honors + affiliations
Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers
California Lawyer of the Year Award 2002 & 2003
Former Director, Association of Business Trial Lawyers
Member, American Bar Association
Member, California Bar Association
U.S. Supreme Court Historical Society
Listed, Northern California Super Lawyer (2006)
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Central Districts of California
- U.S. Court of Appeals for Ninth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
- San Francisco
One Market, Spear Street Tower
San Francisco, CA 94105-1596
Franklin Brockway "Brock" Gowdy served as the Managing Partner of the San Francisco office from 2003 to 2011. Mr. Gowdy has also served as a member of the firm's Advisory Board since 2003. As a prominent member of Morgan Lewis's Litigation Practice Group, he is a trial lawyer specializing in complex litigation, especially securities, RICO, antitrust, copyright, trade secrets, patent, products liability, environmental and defense of professional malpractice cases. Mr. Gowdy has tried more than 100 cases since 1971 around the United States for Fortune 100 clients and prominent individuals in "mission critical" and "bet the company" type matters. He is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.
Mr. Gowdy has litigated class action cases since 1974, principally in antitrust and securities matters in courts all around the country. He has litigated and tried numerous cases around the country during the past 39 years. In the past 17 years, Mr. Gowdy has litigated at least 23 cases involving the telecommunications industry. During that time, he tried five of those cases, in Texas, Minnesota, Massachusetts, and California. Mr. Gowdy has also litigated and tried cases for plaintiffs and defendants since the late 1970s for clients such as Amfac Inc. and subsidiaries, Bechtel, Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, Mobay Chemical Corporation, Sears, Whirlpool, Pitney Bowes, Inc. and others.
Mr. Gowdy has a comprehensive knowledge of the complex issues and trends impacting the securities and financial services industries, as demonstrated by his successful representation of Coopers & Lybrands for over 20 years. His securities and antitrust litigation practice includes numerous representations in class-action and multi-district litigation; SEC, FTC, and USDJ inquiries and investigations; state regulatory investigations; and criminal Grand Juries and criminal cases.
Mr. Gowdy also has a record of retail industry experience. For over a decade, he handled virtually all litigation matters for Amfac, Inc. and its extensive retail operations. He also consulted with Apple in connection with their decision to commence retail operations in recent years.
In 2004, Mr. Gowdy was named "Attorney of the Year" by California Lawyer magazine in the Law Practice Management category. He was chosen for the award for his leadership and vision in bringing 250 partners, associates and staff to Morgan Lewis and opening three new offices in California. Winners of this prestigious award are selected based on their impact on the California legal community. This was Mr. Gowdy's second consecutive "Attorney of the Year" award. He was additionally honored in 2003 for civil litigation, in connection with his successful representation of Leigh Steinberg, one of the most well-known professional sports agents in the U.S., in a breach of contract and unfair competition case.
Mr. Gowdy is admitted to practice in California and before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Central Districts of California, the U.S. Court of Appeals for Ninth Circuit, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Mr. Gowdy's memberships include: Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the Securities Litigation and Antitrust Sections of the American Bar Association. He is also a member of the California and San Francisco Bar Associations, the Association of Business Trial Lawyers and the U.S. Supreme Court Historical Society.
Recent Trial Experience:
- Asahi Kasei Pharma Corp. v. CoTherix (International Court of Arbitration, California 2009) On December 21, 2009, an arbitration panel of the International Chamber of Commerce issued an award of over $91 million in favor of Morgan Lewis client Asahi Kasei Pharma Corporation, a Japanese pharmaceutical firm, for breach of a license agreement it entered into with CoTherix, a California-based pharmaceutical firm.
- Cisco Systems/Mosaic Systems Litigation (Santa Clara Superior, California, 2009). Mr. Gowdy was asked to try a breach of contract, trade secret misappropriation and unfair competition case. After the Court granted certain motions in limine, the cases settled with no payment by Cisco.
- Beverly Kanawi v. Bechtel Corporation, et al. (USDC, Northern District of California, San Francisco, 2008). Mr. Gowdy was asked to try an ERISA class action seeking over a billion dollars in alleged damages, but helped persuade Judge Breyer to grant summary judgment several weeks before trial.
- NeoNetworks, Inc. v. Cisco Systems, et al., (Hennepin County District Court, Minnesota, 2006). Mr. Gowdy was hired in early January 2006 to replace existing counsel in a trial for defendant Cisco in a $400,000,000 case involving alleged aiding and abetting of breaches of fiduciary duty/trade secret misappropriation, etc. Trial proceedings commenced in late February and concluded with a directed verdict at the end of plaintiff’s case in late April.
- Richard Ross v. Hewlett-Packard Company (Santa Clara Superior Court, California, 2007). In September of this year Mr. Gowdy was hired to retry a breach of contract case scheduled for October 22, 2007.
- Sputtered Films, Inc. v. Agilent Technologies, et al. (Santa Barbara Superior Court, California, 2006). Mr. Gowdy was asked to become lead counsel for defendants at trial in late October of 2006. Trial commenced in early November and involved trade secret/breach of contract claims. Settled mid-trial.
- Starcrest Products of California v. Publishers Clearing House (PCH) (USDC, Central District of California, Riverside, 2004). Mr. Gowdy was asked to be lead trial counsel in the summer of 2004. Case involved claims of alleged unfair competition and trade mark and trade dress infringement. Trial commenced in late August lasting four weeks. Court directed a verdict for PCH at the end of the case.
- Cisco Systems/Alcatel Litigation (various state and federal courts in the Eastern District of Texas, 2001–2003). Mr. Gowdy was asked to replace existing counsel in connection with various intellectual property claims—involving billions of dollars—brought against Cisco. Summary judgment was obtained on the eve of trial in 2002. Various cases from around the country then consolidated for “private adjudication” before former Chief Judge Robert Parker. A favorable, confidential result was achieved. Alcatel USA’s CEO and General Counsel resigned shortly thereafter.
- Steinberg Moorad & Dunn (SMD) v. David Dunn, et al. (USDC Central District, California, 2002). Mr. Gowdy was asked to replace existing counsel in representing the plaintiff in a case alleging breach of contract, unfair competition, breach of fiduciary duties, etc. The case was tried for seven weeks, resulting in verdict for SMD in the amount of $44.66 million—half of which was punitive damages.
- Lucent Technologies v. Daniel Tyman, et al. (USDC, Massachusetts, 2000). Mr. Gowdy was asked to replace existing counsel in representing ten employees who left Lucent to join Cisco. Preliminary injunction proceedings in this “mission critical” case lasted most of the summer. Victory for clients with substantial payout.
- Advanced Fibre Communications/DSC/Alcatel Litigation (various state federal courts in Eastern District of Texas, 1994–1999). Mr. Gowdy was asked to replace existing counsel to try a bet the company trade secrets case in Marshall, Texas. Case settled favorably after three weeks of trial. Plaintiff DSC and successor Alcatel later brought a series of similar cases in state and federal courts. Summary judgments and settlements were obtained after pursuing sham litigation counterclaims.
- University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law, 1970, J.D.
- Stanford University, 1967, B.A.