Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd is one of the biggest and most recognized names in the arena of plaintiff-focused litigation shops. It could hardly be pigeonholed as a “boutique,” however; it is one of the largest plaintiff firms in terms of geographic footprint as well, with offices on both East and West Coasts as well as in more exploratory locales such as Nashville, Tennessee and Boca Raton, Florida. “Robbins Geller is certainly one of the ‘biggies,’ the plaintiff firm everyone has heard of,” confirms a peer. Another peer, and frequent opponent in the defense capacity, testifies, “Robbins Geller file a lot of cases, and obviously I’m not going to agree with all of them but there are definitely some that you can’t deny, and they also have a few people who would actually try these cases if it came down to it. You don’t see too many of those in the plaintiff role, especially in class actions.”
San Diego’s Darren Robbins is considered one of the firm’s central figures. As sole lead counsel, Robbins led a team that obtained final approval of a $1.2 billion settlement which resolves claims that defendants made false and misleading statements regarding Valeant’s business and financial performance during the class period, attributing Valeant’s dramatic growth in revenues and profitability to “innovative new marketing approaches” as part of a business model that was low risk and “durable and sustainable.” Also in San Diego, Debra Wyman secured a landmark $1.025 billion settlement in January 2020 in a case against American Realty Capital Properties after that entity’s 2014 admission of intentional wrongdoing and manipulative accounting practices. Wyman prosecuted nine different claims for securities violations, involving seven different stock or debt offerings, and two mergers. The case immediately propelled Wyman’s stature; she was recognized as with multiple awards at the West Coast edition of the Benchmark awards in San Francisco in March 2020, including the case itself generating an ”impact case award,” and Wyman also landed a prestigious spot as one of Benchmark’s Top 250 Women in Litigation, one of the few in the plaintiff capacity to claim this honor. Another San Diego partner, Randall Baron secured a remarkable $60 million partial settlement in a case against Tesla concerning the company’s controversial takeover of SolarCity, which was rapidly being viewed as financially unsustainable and possibly even insolvent. The partial settlement squares the claims with the Tesla directors who approved the company’s acquisition of SolarCity; the claims against Elon Musk are proceeding to trial.
In another case in which the firm took on brand-name behemoths of the tech world, Paul Geller in the firm’s Boca Raton office led a team that brokered a milestone $650 million settlement with Facebook that resolved claims that Facebook used facial-recognition technology to extract and store users’ biometric identifiers without the written consent of Illinois Facebook users required by the state’s Biometric Information Privacy Act. This case also involved Boca Raton’s Stuart Davidson, who is also praised by peers. “I think he’s great,” declares one. “He is very effective and very busy. He was on the executive committee of a case against Yahoo!”