Devin Donohue is a seasoned litigator who focuses his practice on litigating and arbitrating corporate, trade secret, securities, commercial and employment cases in federal and state court and before various arbitration tribunals (JAMS, AAA and FINRA).
Significantly experienced in the financial services sector, Devin has served as lead trial counsel defending several financial institutions, brokerage firms and financial advisers in more than 100 court matters and arbitrations, such as handling securities litigation and regulatory enforcement matters involving several different types of complicated investment products resulting in claims of statutory and common law securities fraud and unsuitability, and defending numerous claims on behalf of his corporate clients. In addition to typical employment claims, Devin is highly experienced in employment specific and general internal investigations and crisis management and aims to provide proactive solutions to mitigate risk. He has also served as lead counsel defending brokerage firms and advisers before FINRA and the SEC in regulatory investigations and enforcement matters.
Devin represents companies and individuals in commercial and trade secret litigation matters in both court and arbitration, including the prosecution and defense of matters filed under the federal Defense of Trade Secrets Act or the various states’ uniform trade secrets acts. He has successfully litigated high-profile trade secret matters in California and other jurisdictions in various industries including financial services, retail, entertainment/sports, insurance brokerage and many others.
In the business and commercial litigation area of his practice, Devin regularly defends companies in international arbitrations including one of the largest banks in the world in an arbitration involving an eight-figure investment filed by a sophisticated Caribbean bank. Devin also serves on the AAA-International Centre for Dispute Resolution arbitrator panel. His employment litigation experience includes defending companies in California and around the country against statutory (federal and state) and common law employment claims.
Viewed by his clients as a trusted partner, Devin’s experience as a former business owner allows him to bring to each representation a unique perspective and first-hand knowledge of the issues his clients face, allowing him to provide the most effective and efficient advocacy to meet their goals and objectives.
Select examples of Devin’s prior firm experience include:
- Secured, as lead trial counsel, a full acquittal for a corporate client and its Chief Compliance Officer after seven days of trial on contempt charges carrying criminal penalties in a California state court proceeding.
- Obtained, as lead trial counsel, a complete defense victory on behalf of a corporate client in an arbitration matter brought by a well-known Hollywood producer. The matter involved numerous investments in an alternative investment portfolio and allegations of fraud and churning and claimed damages in excess of $6 million. The matter concluded after 12 hearing days including several days cross-examining the claimant.
- Secured, as lead trial counsel, a favorable arbitration award on behalf of one of the largest banks in the world against a Caribbean bank who alleged securities fraud related to a $30 million investment claim after two-weeks of hearings involving witnesses who spoke four different languages.
- Served as lead investigator for several corporate clients in connection with national and California-based internal investigations of various allegations of misconduct of corporate principals, employees and agents including claims of securities fraud, trade secret misappropriation, corporate espionage, employment discrimination and sexual harassment and interface with various regulators regarding such matters as may be necessary or required.
- Secured, as lead trial counsel, the largest FINRA industry arbitration award to date on behalf of a brokerage firm against two financial advisers who owed $6.6 million on promissory note obligations. The award included decisions in the client’s favor on numerous counterclaims asserted by the advisers claiming damages in excess of $10 million related to alleged contractual and compliance issues, and the advisers paid the full $6.6 million award plus interest within months of the award’s issuance.
- Obtained, as lead trial counsel, a seven-figure arbitration award on behalf of a large corporate client. The arbitrators additionally denied the respondent’s multimillion dollar securities and employment (whistleblower) counterclaims. The 11-page award detailed the panel’s findings based upon the key evidence presented at the hearing and the cross-examination of the respondent which revealed numerous inconsistencies between his testimony and the documentary evidence.
- Served as lead trial counsel in the prosecution of several successful injunction trials on behalf of various corporate clients against former employees for violation of employment agreements and misappropriation of trade secrets, including prosecuting a matter on behalf of a major Wall Street firm in the Central District of California and obtaining an injunction against a former employee who was improperly soliciting customers in connection with a multimillion-dollar book of business.
- Served as lead trial counsel on behalf of various corporate clients in the successful defense of several temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction hearings, and follow-on monetary damages actions, including securing a favorable settlement in an eight-figure matter on behalf of a large corporate client being sued by one of its competitors.
- Served as lead trial counsel in a securities matter on behalf of a financial institution client against the wife of a Forbes 400 billionaire litigated across multiple tribunals including Los Angeles Superior Court, the Southern District of New York, the Central District of California, and secured a favorable decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on various securities class action issues.
- Served as lead counsel on behalf of several financial services clients, securing “No Further Action” letters from securities regulators after responding to complex regulatory inquiries involving various regulatory issues.
- Served as lead trial counsel for financial institution clients, securing the successful resolution of allegations that regulatory filings purportedly defamed former employees.
- Served as lead defense trial counsel in a civil consumer fraud matter filed by a state Attorney General.
- Secured a favorable jury verdict for the plaintiff, after a three-week trial in Los Angeles Superior Court, in a fraud and elder abuse case. The jury awarded both compensatory and punitive damages.
- Secured a favorable settlement as lead counsel for a major Wall Street clearing firm in a Los Angeles Superior Court matter involving allegations of preparing fraudulent account statements and elder abuse after filing a motion for summary judgment based upon immunity and lack of evidence under the Union Bank case.
- Obtained summary judgment in the Central District of California for a copyright and trademark holder against an alleged co-holder of intellectual property rights and obtained a permanent injunction requiring return of all copyrighted materials and prohibiting any the defendant’s use of the intellectual property. Successfully handled the appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
- Obtained, as lead counsel, the voluntary dismissal of a financial adviser during the mediation of a seven-figure matter filed by an investor alleging misrepresentations related to investment advice provided to the investor.
- Secured summary judgment for a financial institution client in Alameda County Superior Court based upon a Commercial Code defense that presented an issue of first impression.
- Secured favorable settlement while motion for summary judgment on forum non conveniens grounds was pending for an Asian shipping company facing a multimillion-dollar property loss claim in the Northern District of California.
- University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, J.D., Editor, McGeorge’s Transnational Lawyer
- University of California at Santa Barbara, B.A.
- Selected as a nominee within the litigation category as part of the Los Angeles Business Journal's Leaders in Law awards (2021)
- Member, Los Angeles County Bar Association
- Member, Association of Business Trial Lawyers
- Member, Securities Industry and Finance Markets Association, Compliance and Legal Division
- Member, Beverly Hills Bar Association