**Breaking News: Trial Lawyer of the Year**
Since 2003, The Trial Attorneys has identified the top litigation and trial lawyers across the country. Each June The Trial Attorneys selects just one leading attorney in each state to appear in its directory. This past June, The Trial Attorneys selected Dave Sugden as its sole recommended attorney for California for 2023/2024. Click here for more.
Dave Sugden is a business trial lawyer. He is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (“ABOTA”) and has been recognized since 2020 as one of the “Top 50 Super Lawyers in Orange County,” and has been listed since 2021 in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Lawyers” annual publication. Mr. Sugden has won several seven- and eight- figure jury verdicts and judgments for corporate plaintiffs and has successfully defended several high-stakes cases for corporate defendants. Mr. Sugden, who is licensed in California, New York, and Texas, has tried cases to verdict in multiple states, and he has served as lead counsel in matters in California, Colorado, New York, Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Georgia.
Mr. Sugden has tried cases to verdict involving a variety of claims, including intellectual property, employment, environment, contract, and trade secrets. Mr. Sugden is the founder and creator of Evidence at Trial, where he teaches live and online trial and evidence courses for attorneys.
Recent Jury Verdicts:
$9,000,000 Verdict: In September 2022, a Los Angeles jury awarded Mr. Sugden’s clients $9,000,000 in a breach of contract case wherein Mr. Sugden’s client alleged that the defendants (and cross-complainants) failed to pay for goods delivered. The defendants and cross-complainants alleged the goods were defective and non-conforming. Mr. Sugden’s clients prevailed on all claims and successfully defended all claims alleged in defendants’ cross-complaint.
Complete Defense Verdict: A San Bernardino jury rendered a complete defense verdict in favor of LA Fitness following a three-week trial. The plaintiff alleged wrongful termination, disability discrimination, and retaliation. The plaintiff asked to jury to award $2.9 million in damages.
Complete Defense Verdict: A unanimous jury rendered a complete defense verdict in favor of a prestigious private university in federal district court in Los Angeles. The plaintiff alleged violations of the Federal Medical Leave Act, the California Family Rights Act, and other related claims. The plaintiff sought more than $1.18 million plus punitive damages and attorneys’ fees. Mr. Sugden was retained less than two months prior to trial.
Complete Defense Verdict: A complete defense verdict in favor of a prestigious private university following a three-week jury trial in the Superior Court of California, Los Angeles County. The lawsuit involved detailed claims of sexual harassment and discrimination, pregnancy harassment and discrimination, constructive discharge in violation of public policy, failure to prevent harassment and physical disability discrimination and unpaid overtime and missed meal and rest breaks. The plaintiff asked the jury to award more than $3 million in damages.
$1.026 Million Verdict: A jury awarded Mr. Sugden’s client more than one million dollars in a case involving trade secret misappropriation and related claims. The three-week jury trial took place in the Superior Court of California, Orange County.
Other Notable Verdicts And Judgments:
$47.4 Million Verdict
A unanimous jury ordered a corporate defendant to pay Mr. Sugden’s corporate client $47.4 million following a three-week jury trial in federal court.
$20 Million Judgement
A $20 million judgment followed a surprise search and seizure with U.S. Marshals wherein Mr. Sugden and his investigation team located and found direct evidence of trade secret misappropriation.
Complete Defense Verdict
A complete defense verdict following a three-week jury trial in a toxic tort case for a leading oil company. The plaintiff asked the jury to award at least $8 million in damages.
Complete Defense Verdict
A complete defense verdict following a jury trial in a sexual harassment case for a prominent clothing retailer. The jury deliberated for less than two hours before returning with a unanimous defense verdict.
Complete Defense Award (Arbitration)
A complete defense judgment following an arbitration trial in a sexual harassment case for a leading insurance agency.
Equitable Relief Award (PRO BONO)
Following a three-week trial, Mr. Sugden’s client was awarded additional braille education and related services, which had been improperly denied by the student’s school district.
Mr. Sugden is the author of Gray Markets: Prevention, Detection, and Litigation (Oxford University Press 2009), which highlights the strategies and theories to protect brand owners from the black and gray marketing of their products. “[Mr. Sugden] brilliantly analyzes the consequences of this market and offers practical solutions to reduce the troublesome gray market potential. He has fashioned an enduringly valuable treatment of an urgently pressing problem for the marketplace.” – Ken Starr, former Court of Appeals judge, Solicitor General, and Independent Counsel
Community and Pro Bono Work
Mr. Sugden has volunteered for the Disability Rights Legal Center wherein he worked with low income parents of children with special needs to help obtain educational services on behalf of their children. Mr. Sugden has also litigated pro bono matters for low income litigants through Orange County’s Public Law Center.
Mr. Sugden served on the Foundation Board of Children’s Hospital of Orange County (“CHOC Children’s”) and currently serves on Pepperdine Law School’s Board of Advisors.
Education and Background
Originally from Vancouver, British Columbia, Mr. Sugden first came to California to play NCAA Division I baseball at Pepperdine University in Malibu. As a senior, Mr. Sugden was named to the “All-West Coast Conference Team.”
Mr. Sugden was then awarded a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from Pepperdine University. As a graduate student at Pepperdine, Mr. Sugden’s honors included being featured in the 24th Annual Edition of The National Dean’s List. Mr. Sugden finished first-place in The Annual Dalsimer Moot Court Competition.
- October 2022Jury Awards $9 Million To Call & Jensen Clients In Los Angeles Breach Of Contract Case This hotly disputed breach of contract case, filed in 2019, arose between Call & Jensen clients Brightex International, Inc., and Joyful Will International Limited, subsidiaries of an overseas textile company and Defendant Romex Textiles, Inc., a Los Angeles-based broker of textiles. Call & Jensen attorneys David Sugden and Aaron Renfro argued that Defendant Romex breached contracts by failing to pay for textiles and fabrics that it ordered and received from Plaintiffs between… READ MORE
- February 2021C&J Attorneys Recognized By Super Lawyers Call & Jensen congratulates its attorneys who have been recognized by Southern California Super Lawyers in its recent lists of “Super Lawyers.” Nine Call & Jensen attorneys were named “Super Lawyers” in their respective areas of practice – honors awarded to no more than 2.5% of California attorneys who have practiced law for over 10 years and attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement in their respective areas of… READ MORE
- March 2019Super Lawyers Recognition Call & Jensen congratulates its attorneys who have been recognized by Southern California Super Lawyers in its recent lists of “Super Lawyers” published in Super Lawyers, Orange Coast, and Los Angeles Magazine. Nine Call & Jensen attorneys were named “Super Lawyers” – honors awarded to no more than 2.5% of California attorneys who have practiced law for over 10 years and attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement in… READ MORE
- February 2018Honor: C&J Top 50 And Super Lawyers Call & Jensen is pleased to congratulate its attorneys who were recognized by Southern California Super Lawyers in its 2017 lists of “Super Lawyers” published in Super Lawyers, Orange Coast, and Los Angeles Magazine. Two of the spots on the Top 50 OC Super Lawyers were held by Call & Jensen attorneys Mark Eisenhut and David Sugden. Overall, 8 Call & Jensen attorneys were named “Super Lawyers” in their respective areas of… READ MORE
- August 2017Three-week Jury Trial Victory: Prestigious Private University Prevails In Multi-million-dollar Employment Discrimination And Harassment Lawsuit Call & Jensen recently obtained a complete 12-0 defense trial verdict for its clients, a prestigious Southern California private university and one of its employees, following a three-week jury trial in the Superior Court of California, Los Angeles County. The lawsuit involved detailed claims of sexual harassment and discrimination, pregnancy harassment and discrimination, constructive discharge in violation of public policy, failure to prevent harassment and physical disability discrimination and unpaid overtime and… READ MORE
- August 2017C&J Obtains Jury Verdict For Over $1m For Trade Secrets Misappropriation And Related Torts In July of 2017, David Sugden and Scott Hatch helped Applied General Agency, Inc. (“AGA”) obtain a jury verdict of over a million dollars. The jury found in AGA’s favor as against Greenleaf Financial and Insurance Services, Inc., Christopher Mulder, and Lucas Johnson for Misappropriation of Trade Secrets and Negligent Interference with Prospective Economic Relations, as well as against Lucas Johnson for Breach of his Duty of Loyalty to AGA. The jury… READ MORE
- September 2016Defense Victory: Firm Prevails In Multi-million-dollar Consumer Credit Reporting Lawsuit Call & Jensen recently obtained a complete defense judgment for its clients in a hotly-contested, multi-million-dollar lawsuit. Call & Jensen obtained the victory via a summary judgment motion after stepping in to take over the defense following years of protracted litigation. The complaint sought more than $5 million in damages based on alleged violations of state and federal consumer credit reporting laws. Attorneys David R. Sugden and Melinda Evans obtained the complete… READ MORE
- September 2016If You Cannot Get The Smoking Gun . . . At Least Get The Smoke INTRODUCTION Unlike criminal cases, a defendant in a civil action is virtually certain to be afforded notice of his alleged misconduct long before he has to sit for a deposition, produce documents, or otherwise explain or justify his alleged misconduct. What happens then, if the defendant has the mind of a criminal with no reservations about destroying evidence? Especially in today’s digital age, when evidence can be destroyed with a few keystrokes… READ MORE
- September 2016A Sword, Not A Shield: Section 2019.210 Conventional wisdom instructs defense counsel, when dealing with “hide-the-ball” plaintiffs, to file all necessary motions to compel compliance with the area of law or discovery that is not being fearfully obeyed. The theory, of course, is that diligent defense counsel must not leave a stone unturned and must also bring its adversary’s improper tactics to the court’s attention at each and every instance. In trade secret litigation, the conventional wisdom is no… READ MORE
- September 2016Going Gray? How Businesses Can Put An End To The Unwanted And Illegal Gray Marketing Of Its Products INTRODUCTION Coming out of the box, it looks like a brand new computer in perfect condition. When the buyer has some questions and calls the manufacturer for technical support, however, he is frustrated to learn that the manufacturer will not support the product because it was sold without its knowledge or authorization. The customer is certain that there must be some mistake. After all, the computer was not bought from some covert… READ MORE
- September 2016Just Or Unjust Compensation? Effective Strategies To Maximize Recovery In The Intellectual Property Trial In today’s world of music “sharing,” “open source” software, and YouTube, intellectual property owners face increasing challenges when they endeavor to persuade a jury that a defendant’s misappropriation or infringement warrants a large damages award: Why does this large company that is already earning millions deserve or need more money just because a smaller competitor has a copy of its software or customer list? Why should this company merely selling products… READ MORE
- September 201620 Under 40 When Sugden’s law partner, Scott Ferrell, is in the trenches on a complex intellectual property case, he says he usually logs off the computer and hits the pillow around 1 a.m. When Ferrell awakes a few hours later, he says, “it’s common for me to have a dozen new emails from Dave” about the case that Sugden typed out while he was sleeping. Colleagues say Sugden’s near round-the-clock work approach and sharp… READ MORE
- September 2016Gray Matters: When The Legal And Black Market Collide Not long ago, brand owners could take comfort in the intrinsic barriers hampering black marketers. While most large cities have places known by their dwellers to be sources of cheap goods of dubious origin, consumers have to consciously decide to explore these markets in addition to or in lieu of conventional establishments. Canal Street in New York’s Chinatown is a well-known example. The street is lined with densely packed shops offering watches,… READ MORE
- September 2016A Black And White View Of Grey Markets? This book’s perspectives on gray markets (parallel trade) is clear from its subtitle. The author is a partner at Call, Jensen & Ferrell, specializing in IP litigation and brand protection. While acknowledging that he has produced ‘no spy novel,’ he has provided a very readable, black and white review of the unauthorized grey market in the USA. He focuses in particular on the implications of grey markets for brands, especially due to… READ MORE
- April 2016Arbitration Victory: Arbitration Victory In Employment Case Call & Jensen attorneys David Sugden and Jacqueline Beaumont obtained a complete arbitration victory for their client, a professional services organization, in an employment discrimination lawsuit made under California’s Fair Employment & Housing Act. The claimant had initially filed the lawsuit in civil court, but the Firm successfully compelled arbitration. Following the arbitration hearing on the merits, the arbitrator entered an award for the Firm’s client on all causes of action, including… READ MORE