Morgan currently serves as co-chair of the firm’s national product liability practice. Over his three-plus decades of practice, Morgan has represented clients across multiple sectors in a wide array of complex product liability, intellectual property and commercial litigation matters in state and federal courts throughout the country. For the last decade, Morgan’s practice has focused on representing a Fortune 200 consumer products company embroiled in talcum powder litigation. Morgan has led teams that obtained the first Frye and Daubert exclusion orders in multiple courts throughout the country against key liability experts proffered by the plaintiffs. Morgan has also led teams that secured some of the first summary judgment victories for a cosmetic talcum powder manufacturer. He participated on trial teams that obtained jury defense verdicts in four cases against the same talcum powder manufacturer.
In the intellectual property space, Morgan has obtained favorable jury verdicts for both plaintiff-patentees and accused patent infringers and obtained and staved off injunctive relief in trademark, copyright and trade secret cases. He has also represented claimants and served as an expert witness in International Chamber of Commerce arbitrations involving intellectual property disputes.
Morgan has also represented technology, consumer goods companies and the public sector in a variety of complex litigation matters. In addition to litigation, Morgan also regularly counsels clients regarding intellectual property, product liability, alternative dispute resolution and commercial matters.
Morgan recently completed his term on the Board of Governors for the Northern California Chapter of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers (ABTL). He has served as a faculty member at the National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA) Western Regional Program. Morgan has served as first chair or co-lead counsel in multiple jury trials in both federal and state courts in actions involving intellectual property, real property and personal injuries. Morgan also served as a pro bono prosecutor in the Alameda County District Attorneys’ Office where he tried four jury cases. Morgan has been named multiple times by Law & Politics magazine to the “Northern California Super Lawyers” list for Intellectual Property Litigators.
- Currently represents a Fortune 200 consumer products company in talcum powder litigation cases filed in state and federal courts throughout the country, including:
- Hanson v. Colgate-Palmolive Company, 353 F. Supp. 3d 1273 (S.D. Ga. 2018): Represented Colgate-Palmolive Company in a case alleging the plaintiff developed mesothelioma and ovarian cancer from using a talcum powder product. Obtained Daubert exclusion orders against the plaintiff’s proffered experts on product contamination, human tissue testing, regulatory and causation.
- Hanson v. Colgate-Palmolive Company, 2018 WL 4586438 (S.D. Ga.) (Slip Op. September 28, 2018): Obtained summary judgment on behalf of Colgate-Palmolive Company in a case alleging the plaintiff developed mesothelioma and ovarian cancer from using a talcum powder product manufactured by Colgate.
- Chapp v. Colgate-Palmolive Co., Ct. No. 2015CV5887, Appeal No. 2018AP937 (August 27, 2019): Obtained summary judgment on behalf of Colgate-Palmolive Company in in a case alleging the plaintiff developed mesothelioma from using a talcum powder product manufactured by Colgate. The summary judgment order was recently affirmed on appeal.
- Jackson v. Colgate-Palmolive Company, Action No. 15-01066 (TFH) (USDC Wash. D.C., Docket entry # 108, Aug. 6, 2019): Represented Colgate-Palmolive Company in a case alleging the plaintiff developed mesothelioma from using a talcum powder product manufactured by Colgate. Obtained Daubert exclusion orders against the plaintiff’s proffered expert on product contamination, human tissue fiber burden and specific causation.
- Brandt v. The Bon-Ton Stores et al., 2017 WL 4271039 (Pa. Com. Pl. Sept. 25, 2017): Represented Colgate-Palmolive Company in the first talcum powder product liability action filed in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. Led a team of lawyers that obtained Frye exclusion orders concerning the plaintiff’s proffered geology, product testing and human tissue testing experts. Court subsequently granted summary judgment in favor of Colgate.
- John Staresnick and Patricia Richman, Plaintiffs, vs. A.W. Chesterton Company, et al., Defendants, Case No. 49D02-1 707-MI-027330 (April 4, 2018): Represented Colgate-Palmolive Company in a case alleging the plaintiff developed mesothelioma from using a talcum powder product manufactured by Colgate. Obtained a dismissal for Colgate after filing a motion for summary judgment.
- Greene v. Colgate-Palmolive Company, Consolidated Case No. 24x16000314 (2018): Represented Colgate-Palmolive Company in a case alleging the plaintiff developed mesothelioma from using a talcum powder product manufactured by Colgate. After obtaining orders excluding plaintiff’s product contamination, human tissue and specific causation experts’ testimony, Court entered summary judgment in favor of Colgate.
- Lyons v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., 2017 WL 3741226 (Cal. Super. Jan. 11, 2017), rev’d, (Appeal No. 150457, First Appellate District, Division Three Oct. 19, 2017): Represented Colgate-Palmolive Company in a case alleging the plaintiff developed mesothelioma from using a talcum powder product manufactured by Colgate. Obtained summary judgment for Colgate.
- Alfaro v. Colgate-Palmolive Company, 2017 BL 299704, Cal. Ct. App., 2d Dist., B277284, unpublished 8/25/17): In a jury trial against Colgate-Palmolive Company and its talc supplier, the plaintiff alleged she developed both pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma from using a talcum powder product made by Colgate. Obtained an order excluding plaintiff’s expert from opining that she was exposed to substantial levels of asbestos from using talcum powder. Both the exclusion order and the jury verdict in favor of Colgate were subsequently affirmed on appeal.
- Blount v. Colgate-Palmolive Company, (Los Angeles Superior Court, 2016): Participated in trial team representing Colgate-Palmolive Company in a case alleging the plaintiff developed mesothelioma from using a talcum powder product manufactured by Colgate. Defense verdict in favor of Colgate.
- Nosse v. Colgate-Palmolive Company: (Los Angeles Superior Court, 2016): Participated in trial team representing Colgate-Palmolive Company in a case alleging the plaintiff developed mesothelioma from using a talcum powder product manufactured by Colgate. Defense verdict in favor of Colgate.
- Represented a swimming pool construction company in an action for breach of an asset purchase agreement. Following a bench trial in federal court, obtained a judgment in favor of his client on all claims and counterclaims.
- Represented the Dollar Shave Club in patent litigation filed by Gillette in Delaware.
- Represented Claimant Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute of South Korea (ETRI) in an International Chamber of Commerce arbitration involving breach of a joint development agreement for digital wireless technology. Obtained a $200 million-plus award against a large wireless communications company.
- Represented Plaintiff Sunbelt Automated Systems in a patent infringement case in which he obtained a multi-million dollar jury verdict, including an award of enhanced damages and attorneys` fees.
- Represented Defendant Stryker Corporation as co-counsel in a patent infringement jury trial in which we obtained a defense jury verdict of patent invalidity.
- Represented Defendant Supress Products LLC in a patent infringement action involving acoustical building materials. Obtained a judgment of dismissal with prejudice and a broad covenant not to sue.
- Represented Plaintiff 3Dfx in a patent infringement action against key competitor. After obtaining favorable Markman rulings and moving for summary judgment, competitor purchased the assets of 3Dfx, including the asserted patents.
- Represented Defendant STB in alleged patent infringement action venued in United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Obtained a judgment of non-infringement which was affirmed by the Federal Circuit.
- Represented Defendants MRV Communications and Lantronix in an alleged patent infringement action venued in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York involving Fast Ethernet standards for Local Area Network patents. Obtained a judgment of non-infringement which was affirmed by the Federal Circuit.
- Represented Informatica in a copyright infringement and breach of license agreement action.
- Served as lead counsel in multiple Markman hearings.
- Represented the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in anti-trust litigation involving the Oakland Raiders and the National Football League.
- Represented Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in an action for breach of contract against its food services provider Volume Services.
- Served as lead counsel for the plaintiff in a breach of contract action involving the sale of a hotel. Obtained a seven figure jury verdict for our client.
- Represented The North Face in multiple trade dress and trademark infringement matters.
- Represented The Coca-Cola Company in a counterfeit action against one of its former beverage distributors, Obtained a TRD and seizure order. After confirming the TRO with a preliminary injunction, the case resolved favorably.
- Obtained a preliminary injunction on behalf of our client, Juris, in their counterclaim for trademark infringement based an plaintiff/counterclaimant defendant's use of a confusingly similar Internet domain name. This case was the first to hold that a domain name could infringe a registered trademark under a traditional likelihood of confusion analysis. The Ninth Circuit has cited, and referred to, the Juris case with approval as the first in the “Internet trilogy” of trademark decisions.
- Represented Defendant FareChase in an action of alleged “cyber trespass” filed by American Airlines in state court in Fort Worth, TX.
- Represented Union Pacific Railroad in FELA actions alleging toxic tort exposure during steam locomotive era.
- Obtained jury verdict in favor of Amtrak in personal injury action.
- Intellectual Property Litigation
- Patent Litigation
- Product Liability & Mass Torts Litigation
- Sports Litigation
- Copyright Litigation
- Trade Secret Litigation
- Trademark, Trade Dress, Unfair Competition/False Advertising, and Publicity Rights Litigation
- Internet Litigation
- Life Science: Mass Torts and Product Liability Litigation
- Life Sciences Litigation
- Artificial Intelligence
- University of California, Los Angeles School of Law
- Moot Court Honors Program
- Federal Communications Law Journal
- University of California, Davis
(A.B., Rhetoric, high honors, 1985)
- Reed Smith:
- Partner, 2003-2007
- Deputy Practice Group Leader, Intellectual Property Practice Group
- Crosby Heafey Roach & May (combined with Reed Smith in 2003):
- Partner, 1994-2003
- Executive Committee Member
- Law Clerk to the Hon. Charles A. Legge (Retired):
- United States District Court for the Northern District of California, 1988
- Co-authored, "A Good Time -When Should Claim Interpretation Occur?" San Francisco and Los Angeles Daily Journal, June 7, 1996
- Co-authored, "Internet Also Opening New Legal Frontiers," Oakland Business Review, January 1998
- Spoke at the ACI Litigating Patent Disputes Conferences in San Francisco and Washington, D.C., in 2001 and 2002
- Spoke at the ACI Identifying and Protecting Trade Secrets Conference, San Francisco, 2007
Appeared on CNET's News.Com program on Internet business method patents (February 19, 2001)
Member, 826 National Board of Directors – Member of the national board of directors for a charitable organization that supports a network of seven writing and tutoring centers providing under-served students to improve their expository and creative writing skills at nine locations throughout the country.