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Surprenant, Dominic

Dominic Surprenant

Direct Tel: +1 213-443-3166
Los Angeles
Tel: +1 213 443 3000 Fax: +1 213 443 3100

Dominic Surprenant specializes in complex commercial litigation and trial practice, with emphasis on antitrust, class actions, trade secrets, civil RICO and breach of fiduciary duty in a corporate setting.  Mr. Surprenant has represented clients in antitrust cases in industries as diverse as national airlines, defense procurement, motion pictures, random access memory, silicon wafers and personal computers.  In 2014, he was named to BTI’s Client Service All-Star List for superior client service.  He has been involved a number of major civil RICO cases, where the RICO "enterprise" consisted in the organized theft of trade secrets from a competitor.  He has represented Sprint and Nextel in class actions throughout the country.   Mr. Surprenant's focus on antitrust, civil RICO, trade secret misappropriation and class actions has allowed him to develop a special expertise of working with the firm's clients' economic experts, ensuring their testimony is admissible at trial, and seeking to prevent our clients' adversaries' economic experts from testifying at trial.  No expert with whom Mr. Surprenant has worked has been precluded from testifying, while he has prevented the adversaries' experts from offering damages testimony of over $1 billion.

  • Mr. Surprenant currently represents ADT LLC, d/b/a ADT Security Services on appeal from a California statewide class action claim as to which Mr. Surprenant obtained a dismissal of the complaint without leave to replead. Mr. Surprenant also recently settled a nationwide class action against ADT for $13,000 in a settlement that contained no non-monetary provisions. Mr. Surprenant also represents ClarkWestern Dietrich Building Systems, LLC as the plaintiff in an antitrust lawsuit in state court in Ohio, where ClarkWestern is seek damages of over $250 million.
  • Mr. Surprenant recently represented Ansun BioPharma, Inc., f/k/a NexBio, Inc., along with its co-founders, as the defendants in a breach of fiduciary duty and alleged misappropriation of trade secrets. The case settled on very favorable terms to the defendants after QE associated into the case as lead counsel after eight years of litigation.
  • Mr. Surprenant formerly represented Sprint and Nextel in a large variety of class actions in California, Florida, Illinois (Madison County), Georgia and New Jersey. He was Sprint’s first chair trial lawyer in a class action in Alameda County Superior Court (California) in 2008, in which the jury found that the class members had breached their contracts with Sprint and that Sprint was damaged by the class’s breach in the amount of $225 million. Mr. Surprenant also was the lead lawyer in a class action lawyer against Sprint accusing it of “locking” its handsets in violation of California consumer protection laws. The plaintiffs' class was seeking $789 million for a California-only class; the class had been certified and summary judgment had been denied. The trial judge then tentatively granted nine out of twelve motions in limine on the eve of trial, including motions to exclude all three of the plaintiffs' testifying experts, and the case settled four days later for $0 payment to the class.
  • Mr. Surprenat was the first chair trial lawyer in defense of an antitrust complaint in the Southern District of New York in 2005, in which the plaintiff was seeking $150 million in antitrust damages. The jury returned a complete defense verdict after three hours of deliberations.
  • Mr. Surprenant represented the Avery Dennison Corp. as the plaintiff in a trade secrets and civil RICO case against the largest manufacturer of adhesives in Taiwan, in which the jury awarded Avery Dennison an $81 million jury verdict in the Northern District of Ohio in 2000, a verdict affirmed per curiam by the Sixth Circuit.
  • Mr. Surprenant was one of the firm’s partners representing General Motors as the plaintiff in its trade secret and civil RICO lawsuit against its former Chief Procurement Officer, Ignacio Lopez, Volkswagen of American, Volkswagen AG, and Volkswagen AG’s chairman, Ferdinand Piech, in which the firm obtained a $1 billion-plus settlement shortly before depositions commenced.
  • Mr. Surprenant represented the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in an antitrust case, which the plaintiff voluntarily dismissed after the court denied the plaintiff's motion to enjoin the Academy's nomination process.
  • During the time it was managed by the Weinstein brothers, Mr. Surprenant represented Miramax Films in a variety of entertainment disputes.
  • He has represented Continental Airlines as the plaintiff in antitrust lawsuits against United Air Lines and American Airlines, obtaining significant settlements on Continental’s behalf against both airlines. Mr. Surprenant has also represented Northwest Airlines in antitrust and breach of contract actions.
  • Harvard Law School
    (J.D., cum laude, 1985) 
    • Harvard Law Review:
      • Articles Editor, 1984-1985
      • Editor, 1983-1984
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison
    (M.A., 1980)
  • Illinois State University
    (B.A., with highest honors, 1977)
  • The State Bar of California
  • United States District Court:
    • Central District of California
    • Southern District of California
    • Northern District of California
  • Cravath, Swaine & Moore:
    • Associate, 1985-1992
  • "Freedom of Speech in Developments in the Law-Public Employment," 97 Harv. L. Rev. 1611, 1756-75 (1984)
  • Member, American Bar Association