Paul Chan and Gopi Panchapakesan Analyze New 'Domestic Injury' Rule Under Civil RICO

Gopi K. Panchapakesan’s practice focuses on litigating complex business disputes, including commercial fraud, breaches of contract and fiduciary duty, class actions, and unfair business practices. Gopi has represented Fortune 500 companies, as well as companies and individuals across various industries, including retail, healthcare, pharmaceutical, biomedical, and software.

Gopi has particular experience in representing companies and individuals in quasi-criminal actions, including cases involving civil RICO and California state and federal environmental regulations.  He has successfully mediated, arbitrated, and settled numerous cases.

He currently serves on the Executive Board of the South Asian Bar Association of Southern California, and on the board of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Debate League. Prior to joining Bird Marella, Gopi practiced litigation at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP.

Representative Cases

  • Represented large Taiwanese conglomerate and other lead defendants in a 34-defendant civil RICO, fraud and alter ego action, stemming from the alleged “bust out” of flat screen television company Westinghouse Digital Electronics.  Plaintiff sought over $80 million in trebled RICO damages.  After successfully obtaining summary adjudication of certain claims and procuring victories on several key motions in limine on the eve of trial, the case was successfully resolved for a nominal amount.

  • Successfully represented Labor Commissioner of the State of California by defeating motion to compel arbitration brought by motor carrier and restoring the Commissioner’s jurisdiction to hear wage and hour claims brought by the carrier’s employees.

  • Obtained final approval of a class action settlement on behalf of a major multinational nutritional and personal care product corporation, defeating objections made collectively by several class members, as well as a motion for reconsideration brought by these same objectors.

  • Represented publicly traded company through final arbitration hearing in a multi-million dollar accounting malpractice case.

  • Successfully settled case brought by the government under the Federal Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act for less than one-sixth of the damages initially demanded by the government.

  • Successfully represented several families living in dilapidated housing on skid row in Los Angeles.  In a partnership with the Inner City Law Center, Gopi helped procure a $750,000 settlement on behalf of the tenants.

  • Defended big-box retailer in action brought by the South Coast Air Quality Management District, L.A. City Attorney’s Office, and the district attorneys of Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, in which the government alleged the retailer sold paint and other coatings in violation of air quality standards.  The case was settled on favorable terms.

  • Defended large retail bookseller in a wage and hour class action, in which plaintiffs alleged they had been misclassified as “exempt” employees, and successfully defeated class certification.


  • Member of the Executive Board (Treasurer), South Asian Bar Association of Southern California
  • Member of the Board of Directors, Los Angeles Metropolitan Debate League
  • Former member of the Board of Directors, South Asian Bar Association of Southern California – Public Interest Foundation

Four Bird Marella Attorneys Named as 2018 Rising Stars

Bird Marella attorneys Nicole Van Dyk, Kimberley Miller, Fanxi Wang, and Gopi Panchapakesan have been selected by Super Lawyers as 2018 Rising Stars. This is the third consecutive year that both Nicole (white-collar litigation) and Kimberley (white-collar litigation) have been selected. This is ...

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Paul Chan and Gopi Panchapakesan Analyze New ‘Domestic Injury’ Rule Under Civil RICO

Bird Marella Managing Principal Paul Chan and Associate Gopi Panchapakesan authored an expert analysis for Law 360, "The Far-Reaching New 'Domestic Injury' Rule Under Civil RICO." The article delves into the Supreme Court's pronouncement in 2016 that private RICO plaintiffs must allege and prove a domestic injury, and considers ...

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  • Co-author, “The Far-Reaching New Domestic Injury Rule Under Civil RICO,” Law360 (June 29, 2017)