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Bart is one of the nation’s most well-established trial lawyers, with extensive experience in a wide array of commercial litigation as well as white collar criminal defense and internal corporate investigations. He has served as lead trial counsel for numerous companies in bet-the-company trials. He has served as a counselor and litigator for many Fortune 500 corporations in a variety of industries, including the media and entertainment, banking and financial services, technology, aerospace, pharmaceutical and fashion industries. He has also represented celebrities, government officials and corporate executives individually in high-stakes matters.

Complex Civil Litigation

A member of the American College of Trial Lawyers, Bart has compiled an impressive list of victories in jury and bench trials throughout the United States. Bart was recently described by enthusiastic commentators in the Chambers USA guide as “one of the smoothest trial lawyers you’ll ever come across,” with “the invaluable ability to make complex cases accessible to judges and juries.” “Good at everything from strategy to superb written work product to oral advocacy – the full package.” Notable representations in civil trials and arbitrations include:

  • Lead trial counsel for Johnson & Johnson (J&J), in two widely publicized product liability trials relating to J&J’s talc-based Baby Powder and Shower to Shower products and their alleged link to ovarian cancer. At the first trial, plaintiffs claimed that J&J failed to warn consumers that its talc-based products can cause or contribute to ovarian cancer, and that the plaintiff contracted ovarian cancer as a result of her multi-year use of those products. After a month long trial in St. Louis, the jury returned a complete defense verdict on all claims and awarded zero damages. "J&J Gets Its First Win in Missouri Talcum Powder Trials," Law360 March 3, 2017. After a second trial in Los Angeles involving similar claims, the Court entered judgment notwithstanding the verdict for the J&J defendants. "Could Reversal of $417M Calif. Verdict Foreshadow Doom for Talc Cases?," National Law Journal October 24, 2017.
  • Lead trial counsel for NBCUniversal and KNBC Los Angeles in a one-month jury trial in Los Angeles Superior Court in a case brought by an award-winning investigative producer alleging age discrimination. After four days of deliberations, the court declared a mistrial after the jury announced that it was deadlocked. "NBC Benched Reporter" For Being 'Too Veteran,' Jury Told, Law360 December 4, 2015
  • Lead trial counsel for Wells Fargo Bank in federal court in St. Paul, Minnesota, in a suit alleging mismanagement of pension investments in its securities lending program. Plaintiffs, including pension funds for nurses, nuns, local philanthropic organizations and a local university, alleged that Wells Fargo placed plaintiffs’ securities worth billions of dollars into highly risky ventures and failed to disclose the deteriorating condition of the investments. Wells Fargo argued that it did not misrepresent its investment strategy and that the losses were attributable to the financial crisis. After a seven-week trial, the jury returned a unanimous verdict for Wells Fargo on all claims and awarded zero damages. "Wells Fargo Beats Suit Over Securities-Lending Losses," Law360 August 8, 2013

  • Lead trial counsel at arbitration for one of the nation’s largest banks in connection with claims by a California insurance fund that the bank had mismanaged pension investments in its securities lending program. The bank argued that the due diligence performed on the securities met the standard of care and that the losses suffered by the plaintiff were attributable to the financial crisis. After a three-week arbitration, the arbitrator ruled that plaintiff should collect zero damages.
  • Lead trial counsel for a prominent Los Angeles law firm sued for professional negligence in connection with its representation of Sonja Morgan, a star of the reality television show, The Real Housewives of New York. After a three-week arbitration proceeding in which Ms. Morgan alleged that the client’s negligent handling of a jury trial resulted in a multi-million dollar verdict against her and her company, Sonja Morgan Productions, the arbitrator issued a decision in favor of Bart’s client on all claims and ruled that Ms. Morgan should collect zero damages.
  • Lead trial counsel for plaintiff Rambus, Inc. in connection with its multi-billion dollar anti-trust claims against two of the world’s largest computer memory manufacturers, Micron Technology, Inc. and Hynix Semiconductor, Inc. Defendant Samsung Electronics America, Inc. settled this and other cases for cash and equity investments totaling $900 million. The trial against the remaining defendants, Micron Technology and Hynix Semiconductor, set a record in San Francisco Superior Court for the length of jury deliberations (eight weeks), after which the jury returned a 9 to 3 verdict for defendants.
  • Lead trial counsel for the Motion Picture Association of America and six major motion picture studios in litigation against Real Networks, maker of a DVD player/copier that allegedly violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. After a six-day evidentiary hearing, the studios obtained a preliminary injunction in federal court in San Francisco prohibiting the sale of Real DVD. Real Networks then dismissed the matter (including its antitrust counterclaims) and agreed to pay the studios $4.5 million in attorneys’ fees. While the hearing was being litigated, CNET News reported on May 22, 2009: “Real has hired some very able attorneys from the firm Wilson Sonsini to represent it. But should it go to trial, Real would do well to hire a lawyer with the same kind of charisma and courtroom presence as Bart Williams. He's the lawyer . . . who is representing the MPAA. I'm no legal expert, but I've got eyes and the judge appeared to be more engaged when Williams addressed her. . . . Cases are supposed to be judged on facts but I'm guessing every advantage helps.
  • Lead trial counsel in successful defense of Brighton Collectibles, Inc., one of the nation’s leading manufacturers and retailers of women’s leather goods and accessories, and its founder, Jerry Kohl, in a breach of contract action brought by the president of the management company responsible for operating 23 of Brighton’s retail stores. After a three-week trial in Los Angeles Superior Court, the jury returned a unanimous defense verdict on all claims and awarded zero damages.
  • Trial counsel for Michael Ovitz, former President of the Walt Disney Company and the Co-Founder of Creative Artists Agency, in a two-month trial in Delaware Chancery Court involving Disney shareholder claims that Mr. Ovitz’s compensation during his term as President was excessive. The court found in favor of Mr. Ovitz on all claims and rejected in its entirety plaintiffs’ claim that Mr. Ovitz’s $140 million in compensation should be returned. The Delaware Supreme Court affirmed the Chancellor’s findings in all respects.
  • Lead trial counsel for a major national law firm sued for professional negligence by Alliance Atlantis, then the largest film distribution company in Canada. After a three-week trial the jury returned a unanimous defense verdict and awarded zero damages.
  • Lead trial counsel for a national private security firm in an action alleging a nationwide practice of retaliatory termination. After a 13-week trial in Oakland-Alameda County Superior Court, the jury returned a unanimous defense verdict and awarded zero damages.