Damon Suden is an experienced and talented litigator and trial attorney. His practice includes commercial and complex civil litigation and class action defense in both state and federal courts.
Damon has successfully resolved claims pertaining to contract disputes, corporate fraud and other torts, unfair competition, theft of trade secrets, antitrust, bankruptcy, false advertising and employment-related matters. He has also worked on domestic and international arbitrations. Damon is currently representing several companies in putative class actions alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. His clients are from a variety of industries such as banking and finance, design and fashion, insurance, health care, nonprofit and telecommunications, among others.
While Damon litigates to win, he also recognizes that litigation can be used strategically to achieve his client’s business goals. With the right litigation strategy, Damon has helped his clients settle or otherwise resolve even their most complicated disputes out of court. But when settlement is not possible, Damon is a fearless litigator who will defend his client’s interests throughout the process, while striving to minimize the impact on their bottom line.
Damon’s clients value that he develops litigation strategies that are focused yet flexible, leverages technology for maximum efficiency, and also knows how to clearly communicate his client’s options and the financial impact it will have on their organization. An even-tempered, productive and effective negotiator and advocate, Damon delivers a deep bench of actual trial experience.
Damon is also appreciated for being reasonable in the pursuit of protecting his clients and conserving their resources. He is dedicated to working closely with each client to completely understand the issues that are most important to them, and then designs a litigation strategy that parallels those objectives.
Recognized as one of the “Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40” by the National LGBT Bar Association, Damon is a member of Kelley Drye’s diversity and inclusion committee and co-chair of the firm’s LGBTQ Network.
The Trevor Project, NextGen member, 2012–present
Council for the Arts at MIT, member, 2008–present
MIT Educational counselor, 2002–present
Representing a major satellite communications provider in a case brought in the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois on behalf of the Federal Trade Commission and several state attorneys general alleging violations of the Telemarketing Sales Rule, the TCPA and various state claims.
Represented the largest privately held spirits company in the world as a defendant in a complex commercial/IP dispute involving a multiyear, multimillion-dollar exclusive marketing agreement with a major sports franchise. After extensive discovery and prevailing on numerous discovery motions, Damon successfully negotiated a settlement.
Part of the trial team representing a domestic construction company in a bench trial in the District of New Jersey against former owners for breach of contract based on a failure to disclose legal liabilities prior to the sale of the business. Achieved a complete victory with a judgment in favor of the client, including the recovery of legal fees.
Member of the trial team representing JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. in an eight-day bench trial in the Southern District of New York. In a complete victory for the bank, the judge dismissed a breach of contract and fraud suit alleging failure to disclose potential tax liabilities prior to the sale of a bank subsidiary to the plaintiff, NES Financial Corp.
Trial counsel for Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. in a multimillion-dollar breach of contract claim brought by a former licensee that alleged that the licensee’s rights to use certain trademarks was prematurely terminated. The case settled during trial.
Member of the team that successfully defended JPMorgan Chase Bank (JPMC) in a $20 million lawsuit brought by bondholders of a complex collateralized debt obligation transaction asserting claims of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and negligence arising out of JPMC’s role as indenture trustee on the deal. In a series of motions, the litigation team successfully argued that plaintiffs could not establish causation or damages as a matter of law. The court agreed and granted JPMC’s summary judgment motion. The plaintiff waived its right to appeal.
Member of the team that prosecuted claims for approximately $1.2 billion on behalf of JPMC against eleven insurance companies over surety bonds written in connection with transactions that the bank entered into with Enron Corp. A favorable settlement was achieved after closing arguments following a month-long trial.
Member of the team representing a national calling card company in federal and state class action litigation in California claiming false advertising and other consumer protection violations. Achieved the dismissal of the federal class action lawsuit based on lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Involved in the precertification motion practice and discovery in state court. Participated in mediation before a former state court judge and negotiated the favorable settlement of the state class action.
Antitrust and Competition
Member of a trial team that assisted an advertiser in securing a $125 million settlement of its antitrust and false advertising claims against a competitor in the District of Minnesota. The case was settled after the first day of trial.
Member of the team that prevailed conclusively and convincingly in a hotly contested arbitration proceeding in London between Swiss and Indian companies before a former Justice of the Supreme Court of India. The dispute centered on whether the parties had taken a vote at a board meeting to unanimously terminate a distribution agreement that the firm’s client wanted to end. Achieved a complete victory in the client’s favor resulting in the termination of the distribution agreement and a full award of costs.
Trademark and Copyright
Representing the largest privately held spirits company in the world, defending its claims to the HAVANA CLUB trademark and seeking cancellation of Cuba’s putative registration in the D.C. District Court. This brand and related case is one of the most significant United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) trademark cases in history and was profiled on “60 Minutes” in January 2017.
Member of a litigation team that achieved a complete victory for a telecom company located in Singapore by obtaining the voluntary dismissal of a complex, international copyright infringement action in the Southern District of New York (all without ever making an appearance). The action was filed by an Israeli company to stop the client and Irish codefendants from moving forward with the worldwide launch of a smartphone app. The plaintiff attempted to obtain jurisdiction over the client through a United States subsidiary. Working closely with the client and local Singapore counsel, we executed a litigation strategy designed to maintain service and jurisdictional defenses, while also avoiding any jurisdictional discovery or rulings that could have a precedential effect. After intense negotiations and a warning to plaintiff from the court not to pursue frivolous claims, the plaintiff voluntarily dismissed its lawsuit against the client.
Member of the team that successfully defended a leading life insurance company in a case brought by two individuals asserting that the company made misrepresentations about the premiums required to keep two high-value life insurance policies in force. The First Department issued a written decision unanimously affirming the trial court’s initial dismissal order and awarding our client its costs on the appeal.
Labor and Employment
Member of the team that successfully defended a hospital in a lawsuit brought by its former director of risk management who alleged that she was fired in violation of New York’s “whistleblower law” because she advocated for the reporting of alleged “adverse” patient incidents to the New York State Department of Health, pursuant to the “NYPORTS” reporting system. Successfully moved for a directed verdict after the close of the plaintiff’s case with the judge holding that the case was “without basis in law or fact” and inviting the hospital to move to recover its legal fees from the plaintiff pursuant to the whistleblower statute. The case was reported in the New York Law Journal
and Crain’s Health Pulse.
Obtained summary judgment in favor of a manufacturing company dismissing the plaintiff’s claims in an age discrimination, retaliation and FLSA overtime action filed in the Southern District of New York.
Unfair Competition and Trade Secrets
Member of the trial team for a major chemical company in a fraud, unfair competition and breach of contract case arising out of the purchase of a company and the defendant’s violation of a non-compete agreement. The case also involved a claim under the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Successfully obtained a multimillion-dollar jury verdict after a six-week trial and successfully prosecuted a contempt application against the defendant and his attorneys.
Represented seasonal restaurant owner and landlord in a contract dispute with a purported leasee in the Supreme Court of New York, Suffolk County. Successfully opposed motions for temporary and preliminary injunctions, allowing the client to continue operating its business during the busy summer months. Negotiated a favorable settlement.
Represented a landlord in New York Supreme Court in a complex litigation against a commercial tenant who refused to pay rent while asserting claims for breach of contract and fraud totaling over $20 million in damages. We successfully obtained a preliminary injunction permitting the landlord to regain access to the premises, and obtained an early court ruling that the tenant was likely in violation of a lease provision governing lease assignments. We then moved for summary judgment seeking an eviction before discovery commenced and the parties successfully settled all claims moments before oral argument.
Successfully assisted a 101-year-old man and his son in obtaining a temporary restraining order against a health care provider that was threatening to terminate lifesaving at-home health care services. Negotiated the favorable resolution of the matter so that the client would retain the health care services he was promised.
Successfully represented a client pro bono in a dispute with her former husband regarding the custody of their son.