Seth M. Gerber is an accomplished trial lawyer whose practice focuses on trade secrets/unfair competition and business litigation. Seth has tried complex cases to verdict on behalf of individuals and corporations in state and federal courts and in arbitration. Seth’s trial victories were featured by Law360 when Morgan Lewis was named “Employment Group of the Year” in January 2018. Seth also has been recognized over many years as a Southern California “Super Lawyer” and he was named one of the top 20 lawyers in California under the age of 40 in 2011 by the Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal.
Seth prosecutes and defends claims for misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of contract, fraud, intentional interference, unfair competition, false advertising, breach of fiduciary duties, and undue influence. He also has successfully represented clients in employment disputes, real estate litigation, and complex commercial and consumer class action matters. Seth has successfully brought claims for violations of international law against a foreign state under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, participated in a hearing before the US Senate Helsinki Commission, and directly negotiated with high-ranking foreign officials and the US State Department.
Seth’s high-profile litigation matters have been the subject of articles in The National Law Journal, The Daily Journal, The Blog of LegalTimes, Law360, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, and The Washington Post, and in law review articles in the Loyola of Los AngelesInternational & Comparative Law Review and the International Journal of Cultural Property.
Seth has served on boards of several community organizations. He is a recipient of the State Bar of California’s Wiley M. Manuel Award for Pro Bono Legal Services.
Obtained a complete defense verdict on behalf of an insurance brokerage firm and ten individuals after a two-month jury trial concerning claims for breach of fiduciary duty, aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty, breach of the duty of loyalty, intentional interference with contracts, and misappropriation of trade secrets. The Court also determined that the opposing party’s non-compete agreements were unenforceable under California law. This case arose from the 2014 departure of 75 employees from a competitor’s offices in Fresno, Salinas, and Walnut Creek, California.
Obtained a favorable verdict on behalf of an insurance broker after a two-week bench trial involving a claim for declaratory relief against a large insurance brokerage firm. The court concluded that California law governed the agreements at issue and that non-compete provisions and Illinois choice of law and forum selection provisions were unenforceable, and the court awarded Seth’s client his fees and costs as the prevailing party.
Defeated a motion for preliminary injunction after a one-week evidentiary hearing for an insurance brokerage firm in trade secrets litigation.
Obtained a favorable ruling by the Delaware Court of Chancery that California law must be applied to an employee agreement despite a Delaware choice-of-law provision, and denying a request for an injunction against Seth’s client on the ground that enforcing the non-compete provision would contravene California public policy favoring competition.
Defended one of California’s largest independent physician associations in a lengthy jury trial for alleged misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of contract. The jury found that Seth’s client did not engage in any willful or malicious misconduct and awarded a tiny fraction of the damages sought.
Obtained a favorable jury trial verdict and damages against a distributor of fashion accessories for copyright infringement.
Obtained a US Court of Appeals decision rejecting a foreign state’s defense of sovereign immunity to claims brought under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. Thereafter, Seth obtained a judgment and sanctions award against the foreign state which has amassed to more than $47 million.
Obtained a favorable arbitration award after a lengthy hearing finding the respondent liable for fraudulent inducement, fraudulent concealment, breach of confidential relationship and undue influence, and as relief for these claims rescission of stock grants worth $25 million. The arbitrator concluded that the respondent had engaged in “willful, malicious, systematic, intentional fraud and deceit that spanned his entire period of employment” and awarded Seth’s client nearly $6 million in attorneys’ fees and costs.
Represented the University of Southern California in a lawsuit against a Tenet Healthcare subsidiary seeking a court declaration that Tenet had defaulted under a long-term ground lease and operating agreement, which resulted in USC’s acquisition of University Hospital and Norris Cancer Center from Tenet.
Obtained a favorable arbitration award for the University of Southern California in a dispute concerning the value of a medical office complex.
Trinity College, 1994, Bachelor of Arts, Departmental Honors, Pi Gamma Mu
University of California, Hastings College of the Law, 1999, Juris Doctor
US Supreme Court
US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
US District Court for the Central District of California
US District Court for the Eastern District of California
US District Court for the Northern District of California
US District Court for the Southern District of California
US District Court for the Western District of Texas
Awards and Affiliations
Recognized, Commercial Litigation, Los Angeles, The Best Lawyers in America (2019)
Recognized, Southern California (business litigation), Super Lawyers (2011–2019)