Mr. Donohue has been a partner with the firm for over 9 years and currently serves as Co-Chair of the Trial and Arbitration Group. He has substantial experience litigating securities, employment and commercial (both domestic and international) cases in federal and state court and before various arbitration tribunals (JAMS, AAA and FINRA). He has successfully defended numerous customer and employment claims against brokerage firms and other financial institutions. Mr. Donohue’s practice also includes advising broker-dealers and financial advisors in regulatory matters before FINRA and the SEC.
Mr. Donohue’s extensive experience defending firms and individuals in securities litigation matters has earned him an expertise in cases involving several types of securities products including equities, bonds, alternative investments, auction rate securities, TICs, ETFs, annuities, CDOs, CMOs, options, futures, commodities, warrants, as well as other complicated investment products and strategies. Mr. Donohue has litigated securities claims around the country for unsuitability, common law and securities fraud under federal and state law, breach of contract and claims under California’s Business & Professions Code section 17200. His employment litigation experience includes defending companies in California and around the country against numerous types of employment claims both statutory (federal and state) and common law. He has developed a keen expertise for successfully handling the complicated and thorny employment issues that California employers face. His business and commercial litigation experience includes handling business partnership disputes, defending international companies including a Japanese ship owner in a federal suit alleging injuries occurring overseas and, more recently, defending one of the largest banks in the world in an arbitration involving an 8+ figure investment filed by a well-known bank in South America.
Mr. Donohue obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara and his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. While in law school, Mr. Donohue served as Student Bar Association President, an editor of McGeorge’s Transnational Lawyer and President of the McGeorge International Law Society. Mr. Donohue has also served as an attorney monitor in past presidential primaries and general elections. Prior to law school, he served as a legislative aide to California State Senator Richard G. Polanco (ret.).
Honors & Awards
Mr. Donohue was recognized over several years on the list of Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Star. He is a graduate of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership LA Program, and sits on the Board of Directors for the Southern California Leadership Network, an organization affiliated with the LA Area Chamber of Commerce.
Mr. Donohue is currently a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, the Association of Business Trial Lawyers, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (Compliance & Legal Division) and the Beverly Hills Bar Association.
Lead trial counsel defending several brokerage firms and financial advisors in 100+ FINRA customer arbitrations and court matters, many resulting in favorable dispositions including several defense awards and rulings against multimillion dollar claims.
Lead trial counsel in a securities matter on behalf of a brokerage firm against the wife of a Forbes 400 billionaire that eventually led to a favorable unpublished decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on various securities class action issues.
Lead counsel defending brokerage firms and advisors before FINRA and the SEC in regulatory investigations and enforcement matters resulting is several dismissals of charges and favorable AWCs and settlements.
Lead trial counsel in prosecution of several successful injunction trials on behalf of financial institutions against former employees for violation of employment agreements and misappropriation of trade secrets, including prosecuting a recent case on behalf of a major Wall Street firm in the Central District of California and obtaining an injunction against a former employee who was actively soliciting customers in a multimillion dollar book of business.
Prosecution of a fraud and elder abuse case in a three week jury trial in Los Angeles Superior Court resulting in a jury verdict for compensatory and punitive damages.
Secured a favorable settlement for a major Wall Street clearing firm in a Los Angeles Superior Court matter through threat of pending motion for summary judgment based upon immunity and lack of evidence under Union Bank case.
Obtained summary judgment in Central District of California for copyright and trademark holder against alleged co-holder of intellectual property rights and obtained permanent injunction requiring return of all copyrighted materials and prohibiting any further use of intellectual property by defendant and successful handling of appeal before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Obtained voluntary dismissal of financial advisor during mediation of seven figure matter filed by customer.
Successful motion for summary judgment for financial institution client in Alameda County Superior Court based upon Commercial Code provision lacking any prior caselaw interpretation.
Successful motion for summary judgment on forum non conveniens grounds for Asian shipping company defendant in Northern District of California facing multimillion dollar property loss claim.