Robyn Bladow is a litigation partner in the Los Angeles office who has handled numerous complex commercial disputes in United States and foreign courts as well as arbitration matters. She has represented and advised major corporate clients regarding contract disputes, unfair business practices and other business tort claims, consumer class actions, product liability claims, bankruptcy matters, intellectual property claims and employment disputes. Over the course of Robyn's career, she has increasingly focused her practice on defending clients against consumer and other class actions. She has been an integral member of multiple trial and arbitration teams.
Consumer and Class Actions
Acts as national counsel for DIRECTV in its defense against various putative consumer class actions alleging false advertising and violations of consumer protection laws related to the lease of DIRECTV equipment as well as the early cancellation fees that DIRECTV assesses when customers choose not to complete their programming commitment terms. Successfully moved to compel individual arbitration with named plaintiffs.
Represented Pfizer in its defense against putative statewide class action alleging false claims related to the expiration dates on Advil labels. Won appeal to Eighth Circuit of district court's remand order. Raskas et al. v. Johnson & Johnson et al., 719 F.3d 884 (8th Circ. 2013). The Eighth Circuit's published decision permits defendants to demonstrate amount in controversy under the Class Action Fairness Act by simply providing evidence of the "pot" of money from which damages might be calculated, even if the damages would ultimately be less. After remand was reversed, successfully moved the district court to strike all class allegations from complaint, leaving only an individual claim which was ultimately dismissed.
Successfully moved to dismiss putative nationwide class action alleging that Pfizer violated the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act and Unfair Competition Law by making false claims about the health benefits of certain dietary supplements.
Represented leading seller of precious metal products in its defense against multiple putative nationwide class actions alleging false advertising and unfair business practices, and violations of the Consumers Legal Remedies Act related to transactions for purchase of precious metal products. Successfully compelled putative class action disputes to individual arbitration, resulting in the dismissal of three putative nationwide class actions.
Represented DIRECTV in this putative class action challenging early cancellation fees. After the district court denied DIRECTV's motion to compel arbitration, DIRECTV appealed. The Eleventh Circuit ruled sua sponte that the district court did not have jurisdiction over the case under the Class Action Fairness Act on the basis that the case failed to meet amount in controversy requirement. The decision essentially gutted federal court jurisdiction over class actions, but Kirkland successfully petitioned for rehearing of that decision, and won the appeal on the merits of the arbitration ruling as well. Cappuccitti v. DIRECTV, Inc., 623 F.3d 1118 (11th Cir. 2010).
Represented DIRECTV in this putative nationwide class action in which plaintiff alleged unfair business practices and other business torts related to contractual late fees assessed to customers. In Bess v. DIRECTV, Inc., 381 Ill. App. 3d 229 (2008), the Illinois Appellate Court reversed itself after Kirkland's petition for rehearing and enforced the plaintiff's agreement to arbitrate under Illinois law. Kirkland then convinced the Arbitrator to dismiss all class claims, seeking over $300 million dollars in damages.
Business Torts and Fraud
Represented life insurance settlement provider in multi-hundred million dollar matter, in which client claimed theft of trade secrets and breach of contract, and defended against fraud and other business tort claims. Won TRO and preliminary injunction against plaintiffs.
Represented private equity firm against plaintiff's attempt to prevent purchase of the Mastro's chain of restaurants, resulting in the successful purchase of the restaurants and dismissal of the action.
Obtained dismissal of billion dollar fraud claim against DIRECTV related to the restructuring of businesses in South America and Mexico. Also represented DIRECTV in related JAMS arbitration involving various contract and fraud claims, resulting in DIRECTV's eventual purchase of opposing party under favorable terms.
Represented buyer against seller in post-acquisition arbitration. Won fraud claim against seller based on misrepresentations about value of company, and defeated counterclaim for wrongful discharge of former executive.
Successfully defended DIRECTV against action by distributor seeking to enjoin DIRECTV from terminating certain distribution rights. Also defended against related complex contract and business tort claims by sub-distributors, resulting in the dismissal of most claims, and successful defense against appellate challenge to trial court's rulings.
Led team in federal civil rights case that culminated in a two-week jury trial resulting in judgments against eight correctional officers for violating the Eighth Amendment cruel and unusual punishment clause when they were deliberately indifferent to our client's basic human rights.
Won multiple successful applications and arguments for asylum by individuals who were persecuted in their home countries on account of their sexual orientation.
Supervised bench trial, and successful appeal to the 9th Circuit, which determined that the trial court erred when it concluded that a child is not "settled" for the purposes of Article 12 of the Hague Convention for the reason that she does not have lawful immigration status.
"Rising Star" Southern California Super Lawyers, 2013
United States District Court for the Northern District of California
United States District Court for the Southern District of California
United States District Court for the Eastern District of California
United States District Court for the Central District of California
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit