LTL Wins Dismissal of Putative Consumer Class Action Related to Wi-Fi Networking Speeds in the Northern District of California

On November 4, 2019, LTL attained dismissal on behalf of client TP-Link USA Corporation in a putative class action involving alleged false advertising related to Wi-Fi networking speed claims. The case involved two rounds of motion practice. In the initial round, Judge Richard Seeborg granted TP-Link’s motion to dismiss forcing Plaintiffs to amend their complaint to drastically narrow the scope of the putative class, as well as add three additional plaintiffs in an attempt to save their case. In the second round, LTL defeated this narrowed putative class as well. Although the Court granted leave to amend, Plaintiffs declined. Plaintiffs’ counsel are well-known class action attorneys.

The case was originally filed in August 2018 in the Superior Court of San Francisco.  LTL successfully removed the case to federal court and proceeded to cut down the scope of Plaintiffs’ case through motion practice.  We were also able to keep Plaintiffs’ discovery demands to a minimum until dismissal.

This decision is important for all types of consumer products. Essentially the Court found that if a manufacturer advertises according to industry practice, then no reasonable consumer would be misled or harmed unless very specific conditions are met. The Court’s ruling supports businesses’ ability to advertise following industry practices that make sense for the type of product at issue.

The case was handled by LTL partners Prashanth Chennakesavan and Heather Auyang, and associates David Crane and Blake Guererro.  This result further highlights LTL’s successful expertise in defending clients against consumer class actions.

LTL Obtains Affirmance of Judgment for Probate Client in the Second Appellate District

On August 19, 2019, the Second District Court of Appeal affirmed a judgment LTL obtained for client Gong Hua Xi.  The Appellant had initiated a spousal property petition in the Los Angeles Superior Court Probate Department claiming that she became the putative spouse of the decedent four years prior to her legal marriage to him, and sought to use such status to claim community property ownership over real property the decedent held and purchased as separate property two years prior to their marriage.  Representing the decedent’s biological family, LTL obtained a judgment following trial denying the petition on the ground that the Appellant had failed to meet her burden to demonstrate that she was the putative spouse at the time that the property was purchased.  The Court of Appeal unanimously swept aside the Appellant’s arguments that the family lacked standing to object to her petition and that the trial court applied the incorrect legal standard.  LTL Senior Counsel Alex Hu and Associate Blake Guerrero briefed and argued the appeal.

LTL Secures Dismissal of Retaliation and Disability Suit

On June 25, 2019, LTL obtained summary judgment on behalf of client Walmart, Inc. from the Los Angeles Superior Court dismissing a former long-term employee’s suit claiming that he had been retaliated against after filing a worker’s compensation suit and complaining of harassment.  The employee had worked at a Sam’s Club for nearly 13 years when he filed a 2016 worker’s compensation claim.  However, he failed to report the workplace injury to his managers before filing the claim in contravention of a Club policy mandating that workplace injuries be reported to management immediately– his fourth policy violation in 10 months.  When the employee’s managers received notice of the worker’s compensation filing, they questioned him as to why he had not reported the injury to anyone.  At the end of the conversation, the former employee stated that his managers were always harassing him.   Two days later, the employee was dismissed for excessive policy violations.

 

The former employee then brought suit alleging retaliation, disability discrimination and failure to accommodate his disability, seeking compensatory and punitive damages.  Nearly two years after the suit was commenced, the Los Angeles Superior Court granted summary judgment to Walmart dismissing Plaintiff’s claims in their entirety and awarded Walmart the right to seek its costs.  The suit was handled by LTL Managing Partner David Ammons and Associate Tiffany Hansen.

LTL WELCOMES PARTNER PAUL MOSKOWITZ

LTL is pleased to announce Paul Moskowitz has joined the firm as a partner in LTL’s San Francisco office.

In a career spanning nearly 30 years, Mr. Moskowitz has developed a specialty in directing complex commercial litigation, handling class action, securities, and False Claims Act cases, and guiding clients in regulatory compliance and other governmental investigations.  He also spent five years as an in-house attorney at a financial services company, giving him a valuable perspective on commercial litigation from the client’s point of view.

“Paul’s experience directing complex commercial litigation—including high-stakes partnership disputes, class action matters, and government investigations—dovetails perfectly with our litigation philosophy,” said David Ammons, LTL’s Managing Partner.  “Paul prepares cases with an eye towards trial, simplifying issues and highlighting themes for judges and juries alike,” Ammons continued.

Mr. Moskowitz completed his undergraduate and legal studies at the University of Virginia.  After obtaining his J.D. in 1990, he began his legal career with Jones Day in Washington, D.C., and most recently worked for Bird Marella in Los Angeles.

LTL Attorneys Receives IP Litigation Ranking on 2019 Best Law Firms List

LTL Attorneys LLP, a boutique, minority-owned law firm focused on complex litigation, has received a “Metropolitan Tier Three Ranking” in the category of Litigation – Intellectual Property in the San Francisco metropolitan area by the U.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers®.

 

“It is an honor to be recognized on the Best Law Firms list — particularly as a top-tier firm in intellectual property litigation,” said David Ammons, LTL’s managing partner. “At LTL, we pride ourselves on offering our clients top-notch, quality litigation services, and this distinction is a credit to both our budding legal talent as well as our seasoned lawyers.”

 

Firms included in the “Best Law Firms” list are recognized for professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. The list includes a collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys in their fields and review of additional information provided by law firms as part of the formal submission process. The publication ranks more than 10,000 firms in 118 practice areas in 170 metropolitan areas and eight states annually.

LTL WELCOMES IP PARTNER VINCENT POLLMEIER

Mr. Pollmeier joins LTL after nearly two decades of practice representing both plaintiffs and defendant in cutting-edge, high-tech intellectual property litigation, including cases involving patent infringement, breach of contract, insurance, white collar criminal defense and government investigations.  He has handled matters in the aerospace, electronics, communications and computer technologies areas.

“Vincent’s experience with patent and technology litigation will be a boon to our Intellectual Property practice and to our technology clients. His deep knowledge of technical materials and systems, gained via his education and experiences at NASA, allows him to explain these complex concepts clearly to courts and juries,” said David Ammons, LTL’s managing partner. “Vincent’s addition, along with a steady influx of associates in recent months, supplements our existing team of talented attorneys and allows us to continue to advance our results-driven, client-first mission.”

Pollmeier serves as co-chair of the Los Angeles Intellectual Property Law Association’s Solo/Small Firm Outreach Committee. He is also a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Pollmeier earned his J.D. from Loyola Law School (2000), his M.S. from the University of Texas at Austin (1988) and his B.S. from Iowa State University (1986).

LTL WELCOMES NEW ASSOCIATES TO ITS LOS ANGELES AND SAN FRANCISCO OFFICES

LTL is pleased to welcome the following associates to the firm in September and October:

David Grimes joined the firm on September 4, 2018 following his graduation from USC Gould School of Law.  Mr. Grimes will focus his practice in the commercial and intellectual property fields.

Melani Tiongson joined the firm’s San Francisco office in September upon completing her studies at UC Berkeley School of Law.  Ms. Tiongson was the Symposium Editor of the Berkeley Business Law Journal and specialized in Law & Technology.  She joins the firm’s commercial and intellectual property litigation groups.

Blake Guerrero joined the firm’s Los Angeles office in September following his graduation from UC Berkeley School of Law.  Mr. Guerrero was the Executive Editor of the California Law Review and specialized in Law & Technology.

The firm welcomed Travis Hall to its employment and commercial litigation practice groups in October.  Mr. Hall previously worked at Proskauer Rose and Gordon & Rees, and is a 2014 graduate of the UCLA School of Law.

VICTORY FOR PINKETTE CLOTHING IN “LUSH” TRADEMARK APPEAL

On June 29, 2018, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a published decision in favor of LTL client, Pinkette Clothing Inc., in a unanimous ruling following oral arguments on Apr. 12.  Oral arguments were led by Kevin Bringuel, with the appellate team including Sarah Silverton, Tiffany Hansen and Enoch Liang. LTL’s appellate team defended the work done by its trial team, which was lead by Liang pre-trial and James Lee at trial, with assistance from Bringuel, Hansen, and Crane.

This victory was on the heels of a Ninth Circuit win for LTL client NBCUniversal, which also argued Oksana Baiul v. NBC Sports, et al., a high-profile case involving television royalties, where arguments took place on the same day in the same court.

LTL WELCOMES ASSOCIATE ATTORNEY JULIA LEVITSKAIA

Ms. Levitskaia joins LTL as an Associate Attorney in its San Francisco office. She has extensive experience as a civil defense attorney and most recently practiced at Archer Norris where she primarily handled tort suits brought against large firm clients. Her other practice areas include employment, retail and hospitality industry defense.

Ms. Levitskaia is a 2012 graduate of Golden Gate University Law School, and is also an Adjunct Professor at GGU, teaching litigation and trial skills.