Norman Hile

Senior Counsel


Norman C. Hile focuses his practice in business and government litigation with an emphasis on complex litigation and counseling.

Norm, who has extensive experience in government, intellectual property, securities, antitrust and environmental litigation, practices at all levels of the civil litigation process and has litigated complex cases in state and federal court before arbitration panels and under the judicial arbitration provisions of California’s Code of Civil Procedure. Norm has prosecuted appeals successfully through the California appellate process to the Supreme Court of California and through the federal appellate process to the Supreme Court of the United States. 

  • By category, Norm’s more notable engagements include the following cases.

    Environmental Cases:

    • People v. Altaire.  Norm won a court trial that established that Bayer Corporation's nasal spray products did not require Proposition 65 warnings due to the presence of thimerosal and phenylmercuric acetate as preservatives. In so doing, Norm became the first lawyer to establish a court-determined maximum allowable dose level under Proposition 65 and recorded the first trial win in a Proposition 65 case against the California Attorney General.
    • People v. Warner-Lambert, et al.  Norm represented American Home Products Company in defending its calcium supplements from a Proposition 65 claim concerning naturally occurring lead and played a significant role in crafting an industry-wide settlement. He recently represented Pfizer and Bayer against the California Attorney General in modifying the same consent judgment as it relates to calcium supplements.  
    • ICC v. Van De Kamp and others. Norm prosecuted the first case that went to trial under California’s Proposition 65 and, since that time, has represented numerous companies in defending claims brought by “bounty hunters” and the California Attorney General under this unique statute.
    • Chem-Nuclear Systems v. Department of Health Services. After a two-week trial, Norm obtained a writ of mandate against the Department of Health Services directing it to comply with regulations regarding bidding for a low-level radioactive disposal site in California.
    • Ogden-Martin Systems v. County of San Bernardino.  Norm successfully defended the county of San Bernardino in a federal court breach of contract action involving interpretation of the California Environmental Quality Act.

    Intellectual Property:

    • Playboy Enterprises v. Yehudi International Network Group.  Norm represented Playboy to obtain preliminary and permanent injunctive relief against an Internet Web site infringing on Playboy’s copyrighted and trademarked works.
    • Information for Public Affairs v. Dow Jones & Co.  Norm obtained preliminary and permanent injunctive relief against the Wall Street Journal’s infringement of The California Journal’s trademark.  

    Securities Cases:

    • Gary Thompson v. Alan Miller Jr.  Norm obtained a defense verdict, after a nine-week jury trial, on claims of fraud, constructive fraud, concealment, elder abuse and violations of the California Corporate Securities Act.
    • Bilzerian v. Guardian Industries Corp.  Norm obtained dismissal of a “green mail” securities action as a sanction for plaintiff’s discovery abuse.
    • Ferriera v. Quik Stop Markets.  Norm obtained a defense verdict, after a six-week jury trial, in favor of a franchisor charged with fraud and violations of the California Corporate Securities Act.

    Antitrust Cases:

    • Andy's BP v. Costco, et al. In a case alleging below cost pricing for gasoline, Norm won summary judgment in favor of The Kroger Co.
    • Helix Milling Co. v. Terminal Flour Mills Co.  In a Sherman Act Section One action, Norm obtained a $15 million judgment for the plaintiff.
    • Europacific Parts International v. American Honda Motor Co.  Norm obtained dismissal of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. in Section One and Section Two actions.

    Complex Cases:

    • Sethavanish v. Balance Bar Co. Norm successfully settled a nationwide consumer class action alleging misleading advertising in the sale of energy bars.
    • In Re Automobile Antitrust Cases I and II.  Norm won dismissal for Honda Motor Co., Ltd. on jurisdictional grounds in a series of California class action lawsuits, and obtained affirmance by the Court of Appeal.
    • In re State Savings and Loan Coordinated Cases.  In 22 state and federal court lender liability cases, Norm obtained either a dismissal or a favorable settlement in all cases on behalf of a mortgage broker charged with conspiracy with a savings and loan to engage in fraudulent real estate lending practices.
    • Garamendi v. First Capital Life Insurance Company.  Norm obtained court approval of the insurance commissioner’s rehabilitation plan for a failed life insurance company.  

    Government Litigation Cases:

    • In re City of Vallejo.  Norm was the lead litigation partner representing Vallejo in establishing its eligibility for Chapter 9 protection and obtaining approval for the City's rejection of its public employee contracts, all of which was upheld on appeal.
    • City and County of Sacramento v. All Persons Norm obtained a judgment in favor of the City and County of Sacramento in a contested validation action challenging the issuance of bonds to finance the Sacramento region’s light rail transit system.
    • Sacramento City Taxpayers’ Rights League v. City of Sacramento. Norm successfully defended the city of Sacramento against a taxpayer challenge to its acquisition of Arco Arena, the venue for the NBA’s Sacramento Kings.