- A $7 million jury verdict in a trade secret case. (One LLP’s client had been injured when employees left, took trade secrets, and opening a competing business.)
- A $4.3 million arbitration award in an international licensing dispute concerning the use of well-known soccer marks.
- A $2 million jury verdict in a trademark counterfeiting case.
- A $1.68 million judgment in a patent case. The jury confirmed the validity and enforceability of the patent, found the defendant’s infringement to be willful, and granted the requested 15% royalty. The court granted a post-trial request for enhanced damages.
- A $1.58 million arbitration award in a dispute over software development.
- A directed verdict in a multi-million dollar trade dress dispute in federal court.
- A plaintiff’s verdict in a patent case. The jury confirmed the validity and enforceability of the patent, found the defendant’s infringement to be willful, and granted the requested 15% royalty.
- A successful defense in a mass media defamation case. The jury awarded only $10,000 to a plaintiff who sought millions for, he claimed, falsely being called a drug dealer.
- An arbitration award granting One LLP’s client an ownership interest in a television program.
Chris handles litigation matters from their inception, but he also serves as a last-minute trial lawyer for cases that have been handled by other lawyers until the eve of trial. In one example, Chris took over a troubled trade secret case just weeks before trial. Chris’ client had, among other things, failed to designate any expert witnesses and had given devastating deposition testimony that made liability a virtual certainty, but Chris salvaged what could have been a disaster. Plaintiff sought $3.1 million in damages, and Chris’s client had only a weak liability argument and no damages expert to contradict the other side. Even so, Chris convinced the jury to reject the plaintiff’s damages theory and award only a small fraction of what plaintiff sought, a result that made it possible for defendant to continue her business.
Not surprisingly, as with many successful trial lawyers, Chris’s specialty during pre-trial proceedings is taking depositions. Chris taught Taking and Defending Depositions for three years at Chapman Law School, and he has carefully studied what makes a deposition successful. And a successful deposition matters. Often, a single deposition can change the entire course of a case, increasing or decreasing the settlement value of a case dramatically, or setting the case up for a win at trial or summary judgment. It is critical for a lawyer to understand how to set up a witness, how to effectively use documents and prior statements, and how to get the critical sound bite that can change the case.
In one recent case, Chris was brought in just two months before trial in a contentious case with millions of dollars on the line. The case appeared to be destined for trial, as both sides dug in aggressively. But four days after deposing the two key witnesses for the other side, the other side capitulated, offered an additional $400,000, and settled the case.
Chris believes that lawyers are, above all, called to persuade, and Chris therefore studies and teaches the principles of persuasion. He has taught the Art of Persuasion at Chapman Law School and has lectured on persuasion to some of the largest, most prestigious professional firms in the country, including Munger Tolles, O’Melveny, Jones Day, and Deloitte. Chris’s first continuing legal education program on persuasion remains the highest-rated MCLE program ever offered by one of the major online MCLE providers and is available for viewing on the One LLP website.
Chris’s trial practice involves all realms of intellectual property law and business disputes. He began his career litigating business disputes at O’Melveny & Myers, but his primary focus at One LLP is intellectual property litigation, particularly disputes over copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets. In recent years, he has handled disputes involving the intellectual property of celebrities like Madonna, Don Henley, Kobe Bryant, Bette Davis, and Perez Hilton.
Chris has polished his advocacy skills outside the courtroom as well, participating in speaking engagements and debates sponsored by groups such as the American Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association, the University of Southern California, Chapman Law School, Whittier Law School, the Anti-Defamation League, California Lawyers for the Arts, and various Inns of Court and local bar associations, and by serving as a legal expert on a number of nationally syndicated radio programs. Chris has also studied how to apply strong oral advocacy skills to the day-to-day tasks of a litigator, and has taught those principles to law students as an adjunct professor at Chapman Law School, where he has instructed students on effective deposition strategies and tactics.
Chris’s series of online MCLE programs on persuasion have received the best reviews ever received by one prominent MCLE provider. To view the programs, click here.
User reviews of Chris’s persuasion programs:
“Wow… what a great speaker… what we all aspire to.” – Michael (, )
“Shockingly good.” – Caitlin (, )
“Can’t be improved. Presentation is as close to perfect as you can get!” – Ronald (, )
“Excellent speaker. His presentation was a living example of some of the points he was making about exuding credibility and likeability as a speaker. ” – Kevin (, )
“This was by far the best presenter I’ve seen on the CLE classes – I liked the fact that it was being presented in front of an audience. Really good.” – Phillip (, )
“This one today was PERFECT as to the material, the speaker and the accessibility – THANK YOU!” – Linda (, )
“Best seminar I ever saw.” – William (, )
“This was the best on-line lecture I’ve ever viewed. ” – Joseph (, )
“This course was fantastic! phenomenal speaker, interesting topic, VERY well presented.” – Joanna (South Orange, NJ)
“This was the best online course I have ever had” – Jeffrey (, )
Education & Background
- O’Melveny & Myers LLP: Litigation Associate.
- United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit: Law Clerk to the Honorable Charles Wiggins.
- University of Southern California: J.D.; Order of the Coif; Arthur Manella Scholarship winner (awarded to the top-ranked student in the class at the end of the first year); Law Review.
- William Jewell College: B.A.; magna cum laude.
Other Items of Interest
- In law school, Chris was selected by William Rehnquist, then Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, as one of only 11 law students nationwide to be granted an interview as finalists in the Chief Justice’s clerkship-selection process.
- Chris has regularly been named a Super Lawyer by Southern California Super Lawyers magazine.
- Chris has served as a Trustee of California Baptist University, where he has also taught constitutional law.
- Chris has served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for Magnolia Memorial Park.
“Tips For The Last-Minute Trial Lawyer” Orange County Lawyer, August 2017
“Litigators v. Trial Lawyers: The Differences and Why They Matter” California Lawyer, July 2017
Law 360 interview for its Trial Pros series April 2016
“The King of Pop, Sir Paul, and the Right to Reclaim Copyrights” Big Hollywood, July 2009
“Is Copyright Law Stifling Creativity?” Big Hollywood, July 2009
“Don Henley’s Lawsuit Against Chuck DeVore Threatens First Amendment” Big Hollywood, June 2009
“The End of American Conservatism?” Red County, October 2008
“Standing Under The Unfair Competition Law Is Unlikely To Exist For Competitors” OC Lawyer, September 2008
“Keeping the Judiciary in Check” Red County, April 2008
“Is the Supreme Court’s Independence Under Attack?” Communique, February 2007
“When Does a Contract Breach Also Give Rise to a Tort Claim? A Primer for Practitioners” OC Lawyer, July 2006
“Originalism and its Discontents” OC Lawyer, September 2005
“Is the California Supreme Court Confusing the Boundaries of the Economic Loss Rule?” OC Lawyer, May 2005
“Gould and Phillips: How the Court of Appeal has abused Tameny’s wrongful-termination doctrine.” OC Lawyer, March 2005
“Pitfalls in Defending the Rule 30(b)(6) Witness.” OC Lawyer, November 2004