- University of Chicago Law School (J.D., 1990), with honors; Bradley Law and Government Fellow
- University of California, Los Angeles (B.A., 1987), magna cum laude; Phi Beta Kappa
Irell In The News
Daniel Lefler has been a partner in the firm's litigation practice group since 1996, and is director of the firm's securities litigation practice group.
Mr. Lefler's primary areas of practice have been in securities litigation (including cases involving complex derivative securities, defense of shareholder litigation against publicly held companies and hostile takeover litigation) and complex commercial cases. Mr. Lefler has defended clients in more than a dozen alleged class action securities fraud matters. Mr. Lefler’s current clients include a large, publicly traded pharmaceutical company involved in shareholder litigation following a settlement with the US government involving alleged violations of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act, officers and directors of various issuers involved in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act litigation and investigations, and a publicly traded energy company in litigation concerning mergers and acquisitions transactions.
Other noteworthy cases in which Mr. Lefler has been involved include the Securities and Exchange Commission’s lawsuit against the former Chief Executive Officer of Countrywide Financial, a matter that received extensive national media coverage, as well as numerous investor lawsuits arising from the financial collapse. Mr. Lefler also represented the public company with the largest financial restatement resulting from alleged options backdating in securities litigation arising from the restatement. Mr. Lefler has extensive experience representing clients – both issuers and individuals – in internal corporate investigations. He also represented a former official with the retirement system of the City of San Diego in an alleged public corruption case that was dismissed in his client’s favor on a pretrial motion. Mr. Lefler also successfully represented an Internet “incubator” in a lawsuit involving a $1 billion private company investment. Mr. Lefler is also a recognized expert on loss causation, having filed an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court in In re Dura Pharmaceuticals, (the lead decision on this issue), and having published on the topic. Mr. Lefler prosecuted one of the first successful Daubert motions to exclude damages testimony from a plaintiffs’ expert witness in a securities fraud class action lawsuit.
Mr. Lefler has been selected for inclusion in Los Angeles Magazine's Southern California "Super Lawyers" in securities litigation every year since 2009, and was previously listed as a "Rising Star" in 2004, 2005 and 2006. In 2008, the Los Angeles Daily Journal named him as one of California’s 100 most influential lawyers. He has also been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America every year since 2010.
Mr. Lefler has received an "AV" rating from Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest rating awarded by that firm.
Recent engagements include the following:
- Defense of public company in derivative litigation arising from government settlement of alleged Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations;
- Defense of wireless Internet provider in securities fraud class action dismissed with prejudice at the pleading stage, and affirmed following oral argument by the federal Court of Appeals;
- Defense of a company in nationwide litigation instituted by various institutional investors arising from a default on approximately $500 million of high-yield bonds by a start-up steel mill in Thailand;
- Defense of one of the nation's largest investment banks in litigation involving the default by the government of the Russian Federation on its international debt obligations;
- Defense of one of the country's most prominent law firms in a malpractice lawsuit involving securities regulatory advice, which resulted in summary judgment of all alleged malpractice claims;
- Defense of the board of directors of one of the nation's largest defense contractors in a shareholder derivative lawsuit that resulted in a precedent-setting opinion of the California Court of Appeal establishing significant protections to directors and officers; and
- Prosecuting litigation on behalf of a municipal agency, that was one of the largest investors in the Orange County Investment Pool, against Wall Street securities professionals following the Pool's collapse due to its investment in complex derivative securities.
- Member of the Board of Governors of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers; Frequent panelist in the Moot Court program at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law
Bar & Court Admissions
- 1990, California