Other Notable Cases
Fairbairn v. Fidelity Investments Charitable Gift Fund, No. 18-cv-04881 (N.D. Cal.) (pending)
In 2018, we filed a high-profile lawsuit against Fidelity Charitable for its mishandling of a $100 million donation made by our clients, successful hedge fund owners. (New York Times coverage). In October of 2020, Mr. Stris led a team of firm lawyers in the phase I (liability) bench trial. (Bloomberg Tax coverage).
Hillsborough County v. Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., 959 F.3d 1201 (9th Cir. 2020)
Hillsborough County, Florida and Salt Lake County, Utah hired Mr. Stris as lead appellate counsel in this nationally watched appeal with massive economic implications. (New York Times coverage) The appeal challenged a determination that certain local-government claims against Volkswagen were preempted under the Clean Air Act. We persuaded the Ninth Circuit to unanimously reverse. (Argument Video | Opinion)
Sullivan-Mestecky v. Verizon Communications, 961 F.3d 91 (2d Cir. 2020)
We obtained reversal of the dismissal of equitable claims in this appeal about the scope of ERISA remedies. Associate John Stokes led and argued the appeal. (Brief | Reply | Audio | Opinion)
McDougal v. American Media, Inc. [Read more here]
In 2018, we sued AMI, The National Enquirer’s parent company, on behalf of fitness model Karen McDougal, seeking to void a contract designed to “catch and kill” the story of her relationship with President Trump. We alleged that the contract, signed in August 2016, was an illegal campaign contribution. After hiring the former Federal Election Commission chairman and moving to dismiss our lawsuit on First Amendment grounds, AMI quickly caved under immense media and government scrutiny. (Complaint | AMI’s Motion | Settlement)
Microsoft v. Baker, 137 S.Ct. 1702 (2017)
Mr. Stris and the firm were retained to represent plaintiffs, a putative class of consumers, in this design defect case alleging that Microsoft’s popular Xbox360 console scratches game discs during ordinary use. The U.S. Supreme Court appeal, which presented important questions about class action procedure, was briefed by our firm (Our Brief) and argued by Mr. Stris (Argument Audio).
Dollar Gen. Corp. v. Miss. Band of Choctaw Indians [Read more here]
The State of Mississippi retained our firm to prepare and file an amicus brief on a critical question regarding the scope of tribal jurisdiction: whether Indian tribal courts may ever adjudicate civil tort claims in suits against nonmembers. Our Brief, joined by the States of Mississippi, Colorado, North Dakota, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington, marks the first time that any state has ever supported a finding of tribal jurisdiction in a major case before the Supreme Court. Our side prevailed before an equally divided Court.
Gloucester County School Board v. G.G. ex rel. Grimm, 136 S. Ct. 2442 (2016)
Working with the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, we filed an amicus brief that Slate called a “trenchant history lesson” detailing the similarity between race and transgender discrimination in the segregation of bathrooms. (Amicus Brief)
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana, Inc. v. Fossen
After the Supreme Court called for the views of the United States, Mr. Stris was retained by the former Insurance Commissioner for the State of Montana to serve as lead appellate counsel in this important case about the federal preemption of state insurance law. After reviewing submissions (Our Letter Brief) and meeting with both sides, the United States recommended denial of the petition (U.S. Amicus Brief). The Court subsequently denied the petition, preserving the Ninth Circuit victory for our clients.