Luke Apfeld focuses his practice on high-stakes litigation including complex commercial matters, intellectual property disputes, and criminal cases. He has experience in state and federal courts, at the trial and appellate levels, and in arbitration. Mr. Apfeld also maintains an active pro bono practice focused on civil and human rights. Prior to joining Keker, Van Nest & Peters, Mr. Apfeld served as a law clerk to Judge John Owens of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and to Judge Andrew Carter of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Mr. Apfeld earned his J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law and a B.A. in English and sociology from the University of Vermont. During law school he served as a legal intern with the San Francisco City Attorney's Office and a volunteer with the East Bay Community Law Center's youth defender clinic.
Mr. Apfeld played NCAA basketball and was a starting power forward with the University of Vermont. He has served as an assistant coach for Scripps Ranch High School boys varsity basketball team in San Diego and as a coach for the Golden State Warriors youth development program in Oakland.
TopDevz v. LinkedIn
We defended LinkedIn against a nationwide putative class action alleging fraud, unfair competition, false advertising, and other claims arising from allegedly invalid activity on LinkedIn’s ad platform. We won a motion to dismiss the case with prejudice, where the court found that the plaintiffs had failed to plead any viable theory.
Left Field v. Google
We defeated a class action lawsuit against Google, in which a putative nationwide class of restaurants alleged that Google’s food ordering products violated the Lanham Act and constituted counterfeiting. When granting our motion to dismiss, the court strongly implied that it would consider sanctioning the plaintiffs’ lawyers who had brought the case, identifying them by name in the court’s order. Plaintiffs thereafter dismissed their case with prejudice in exchange for an agreement that Google would not seek sanctions or fees.
Schneider v. YouTube
We successfully defended Google against putative class action claims that YouTube is rife with copyright infringement and encourages the piracy of uploaded videos by removing copyright management information. The plaintiff, Maria Schneider, was an American composer and jazz orchestra leader, and the class challenged YouTube’s right to immunity under the safe harbor of the DMCA. We were hired three months before the case’s June 2023 trial date. After Judge Donato denied class certification, the KVP team prevailed in two very successful pretrial hearings, which dramatically limited the plaintiffs’ case, excluded their liability expert, and preserved strong licensing defenses for YouTube.
Medidata Solutions v. Veeva Systems
We won a rare judgement as a matter of law fending off a $450 million trade secret claim against Veeva Systems in New York federal court. Competitor Medidata Solutions sued Veeva alleging that several of its former employees had access to the company’s trade secrets, retained Medidata’s confidential documents, and used that information to unfairly compete with Medidata when they left to join Veeva. We convinced the court that Medidata’s “trade secrets” were vague business concepts at best, that Veeva never used Medidata trade secrets in developing its software, and that no reasonable jury could find in its favor.
High School Athlete v. California Interscholastic Federation
We represented a rising star among Northern California high school basketball players in appealing a determination of ineligibility to play during his senior year by the California Interscholastic Federation SAC-Joaquin Section (CIF). The student’s former high school challenged his transfer as “athletically motivated,” which benched our client indefinitely, sabotaging his future educational and athletic opportunities. We successfully overturned the CIF decision and restored our client’s full eligibility to play basketball.
July 22, 2022
Two Keker, Van Nest & Peters teams were named among The Am Law Litigation Daily's Litigators of the Week Runners-Up for their back-to-back trial wins. Read more
July 22, 2022
Circumstantial evidence of misappropriation won't cut it in the absence of specificity, he rules in life sciences SaaS case. It's a win for Keker, Van Nest & Peters. Read more
July 18, 2022
Veeva Systems Inc on Friday persuaded a judge to throw out a lawsuit by pharmaceutical software rival Medidata Solutions Inc alleging it stole trade secrets worth hundreds of millions of dollars, representatives for the companies said. Read more