOMBERG RADIO FEATURES INTERVIEW WITH MATT BORDEN
Matthew Borden is interviewed on Bloomberg Radio about his impact litigation lawsuit on behalf of his client, former nursing home resident Aleah Davis. Listen to the interview:
FDA REQUESTS PUBLIC COMMENTS ON USE OF TERM 'NATURAL' ON FOOD LABELS
In Food Navigator, BHB discusses the FDA's request for public comments on the use of the term "natural" on food labels: "This is definitely big news, and should be welcome news to the food industry. It will likely put an end to the many class actions over 'natural' labeling — the same way many lawsuits over 'evaporated cane juice' labeling were dismissed on the basis of primary jurisdiction after the FDA asked for comments on that term."
PROVING CLASSWIDE DAMAGES IN CALIFORNIA POST-TOBACCO II
Law360's Expert Analysis recently featured an article by Noah Hagey and Matthew Borden about Tobacco II's false advertising class action litigation. The California Court of Appeal held that, in the absence of competent proof from plaintiffs, the trial court had no discretion to simply make up an amount of "restitution" for harm caused to plaintiffs by allegedly false advertising regarding the health effects of defendants' "light" cigarettes. As the article explains, the ruling has broad implications for the growing number of food and "Made in the USA" labeling cases that have inundated California courts in recent years: "If those experts were unable to establish a valid methodology for proving mislabeling damages against tobacco companies-who were alleged to have knowingly and falsely marketed cancer-causing products as safe for several decades-what realistic chance does a plaintiff have of proving damages in other false advertising cases where the consumer retains some benefit from a product, e.g., a snack food labeled as 'natural,' when it supposedly is not?"
BUSINESS BEWARE: A NEW CLASS OF CALIFORNIA SUPPLY CHAIN DISCLOSURE SUITS
The 2010 California Transparency in Supply Chains Act has created new risks for companies with more than $100 million in sales. Under the law, these companies are required to disclose the efforts they take to eradicate slavery and human trafficking from their supply chain. In their recent article in International Trade and Retail Law360, Noah Hagey discusses recent class actions that have been filed against food companies for alleged false representations under the law.
BHB SECURES DISMISSAL OF CLASS COMPLAINT AGAINST YELP
In September 2015, BHB secured a quick dismissal for Yelp and its online food delivery service, Eat24, in one of a number of recent high profile class actions attacking the shared economy and companies such as Uber and Lyft. Plaintiffs filed a class complaint in the Northern District of California challenging Eat24's business model. Eat24 is an online platform that allows users to order food and have it delivered by independent drivers. Plaintiffs claimed they made deliveries and did not receive tips paid by customers and that the drivers should be classified as employees. BHB learned, however, that Eat24 has no contract with Plaintiffs and did not retain any tips. These facts were pivotal to the case. Rather than pursue a typical motion to dismiss, BHB served a Rule 11 demand letter upon Plaintiffs' counsel and after several weeks of negotiation, Plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed the action.
FIRM SECURES DISMISSAL
Noah Hagey and Andrew Levine secured dismissal of New York litigation brought against private equity firm clients.
BHB PROTECTS CLIENT'S TRADEMARK FROM INFRINGING COMPETITOR
As part of its trademark practice, the firm protected a long-standing client's brand name from a would-be competitor's infringing tagline. After discovering that the competitor was using an infringing tagline in the market and had submitted a USPTO application which included the tagline, the firm promptly moved to protect our client's, SkinnyPop Popcorn, mark. Before suit was filed, the competitor agreed to amend its application and withdraw the infringing tagline from the market. BHB has obtained similar favorable and quick results for SkinnyPop against nearly a dozen would-be infringers, allowing our client exclusive dominion over the use of SKINNY-formative marks in its market.
LABELING CLASS ACTION AND NON-GMO FALSE ADVERTISING CLAIM
BHB discussed the PopCorners "all-natural" labeling class action and commented on the legal implications of non-GMO false advertising claims as it relates to the Chipotle GMO lawsuit in Food Navigator.
BHB ADVISES ON RISKS OF EARLY-STAGE ANGEL INVESTING AT ASPEN INSTITUTE CONFERENCE
Noah Hagey and Greg Call led a workshop for international business and community leaders at Heathspottr's annual Aspen Institute retreat. The workshop explored litigation risks and tools for angel and early-stage VC investing. Healthspottr's annual conference at the Aspen Institute brings together over 150 health professionals, entrepreneurs, investors, business and thought leaders who are committed to healthcare transformation.
EMMY WIN FOR INVESTIGATIVE SEGMENT ABOUT BRAUNHAGEY & BORDEN IMPACT LITIGATION CASE
“Overmedicated and Misinformed,” KCET Media Group’s investigative piece featuring Matthew Borden and his client Aleah Davis has won an Emmy for best “Information Segment” in the Television Academy‘s 67th Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards. The piece explores impact litigation brought by BHB to stop the misuse of psychotropic drugs at 55 skilled nursing facilities in California.
BHB PROTECTS HEDGE FUND CLIENT'S RIGHTS IN MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR BANKRUPTCY
The firm represented a New York-based hedge fund client in a bondholder dispute arising out of the multi-billion dollar Energy Future Holdings bankruptcy in Delaware. BHB's client, York Capital, along with four other EFH unsecured bondholders, brought an adversary proceeding against another creditor, Fidelity, regarding a $400 million dispute among bondholders. York and its co-plaintiffs were represented by joint counsel in the adversary proceeding and on appeal. In November 2015, without York's consent, counsel filed a joint dismissal of the appeal after two of the bondholders reached a settlement with Fidelity that would have deprived York of valuable rights in the EFH bankruptcy worth hundreds of millions of dollars. When York learned of the proposed settlement and dismissal, it retained BHB to represent it, to disqualify plaintiffs' counsel from representing any of York's co-plaintiffs, and to challenge the validity of the stipulation. Within days, the firm secured a favorable settlement which protected York's interests in the EFH bankruptcy.
VICTORY FOR INVESTMENT FUND CLIENT IN EXPEDITED $100-PLUS MILLION LP DISPUTE IN DELAWARE CHANCERY
The firm represented an investment vehicle of Strategic Value Partners (“SVP”) in litigation in Delaware Chancery Court to enjoin a $100-plus million recapitalization and third party acquisition. Over a four day period, the firm prepared and filed a verified complaint and application for a temporary restraining order and standstill. Opposing parties retained counsel from Paul Weiss and Quinn Emmanuel, including a former Delaware Vice-Chancellor. The case settled promptly in favor of SVP on favorable terms.
CLASS ACTIONS: NOT IN BHB'S COURT
This summer the firm has dismissed and resolved six false advertising class action cases for several highly branded clients. BHB continues to be retrained in response to the growing wave of frivolous false advertising class action suits against personal care and food companies in California and around the country. In recent years, BHB has dismissed or favorably resolved over 40 class actions in courts around the country, and no class has ever been certified against any firm client.
WALL STREET JOURNAL FEATURES BHB INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY SUIT BY HEDGE FUND CLIENT ASHBURY HEIGHTS CAPITAL
As reported in the Wall Street Journal, firm client and investment management company Ashbury Heights Capital is pressing forward with claims regarding its patented trading technology. The defendants, which include publicly traded firm FactSet, contest the scope of damages and their licensing agreement with Ashbury Heights. BHB defeated the defendants' motion to compel arbitration and San Francisco Superior Court has permitted the matter to proceed. A trial date is set for September 2016.
ONE CLIENT'S ADVICE ON HOW TO HIRE A GREAT LITIGATION FIRM
How do sophisticated clients retain effective and value-added litigation counsel for complex disputes? In this article in Corporate Counsel, a prominent lawyer who has served as general counsel for publicly traded companies and acquisition targets provides his advice on retaining outside counsel with a five-point Hiring Checklist, using his relationship with BHB as an exemplar.
LONGTIME CLIENT VEGA EXITS FOR $500+ MILLION
Longtime firm client Vega, makers of plant-based nutrition products, was recently acquired by WhiteWave foods. BHB served as the company's outside litigation and products liability counsel, and helped advise as part of the sale. Congratulations to Vega on joining Silk, So Delicious, Horizon Organic, and Earthbound Farm as part of WhiteWave's stable of wholesome food and beverage offerings. Read about the sale in Bloomberg Business.
MULTIMILLION-DOLLAR LITIGATION SETTLEMENT FOR PRIVATE EQUITY STARTUP
Obtained a substantial cash settlement and track record recognition for private equity firm and its principal in a dispute with a former hedge fund. The newly launched fund is in the process of raising a $100 million seed fund focused on energy sector investments. The firm has successfully represented numerous private equity and hedge funds in business divorce, carried interest, and track record disputes.
BHB'S NEWEST PARTNER - NY AND SF LITIGATOR ANDREW LEVINE
BHB is pleased to announce Andrew Levine's promotion to partner. Since joining the firm, Andrew has been an indispensable asset, strategically litigating on behalf of high profile clients in sectors including biotech, hedge fund, and international shipping.
BHB WIN FOR TECH COMPANY AGAINST SPAM TROLL
Obtained a confidential cash settlement for San Francisco-based social media client in response to CAN-SPAM and Computer Fraud and Abuse Act violations by an international advertising agency. The firm successfully prevailed on several rounds of motion practice challenging the Court's jurisdiction, leading to a favorable resolution.
BHB EARNS PRO BONO VICTORY IN STOPPING ELDER ABUSE
Halted the forced eviction of an elderly and severely ill nursing home patient. Federal and state laws forbid the eviction of nursing home residents due to the expiration of federal Medicare benefits or other change in payment method, but this has not stopped unscrupulous facilities from trying. Within hours of BHB's letter informing the facility of the illegality of its actions, the facility dropped its eviction plans.
NEW YORK ARBITRATION SUCCESS
Obtained complete victory for its publicly traded client in a post-merger and acquisition business arbitration in New York. BHB is routinely asked to represent business in complex arbitration and litigation matters involving the aftermath of business acquisitions and separations.
BHB REPRESENTS KRAVE IN HERSHEY'S SALE
Represented KRAVE and its founder in connection with Hershey's high-profile acquisition of the Sonoma startup. BHB represented KRAVE on intellectual property and commercial matters as part of the sale process.
PROFILE OF MANAGING PARTNER IN LAWDRAGON
Lawdragon profiled firm Noah Hagey to shed some light on how the firm got started, his motivation as an attorney, and how he evolved into the litigator he is today.
NY COURT ALLOWS INVESTMENT SUIT TO PROCEED
BHB's investment fund client has prevailed in two actions in New York against a hedge fund manager and others accused of breaching fiduciary duties. BHB succeeded in dismissing claims against the client, and obtained a ruling permitting its affirmative case to proceed. BHB represents a diverse array of hedge fund, private equity, and other financial services firms in business and investment disputes in New York, California, and Delaware.
APPELLATE VICTORY FOR NONPROFIT
Prevailed on a state court appeal on behalf of nonprofit California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR) upholding a trial court's refusal to compel arbitration. The victory is part of the firm's longstanding pro bono relationship with CANHR to prevent nursing homes from abusing their power over vulnerable residents.
SETTLEMENT FOR INVESTMENT ADVISOR
Obtained a pre-suit cash settlement in a business dispute between investment adviser client and an international broker-dealer.
Obtained permanent injunction on behalf of highly-branded popcorn company in Illinois federal district court to prevent competing company's infringement of trade name.
Dismissed with prejudice false advertising class action against food client in San Francisco federal court. BHB has now dismissed or favorably settled over 20 consumer class actions without a class ever certified against any firm client.
Retained to represent New York-based hedge fund in billion dollar bondholder litigation arising out of EFH/TXU's pending $40+ billion bankruptcy in Delaware.
Matt Borden spoke about arbitration issues at an elder law conference in Monterey and was featured in an eight-minute television segment about BHB's groundbreaking chemical restraint litigation.
Bill Campbell, BHB's resident insurance litigation guru, published two chapters in the 2014 update to the treatise California Liability Insurance Practice.
Secured dismissal with prejudice of shareholder lawsuit brought by client's co-founder in Los Angeles federal district court.
Obtained cash settlement for inventor and business co-founder in connection with partnership dispute involving medical technology company.
Noah Hagey co-chaired the ACI Food and Beverage Conference's discussion of class action developments in food litigation in Chicago.
Defeated motion to compel arbitration of CAN-SPAM claims brought by social media client against a leading spam campaign organizer. The issue is now on appeal to the 9th Circuit.
Obtained favorable cash settlement for EFT trading client in business liquidation case pending in San Francisco state court.
Dismissed declaratory relief trademark suit brought by competing food company, and obtained stipulation by competitor to withdraw infringing trademark application.
Settled food company's contract litigation against its former marketing agency in Miami federal district court.
Secured pre-litigation trademark injunctions against several infringers of client trademarks.
Obtained 7-figure settlement in favor of a California food company in an unfair competition dispute.
Appointed lead counsel and obtained preliminary approval of a class settlement protecting thousands of elderly California victims of a nursing chain's misuse of psychotropic drugs. The settlement is the first of its kind and will provide unprecedented protections against chemical restraints in over 35 nursing facilities across the State.
Noah Hagey, Matt Borden and Bill Campbell were recognized as California SuperLawyers, a distinction awarded to less than 5% of California attorneys in 2014. The award supplements BHB's recognition as a Tier 1 "Best Law Firm" for commercial litigation firm by U.S. News & World Report.
BHB filed an amicus appellate brief in support of the non-profit, California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, seeking to uphold State laws protecting millions of nursing home residents from unconscionable admissions agreements.
Settled Proposition 65 toxic tort litigation for a fraction of claimed damages.
Matt Borden spearheaded the firm's relationships with the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, and AARP.
Advised financial investors and creditors regarding litigation trust units in the ResCap bankruptcy and bondholder cram-down (up) concerns in TXU's burgeoning insolvency.
U.S. News & World Report has ranked BraunHagey & Borden as a Tier 1 “Best Law Firm” for commercial litigation in its 2014 Law Firm Rankings edition.
Matt Borden spoke about impact litigation strategies for redressing misuse of psychotropic drugs at nursing facilities at CANHR's annual conference.
Secured dismissal of six putative false advertising class actions seeking over $20 million in damages against a California food company.
In an international supplier dispute, BraunHagey & Borden procures a full dismissal with prejudice of contract, fraud and unfair competition claims against our client.
California federal judge dismisses a false advertising class action suit against BraunHagey & Borden client Tetley USA Inc in Law360.
Secured sizable commercial settlement in litigation against publicly-traded defense contractor.
Resolved a $30-plus million toxic tort and personal injury action against the firm’s publicly traded technology client.
Won 8-figure resolution for hedge fund client and its managers in highly publicized fraud case.
The Daily Journal, California’s leading daily legal newspaper, discusses BraunHagey & Borden’s rise as a litigation boutique powerhouse. The article explores the origins of the firm and includes interviews with firm clients, competitors and partners.
Noah Hagey selected to compete for the USA Men’s Master’s Basketball team in the Maccabi Games in Israel this summer. Mr. Hagey, who played D-III college basketball and baseball at Trinity University, is one of 12 players on the team, which is coached by 18-year NBA player and Syracuse legend Danny Schayes. The Maccabi Games is the second largest athletic event in the world (after the Olympics), featuring over 9,000 athletes from 71 countries. The opening ceremonies on July 18 are broadcast live on Israeli national television. For more information or to support Team USA, visit the organization’s website.
Achieved 7-figure settlement of qui tam case. Whistleblower action on behalf of government client successfully resolved regarding outsourcing of city security services.
Protected California elderly from illegal drugging and obtained a first-of-its kind settlement for class of California residents that includes a sweeping injunction to prevent overuse of psychotropic drugs in nursing facilities. The settlement is pending court approval in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Prevailed in obtaining final order barring all contribution and indemnity claims against law firm client in multi-million legal malpractice and insurance bad faith case.
Supreme Court of Delaware upholds Court of Chancery's 2012 ruling awarding more than $35 million in damages to BraunHagey & Borden clients in fraud and breach of fiduciary duty litigation.
Represented former investor in Kentfield fund fraud; case profiled for Marin Independent Journal.
San Diego city officials are subpoenaed to testify in a BraunHagey & Borden whistleblower suit alleging that city help-desk services were outsourced in violation of "no offshoring" contract provision in The Daily Transcript and ABC 10News.
The First District Court of Appeal rules that multi-state corporations doing business in California are paying too much income tax. Matthew Borden represented the Council on State Taxation, a Chamber of Commerce-affiliated organization that was one of several amici curiae in the case.
Initiated action against online gaming company for failure to pay an $18 million commission to its trademark developers for their comprehensive licensing strategy, as reported in Courthouse News.
Celebrated our three year anniversary with a party honoring City Hall Fellows founder Bethany Rubin Henderson. Bethany was named one of the 40 under 40 progressive political entrepreneurs by the New Leaders Council. Her San Francisco program won awards in 2011 from the National League of Cities and American City and County Magazine.
Moved into new office space at 220 Sansome, taking over entire floor of historic Class A office building in San Francisco's financial district. The office is conveniently located across the street from the former Pacific Coast Stock Exchange and next to the International Mandarin Hotel.
Obtained significant auditor liability ruling, ordering claims to proceed against hedge fund's former accountants.
Noah Hagey featured on Bloomberg West television discussing potential SEC enforcement issues with Groupon’s pending IPO.
Following a two week federal trial in San Francisco, BHB obtained multi-million dollar settlement on eve of closing argument.
Noah Hagey featured on Bloomberg West television discussed securities law developments affecting Groupon’s filing for initial public offering.
Obtained favorable 6-figure settlement for engineering client in trade secret defamation lawsuit pending in San Francisco federal court.
Greg Call joins BraunHagey & Borden from Franklin Templeton, where he served as in-house corporate litigation counsel. Greg was previously associated with Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco and Cravath Swaine & Moore in New York in US News & World Report's Law Firm Insider.
Successfully represented leading international architecture firm in design dispute over new Smithsonian African American History Museum in Washington, D.C.
Sponsored the 2010 Deathride, a 133 mile, 15,000 feet of climbing, single day bike race in California’s sierra mountains.
Advised on litigation risk in $90 million private equity transaction of health supplement company.
Secured favorable dismissal of $300 million Lanham Act unfair competition lawsuit brought in Tennessee federal court.
Overturned previously granted patent on the sale of memorabilia in baseball card packs. Case was won in the Federal Circuit on behalf of baseball card manufacturer Upper Deck.
Matt Borden joins BraunHagey. Matt was formerly associated with Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco and served as a law clerk to Hon. William Alsup of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
Obtained favorable settlement of federal whistleblower claims against private equity firm client in premium beverage industry space.
Secured favorable dismissal and no-pay settlement of $20 million claim pending against client Snack Factory in New Jersey federal court.
Secured dismissal of twelve highly-publicized class actions against Pirate Brands (makers of Pirate’s Booty snacks) pending in federal and state court in Pennsylvania, Florida, New York, New Jersey and California.
Won class certification dismissal of California class action against client Pirate Brands (makers of Pirate’s Booty snacks).
Firm founded by Noah (Braun) Hagey, formerly associated with Quinn Emanuel in New York and San Francisco.