Sedgwick LLP

Paul J. Riehle

San Francisco, California
tel: 415.781.7900
fax: 877.547.2780


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Paul Riehle chairs the firm’s Antitrust & Unfair Competition Practice Group, co-chairs Sedgwick’s Class Action Task Force and its Franchise, Dealer and Distributor Practice Group, and is a member of the firm’s Healthcare Task Force.  He is the Dean of Sedgwick University, which provides accredited CLE, and is faculty member for Sedgwick U’s Trial Academy. 

Mr. Riehle is the 2015-16 Chair of the Executive Committee of the California State Bar’s Antitrust, Unfair Competition Law and Privacy Section and has been a member of the Committee since 2010.  He has been selected as a Northern California Super Lawyer for Antitrust Litigation in 2013, 2014 and 2015. 

Mr. Riehle was Student Body President at the University of Notre Dame and Editor-in-Chief of the Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly.  He is a founding board member of a 10-year-old international humanitarian nonprofit organization.  He also serves as a judicial arbitrator and as a mediator. 

Litigation Matters

  • Denial of class certification motion.  Torres v. Nissan North America Inc., 2015 WL 5170539 (C.D.Cal. Sept. 1, 2015).
  • Final approval of class action settlement.  Klee v. Nissan North America, Inc., 2015 WL 4538426 (C.D.Cal. July. 7, 2015).
  • Reversal of denial of injunction of restitution claims released as part of nationwide class settlement. The People of the State of California v. Intelligender, LLC, 771 F.3d 1169 (9th Cir. Nov. 7, 2014).
  • Dismissal of drug pricing overcharge claims.  County of Santa Clara v. Astra USA, Inc., 563 U.S. __, 131 S.Ct. 1342 (2011) (rejecting third party beneficiary contract claims) reversing 588 F.3rd 1237 (9th Cir. 2009) modifying 540 F.3d 1094 (9th Cir. 2008); see also 257 F.R.D. 207 (N.D.Cal. 2009) (denying class certification); 428 F. Supp. 2d 1029 (N.D. Cal. 2006) (dismissing breach of third party contract, unfair competition, False Claims Act and other causes of action); and 401 F. Supp. 2d 1022 (N.D. Cal. 2005) (finding federal question jurisdiction though plaintiff pled only state law claims).
  • Summary judgment regarding claims of industry wide price-fixing under CaliforniaClayworth v. Pfizer, Inc., A131804 (August 22, 2012) petition for review denied, S205726 (November 28, 2012) cert denied, No. 12-1241 (June 3, 2013). In 2010, the California Supreme Court reversed summary judgment based on the pass-on defense, an issue of first impression under California antitrust and unfair competition law. Clayworth v. Pfizer, Inc., 49 Cal.4th 758 (2010) reversing 165 Cal.App.4th 209 (2008). In 2011, after remand, the trial court again granted summary judgment, this time ruling that the defendants’ evidence showed that prices were independently determined and plaintiffs failed to raise a triable issue of fact regarding the existence of the alleged conspiracy, and the Court of Appeal affirmed.
  • Dismissal of antitrust claims of antitrust claims brought by a surgical group and its physicians against two health management/maintenance associations (Cook County Superior Court, November 6, 2012).
  • Dismissal of Lanham Act claim with prejudice. Off Lease Only, Inc. v. Carfax, Inc., 2012 WL 1966372 (S.D.Fla. May 31, 2012).
  • After full briefing, hearings and the courts tentative rulings on motions to dismiss plaintiff's claims against an automobile manufacturer under the CLRA, UCL, federal and state warranty law and for fraudulent concealment, and for lack of personal jurisdiction over the foreign parent, the plaintiff voluntarily dismissed his nationwide class action before the court could issue its final opinions on the motions.
  • Defense verdict in a distributor termination case tried in Silicon Valley where the plaintiff asserted tens of millions of dollars in compensatory damages and punitive damages against a Fortune 500 company.
  • Summary adjudication of antitrust and other claims brought by a distributor against an office furniture manufacturer followed by settlement of the remaining claims for a small fraction of the alleged damages.
  • Successful defense of an insurer in three cases alleging bid rigging and illegal payments to an insurance broker. A putative class action in federal court alleging antitrust and RICO violations and a state court case alleging unfair competition were each dismissed without payment. A third case brought on behalf of the California Insurance Commissioner was settled on favorable terms.
  • Menjivar v. TP, LLC, 2006 WL 2884396 (N.D. Cal. 2006) (dismissing RICO and fraud claims).
  • Tate v. Pacific Gas & Elec. Co., 94 Fed. App. 529 (9th Cir. 2004), 2004 WL 626551 (C.A.9(Cal.)) affirming 230 F. Supp. 2d 1072 (N.D. Cal. (dismissing all but one antitrust claim and all RICO claims) and 230 F. Supp. 2d 1086 (summary judgment on remaining antitrust claim of attempted monopolization).
  • Hyper Corporation v. TUV Rhineland of North America, Inc., 2004 WL 5494878. Mr. Riehle and Sedgwick were brought in to try the punitive damages phase of an unfair competition and antitrust case involving Bluetooth technology after the jury returned a $7.5 million verdict and a unanimous finding of fraud, malice and oppression. In the second phase of the trial, the jury awarded only 1.3 percent of the compensatory verdict.  The trial court then granted Mr. Riehle.
  • Ferris v. Gatke Corp., 107 Cal. App. 4th 1211 (2003) (affirming nonsuit regarding claims for market share liability and civil conspiracy to defraud through the manipulation of scientific literature).
  • Coast Marine and Industrial Supply, Inc. v. DBC Marine Safety Systems, Inc.,2003 WL 23874049 (dismissing dealer's Robinson-Patman Act, contract, implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, tortious interference with contractual relations, intentional interference with business expectancy, equitable estoppel and tortious termination of contract claims).
  • In re Methionine Antitrust Litigation, MDL 1311. Mr. Riehle was part of a team that defended a leading amino acid manufacturer in a consolidated multidistrict class action litigation alleging that defendants conspired to fix the prices for methionine-based products in the United States and internationally.
  • Successful defense of a national automotive tool manufacturing company in more than 50 cases brought by dealers alleging violation of the Seller Assisted Marketing Plan Act and other claims.
  • Summary judgment in favor of a distributor sued by a sales agent under the Independent Wholesale Sales Representative Contractual Relations Act. Mr. Riehle also obtained reimbursement of his client's attorneys’ fees from the plaintiff.
  • In re Sorbates Antitrust Litigation.  Dismissal without payment of a defendant in consolidated class actions involving claims of an international price fixing conspiracy.
  • Pharmaceutical Cases I, II and III, J.C.C.P. Nos. 2969, 2971 & 2972 (San Francisco Superior Court). Defense of a pharmaceutical company that, along with many other pharmaceutical manufacturers, was sued for alleged antitrust violations with respect to the price of brand name prescription drugs. California consumer class cy pres settlement.
  • Obtained and collected on a $6.5 million Arizona federal court jury award in a fraud case transferred as a tag-along action to In re Washington Public Power Supply System Securities Litigation, MDL 551.
  • Successful state court jury trial representing national franchisor in claims brought by franchisee relating to territorial exclusivity.
  • Counseling with respect to antitrust issues and claims in the healthcare arena.
  • Advice in connection with responding to subpoenas by the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission.
  • In difficult cases under adverse circumstances, Mr. Riehle has been brought to handle post-trial motions (e.g., Hyper v. TUV, 2004 WL 5494878 (discussed above) and Chavers v. Gatke, 2000 WL 35545379)) or the appeal (e.g., Bierlich v. BW, Inc., 2003 WL 22022030 (Cal.App. 2 Dist.)). 

Accomplishments and Affiliations

    Mr. Riehle is the 2015-16 Chair of the Executive Committee of the California State Bar’s Antitrust, Unfair Competition Law and Privacy Section and has been a member of the Committee since 2010.He is also a member of the American Bar Association, including the Antitrust and Litigation Sections; the Defense Research Institute; the Association of Business Trial Lawyers of Northern California; and the Bar Association of San Francisco. He is admitted to practice before all California state courts, as well as the United States District Court for the Northern, Central, Eastern and Southern Districts of California, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.

    Areas of Concentration

    Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law; Complex Commercial and Tort Litigation; Class Actions and Multidistrict Litigation


    California; U.S. District Court (C.D. Cal.); U.S. District Court (E.D. Cal.); U.S. District Court (N.D. Cal.); U.S. District Court (S.D. Cal.); 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals; U.S. Supreme Court


    J.D. (1984) University of California, Hastings College of the Law
    B.A. (1981) University of Notre Dame, cum laude

    Other Distinctions

    While an undergraduate at the University of Notre Dame, Mr. Riehle was Student Body President.  He also served as Editor-in-Chief of the Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.