Randy Grossman is our latest Featured Speaker!

Our latest featured speaker is Randy Grossman from Manatt!

Randy is speaking at our upcoming 20th Annual Federal Court Boot Camp: The Nuts and Bolts (CA) program on April 30 & May 2, 2024. This boot camp will walk you through your case in Federal Court from start to finish. You’ll learn the rules and tasks, strategies and tactics, and the skills and techniques you must have to become a more effective and successful litigator in Federal Court and to be a more effective and successful litigator in general.

Randy Grossman is a partner in Manatt’s Trial, White Collar and Investigations practice and leader of the San Diego office. With nearly three decades of experience in private practice and as a prosecutor, including his recent service as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of California, Randy focuses on government and internal investigations, white collar and civil litigation, and corporate compliance counseling.

Randy’s experience in private practice includes high-stakes matters for clients across multiple industries, including health care, technology, aerospace, global communications, defense contracting, retail and professional sports. He has represented clients in investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice, SEC and state law enforcement agencies. Randy also has conducted internal investigations in the United States and internationally for companies and their boards of directors concerning alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, False Claims Act, and other federal and state laws. In addition, Randy has led complex litigation in federal and state court involving alleged fraud, antitrust claims, franchise disputes, securities laws allegations and class actions.

Immediately before joining Manatt, Randy served as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of California. As the chief federal law enforcement official for the district, Randy was responsible for prosecuting federal crimes committed throughout San Diego and Imperial Counties. During his tenure, the office successfully prosecuted several significant offenses, including espionage, cybercrime, transnational organized crime, cryptocurrency schemes, securities fraud, health care fraud, defense procurement fraud and public corruption. Randy also oversaw civil enforcement matters and litigation on behalf of the United States, and he worked with other U.S. Attorneys around the country on national policies regarding white collar crime and corporate compliance.

Randy started his career as a Deputy District Attorney for the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, where he tried more than 70 criminal cases to jury verdict, including high-profile murder and gang violence cases.

Randy is also a leader in the community. He is a Master with the Hon. J. Clifford Wallace Inn of Court, a former trustee for the California Western School of Law Board of Trustees, a former president of the San Diego Association of Business Trial Lawyers, and a former board member for Walden Family Services Adoption and Foster Care Agency.

We are excited to have him join us!

Joseph Farris is our latest Featured Speaker!

Our latest featured speaker is Joseph Farris from Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP!

Joe is speaking at our upcoming 20th Annual Federal Court Boot Camp: The Nuts and Bolts (CA) program on April 30 & May 2, 2024. He will be a part of an stellar panel for this program, which will walk you through your case in Federal Court from start to finish. You’ll learn the rules and tasks, strategies and tactics, and the skills and techniques you must have to become a more effective and successful litigator in Federal Court and to be a more effective and successful litigator in general.

Joe Farris is a seasoned trial attorney and trusted advisor to technology companies based in San Francisco who represents clients in a broad range of business and intellectual property disputes. He has significant experience in state and federal courts, private arbitration, and a variety of cross-border disputes.

His clients often face emerging legal issues at the intersections of law and technology, including trade secret, copyright, trademark, patent, and unfair competition litigation. He has recently represented a medical technology company in federal court litigation against an internationally-based competitor that sought to raid the client’s U.S. operational staff and intellectual property. Before that, he defended an international electronics manufacturer against parallel federal and state litigation asserting trade secret misappropriation and trademark infringement.

His work frequently involves complex forensic investigations of digital evidence in disputes and litigation involving trade secret theft, source code copying, hacking and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), subpoenas for Internet content and communications, online defamation and harassment, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), works-for-hire disputes, and use of web-crawling bots. Joe also has experience in a variety of business litigation matters such as breaches of commercial contracts, licensing and royalty disputes, founders’ disputes, violations of fiduciary duties, and false advertising. He regularly advises and counsels clients on issues related to employee mobility, including cases involving breaches of employment contracts, non-disclosure agreements, non-competition agreements, and non-solicitation agreements.

Before joining Arnold & Porter, Joe was an Assistant District Attorney for the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office where he was lead trial counsel in 10 jury trials, nine of which resulted in a conviction.

He is a 2008 graduate of the University of California, Berkeley School of Law where he was a member of the Board of Advocates and served as an article editor on the Ecology Law Quarterly journal.

We are excited to have him join us!

Hon. Suzanne Segal (Ret.) is our latest Featured Speaker!

Our latest featured speaker is Hon. Suzanne H. Segal (Ret.) from Signature Resolution!

Judge Segal is speaking at our upcoming 20th Annual Federal Court Boot Camp: The Nuts and Bolts (CA) program on April 30 & May 2, 2024. She will be a part of an amazing panel for this program, which will walk you through your case in Federal Court from start to finish. You’ll learn the rules and tasks, strategies and tactics, and the skills and techniques you must have to become a more effective and successful litigator in Federal Court and to be a more effective and successful litigator in general. Judge Segal previously spoke at our 19th Annual Federal Court Boot Camp: The Nuts and Bolts (CA) program last year, and has also spoken at our Federal Court Boot Camps in 2019, 2020, and 2022.

During her tenure on the federal bench, Judge Segal presided over numerous trials, evidentiary hearings, motions, and discovery conferences involving diverse subject matter. Judge Segal served as the settlement judge in hundreds of cases, settling business and insurance disputes; patent, trademark, and copyright actions; and employment, civil rights, and tort cases. Judge Segal handled a wide range of motions and settlements arising out of class actions, particularly in the wage and hour context.

Judge Segal has broad experience in securities litigation, including matters brought by private investors and the SEC. In addition, Judge Segal has extensive experience in matters involving the False Claims Act and related actions involving the healthcare industry.

Judge Segal has served as a special master or discovery referee in cases involving the False Claims Act, mass tort and insurance claims, patent litigation, and product liability claims.

Before her appointment to the bench, Judge Segal served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Civil Division of the Los Angeles U.S. Attorney’s Office for 12 years. As an AUSA, Judge Segal handled a variety of cases, including contract, employment, civil rights, Medicare reimbursement, and tort claims. She also brought consumer and civil rights actions on behalf of the Department of Justice. From 1999 to 2002, she served as the Chief of Civil Appeals for the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Prior to serving in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Judge Segal was a civil litigator at Dewey, Ballantine and Adams, Duque and Hazeltine.

Judge Segal has also served as a lecturer in Law at UCLA School of Law and Loyola Law School. Judge Segal is known for her work ethic and persistent dedication to reach a positive result for the parties.

We are excited to have her join us again!

John Mullan is our Latest Featured Speaker!

John Mullan is our latest featured speaker!

John will present at our upcoming 2nd Annual Employment Law Year in Review, a two-part webinar held on January 16 and January 18, 2024.

John joined Rudy Exelrod Zieff & Lowe in 2002, and currently leads the class action practice group. He has a deep knowledge of state and federal employment laws, which protect workers from employers who do not provide proper compensation. John has successfully recovered tens of millions of dollars in unpaid wages for his clients from some of the largest employers in California. These class action lawsuits include allegations of unpaid wages, unpaid overtime wages, violations of meal and rest breaks, and gender discrimination. John frequently co-counsels large class action cases with other firms.

John is also an experienced litigator, representing individuals with employment law claims such as wrongful termination, harassment, discrimination, and whistleblower retaliation.  He represents many high profile clients, such as Tinder founder Whitney Wolfe in her sexual harassment lawsuit against the company.

John has been named a Northern California Super Lawyer since 2013, and was previously recognized as a “Rising Star for Northern California” by Super Lawyers. He is a graduate of the UC Berkeley School of Law, where he served as an executive editor of the Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law.

We have had many partners from Rudy Exelrod Zieff & Lowe speak over the years – all to rave reviews – and John comes highly recommended by several of them.

Thank you for sharing your expertise with us, John! We’re looking forward to your presentation on employment law.

Tony J. Oncidi is our Latest Featured Speaker!

Tony J. Oncidi is our latest featured speaker!

Catch Tony’s upcoming talk at our 2nd Annual Employment Law Year in Review, a two-part webinar on a comprehensive discussion on California and Federal employment law for 2023. You don’t want to miss this!

Tony gave an enlightening, informative presentation at last year’s Employment Law Year in Review which is available for download here.

Tony is a partner at Proskauer Rose LLP and heads the West Coast Labor & Employment group in the firm’s Los Angeles office.

Tony represents employers and management in all aspects of labor relations and employment law, including litigation and preventive counseling, wage and hour matters, including class actions, wrongful termination, employee discipline, Title VII and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, executive employment contract disputes, sexual harassment training and investigations, workplace violence, drug testing and privacy issues, Sarbanes-Oxley claims and employee raiding and trade secret protection. A substantial portion of Tony’s practice involves the defense of employers in large class actions, employment discrimination, harassment and wrongful termination litigation in state and federal court as well as arbitration proceedings, including FINRA matters.

Tony is recognized as a leading lawyer by such highly respected publications and organizations as the Los Angeles Daily JournalThe Hollywood Reporter, and Chambers USA, which gives him the highest possible rating (“Band 1”) for Labor & Employment.  According to Chambers USA, clients say Tony is “brilliant at what he does… He is even keeled, has a high emotional IQ, is a great legal writer and orator, and never gives up.” Other clients report:  “Tony has an outstanding reputation” and he is “smart, cost effective and appropriately aggressive.” Tony is hailed as “outstanding,” particularly for his “ability to merge top-shelf lawyerly advice with pragmatic business acumen.” He is highly respected in the industry, with other commentators lauding him as a “phenomenal strategist” and “one of the top employment litigators in the country.”

We’re looking forward to hearing you present, Tony!

John Killacky is Our Latest Featured Speaker!

featured speaker

Our latest featured speaker is John Killacky, Esq. of Momkus McCluskey LLC!

John is experienced in litigation and transactions, and will speak at our Federal Court Boot Camp in Chicago on April 6, 2018.

We are happy to have John speak for us again. He was on the Chicago panels for our Advanced Litigation Techniques seminar, and our 7th and 8th Annual Federal Court Boot Camps. Attendees appreciated his effective use of personal experiences in the cases presented.

John has served in senior positions as both in-house and outside counsel. This potent combination has instilled in John a broad appreciation for how to best partner with clients to achieve their objectives.

Before joining Momkus McCluskey, John spent over eight years as General Counsel and Deputy General Counsel of a publicly-traded property and casualty insurance holding company. While in-house, John oversaw a number of high-stakes litigation matters and guided the company through several large M&A and financing transactions. John also served as the company’s Privacy and Chief Compliance Officer, charged with ensuring compliance with SEC and NASDAQ regulations, state insurance laws, Gramm-Leach-Bliley and other requirements. John has substantial experience providing practical legal and business advice to clients on a variety of substantive issues.

Prior to working in-house, John was a litigation partner with a large international law firm where he gained first and second chair trial experience in commercial, securities, employment, products liability and other complex litigation matters. John has considerable experience conducting internal investigations and has also represented clients responding to subpoenas and investigations by government agencies. John was also a partner with an entrepreneurial litigation boutique in Chicago.

In addition to his litigation practice, John provides insurance regulatory and corporate transactional services. Before pursuing a career in law, John attended the United States Naval Academy and served for five years as a surface warfare officer.

Motions for Summary Judgment

Occasionally we share parts of or written materials created by our speakers for our programs. Below is an excerpt on Motions for Summary Judgment from a long time speaker who also happens to be a federal court clerk at the United States District Court in California.  

Our blog readers can take 50% off our Superior Court and Federal Court Boot Camp audio packages with the coupon code 50MSJ

Motions for Summary Judgment and Partial Summary Judgment

The biggest difference between state and federal court with respect to motions for summary judgment is that a motion for summary judgment, if well-taken, is much more likely to be granted in federal court than state court.  Because federal judges have their own law clerks, they are able to devote more time to motions for summary judgment, which is one of the reasons they tend to be granted more.  However, because federal judges have more time and resources, they will also figure out if your motion for summary judgment is meritless.  Therefore, if you are going to file a motion for summary judgment in federal court, you want to do the best job possible – it is a time-consuming motion for attorneys to draft, it is time-consuming for the Court, and it is expensive for clients.

Legal Standard

In federal court, a party may move for summary judgment on a claim or defense, or a part of a claim or defense (partial summary judgment). “The court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. The court should state on the record the reasons for granting or denying the motion.” FRCP 56(a).  In ruling on a motion for summary judgment, the Court’s role is not to weigh the evidence (or make credibility determinations), but only to determine if a genuine issue of material fact exists.  .  Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986).  In determining if any genuine issues of material fact exist, the evidence of the opposing party is to be believed, and all reasonable inferences that may be drawn from the facts placed before the Court must be drawn in favor of the opposing party.  Matsushita Elec. Indos. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986). 

A genuine issue is one in which the evidence is such that a reasonable fact-finder could return a verdict for the non-moving party.  Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248-49. A material fact is a fact that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law.  Id. 

The moving party has the burden of informing the Court of the basis for its motion for summary judgment, and identifying the evidence, if any, “which it believes demonstrates the absence of a genuine issue of material fact.” Celotex v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). That evidence can consist of the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, admissions, documents, and affidavits and declarations.

When the moving party does not have the burden of proof at trial on a dispositive issue, the moving party may meet its burden for summary judgment by showing an “absence of evidence” to support the non-moving party’s case.  Id., at 325.

The non-moving party is required by Rule 56(e) to go beyond the pleadings and designate specific facts demonstrating that there is a genuine issue for trial.  Id. at 324. Conclusory allegations unsupported by factual materials are insufficient to create a triable issue of fact so as to preclude summary judgment.  Hansen v. United States, 7 F.3d 137, 138 (9th Cir. 1993). However, to establish the existence of a factual dispute, the opposing party need not establish a material issue of fact conclusively in its favor. It is sufficient that the “claimed factual dispute be shown to require a jury or judge to resolve the parties’ differing versions of the truth at trial.”  First Nat’l Bank of Arizona v. Cities Serv. Co., 391 U.S. 253, 290 (1968).

The Timing

Motions for summary judgment are governed by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56, and the time for bringing a motion for summary judgment is “any time until 30 days after the close of all discovery.”

However, this deadline will almost always be different, so, as always, you need to check the Local Rules, your judge’s local rules, and your case’s Scheduling and Case Management Order.

Motions for summary judgment can be brought as soon as you have enough uncontroverted evidence to establish your case. However, under Rule 56(d), if discovery has not yet closed, the opposing party can claim that “it cannot present facts essential to justify its opposition.” If the Court finds the opposing party’s claims meritorious, it can defer consideration of or deny the motion or allow additional time for discovery. However, Rule 56(d) requires the filing of an affidavit or declaration that demonstrates the “specified reasons” why the opposing party cannot present the facts essential to justify its opposition.  Thus, conclusory statements in the brief are not enough.

And, do not forget that Local Rules may require you to meet and confer prior to filing a motion for summary judgment.  See, e.g., Central District Local Rule 7-3.

Drafting Your Opening, Opposing, or Closing Brief

1.     Follow the standard format for a motion: Introduction, Factual and Procedural History, Argument, Conclusion.

2.     The introduction should tell the Court your side of the story in summary format, including why you win under the law and as a matter of fairness.

3.     Have a theme that is presented in the introduction, and return to it throughout your brief(s).

4.     Be organized! Make the Court’s job easy by making the facts and law contained in your brief easy to read, understand, and find. Headings that are meaningful are key.

5.     Lead with your strongest argument.

6.     But, be sure you deal with any contrary authority. Better to lose a motion than to lose your credibility with the Court. Once it’s gone, it’s extremely difficult to regain.

7.     Be an advocate for your client, but do not be nasty or unprofessional.

8.     Start your Opposition as soon as possible, even before you receive your opponent’s Opening Brief. The Opposition and all the supporting evidence is incredibly time consuming to draft and organize, and you may only have seven days in which to do it.

9.     Some judges and law clerks really do read the Reply first, so do not simply cut and paste from your Opening Brief. The Reply is a huge opportunity to tell the Court what your opponent failed to address/argue or why their evidence and argument is inferior to yours (and, in either case, why you win).

10.  Other judges and law clerks read the Statement of Undisputed Facts/Separate Statement (where required) first. Follow the format required, if one is given. Otherwise, make it easy-to-read for the Court. In addition, have as few facts as possible in your Separate Statement – not every fact you use in your brief must be in the Separate Statement, only the material facts that you are relying upon.

Tips Regarding Motions for Summary Judgment

1.     Generally, all evidence must be provided to the Court, even if previously submitted in connection with another motion.

2.     Organize your evidence as if for trial – tabs, labels, table of contents, etc. And, follow all the Local Rules and the judge’s local rules, no matter how silly they seem – they matter to your judge!

3.     Do not submit blanket or boilerplate objections – this is a waste of time and resources.

4.     Lodge a proposed order (Check Local Rules).

5.     Lodge a proposed judgment (Check Local Rules).

6.     If the other side files a motion for summary judgment and you agree that the issue is a matter of law, consider a cross-motion and a stipulated set of facts.

7.     Do not attempt to sidestep the page limitation by filing multiple summary judgment motions or using crazy margins and/or font sizes – ask the Court for more pages if you really need them.

8.     Do not assume you will have oral argument.

9.     If you do have oral argument, be prepared, be prepared, be prepared.

10.  Know the deadline for filing your motion for summary judgment, which is different than the last day for it to be heard.