NORMAN BLEARS' practice emphasizes complex securities law matters, including securities class actions and corporate governance litigation. His securities law experience has included the representation of corporations, officers, outside directors, underwriters and accountants in class actions, shareholder derivative actions and complex coordinated investor lawsuits in both state and federal courts, as well as in government regulatory proceedings. Norm has led successful defense efforts in all aspects of securities litigation, including jury trial and appeal. He has also conducted many internal investigations and advised board litigation committees. Norm has served as a court appointed special master and arbitrator in both state and federal court and has served as a lecturer on various programs relating to director and officer liability, shareholder litigation and federal civil procedure.
Norm is repeatedly ranked by Chambers USA as a leading securities litigator, with clients describing him as:
- a "terrific securities litigator.“
- “an incredibly knowledgeable lawyer who brings excellent judgment to a case.”
- “…very calm in a difficult situation. He is particularly masterful at guiding people through, getting them to work together and bringing cases successfully to conclusion.”
Norm also has been involved in public service and community activities, and has served on the boards of many non-profit legal organizations. In 2000, Norm was honored by the 4,000-member Santa Clara County Bar Association as its Professional Lawyer of the Year.
Prior to joining Sidley, Norm was a partner at another global law firm. He also served as a law clerk to the Honorable William B. Enright of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.
- Chambers USA, Securities Litigation, 2007–2020
- The Best Lawyers in America, Bet-the-Company Litigation, 2006–2020
- The Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation, 2010
- The Best Lawyers in America, “Lawyer of the Year”, Bet-the-Company Litigation, 2020
- Northern California Super Lawyers, 2004–2019
- Who’s Who Legal, Litigation, 2015–2016
- The Legal 500 US, Securities Litigation, 2012, 2014–2017
- Benchmark Litigation, 2011
- Daily Journal, Top 30 Securities Litigators in California, 2006
Admissions & Certifications
- U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
- Stanford Law School, J.D., 1980
- Denison University, B.A., 1977 (Phi Beta Kappa)
- William B. Enright, U.S. District Court, S.D. of California (1980 - 1982)