Paul J. Riehle

Partner
paul.riehle dbr.com
Phone: (415) 591-7521 (415) 591-7521

About

Paul J. Riehle has litigated antitrust, RICO and other complex litigation matters, including class actions, for more than 30 years and has tried cases to verdict in federal and state courts across the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles. Many of his cases have involved alleged classes, and he has successfully opposed certification of classes brought by businesses and consumers. Paul also provides antitrust advice and counseling on pricing matters, such as minimum advertised pricing for internet sales, in connection with mergers and acquisitions, and for trade and standard-setting organizations. In addition, Paul has been a judicial arbitrator for more than 25 years and serves as a mediator.

Experience

  • Dismissal of lawsuit alleging antitrust, RICO and state claims against the Regents of the University of California, sued as University of California, Berkeley School of Law. LLM Bar Exam, LLC v. BarBri, Inc. et al., U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, 16-cv-03770-KPF, Dkt. # 89 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 1, 2016).
  • Dismissal of standard-setting company in nationwide class action asserting violation of federal and state antitrust laws. B & R Supermarket, Inc., et al. v. Visa, Inc., et al., 2016 W1 5725010 (N.D. Cal. Sept. 30, 2016).
  • Denial of motion for preliminary injunction claiming violation of federal and New York state antitrust laws. Park Irmat Drug Corp. v. OpumRx, Inc., 2016 WL 153094 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 12, 2016).
  • Affirming dismissal of antitrust claims brought by a surgical group and its physicians against two health management/maintenance associations. Boffa Surgical Group LLC v. Managed Healthcare Associates Ltd., Case No. 2015 IL App (1st) 142984. (Dec. 23, 2015).
  • Summary judgment regarding claims of industry-wide price-fixing under California’s Cartwright Act and Unfair Competition Law affirmed on appeal. Clayworth v. Pfizer, Inc., A131804 (August 22, 2012), petition for review denied, S205726 (November 28, 2012), cert denied, No. 12-1241 (June 3, 2013). In 2010, the California Supreme Court reversed summary judgment based on the pass-on defense, an issue of first impression under California antitrust and unfair competition law. Clayworth v. Pfizer, Inc., 49 Cal.4th 758 (2010), reversing 165 Cal.App.4th 209 (2008). After remand, the trial court again granted summary judgment, this time ruling that defendants’ evidence showed that prices were independently determined and plaintiffs failed to raise a triable issue of fact regarding the existence of the alleged conspiracy, and the Court of Appeal affirmed.
  • Summary adjudication of antitrust and other claims brought by a distributor against an office furniture manufacturer, followed by settlement of the remaining claims for a small fraction of the alleged damages.
  • Successful defense of an insurer in three cases alleging bid rigging and illegal payments to an insurance broker. A putative class action in federal court alleging antitrust and RICO violations and a state court case alleging unfair competition were each dismissed without payment. A third case brought on behalf of the California Insurance Commissioner was settled on favorable terms.
  • Affirming dismissal of RICO and all but one antitrust claim, and summary judgment on remaining antitrust claim of attempted monopolization. Tate v. Pacific Gas & Elec. Co., 94 Fed. App. 529 (9th Cir. 2004), 2004 WL 626551(C.A.9 (Cal.)), affirming 230 F. Supp. 2d 1072 (N.D. Cal. 2002) and 230 F. Supp. 2d 1086 (N.D. Cal. 2002).
  • Dismissal of dealer’s Robinson-Patman Act, contract, implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, tortious interference with contractual relations, intentional interference with business expectancy, equitable estoppel and tortious termination of contract claims. Coast Marine and Industrial Supply, Inc. v. DBC Marine Safety Systems, Inc., 2003 WL 23874049.
  • Dismissal without payment of a defendant in consolidated class actions involving claims of an international price-fixing conspiracy. In re Sorbates Antitrust Litigation.
  • Counseling with respect to antitrust issues and claims in the health care arena, as well as trade and standard-setting organizations.
  • Dismissal with prejudice of unfair competition law and unjust enrichment claims, Consumer Legal Remedies Act restitution and injunctive relief claims. Nguyen v. Nissan No. Am., Inc., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55501 (N.D. Cal. Apr. 11, 2017). Dismissal, without leave to amend, of initial complaint in putative nationwide class action claiming RICO violations. Shaw v. Nissan No. Am., Inc., 220 F. Supp. 3d 1046 (C.D. Cal. 2016).
  • Denial of class certification motion. Torres v. Nissan No. Am., Inc., 2015 WL 5170539 (C.D.Cal. Sept. 1, 2015).
  • Final approval of class action settlement. Klee v. Nissan No. Am., Inc., 2015 WL 4538426 (C.D.Cal. July. 7, 2015).
  • Reversal of denial of injunction of restitution claims released as part of nationwide class settlement. The People of the State of California v. IntelliGender, LLC, 771 F.3d 1169 (9th Cir. Nov. 7, 2014).
  • Defense of amino acid manufacturer in a consolidated multidistrict class action litigation alleging that defendants conspired to fix the prices for methionine-based products in the United States and internationally. In re Methionine Antitrust Litigation, MDL 1311.
  • Cy pres settlement of antitrust class action. Pharmaceutical Cases I, II and III, J.C.C.P. Nos. 2969, 2971 & 2972 (San Francisco Superior Court).
  • Extensive experience opposing certification of classes brought by businesses and consumers, and particular expertise in advising clients on antitrust matters related to pricing.
  • Dismissal of drug pricing overcharge claims. Astra USA, Inc. v. Santa Clara County, Cal., 563 U.S. 110 (2011) (rejecting third-party beneficiary contract claims), reversing County of Santa Clara v. Astra USA, Inc., 588 F.3rd 1237 (9th Cir. 2009), modifying 540 F.3d 1094 (9th Cir. 2008); see also 257 F.R.D. 207 (N.D.Cal. 2009) (denying class certification); 428 F. Supp. 2d 1029 (N.D. Cal. 2006) (dismissing breach of third-party contract, unfair competition, False Claims Act and other causes of action); and 401 F. Supp. 2d 1022 (N.D. Cal. 2005) (finding federal question jurisdiction though plaintiff pled only state law claims).
  • Defense verdict in a distributor termination case tried in Silicon Valley where the plaintiff asserted tens of millions of dollars in compensatory damages and punitive damages against a Fortune 500 company.
  • Advises companies in a variety of industries − including financial services, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and media – on a broad range of issues, including antitrust, unfair competition and RICO.
  • Dismissal of Lanham Act claim with prejudice. Off Lease Only, Inc. v. Carfax, Inc., 2012 WL 1966372 (S.D.Fla. May 31, 2012).
  • Dismissal of RICO and fraud claims. Menjivar v. TP, LLC, 2006 WL 2884396 (N.D. Cal. 2006).
  • Brought in to try the punitive damages phase after the jury returned a $7.5 million verdict and a unanimous finding of fraud, malice and oppression. In the second phase of the trial, the jury awarded only 1.3 percent of the compensatory verdict. The trial court then granted new trial motion and the Court of Appeal affirmed, thereby wiping out the verdict in its entirety. Hyper Corporation v. TUV Rhineland of North America, Inc., 2004 WL 5494878.
  • Affirming nonsuit regarding claims for market share liability and civil conspiracy to defraud through the manipulation of scientific literature. Ferris v. Gatke Corp., 107 Cal. App. 4th 1211 (2003).
  • Successful defense of a national automotive tool manufacturing company in more than 50 cases brought by dealers alleging violation of the Seller Assisted Marketing Plan Act and other claims.
  • Summary judgment in favor of a distributor sued by a sales agent under the Independent Wholesale Sales Representative Contractual Relations Act. Also obtained reimbursement of client’s attorneys’ fees from the plaintiff.
  • Obtained and collected on a $6.5 million Arizona federal court jury award in a fraud case transferred as a tagalong action to In re Washington Public Power Supply System Securities Litigation, MDL 551.
  • Successful state court jury trial representing national franchisor in claims brought by franchisee relating to territorial exclusivity.
  • Advice in connection with responding to subpoenas by the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission.
  • In difficult cases under adverse circumstances, brought in to handle post-trial motions (e.g., Hyper v. TUV, 2004 WL 5494878 (discussed above) and Chavers v. Gatke, 2000 WL 35545379) or the appeal (e.g., Bierlich v. BW, Inc., 2003 WL 22022030 (Cal.App. 2 Dist.)).
  • Author, “Litigation Issues in Antitrust and Managed Care,” Managed Care Litigation, Second Edition, ABA Health Law Section (David M. Humiston, ed. 2013) and the 2014-2018 updates.
  • Co-author, “Standing, Damages and Injunctive Relief Under the Cartwright Act,” California Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law, the State Bar of California (Cheryl Lee Johnson, ed., Matthew Bender & Co., 2012), and the 2013, 2014 and 2015 updates.
  • Co-author, “The Insurance Industry and California Antitrust Law,” California Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law, the State Bar of California, (Cheryl Lee Johnson, ed., Matthew Bender & Co., 2012) and the 2013-2017 updates.
  • Presenter, “Hot Topics in Competition Law, Antitrust and Privacy,” California State Bar Annual Meeting (August 19, 2017).
  • Author, “Why We Should Keep a Unified Bar,” Daily Journal (June 21, 2016).
  • Co-author, “Settlement Negotiation Tactics, Considerations and Settlement Agreement Provisions in Antitrust and UCL Class Actions,” Competition, The Journal of The Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law and Privacy Section of the State Bar of California, Vol. 25, No. 1 (2016).
  • Chair, 25th Annual Golden State Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law Institute, State Bar of California, Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law Section (Oct. 29, 2015).
  • Moderator, “Antitrust and UCL Class Action Settlement Issues,” 25th Annual Golden State Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law Institute, State Bar of California, Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law Section (October 29, 2015).
  • Co-author, “FTC v. St. Luke’s Health System Ltd.: A Discussion with Trial Counsel,” Competition, The Journal of The Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law and Privacy Section of the State Bar of California, Vol. 24, No. 1 (2015).
  • Chair, 24th Annual Golden State Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law Institute, State Bar of California, Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law Section (October 16, 2014).
  • Moderator, “’Big Stakes’ Antitrust Trials, St. Alphonsus Medical Center-Nampa and FTC v. St. Luke’s Health System Ltd.,” 24th Annual Golden State Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law Institute, State Bar of California, Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law Section (Oct. 16, 2014).
  • Editor, Spring and Fall 2012, 2013 and 2014 issues of Competition, The Journal of The Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law Section of the State Bar of California.
  • Presenter, “Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law 101,” State Bar of California Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law Section Webinar (December 12, 2013).
  • Co-chair, 23rd Annual Golden State Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law Institute, the State Bar of California, Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law Section (October 24, 2013).
  • Presenter, “Antitrust and UCL Pleadings and Defense,” 86th Annual Meeting of the State Bar of California, San Jose (October 12, 2013).

Credentials

Bar Admissions

  • California

Education

  • University of California, Hastings College of the Law, J.D., 1984, cum laude; Editor in Chief, Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly
  • University of Notre Dame, B.A., 1981, cum laude; Student Body President

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of California

Organizations

  • California Lawyers Association: Member of the Board of Representatives, (2018-2019); Advisor to the Antitrust, Unfair Competition Law and Privacy Section, (2018- Present)
  • California State Bar Antitrust, Unfair Competition Law and Privacy Section: Chair, (2015-2016); Member of the Section’s Executive Committee, (2010-2016); Advisor to Executive Committee, (2017)
  • Founding member and on the International Board of Directors of SurfAid International, a humanitarian relief organization
  • American Bar Association, Antitrust and Litigation Sections
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers of Northern California
  • Bar Association of San Francisco