Fletcher C. Alford
- Commercial Litigation
- Class Action
- Product & General Liability
- Cyber, Privacy & Data Security
Fletcher Alford is a San Francisco partner in GRSM’ Commercial Litigation, Class Action, Tort & Product Liability, and Cyber, Privacy & Data Security Practice Groups. He focuses on commercial litigation and the defense of class actions along with other complex matters in trial and appellate courts, with an emphasis on claims involving financial services, product liability, consumer fraud, breach of contract and unfair business practices. He has extensive trial and appellate experience and handles complex cases before state and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.
Previously, Mr. Alford served as a law clerk for the Hon. Anthony Alaimo of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia.
Obtained an important defense ruling for one of the largest insurance companies in the United States, in a complex and hard-fought class action matter in which the defense exposure was in excess of $250 million. The Court held that the client has no duty to disclose the information plaintiffs claim was wrongfully withheld, nor to refund any of the more than $50 million it collects in finance charges each year. In a similar case against another insurer, the trial court granted summary judgment for the plaintiff class and awarded more than $100 million in restitution.
Defeated class certification in an auto insurance "diminished value" case in spite of six previous successful certifications by plaintiff's counsel against other insurers.
Obtained very favorable settlement for auto insurer in class action alleging improper use of mileage as rating factor.
Obtained dismissal on jurisdictional grounds of auto insurer sued in Little Rock, Arkansas in class action alleging improper use of computer software to adjust bodily injury claims.
Obtained a defense verdict after an eight-week jury trial in a challenging and widely-publicized case brought by children from around the country who claimed that they sustained brain damage as a result of a client's allegedly defective products. The Daily Journal selected the case as one of the Top 10 Defense Verdicts of 2006.
Obtained an important and precedent-setting ruling from the Court of Appeal, holding that California's Proposition 65 warning requirements do not apply to prescription drugs.
Achieved a multi-million dollar settlement on behalf of one of the largest higher-education systems in the U.S. as the plaintiff in a case involving the breach of a software development contract. All of the client's payments were returned and the vendor received no payments under the contract.
Defeated national class action annuity case on summary judgment.
Outstanding record of defeating class certification in dozens of cases.
Publications & Presentations
- In re Vaccine Cases (2005) 134 Cal.App.4th 438
- Deep Sea Research, Inc. v. State of California, 523 U.S. 491 (1998)
- Hamm v. American Home Products (E.D.Ca., 1995) 888 F.Supp. 1037
- Casey v. Ohio Medical Products (N.D.Ca., 1995) 877 F.Supp. 1380
- Hoch v. AlliedSignal, Inc. (1993) 24 Cal.App. 4th 48.
Publications and Presentations
- Panelist, United States Supreme Court: Cases to Watch in 2020, Standard Insurance Company, February 2020
- Use of Experts in Class Certification Proceedings, San Francisco
- Panelist on the California Lawyer's July 2013 Class Action Roundtable Series
- "Class Certification Guidance for the Insurance Industry," Daily Journal, 2011
- "When Nations Kill: The Liu Case and the Act of State Doctrine In Wrongful Death Suits," Hastings' International and Comparative Law Review, 1989 (cited in Liu v. Republic of China (9th Cir. 1990))
- "California Annuity Litigation Update," American Law Institute-American Bar Association (ALI-ABA) Conference on Insurance and Financial Services Litigation, September 2012
- "California Consumer Protection Law - Standing and Equity: What Role Do Materiality, Causation and Reliance Have Post Tobacco II and Is There a Place for Fairness?" ALI-ABA Conference on Insurance and Financial Services Litigation, May 2011
- "Conte v. Wyeth: New Developments in Innovator Liability - Turning Product Liability Law on Its Head," DRI's 26th Annual Drug and Medical Device Seminar, May 2010
In The Media
Mr. Alford and his cases have been profiled in several publications, including The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Examiner, The Daily Journal, and Who's Who In American Law.
U.S. District Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
U.S. Supreme Court
Bar Association of San Francisco
American Bar Association
DRI-The Voice of the Defense Bar
J.D., magna cum laude, University of California, Hastings College of the Law
- Thurston Honor Society
- Order of the Coif
B.A, magna cum laude, University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington
- Editor-in-Chief of college newspaper
Best Lawyers in America® "Lawyer of the Year" distinction in Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions - Defendants (2023)
Best Lawyers in America® distinction in Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions - Defendants and Product Liability Litigation - Defendants (2018-2024)
Selected, San Francisco Top Attorney in Northern California, San Francisco Magazine, 2014
Described as “...class-action 'star' specializ[ing] in medical product liability as well as other complex litigation matters...” (Who’s Who Legal California, Product Liability Defense Lawyers, 2009-2010)
“GCs Name 43 Best-Of-The-Best Attys” (Law360, 2013)
BTI Client Service All-Star, (2012 and 2014)
Cited in the Expert Guide to U.S. Product Liability Lawyers, The Legal Media Group
Super Lawyers® distinction in Civil Litigation Defense, Class Action/Mass Torts, and Appellate (2005-2016,
Law & Politics)