Jennifer L. Keller

  • Trials
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Intellectual Property
  • White Collar Criminal Defense
  • Securities Litigation

Jennifer Keller is one of California’s premier trial lawyers. She has tried over 150 cases to jury verdict, ranging from complex civil matters — including business and intellectual property cases — to white collar to murder. She has received innumerable awards for excellence as a trial lawyer and excels at “bet the company” litigation.

Jennifer made a last-minute entrance as lead counsel for MGA Entertainment in the 2011 retrial of Mattel v. MGA, the epic doll battle popularly known as “Barbie v. Bratz.”  Coming into the four-month jury trial just twelve days before jury selection, Jennifer captained MGA to a win Reuters called “an astonishing loss” for Mattel and the L.A. Times deemed “a stunning reversal of fortune” for MGA.  The jury found Mattel had no rights to the Bratz doll line and awarded MGA $85 million in damages for theft of its own trade secrets, to which the judge added $85 million in punitive damages.  (While the damages judgment was reversed on appeal, MGA’s $139 million attorneys’ fee award stands.)

Just two years earlier Jennifer won California’s largest business jury verdict of 2009 with $350 million awarded to her venture capitalist client in Auerbach v. Daily.  Currently she represents Standard & Poors in United States v. McGraw-Hill Companies, the government’s civil suit claiming S&P inflated the value of certain mortgage-backed securities.

Jennifer is listed annually in “The Best Lawyers in America®” and is among the Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America. In 2012, California Lawyer Magazine named her a “California Attorney of the Year” for extraordinary achievements in litigation. She appears routinely in the Los Angeles Daily Journal as one of California’s Top 100 Lawyers. She is the only person ever to be named by the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association as Business Litigation Trial Lawyer of the Year (in 2010) and as Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer of the year (in 2000).  Jennifer is a fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, an invitation-only organization limited to the top one-half of one percent of the nation’s attorneys.

Jennifer is also active in the community.  She is the former President of the Orange County Bar Association and serves as a Trustee of Chapman University.  She counts as present and former clients a number of judges, public officials, law enforcement officers, CEOs, CFOs, lawyers, physicians, professional athletes, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs.

  • The Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America (2012, 2013)
  • California Lawyer Magazine CLAY Award (California Lawyers of the Year), Litigation, 2012
  • The San Francisco Recorder, Attorneys of the Year (2012)
  • The Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journals, “The Top 100 Lawyers in California,” (2013, 2012, 2011, 2009, 2007, Editors’ Pick 2001)
  • The National Law Journal, annual “Winners” edition (2011)
  • The National Trial Lawyers, “The Top 100 Trial Lawyers in California” (2008-2013)
  • The Best Lawyers In America®, S. Naifeh & G. Smith (2004-2014 eds.) Orange County Lawyer of the Year (Criminal Defense) (2013)
  • Los Angeles Magazine, “Southern California Superlawyers,” (2006-2013), “Top 50 Female Superlawyers,” “Top 50 Orange County Superlawyers”
  • The Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journals, “California’s Top Women Litigators” (2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2007, 2002)
  • Orange Coast Magazine, “The Best Lawyers in Orange County,” (2004-2012)
  • OC Metro Magazine, “Orange County’s Top Attorneys” (2008-2012)
  • Orange County Trial Lawyers Association, Business Litigation Trial Lawyer of the Year (2010)
  • Orange County Women Lawyers, Attorney of the Year (2003)
  • Anti-Defamation League of Orange County & Long Beach, Jurisprudence Award (2001)
  • Orange County Trial Lawyers Association, Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer of the Year (2000)
  • Public Law Center of Orange County, Attorney of the Year (1996)
  • The Constitutional Rights Foundation of Orange County, Lawyer of the Year (1983)
  • Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America (by invitation only, limited to top ½ of 1 percent of lawyers nationally)
  • State Bar of California, Wiley Manuel Award for Pro Bono Service (1998)
  • Martindale-Hubbell “AV” rated since 1983. Listed, Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers.
  • In 2011, as lead counsel for MGA, Jennifer won the retrial of Mattel v. MGA (aka “Barbie v. Bratz”), a billion-dollar “bet the company” copyright infringement and trade secret misappropriation case. MGA had lost a previous trial, been ordered to pay Mattel $100 million in damages, and was forced to surrender the Bratz brand to Mattel. In the retrial, which Jennifer entered just 12 days before trial began, the jury found that MGA owned the entire Bratz brand and rejected all of Mattel’s claims.  Additionally, Mattel was ordered to pay MGA $85 million for theft of MGA’s trade secrets, plus $85 million in punitive damages and over $139 million in attorneys’ fees. (Although the damages award to MGA was reversed on appeal, the judgment awarding $139 million in attorneys’ fees stands.)  Mattel v. MGA Entertainment et al, USDC Central District of California.
  • In a 2013 Los Angeles County Superior Court trial, Jennifer and Kay Rackauckas as co-counsel for the plaintiff in a breach of contract, fraud and conversion jury trial won $4,84132.75 for their client, including $1.4 million in punitive damages.  Larian v. Talassazan, LASC-Santa Monica..
  • In 2009, Jennifer was lead counsel for the plaintiff in a five-month business fraud jury trial in Los Angeles. The jury awarded $300,000,000 in compensatory damages and $50 million in punitive damages. The case settled in bankruptcy court for $120 million.  Auerbach Acquisition Associates v. Daily, LASC.
  • Defense jury verdict for a law firm accused of wrongfully terminating the plaintiff, the head of its billing department, due to her alleged “whistleblowing” on billing fraud.
  • Represented the county CAO in the groundbreaking Orange County bankruptcy litigation, civil and criminal, and before the Securities and Exchange Commission; he was never indicted or fined.
  • Defense verdict for university in a multi-million dollar, six-month fraud and misrepresentation jury trial; plaintiffs were students in its inaugural law school class. The jury awarded them zero damages.
  • Represented on civil or administrative matters, several judges, the Orange County District Attorney and the Sheriff.
  • Represented, through jury verdict, a lawyer charged with engineering the largest insurance fraud case in the history of California; a massive RICO prosecution over an alleged $200 million dollars’ worth of over-billing insurance carriers for legal fees.
  • Currently represents Standard & Poors in United States v. McGraw-Hill Companies, the government’s lawsuit alleging that S&P inflated the ratings of certain mortgage-backed securities.
  • Practising Law Institute’s California Trial Advocacy 2013
    “Jury Selection,” San Francisco, CA (8/07/2013)
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Annual Trial Seminar
    “Dealing with cross-cultural issues during jury selection,” San Francisco, CA (7/26/2013)
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, West Coast White Collar Seminar
    Lake Tahoe, CA (6/6-7/2013)
  • Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles
    “Business Development,” Culver City, CA (4/30/2013)
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers
    Mock Trial Closing Argument in a Class Action Invasion of Privacy Case, Annual Hawaii Seminar (Kauai, October 2011);  “Barbie versus Bratz:  Inside the Dollywood Trial” (Orange County) November 2011, (Los Angeles) December 2011
  • Los Angeles Daily Journal and JAMS
    “Top Verdicts of 2011 Roundtable” (broadcast live and recorded, Los Angeles, CA  5/16/2012)
  • Consumer Attorneys Association of California, Inland Empire, 2012 Palm  Springs Seminar
    “Handling Media in the High-Exposure, Complex Case (Rancho Mirage, 4/28/2012)
  • “Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, 2012 Las Vegas Seminar”
    “Notable Closing Arguments from The Masters” (Las Vegas, 9/7/2012)
  • State Bar of California, Intellectual Property Section
    “Strategies for Trying the Trade Secret Case,” (6/18/2012 Webinar)
  • American Inns of Court
    “Barbie vs. Bratz: The Epic Doll Battle”
    Robert P. Banyard Inn (Costa Mesa 1/25/2012)
    Warren J. Ferguson Inn (Newport Beach 5/10/2012)
    William P. Gray Inn (Costa Mesa, 1/9/2013
  • Orange County Trial Lawyers Association
    Closing Argument Panel (2/2012)
  • Broadcom Corporation
    “Perils of Attorney-Client Privilege with In-House Counsel,” In-House Counsel Group (2/14/2012), Irvine, CA, live and by webinar; International HR Conference (3/22/2012)
  • Litigation Counsel of America, Trial Lawyers’ Honorary Society
    Keynote Speaker, Annual Meeting (Yountville, CA) Fall 2008
  • California Public Defenders Association
    Homicide Seminar, 3/86 (OC); Sentencing Seminar, 12/89 (Sacramento); Faculty: Trial Skills Institute, 7/90 (San Diego); Advanced Trial Skills Institute 1/92 (Squaw Valley), 1/96 (Oxnard), 1/97 (Squaw Valley), 1/99 (Lake Tahoe), 2/02, 2/03 (Palm Springs); Annual Seminar, 4/92 (San Diego); “Establishing Trial Themes 4/04 (San Diego).
  • California Attorneys for Criminal Justice
    Prop. 115 Seminars, “Preliminary Hearings,” 6/90 (LA), 7/90 (SF, SD), 12/90 (SF). Faculty, Advanced Trial Advocacy Workshop,, 8/92 (Asilomar); Faculty, Trial & Appellate Advocacy Workshop, 7/93, 8/99 (Asilomar); Faculty, “Three Strikes Seminar,” 4/94 (Anaheim, Santa Monica); Faculty, Fall Seminar Appellate Program, “Oral Argument Demonstration,” 12/94 (San Francisco); “Voir Dire,” San Diego, 5/2001; “Cross-Examination of Experts”, Las Vegas (2004); Cross-Examination of Law Enforcement Witnesses, Annual Meeting, 12/09 (San Francisco).
  • Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB)
    “Expert Witnesses in Criminal Cases” (LA, Orange County) 6/96
  • 360 Advocacy: “Cross-Examination of Law Enforcement Officers” (Las Vegas) 4/10
  • The Rutter Group: Criminal Law for Civil Practitioners (Irvine) 1/99
  • California State Bar Convention: White Collar Crime (Anaheim) 9/94
  • OCBA Lecturer or Panelist:
    “Advocacy in the Modern Trial,”(6/2001);  “When the FBI Calls” (1/2001, 1/2002);  “Over the Line:  White Collar Crime” (1/99);  “The Last 60 Days: Preparing Your Witnesses for Trial” (9/10/98); Winner, “Top Gun” Closing Argument Competition (5/19/98); “Closing Argument in Civil Cases,” (6/2005). “Making Rain in A Dry Season,”(10/09); “Ethical Issues in Mattel v. MGA,” OCBA Corporate Counsel Section (1/2012).
  • September 21, 2013, Human-trafficking case against Saudi princess dismissed — Keller and defense team successful
  • September 11, 2013, Keller recognized as one of the “Top 100 Lawyers in California”
  • May 10, 2013, Law360, Boutique Firm Includes Bratz Trial Winner, Manatt Partners
  • May 9, 2013, The AmLaw Litigation Daily, Bratz Trial Winner, Manatt Refugees Form New Firm
  • May 9, 2013, The National Law Journal, Boutique Includes Bratz Trial Winner, Manatt Refugees
  • May 8, Los Angeles & San Francisco Daily Journal, “Top Women Lawyers”
  • April 18, 2013, Los Angeles Daily Journal, “S&P enlists heavyweights in DOJ suit”
  • September 12, 2012, Jennifer Keller selected once again as one of “Top 100 Lawyers in California”
  • August 26, 2012, LawDragon 500 “Lawyer Limelight” interview of Jennifer Keller (PDF); or see LawDragon web version
  • February 20, 2012, San Francisco Recorder Attorneys of the Year for 2011 (Jennifer Keller)
  • September 27, 2011, Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journals, Jennifer Keller selected as one of “The Top 100 Lawyers in California”
  • June 13, 2011, National Law Journal video of Jennifer Keller by Amanda Bronstein