Natalie Nahabet is a skilled trial lawyer and trusted client advisor in Orrick’s Los Angeles office.
She regularly represents technology companies, financial institutions, sports associations and manufacturers across the country. Natalie has advised some of the largest and most well-known companies in the world in complex high-stakes matters, including Microsoft, Twitter, Bank of America, Johnson & Johnson and the NCAA.
Natalie is a true client advocate who appreciates a client’s needs and reputational concerns involved in high-stakes litigation. Her areas of focus include technology litigation, mass torts and product liability, complex breach of contract, and consumer class actions including Proposition 65 and the Consumer Legal Remedies Act. She has helped numerous clients by developing innovative and effective strategies to resolve cases. Natalie served as first chair in an arbitration where she successfully defended Microsoft in a matter involving the permanent suspension of a Skype user claiming millions in damages. Additionally, Natalie recently obtained a favorable result for Microsoft in a separate arbitration where the team creatively set forth a defense under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
Natalie’s representation of clients in the mass tort and product liability space involves clients with significant potential damages, multiple jurisdictions and plaintiffs, and high risk to critical product lines. In most of these cases, in addition to serving as a key trial team player, Natalie serves as the point person for expert development and discovery. With her experience, she has created highly efficient and effective methods to analyze and synthesize the key facts in complex matters and use expert opinions and testimony to develop compelling stories for her clients in the courtroom. Most recently, Natalie was part of a trial team that obtained a complete defense verdict for the NCAA in a case brought by a former University of Oregon football player who was seeking $100 million in punitive damages.
Other notable engagements include:
- Represented the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in concussion/CTE and injury-related litigation across the United States. Natalie’s work on the west coast trial team has led to five separate plaintiffs voluntarily dismissing their claims against the NCAA.
- Obtained a complete victory for Microsoft and one of its employees with a ruling granting their motion for judgment on the pleadings without leave to amend in a trade secret misappropriation lawsuit against Cheap Stuff.
- Successfully defended Microsoft in a consumer arbitration relating to services provided via the Microsoft Help Desk.
- Successfully assisted clients in resolving Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) cases by serial litigators pre-litigation or at the early stages of a suit. Natalie also regularly publishes on this topic.
- Represented Tanium, a cybersecurity and systems-management company, in an insurance coverage lawsuit brought by Zurich American Insurance Company seeking to recoup amounts previously paid toward an underlying settlement.
- Represented Johnson & Johnson as trial counsel and national coordinating counsel in product liability cases alleging that asbestos contamination in Johnson's Baby Powder caused mesothelioma.
- Successfully defended Johnson & Johnson in two putative class actions, one in the Southern District of California, and the other in the complex court of the Los Angeles Superior Court, which alleged unfair competition, Proposition 65 and CLRA violations.
- Served as national coordinating counsel to Union Carbide Corporation (a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company) in connection with its ongoing asbestos-related product liability litigation. Natalie led the development and coordination of national strategy, with a particular focus on scientific and expert related issues.
- Acting as a member of the Orrick cross-office team in the defense of Chinese companies and their products against American consumer claims.
- Successfully briefed a motion for summary judgment for Natixis Wealth Management.
- Represented a multinational banking and financial services corporation relating to third party subpoenas and levies.
- Represented a Fortune 500 company in an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission into compliance with Bank Secrecy Act reporting requirements.
- Represented a municipal official in connection with an SEC enforcement action in federal court. After hard-fought litigation, the SEC agreed to voluntarily dismiss its claim against the official.
- Obtained a complete defense victory at arbitration for a major Los Angeles-based clothing manufacturer in a business dispute with its former designer.
- Settled heavily contested breach of contract claims and counterclaims involving an exclusive distributorship agreement for a premier traffic signal manufacturer.
- Successfully resolved an employment discrimination suit on behalf of a manufacturer employer.
Natalie is also active in pro bono matters including representing victims of domestic violence and assisting young immigrant children who are seeking asylum to obtain legal status in the United States.
While attending UCLA School of Law, Natalie served as an extern for two U.S. Bankruptcy Court (Central District of California) judges, was the Production Editor of the Women's Law Journal, President of the Armenian Graduate Students Association and Vice President of the Armenian Law Students Association.
On November 26, 2014, the Delaware Court of Chancery denied a motion to dismiss a complaint challenging a going-private transaction where the company’s CEO, Chairman and 17.5% stockholder was leading the buyout group. In his decision in the case, In Re Zhongpin Inc. Stockholders Litigation, Vice Chancellor Noble concluded that the complaint pled sufficient facts to raise an inference that the CEO, Xianfu Zhu, was a controlling stockholder, and as a result, the deferential business judgment rule standard of review did not apply. Instead, the far more exacting entire fairness standard governed, which in turn led the Court to deny the motion.
This is the fourth recent decision to address when a less-than 50% stockholder can be considered a controller, an issue that determines whether the alleged controller owes fiduciary duties to other stockholders and the standard of review the Court will apply in evaluating the challenged transaction. The decision therefore provides important guidance for directors and their advisors in structuring transactions involving large stockholders.