A litigator with first-chair trial and appellate experience, Clara J. Shin advises clients on complex technology, trademark and copyright infringement, unfair competition, and other commercial disputes. Ms. Shin has helped to define the law in emerging areas by litigating landmark cases, including winning an important ruling defining the scope of software licensing and the first sale doctrine under copyright law. She has been recognized as a leading intellectual property lawyer by several publications, including Legal 500 US and Super Lawyers.
Ms. Shin’s practice includes expertise in securities litigation. She has represented defendants in securities class actions, derivative litigation, and investigations and proceedings commenced by government and regulatory agencies including the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of Justice, and FINRA.
Additionally, Ms. Shin serves as a Commissioner of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery, Director of the National Partnership for Women and Families, Trustee and Vice-Chairperson of the Rosenberg Foundation, Director and Chairperson of the Center for Music National Service, Director of the United States District Court Northern District of California Historical Society, and Co-Chairperson of the White House Fellowship Regional Selection Panel.
- Representing Microsoft in asserting breach of contract and copyright infringement claims. Microsoft v. TRG Customer Solutions (D.D.C.) and Microsoft v. Ebix, Inc. (N.D. Ga.).
- Representing World Marketing, Inc. in defending against and asserting trademark infringement and unfair competition claims. QS Wholesale, Inc. v. World Marketing, Inc. (C.D. Cal.).
Representing Scottish Equity Partners in asserting breach of contract claims related to earn-out payments due under a Share Purchase Agreement. Riverbed v. Scottish Equity Partners (San Francisco Superior Ct.).
- Representing broker-dealers and registered representatives in FINRA audits.
- Representing directors in defending against a derivative shareholder and class action suit. Edwards v. Benson et al. (D. Utah).
- Representing Abbott Diabetes Care Inc. and Abbott Laboratories in opposing a fees appeal to the Federal Circuit and in remand proceedings applying Therasense v. Becton, Dickinson, 649 F.3d 1276 (Fed. Cir. 2011). Therasense, Inc. v. Becton, Dickinson (N.D. Cal.).
- Represented Autodesk in a Ninth Circuit appeal of an adverse ruling regarding the Copyright Act's first sale and essential step doctrines. The Ninth Circuit ruled in favor of Autodesk, and denied a petition for en banc hearing of the decision. The Supreme Court denied Vernor's petition for a writ of certiorari. Vernor v. Autodesk, 621 F.3d 1102 (9th Cir. 2010).
- Represented Thomas Weisel Partners in asserting breach of fiduciary duty, trade secret, and Computer Fraud and Abuse Act claims with parties in India, France, and Hong Kong. After arguing and winning a summary judgment ruling of fiduciary duty liability, defendants settled the case. Thomas Weisel Partners LLC v. BNP Paribas (N.D. Cal.).
- Lead arbitration counsel for an investment advisor in defending against breach of fiduciary duty and suitability claims. All claims against the investment advisor were dismissed.
- Represented Digital River and certain of its officers and directors in a derivative shareholder suit concerning stock options practices. After a motion to dismiss was filed, plaintiffs dismissed the action for no consideration. In re Digital River, Inc. Derivative Litigation (D. Minn.).
- Represented the former President of Trident in derivative shareholder suits concerning stock option practices. In re Trident Microsystems, Inc. Derivative Litigation (N.D. Cal. and Santa Clara Superior Ct.).
- Represented the former Senior Vice President of Human Resources of McAfee in a derivative shareholder suit concerning stock option practices. The case was settled on favorable terms. In re McAfee, Inc. Derivative Litigation (N.D. Cal.).
- Represented Tripath Technology Inc. in a formal SEC investigation, a securities fraud class action in federal district court, and a derivative shareholder lawsuit in state court arising out of financial restatements. The SEC terminated the formal investigation and did not file charges against Tripath or any of its employees, and the lawsuits were settled on favorable terms. In re Tripath Technology Inc. (N.D. Cal. and Santa Clara Superior Ct.).
- Represented the Audit Committees of various Boards of Directors of public companies in internal investigations regarding allegations of improper revenue recognition and allegations of misconduct by officers and directors.
- Ms. Shin served as White House Fellow and Special Assistant in the White House Office of the Chief of Staff. She also helped to start up AmeriCorps, a national service program launched under President Bill Clinton. Ms. Shin’s international experiences include working for the United States Agency for International Development in South Africa.
Honors and Rankings
- Legal 500 US, Intellectual Property - Copyright (2013)
- Northern California Super Lawyers, Intellectual Property Litigation (2013)
- Ms. Shin’s pro bono representations focus on the defense of constitutional rights, including federal campaign finance reform cases and challenges to the constitutionality of medical care provided by the California prison system.
Memberships and Affiliations
- State Bar of California
- American Bar Association
- Bar Association of San Francisco
- Smithsonian Institution National Portrait Gallery, Commissioner
- National Partnership for Women and Families, Director
- Rosenberg Foundation, Trustee (Vice-Chairperson)
- Center for Music National Service, Director (Chairperson)
- United States District Court Northern District of California Historical Society, Director
- White House Fellowship Regional Selection Panel, Co-Chairperson