Peter's practice is focused primarily on defending major corporate clients in a variety of high exposure and noteworthy matters on both a class wide and individual basis. A substantial portion of his experience is in the area of consumer class actions in such diverse industries as insurance, pharmaceutical, medical devices and energy. Peter was the lead counsel in a case decided by the California Supreme Court which limited the application of one of California's significant consumer protection statutes, the Consumer Legal Remedies Act. As a result of the decision obtained in that case, Peter was honored in 2010 as a California Lawyer of the Year (CLAY Award) by the California Lawyer magazine. In addition, Peter co-authored "Consumer Actions and Fraud/Reliance-Based Torts," a chapter in the American Bar Association's A Practitioner's Guide to Class Actions (ABA July 2010).
Peter has enjoyed considerable success in defeating class certification in both federal and state court action. Many of those victories have occurred at the pleading stage of the lawsuit, while in other cases class certification was defeated based upon an extensive evidentiary record in connection with a class certification motion.
In addition to his class action expertise, Peter is an experienced trial lawyer who has successfully opposed at trial several well known California plaintiff's attorneys. Peter's practice encompasses a wide range of complex commercial litigation matters including antitrust, unfair competition, products liability, and insurance coverage, marketing practices and bad faith.
Peter is the Partner-in-Charge of the Los Angeles office and also serves as a member of the firm's Policy Committee. Peter was the head of the office's litigation practice for ten years before becoming Partner-in-Charge in 2005.
- Successful argument to the California Supreme Court resulting in limitation on application of California Consumers Legal Remedies Act
- Successful representation of a major international energy company against claims of alleged human rights violations
- Defeated RICO claims asserted against a worldwide recognized entertainment company based upon allegations of industrial espionage
- Served as state-wide liaison counsel for major pharmaceutical companies in coordinated proceedings in California based upon claims that over-the-counter products contributed to serious and potentially fatal injury
- Defeated class certification of a state-wide claim asserted against one of the largest California associations of health care providers
- Represented a major life insurance company in the United States against class claims arising out of the sale of life insurance products
- Defeated claims against a major property and casualty insurer for coverage for "mold" damage, establishing new appellate law in California on that subject
- Obtained defense verdicts for numerous national insurance companies in cases based upon alleged unfair claims practices
- Obtained defense verdict for a California professional association against claims of price-fixing, illegal boycott and disparagement
- Represented a national broker/dealer in state court litigation and FINRA proceedings involving claims of securities law violations
- Defended an international energy company against claims arising out of alleged manipulation of electricity and natural gas markets in California
- Represented numerous law firms and attorneys in California in connection with partnership dissolutions, partner departures and expulsions, and fiduciary duty obligations
- Fairbanks v. Farmers New World Life Ins. Co., 197 Cal.App.4th 544 (2011)
- Fairbanks v. Superior Court, 46 Cal.4th 56 (2009)
- Sheller v. Superior Court, 158 Cal.App.4th 1697 (2008)
- De Bruyn v. Superior Court, 158 Cal.App.4th 1213 (2008)
- Doe v. Unocal Corp. 248 F.3d 915 (9th Cir. 2001)
- Amex Life Assurance Co. v. Superior Court, 14 Cal.4th 1231 (1997)
- Tetra Pak, Inc. v. State Bd. of Equalization, 234 Cal.App.3d 1751 (1991)
- Ziller Electronics Lab GmbH v. Superior Court, 206 Cal.App.3d 1222 (1988)
- Reynolds v. California Dental Service, 200 Cal.App.3d 590 (1988)
- American Bar Association
- Los Angeles County Bar Association
- Los Angeles County Superior Court, Arbitrator/Mediator (1993 - present)
- Pepperdine University School of Law, Adjunct Professor - Antitrust Law (1987 - 1989)
- State Bar of California (1976 - present)
- Chambers USA, Insurance: California (2010 - 2012)
- 2010 CLAY Award - "California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year," California Lawyer magazine
- The Best Lawyers in America (2007 - 2013)
- "Southern California Super Lawyers," Thomson Reuters (2005 - 2013)
- "Southern California's Top Rated Lawyers," LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell (2012)
- Co-author, "California Supreme Court Clarifies Statute of Limitations For Unfair Business Practices," Fulbright Briefing, January 28, 2013
- Co-author, "Ninth Circuit Tightens Standards for Certifying Nationwide Consumer Class Actions Applying California Law," Fulbright Briefing, January 19, 2012
- Co-author, A Practitioner's Guide to Class Actions, 2010
1976 - J.D., American University
1973 - B.A., University of California at Berkeley
Peter was admitted to practice law in California in 1976. He has also been admitted to practice in the Northern, Eastern, Central and Southern District Courts of California and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Peter enjoys sports, especially golf and baseball.