- Grasshopper v. Clean & Sober Media
After back-to-back jury and bench trials in Los Angeles, we prevailed in this $180 million Lanham Act false advertising case that the Daily Journal named a Top 20 Defense Verdict of 2021.
- In the Matter of Creative Care
After a 4-week bench trial, we prevailed in this license revocation proceeding in which the State of California sought to shut down our client, a pioneering addiction treatment facility.
- Fairbairn v. Fidelity Charitable
We designed this pathbreaking case challenging the fire-sale liquidation of our clients’ $100 million stock donation (New York Times article). Overcoming longstanding precedent insulating charities from donor lawsuits, we defeated defendant’s attempts to avoid a public trial, exposing “secrets about Silicon Valley’s favorite philanthropic loophole” and earning “Impact Case of the Year” recognition from International Tax Review.
- Private Equity arbitration
After a 1-week hearing, we obtained an arbitration award of no damages ($40 million sought) in this Bay Area dispute between co-founders of a leading private equity fund.
- GMPC v. Design Lab
After a multi-week jury trial in Santa Monica, we successfully defended against tort and trade secret claims that presented an existential risk to our client, a private-label design and manufacturing company.
- Americana Juice v. Nestle
We defended Nestle in this South Texas jury trial. The plaintiff sought $330 million asserting tort and trade secret claims. Nestle offered $10 million to settle before trial. We persuaded the jury to award only $1 million after which a confidential settlement was immediately reached.
A GO-TO FOR HIGH-STAKES TRIALS
We deliver victories to plaintiffs and defendants in high-stakes, complex cases before judges, juries, and arbitrators throughout the country.
EXPERTS IN SUPREME COURT AND APPELLATE PRACTICE
– Legal 500
We successfully brief and argue cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and appellate courts nationwide. Serving as a strategic partner to other counsel, we also win key motions in trial courts.
- Hillsborough County v. Volkswagen
Representing two large counties, we revived environmental claims that Volkswagen said will subject it to over $11 billion in liability. Watch the argument.
- Schueneman v. Arena Pharmaceuticals
We persuaded the Ninth Circuit to revive this securities fraud case and then settled for $24 million. Watch the argument.
- Fourth Estate v. Wall-Street.com
We prevailed before the U.S. Supreme Court in this copyright case named “Impact Case of the Year” by Managing IP.
- Montanile v. National Elevator
We persuaded the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the Eleventh Circuit in this healthcare case for which Peter Stris and Radha Pathak were named California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year.
- Merrill Lynch v. Manning
We prevailed on behalf of several large shareholders who lost over $50 million in this U.S. Supreme Court case about the scope of exclusive jurisdiction under the Securities Exchange Act.
- Frommert v. Conkright (Xerox)
We obtained Second Circuit reversal and then recovered over $22 million for pensioners.
- LaRue v. DeWolff Boberg
We persuaded the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the Fourth Circuit in what the New York Times described as “one of the most important rulings in years on the meaning of the federal pension law.” Watch TV coverage.
NUANCED IN THEIR THINKING AND DEVASTATING TO OPPONENTS
– Chambers USA
We help clients identify and resolve important litigation-adjacent concerns, particularly those requiring effective stakeholder and public communications.
- McDougal v. American Media
We developed a litigation and communications strategy that recovered model Karen McDougal’s life rights from the National Enquirer, allowing her to speak publicly about her 10-month relationship with President Donald Trump. The case was a media sensation. Watch TV coverage.
- Bard College v. Duchess County Board of Elections
We prevailed before New York trial and appellate courts in this case about accessibility and safety in voting, and generated a groundswell of public support in the process. Our work led the New York legislature to pass a law requiring on-campus voting sites at colleges with 300 or more students.
- Disney Enterprises v. VidAngel
Four Hollywood studios obtained a preliminary injunction against our client VidAngel, a successful startup offering families the ability to filter obscenities out of popular films. We helped VidAngel position itself before the Ninth Circuit, the public, and its investors, and ultimately helped them pivot to a new and ongoing business model. Watch the argument.
- San Clemente v. Sovereign
Following the playbook of other California beach cities, San Clemente filed litigation seeking to shutter our client, one of the nation’s then-largest behavioral treatment networks. We helped construct our clients’ public relations strategy and negotiated a settlement that allowed it to continue its fight against the crisis of addiction.
The American Lawyer
Each year, the American Lawyer recognizes a handful of boutique law firms “at the core of industry-changing matters, leading the charge on their clients’ most important cases and operating at a level that sets them apart from their peers.” In 2019 and 2022, we were one of seven finalists.
We take great pride in the trust and support we have earned from our clients.
“Liz and her partners at Stris & Maher approach IP litigation with a sophisticated understanding of our business and strategic goals. I highly recommend them.”
– Brad Feuer, GC, Barnes & Noble
“Stris beat heavy-hitting opposition at my bet-the-company jury trial.”
– Adam Beatty, President, Playology
“California tried to shut us down. But after a four-week trial, Dana and her team prevailed, allowing us to resume our three-decade mission of providing care to patients with severe mental illness.”
– Dr. Farrah Khaleghi, COO, Creative Care
“They are smart, efficient, and practical. And they win.”
– Mark Coker, CEO, Smashwords
“The ‘very skilled and effective’ Peter Stris represents both plaintiffs and defendants in a range of constitutional and business disputes, including media-related litigation. Clients praise his ‘meticulous preparation,’ adding: ‘The tenacity with which he prepares is outstanding.'”
– Clients as quoted by Chambers USA
“Our devotion to our clients is unwavering. We maximize outcomes by developing a nuanced understanding of our clients’ goals and working tirelessly to achieve them.”
Victor O’Connell is a trial lawyer and litigator whose practice focuses exclusively on high-stakes, complex business disputes.
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