Price, William C.

William C. Price

Partner

  Biography

Mr. Price is Co-Chair of the National Trial Practice Group for Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan and is resident in the firm's Los Angeles Office.  Mr. Price is recognized as one of the leading trial lawyers in America and is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.  The National Law Journal has named him one of the top ten winning trial lawyers in the United States an unprecedented three times - in 20042006 and in 2009 - the only trial lawyer so recognized this century, and one of only two so recognized since the annual list was first compiled in 1985.  As a result of his stunning trial victories, Mr. Price has twice been named "Litigator of the Week" by The American Lawyer which stated that "he has quietly and quickly developed a record that rivals those of the best in the business."  The Recorder (a top legal publication) named Mr. Price one of the California “Attorneys of the Year” for 2011. Chambers USA (2012) called him, “a top gun trial lawyer,’ who is well versed in trial work.” The Daily Journal named him one of the "Top 100 Lawyers in California" for 2012.  Chambers USA (2013) reported that Mr. Price is a "fantastic trial lawyer who specializes in bet-the-company cases," and he is "devastating in court; he's one to keep your eye out for".  Chambers USA (2014) reported that Mr. Price is "experienced in handling high-stakes disputes" and "he recently defended Micron in a patent infringement case worth over $1 billion."

Mr. Price's then-longest trial winning streak—30 trials—was profiled in 2001 in the California Law Business section of the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journals.  The streak ultimately extended to 35 trials.

The majority of Mr. Price's appearances have been for the defense and the great majority have resulted in defense verdicts.  Mr. Price specializes in “bet-the-company” defense cases.  In one notable example, Mr. Price successfully defended Micron Technology, Inc. in a true "bet-the-company" antitrust case involving random access memory chips during a three month jury trial in San Francisco Superior Court against Rambus, Inc.  Rambus asserted claims for violations of the Cartwright Act and sought $4 billion in compensatory damages, trebled to $12 billion under the Cartwright Act, as well as other relief.  The jury rejected Rambus’ claims and awarded no damages.

  Representative Clients

  • Broadcom
  • DIRECTV
  • Disney
  • Freedom Wireless
  • Google
  • Hughes Aircraft
  • Icon
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Micron
  • Motorola
  • Qualcomm
  • Samsung
  • TRW
  • Warner Brothers
  • Zurich
  • USC

  Notable Representations

  • Successfully defended Micron Technology, Inc. in a true "bet-the-company" antitrust case involving random access memory chips during a three month jury trial in San Francisco Superior Court against Rambus, Inc.  Rambus asserted claims for violations of the Cartwright Act and sought $4 billion in compensatory damages, trebled to $12 billion under the Cartwright Act, as well as other relief.  The jury rejected Rambus’ claims and awarded no damages.
  • Obtained a ruling after a two-week trial in the ITC that Rambus could not enforce its patents against our clients, including Broadcom, because it spoliated evidence in bad faith.
  • Won a verdict of $128 million for Freedom Wireless in a 12-week patent trial against Cingular and several other cellular carriers.  The jury concluded that our client's patents on prepaid cellular telephone technology were valid and infringed by the defendants.
  • Won a verdict of approximately $300 million (the verdict was in euros) on behalf of two German nationals against Bertelsmann and its former C.E.O. on breach of contract and other claims arising out of formation of the AOL Europe joint venture.  The case thereafter settled for $192 million.
  • Obtained a ruling after a one week court trial in Delaware that Rambus, the owner of patents covering computer memory chips, could not enforce its patents against our client, Micron, Inc.  Rambus had claimed billions in damages as a result of the infringement of its patents.  The court ruled that Rambus could not enforce its patents because it had spoliated evidence and acted in bad faith.
  • Obtained a defense verdict for TRW following a four week trial in which plaintiff, a twenty-six year employee and director of finance of our client, claimed that he was terminated because he spoke out about mischarging on government contracts.  Plaintiff had sought over $10 million in compensatory damages, and was also seeking punitive damages. A related qui tam suit filed by plaintiff, and defended by another law firm, resulted in a settlement in excess of $100 million.
  • Obtained a defense verdict for Tele-Tek in a seven-week jury trial in which plaintiff, a grandmother and the top salesperson for our client, claimed that our client, a leading telecommunications firm, discriminated against her on the basis of age and sex, manipulated commissions payments to systematically underpay salespersons, retaliated against her for complaining about illegal employment practices, and constructively terminated her.  Plaintiff had asked for $4 million in compensatory damages.
  • Obtained a defense verdict for Zurich Reinsurance in a federal jury trial in which plaintiff, an independent movie production company that boasted Martin Landau as one of its principals, claimed that our client breached an agreement to form a partnership to co-finance motion pictures and guarantee a $30 million dollar loan.  Plaintiff sought $22 million in compensatory damages.
  • Obtained a defense verdict for Disney in a jury trial in which plaintiff, a male employee of our client, claimed that a female supervisor subjected him to six months of sexual overtures and offensive sexual conduct, leading to his constructive termination.  Plaintiff had demanded $2.25 million prior to trial.
  • Obtained a defense verdict for Lockheed Martin in an eight week jury trial in which plaintiff, an African American plant protection officer employed in our client's security branch, claimed that from 1980 until he was constructively discharged in 1995 he was subjected to racial harassment by his supervisors and denied promotional opportunities because of his race.  Several Caucasian co-workers and one supervisor testified that plaintiff's supervisors had referred to plaintiff by using the "N" word.
  • Obtained a defense verdict for Optical Radiation Corp., a major pharmaceutical company, after a three week jury trial in a lawsuit involving scientist who claimed that he was fired for protesting the release of an allegedly defective product manufactured by the client that allegedly caused blindness in patients.
  • Obtained a defense verdict for Hughes Aircraft after an eight week jury trial in which plaintiff alleged that he was terminated after approximately ten years on the job for "blowing the whistle" on potential problems with weapons systems parts assembled at the plant where he worked.

  Practice Areas

  • Antitrust & Trade Regulation
  • Class Action Litigation
  • Copyright Litigation
  • Government Contracts Litigation
  • Intellectual Property Litigation
  • Media & Entertainment Litigation
  • Securities Litigation
  • Trade Secret Litigation
  • Trademark, Trade Dress, Unfair Competition/False Advertising, and Publicity Rights Litigation
  • White Collar & Corporate Investigations
  • Patent Litigation

  Education

  • Yale Law School
  • (J.D., 1981)
    • John Fletcher Caskey Prize
    • Recipient and Student Trial Champion, 1981

  • Duke University
    (B.A., valedictorian, Phi Beta Kappa, 1978)

  Admissions

The State Bar of California

  Prior Associations

  • Law Clerk to the Hon. Stanley A. Weigel:
    • United States District Court, Northern District of California, 1981-1982

  • Assistant United States Attorney:
    • Major Crimes Unit and Public Fraud and Corruption Unit, 1985-1988

  Awards

  • Ranked in California General Commercial Litigation, Chambers USA 2013-2014