Category Archives: Firm News

Professor Abbye Atkinson

On April 12, 2017, Gibbs Law Group attorneys hosted a reception for Berkeley Law’s Consumer Advocacy & Protection Society. The event brought together Boalt Hall faculty, young alumni, and current students to discuss some of the key accomplishments and major efforts underway for consumer law at the school. In particular, the event introduced and celebrated the hiring of Professor Abbye Atkinson, the first tenure-track professor specializing in consumer law in the history of the law school. Her hiring is a significant step in the evolution of consumer law at Berkeley. Professor Ted Mermin, who teaches consumer protection law at Berkeley, and Dean Melissa Murray delivered remarks to the group.

David Stein was named today to the Daily Journal’s “Top 40 Under 40” list for 2017. The Daily Journal selects top young attorneys from throughout California for the honor based on nominations of lawyers across all practice areas, as well as from public agencies, corporations and non-profits.

Andre Mura has been selected by the American Association for Justice to its 2017 Leadership Academy. The highly-selective program (awarded to no more than 16 plaintiff attorneys nationwide) is an initiative of the AAJ Diversity Committee, and is intended to provide those selected with the skills and techniques needed to position them as effective leaders in professional settings, in AAJ, and in their communities.

Consumers alleging that Vizio violated various privacy and consumer protection laws by tracking and analyzing the viewing habits of Smart TV users without proper consent have survived a critical stage of the lawsuit. On March 2, 2017, the Honorable Josephine Staton of the U.S. District Court, Central District of California issued an order largely denying Vizio’s Motion to Dismiss the case, which means that the lawsuit can continue into the next phase, and plaintiffs will be permitted to file a second consolidated complaint if they so choose.

Eric Gibbs, David Stein and Amy Zeman will be presenting at the upcoming Mass Tort Med School and Class Actions Conference on March 13-15th in Orlando, Florida. The conference, presented by HB Litigation Conferences, will provide a deep dive into a variety of issues of importance to practitioners, including the science and medicine of mass torts, a focus on trends and developments in current cases, the impact of the changing political climate on class and mass actions, and identifying opportunities that intersect mass torts and class actions.

Bloomberg Law Federal Contracts Report TM published an article this week on the recent dismissal of a False Claims Act Whistleblower case in which one of the company’s engineers charged Raytheon, a large defense contractor, with making false statements about the status of a $1 billion weather satellite program and concealing defects about the technology, while continuing to bill the federal government for the contract. In dismissing the False Claims Act lawsuit, the California judge called the whistleblower complaint “incomprehensible” due to a lack of clarity, grammatical errors and technical jargon.

On January 23, 2017, Hon. Beth Freeman of the United States District Court, Northern District of California, granted final approval to a settlement that resolves a class action lawsuit filed in 2015 on behalf of owners and lessees of 2011-2014 model year Hyundai Sonata vehicles who alleged that their vehicles were sold with defective engines that suffered premature failure.  The settlement class vehicles include 2011-2014 Hyundai Sonatas with a Theta II 2.0 or 2.4 liter gasoline direct injection engine, and the settlement provides for a number of benefits to class members, including:  free inspections and repairs, warranty extensions, and reimbursements for past repairs and related costs.  For more specific details on the settlement benefits,  you can view the Hyundai Sonata Engine Failure Class Action page.