When Fortune 100 clients, their officers and directors, and other prominent individuals are involved in high-stakes litigation, they seek counsel from Franklin Brockway Gowdy. Brock has tried more than 100 cases in state and federal courtrooms throughout the United States. He defends clients in complex disputes involving securities, RICO Act, antitrust, IP, trade secret, product liability, environmental, and malpractice matters, among others. His clients include major players in technology, retail, telecommunications, chemical, and global infrastructure.
A fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, Brock represents plaintiffs and defendants in bet-the-company matters. He advises clients across a range of securities and antitrust litigation, including class action and multidistrict disputes, as well as SEC, FTC, and DOJ investigations; state regulatory investigations; and criminal grand juries and criminal cases.
Over the past two decades, Brock has litigated at least 23 cases in the telecommunications sphere and has taken five of those lawsuits to trial. His experience in the retail industry includes handling virtually all litigation matters for Amfac, Inc. and its retail operations. Apple Inc. sought his advice when launching retail operations.
Former managing partner of Morgan Lewis’s San Francisco office, Brock has served as a member of the firm’s Advisory Board since 2003.
In 2004, Brock was named "Attorney of the Year” by California Lawyer magazine in the Law Practice Management category. He was chosen for his leadership and vision in bringing 250 partners, associates, and staff to Morgan Lewis and opening three new offices in California. That represented the second year in a row that Brock received the recognition. In 2003, he was selected “Attorney of the Year” in the Civil Litigation category for successfully representing Leigh Steinberg, a well-known professional sports agent, in a breach of contract and unfair competition case.
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.
Stanford University, 1967, B.A.
University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall), 1970, J.D.
U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Central Districts of California
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals for Ninth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
Awards and Affiliations
Recognized, Commercial Litigation, San Francisco, TheBest Lawyers in America (2016–2019)
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 (2004-2013)