Daniel C. Girard is the founder and managing partner of Girard Gibbs LLP, where he serves as the firm’s lead litigation counsel.
Mr. Girard is nationally recognized as one of the top plaintiff-side lawyers in the United States with an expertise in class actions and complex business litigation. For more than 25 years, he has successfully represented plaintiffs in cases involving shareholder rights, securities, antitrust, consumer, telecommunications, and civil rights laws.
Recognized by his peers and the judiciary for his professional excellence, Mr. Girard has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America (2012-2014) for his work in class action and securities litigation. Best Lawyers additionally named him the 2013 “Lawyer of the Year” in San Francisco for Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Plaintiffs. Mr. Girard has been consistently honored as a Northern California Super Lawyer (2007-2014), and has also earned the distinction of being included among the “Top 100 Super Lawyers” in Northern California. He has been named among the highest class of attorneys for professional ethics and legal skills with an AV-Preeminent rating by Martindale Hubbell, and was featured in the 2012 edition of San Francisco’s Top AV-Preeminent Rated Lawyers.
Mr. Girard was appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to serve two terms on the United States Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Civil Rules, where he evaluated and implemented proposed changes to the procedural rules governing U.S. federal courts. He has repeatedly been recognized by the federal judiciary as an expert on class actions and complex litigation.
Mr. Girard has litigated many of the firm’s most high profile, precedent-setting cases in state and federal courts throughout the United States, and has recovered hundreds of millions of dollars on his clients’ behalf. He has served as counsel to several public and private institutional investors in securities litigation matters both domestically and abroad, and he assists in the prosecution of several international arbitration proceedings on behalf of European clients.
Mr. Girard has appeared on CNBC and FOX News and has published opinion pieces in The National Law Journal and Legal Times. His cases have been chronicled in major financial and news publications including The New York Times, USA Today, BusinessWeek, and Forbes. He is a frequent speaker on class actions, complex litigation and related topics for legal groups throughout the country, and has served as a guest lecturer at several law schools, including Stanford Law School, UC Berkeley (Boalt Hall), UC Davis Law School, and UC Hastings College of the Law. He served as a Senior Visiting Fellow for Duke University Law School’s 2013 Wintersession program.
- Billiteri v. Securities America, Inc.
- Lead counsel in a class action against broker-dealer Securities America, Inc. and its corporate parent, Ameriprise, Inc. in connection with sales of Provident Royalties and Medical Capital investment schemes. Lead attorney in negotiations resulting in a $150 million settlement for the class and individual investors in arbitration proceedings.
- In re American Express Financial Advisors Securities Litigation
- Co-lead counsel in a class action on behalf of individuals who bought financial plans and invested in mutual funds from American Express Financial Advisors. The lawsuit alleged that American Express steered its clients into underperforming “shelf space funds” to reap kickbacks and other financial benefits. Negotiated a cash settlement of $100 million and additional relief.
- Scheiner v. i2 Technologies, Inc., et al.
- Represented lead plaintiff, Kansas Public Employees Retirement System, and served as co-lead counsel in this securities fraud class action on behalf of investors in i2 Technologies. Negotiated cash settlements of $88 million from the company, its officers and its former auditor, Arthur Andersen LLP, as well as significant corporate governance reforms.
- In re Corrections Corporation of America
- Served as co-lead counsel in securities class action on behalf of investors against a real estate investment trust and its officers and directors, following defendants’ alleged false statements made in the context of a merger. Negotiated a settlement for over $104 million in cash and stock.
- CalSTRS v. Qwest Communications
- Represented the California State Teachers Retirement System in opt-out securities fraud lawsuit against Qwest Communications, Inc. and certain of its officers and directors, as well as its outside auditor Arthur Andersen. The case resulted in a precedent-setting $45 million recovery for California school teachers.
- In re MCI Non-Subscriber Rates Litigation
- Served as co-lead counsel in this class action lawsuit brought on behalf of MCI subscribers who were charged MCI’s non-subscriber rates and surcharges instead of the lower rates which MCI advertised and subscribers expected to be charged. Achieved $90 million cash settlement on behalf of class members.
- In re H&R Block Express IRA Litigation
- Served as lead counsel in class action against H&R Block alleging that the tax firm misled consumers in the marketing and sale of its “Express IRAs.” Achieved a $19.4 million cash settlement for low-income consumers.
- Odom v. Microsoft
- Served as lead counsel in this consumer class action on behalf of Best Buy customers who were signed up for free trials of Microsoft’s MSN internet service, never logged in or used the service, but were charged regular monthly fees by Microsoft after the end of the trial period. Achieved a cash settlement providing for reimbursements up to a maximum of $75 as well as other benefits.
- Natural Gas Antitrust Cases I, II, III, IV
- Member of the Executive Committee in this coordinated antitrust litigation against numerous natural gas companies for manipulating the California natural gas market. Settled for total recovery of $160 million.
- In re Digex, Inc. Shareholder Litigation
- Represented the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System, one of two institutional lead plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit on behalf of minority shareholders in Digex, Inc. seeking to enjoin MCI WorldCom’s planned acquisition of a controlling interest in Digex through a merger with Intermedia Communications, Inc., the majority shareholder.
- In re Oxford Tax Exempt Fund Securities Litigation
- Served as co-lead counsel in this class and derivative litigation brought on behalf of a real estate limited partnership with assets of over $200 million. Achieved settlement providing for exempt issuance of securities under section 3(a)(10) of Securities Act of 1933, public listing of units, and additional settlement benefits valued at over $10 million.
- Calliott v. HFS, Inc.
- Intervened on behalf of an institutional client in this securities class action arising out of the bankruptcy of Amre, Inc., a seller of home remodeling and repair services. Negotiated settlements for substantially all available insurance of $7.3 million.
- In re Total Renal Care Securities Litigation
- Served as liaison counsel in this securities fraud action arising out of a restatement of earnings by healthcare provider, brought under the PSLRA by the Louisiana Teachers’ Retirement System and the Louisiana School Employees Retirement System. Achieved settlement of $25 million and issuer’s commitment to adopt comprehensive corporate governance reforms.
- In re Towers Financial Corporation Noteholders Litigation
- Served as liaison counsel and plaintiffs’ executive committee member in this securities and RICO class action against promoters and professionals associated with failed investment scheme described at the time by SEC as “largest Ponzi scheme in U.S. history.”
- Mitchell v. American Fair Credit Association
- Served as lead counsel in a class action lawsuit alleging that American Fair Credit Association (“AFCA”) operated an illegal credit repair scheme. Achieved settlements for the class valued at over $40 million.
- Ho v. San Francisco Unified School District
- Represented a certified class of San Francisco public school students of Chinese descent in civil rights action seeking to terminate racial and ethnic quotas imposed under 1983 desegregation consent decree. On the first day of trial, the SFUSD, the SFNAACP and the State Board of Education agreed to drop the quota system and mandatory racial “self-identification” requirement, and agreed to submit any further effort to implement racial or ethnic classifications in school admissions to the district court for advance approval.
- Lehman Brothers Securities Litigation
- Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee
- Representing investors who purchased Lehman Brothers Principle-Protected notes through UBS.
- In re: Wal-Mart Stores Derivative Litigation
- Co-lead Counsel
- Representing California State Teachers’ Retirement System in derivative litigation arising out of alleged violations of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
- In re: Peregrine PFG Best Customer Accounts Litigation
- Co-lead Counsel
- Representing customers of failed futures commission merchant.
- In re: Lidoderm Antitrust Litigation
- Co-lead Counsel
- Representing plaintiffs who indirectly purchased the lidocaine patch 5%, sold under the brand name Lidoderm.
- In re: Lidoderm Antitrust Litigation
- Consumer Cases Steering Committee
- Representing customers concerning the Target Corporation customer data security breach.