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Our Class Action Practice represents companies facing threatened or existing class action litigation brought by plaintiffs across all industries, particularly the life sciences, financial services, healthcare, retail, technology, automotive, energy, and consumer products sectors. Leveraging our litigators' command of areas susceptible to class actions—antitrust, consumer fraud, employment, ERISA, privacy law, product liability and toxic torts, and securities—we have secured groundbreaking results for our clients and reshaped class action procedure.
In addition, as private outside counsel, we are increasingly retained on a contingency fee basis as practitioners in this area, and are extensively involved in representing clients involved brought by the State Attorney General. We often undertake these representations in conjunction with parallel private class action litigation and federal investigations, in which we coordinate with our white collar criminal defense team.
As part of our Litigation Practice, with some 700 lawyers firmwide, our class action lawyers handle litigation and trials of all sizes and complexity in virtually every jurisdiction, nationally and globally. Our clients frequently call upon us to act as national and international trial and coordinating counsel in large, complex matters.
Law360 identified Morgan Lewis as one of the top 10 defense antitrust litigation firms in the country (2008). We have represented corporate defendants in scores of antitrust price-fixing class actions in the last 10 years, more than virtually any other firm in the United States. The clear advantage to our clients is that there is no learning curve: we have litigated virtually every issue that arises in these types of cases. We have had substantial success in limiting or eliminating cases at the pleading stage, through class certification and after discovery.
Consumer Fraud and Unfair Business Practices
Defending consumer class actions has been one of the strengths of Morgan Lewis's class action practice for nearly three decades. Throughout our domestic offices, we have skilled consumer class action practitioners who have handled a wide variety of consumer class actions, including cases involving advertising, pricing, marketing, labeling, failures to disclose, privacy, off-label promotion, truth-in-lending, and warranties, among others.
With increasing public and governmental focus on the privacy and theft of consumer and employee data, Morgan Lewis is particularly well versed in representing clients in cases involving such issues, particularly in the healthcare, retail, and financial services industries in privacy-related class actions alleging claims based on Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) violations, technology and software transfer issues, and regulatory and code-of-conduct proceedings. We also work closely with our transactional privacy team to assist clients in connection with data privacy-breach incidents, including determining whether notification is required, conducting the notification, containing exposure, and implementing remedial measures.
ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act)
Employee benefit plans constitute the largest sources of equity capital and undisclosed corporate liabilities in the world. Sophisticated plaintiffs' class action lawyers are targeting plans, their employer sponsors, and their fiduciaries in ambitious lawsuits at an accelerating rate. Morgan Lewis defends clients against these types of class action suits by combining substantive understanding of employee benefits law (and the overlapping fields of labor, employment, securities, healthcare, and insurance law) with the talents of skilled class action litigators and trial lawyers. We practice extensively on behalf of plan sponsors, fiduciaries, and service providers.
Financial Services Litigation
Our litigators protect the interests of financial services clients by identifying weaknesses in plaintiffs' cases and defeating class certification. Our representations include the successful defense against a putative class action brought by a plaintiffs' firm that makes a business of targeting banks under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. We also have defended against a variety of labor and employment cases, nationwide gender discrimination class actions brought against national securities firms, nationwide collective actions brought against major financial institutions alleging misclassification of employees as overtime-exempt, and a class action against a major securities firm on behalf of former employees alleging age discrimination.
Healthcare fraud is a priority "crackdown" initiative for the Obama Administration. Morgan Lewis's class action attorneys have been at the forefront of representing health insurance companies, as well as pharmaceutical and medical device companies, in class action litigation that is increasingly directed at such clients, especially in light of the nationwide interest in and debate about the healthcare system. We also represent healthcare-related companies in off-label promotion and other litigation related to the Federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act (FFDCA).
Products Liability and Toxic Torts
For decades, Morgan Lewis has successfully represented clients in products liability and mass tort class actions and multidistrict matters. In addition, we frequently serve as national coordinating counsel and trial counsel in large-scale serial litigation. Our experience includes matters involving asbestos, breast implants, building and construction products, chemicals, flavoring ingredients and additives, food and beverages, lead, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, safety equipment, silica, tobacco, and water contamination.
Our firm has handled thousands of cases on behalf of retail clients in virtually every state. We defend companies in cases brought both by private parties and government attorneys, and we succeed even in such challenging venues as California and Texas. Our areas of consumer class action concentration include alleged false advertising, privacy claims, gift card litigation and product liability cases. We were retained in one of the earliest cases brought under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA) and we have successfully litigated or settled numerous of these matters. Our goal is to win dismissals at an early stage, often employing strategies we pioneered for defeating class certification. Our firm also is one of the few that has successfully taken consumer class actions to trial for retailers. We employ advanced litigation management technology in concert with our insight into the class action process, and our knowledge of judges and the tactics of plaintiffs' counsel.
Securities Law360 recognized Morgan Lewis as being one of the top five securities defense firms in the United States (2009). In the area of securities class actions, we have defended more than 60 shareholder class actions since the enactment of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Our clients include issuers and their officers and directors, underwriters, and accountants. We have handled claims arising out of restatements or other accounting issues, initial public offerings, earnings warnings, and failures to meet projections. We frequently obtain dismissals or favorable settlements of cases, minimizing the cost and distraction to management caused by protracted litigation. For instance, of the motions to dismiss filed by Morgan Lewis in putative class actions that have been ruled upon by courts, approximately 82% have been granted in whole or in part. Approximately 47% have been granted in their entirety. In derivative cases, Morgan Lewis securities litigators have a comparable record of success, achieving dismissals in more than half of the derivative cases.