Stephen E. Morrissey
Steve Morrissey, a partner in Susman Godfrey's Seattle and Los Angeles offices, is an experienced trial lawyer who has helped his clients achieve great results in complex business cases in state and federal courts in throughout the country. In the past four years alone, Mr. Morrissey has helped his clients win a $180 million jury verdict in state court in Dallas, win a multi-million verdict in state court in Los Angeles, favorably settle a multi-hundred million dollar patent and patent lawsuit in federal court in New York, obtain a favorable settlement of a multi-hundred million dollar arbitration of a dispute concerning bulk mortgage insurance, achieve a landmark settlement of an antitrust class action against the NCAA in federal court in Los Angeles, and defeat a fraud claim seeking tens of millions of dollars in damages in an arbitration in New York.
Mr. Morrissey has been named a "Rising Star" in Southern California Super Lawyers each of the past four years based on his success in representing plaintiffs and defendants in a broad range of business litigation matters, including antitrust cases, securities and other corporate governance and shareholder cases, patent and other intellectual property cases, international disputes, entertainment and sports-related disputes, commercial arbitrations, fraud cases and breach of contract cases, and cases arising out of the global financial crisis and the collapse of the housing market. Mr. Morrissey is always willing to handle cases by the hour, but prefers to work on a contingent or flat fee arrangement that rewards efficiency and results instead of effort, and would be happy to talk to you about the type of arrangement that would work best for your case.
In addition to his general business litigation experience, Mr. Morrissey also has devoted particular focus to antitrust and intellectual property cases and to representing minority shareholders and executives in disputes with controlling shareholders. In the antitrust arena, Mr. Morrissey has worked on some of the most significant litigation of the past decade, including the jury trial and subsequent re-trial of damages issues Masimo Corp. v. Tyco Healthcare Group L.P. In the antitrust arena, Mr. Morrissey's cases have involved the defense and prosecution of individual and class actions in state and federal courts and before the FTC in a broad range of industries, including musical recordings, automotive filters, DVD rentals, movie theaters, pharmaceuticals, and mainframe computers. Mr. Morrissey's intellectual property experience has included representing inventors and licensees in pursuing patent infringement claims, representing writers in pursuing copyright and idea theft claims and entertainment companies in defending against such claims, and representing major companies in defending patent, copyright and trademark claims. Mr. Morrissey has also represented a number of individual entrepreneurs and executives in pursuing shareholder and compensation claims against controlling shareholders or former employers.
University of Iowa (B.A., with honors and distinction, 1993)
Columbia University School of Law (J.D., 1996)
- Law Clerk, Hon. David M. Ebel, U.S. Court of Appeals, 10th Circuit
- Managing Editor (1995-1996) and Staff Member (1994-95), Columbia Law Review
- Kent Scholar (1996)
- Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar (1994-95)
- Represented Columbia at Willem C. Vis International Arbitral Moot Court, Vienna, Austria (1996)
- Phi Beta Kappa
- Named "Rising Star" by Southern California Super Lawyers
Note, "State Settlement Class Actions that Release Exclusive Federal Claims: Developing a Framework for the Multijurisdictional Management of Shareholder Litigation," 95 Colum. L. Rev. 1765 (1995).
January 2013. Jefferies & Co. v. NASDAQ. Along with Steve Susman and Seth Ard, Morrissey represented NASDAQ and its affiliate IDCG in an arbitration in New York. The plaintiff, Jefferies & Co., sought tens of millions of dollars in damages based on a claim that it was fraudulently induced to clear interest rate swaps through the IDCG clearinghouse. After a one week trial in the fall of 2012, at which Morrissey gave the opening statement and put on NASDAQ’s principal fact witness, the Panel issued a decision in January 2013 denying all of Jefferies’ claims and awarding no damages.
July 2009. Casey v. Simmons — Won $178.7 million jury verdict. Along with Steve Susman, Katherine Treistman and Stephen Shackelford and co-counsel, tried this a breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract case arising from his clients' investments in NL Environmental Management Services, Inc., an environmental cleanup company owned by NL Industries and its controlling shareholder, Dallas billionaire Harold Simmons. After a two week trial in state court in Dallas, Morrissey's clients won a $178.7 million jury verdict, including $145 million in punitive damages. In 2010, the case settled while on appeal on confidential terms.
October 2009. Masimo v. Tyco Healthcare Group - Won $58.9 million judgment. With partners Steve Susman, Marc Seltzer and Vineet Bhatia, won a $420 million jury verdict (after trebling) in Masimo Corp. v. Tyco Healthcare Group L.P. Masimo was an antitrust case involving exclusionary contracting practices in the United States market for pulse oximetry products. The trial court upheld the jury's liability findings, but ordered a new trial on damages. After the subsequent re-trial, the trial court awarded Masimo a final judgment of $43.5 million in damages (after trebling) in June 2007, plus attorneys' fees. The judgment was affirmed on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and Masimo ultimately was awarded $58.9 million.
November 2008. Segue Electronics — Won multi-million dollar jury verdict. After a three week jury trial, Morrissey, along with partners David Marcus and Suyash Agrawal, won a $3.9 million verdict on behalf of client Segue Electronics in Los Angeles Superior Court in a breach of contract claim against two Chinese electronics manufacturers arising out of their alleged breach of Segue's exclusive distribution agreement. At trial, Morrissey conducted the direct examinations of Segue's principal and Segue's damages expert, cross-examined the defendants' damages expert, and gave the closing argument.
- State Bar of California (Antitrust & Unfair Competition and Litigation Sections)
- American Bar Association (Litigation and Antitrust Sections)
- District of Columbia Bar
- Association of Business Trial Lawyers (Los Angeles Chapter)
- Los Angeles County Bar Association
September 2009. Confidential Client — Favorable Settlement on eve of trial. Morrissey was one of the lawyers principally responsible for representing a leading mortgage insurer in an arbitration against a mortgage lender arising out of his client's rescission of more than $500 million in bulk mortgage insurance coverage. The case touched on many of the issues that were at the center of the collapse of the housing market and the global financial crisis. After an intense pre-trial discovery period that allowed the case to be ready for trial just over a year after it was filed, Mr. Morrissey's client was able to negotiate a favorable settlement less than two weeks before trial.
June 2008. PSI v. IBM — Obtained favorable settlement of multi-hundred million dollar antitrust claims against IBM. Morrissey was one of the lead lawyers responsible for the representation of startup mainframe computer manufacturer Platform Solutions, Inc. in prosecuting antitrust claims against IBM, and in defending PSI against patent infringement, copyright, and trade secrets claims brought by PSI. Morrissey was also involved in coordinating PSI's prosecution of competition claims against IBM in the EU. In July 2008, the case settled on confidential terms in June 2008; as part of the settlement, PSI was acquired by IBM.
2006-2008. White v. NCAA - Landmark settlement of class action on behalf of student athletes. Morrissey was one of the lead lawyers responsible for the groundbreaking litigation and settlement in White, et al. v. NCAA, an antitrust class action in the Central District of California, in which the plaintiffs challenged NCAA's restrictions on athletics-based financial aid. The district court certified the class and denied the NCAA's motion to dismiss in 2006. With the case scheduled for trial in January 2008, the parties reached a settlement in December 2007 that was approved by the Court in August 2008. Under the settlement, the NCAA will make $218 million over five years available to provide additional benefits for student-athletes, will revise its rules to allow member schools to provide student athletes with comprehensive year-round health insurance, and will create a $10 million fund to cover educational and professional development expenses incurred by members of the class.
December 2005. Ravikant v. Tolia — Obtained settlement for start-up employees in lawsuit against venture capitalists. Settled Ravikant v. Tolia, a case brought by 51 former shareholders of Epinions, Inc. (including three founders of that company) whose stock was cancelled without compensation in the 2003 acquisition of Epinions by DealTime, Ltd. (which subsequently became Shopping.com, Ltd. and was acquired by eBay, Inc.). The defendants included the venture capitalists and venture capital firms that were alleged to have participated in and approved the Epinions/DealTime merger; the CEO of Epinions at the time of the merger; and Shopping.com. The amount and terms of the settlement are confidential, but we and our clients were pleased with the result.