Michel Keck v. Alibaba.com, Inc., Case No. 17-cv-5672-BLF, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
Representing plaintiff on behalf of a class of visual copyright holders (e.g., artists) against Alibaba companies for contributory and vicarious copyright infringement. Alibaba is a Chinese company that operates a number of e-commerce web platforms similar to Amazon. The Alibaba IPO was the largest in history, and it is one of the top 10 most valuable companies in the world. Hundreds of thousands of counterfeit products, including artwork, are sold over the Alibaba platforms. The case involves counterfeit goods originating in China, which touches on significant U.S. trade issues and addresses whether companies like Alibaba can hide behind the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s safe harbor while knowingly providing platforms for and facilitating the sale of counterfeit goods. The case addresses the use of class action litigation to enforce copyrights, and class-wide damages claims could total hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars.
Breach of anti-piracy and confidentiality covenants
Represented Cobbs, Allen & Hall, Inc. (CAH) as lead counsel in an action brought by CAH against four former employees for breach of anti-piracy and confidentiality covenants. CAH’s lawsuit also asserted claims against the former employees’ new employer for intentional interference with contractual relations. The trial court entered a $1 million sanctions award in favor of CAH as a result of discovery abuses committed by the defendants. Our team discovered that defendants were engaged in a scheme to conceal documents from production by placing spaces between letters of words in emails so the documents would not be found using electronic word searches. After years of contentious litigation, which included millions of pages of paper discovery and more than 40 depositions, the parties reached a settlement on the day the tortious inference trial was to begin.
Tucker v. Scrushy (Circuit Court of Jefferson County, Ala. 2009)
Counsel for HealthSouth Corporation in obtaining $2.8 billion judgment in a non-jury trial of claims against HealthSouth's former CEO for breach of fiduciary duty arising out of a multi-billion dollar accounting fraud.
Wayne v. Pharmacia Corp. (Circuit Court of Jefferson County, Ala. 2009)
Obtained a jury verdict in favor of defendant Pharmacia on multi-million dollar claims of five plaintiffs for personal injury (diabetes and arthritis) allegedly resulting from exposure to PCBs.
Goodreau v. HealthSouth Corporation (Circuit Court of Jefferson County, Ala. 2006)
Defended a claim for breach of lifetime employment contract seeking damages of $6 million. Jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff for $1.89 million which was settled for a lesser amount on appeal.
Russell Corp. v. Sullivan, 790 So. 2d 940 (Ala. 2001)
Defended textile manufacturer in an environmental action alleging trespass and nuisance claims relating to discharge of textile wastewater into a public lake. On appeal from a jury verdict in favor of the plaintiffs, the Alabama Supreme Court reversed the judgment in favor of the plaintiffs and rendered judgment in favor of the defendant textile manufacturer.
MT Packaging v. CVS Corp. (N.D. Ala. 1999)
Defended breach of contract claim by a supplier of merchandise bags to CVS in which CVS asserted a counterclaim for fraud in connection with the supply of the bags. Following a bench trial, the court entered a judgment in favor of CVS on the plaintiff's claim and awarded CVS over $300,000 on its counterclaim.
Moore v. Home Therapy Associates (Circuit Court of Jefferson County, Ala. 1998)
Represented former president of company against his former company in an action seeking to recover for nonpayment of commissions and dissolution of business, and obtained a $600,000 jury verdict in favor of the former president.
Galloway v. Crown Central Petroleum Corp. (Circuit Court of Jefferson County, Ala. 1995)
Obtained a jury verdict in favor of the defendant Crown Central Petroleum in a personal injury burn case arising out of an explosion at the defendant's gasoline tank farm.
Washington Public Power Supply System v. Pittsburgh-Des Moines Corp., 1995 WL 729490 (9th Cir. Dec. 7, 1995)
Obtained a jury verdict in a federal court trial in Washington in favor of the defendant construction company in an action alleging breach of a construction contract involving construction of a nuclear power plant containment vessel. The plaintiff sought in excess of $100 million for the cost of repairing allegedly defective work. The defense verdict was recognized by the National Law Journal as one of the nation's top defense verdicts of the year.
Coleman v. Home Oil Company (M.D. Ala. 1992)
Defended a Chevron jobber in a civil antitrust class action alleging price fixing by gasoline retailers in Dothan, Alabama. Plaintiffs sought to recover in excess of $25 million. Following a six week trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiffs for $1.00.
Swindall v. Ford Motor Company (N.D. Ala. 1986)
Obtained a defense verdict in favor of defendant Ford Motor Company in a product liability action involving injury to farmer's arm while operating cornpicker machine.
HealthSouth v. former CEO, and outside advisors
In October 2008, HealthSouth reached a settlement against its former investment bank, through which HealthSouth received $100 million in cash, in addition to the release of counterclaims and a $33 million judgment. The company’s claims against its former CEO, Richard Scrushy, were tried for two weeks in May 2009, after which the trial judge issued an opinion awarding the company over $2.8 billion in damages.