Andra B. Greene heads Irell & Manella LLP’s Class Action Defense practice group and previously served as managing partner of the firm's Newport Beach office.
A seasoned trial lawyer, Andra’s practice encompasses a wide range of complex business litigation, with an emphasis on class action defense and professional liability defense. Her extensive trial and appellate experience in state and federal courts also extends to commercial, wage and hour, employment, business torts, real estate, lender liability, executive compensation, environmental issues, securities litigation, insurance coverage, trade secrets, white collar criminal claims and intellectual property. She frequently represents other lawyers and major law firms when they need counsel.
Andra’s results for clients illustrate why she is sought after for the most sensitive and high-stakes matters. Some recent highlights include winning a bench trial in a partnership dispute, resolving high-profile consumer class actions for a well-known technology company, securing decertification and a dismissal with prejudice of a false advertising class action brought against a dietary supplement company, defeating high-profile whistleblower retaliation and discrimination claims against a professional sports team after a five-day arbitration and defeating a class action brought against a major sports venue by a putative class of former workers.
Andra’s victories on behalf of some of the country's most recognized companies have led to such accolades as being named one of the "2019 Top Women Lawyers in California” by the Daily Journal. She was also recognized as the “2018 Orange County Bet-the-Company ‘Lawyer of the Year’” by Best Lawyers in America for her successful defense of cases including class actions. In 2016, Andra was named among the “Top 50 Women Lawyers” in the nation by the National Diversity Council. She was also honored as one of the “2014 Women Worth Watching” by the Diversity Journal.
Representative Class Action Matters
- Secured class decertification and a dismissal with prejudice of a false advertising class action against a homeopathic and dietary supplement company alleging violations of state consumer laws.
- Successfully represented an international fast food chain in defense of class and unfair competition claims on behalf of consumers alleging false advertising in the description of food's nutritional value. The court entered judgment in favor of the firm's client after granting motion to dismiss.
- Secured class decertification of a statewide class of consumers accusing an herbal supplement company of falsely marketing its supplement.
- Successfully resolved a putative class action alleging violations of California business laws, breach of contract and other claims against a software company.
- Successfully compelled arbitration in a class action involving an engineer bringing putative class action against a high technology company. The case proceeded as a single-plaintiff matter.
- Represented an herbal supplement company in defense of a consumer class action alleging misrepresentations in connection with a homeopathic allergy relief product. In response to Irell’s pre-certification discovery efforts, and before class certification briefs were filed, the plaintiff dismissed the action with prejudice.
- Obtained dismissal of class and PAGA claims in a putative wage and hour class action. On the eve of trial, the plaintiff dismissed his remaining individual claims with prejudice.
- Defeated a putative class action against an NHL arena operator alleging violations of the Displaced Janitor Opportunity Act.
- Defeated class certification in a putative consolidated federal court wage and hour class action.
- Secured a favorable settlement on behalf of an international restaurant chain in defense of class action regarding alleged violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
- Obtained dismissal of a putative consumer class action alleging a client engaged in billing fraud.
- Successfully represented a client in obtaining dismissal of class claims in a putative wage and hour class action.
- Successfully petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to review a decision of the district court certifying a state law wage and hour class under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23.
Additional Litigation Matters
- Co-trial counsel in the successful defense of a hard drive manufacturer in a $200 million breach of contract and warranty action, which was recognized by the National Law Journal as one of the “Top 15 Defense Verdicts of the Year.”
- Arbitrated and defeated whistleblower and discrimination claims brought against a sports arena and a national sports team. The decision was affirmed on appeal.
- Won a bifurcated bench trial that resulted in the dismissal of an entire breach of partnership and fraud dispute against her client.
- Won summary judgment for a leading international law firm against plaintiffs who claimed that firm's alleged professional negligence resulted in $20 million in damages. The court of appeal affirmed the decision.
- Secured a pro bono victory for Emergency Shelter Coalition in Orange County Superior Court, obtaining grant of a peremptory writ of mandate against the City of San Clemente to rewrite a zoning ordinance to ease restrictions on homeless shelters to comply with Senate Bill 2. See here for more information.
- Successfully represented homeless residents (pro bono) against the City of Laguna Beach in a federal civil rights lawsuit alleging that the city's anti-camping ordinance was unconstitutional because it essentially criminalized homelessness. Soon after the lawsuit was filed, the city repealed the ordinance.
- Won a complete defense victory following a five-day arbitration in which a terminated distributor brought breach of contract and tort claims against a medical device manufacturer, alleging millions of dollars in damages. The arbitrator also awarded the firm's client 100 percent of the attorneys’ fees and costs requested.
- Successfully represented a Fortune 100 company in theft of trade secrets action. Although the case had been pending in state court for over a year, Andra removed it based on a novel theory of federal jurisdiction. The federal court denied the plaintiff’s motion to remand and then granted Andra’s motion to dismiss the complaint. Ultimately, the case resolved.
- Won summary judgment for a national restaurant chain on an insurance coverage claim where a carrier had wrongfully denied coverage.
- Won summary judgments for Skylink Technologies Inc. in parallel federal district court and U.S. International Trade Commission proceedings in case involving novel interpretation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The Chamberlain Group, Inc. v. Skylink Technologies, Inc., 292 F. Supp. 2d 1040 (N.D. Ill. 2003); In the Matter of Certain Universal Transmitters for Garage Door Openers (2003 WL 22811119 U.S.I.T.C. 2003). In a landmark decision under the DMCA, the Federal Circuit affirmed the district court's ruling. 381 F.3d 1178 (Fed. Cir. 2004).
- Successfully defended a pension fund advisor against a $64 million lender liability claim and obtained an $8.7 million judgment on the client's behalf and an award of $710,000 in attorneys' fees, the full amount of attorneys' fees requested.
- Successfully represented a client in Lowe Enterprises Residential Partners, L.P. v. Eighth Judicial District Court, 40 P.3d 405 (Nev. 2002), a case of first impression in which the Supreme Court of Nevada en banc recognized the validity of contractual jury waivers in commercial agreements.
- After a successful trial on the issue of a debtor's claim of impossibility of repatriation and the turnover of assets held in a debtor's offshore asset protection trust, obtained an order that claimed a $30-million asset must be turned over to Andra’s client. This order was ratified by the Supreme Court of Nevada, and the asset was in fact turned over.
- Obtained dismissal under the anti-SLAPP statute of a business tort action where the plaintiffs sought $200 million in damages, and Andra’s clients received an award of $275,000 in attorneys' fees and costs.
- Successfully represented a plaintiff in an appeal of dismissal of its case under California's anti-SLAPP statute and, upon remand, obtained award of attorneys' fees.
Honors & Awards
- Named Attorney of the Year by the Orange County Women Lawyers Association (2018)
- Named one of the "Top Women Lawyers" in California by the Daily Journal (2008, 2013, 2016, 2018, 2019)
- Received the Marcus Kaufman Jurisprudence Award from the Orange County/Long Beach region of the Anti-Defamation League (2017)
- Named one of the "Top 50 Women Lawyers" in the country by the National Diversity Council (2016)
- Named the “Orange County Bet-the-Company ‘Lawyer of the Year"’” (2012, 2016, 2018) and the “Litigation - Intellectual Property ‘Lawyer of the Year’” by Best Lawyers in America (2013)
- Recognized by Best Lawyers in America in the areas of commercial litigation (2007-2008), intellectual property litigation (2009-2018) and bet-the-company litigation (2010-2018)
- Selected as one of the "Top 50 Super Lawyers in Orange County" (2006-2009, 2011-2016, 2018-2019) and one of the "Top 50 Women Super Lawyers" in Southern California (2006-2008, 2013-2015, 2018-2019)
- Selected to the Southern California Super Lawyers list (2004-2019)
- Named one of the 2014 Women Worth Watching by Profiles in Diversity Journal
- Received the Learned Hand Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Jewish Committee (2011)
- In 2010, the ACLU Foundation of Southern California awarded Andra and her team the 2010 Social Justice Award for their outstanding pro bono work on Sipprelle v. City of Laguna Beach, securing a major victory on behalf of the homeless community in Laguna Beach, California
- Featured in the March 2006 issue of OC Metro as one of "Ten Women of Power" in Orange County
- "A Case for Shelter," Orange County Lawyer (September 2016)
- “Using Arbitration Clauses in Class Action Settlements,” Corporate Counsel (March 2014)
- “Reflections of a Woman Managing Partner,” Orange County Lawyer (March 2014)
- "Making Partner: It Takes More Than Hard Work and Talent,” Law Practice Today (May 2013)
- "No Good Deed Goes Unrewarded: Why Professional Courtesy Advances Your Client's Cause," Litigation Magazine (Winter 2013)
- "Why Diversity is Essential in an Economic Downturn," Profiles in Diversity Journal (March/April 2012)
- "Open Sesame – Court's Decision on Garage Door Openers Shows Limits of Copyright Act," Daily Journal (December 30, 2003)
- "Dealing with California's Anti-SLAPP Law," ABTL Report (2001)
- "Can Local Court Rules Rescue Civility? New Rules Address Professionalism in Depositions," California Litigation (Spring 1997)
- "Balancing Motherhood and the Practice of Law," National Law Journal (1995)
- Co-editor, The Woman Advocate, published by the ABA, for which Andra contributed a chapter entitled "The Litigating Mom" (1996)
- "Divergent Designs: The New Responsibilities of the Relationship Partner," Legal Executive Institute/Thomson Reuters' 26th Annual Marketing Partner Forum (January 2019)
- "Mastering your inner voice: A career conversation with Andra Greene Ellingson ’78," Brown University Women’s Leadership Council webinar (June 2018)
- "Be Careful What You Wish for? – Strategies for Prosecuting and Defending Class Action Cases That End Up in Individual Arbitration," Consumer Class Action Conference (January 2018)
- "Jury Trials: Delivering a Persuasive Opening Statement," Practising Law Institute Trial by Jury (November 2017)
- "How to Use and Combat a Presumption of Reliance in Consumer Class Actions," Consumer Class Action Conference (January 2017)
- "Attorney's Fees," Duke Law Class-Action Settlement Conference (October 2016)
- "Cyber Liability: Strategies for Risk Management and Attack Prevention," CLE Presentation (April 2015)
- "Practicing at Large Law Firms," UC Irvine School of Law (September 2014, November 2013)
- Panelist, "The Los Angeles Legal Market," Sandpiper Partners LLC (November 2014, December 2013)
- "Stacking the Deck: The Aptitude and Attitude Necessary to Achieve Partnership," DRI's Young Lawyer Seminar (June 2013)
- "Alternative Dispute Resolution," Western State College of Law (March 2013)
- "Creating the Cultural Tipping Point: A Discussion on Inclusion and Cultural Change," sponsored by CoreLogic Diversity & Inclusion and the Santa Ana Women’s Business Council (May 2012)
- "How to Win a Business Jury Trial," presented by the ABA
- "Jury Comprehension," presented by the ABA
- "Litigating Preliminary Injunctions: Sudden Justice on a Half-Baked Record," presented by the ABA
- "21st Century Litigation," presented by ALI-ABA
- "Professional Malpractice," presented by The Rutter Group
- , "Winning Without Losing Your Professionalism," presented by the ABA via video
- "Preparing Witnesses," presented by the ABA via video
- Member and past chair, board of directors of the Orange County Bar Association Masters Division
- Member, UC Irvine School of Law Board of Visitors
- Regional co-chair, ABA Section of Litigation "Roadshow"
- Past president, Federal Bar Association Orange County Chapter
- Past lawyer representative, Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference
- Past co-chair, Central District of California lawyer representatives
- Served on the Council of the ABA's Section of Litigation, the governing body of the ABA's largest section (2001-2004)
- Served on the ABA Section of Litigation's Federal Practice Task Force, the Civil Trial Practice Standards Task Force and Raise the Bar Task Force
- Former co-chair, The Woman Advocate Committee of the ABA's Section of Litigation
- Member, board of directors of the Great Park Garden Coalition
- Member, UC Irvine School of Law School of Law Board of Visitors
- Member, Women's Leadership Council of Brown University, a body of select alumnae that serves in an advisory capacity to the Office of the President of Brown University, and co-chair of the Mentoring Committee
- Trustee Emeritus, Sage Hill School
- Certified yoga instructor; holds the designation RYT 200
Harvard Law School (J.D., 1981)
Brown University (B.A., Economics, 1978), magna cum laude; Phi Beta Kappa
- California (all state and federal courts), 1986
- District of Columbia, 1981
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth and Federal Circuits
- U.S. Supreme Court
- Hon. Catherine B. Kelly, District of Columbia Court of Appeals