Representative Cases

Business Litigation

  • CA Metro Plaza Limited Partnership v. Skjerven Morrill LLP, et al. (Santa Clara County Superior Court) Represented group of partners from dissolved law firm in defense of a breach of fiduciary duty suit brought by their former partners. Settlement.
  • Chill Chain, Inc. v. Berkeley Farms, Dean Foods Company (San Francisco County Superior Court). Represented Berkeley Farms and Dean Foods in breach of contract action against former distributor and in defense of antitrust and price discrimination claims brought by distributor. Obtained summary judgment on all substantive claims.
  • Cortese Properties v. Chevron Corp. (Private Arbitration) Represented Chevron in the two-week private arbitration of a multi-million dollar construction delay claim based on remediation of a former service station site.
  • Hat v. HomeFed (Madera County Superior Court) Represented real estate developer in a lawsuit involving a 2,000 acre wine grape vineyard. Former owner who stayed on as tenant attempted to reverse sale and to recover millions of grape stakes from the ranch. The developer prevailed in a two-week jury trial.
  • Kammerer v. Charles Collins, et al. (San Francisco County Superior Court) Represented Millennium Partners, a real estate developer, in commercial litigation involving the Sony Metreon Development. Client was awarded summary judgment and $515,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs.
  • Roseville Telephone Company, et al. v. AirTouch Cellular Inc. (U.S.D.C. E.D. Cal.) Represented AirTouch (now Verizon Wireless) in a partnership dispute related to the right to provide wireless services in the Sacramento Valley.
  • Sacramento Container Corporation v. Temple Inland (Sacramento Superior Court) Represented Temple Inland in a multi-million dollar commercial dispute involving an alleged joint venture to supply paper products to a national account.
  • San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District v. Underwriting Members of Lloyds’ Syndicates (San Mateo Superior Court) Represented BART, a public transit service, in suing underwriters for bad faith denial of insurance coverage. Settlement.

Class and Representative Actions

  • Aana, et al. v. Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc. (U.S.D.C. Hawai’i) Represent DuPont Pioneer (formerly Pioneer Hi-Bred) in mass nuisance claim concerning dust allegedly blown from research farm onto a nearby community.
  • Barbara’s Bakery class actions (U.S.D.C. N.D. Cal. and E.D.N.Y., and Cal. Sup. Ct.) Represented health foods manufacturers in a national class action lawsuit brought by purchasers alleging “all natural” foods were false and misleading because they allegedly contained genetically modified ingredients and synthetic ingredients. The matter settled on a national class basis.
  • Castaneda v. Burger King Corporation; Vallabhapurapu v. Burger King Corporation; Newport v. Burger King Corporation (U.S.D.C. N.D. Cal.). California counsel for Burger King in statewide class actions under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • George v. BART (U.S.D.C. N.D. Cal. and U.S.C.A. 9th Cir.) Represented BART, a public transit agency, in an accessibility lawsuit wherein visually impaired riders demanded the main path through stations be made accessible, in addition to an accessible route already in place. The Ninth Circuit found that BART satisfied the federal Americans with Disabilities Act by complying with existing Department of Transportation guidelines requiring only one accessible route. The decision was published at 577 F.3d 1005 (9th Cir. 2009).
  • Isaac v. ConocoPhillips Company (Los Angeles County Superior Court). Currently represent ConocoPhillips in putative national class action under California Consumer Legal Remedies Act and Unfair Competition Law.
  • Soto v. Castlerock Farming and Transport, Inc. (U.S.D.C. E.D. Cal.) Represent a table grape grower in putative wage-and-hour class action. Class certification denied.

Employment

  • Cordovano v. Sears Roebuck and Co. (San Francisco AAA Arbitration) Represented Sears through a binding arbitration in a representative employment classification, antitrust, franchise, fraud, breach of contract, and unfair business practice action attacking Sears’ nationwide Authorized Retail Dealership Program.
  • Cash & Schwind v. Chevron (U.S.D.C. N.D. Cal.) Represented Chevron in case alleging discrimination and retaliation on the basis of race and disability. Favorable verdict followed by settlement.
  • Davis v. Pacific Bell Telephone Company (Contra Costa County Superior Court). Appeared on behalf of Pacific Bell shortly before trial as lead trial counsel in racial discrimination action. After arguing summary judgment motion and motions in limine, case settled.
  • Kennedy v. Chevron (Cal. Sup. Ct.) Represented Chevron in alleged retaliatory termination case brought by alleged safety whistle blower. Defense verdict.
  • Summers v. ConocoPhillips Company (U.S.D.C. C.D. Cal.) Defended ConocoPhillips in a racial discrimination and retaliation lawsuit. Defense verdict.

Environmental

  • Adelhelm, et al. v. Union Oil, et al. (Santa Barbara Superior Court) Represented ConocoPhillips in a series of homeowner litigations involving real estate developments on former oil fields in Santa Maria, California.
  • Barrous v. British Petroleum, et al. (U.S.D.C. N.D. Cal.). Represented BP and other defendants in an environmental contamination lawsuit brought by a neighbor of a service station in San Jose. Case settled after motions in limine were filed.
  • County of Santa Clara, et al. v. Atlantic Richfield Company, et al. (Santa Clara County Superior Court) Represent DuPont in action brought on behalf of 10 governmental entities in California alleging multi-billion dollar claims for alleged remediation of lead paint. Three of the five defendants were held joint and severally liable. DuPont received a defense verdict.
  • Emeryville Redevelopment Agency v. Chevron (Alameda Superior Court) Represented Chevron U.S.A. Inc. in an eight figure environmental contamination lawsuit involving a former bulk terminal in Emeryville.
  • People of California v. ARCO, et al. (Sacramento Superior Court) Represented ConocoPhillips in a government enforcement action seeking nine figures in statutory penalties for various UST violations and MTBE contamination throughout Sacramento County.
  • Zelikowsky v. ConocoPhillips Company (Los Angeles County Superior Court) Represented ConocoPhillips (now Phillips 66) in environmental contamination lawsuit brought by a neighbor of a gasoline terminal in Los Angeles. The case settled during motion in limine practice.

Franchise Litigation

  • Chevron U.S.A. Inc. v. M&M Petroleum, Inc. (S.D. Cal. and 9th Circuit) Represented Chevron in franchise termination litigation. Judgment for Chevron (including award of attorneys’ fees) affirmed on appeal.
  • Fazli v. ConocoPhillips Company (U.S.D.C. N.D. Cal. and U.S.C.A. 9th Cir.). Represented ConocoPhillips in action by former franchisee alleging improper franchise nonrenewal. Obtained summary judgment in trial court, then successfully briefed and argued appeal in Ninth Circuit.
  • Houtan Petroleum Corporation v. ConocoPhillips Company (U.S.D.C. N.D. Cal.). Represented ConocoPhillips in action by former franchisee alleging improper franchise termination. Case proceeded to jury trial; obtained defense verdict and full recovery on ConocoPhillips’s counterclaims.
  • In re ConocoPhillips Service Station Rent Litigation (U.S.D.C. N.D. Cal.). Represented ConocoPhillips in Multi-District Litigation brought by California service station dealers challenging rent and other franchise policies. Obtained complete dismissal via dispositive motion.

Intellectual Property

  • E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company v. U.S.A. Performance Technology, Inc. (U.S.D.C. N.D. Cal.) Represent DuPont as plaintiff in theft of trade secrets case. Pending.
  • General Electric Co. v. Clontech Laboratories, Inc. (Santa Clara County Superior Court) Represented GE and a life sciences subsidiary to enforce a patent warranty obligation.
  • General Electric Co. v. Wilkins (E.D. Cal.) Represented General Electric in inventorship dispute.
  • Monster Cable Products v. Discovery Communications, Inc. (U.S.D.C. N.D. Cal.) Represented entertainment company in defense of trademark infringement claims associated with the use of the term “Monster” in connection with television programming.

Oil and Gas

  • Calpine Corporation v. EOG Resources (Solano County Superior Court) Represented EOG in an oil and gas dispute involving a transfer of mineral assets and a right of first refusal.

Personal Injury

  • Aamodt, et al. v. General Electric Company, et al. (San Diego County Superior Court) Represented GE in a personal injury action related to a dental x-ray machine.
  • Ismail v. General Electric Co. (Stanislaus County Superior Court) Represented GE in product liability burn injury case involving two year old. Defense verdict.
  • Scantlin v. General Electric Company (U.S.D.C. C.D. Cal.) Represented GE in defense of defective design personal injury lawsuit brought by an electrician who sustained third-degree burns over more than 65% of his body in an industrial accident. The case proceeded to a jury trial, where GE was awarded judgment as a matter of law at the conclusion of the plaintiffs’ case in chief.

Pro Bono

  • Smith v. Alabama (Alabama state courts) Represented an Alabama death row inmate in habeas corpus proceedings. Led investigation of evidence that could and should have been raised by the defense at the capital murder trial. After a week-long evidentiary hearing conducted by Mr. Hanlon and co-counsel Covington & Burling LLP, the state circuit court overturned both the guilty verdict and death sentence. The State appealed and the ruling was unanimously affirmed by the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals in State v. Smith, 85 So.3d 1063 (Ala. Ct. Crim. App. 2010). Shortly after exhaustion of the State’s appeals, Mr. Hanlon’s client was released on a time-served agreement.
  • In re James Robinson, Jr. on habeas corpus (Cal. Supreme Court) On-going representation of death row inmate regarding post-conviction matters.

Real Property

  • Hwang v. Federal Express (S.F. Sup. Ct.) Represent plaintiff in case involving theft of three luxury condominium properties by false deed. Pending.