Whether quietly resolving a high-stakes criminal investigation or defeating a multi-million dollar damages claim in the pre-trial stage, Cody Harris’ tenacious case strategies, compelling briefs, and talent for persuasion safeguards his client’s bottom line, reputation and even their freedom.
In addition to handling the white collar, securities, appellate and business litigation detailed below, Mr. Harris also developed a first-hand understanding of a prosecutor’s mindset by spending a year trying and resolving cases at the Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office. As a result, he can better anticipate his opposing side’s motivations, use of evidence, objections and other tactics. Moreover, as a constitutional law instructor for the Stanford Continuing Studies Program, Cody routinely explains complicated legal concepts to laymen, a significant advantage when presenting a complex case to a jury.
Prior to attending law school, Mr. Harris worked with business clients across a variety of industries as a management consultant, before serving as a communications director for a senior member of Congress.
Cases of Note
County of Santa Clara v. Trump et al.: Representing the County of Santa Clara, Keker, Van Nest & Peters won a nationwide injunction against President Donald J. Trump’s January 2017 executive order that attempted to defund state and local governments deemed to be “sanctuary jurisdictions.” KVP argued that the executive order violated the Constitution’s separation of powers, the Tenth Amendment, and the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause. In granting the motion for a preliminary injunction, U.S. District Court Judge William H. Orrick determined that the County was likely to succeed on all four of its constitutional claims, and that the County is suffering immediate and irreparable harm.
Plaintiff v. Intuitive Surgical, Inc.: We defended Intuitive Surgical, Inc., a leading manufacturer of cutting-edge robotic surgery devices, from a securities class action. Plaintiffs alleged that Intuitive Surgical issued false and misleading statements regarding the company's financial results and prospects, when during the economic crisis of 2008, its financial results did not meet previously announced predictions. Plaintiffs’ lawyers filed a securities class action, which U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh dismissed with leave to amend. Then in a written opinion, Judge Koh agreed with each of our arguments, and dismissed the class action for the second time, this time with prejudice. Finally, the Ninth Circuit unanimously affirmed the dismissal in a 23-page published opinion.
Launiupoko Water Co., Inc. v. JM Eagle: To defend JM Eagle from a products liability, breach of implied warranty, and fraud action, we successfully drafted and argued a motion to dismiss. The motion was granted in its entirety, with the tort claims—which formed the backbone of the Complaint—all dismissed with prejudice.
Former Employees v. Lucasfilm Ltd.: We advised Lucasfilm Ltd. in an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and then represented Lucasfilm in a series of antitrust class actions brought by former employees of Lucasfilm, Google, Apple and Pixar. Plaintiffs alleged unlawful agreements related to hiring and employee retention. Plaintiffs and Lucasfilm reached a preliminary settlement of plaintiffs’ claims in July 2013.
Ziptronix v. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company: We won summary judgment of non-infringement for Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd. and its subsidiary TSMC, North America in a long-running patent lawsuit brought by North Carolina semiconductor company, Ziptronix, Inc. Ziptronix had asserted nine patents and more than 500 patent claims directed to TSMC’s manufacturing of semiconductors for use in backside-illumination image sensors used predominantly in smartphone cameras. On behalf of TSMC, we defeated Ziptronix’s claims by arguing that the territorial limits of U.S. patent law prohibited reaching TSMC’s business transactions and manufacturing operations in Taiwan.
Class Action Plaintiffs v. Auditing Firms: We represented an audit firm in a purported class action brought by investors who blamed the auditors for failing to detect misconduct by investment firms. We prevailed in defeating class certification and the matter was resolved without any payment by our client.
Plaintiffs v. Institutional Investor: Hawaii's former governor and other shareholders claimed a start-up company had unfairly washed them out. They brought a breach of fiduciary duty lawsuit against numerous investment banks and institutional investors, including our client. We won dismissal of the case at the trial court, and settled the case on favorable terms.
United States v. Executive: We represented an investment fund executive charged with criminal tax fraud related to a tax-shelter transaction that the fund designed and implemented. We resolved the matter by negotiating a plea to reduced charges.
Plaintiff v. Impax Laboratories, Inc.: Impax Laboratories, Inc. asked us to take over a false advertising case regarding the company's generic drug that had been litigated for two years. Within several months we took 20 depositions, secured five expert reports, and settled the case on very favorable terms for our client.
Awards and Honors
- Super Lawyer, Criminal Defense: White Collar, Securities Litigation, Antitrust Litigation, Appellate, 2016
- Super Lawyer Rising Star, 2016
- Order of the Coif, Stanford University, 2007
- Finalist and Best Oralist, Kirkwood Moot Court Competition, 2007
- Hilmer Oehlmann, Jr. Writing Award, 2004
- Phi Beta Kappa, 2000
Publications and Speaking Engagements