Melanie Phillips

Senior Associate

Los Angeles

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Melanie Phillips is a member of the firm's Complex Litigation and Dispute Resolution group and focuses her practice on general commercial litigation, including experience in trade secret, antitrust, and life settlement litigation.

Melanie has in-depth experience at all stages of litigation, from researching and drafting complaints to preparing successful post-trial motions seeking attorneys' fees. She has participated in numerous arbitrations and trials and has obtained jury defense verdicts as well as a directed verdict.

Melanie volunteers on a monthly basis at the Los Angeles County Bar Association Domestic Violence Clinic and was awarded the Honorable Benjamin Aranda III Outstanding Public Service Award in 2014 in recognition of her work with the Clinic. She also earned the Pro Bono Award at Orrick for her outstanding commitment to pro bono work in 2007 relating a complicated VAWA petition on behalf of an Iraqi interpreter working for the United States military. 

Melanie's experience includes the following:

Fox Networks v. DISH (C.D.Cal.) -  Melanie was an integral part of the team that defeated two preliminary injunction motions by Fox Networks seeking to enjoin features of DISH network's award-winning Hopper DVR.  She also assisted with DISH's successful summary judgment motions.

Mattel, Inc. v. MGA Entertainment, Inc. - Melanie assisted the Orrick team, including at trial, where MGA prevailed on its trade secret claims against Mattel, with the jury finding that Mattel's conduct was willful and malicious and awarding MGA more than $88 million in damages and more than $300 million in attorneys' fees.  Her participation included taking a corporate witness deposition and she drafted and assisted with oral argument on a successful motion to exclude Mattel's duty of loyalty claims against non-fiduciary employees.

CSAA v. Commerce Insurance Co. -Melanie was a member of the Orrick trial team that was granted a directed verdict on CSAA's claim of trade secret misappropriation by former CSAA employees hired by Commerce.  She argued motions in limine prior to trial and obtained an order excluding evidence of business relationships allegedly damaged by Commerce's hiring. Melanie also was the primary drafter of the post-trial briefing which resulted in an award of $1.5 million in attorneys' fees based on CSAA's bad faith prosecution of its trade secret misappropriation claims.

Consortium Information Services, Inc. v. Equifax Information Services - Melanie was the third-chair for Equifax in a three-week jury trial involving antitrust claims. The jury returned a unanimous defense verdict for Equifax in less than a day.

Hoffmann-La Roche v. Ortho Biotech - Melanie was on an Orrick team that successfully defended against a preliminary injunction based upon alleged trade secret misappropriation by former Hoffmann-La Roche employees who were hired by Ortho Biotech to market an unreleased drug product. She interviewed numerous former Hoffmann-La Roche employees and prepared declarations for them in support of Ortho Biotech's preliminary injunction opposition.

Posts by: Melanie D. Phillips

Will I Get Sued After a Data Breach? D.C. Circuit Broadens Scope of Data That Gives Rise to Identity Theft in CareFirst

In the latest sign that data breach class actions are here to stay—and, indeed, growing—the D.C. Circuit resuscitated claims against health insurer CareFirst BlueCross and Blue Shield, following a 2015 breach that compromised member names, dates of birth, email addresses, and subscriber identification numbers of approximately 1.1 million individuals.  The decision aligns the second most powerful federal appellate court in the nation with pre-Spokeo decisions in Neiman Marcus and P.F. Chang and post-Spokeo decisions in other circuits (Third, Seventh, and Eleventh).  In short, an increased risk of identity theft constitutes an imminent injury-in-fact, and the risk of future injury is substantial enough to support Article III standing.

The D.C. Circuit’s holding is an important development.  First, the D.C. Circuit went beyond credit card numbers and social security numbers to expand the scope of data types that create a risk to individuals (i.e., names, birthdates, emails, and health insurance subscriber ID numbers).  Second, the decision makes clear that organizations should carefully consider the interplay between encryption (plus other technical data protection measures) and “risk of harm” exceptions to notification, including exceptions that may be available under HIPAA and GLBA statutory regimes. READ MORE