People: Giovanna A. Ferrari, Partner

Photo of Giovanna A. Ferrari, Partner

Giovanna A. Ferrari

Partner

San Francisco
Direct: (415) 544-1019
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Ms. Ferrari is a partner in the Litigation Department of Seyfarth Shaw LLP and a Co-Chair of the San Francisco Office Litigation Group.  She has counseled and represented clients in all phases of litigation, including at trial, at temporary restraining/injunction proceedings, at mediation, in AAA, JAMS and NASD/FINRA arbitrations, at EEOC proceedings, and in appellate proceedings.  Ms. Ferrari is experienced in state and federal class action defense.

Ms. Ferrari specializes in commercial and business litigation affecting all industries with a special focus on the financial services and retail/hospitality industries.  Ms. Ferrari defends companies against commercial contract disputes, government contract disputes, fraud and misrepresentation claims, securities fraud and director and officer liability claims, common law and statutory business tort claims, California statutory consumer fraud claims, indemnity and contribution claims, and construction contract claims.  Ms. Ferrari is also experienced in employment litigation (including defense of wage and hour class actions, discrimination and harassment claims, and California Labor Code violation claims, and prosecution of trade secret claims).

Ms. Ferrari is an active member of the Firm Trial Team, the Firm Pro Bono Committee, and the New Matter Intake Committee.  Ms. Ferrari is also on the Lawyer Development Committee and the Associate Coaching Committee which both focus on the growth, development and mentoring of associates.  Ms. Ferrari is the Firm Litigation Co-Lead for the Future Employer Taskforce.

Ms. Ferrari is a partner in the Litigation Department of Seyfarth Shaw LLP and a Co-Chair of the San Francisco Office Litigation Group.  She has counseled and represented clients in all phases of litigation, including at trial, at temporary restraining/injunction proceedings, at mediation, in AAA, JAMS and NASD/FINRA arbitrations, at EEOC proceedings, and in appellate proceedings.  Ms. Ferrari is experienced in state and federal class action defense.

Ms. Ferrari specializes in commercial and business litigation affecting all industries with a special focus on the financial services and retail/hospitality industries.  Ms. Ferrari defends companies against commercial contract disputes, government contract disputes, fraud and misrepresentation claims, securities fraud and director and officer liability claims, common law and statutory business tort claims, California statutory consumer fraud claims, indemnity and contribution claims, and construction contract claims.  Ms. Ferrari is also experienced in employment litigation (including defense of wage and hour class actions, discrimination and harassment claims, and California Labor Code violation claims, and prosecution of trade secret claims).

Ms. Ferrari is an active member of the Firm Trial Team, the Firm Pro Bono Committee, and the New Matter Intake Committee.  Ms. Ferrari is also on the Lawyer Development Committee and the Associate Coaching Committee which both focus on the growth, development and mentoring of associates.  Ms. Ferrari is the Firm Litigation Co-Lead for the Future Employer Taskforce.

Education

  • J.D., University of San Francisco, magna cum laude (2003)

  • B.A., University of California, Los Angeles (2000)

Admissions

  • California

Courts

  • California Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
  • U.S. District Courtfor the Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • Armed Services Board of Contracts Appeals

Affiliations

  • Dress for Success

Representative Engagements

  • National litigation and trial counsel for two financial services companies; Member Preferred Firm Relationship Partner/Team (2012–Present); representation includes defending insurance bad faith, breach of contract and compliance claims, as well as prosecuting interpleader actions
  • Representing government contractor regarding breach of contractofficers, directors, and employment claims throughout United States (Current pendingboard members in two 10(b)(5)/20(a) securities cases involve contract and fraud claims and related to government contractbankruptcy matters
  • Representing officer/director against breach of fiduciary duty and fraud claims from Series A investor
  • Representing financial institutions and Fortune 500 companies in internal investigations regarding compliance with regulatory guidelines and fiduciary duty matters
  • Representing government contractor in matter before the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals seeking 8 figure recovery
  • Representing nationwide retailer at arbitration against gender discrimination claims (Defense verdict on first two of several arbitrations)
  • Advising nationwide retailer regarding website representations related to “healthfulness” of products and pricing statements on outlet merchandise
  • Represented government contractor regarding breach of contract, fraud, intellectual property, immigration, and employment claims throughout United States
  • Represented government contractor in multiple plaintiff action regarding employment qualifications
  • Represented national bank in action relating to disputes following sale of factoring Division
  • Defended nationwide retailer in two California state consumer fraud class actions where plaintiffs allege products were misbranded and falsely labeled as being organic and/or natural (motions for summary judgment against named plaintiffs granted)
  • Defended company which sells dietary supplements in two nationwide class action cases alleging product was misbranded and falsely labeled.  (Class certification denied in both cases; summary judgment granted against named plaintiffs)
  • Represented property owners against premises liability, wage and hour, and Labor Code violation claims (All claims exception Labor Code violation claims dismissed on summary judgment)
  • Lead counsel for 97 Defendants and represented 10 hotels in antitrust, business tort, and employment class action related to claims by taxi-cab driver that hotels have interfered with opportunity to obtain guest fares (Dismissed all but injunctive relief claim, reducing potential verdict to nominal sum from eight figure amount, leading to nominal settlement)
  • Represented national bank against contract, breach of fiduciary duty and judicial foreclosure claims (Defense verdict December 2015 after remanded federal jury trial; reduced eight figure verdict – defended by other law firm –to nominal amount)
  • Represented nationwide retailer at trial against breach of contract, wrongful termination and defamation claims (Complete defense verdict on 5 causes of action)
  • Dismissal of nationwide consumer fraud class action alleging products were misbranded and falsely labeled as being organic, natural, GMO-free, and/or containing ingredients identified by defendants as unacceptable on company website. Gedalia v. Whole Foods Market Services, Inc., — F.Supp.3d —, 2014 WL 5315030 (S.D. Tex. Sept. 30, 2014)
  • Obtained summary adjudication of 8 figure fraud claim in government contract dispute; obtained dismissal of 7 figure million breach of contract claim as a matter of law following six day federal court jury trial (2012–February 2014)
  • Represented underwater robot manufacturer in AAA arbitration regarding a mid-7 figure breach of contract claim and a near 8 figure breach of contract cross-claim (April 2014)
  • Obtained Temporary Restraining Order against accountant placement agency for misappropriation of trade secrets following temporary injunction proceedings (April 2013)
  • Obtained dismissal of class action complaint alleging unsuitable sale of annuities to seniors at motion to dismiss stage (decision published at Von Merta v. Allstate Life Insurance Co., 2012 WL 5519203 (N.D. Cal. November 14, 2012))
  • Obtained Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction against computer software development conglomerate for misappropriation of trade secrets following temporary injunction proceedings and three-day preliminary injunction hearing (February–June 2012)
  • Represented insurer in multi-million dollar subrogation dispute through pre-trial state court jury trial proceedings (2011–2012)
  • Obtained summary adjudication of punitive damages and attorneys’ fees claims in mid-7 figure breach of contract and bad faith case leading to nominal settlement and dismissal with prejudice during pre-trial proceedings (2010–2011)
  • Defeated six figure sanctions request related to e-discovery production techniques in wage and hour class action following one-day evidentiary hearing where opening, closing and expert testimony were presented (2011)
  • Obtained TRO against highly publicized trade secret case against CEO of publically traded company (2010)
  • Obtained dismissal of class action complaint alleging statutory consumer fraud claims at initial pleadings stage (2010)
  • Prosecuted breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract claims through nine week state court bench trial and represented client in initial state court appellate proceedings (2008–2010)
  • Obtained defense verdict for title company affiliate sued for trade secret misappropriation following ten week state court jury trial (successfully represented client in two week bench trial on bifurcated issues) (2008–2009)
  • Obtained favorable settlement for Clark County, Nevada with respect to multi-million dollar construction contract claims following exclusion of expert witness from Federal Court proceedings (also represented client in AAA arbitrations) (2007–2009)
  • Defended owner in construction breach of contract dispute in two week AAA arbitration (2007)
  • Defended multi-million dollar breach of contract claim at four week federal jury trial and in initial Ninth Circuit appellate proceedings (2006–2007)
  • Defended annuity issuers in Multi-District Litigation and coordinated California class actions against allegations of unsuitable sale of annuities to seniors (2005–2007)
  • Obtained favorable verdicts following two state court bench trials (bifurcated proceedings) involving indemnity and subrogation claims (2006)
  • Obtained favorable verdict following state court bench trial involving indemnity claim (2005)
  • Obtained favorable verdicts for investment advisors against consumer complaints before NASD Panels (2004; 2005)

Publications/Presentations

Securities and Consumer Class Action / Commercial Litigation

  • Chapter Writer, American Bar Association Practice Guide: Trial Techniques For The Labor And Employment Law Practitioner (2018)
  • Speaker, “Cyan, Inc. v. Beaver County Employees Retirement Fund,” predicting rise in state court 1933 Act cases, New York County Lawyers Association Center for Corporate Governance (March 2018)
  • Presenter, “Marketing Within the Law”, 2017 Multi-Channel Marketing Summit (2017)
  • Moderator, “Ethics, Social Media, and Jury Selection,” American Bar Association Webinar (August 2017)
  • Presenter, "Anatomy of the Balance Sheet," Practicing Law Institute (July 2016)
  • Presenter, “State of Consumer Class Litigation-Seyfarth’s Class Action Webinar Series,” (April 2015)
  • Individualized Inquiries Predominate in Call Recording Cases:  California Court of Appeal Affirms Denial of Class Certification in Call Recording/Privacy Case Because Individual Issues Predominate Regarding Each Putative Class Members’ Expectation of Confidentiality  (February 2014)
  • Eighth Circuit Rules that Class Action Fairness Act Removal Requires Only “Plausible” Evidence of Amount in Controversy (July 2013)
  • Von Merta v. Allstate Life Insurance Co., 2012 WL 5519203 N.D. Cal. (November 14, 2012)
  • “Consumer Statutes Retailers Need to Know,” Retail White Paper (2010, 2011)
  • Presenter, “Important Consumer Statutes for Retailers” 2011 Multi-Channel Marketing Summit

Trade Secret Misappropriation

  • “Measuring Economic Damages When Trade Secrets Are Misappropriated,” Presenter 2013 AICPA Conference (November 2013)

Construction

  • “How to Win a Construction Arbitration,” Legal Advisory Committee Magazine, Associated General Contractors of California
  • “California Cumulative Supplement,” State-by-State Guide to Architect, Engineer, and Contractor Licensing update
  • “Make Sure You Submit Accurate Claims on Public Projects,” Cost Engineering Magazine
  • CEB Action Guide: Handling Construction Disputesupdate
  • “Building Code Compliance—Who Is Responsible?,”  Presenter Lorman Training (2008, 2009, 2010)
  • “Understanding the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009”, Presenter AGC Annual Legal Retreat (2009)

Externships

  • Justice Joyce Kennard (California Supreme Court); Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong (United States District Court, Northern District California); Securities and Exchange Commission