Photo of Jordan Grotzinger

Jordan Grotzinger, Co-Chair of the Los Angeles Litigation practice, is a business trial lawyer focusing on trade secret law, FinTech and financial services litigation, entertainment litigation and consumer class action defense.

As creator and host of Greenberg Traurig’s Trade Secret Law Evolution Podcast, Jordan offers comprehensive summaries of and concrete takeaways on the latest developments and trends in trade secret law, including distinctions between the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA) and the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), what constitutes a trade secret, what’s required to maintain trade secret status, how to sufficiently identify trade secrets for purposes of pleadings and discovery, remedies for misappropriation and how to get them, and practical tips to protect these critical assets and litigate these cases. Working with his Knowledge Solutions group and other key team members, Jordan created this podcast to systematize his constant learning of this ever-important subject as it develops in real time and give listeners who need to stay current in this area an easy, digestible analysis of its latest and material developments in episodes short enough for a commute.

Jordan has tried jury and non-jury cases throughout California and has argued before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the California Court of Appeal.

GavelRecently, a District Court approved a class action settlement of an action against a manufacturer of allegedly defective windows.  The class representative was lead class counsel’s father-in-law; class counsel was embroiled in separate litigation and a state bar investigation over misappropriation of fees; the proposed settlement awarded class counsel $11 million in attorney’s fees without any reliable valuation of the class’s claims; and the claim procedure built into the settlement was so burdensome and prohibitive that the likelihood of any real class recovery was minimal at best.  On June 2, 2014, the Seventh Circuit emphatically rejected the settlement, which may seem unremarkable based on these facts.  What is noteworthy is the Court’s specific recognition of the risks of abuse associated with class actions and emphasis of the importance of close judicial scrutiny of class action settlements, which too often is undermined where both parties — the plaintiffs and their lawyers who want attorneys’ fees, and the defendant who just wants to cut its losses and avoid risk — jointly urge the court to approve a settlement and get a case off its docket.  The case is Eubank v. Pella Corporation, Seventh Circuit Case Nos. 12-2091, -2133, -2136, -2165 and -2202 (7th Cir. June 2, 2014).
Continue Reading Wary of Class Action Abuses, Seventh Circuit Slams ‘Scandalous’ Settlement Over Allegedly Defective Windows

All NaturalIn our February 12, 2014 post, entitled “Consumer Class Actions Trending From Attacking ‘All Natural’ to ‘Raw,’” we addressed whether claims challenging consumer product advertising as “all natural” were preempted
Continue Reading Court Rejects Preemption and Primary Jurisdiction Arguments in “All Natural” Case

GavelOn April 27, 2011, the Supreme Court in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, 131 S. Ct. 1740 (2011), cleared the way for consumer products companies and other businesses to incorporate class action waivers into their arbitration agreements with customers.  On April 7, 2014, the Second District Court of Appeal in California affirmed the denial of a motion to compel arbitration despite Concepcion, relying on language in the arbitration clause that rendered the clause invalid if state law would find the class action waiver unenforceable.  The decision appears to contradict a recent Ninth Circuit decision, calling into question Concepcion’s scope and ensuring further litigation of the issue.

In Imburgia v. DirecTV, Inc., 170 Cal. Rptr. 3d 190 (2014), Plaintiffs accused DirecTV of improperly charging early termination fees and brought a class action against the company for false advertising, violation of California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA) and related claims.  After the trial court granted in part Plaintiffs’ motion for class certification, Concepcion came down and DirecTV moved to decertify the class and compel arbitration.  DirecTV’s arbitration clause included a class action waiver and provided generally that the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) applied, but also provided:  “If, however, the law of your state would find this agreement to dispense with class arbitration procedures unenforceable, then this entire Section … is unenforceable.”  Id. at 193.
Continue Reading Recent California Appellate Opinion Raises Issue of Concepcion’s Scope

Consumer products companies are frequently the targets of nationwide class actions, and a common defense strategy includes removing these cases to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005. “CAFA” provides federal jurisdiction over certain class actions where the amount in controversy  exceeds $5 million. See 28 U.S.C.  §§ 1332(d)(2), (5). On April 7, 2014, the Supreme Court granted review of a 10th Circuit case that was removed under CAFA and then remanded based on a lack of evidence supporting the amount in controversy. The Supreme Court, thus, appears poised to clarify what is required of a defendant removing a case under CAFA (or on other grounds for that matter).Supreme Court

The case is Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co., LLC v. Owens, 730 F.3d 1234 (10th Cir. 2013), in which the Tenth Circuit declined to overturn a Kansas District Court opinion granting a motion to remand a case removed to federal court by Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co. under CAFA. Although Dart’s Notice of Removal explained why the Plaintiff’s royalty claims raised the amount in controversy above $5 million, the District Court granted the Plaintiff’s motion to remand because the Notice of Removal was not supported by evidence, “such as an economic analysis … or settlement estimates” supporting Dart’s amount in controversy estimate.  Id. at 1234. When Dart proffered supporting evidence in opposition to the motion to remand, the Court held that it was too late based on the requirement that removal papers are generally due within 30 days of the filing of the complaint.
Continue Reading Supreme Court to Address Requirements for Class Action Removal

GMO FoodsWe frequently address issues relating to litigation over products advertised as “all natural” or containing genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. As interest in GMOs has grown (along with related litigation), an initiative known as GMO Answers has published new survey results identifying consumers’ top 10 questions about GMOs. GMO Answers is funded by the members of The Council for Biotechnology Information, which includes several major consumer products companies.

A global market research company conducted a random, national telephone survey of over 1,000 Americans, in which those surveyed were given a list of 23 questions, then asked:  “The following are questions some people have asked about GMOs.  Which of the following questions around the use of GMOs would you be most interested in having answered?
Continue Reading National Survey Identifies Top Consumer Questions on GMOs

On March 7, 2014, my colleague Justin Prochnow posted The Name Game:  FDA Revisits its 2009 Draft Guidance on ‘Evaporated Cane Juice,’ which addressed the FDA’s recent announcement that it is revisiting a 2009 draft guidance stating its position on the description “evaporated cane juice.”  The 2009 draft guidance took the position that describing the ingredient as “juice” was misleading under the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.  The FDA is now soliciting comments on the issue, which could affect how the Administration treats the description, which in turn could affect litigation against companies whose products contain the ingredient.  As described more in Mr. Prochnow’s March 7 post, the 2009 draft guidance spawned numerous class actions against such companies.  That litigation continues, including a putative class action against Wallaby Yogurt Co. that a federal judge on Thursday, March 13, 2014 allowed to proceed.  The case is Morgan v. Wallaby Yogurt Co., Inc., 3:13-cv-00296 (N.D. Cal. 2013).
Continue Reading Another ‘Evaporated Cane Juice’ Class Action Proceeds as the FDA Solicits Comments on the Description