Douglas Fretty has extensive experience in commercial litigation, legal malpractice defense, intellectual property litigation, and licensing disputes. He has successfully defended clients against claims of fraud, unfair business practices, RICO violations, trademark infringement, professional malpractice, and other business torts.

He has obtained victories for Bird Marella’s clients in California state court, federal district court, and the Court of Appeal. In 2016 and 2017, Mr. Fretty was recognized as a “Southern California Rising Star” in Los Angeles Magazine’s Super Lawyers edition.

He has represented clients in a variety of industries, including automotive manufacturing, consumer goods, media and communications, healthcare services, pharmaceutical and biotech, and the legal profession.

Prior to joining the firm in 2014, Mr. Fretty was an Associate at Irell & Manella LLP, where he was a member of both the firm’s litigation and IP litigation practice groups.

Education

  • University of California, Los Angeles School of Law, J.D. , Order of the Coif; Michael T. Masin Scholar, 2011
  • Brown University, B.A., 2005

Honors & Awards

  • Southern California Rising Star, Los Angeles Magazine and Law & Politics Magazine, 2016, 2017

Representative Cases

  • Successfully defended automakers Hyundai Motors America and Kia Motor America against putative class action suit, which alleged that the keyless ignition system in Hyundai, Kia, and other vehicles was inherently dangerous because it could cause motorists to walk away from their vehicles with the engine running.  The Court dismissed the claims in their entirety against Hyundai, Kia, and all other automakers with prejudice, agreeing with Bird Marella’s defense team that plaintiffs could not allege any theory of fraud or unfair business practice stemming from the alleged safety defect.

  • Defended national law firm against claims of fraud and professional malpractice arising from the firm’s issuance of a legal opinion letter in a complex loan-facility transaction. Shortly before trial, Doug obtained summary judgment that the law firm breached no duty owed to the lender, resulting in the dismissal of all claims.

  • Represented an airline in a federal trademark-infringement and trademark-abandonment dispute regarding the use of intellectual property acquired out of the bankruptcy of Aloha Airlines. After defeating summary judgment on the airline’s claim of trademark abandonment, Bird Marella obtained a favorable settlement for the airline.

  • Obtained a pre-trial dismissal of murder charges against the founder of a publicly traded company that runs substance abuse facilities.  Prominently featured in local and national media, the case stemmed from a resident’s death at one of the company’s California facilities, leading the Attorney General’s office to file murder charges against the company and its officers – the first time in California history that murder charges have been brought under such a theory of corporate liability.  In March 2016, a Riverside County Judge dismissed the murder charge against all defendants, finding insufficient evidence to proceed to trial.

  • Successfully defended automaker against putative nationwide consumer class action arising from automaker’s cancellation of mobile telematics services for certain subscribers.  Before discovery, the district court granted summary judgment against Plaintiffs on all claims, ruling that Plaintiffs had waived Article III standing by entering subscription agreements for the telematics services.

  • Defended international law firm against putative class action, in which Plaintiffs alleged violations of RICO, California Unfair Competition Law, and California False Advertising Law, and claims for fraud and negligent misrepresentation.  After persuading Plaintiffs to dismiss the RICO claims voluntarily, Doug obtained an order from the district court dismissing all remaining claims without leave to amend.

  • Obtained dismissal of all claims in a malicious prosecution action against a national law firm, following a successful motion to strike pursuant to California’s anti-SLAPP statute. The California Court of Appeal affirmed the dismissal, finding that the plaintiff could not show a probability of prevailing on any elements of malicious prosecution.

  • Successfully defended the California Labor Commissioner against challenges to the Commissioner’s jurisdiction to adjudicate the wage and labor claims of freight hauling drivers working in the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

  • Member of team to obtain a settlement in favor of a biopharmaceutical licensing company in a complex breach of contract and tort action with potential damages exceeding $1 billion.

  • Represented a consumer electronics company in litigation against major cable subscription providers arising from the development of DVR technology. Days before the start of trial, the defendants agreed to a settlement valued at over $490 million.

  • Defended a consumer electronics company sued in the International Trade Commission by one of the world’s largest software makers. Following a full trial before the administrative law judge, the plaintiff agreed to dismiss all pending litigation.

Recent News & Events

Publications

  • Co-Author, “Decision Clarifies Damages Available for NDA breach,” Daily Journal, 2014

  • Author, “Litigating Cell Phone Tort Claims: Science, Preemption, and Causation,” 14 T.M. Cooley J. Prac. & Clin. L., 2012

  • Author, “Note: Both a License and a Sale: How to Reconcile Self-Replicating Technology with Patent Exhaustion,” 5 J. Bus. Entrepen. & L., 2011

  • Author, “Face-Recognition Surveillance: A Moment of Truth for Fourth Amendment rights in Public Places,” 16 Va. J. L. & Tech. 430, 2011

Douglas Fretty has extensive experience in commercial litigation, legal malpractice defense, intellectual property litigation, and licensing disputes. He has successfully defended clients against claims of fraud, unfair business practices, RICO violations, trademark infringement, professional malpractice, and other business torts.

He has obtained victories for Bird Marella’s clients in California state court, federal district court, and the Court of Appeal. In 2016 and 2017, Mr. Fretty was recognized as a “Southern California Rising Star” in Los Angeles Magazine’s Super Lawyers edition.

He has represented clients in a variety of industries, including automotive manufacturing, consumer goods, media and communications, healthcare services, pharmaceutical and biotech, and the legal profession.

Prior to joining the firm in 2014, Mr. Fretty was an Associate at Irell & Manella LLP, where he was a member of both the firm’s litigation and IP litigation practice groups.

Representative Cases

  • Successfully defended automakers Hyundai Motors America and Kia Motor America against putative class action suit, which alleged that the keyless ignition system in Hyundai, Kia, and other vehicles was inherently dangerous because it could cause motorists to walk away from their vehicles with the engine running.  The Court dismissed the claims in their entirety against Hyundai, Kia, and all other automakers with prejudice, agreeing with Bird Marella’s defense team that plaintiffs could not allege any theory of fraud or unfair business practice stemming from the alleged safety defect.

  • Defended national law firm against claims of fraud and professional malpractice arising from the firm’s issuance of a legal opinion letter in a complex loan-facility transaction. Shortly before trial, Doug obtained summary judgment that the law firm breached no duty owed to the lender, resulting in the dismissal of all claims.

  • Represented an airline in a federal trademark-infringement and trademark-abandonment dispute regarding the use of intellectual property acquired out of the bankruptcy of Aloha Airlines. After defeating summary judgment on the airline’s claim of trademark abandonment, Bird Marella obtained a favorable settlement for the airline.

  • Obtained a pre-trial dismissal of murder charges against the founder of a publicly traded company that runs substance abuse facilities.  Prominently featured in local and national media, the case stemmed from a resident’s death at one of the company’s California facilities, leading the Attorney General’s office to file murder charges against the company and its officers – the first time in California history that murder charges have been brought under such a theory of corporate liability.  In March 2016, a Riverside County Judge dismissed the murder charge against all defendants, finding insufficient evidence to proceed to trial.

  • Successfully defended automaker against putative nationwide consumer class action arising from automaker’s cancellation of mobile telematics services for certain subscribers.  Before discovery, the district court granted summary judgment against Plaintiffs on all claims, ruling that Plaintiffs had waived Article III standing by entering subscription agreements for the telematics services.

  • Defended international law firm against putative class action, in which Plaintiffs alleged violations of RICO, California Unfair Competition Law, and California False Advertising Law, and claims for fraud and negligent misrepresentation.  After persuading Plaintiffs to dismiss the RICO claims voluntarily, Doug obtained an order from the district court dismissing all remaining claims without leave to amend.

  • Obtained dismissal of all claims in a malicious prosecution action against a national law firm, following a successful motion to strike pursuant to California’s anti-SLAPP statute. The California Court of Appeal affirmed the dismissal, finding that the plaintiff could not show a probability of prevailing on any elements of malicious prosecution.

  • Successfully defended the California Labor Commissioner against challenges to the Commissioner’s jurisdiction to adjudicate the wage and labor claims of freight hauling drivers working in the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

  • Member of team to obtain a settlement in favor of a biopharmaceutical licensing company in a complex breach of contract and tort action with potential damages exceeding $1 billion.

  • Represented a consumer electronics company in litigation against major cable subscription providers arising from the development of DVR technology. Days before the start of trial, the defendants agreed to a settlement valued at over $490 million.

  • Defended a consumer electronics company sued in the International Trade Commission by one of the world’s largest software makers. Following a full trial before the administrative law judge, the plaintiff agreed to dismiss all pending litigation.

News & Events

Bird Marella Obtains Summary Judgment for AmLaw 200 Firm in Opinion Letter Dispute

Three weeks before trial was scheduled to begin in a closely-watched legal malpractice action, Bird Marella attorneys Mark Drooks and Douglas Fretty obtained summary judgment for their client, an AmLaw 200 firm, resulting in a complete defense judgment. The case arose out of a loan transaction in which the law ...

Six Bird Marella Attorneys Selected by Super Lawyers as 2017 Rising Stars

Bird Marella attorneys Ariel Neuman, David Chao, Nicole Van Dyk, Kimberley Miller, Doug Fretty, and Timothy Yoo have been selected by Super Lawyers as 2017 Rising Stars. This is the third consecutive year that both Ariel (white-collar litigation) and David (civil litigation) have been selected. For the second consecutive year, ...

Bird Marella Obtains Dismissal of Consumer Class Action Lawsuits Against Hyundai and Kia

Representing automotive manufacturers Hyundai Motors America and Kia Motors America, Bird Marella attorneys Ekwan Rhow, Douglas Fretty, and Thomas Reichert prevailed on a motion to dismiss several class action lawsuits without leave to amend. The plaintiffs, represented by one of the top plaintiff-side law firms in the country, had filed class ...

Five Bird Marella Attorneys Selected by Super Lawyers as 2016 Rising Stars

Bird Marella attorneys Ariel Neuman, Nicole Van Dyk, Kimberly Miller, David Chao, and Doug Fretty have been selected by Super Lawyers as 2016 Rising Stars. This marks the second consecutive year that both Neuman and Chao have been selected, with Neuman being recognized for his work in white-collar litigation, and Chao ...

Publications

  • Co-Author, “Decision Clarifies Damages Available for NDA breach,” Daily Journal, 2014

  • Author, “Litigating Cell Phone Tort Claims: Science, Preemption, and Causation,” 14 T.M. Cooley J. Prac. & Clin. L., 2012

  • Author, “Note: Both a License and a Sale: How to Reconcile Self-Replicating Technology with Patent Exhaustion,” 5 J. Bus. Entrepen. & L., 2011

  • Author, “Face-Recognition Surveillance: A Moment of Truth for Fourth Amendment rights in Public Places,” 16 Va. J. L. & Tech. 430, 2011