Securities Class-Action and Other Complex Litigation
Digimarc Securities Litigation (USDC, D Or)
We represent Digimarc Corporation, a public company and global leader in digital watermarking technology, in a pending securities class action arising from a restatement of financial statements. We recently obtained a ruling dismissing the litigation for failure to plead scienter with sufficient specificity.
Lattice Semiconductor Securities Litigation (USDC, D Or)
We represent Lattice Semiconductor Corporation, a public company and leader in programmable logic devices and related software, in a pending securities class action arising from a restatement of financial statements.
Cray Inc. Securities Litigation (USDC WD Wa)
We represent Cray Inc., a public company involved in the design, manufacture, and sale of supercomputers, in securities class actions and in related derivative litigation pending in the Western District of Washington.
In re FLIR Systems Inc. Securities Litigation (USDC, D Or)
We represented the issuer and two of its officers in a 10(b)(5) securities class action filed in March, 2000. The company had issued three restatements of its financial statements. The class action was settled almost entirely with insurance funds.
Eagle Hardware & Garden, Inc. Securities Litigation (USDC, WD Wash; King County Superior Court, Wash)
We represented Eagle Hardware & Garden, Inc., a public company, and three of its officers in class actions filed in federal and state court after the announcement of an inventory adjustment and sharp stock price decline. Shortly before trial of the federal case, plaintiffs moved to stay that case pending the outcome of the state case. The cases were settled for a total of $1.5 million, with plaintiffs’ counsel agreeing to take no fees in light of the small settlement.
Steiner v. Tektronix, Inc. (USDC, D Or)
We represented Tektronix, Inc. and its executives and board members in a securities class action arising from alleged misstatements and omitted disclosures. The court granted our motion for summary judgment in its entirety, and plaintiffs did not appeal.
Rolex v. Mentor Graphics Corporation (USDC, D Or)
We represented Mentor Graphics Corporation and its executives in a securities class action in which plaintiffs alleged misrepresentations in public statements issued by the company. We obtained rulings dismissing several of the claims and twice defeated motions for class certification. Plaintiffs then dismissed the action without receiving any consideration from defendants.
Sequent Computer Litigation (USDC, D Or)
We represented Sequent Computer, its officers, and members of its audit committee in the defense of three consolidated class actions in which plaintiffs alleged material misrepresentations in public statements by the company. Ultimately, plaintiffs dismissed the complaint in consideration for Sequent’s agreement not to pursue its claim for attorneys’ fees.
Gordon v. Floating Point Systems, Inc. (USDC, D Or)
We represented Floating Point Systems, Inc. in this securities class action involving a high-tech issuer that was sued following disclosure of material adverse events. Several officers had sold stock before the disclosure. The case settled with the issuance of warrants that were never exercised.
Zidell v. Zidell (Multnomah County Circuit Court, Or)
We represented the majority shareholders, officers, and directors of a group of five companies in a derivative suit brought by a 37 1/2 percent minority shareholder alleging breach of fiduciary duty, usurpation of corporate assets, and self-dealing. We prevailed on the merits after a six-week trial and on appeal, and eventually obtained attorneys’ fees on behalf of the defendant company.
Avia Securities Litigation (Multnomah County Circuit Court, Or)
We represented the CEO and president of a public company who was charged by shareholders with breach of fiduciary duty in connection with the acquisition of Avia by Reebok. Defendants prevailed after a trial on the merits.
Protocol Systems Securities Litigation (USDC, D Or)
We represented the issuer and its officers and directors in this Section 11 case arising out of alleged misstatements and omissions in a public offering. The court granted our motion to dismiss the case in its entirety, and plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their appeal in consideration of the company’s agreement not to pursue its claim against plaintiffs’ attorneys for fees and costs.
Epitope, Inc. Securities Litigation (USDC, D Or)
We represented Epitope, Inc., a bio-tech company, and its officers and directors in this securities class action. The case settled with the distribution of warrants and the payment of $550,000.
In re Hollywood Entertainment Corporation Securities Litigation (USDC, D Or)
We represented Hollywood Entertainment Corporation and its officers and directors in this securities class-action. The complaint alleged violations of sections 11 and 12 of the Securities Act of 1933 and section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The court granted defendants’ motion to dismiss the section 11 and section 12 claims. The case settled shortly before trial.
Teledesic Corporation (King County Superior Court, Wash)
We served as special counsel to a special litigation committee (“SLC”) of the Teledesic Corporation board of directors in connection with derivative litigation filed against members of Teledesic’s board of directors and its largest shareholder. We assisted the SLC in conducting extensive discovery and interviews and in preparing a report with the SLC’s recommendations with respect to the disposition of the action, including analysis of Delaware corporate governance and fiduciary duty issues. The court accepted the SLC’s recommendations to dismiss all but one claim, and following completion and filing of its report, the SLC negotiated a business resolution of the matter.
Robert Cohns v. Donald Nerenberg and Mastercraft Furniture, Inc. (Clackamas County Circuit Court, Or)
We represented a 49 percent minority shareholder in an action against a 51 percent shareholder for breach of fiduciary duties, oppression, and other tortious conduct. After a six-week trial, we prevailed on our client’s claims of oppression and breach of fiduciary duty and obtained a verdict in our client’s favor on defendant’s counterclaim for misappropriation of trade secrets.
Donald E. Barnard et al. v. Gordon M. Younger et al. (King County Superior Court, Wash)
We represented a minority shareholder in Mystic, Ltd., a large corrugated sheet feeder, against the controlling shareholders and two affiliated converter companies in a case alleging oppressive conduct. The trial court ruled in our client’s favor on three motions for summary judgment. Arbitration resulted in an award in our client’s favor.
In re Equitec Securities Litigation (USDC, ND Cal; Alameda County Superior Court, Cal)
We represented PacificCorp, which purchased a controlling interest in Equitec, a company involved with real estate limited partnerships. Equitec went into bankruptcy in the early 1990s and a number of securities lawsuits followed. The first was an action brought in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California by investors in Equitec partnerships. We succeeded on a motion to dismiss PacificCorp in that case. The second case involved a transaction known as the Hallwood Rollup. That transaction involved a “rollup” of a number of Equitec partnerships into a master partnership and a sale of Equitec’s interest to Hallwood. The case was tried, and PacifiCorp was dismissed on a directed verdict when the plaintiffs rested after four months. The case went on for another two months, and the remaining defendants settled by paying $37 million. The cases were resolved in our favor in 1994.
Resolution Trust Corp. v. Guy E. Jaques, Jr. et al. (USDC, Or)
We represented seven former directors of Far West Federal Bank in this action brought by the Resolution Trust Corporation (“RTC”) for alleged negligence and breach of fiduciary duty. Our motion for summary judgment based on the statute of limitations was granted, and RTC did not appeal.
Robbins v. HomeTown Buffet, Inc. (USDC, SD Cal)
We represented HomeTown Buffet, Inc., certain of its officers and directors, and certain of its venture capital investors in this class action. HomeTown Buffet went public in September 1993 and had a secondary public offering in March 1994. The suit alleged violations of section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as well as a violation of Rule 10b-5. The court granted most of our motions to dismiss, following which plaintiffs dismissed the case with no consideration paid by defendants.
Silverman et al. v. Harry A. Merlo et al., (Multnomah County Circuit Court, Or)
We represented the director defendants in this derivative action relating to Louisiana-Pacific’s oriented strand board and environmental compliance issues. The parties reached a settlement in January 1997, and the action was dismissed with prejudice in July.
David Tifft v. Ronald Stevens (Multnomah County Circuit Court, Or; Oregon Court of Appeals)
We represented a 24 percent minority shareholder in a case alleging oppressive conduct by the majority shareholder of a custom plastic molding business. Following a six-week trial, judgment was entered in favor of our client for $2.15 million. The case was affirmed on appeal.
Wade v. Industrial Funding Corp. (USDC, ND Cal)
We represented the underwriters in this securities class action in the Northern District of California. The lead underwriters of the December 1989 offering were Alex., Brown & Sons, Inc. and Piper Jaffray, Inc. The case was based on sections 11 and 12(2) of the Securities Act of 1933 and section 10b-5 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The case settled in August 1994, with the underwriters making a nominal contribution.
Werboff v. PacifiCorp Holdings et al. (Clark County Superior Court, Wash)
We represented PacifiCorp in this “going private” case involving an offer to purchase the 13 percent public ownership of Pacific Telecommunications, Inc. The case was dismissed on our motion.
PacifiCorp / In re WPPSS Securities Litigation (USDC, WD Wash)
We represented PacificCorp in the In re WPPSS Securities Litigation and succeeded in our motion to dismiss PacifiCorp from the litigation.
Hovsepian et al. v. Best Use Holding Co., Inc. et al. (King County Superior Court, Wash).
Six investors in a medical devices company brought registration and fraud claims under the Washington blue sky law. We settled the case on behalf of the defendants on very favorable terms after filing for partial summary judgment on the registration claims.
Bergtold (Loffler) v. Healing Machines, Inc. et al. (Deschutes County Circuit Court, Or)
A former independent contractor brought a securities fraud claim under Oregon blue sky law, along with common-law contract and fraud claims. We obtained a directed verdict dismissing the securities fraud claim at the close of all evidence.
In re Hollywood Entertainment Corporation Shareholder Class and Derivative Action (Clackamas County Circuit Court, Or)
We represented Hollywood Entertainment Corporation in connection with litigation involving challenges to a proposed going-private transaction and then to the sale of the company to another public company, Movie Gallery. Our motion to dismiss is pending.
Andersen v. Xerox Corporation (Multnomah County Circuit Court, Or)
We represented Xerox Corporation in a class action brought on behalf of former employees alleging violations of state wage statutes. The case settled on favorable terms.
Epitope, Inc. Strawberry Litigation (USDC, Or, Cal, Mich)
We represented Epitope, Inc., a bio-tech company, in several class actions and numerous civil lawsuits filed against it in connection with the sale of Mexico-grown strawberries that were purportedly infected with the hepatitis A virus and that were sold in violation of USDA requirements. We obtained a dismissal of Epitope from all the lawsuits without payment of any consideration.
Forbes et al. v. Forest City Enterprises, Inc. et al. (Los Angeles County Superior Court, Cal)
We represented a public company and several affiliated companies in an asbestos action brought by 63 construction workers who claimed to have been exposed to hazardous materials while employed by defendants in Washington and California. We succeeded in obtaining an order from the court severing and staying on forum non conveniens grounds all of the claims relating to the Washington project, leaving California claims of only three plaintiffs. The case was ultimately settled for an insignificant sum.
David Galego v. Fred Meyer Stores, Inc. (King County Superior Court, Wash)
We are representing Fred Meyer Stores, Inc., a division of The Kroger Co., in a pending class action arising from allegations that Fred Meyer misrepresents the weight of meat it sells in its retail grocery stores.
David Bodker et al. v. Forest City Trading Group, Inc. et al. (Multnomah County Circuit Court, Or; USDC, D Or)
We represented a major forest products trading company and its 10 subsidiaries in a class action brought in state court on behalf of present and former employees alleging fraud, breach of contract, and state RICO claims. We obtained a ruling denying class certification. Plaintiffs then dismissed the state court case and filed a federal RICO claim in federal court, along with pendent state law claims. The district court granted our motion to dismiss the RICO and state law claims.
Crowson v. Quality Food Centers, Inc. (King County Superior Court, Wash)
We represent Quality Food Centers, Inc., a division of The Kroger Co., in this purported class action arising from the December 2003 recall of beef that may have been exposed to mad cow disease. We prevailed on summary judgment.
Salmon Litigation (Krupp v. The Kroger Co.) (King County Superior Court, Wash)
We represented The Kroger Co. and Fred Meyer, Inc. in class-action litigation filed on behalf of a class alleging that consumers were defrauded by the artificial coloring in salmon. We prevailed in obtaining a dismissal of the litigation with prejudice.
Moeller v. Farmers Insurance Company of Washington et al. (Pierce County Superior Court, Wash)
We are the lead attorney representing Farmers on appeal of a “diminished value” class-action case brought by an insured. We prevailed on summary judgment, and the case is now on appeal.
Clark v. Carr-Gottstein Foods Co. (USDC, D Alaska)
We were part of the team representing Alaska’s largest private employer in a wage and hour collective and class action. We played a key role in developing strategies and briefing, with the result that the federal class was substantially diminished in size. The case was settled in 2000.
Kirby v. Carr-Gottstein Foods Co. (Anchorage Superior Court, Alaska)
We were part of the team representing Carr-Gottstein Foods Co. in a companion state court wage and hour class action. The case was settled in 2000.
Knight-Choy v. Arco Alaska, Inc. et al (Anchorage Superior Court, Alaska)
We were part of the team that successfully opposed class certification in an action brought against a commercial landlord by individuals alleging they were exposed to asbestos during seismic retrofitting of an office building. The case was settled.
Hopkins v. GTE (King County Superior Court, Wash; Washington Court of Appeals)
We were lead attorney for GTE in a putative class action based on an allegedly deceptive billing practice. We obtained a Civil Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal before the class was certified and prevailed on appeal.
Rainey v. Pacificorp (Clark County Superior Court, Wash)
We were part of a team representing PacifiCorp in successful opposition to a class certification motion brought by residents in Woodland, Washington who blamed PacifiCorp for Lewis River flooding in February 1996. The actions were dismissed in 1999.
Peterson & Sullivan—Mercer Int’l. Securities (USDC, WD Wash)
This was a securities fraud claim, in which the accountants were also named as defendants. We provided “behind the scenes” assistance to insurance-appointed counsel for Peterson & Sullivan. The case was settled.
Dept. of Finance v. Arizona Idaho Mining (Ada County, Idaho, Fourth District)
Our client, Doug Baker, was selling a security in Idaho without registering it or obtaining an appropriate exemption. This is actually both a Washington and Idaho matter, although the client is handling most of the Washington matter after we obtained a reasonable offer for a consent judgment and nonprosecution.
Roxanna Renton v. Kaiser Foundation Health Plans (USDC, WD Wash)
We represented Northwest Permanente in a class action brought by a member of the Kaiser Permanente Medical Plan who was claiming misrepresentation in connection with the provision of services. The court refused to certify a class, and the case was dismissed.
In re Farmers Insurance Exchange Claims Representatives’ Overtime Pay Litigation (USDC, D Or)
We were part of the team representing Farmers Insurance Exchange in multidistrict litigation brought by current and former claims adjusters pursuing federal wage and hour claims in a collective action and state law wage and hour claims in class actions. Amended Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law were entered in February 2004, in bifurcated trial (liability only); we represented Farmers in three months of hearings scheduled before a Special Master on damages issues and related negotiations. A Final Judgment was entered in May 2005.
Trinity Ventures, Ltd. v. F.D.I.C. et al. (USDC, Or; Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals)
We were co-counsel in this action initially against the Office of Thrift Supervision, and later against the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, arising out of the government’s repudiation of a 1987 conversion agreement pursuant to which venture capital firms had invested $27 million of equity in Far West, a troubled thrift. Following reversal by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals of a permanent injunction granted by the trial court against the government action, our clients obtained a $27 million judgment for damages, which was affirmed on appeal before the Ninth Circuit.
Petre v. Farmers Insurance Exchange et al. (King County Superior Court, Wash)
We are part of the team representing Farmers Insurance Exchange in this wage and hour class-action case brought by current and former employees who work or worked as claims adjusters. The case is pending.