SEAN A. COMMONS is a partner in Sidley’s Los Angeles office and member of the commercial litigation and disputes practice. Sean has more than 15 years of experience litigating complex matters including class actions and qui tam claims. He has assisted clients faced with class actions, mass actions and coordinated proceedings brought under state and federal consumer protection, unfair business practices and usury statutes, including the UCL, CLRA, EFTA, FCRA, FDCPA, the “Holder Rule,” RICO and TCPA. Sean has successfully handled class actions and qui tam complaints in state and federal courts, including through appeal, on behalf of clients in the automotive, banking, consumer electronics, insurance, food supplement, food product, pharmaceutical, software and defense industries. Those representations have included:
- Dismissing qui tam and putative class actions at the motion to dismiss stage;
- Enforcing arbitration, forum selection and choice-of law provisions to defeat or narrow the scope of class actions; and
- Defeating class actions at certification, summary judgment and trial.
In addition, Sean has assisted clients in implementing individual arbitration, forum selection and choice-of-law provisions in consumer contracts. He also has advised clients regarding document retention policies.
The Daily Journal recognized Sean and the trial team that successfully represented Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. in a rare jury trial class action by naming the case to its Top Verdicts report, highlighting the largest and most significant verdicts in California in 2018.
Law360 named Sean a Rising Star in Class Action litigation. California Lawyer magazine awarded him with a 2014 California Lawyer “Attorneys of the Year” (CLAY) Award. His distinguished pro bono work earned him the ACLU 2016 Humanitarian Award and ACLU 2017 and 2012 Access to Justice Award. Sean has also been recommended in The Legal 500 US 2015 and 2016 for Product Liability and Mass Tort Defense.
Sean earned his J.D. from the University of Southern California Gould School of Law, where he served on Law Review. He received his B.A. from the University of California – Berkeley.
Admissions & Certifications
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
- U.S. District Court, E.D. of California
- U.S. District Court, N.D. of California
- U.S. District Court, C.D. of California
- U.S. District Court, S.D. of California
- University of Southern California Gould School of Law, J.D., 2001 (Order of the Coif, Law Review, Law Alumni Award)
- University of California, Berkeley, B.A., 1997
- George H. King, U.S. District Court, C.D. of California (2001 - 2002)