Simona Agnolucci specializes in high-stakes complex litigation, including class actions, white collar criminal defense and commercial disputes. Her clients include “sharing economy” technology companies, medical device manufacturers, brokerage companies, investment advisors, smartphone manufacturers, and leading law firms. Ms. Agnolucci has tried cases in state, federal and administrative court, including several as first chair.
Ms. Agnolucci represents clients in complex investigations brought by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission. She also conducts internal investigations for corporate clients and Special Committees. She has defended corporate and individual clients from allegations of economic espionage, trade-secret theft, tax evasion, accounting and revenue recognition fraud, insider trading, witness tampering, obstruction of justice, and violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Ms. Agnolucci has an active pro bono practice, in which she primarily represents women fleeing gender-based persecution. Her groundbreaking pro bono work has been recognized by national media, including the New York Times.
Ms. Agnolucci speaks Italian, French and Spanish.
Downey v. Public Storage and Perez v. Public Storage: Ms. Agnolucci is lead counsel in two class actions filed in California against the United States’ largest self-storage operator, Public Storage, alleging violations of Business & Professions Code Section 17200 and the Consumer Legal Remedies Act. Both matters are pending in Los Angeles Superior Court. In May 2018, we defeated class certification in the Downey case. We then successfully moved to exclude testimony from all of the plaintiffs’ experts in the Perez case. Ms. Agnolucci first-chaired trial of the only claim remaining in the Perez case in January 2019. In February 2019, the Court issued a tentative decision in Public Storage’s favor on all claims.
Independent Contractors v. Lyft, Caviar, TaskRabbit: Ms. Agnolucci represents Lyft, Caviar and TaskRabbit in putative class actions addressing issues critical to the new economy: whether drivers, couriers and Taskers have been misclassified as independent contractors rather than employees.
WHITE COLLAR CRIMINAL AND INVESTIGATIONS
United States v. Walter Liew: In a two-month federal jury trial, Ms. Agnolucci defended Silicon Valley engineer Walter Liew, who was indicted for attempted economic espionage and conspiracy to sell DuPont’s manufacturing trade secrets to the company’s Chinese competitors. The case was part of the government's effort to combat what it deemed as China's "persistent" industrial spying.
Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission v. Executive: Ms. Agnolucci successfully represented a high-ranking employee of a publicly-traded company in a complex Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigation spanning several countries.
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Public Company: Ms. Agnolucci represented a Special Committee of the Board of Directors of a publicly-traded technology company in the investigation of alleged insider trading.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND COMMERCIAL LITIGATION
Edwards Lifesciences v. Corevalve Inc. et al.: We defended Medtronic, Inc. and its subsidiary, CoreValve, in a multi-patent case brought by Edwards Lifesciences in the District of Delaware. The patents at stake concerned CoreValve’s lifesaving transcatheter artificial heart valve. Although an injunction was initially ordered, we convinced the court to stay that injunction, and then later resolved all of the pending patent litigation with a successful settlement.
Apple, Inc. v. HTC Corp.: We defended smartphone manufacturer HTC Corp. from Apple’s assertion of six patents relating to user interface features. HTC originally was added to an action between Apple and Motorola that had been pending in the Southern District of Florida for almost two years. We successfully moved to sever Apple’s claims against HTC and HTC’s counterclaims from the litigation between Motorola and Apple, and to transfer the case to Delaware. HTC thereafter obtained a settlement to become the first Android handset maker licensed by Apple.
March 01, 2019
Keker, Van Nest & Peters scored a defense verdict in California this month in the rarest of trials: class actions. Read more
January 28, 2019
Public Storage bamboozled storage space renters into believing they were required to buy company provided insurance in order to rent units, customers testified Monday at the start of a class action bench trial in California seeking $100 million in restitution from the national storage giant. Read more
December 27, 2018
A teenager who came to the U.S. illegally from Guatemala along with his older sisters and their families to try to find his mother ended up being held in a juvenile detention center that he wrote was a “real prison."
November 24, 2018
An undocumented mentally disturbed teenager from Guatemala, taken to California by federal officers and locked up for nearly a year, has been returned to his mother in Ohio after a judge in San Francisco ordered officials to justify his confinement. Read more
November 13, 2018
A San Francisco law firm is seeking the release of a 17-year-old Guatemalan refugee being held at the Yolo County Juvenile Detention Facility. Read more
March 05, 2018
The gig economy continues to grow, but gig workers hoping for workers compensation coverage face an uncertain future. Read more
September 08, 2017
This program will explore the recent SCOTUS decisions, key Circuit level opinions, and their impact on the plaintff and defense bar. Read more
Simona Agnolucci will serve as a faculty member for this year's conference, which will explore and explain the changing landscape of consumer class actions. Read more
Ms. Agnolucci works at the forefront of two hot and emerging litigation trends. Read more
Rachael Meny, Jamie Slaughter and their team removed a major threat to Lyft's business model when they settled a proposed class action lawsuit without classifying drivers as employees. Read more
Thousands of unaccompanied minors fled South and Central American countries, and ended up in a complicated asylum and immigration system with no one to guide them through it. Read more
Restaurant delivery app Caviar Inc. won't have to defend its use of independent contractors in court, a federal judge ruled Monday, steering claims against the company into arbitration. Read more
Keker & Van Nest's sterling work on a slew of legal issues facing undocumented immigrants and major win to halt preemptive environmental litigation by Shell Gulf Oil of Mexico Inc., secured its place among Law360's Pro Bono Firms of 2015. Read more
Simona and her fellow panelists will advise junior litigators on how they can broaden their skills and accelerate their careers by gaining valuable courtroom experience. Read more
Stuart Gasner and Simona Agnolucci will serve as moderator and speaker respectively for PLI's "Cross-Examination; Trial Objections" panel. Read more
Keker & Van Nest helps create a brighter future for nonviolent juvenile offenders in California. Read more
Keker & Van Nest worked with the ACLU to save children from being criminalized more harshly than adults. Read more
Partners R. James Slaughter, Ashok Ramani and Simona Agnolucci will help the restaurant-delivery app fend off claims it misclassified workers as independent contractors. Read more
We are pleased to announce the elevation of Simona Agnolucci, Sharif Jacob and Khari Tillery to partner. Read more
The Wall Street Journal profiles Keker & Van Nest's pro bono efforts to help Central American minors. Read more
Bay Area resources currently overwhelmed by more than 2,000 children seeking asylum. Read more
Simona Agnolucci, who represents asylum seekers pro bono, discusses the decision. Read more
The settlement wipes out two large jury awards that had raised the threat of an injunction against potentially lifesaving heart valve technology. Read more
Simona Agnolucci and her fellow panelists will speak at the Bar Association of San Francisco. Read more
While litigating a high-profile criminal economic espionage case, Stuart Gasner and his team were able to exclude an expert witness who submitted a report with major sections identical to Wikipedia entries. Read more
Stuart Gasner leads the defense in this high-profile economic espionage case. Read more
Simona Agnolucci, who represents women seeking refugee status, discusses the legal hurdles of gender-based asylum. Read more
The Recorder selected 50 attorneys whose early accomplishments indicate they will be tomorrow's top lawyers and leaders. Read more
In a victory for Keker & Van Nest, a magistrate judge ordered federal prosecutors to identify which documents - out of a huge trove of discovery produced - they plan to use at an upcoming criminal trial. Read more
Stuart Gasner, Simona Agnolucci and Katherine Lovett convinced a California federal judge to grant their motion for pretrial release. Read more
The man accused of selling U.S. trade secrets to Chinese companies could soon be released on bond, thanks to a push from Stuart Gasner and Simona Agnolucci at Keker & Van Nest. Read more
Ms. Agnolucci's clients fled Albania, where they were ripe targets for sex traffickers. Read more
Ms. Agnolucci helped a mother and her daughters escape endless violence and abuse. Read more
Ms. Agnolucci has an active pro bono practice, in which she primarily represents women fleeing gender-based persecution. Read more
The Obama administration granted asylum to a Mexican woman who was sexually abused and severely battered by her common-law husband. Read more
Ms. Agnolucci was honored for her commitment to refugees and women's rights. Read more
- Faculty, "Class Actions 2017: Litigating, Defending & Managing Class Actions," Bridgeport Continuing Education, 2017
- Faculty, "Consumer Class Action Litigation Conference," Bridgeport Continuing Education, 2017
- "Practical Trial Tips from the Frontlines," ABA Annual National Institute on White Collar Crime, 2015
- "Cross-Examination: Trial Objections," PLI California Trial Advocacy, 2015
- "The Criminalization of Trade Secret Theft Under the Economic Espionage Act, 18 U.S.C. 1831 and 1832," Bar Association of San Francisco's Hot Topics in Trade Secret Law, 2014
- "Cross-Examination; Trial Objections," PLI's California Trial Advocacy, 2014
- "Getting Into Court: How Junior Attorneys Can Obtain Valuable Courtroom Experience," Association of Business Trial Lawyers, 2015
- “Hope Without Borders,” Daily Journal, 2009
- “Expedited Removal: Suggestions for Reform in Light of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom Report,” Hastings Law Journal, 2006
- “Deportation of Human Rights Abusers: Towards Achieving Accountability, Not Fostering Impunity,” Hastings International and Comparative Law Journal, 2007