- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Seventh and Ninth Circuits
- U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Central, and Southern Districts of California
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
Robert E. Gooding, Jr. is a partner in Morgan Lewis's Litigation Practice. Mr. Gooding's practice focuses on complex business litigation and trial practice, including the defense of public companies and officers and directors in securities class actions and shareholder derivative litigation; defense of corporations and individuals in regulatory and enforcement proceedings before the Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulatory agencies; representation of special board committees and audit committees in internal investigations; defense of clients in professional liability cases against lawyers and accountants; and representation of clients in antitrust and trade practices litigation. He has experience in complex commercial class actions and all phases of trial and appellate practice in state and federal courts and in arbitration proceedings in California and throughout the United States.
Mr. Gooding has defended shareholder class actions and derivative litigation and related regulatory and enforcement proceedings in California and around the country. He has successfully represented numerous public companies, officers and directors, broker-dealers, accounting firms, law firms, and government-sponsored entities in high-profile Rule 10b-5 class actions and related matters. For example, he recently played a leading role in achieving dismissal of a putative class action in the Central District of California against a large publicly traded technology company and its senior officers alleging violations of the federal securities laws in connection with public statements about its business strategy. He also has successfully represented numerous senior executives of public companies in the defense of SEC investigations of stock option backdating and related securities class actions and shareholder derivative litigation.
Mr. Gooding also has experience representing banks and financial services firms in consumer class action and related litigation growing out of the financial crisis. He recently led a team that achieved early dismissal of a large financial services institution from a putative consumer class action in the Central District of California alleging mortgage foreclosure improprieties.
Mr. Gooding also has experience with securities litigation involving mergers and acquisitions. In numerous cases, he has successfully represented high-technology companies and their boards of directors in putative shareholder class actions and derivative cases challenging high profile mergers in state and federal courts in California, Delaware, and elsewhere. In addition, Mr. Gooding has experience representing audit committees and special committees of boards of directors of public companies in conducting internal investigations of stock option backdating, revenue recognition issues, and a wide variety of other matters. For example, he led the team representing a special committee of the board of directors of a large software security company in an extensive investigation of stock option backdating, resulting in a decision by the SEC not to take any enforcement action against the company.
A substantial part of Mr. Gooding's practice focuses on the representation of professionals, including law firms and accounting firms, in professional liability litigation, including securities litigation and malpractice actions. He has successfully represented numerous large national and international law firms in defense of professional liability claims in California and other parts of the country. He recently successfully represented a large national law firm in a securities class action in federal court in Phoenix, as well as in related litigation by a bankruptcy trustee in Bankruptcy Court, state court litigation, an SEC investigation, and an investigation by a state regulatory authority growing out of a purported "Ponzi scheme" involving the failure of a mortgage lending company. He also leads a team defending a large national law firm in an action in Orange County Superior Court involving the market for auction rate securities.
Mr. Gooding also has experience in antitrust and trade regulation litigation in California and around the country. In an action involving the market for funeral services, for example, he helped lead a team that defeated a motion for class certification in the Southern District of Texas, resulting in the dismissal of a putative nationwide consumer antitrust class action seeking over $1 billion in damages.
Mr. Gooding is consistently recognized as a "Southern California Super Lawyer" by Law & Politicsmagazine. He has been actively involved in leadership positions in the Litigation Section of the American Bar Association, including serving as co-chair of the Securities Litigation Committee, the Amicus Curiae Briefs Committee, and the Pretrial Practice and Discovery Committee. He has also served on the governing boards of the Orange County Bar Association and the Orange County Chapter of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers.
Mr. Gooding served as a law clerk to Justice Harry A. Blackmun of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1970 to 1971. He also clerked for Justice Walter V. Schaefer of the Illinois Supreme Court from 1969 to 1970.
Mr. Gooding earned his J.D., summa cum laude, from the University of Michigan Law School in 1969, where he was named to the Order of the Coif. He earned his B.S., magna cum laude, from Northwestern University in 1966.
Mr. Gooding is admitted to practice in California and before the U.S. Supreme Court; the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Seventh and Ninth Circuits; the U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Central, and Southern Districts of California; and the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
- University of Michigan Law School, 1969, J.D., Summa Cum Laude
- Northwestern University, 1966, B.S., Magna Cum Laude