Tera M. Heintz litigates complex commercial disputes in US federal and state court, including those involving allegations of trade secret misappropriation, antitrust violations, unfair competition, breach of contract, and securities fraud. Her accomplishments include litigating numerous cases to trial. While representing her clients, Tera has successfully prosecuted and opposed significant dispositive motions, including dozens of summary judgments and dismissals.
Integral to her litigation work, Tera prepares witnesses and examines them at trial, takes and defends depositions, and manages discovery. She was a key trial team member who examined the lead witness in a three-month jury trial that led her client to obtain the second largest US jury verdict of 2011. The same client also relied on Tera’s examination of witnesses and expert witnesses in an International Chamber of Commerce arbitration that netted a $91 million verdict.
Tera has also accrued noteworthy favorable outcomes in her pro bono practice, including a successful 2011 habeas petition to the California Supreme Court on behalf of a death row inmate. Citing the US Supreme Court case Atkins v. Virginia, Tera argued that he was “intellectually disabled” and therefore constitutionally ineligible for the death penalty.
Tera’s civil litigation track record has landed her among The Recorder’s50 “Fast Track” lawyers whose “early accomplishments indicate they will be tomorrow’s top lawyers and leaders.” California Super Lawyers named Tera a “Rising Star” in 2013 and 2014.
Prior to joining Morgan Lewis, Tera clerked for Judge Jan DuBois of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and served as a student attorney in the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau.
Recently, Ms. Heintz:
Examined the lead witness and served as a key trial team member in a three-month jury trial resulting in the second largest U.S. jury verdict of 2011 for client Asahi Kasei Pharma Corporation on claims of interference of contract and breach of confidentiality in San Mateo Superior Court.
Examined the lead witness and expert witnesses in an International Chamber of Commerce arbitration resulting in a $91 million verdict for client Asahi Kasei Pharma Corporation in a breach of contract action.
Served on a trial team obtaining a zero-damages defense verdict in the retrial of a trade secret misappropriation case where liability had previously been found by a Santa Clara County jury.
Obtained dismissal of lawsuits in Ohio and California alleging housing code violations and nuisance claims against a trustee of residential mortgage backed security trusts.
Obtained summary judgment in favor of a leading technology company in the Southern District of Florida involving a $2 billion claim for breach of contract.
Obtained dismissal of a worldwide class action suit alleging violation of the Alien Tort Claims Act and unfair competition against an international retail discount store.
Obtained dismissal of a suit against a leading pharmaceutical benefits provider alleging violations of the Oklahoma Third Party Prescription Act.
Obtained dismissal of suit alleging negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, identity theft, and fraudulent concealment against a nationwide title company.
Harvard Law School, 2003, J.D., Cum Laude
Willamette University, 1996, B.A., Magna Cum Laude
U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Central Districts of California
Clerkship to Judge Jan DuBois of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (2003 - 2004)