The Daily Journal recognized two matters on which Sidley advised in its 2018 “Top Verdicts” supplement, praising the firm for its role in Federal Trade Commission v. DIRECTV Inc. et al. and Chavez v. Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. Further, the supplement included an article authored by Century City partner Chad S. Hummel on techniques for cross-examining expert witnesses in trials.
The Daily Journal commended Sidley’s representation of DIRECTV Inc. when Federal regulators accused DIRECTV of deceptive advertising regarding the terms and conditions of its introductory pricing for program packages, seeking US$4 billion in restitution and injunctive relief. Following a bench trial, the court entered partial judgment in DIRECTV’s favor and, in October 2018, the parties agreed to dismiss the FTC’s entire complaint with prejudice. The supplement cited the case as notable for DIRECTV’s large monetary exposure, as well as for presenting several novel legal issues, including the proper standard for proving consumer deception when a defendant offers legitimate services advertised truthfully across multiple media and is alleged to have made inadequate but not false disclosures. The Sidley team representing DIRECTV was led by partner Chad S. Hummel and included partners Clayton S. Friedman (Orange County), Bridget Johnsen (Los Angeles), Ryan Sandrock (San Francisco) and associate Benjamin Mundel (Washington, D.C.).
Sidley was further praised for co-representing Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. with Jennifer L. Keller of Keller/Anderle LLP in a rare jury trial in a class action. The defense team settled the national class with an agreement that MassMutual would perform annual audits of its term policies. The Sidley team included partner Sean A. Commons and associates Melissa O. Evidente and Alexandria V. Ruiz, all in Los Angeles.
The Daily Journal’s annual “Top Verdicts” supplement recognizes the “largest and most significant” verdicts and appellate reversals in California.