Michael Grimaldi is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Lewis Brisbois and is a senior member of the Class Action & Mass Tort Practice. He specializes in defending all types of class actions and complex/aggregate litigation. His class action decisions include a win at the U.S. Supreme Court in Lamps Plus, Inc. v. Varela, 139 S. Ct. 1407 (2019) regarding class arbitration. Law360 named him a Legal Lion for this “big victory” at the Supreme Court.
Mike routinely defends businesses in class action litigation in federal and state courts around the country. He brings substantial experience to all aspects of class actions with a focus on critical motions seeking the dismissal, opposing class certification, and strategy issues. He has negotiated settlements on highly favorable terms in significant class actions.
He has vast experience defending cases raising consumer protection, consumer fraud, nondisclosure, deceptive business practices, false advertising, privacy, data breach, products liability, and employment claims (Labor Code, wage and hour, and Private Attorneys General Act/PAGA). These cases regularly include claims for violation of California’s Unfair Competition Law (Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200), False Advertising Law (Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17500), Consumers Legal Remedies Act (Cal. Civil Code § 1750), Customer Records Act (Cal. Civ. Code § 1798.80), Confidentiality of Medical Information Act (Cal. Civil Code § 56.10), Song Beverly Consumer Warranty Act (Cal. Civil Code § 1792), Song-Beverly Credit Card Act (Cal. Civil Code § 1747.08), similar claims under the laws of other states, fraud, breach of express/ implied warranty, negligence, invasion of privacy, unjust enrichment, and declaratory judgment/injunctive relief.
He also has experience defending cases alleging violations of numerous federal statutes including the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), (15 U.S.C. § 1681), the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, the Hobby Protection Act (15 U.S.C. 2101), the Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act (15 U.S.C. § 2301), and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) (47 U.S.C. § 227).
Mr. Grimaldi has developed expertise as an appellate lawyer and has argued and briefed numerous matters before various state and federal appellate courts.
- Mike represented Lamps Plus, Inc. v. Varela, 139 S. Ct. 1407 (2019), which the court held, Under the Federal Arbitration Act, an ambiguous agreement cannot provide the necessary contractual basis for concluding that the parties agreed to submit to class arbitration regarding class arbitration. Law360 Mike represented the company at all stages of the case, starting from the district court in writing the motion to compel individual arbitration, to the Ninth Circuit where he argued the case, and then all the way to the Supreme Court, where he helped write the winning briefs.
- Defeated class certification and won dismissal of numerous claims via motion for summary adjudication in massive wage-and-hour class action against a hospital allegeing claims for meal and rest periods, rounding, wage statements, overtime, alternative workweek schedules, rounding, PAGA, and waiting time penalties.
- Settled on favorable terms a putative class action that is based on a claimed violation of Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) on the collection and possible use of biometric data against an employer.
- Defended BMW NA in largest product recall and MDL in U.S. history involing approximately 100 economic loss class actions against Takata and various automotive companies, including. In re: Takata Airbag Prod. Liab. Litigation.
- We defended the manufacturer of “theater box” candies against “slack fill” claims in Missouri. The plaintiff in that case claimed consumers who purchased 5.5 ounce boxes of Mike & Ike or Hot Tamales candy were deceived because the oversized boxes, which were not filled to the top (i.e. had “slack fill”), were deceiving consumers into believing the boxes contained more candy than they actually did. The court denied plaintiff’s motion for class certification and adopted our arguments that the issue of injury and deception (if any) were individual issues that were no amenable to class treatment. White v. Just Born, Inc., No. 2:17-cv-04025-NKL, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132466 (W.D. Mo. Aug. 7, 2018).
- Won dismissal of case with prejudice after filing three motions to dismiss various consumer fraud, warranty and unjust enrichment claims concerning multiple states regarding a purported paint defect in vehicles Resnick v. Hyundai Motor America, Inc., No. CV 16-00593-BRO (PJWx), 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 139179 (C.D. Cal. Aug. 21, 2017) (.)
- Defended dental-implant manufacturer in complaint alleging class claims for declaratory relief, implied indemnity, breach of express and warranty, and a violation of California Unfair Competition Law, California Business and Professions Code §§ 17200, et seq. Drafted opposition to class counsel’s motion for attorney’s fees and then successfully appealed district court’s order awarding attorney’s fees. Drafted the appellate argument that was adopted in a precedential opinion by the Ninth Circuit that the district court's use over the defendants' objection of ex parte, in camera submissions to support its attorneys' fee order violated the defendants' due process rights because an opposing party was entitled to see what attorneys' fees were charged and why, and judicial efficiency could not eclipse the defendants' fundamental right to inspect and challenge these documents. Yamada v. Nobel Biocare Holding AG, 825 F.3d 536 (9th Cir. 2016).
- Court granted motion for summary judgment of class action complaint alleging numerous warranty claims, products liability, and consumer fraud claims. Elsayed v. Maserati N. Am., Inc., 215 F. Supp. 3d 949 (C.D. Cal. 2016). Case involved a remote keyless entry system in certain vehicles that plaintiffs alleged has dangerous defect that can lead to children being locked inside. “The causes of action allege that the [passive entry system’s] failure to unlock the car in these circumstances breaches express warranties, constitutes negligent design and failure to warn, violates implied warranties and violates the California’s Consumers Legal Remedies Act and Unfair Competition law,“ the judge said. “None of these causes of action survive summary judgment,” the court found because the vehicle performed as the automaker said it would in its owner’s manual and other written materials.
- Court granted Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) motion to dismiss that made a factual challenge to plaintiff’s standing to sue under Article III of the U.S. Constitution in a data breach class action alleging claims for negligence and violations of California’s Unfair Competition Law, Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200; Consumers Legal Remedies Act, Cal. Civ. Code § 1750; and Customer Records Act, Cal. Civ. Code § 1798.80. Demonstrated that the claimed stolen credit card information from a data breach was never collected and that plaintiff’s personal information was never stored on the breached internal-computer system. The court ruled plaintiffs’ allegation that cybercriminals obtained plaintiffs’ personal information through the breach was “factually impossible” and dismissed with prejudice. Foster v. Essex Property Inc., No. 5:14-cv-05531-EJD, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8373, 2017 WL 264390 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 20, 2017).
- Secured dismissal of a rabbinical council that certifies foods as glatt kosher from a consumer-protection class action based on a demurrer raising novel First Amendment issues.
- Defended a major American footwear company in connection with claims by approximately 740 consumers who claim to have been injured as a result of what they allege are design defects in the footwear, and settled claims on a favorable basis. Won motions for summary adjudication dismissing consumer claims on collateral estoppel grounds against bellwether plaintiffs.
- Defended numerous putative class actions against automobile manufacturers such as BMW, Hyundai, Honda, and Maserati. Secured dismissal with prejudice at the pleading stage of an automobile manufacturer by making a novel argument that the case is prudentially moot based on a national recall. Cheng v. BMW of N. Am., LLC, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107580, 2013 WL 3940815 (C.D. Cal. July 26, 2013).
- Secured dismissal with prejudice of a government contractor that delivers the personal vehicles of United States military personnel to and from various domestic and international locations with a motion to dismiss raising a standing challenge.
- Drafted numerous petitions to compel arbitration that were granted and that have been affirmed on appeal.
Primary Area(s) of Practice
- Class Action & Mass Tort
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
United States District Court for the Northern District of California
United States District Court for the Central District of California
United States District Court for the Southern District of California
US Supreme Court
- Los Angeles County Bar Association
- American Bar Association
- Federal Bar Association
Awards & Honors
- Law360 Legal Lion: a “top legal lion” for the “big victory” at the U.S. Supreme Court in Lamps Plus, Inc. v. Varela, 139 S. Ct. 1407 (2019) regarding class arbitration, April 2019.
- Order of the Coif (Top 10%).
Moderator, Los Angeles, Federal Bar Association, Thriving in Firm Practice: The Path to Partner, April 2018
University of California at Los Angeles School of Law
Juris Doctor, 2011
- Discourse Editor on the UCLA Law Review
- Order of the Coif
University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a Concentration in Leadership Development; Minor in Law and Society, 2008
Thematic Option Honors Program
- American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) Fellowship, 2011
- Hon. John Shepard Wiley, Jr., Los Angeles Superior Court Complex Division, Judicial Extern
- Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Alternative Dispute Resolution Unit Law Clerk, 2009
- UCLA School of Law, Research Assistant, 2010-2012
- Mentor to UCLA Law students, 2011-Present
- Trying Class Actions: The Complex Task of Managing and Resolving Individual Issues in Class Trials, University of Texas School of Law, The Review of Litigation, Vol. 36 (2017)
- Class Control: Class Actions After Mazza v. American Honda (and accompanying MCLE Test), Los Angeles Lawyer Magazine (February 2013)
- Standard Fire Ins. Co. v. Knowles, 568 U. S.__ (Mar. 19, 2013) (No. 11-1450) - Supreme Court Closes Massive Loophole That Allowed Plaintiffs to Avoid Litigating Class Actions in Federal Court
- Aryeh v. Canon Business Solutions, Inc., 55 Cal. 4th 1185 (2013): California Supreme Court’s Ruling Gives Plaintiffs More Time to File Unfair Competition Law Claims in Certain Cases
- Notre dame article Abolishing the Prohibition on Personal Service Contracts, 38 NOTRE DAME JOURNAL OF LEGISLATION 71 (2012)
- Note, Disparate Impact After Ricci and Lewis, 14 SCHOLAR 165 (ST. MARY’S L. REV. MINORITY ISSUES) (2011) (Winner of the best student article published by a law review in the State of Texas, State Bar of Texas Labor & Employment Section award 2012)