Our dear friend and colleague Morgan Sharma passed away on September 21, 2023. She was 32.
Morgan knew she wanted to become a lawyer when she was a young girl, and we are grateful that she chose our firm to begin her career. She was an extraordinary lawyer who impressed her colleagues with her intellect and brilliant case work. Beyond her legal skills, Morgan left an indelible mark on our community as a friend, a confidant, and a mentor. She was thoughtful, kind, selfless, and most of all approached life with deep appreciation, grace, and courage.
In her litigation practice, Morgan was a member of the Keker, Van Nest & Peters team that secured the dismissal of a putative class action against LinkedIn, which alleged invalid activity on LinkedIn’s ad platform. She was also part of the firm’s trial team that defended Qualcomm from FTC claims that it violated antitrust laws and defended Qualcomm against one of the largest consumer antitrust class actions in history. She also represented clients, including Dexcom and Google, in significant patent litigation.
Prior to joining Keker, Van Nest & Peters in 2018, Morgan served as a law clerk to the Honorable Matthew Kennelly of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. She earned her J.D. from The University of Chicago Law School and graduated summa cum laude from George Washington University with a B.A. in psychology and criminal justice. During law school, Morgan participated in the Federal Criminal Justice Clinic.
Morgan’s passing leaves a void that can never truly be filled, but her legacy will continue to shine brightly through the lives she touched and the positive impact she made on our firm, our clients, and our community.
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.
In Re: Qualcomm Antitrust Litigation
We represent Qualcomm with respect to claims brought by a putative class of 250 million cellphone users alleging that Qualcomm inflated mobile device prices through its standard-essential patent licensing practices. We successfully overturned a nationwide class certification order before the Ninth Circuit and eliminated much of the case on a subsequent motion to dismiss.
Federal Trade Commission v. Qualcomm
We represent Qualcomm in a case brought by the FTC alleging that Qualcomm had failed to license its standard-essential patents at fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory (FRAND) royalty rates and that Qualcomm had engaged in exclusionary conduct that increased its competitors’ costs and reduced their ability and incentive to innovate. Following a month-long bench trial, the district court issued an injunction that would have forced Qualcomm to license rival chip suppliers and renegotiate its existing licenses with cellphone makers. In August of 2020 the Ninth Circuit reversed the district court’s judgment and vacated the injunction.
Truth or Unintended Consequences: Reining in Appellate Court Action in the Absence of a Government Appeal, 82 U. Chi. L. Rev. 1705 (2015)