Dan Lefler primarily focuses his practice on securities litigation (including cases involving complex derivative securities, defense of shareholder litigation against publicly held companies and hostile takeover litigation) and complex commercial cases. Dan has defended clients in more than a dozen alleged class action securities fraud matters.
His clients have included a large, publicly traded pharmaceutical company involved in shareholder litigation following a settlement with the U.S. 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 Dan has been involved include the Securities and Exchange Commission’s lawsuit against the former chief executive officer of Countrywide Financial, which received extensive national media coverage, as well as numerous investor lawsuits arising from the financial collapse. He also represented the public company with the largest financial restatement resulting from alleged options backdating in securities litigation arising from the restatement.
Dan also has extensive experience representing clients—both issuers and individuals—in internal corporate investigations. He 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. Dan also successfully represented an Internet “incubator” in a lawsuit involving a $1 billion private company investment.
Further, Dan is a recognized expert on loss causation, having filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in In re Dura Pharmaceuticals, (the lead decision on this issue), and having published on the topic. He prosecuted one of the first successful Daubert motions to exclude damages testimony from a plaintiffs’ expert witness in a securities fraud class action lawsuit.
- Defended a public company in derivative litigation arising from a government settlement of alleged Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations.
- Defended a wireless Internet provider in a securities fraud class action which was dismissed with prejudice at the pleading stage, and affirmed following oral argument by the federal Court of Appeals.
- Defended 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.
- Defended 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.
- Defended 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.
- Defended 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.
- Represented a municipal agency, one of the largest investors in the Orange County Investment Pool, in litigation against Wall Street securities professionals following the Pool's collapse due to its investment in complex derivative securities.
Honors & Awards
- Consistently named to the Southern California Super Lawyers list in the securities litigation category
- Listed as a “Rising Star” (2004-2006)
- Named one of California’s Top 100 Lawyers by the Daily Journal (2008)
- Consistently selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America
- Maintains an "AV" rating from Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest rating awarded by that firm.
- Member, Association of Business Trial Lawyers Board of Governors
- Frequent panelist, moot court program at the UCLA School of Law
- Board of directors, Partnership for Los Angeles Schools
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
- California, 1990