Seth M. Gerber’s trial practice focuses on high-stakes trade secrets and non-compete litigation. Seth is the leader of the firm’s IP Trade Secrets Working Group. Law360 featured Seth’s trial victories when Morgan Lewis was named “Employment Group of the Year” in 2018. Seth has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America (commercial litigation), as a Southern California “Super Lawyer,” and as one of the top 20 lawyers in California under the age of 40 by the Daily Journal in 2011.
Seth represents companies and individuals in intellectual property and business litigation involving a wide-range of claims, including misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of contract, intentional interference, and breach of fiduciary duty. He also counsels clients with respect to defining, classifying, and protecting their confidential, proprietary, and trade secret information. Seth works closely with forensic experts to conduct investigations of current and former employees. He has successfully defended complex mass “raid” cases to verdict after lengthy jury trials, and obtained and defeated ex parte applications for temporary restraining orders and motions for preliminary injunction.
Seth is experienced in cross-border litigation involving the theft of trade secrets and property overseas, including in China. He is familiar with sovereign immunity issues and has participated in a hearing before the US Senate Helsinki Commission, negotiated with foreign officials and the US State Department, and obtained a favorable judgment and sanctions award of over $122 million against a foreign state. His high-profile cross-border litigation matters have been the subject of articles in The National Law Journal, The Daily Journal, The Blog of LegalTimes, Law360, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, and The Washington Post, and in law review articles in the Loyola of Los AngelesInternational & Comparative Law Review and the International Journal of Cultural Property.
Seth co-authored the chapter on injunctions in the State Bar of California treatise on Trade Secrets and currently serves on the drafting team for the Sedona Conference, Working Group 12, on the topic of Cross Border Trade Secret Issues. He spoke on a panel at the Sedona Conference Working Group 12 Annual Meeting 2019 about the extraterritorial application of the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016.
Seth has served on boards of several community organizations. He is a recipient of the State Bar of California’s Wiley M. Manuel Award for Pro Bono Legal Services.
Obtained a judgment ordering a foreign state to return irreplaceable religious property that was looted during World War II and a monetary sanctions award of $50,000 per day, now totaling $122 million.
Obtained an arbitration award worth $25 million in stock and $6 million in attorneys’ fees and costs. The arbitrator found the opposing party liable for fraudulent inducement, fraudulent concealment, breach of confidential relationship and undue influence, and concluded that the respondent had engaged in willful, malicious, systematic, intentional fraud and deceit.
Obtained a complete defense verdict and a $6.13 million award of attorneys’ fees and costs after a lengthy jury trial concerning the departure of 75 insurance professionals from a competitor’s offices in Fresno, Salinas, and Walnut Creek, California. Plaintiff had sought $50 million in damages plus exemplary damages of two times that amount but obtained nothing.
Obtained a judgment after a bench trial declaring that the defendant’s covenant not to compete and Illinois choice of law and forum selection provisions in stock agreements were unenforceable.
Obtained a dismissal with prejudice of claims for misappropriation of trade secrets against a Chinese telecommunications company on the grounds the plaintiff did not plausibly allege a conspiracy.
Obtained a preliminary injunction against insurance producers and an insurance brokerage firm precluding them from any improper use or disclosure of confidential or proprietary information.
Obtained a preliminary injunction against a sales engineer and competitor in the aerospace industry prohibiting the defendants from any improper use or disclosure of confidential, proprietary, or trade secret information.
Defeated a motion for preliminary injunction after an evidentiary hearing in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois. The plaintiff sought injunctive relief against an insurance brokerage firm and insurance professionals for alleged misappropriation of trade secrets.
Defeated a motion for preliminary injunction sought in the Court of Chancery in Delaware against an insurance brokerage firm and insurance professionals for alleged misappropriation of trade secrets.
Defended one of California’s largest independent physician associations in a lengthy jury trial for alleged misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of contract. The jury found that the defendant did not engage in any willful or malicious misconduct and awarded a tiny fraction of the damages sought.
Obtained a favorable jury trial verdict and damages against a distributor of fashion accessories for copyright infringement.
Successfully represented the University of Southern California in a lawsuit against a Tenet Healthcare subsidiary seeking a court declaration that Tenet had defaulted under a long-term ground lease and operating agreement, which resulted in USC’s acquisition of University Hospital and Norris Cancer Center from Tenet.
Obtained a favorable arbitration award for the University of Southern California in a dispute concerning the value of a medical office complex.
Trinity College, 1994, Bachelor of Arts, Departmental Honors, Pi Gamma Mu
University of California, Hastings College of the Law, 1999, Juris Doctor
Supreme Court of the United States
US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
US District Court for the Central District of California
US District Court for the Eastern District of California
US District Court for the Northern District of California
US District Court for the Southern District of California
US District Court for the Western District of Texas
Awards and Affiliations
Recommended, Intellectual property: Trade secrets (litigation and non-contentious matters), The Legal 500 US (2020)
Member, Practice Group of the Year, Intellectual Property, Law360 (2019)
Member, Litigation Department of the Year–Intellectual Property, The American Lawyer (2019)
Recognized, Commercial Litigation, Los Angeles, The Best Lawyers in America (2019, 2020)
Recognized, Southern California (business litigation), Super Lawyers (2011–2020)