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Thomas B. Mayhew

Thomas B. Mayhew

Farella Braun + Martel LLP
San Francisco, CA, USA

Thomas Mayhew is a trial lawyer who represents companies and individuals in high-stakes business disputes, and is the head of the firm’s Business Litigation Group.  He represents both plaintiffs and defendants from the Bay Area’s leading industries in cases involving breach of contract, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and other business torts.  He has significant class action experience, having litigated dozens of class actions including claims of false advertising, corporate breach of fiduciary duty, and federal securities law.

Mr. Mayhew has handled a number of technology disputes.  He recently obtained summary judgment on a $450 million damages claim in federal court based on a technology development agreement, by showing that an exclusive remedies provision in the contract barred the claim.  He was first-chair in a two week arbitration concerning the sale of a technology company involving allegations about ownership of the company’s IP, and in another case tried an arbitration over the correct calculation of royalties due under a patent infringement settlement.

Other significant matters in his diverse practice include a $9.89 million jury verdict, including punitive damages, for intentional interference with contract against commercial landlords who prevented a business acquisition; a settlement, on the second day of jury trial, in a multimillion dollar case against a contract manufacturer for negligent quality control; and a nine week bench trial of a complex class action against Bank of America for fraud and “false claims” over the handling of municipal bond issues, which resulted in the bank disgorging over $187.5 million to state and local governments.  In a criminal case, he and his co-counsel obtained a complete acquittal and dismissal of all five counts after a three and a half week jury trial.

Mr. Mayhew has also defended a large number of cases under 17200, involving allegations of false labeling or advertising, kickback schemes, pricing/antitrust violations, and other allegedly “unfair” and “unlawful” business practices, and represents both individuals and corporations in federal securities class actions, derivative suits, and partnership disputes.  Notable matters include defending Nestle Waters in a series of lawsuits claiming that its bottled water was mislabeled as “spring water;” successfully defeating class certification in a federal RICO case against an on-line auctioneer accused of fraudulently bidding on its own items; and representing the Chief Accounting Officer and acting Chief Financial Officer of McKesson in a number of lawsuits over McKesson’s purchase of HBOC and the disclosure of accounting problems.

Mr. Mayhew received his J.D. from Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California at Berkeley in 1995, where he was elected to the Order of the Coif.  He earned a B.A., with high honors, from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1992.  He clerked for Judge David Levi of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California, and Judge William W. Schwarzer of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, sitting by designation on the Third Circuit and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeals.  Mr. Mayhew serves on the Board of Governors for the Association of Business Trial Lawyers for Northern California, and is currently the board’s Secretary.


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