Robert H. Bunzel
University of California, Hastings College of the Law, J.D., 1981
Harvard College, B.A., 1978 (English and American Literature and Language, cum laude)
Rob Bunzel is a principal in the firm where he represents both plaintiffs and defendants in civil, criminal, or regulatory matters such as venture finance, business and shareholder disputes, environmental and employment law matters, class actions, data breach and professional malpractice.
Mr. Bunzel’s jury trial wins include a $4.85 million plaintiff’s contract breach verdict (2007), successful defense of a US executive in a criminal antitrust trial where the government had obtained 17 guilty pleas for international price-fixing (2008), see “Defending the Last Man Standing“; a $2 million plaintiff’s verdict in a municipal bond financing case (2010); and a defense verdict in a civil antitrust monopolization trial where the plaintiffs asked the jury for $34 million (2010).
Mr. Bunzel in July 2014 obtained an extraordinary Writ from the State Court of Appeal, dismissing with prejudice a suit with $4 billion exposure in a data breach case in the healthcare industry. Sutter Health v. Superior Court, 227 Cal.App.4th 1546 (2014), review denied Oct. 16, 2014.
His practice has involved significant international discovery and foreign court appearances, including examinations in Zurich and Lugano through pioneering requests for civil judicial assistance to Switzerland, as well as appearing as an expert witness in the U.K. High Court on the subject of breach of fiduciary duty under California law. He has traveled to Asia (Japan, China) to obtain evidence for American civil and criminal proceedings, and has represented foreign officials in U.S. legal matters.
In for-profit and nonprofit corporate disputes, Mr. Bunzel has represented companies, directors/officers, and shareholders in antitrust, finance, sports, philanthropic, real estate, technology, medical and other businesses, and in state and federal litigation and governmental investigations, including at the SEC.
In 2011, Mr. Bunzel secured an $18 million judgment for a major bank’s former investment advisors, and in 2015 a $7.4 million result for advisors suing a different bank. He is broadly experienced in representing injured parties in Ponzi schemes. He has lectured for PLI and the Association of Business Trial Lawyers on the subject of internal corporate investigations and international discovery.
In environmental cases, Mr. Bunzel successfully represented the engineers of the nation’s largest hazardous waste facility, and obtained a landmark ruling regarding recoverable costs in superfund litigation, affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court. He represents landowners, businesses, and agencies in regulatory challenges. In December 2014, Mr. Bunzel finalized a settlement with six counties and the District Attorneys Association, concluding a 5-year investigation into his client’s biomass (wood to energy) waste streams at three California facilities.
Mr. Bunzel has represented clients in professional malpractice claims, fee disputes and in other litigation regarding severance of officers, partners and shareholders, including in the evolving area of privacy and security breach litigation. One of his trials was nationally televised. He has testified as an expert witness regarding the standard of care in business litigation. In 2015, Mr. Bunzel on behalf of one of San Francisco’s leading antitrust lawyers successfully caused dismissal of a lawsuit seeking a multi-million dollar fee split, after successfully challenging out-of-state arbitration over the claim.
He has represented many entrepreneurs injured in business and IP disputes. Mr. Bunzel represented the San Francisco 49ers in their 1999-2001 ownership dispute, and in other player and team matters.