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Morgan, Shon
Direct Tel: +1 213-443-3252
Los Angeles
Tel: +1 213 443 3000 Fax: +1 213 443 3100

Mr. Morgan serves as Chair of the Firm’s National Class Action Practice Group. His practice focuses primarily on complex class action defense, with particular experience in consumer fraud, wage and hour, and securities actions. He regularly serves as lead defense counsel in Multi-District Litigation proceedings. Mr. Morgan has successfully defended more than 250 class actions in 20-plus states, and has defeated class certification in more than 90% of his consumer cases that have reached that stage. He also has extensive appellate experience and regularly defends his team's trial-level wins in state and federal appellate courts.

Mr. Morgan represents clients that provide varied products and services that include autos and motorcycles, consumer electronics, software, food and beverages, cosmetics and personal care products, as well as sharing-economy companies and mixed platform retailers. As a result of his reputation for crafting creative (and early-stage) resolutions, companies often retain Mr. Morgan to lead settlement negotiations even when represented by other primary defense counsel.

Mr. Morgan was recognized in 2019 by Law360 as a national Class Action MVP; by The Daily Journal as one of the top 20 lawyers under 40 years of age; and has been named a Southern California "Superlawyer" multiple times. In 2012 and 2015, Law360 named the Firm's Class Action Group as one of the top five in the United States.

  • Activision
  • AIG
  • Ancestry.com
  • Bank One
  • Barnes & Noble
  • Boston University
  • The Coca-Cola Company
  • Colgate-Palmolive
  • Computer Sciences Corporation
  • Daimler, AG
  • Delphi
  • Duke University
  • EOS Products
  • Epson America, Inc.
  • Fidelity Federal
  • First USA
  • Gateway
  • General Motors
  • Hitachi
  • Home Depot
  • Hughes Electronics
  • Hyundai Motor America
  • IBM
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Kia Motors America
  • Mercedes-Benz USA
  • Mitsui & Co.
  • Northrop
  • Salesforce.com
  • Sequoia Capital
  • Shell Oil
  • Suzuki Motor Company
  • The Pep Boys
  • Time, Inc.
  • Unilever
  • United Parcel Service
  • Vivendi S.A.
  • Washington Mutual
  • Wells Fargo
  • ZestFinance
  • Represented IBM in nine separate consumer fraud class actions in nine states alleging defective hard disk drives.  Three of these cases reached the certification stage; and the firm defeated certification in all three.  Two of the other actions were dismissed outright.  The remaining cases then promptly settled on very favorable terms.
  • When Hyundai Motor America faced more than 50 consumer class actions after the company restated mileage-per-gallon figures on certain vehicles, it tapped Mr. Morgan to serve as lead defense counsel.  The case resulted in a landmark settlement and generated a recent Ninth Circuit en banc opinion (which Shon argued) that is perhaps the most significant appellate decision in recent years on class settlements.  
  • Won a pleading-stage dismissal on behalf of Daimler in a MDL that coordinates more than 35 direct and indirect purchaser antitrust, RICO, and consumer fraud class actions alleging that the “Group of Five” German auto manufacturers engaged in a massive conspiracy over the last 30 years to restrict innovation and/or charge artificial premiums.  The MDL implicates every German car sold in the U.S. since 1990.
  • Represents the University of Southern California in a series of highly-publicized state and federal class actions stemming from allegations of inappropriate conduct by a long-time university doctor.  The federal court recently granted final approval to a class settlement that will resolve the class actions at a small fraction of the per-plaintiff amount that other institutions have paid in similar cases.
  • Won summary judgment for IBM in a RICO action.  The plaintiff, one of the country's largest processors of Internet credit card transactions, sued several companies it alleged had misappropriated millions of dollars of credit card proceeds.  Our client was added as a defendant late in the case, with the discovery cut-off and trial date approaching, with the plaintiff apparently counting on the fact that the firm would seek a continuance so the plaintiff could receive additional time to get its case together.  Instead, Mr. Morgan's team took full advantage of the impending trial date.  It immediately noticed the depositions of the plaintiff's principals for all the days of discovery that remained.  The plaintiff was left with no documents and no time to depose IBM's witnesses.  Without our client having had to produce a single document in discovery, Mr. Morgan persuaded the court to grant summary judgment in IBM's favor.  On an appeal to the Ninth Circuit also defended by Mr. Morgan, IBM won a 2-1 affirmance.
  • Represented The Home Depot in a nationwide class action alleging the company was selling a gas grill prone to catastrophic fires.  The plaintiff sought injunctive relief and damages, including return of the purchase price for every grill. The plaintiff initially moved for a preliminary injunction barring further sales, which the firm defeated. A few months later the plaintiff moved for class certification, seeking among other things that Home Depot be required to send a representative to inspect every grill in the hands of consumers. A federal judge in Los Angeles denied plaintiff's certification motion in its entirety. The court ruled that the proposed class definition was overbroad and that the plaintiff was not typical of the other consumers he sought to represent.
  • Represented Epson in a nationwide class action alleging that Epson misrepresented, or failed to disclose, that rate at which certain of its inkjet printers consumed ink.  The court granted summary judgment in Epson's favor on the omissions claims, and denied certification of the affirmative misrepresentation claims.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of Time, Inc. in a federal court consumer class action arising from a magazine subscription promotion.  Following plaintiff's motion for class certification, Mr. Morgan's team formulated a strategy to file a motion for summary judgment along with its opposition to class certification to give the court an alternative basis to resolve the action.  The motions were simultaneously briefed and set for hearing on the same date.  The strategy worked, as the court granted the motion for summary judgment and dismissed the action without reaching the issues related to class certification.
  • On behalf of Washington Mutual Bank, Mr. Morgan defeated certification of a 23 state consumer class action alleging violations of consumer fraud statutes and other common law causes of action.  The bank was alleged to have used deceptive practices in marketing life insurance.
  • Mr. Morgan was brought in as replacement counsel to defend a pending class action against an ERA Realty affiliate in a significant breach of contract case involving hundreds of real estate brokers who alleged the company improperly deducted fees from their commissions.  When retained, the certification hearing briefing was set to begin in a few weeks, and the defense had not yet taken any discovery.  Mr. Morgan's team immediately identified the facts that mattered, took expedited discovery, and defeated certification and a motion for reconsideration.
  • Obtained summary judgment and recovered costs in a class action against The Home Depot where plaintiffs sought billions of dollars in statutory damages for alleged violations of California's consumer privacy statute prohibiting retailers from seeking personal information in connection with credit card transactions.  In a related case, we obtained dismissal with prejudice of an unfair competition claim based on lack of an injury in fact from the act of disclosing personal information.
  • We represented Washington Mutual Bank in a wage and hour class action alleging improper deductions from employee wages.  Before answering the Complaint, Mr. Morgan's team developed a novel federal preemption defense to the claims based on laws governing the financial stability of federally regulated lending institutions.  Upon being served with a draft demurrer raising this preemption defense, the plaintiff dismissed his case.
  • Defeated class certification on behalf of IBM in a nationwide class action that stemmed from their investment of millions of dollars in three Internet start-up companies who were part of IBM's "Business Partner" program.  When those companies went bankrupt, the investors sued IBM, claiming they had invested on the belief IBM would stand behind the investments in these start-up companies.  Mr. Morgan persuaded the trial court class certification was inappropriate because individual factual issues involved in each claim swamped any common issues.  The plaintiffs appealed, arguing that the trial court should have presumed class-wide reliance on, and the materiality of, the alleged misstatements and omissions.  But Mr. Morgan argued that deposition testimony from several putative class members showed each had received different written marketing materials and oral representations before making their investments.  In a 16-page opinion, the Court of Appeal agreed, holding that "this is simply not the case to presume reliance upon, or the materiality of, the defendant's alleged misrepresentation."
  • Successfully defended Barnes & Noble in class action alleging various violations of the Labor Code, including failure to provide meal breaks and rest breaks and failure to pay overtime. The Court denied certification in its entirety.
  • Represented Computer Sciences Corporation in a purported nationwideovertime class action on behalf of computer consultants. After providing informal discovery to plaintiff’s counsel, we persuaded the plaintiff to drop the class-action allegations.
  • Represented Electronic Arts in two consumer class action cases in the Northern District of California, involving claims under CLRA, Section 17200 and the Copyright Act relating to DRM (digital rights management) technology in the video game maker's products.  The cases were resolved at a very early stage with no monetary relief to the class.
  • On behalf of Johnson & Johnson, defeated TRO and preliminary injunction attempts to block acquisition of a major company specializing in heart stent technology.
  • Defeated at the pleading stage an action against AIG seeking to require AIG to substantially increase its reserves in California in order to protect the liquidity of certain California-based investments, a result that would have had disruptive consequences for AIG's nationwide investment strategies.  The California Court of Appeal recently affirmed this order and denied a motion for rehearing.
  • Harvard Law School
  • (J.D., magna cum laude, 1995)
    • Harvard Law Review
      • Editor, 1993-1994
      • Supervising Editor, 1994-1995
  • University of California, Los Angeles
    (B.A., philosophy, 1992)
The State Bar of California
  • Law Clerk to the Hon. Michael Boudin:
    • United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, 1995-1996
  • Law360: "MVP in Class Action" (2019-2020)
  • The American Lawyer, "Litigator of the Week" (2019)

 

  • "California Wage and Hour Laws" Published by the National Legal Center for the Public Interest, January 2005
  • "Overtime Class Actions--Is Your Company Sitting on a Liability Time-Bomb?" Contributor to Shareholder Derivative Litigation: Besieging the Board (Law Journal Seminars-Press 1995)
  • Case Comment, "Eckstein v. Balcor Film Investors," 107 Harv. L. Rev. 1170 (1994)
  • "Unenforced Boundaries: Illegal Immigration and the Limits of Judicial Federalism," 108 Harv. L. Rev. 1643 (1995)