• Our Experience

    Since 1999, our clients have entrusted us with complex litigation across the country. Businesses, government entities, and individuals have all turned to our attorneys to be trusted, forceful advocates, moving their cases forward and over the finish line.

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  • Our Mission

    We strive to provide unparalleled representation in trial and appellate matters. We do this by incorporating our principles into our practice to skillfully navigate the challenges of litigation for our clients, be it individuals, businesses, or government entities

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  • Firm Highlights

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  • For ten years, Kerr & Wagstaffe’s attorneys have been honored as SuperLawyers, a rating service from Thomson Reuters that recognizes the achievement of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional success.

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Complex Commercial Litigation

Complex Commercial Litigation

Complex Commercial Litigation

The firm represents both plaintiffs and defendants in complex commercial litigation involving diverse claims, including:

  • Antitrust and unfair competition
  • Investors’ rights
  • Fiduciary duty
  • Partnership disputes
  • Trade secret
  • Contract
  • Unfair competition

We approach each case with a coherent strategy and consistent focus on preparing for trial, which our experience has shown is the only way to maximize results.  Our clients bring us their high stakes litigation, and we have a proven track record of winning while efficiently managing the litigation.


Class Actions

Class Actions

We prosecute class actions on behalf of consumers and employees. A class action lawsuit is brought by one or more people seeking to represent all others in the same situation so that these violations stop and damages are recovered for the group. All too frequently, companies take advantage of consumers, depriving them of amounts of money that are too small to sue for on an individual basis. In a similar way, many companies regularly violate their employees’ rights to overtime, expense reimbursement, meal and rest breaks, and other workplace protections or benefits. A class action is an important tool for protecting the rights of consumers, employees, and anyone else who is one of many people suffering a similar injury may be too small to pursue on an individual basis.

Kerr & Wagstaffe is committed to helping people protect their rights and seek redress for past wrongs. If you have been injured by a company that is doing the same thing to many others, please contact us for a free consultation. All of our class action work is done on a contingency fee basis – we do not charge anything unless we win or reach a settlement.

Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property

Kerr & Wagstaffe LLP has taken on some of the most difficult intellectual property cases of the past decade—and won. Over the course of the firm’s twelve-year history we have helped our clients recover more than $450 million in patent, trademark, trade secret, domain name and copyright litigation. We have also successfully defended numerous clients in infringement challenges, efficiently and effectively protecting their creative efforts and business interests.

Our Approach

We maximize success by preparing for trial from day one. Though the vast majority of intellectual property cases resolve before trial, our experience shows that clients get the best results when we focus from the start on what it takes to win. Our settlements—which include eight- and nine-figure royalties on individual patents—bear out the strength of that approach.

Preparing for trial means putting together an effective strategy for communicating our story to juries, charting a course of motion practice to set up the case in the optimal position, and seeking out the key evidence that will have the maximum impact on the ultimate decision-makers.

We help our clients tell their stories to juries. Intellectual property cases often involve complex technologies, confusing procedural histories, and counter-intuitive economic concepts. Building from a base of technical expertise and rigorous analysis, we develop our cases around the narratives that allow jurors to grasp the critical concepts and frame the facts in the way most favorable to our clients.

At the same time, we establish and maintain credibility with judges, laying the groundwork for victory at trial through effective motion practice. Our lawyers literally wrote the book on federal civil procedure–authoring and contributing to the leading practice guide—and train new federal judges every year on how to manage their cases. Whether in court on a discovery dispute or arguing critical Markman or summary judgment hearings, we take every opportunity to reinforce our clients’ reputations, and to help the court side with our clients by establishing the legal and factual footing for our positions. We do not take a scattershot approach to motion practice, but only seek relief when doing so will help our clients win—a practice that helps us prevail when it counts.

We approach discovery with similar focus. By targeting the evidence necessary to prevail at trial, we take control of discovery without letting it take control of us—or our clients. Our lawyers efficiently seek out the key documents and testimony that will have the maximum persuasive force, and we utilize cutting-edge technology to avoid unnecessary expenditures on document review. We keep our case teams lean, and don’t expect our clients to pay for junior attorneys to learn on the job. Each attorney understands both the global strategy and tactical details of the case, so all of our effort is directed to executing on improving the outcome.

Our Intellectual Property Experience

We have successfully vindicated the rights of inventors seeking fair compensation for their innovations, protected the rights of businesses against those seeking to improperly gain from misuse of their brands, and asserted the rights of authors and other creative professionals to control use of their works. Our experience includes not just major patent litigation but trademark, trade secret, domain name and copyright matters.

We are often asked to step into existing cases to help formulate strategy, to handle especially difficult issues, or to protect a client’s right to their selected counsel when challenged for an alleged conflict of interest. Though we practice in federal courts around the country, we bring particular familiarity with the Northern District of California, where many of our attorneys clerked and where our former partner now sits as a magistrate judge.


Insurance Policyholder Rights

Insurance Policyholder Rights

We provide legal counsel to individuals and business owners who are being treated unfairly by their insurance companies.  Regardless of the type of dispute, our goal is to provide our clients with all of the benefits that their insurance companies promised.

We represent insurance policy holders in actions against their insurers for breach of contract, bad faith, misrepresentation, reformation and other legal claims.  We also represent policyholders on appeal and on a class action basis.

We can assist you with pre-litigation matters such as claim negotiation, examinations under oath (“EUO”) and appraisals.  Indeed, because insurance companies know of our tenacity and willingness to take cases to trial, we are often successful in resolving disputes without litigation.

Kerr & Wagstaffe LLP has successfully litigated against insurance companies on claims arising from:

  • Business and Residential Property insurance;
  • Comprehensive general liability (“CGL”) insurance;
  • Directors & officers liability insurance;
  • Errors & omission insurance; and
  • Disability & life insurance.

We represent clients in California and across the country.  We do not charge a fee to evaluate potential cases, and we frequently work with our clients on a contingency fee basis—so we do not charge anything for our services unless we win or reach a settlement.

Some of our notable engagements and pending cases are listed below.  Call or email our office to learn more about our insurance coverage practice.  You can also review the latest developments in policy holder rights and insurance coverage law on our blog at www.kerrwagstaffeinsurancelaw.com.


 

Employment

Employment

We represent employees in individual and class action cases concerning wages, expense reimbursement, meal and rest breaks, whistleblower protections, retaliation, and discrimination.  We also frequently litigate right-to-work cases, representing both individuals and companies in cases challenging the use of non-competition clauses or other provisions that seek to limit the right of workers to change jobs.

If you believe that you have been treated improperly by a current or former employer, or need assistance dealing with employment related non-competition or non-solicitation issues, please contact us for a free consultation.  Because employment claims can sometimes be resolved through negotiation rather than lawsuits, we are willing to consider a variety of fee arrangements, including contingency fees, hourly fees, and flat fees depending on the situation.


Government Law

Government Law

Kerr & Wagstaffe has a well-established government law practice. We have represented the State Bar of California, the County of San Mateo, the City of San Rafael, and other local governments and agencies in cases involving constitutional law, governmental immunities, complex inter-agency disputes, and land use/CEQA litigation. Recognizing the substantial financial strain on California governmental entities, we commonly agree to reduced or blended fee structures when we represent governmental entities.


Victim’s Rights

Victim’s Rights

For over ten years, Kerr & Wagstaffe’s team of dedicated trial lawyers have pursued justice for victims of careless, reckless, and intentional conduct by others.

We represent individuals and families whose lives have been changed because of serious injury or death. Our thoughtful and thorough approach, and experience opposing insurance companies, allows us to provide victims of wrongful conduct with the representation that they need.


Well before “hazing” was recognized as a serious crime under California law, we pursued the rights of individuals and families affected by hazing. Following lobbying efforts assisted by the firm, in 2006 Kerr & Wagstaffe clients were successful in getting a new hazing law enacted in California. The law significantly increased protection and remedies for hazing. The statute, “Matt’s Law,” allows for felony prosecution when serious injuries or death result from hazing. It also provides victims of hazing with direct claims against the individuals who participate in hazing and often the organization whose members conducted the hazing.

Kerr & Wagstaffe has represented, and continues to represent, numerous individuals who have experienced hazing, as well as the families of several students who died as a result of hazing. We have successfully pursued hazing and negligence claims against fraternities, schools, and individuals. We represented the parents of Matthew Carrington, in whose name California’s hazing law was enacted, who was one of the bright college students who died as a result of a dangerous fraternity initiation event.

 

First Amendment/Anti-SLAPP/Defamation

First Amendment / Anti-SLAPP / Defamation

First Amendment issues arise in innumerable contexts and we are prepared to address them in as many arenas. Kerr & Wagstaffe has substantial experience litigating and consulting with individuals and organizations to protect these important rights consistent with the public interest. We have fought numerous Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (“SLAPP”)– cases filed to discourage individuals from exercising their First Amendment rights. Our dedication and skill in both the procedural and substantive aspects of First Amendment litigation are key to effectively protecting these rights.


 

Appellate

Appellate

Kerr & Wagstaffe LLP is widely recognized for its sophisticated and cutting edge appellate practice in both state and federal courts across the country. We have represented a broad array of clients in both state and federal appeals, with great success.

Our team of appellate attorneys delivers the detailed analysis and zealous oral advocacy needed to prevail in both federal and state appellate courts around the country. We apply our creativity, skill and experience at every step of the process to protect our clients’ rights on appeal, preserving trial court victories and challenging adverse decisions. We encourage collaborative efforts on appeal with trial counsel, and are open to flexible fee arrangements, including contingency fees.

We can help you at every stage of the appellate process:

  • Preserving the Record for Appeal: The first step of winning on appeal is making sure you have a proper trial court record. We are frequently retained to provide advice to counsel during trial to protect and preserve rights and issues on a subsequent appeal.
  • Post-Trial Briefing: Post-trial briefing is often essential to frame issues for appeal while giving the trial court the opportunity to address potential errors. As part of our appellate work, we are frequently asked to assist trial counsel in preparing and opposing requests for new trial, motions for JNOV, and applications for attorneys’ fees and costs.
  • Appellate Briefing: The heart of the appellate process lies in the briefs. We recognize the importance of drafting a compelling brief that captures and holds the reader’s interest from start to finish.
  • Appellate Motions and Writ Practice: Motions and writs at the appellate level present complex and unique challenges. We have substantial experience in bringing interlocutory writs and appellate motions to expedite review of critical legal issues and seek early dispositions of otherwise lengthy appeals.
  • Amicus Briefs: Friend-of-the-court briefs provide people other than the parties with the opportunity to influence the outcome of decisions in critical cases. We provide amicus representation to a variety of organizations, including pro bono representation of non-profit and public advocacy groups.

Kerr & Wagstaffe attorneys have represented parties or amici in connection with the following decisions available on Westlaw:

[2010-2011] [2000-2009] [prior to 2000]

Probate and Trust Litigation

Trust Litigation

Kerr & Wagstaffe attorneys are effective in resolving even the most complex, contentious trust disputes. Our practice has addressed a wide range of claims and practical nuances of trust litigation. In addition to representing heirs and beneficiaries, we have substantial experience litigating administrator and trustee claims. We have resolved the distribution of tens of millions of dollars in disputed assets for our clients.