Bernice Conn

310.552.0130

Experience

  • Trial and appellate practice involving complex commercial contractual disputes, business torts and intellectual property including misappropriation of trade secrets, copyright, trademark, unfair competition and antitrust on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants.
  • Member of the Robins Kaplan LLP Pro Bono Committee (2000-2008)

Co-tried Celador International, Ltd. v. The Walt Disney Company, a dispute over profits from the highly successful television show "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?"  A federal jury awarded Celador, the creator of the show, $270 million in damages after finding that Disney's subsidiaries, ABC Television, Buena Vista Television, and Valleycrest Productions had breached their profit sharing contract with Celador and their duty to deal fairly and in good faith with Celador.  On September 27, 2010, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California awarded $50 million in prejudgment interest to Celador, bringing the total to $320 million in damages.  On December 3, 2012, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the entire verdict and awarded the plaintiff its costs on appeal.  On February 26, 2013, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously denied Disney’s petition for rehearing and review of the $320 million jury verdict and judgment in favor of Celador.

Represented Best Buy in multidistrict litigation over alleged price-fixing in the market for cathode ray tubes in televisions. The claims resulted in confidential settlements with several large electronics manufacturers, including LG, Panasonic, and Toshiba.

Represented a major medical device manufacturer in the binding arbitration of a breach of contract and antitrust dispute with a start-up company over development of new biomedical technology.

Advanced Bionics v. Medtronic, Inc. 29 Cal. 4th 697 (2002).  Obtained a ruling from the California Supreme Court vacating an anti-suit injunction enjoining a parallel Minnesota lawsuit filed by a medical device manufacturer seeking to enforce a non-competition agreement in California, and ultimately obtained dismissal of the California lawsuit.

In Re Structured Settlement Litigation: As class counsel, recovered $134 million on behalf of a class of 250 injured plaintiffs pursuing claims against major banks, financial institutions and brokerage houses for the loss of U.S. Treasury Bonds which were intended to fund structured settlements to be paid over a twenty year span.

Represented British insurers and Japanese ship owners against the United States and the state of Oregon in both federal and state  trial and appellate courts in claims for the recovery of natural resource damages and business losses arising from the wreck of a commercial freighter.

Following a federal bench trial of Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Claims, obtained a permanent injunction halting the development of a condominium project at Big Bear Lake and assessments of $1.3 million in federal fines levied against the developer.  Center for Biological Diversity, et al. v. Marina Point Development Associates, et al.  434 F.Supp.2d 789 (C.D. Cal. 2006).

Super Lawyers 2019
  • Named one of California's "Top Women Lawyers," Los Angeles Daily Journal (2011)
  • Named one of the "California Attorneys of the Year" for Entertainment Law, California Lawyer (2011)
  • Named a "Southern California Super Lawyer," Super Lawyers  (2007-2010, 2012-2019)
  • Robins Kaplan LLP Pro Bono Award Recipient (2006)
  • Public Counsel Law Center Volunteer Recognition Award as Adoptions Project Coordinator (2000)
  • The State Bar of California Wiley W. Manual Award for Pro Bono Legal Services (1994)
  • Board of Directors, TreePeople, Inc. (2012 - 2017)
  • Steering Committee, Break the Cycle’s Women Leadership Forum (2004 - 2008)
  • Board of Directors, Western Center on Law & Poverty (2004 - 2010); Vice-Chair, Board of Directors (2007 - 2010)
Bar Admissions
  • California
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
  • 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
Education
  • Loyola Law School of Los Angeles, J.D.
  • University of California at Los Angeles, B.A.
Professional Associations
  • Litigation Council of America, Fellow
  • Board of Governors, Association of Business Trial Lawyers - Los Angeles Chapter (2012 - 2017)
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association, Litigation Section
  • Women Lawyers of Los Angeles, Chair, Litigation Section (1997 - 1998); Board of Governors (1997 - 1999); Judicial Nominations Committee (2003 - 2007)
  • Executive Committee - California State Bar Antitrust and Unfair Competition Section (2004 - 2007)

Quoted in:

  • "2013 Class Action Roundtable," California Lawyer (July 2013)
  • "2012 Class Action Roundtable," California Lawyer (October 2012)

  • 40th Annual Seminar of the California Association of Business Trial Lawyers
    Conference Co-Chair, Laguna Niguel, California (October 3, 2013)
  • Medico-Legal Aspects of Practicing Medicine
    American College of Cardiology, Montage Hotel, Beverly Hills, California (October 9, 2010)
  • Celador International vs. The Walt Disney Company: A Lesson in Contract Interpretation
    Southwestern Law School, Los Angeles, California (September 23, 2010)
  • Who Gets to Be a Millionaire?: Studio Profits on Trial (Panel)
    iHollywood Forum, Santa Monica, California (August 3, 2010)
  • Class Action Update: Hot Topics and Hot Cases
    Bridgeport Programs, San Francisco, California (August 13, 2009)
  • Class Action Update: Hot Topics and Hot Cases
    Bridgeport Continuing Legal Education, Los Angeles, California (April 29, 2009)
  • CAFA and Class Action Case Law Update
    Bridgeport Continuing Legal Education, University of California - Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California (May 29, 2008)
  • California Unfair Competition Law Seminar: Panel Discussion - Recent Developments Since Prop. 64 and CAFA: Federal Courts' Perspective
    State Bar Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law Section (May 19, 2006)

RESOURCES

Links to full publications and news releases.
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