skip to main content
Experience List
DWT
  • Email Page
  • Create PDF
  • Print Page

Admitted to Practice

  • California, 1982
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 2010
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 1983
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California, 1982
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of California, 1983
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of California, 1983
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California, 1989

Martin L. Fineman

FinemanMartin
Partner
T415.276.6575
F415.276.6599
Martin Fineman has tried cases for over 30 years in the areas of contract, corporate, telecommunications, securities, intellectual property and international law with an emphasis on class action cases. He has tried numerous cases before judges, juries and arbitrators, and has argued appeals to the California Supreme Court, California Courts of Appeal, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Martin also is a commercial and securities arbitrator through the American Arbitration Association, a Judge Pro Tem and a Judicial Arbitrator for the California Superior Court and a Mediator for the California Court of Appeal.

In the telecommunications realm, Martin argued the principal Ninth Circuit case establishing Section 332 law (MetroPCS, Inc., v. City & County of San Francisco), and tried two of the main Section 332 cases to come to trial in California (T-Mobile West Corp. v. City of Huntington Beach and MetroPCS, Inc. v. City & County of San Francisco) and tried the first case in the country brought under 47 U.S.C. §1455. In the intellectual property area, Martin has tried or litigated numerous patent, trademark, trade secret, and non-disclosure agreement cases.

Martin's clients include: adidas, AutoNation, MetroPCS, NextG Networks, South San Joaquin Irrigation District, T-Mobile, and Yangtze Optical Fibre & Cable Co.

Representative Experience

Recent Trials

T-Mobile West LLC, Crown Castle NG West Inc. and ExteNet Systems (California) LLC v. City & County of San Francisco

Lead trial counsel in challenge to San Francisco ordinance regulating use of the public right-of-way for the placement of wireless telecommunications facilities. The case was also the first case in the country brought under Section 6409(a) of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act and the first to come to trial. The court enjoined the ordinance. (S.F. County (Cal.) Super. Ct. 2014)

Confidential attorney fee dispute

Successfully arbitrated attorneys’ fee dispute. (San Francisco Bar Association Fee Dispute Arbitration Panel 2013)

Grail Semiconductor, Inc. v. Mitsubishi Electric & Electronics USA, Inc.

Co-lead trial counsel for plaintiff in a nearly month-long trial against Mitsubishi Electronic & Electric US, Inc. for breach of a non-disclosure agreement. The jury found that defendant disclosed and used confidential semiconductor technology, and returned a verdict in favor of our client for $124 million. The Court of Appeal affirmed. (Santa Clara County (Cal.) Super. Ct. 2012; Ct. of App. 2014)

T-Mobile West Corp. v. City of Huntington Beach

Trial of a case brought under Section 332 of the Communications Act. T-Mobile prevailed and the court issued an injunction. 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148170 (C.D. Cal. 2012)

Investor v. Investment advisor/transfer agent

Complete defense verdict for an investment advisor/transfer agent in a trial in which the plaintiff alleged that certain sales fees should not have been charged. The case was very important to client--to protect its untarnished reputation. (Contra Costa County (Cal.) Super. Ct. 2009)

Gutierrez v. Autowest, Inc. and AutoNation, Inc.

Complete defense verdict after trial of a consumer class action alleging violations of the Vehicle Leasing Act and the Consumer Legal Remedies Act (false advertising claim). 114 Cal. App. 4th 77 and S.F. County (Cal.) Super. Ct. 2007

MetroPCS, Inc. v. City and County of San Francisco

Trial of a case brought under Section 332 of the Communications Act. One of the few cases in the history of this important statute ever to go to trial. The appellate opinion is the most important decision in the Ninth Circuit construing this statute. 400 F.3d 715 (9th Cir. 2005); 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43985 (N.D. Cal. 2006)

Telecommunications

Crown Castle NG West Inc. v. City of Oakland

Lead trial counsel in challenge to Oakland policy purporting to charge rent for use of the public right-of-way for the placement of wireless telecommunications facilities. The court issued a writ of mandate requiring the City to issue all required permits without the payment of rent. (Alameda County (Cal.) Super. Ct. 2014)

Hodsden v. Bright House Networks, LLC

Putative class action for alleged violation of the Cable Act, 46 U.S.C. 551. On motion of Bright House, the court compelled arbitration of the dispute and dismissed the case. 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52494 (E.D. Cal. 2013)

Robinson v. City & County of San Francisco

Defended wireless carrier against due process, CEQA and municipal ordinance challenge to permits granted for installation of wireless facilities in the public right of way. Superior Court found in favor of client on all claims. Court of Appeal affirmed in full. 208 Cal. App 4th 950 (2012)

Richmond Residents For Responsible Antenna Placement v. City of Richmond

Defended wireless carrier against due process and CEQA challenge to permits granted for installation of wireless facilities. Superior Court found in favor of client on all claims. Court of Appeal affirmed in full. (2009)

North County Communications v. California Catalog & Technology

Represented wireless telecommunications carriers in suit brought by CLEC seeking compensation for traffic terminated on its network. The case was dismissed. The judgment was affirmed on appeal. 594 F.3d 1149 (9th Cir. 2007)

NextG Networks of Calif., Inc. v. City & County of San Francisco

Order granting judgment and permanent injunction for NextG, pre-empting pursuant to Section 253 of federal Communications Act the defendant city's requirements for deployment of wireless facilities in public rights-of-way. 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36101 (N.D. Cal. 2006; 9th Cir. 2006)

Intellectual Property

Grail Semiconductor, Inc. v. Mitsubishi Electric & Electronics USA, Inc.

Co-lead trial counsel for plaintiff in a nearly month-long trial against Mitsubishi Electronic & Electric US, Inc. for breach of a non-disclosure agreement. The jury found that defendant disclosed and used confidential semiconductor technology, and returned a verdict in favor of our client for $124 million. The Court of Appeal affirmed. (Santa Clara County (Cal.) Super. Ct. 2012; Ct. of App. 2014)

Startup company v. Fortune 500 company and officer

Defended the Vice President of a Fortune 500 company in a misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of fiduciary duty lawsuit. The case settled favorably after trial commenced. (Santa Clara County (Cal.) Super. Ct. 2009)

Midtronics, Inc. v. World Energy Labs (2), Inc.

Successful defense of patent infringement case involving patents relating to battery testing equipment, ending in dismissal. (N.D. Ill. 2008)

Allied Telecomm International, Inc. v. Yangtze Optical Fibre & Cable Co., Ltd.

Defended client in $38 million breach of contract case arising from arbitration (in which a complete defense award was obtained; the plaintiff then sought a trial de novo in court) and obtained a favorable settlement. (S.F. County (Cal.) Super. Ct.; JAMS 2007)

Hewlett-Packard Co. v. Cooper

Co-counsel for the inventor and related companies in defense of a declaratory relief action and in prosecution of claims for patent infringement in a case involving image enhancement technology used in the printer field. Case settled favorably. (N.D. Cal. 2003)

Quintero-Smith, Inc. v. Herman Miller, Inc.

Represented defendants Herman Miller, Inc., and Miller SQA, Inc. in a patent infringement case involving 'expert system' software in the modular office furniture industry. Obtained summary judgment dismissing patent claims. (C.D. Cal. 2002)

General Civil Litigation

Minority shareholder v. corporation

Defended corporation and its officers and directors against claims by minority shareholder of violating state securities law. After motion to compel arbitration was granted case was successfully settled (Santa Clara County (Cal.) Super. Ct. and American Arbitration Association 2013)

Minority shareholder v. corporation

Defended corporation and its directors against claims by minority shareholder relating to board membership, voting rights, dividends, and pension rights. Case was successfully settled. (D. Nev. and 9th Cir. 2012)

Minority shareholder v. limited liability company

Defended company and its managing member against claims by minority member relating to distributions and handling of one of the company's assets, a contaminated piece of real property. Case settled favorably. (Napa County (Cal.) Super. Ct. 2009)

Arcilla v. adidas Promotional Retail Operations, Inc.

Defended two consumer class actions asserting violations of FACTA (credit card privacy act). 488 F. Supp. 2d 965 (C.D. Cal. 2008)

Hospital privileges dispute

Defended hospital against claims of breach of contract and medical staffing violations. (Alameda County (Cal.) Super. Ct. 2008)

Lyons v. Chinese Hospital Association

Defended hospital in state court and AAA arbitration proceeding against unfair business practice and negligence claims. (S.F. County (Cal.) Super. Ct. and American Arbitration Association 2008)

South San Joaquin Irrigation District v. Meridian Pacific, Inc.

Action against political consulting firm for unauthorized entry into governmental agency's computer network. (San Joaquin County (Cal.) Super. Ct. 2007)

South San Joaquin Irrigation District v. San Joaquin Local Agency Formation Commission

Important published opinion’s concerning whether LAFCO approval is required for an irrigation district to provide retail electric service within its district boundaries. 162 Cal. App 4th 146 (2008); 162 Cal. App 4th 159 (2008)

VIVA! International Voice for Animals v. adidas Promotional Retail Operations Inc.

Case involving the constitutionality on federal preemption grounds of California statute purporting to make illegal the sale of shoes made of kangaroo leather, despite provision of Endangered Species Act allowing importation of such materials. Case went to the State Supreme Court. Plaintiff's case was dismissed. 41 Cal. 4th 929 (Cal. 2006)

Additional Qualifications

  • Former Partner, Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison
  • Former Partner, Musick, Peeler & Garrett LLP
  • Former Judicial Law Clerk, Hon. Robert Boochever, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit

Professional & Community Activities

  • Joint Advisory Committee on Continuing Education of the Bar; Former Chair, Civil Litigation Subcommittee; Former Consultant – California State Bar, 1988-present
  • Judge Pro Tem and Judicial Arbitrator, San Francisco County Superior Court, 1990-present
  • Judicial Mediator, 1st Appellate District, California Court of Appeal
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers
  • Power Association of Northern California, 1998-present
  • Chair/Vice Chair, California State Bar Committee on Federal Courts, 2001-2004
  • Chair, Continuing Education Committee, Appellate Courts Section, Bar Association of San Francisco, 1995-1996
  • Securities Litigation Subcommittee on Accounting Issues, American Bar Association, 1990-1995
  • Past Partner-in-Charge, San Francisco Office, 1999-2011
  • Past Co-chair, firmwide Commercial Litigation Department, 2002-2005
  • Past Member, firmwide Commercial Litigation Department Steering Committee, 1995-2005
  • Past Member, Attorney Evaluation Committee
  • Past Member, firmwide Pro Bono Committee

Professional Recognition

  • Named one of the "Best Lawyers in America" in Commercial Litigation by Best Lawyers, 2013-present
  • Selected to "Northern California Super Lawyers," Thomson Reuters, 2004-2014
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rating
  • Selected to "America’s Most Honored Professionals," Top 5%, 2014
  • Avvo Superb Rating
  • Named one of the "Best Lawyers in the Bay Area" by Bay Area Lawyer Magazine, each year of publication 
  • Named to "Energy Arbitrators List," Institute for Energy Law, 2014
  • Listed in Who's Who in American Law, 1988-present
  • Listed in Who’s Who in American Law Schools, 1982