On the Docket: A Case for Diversity in the Courtroom
Most recently, Khai second-chaired a trial team that successfully defended Union Carbide Corporation, a subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company, in an asbestos product liability action involving novel claims for fraud and civil conspiracy. Following a trial that lasted more than two months, the jury returned a defense verdict on all claims against Union Carbide, continuing a string of victories for the company. Khai continues to represent Union Carbide as national trial counsel, trying cases and developing strategies for hundreds of product liability actions across the country.
Khai also recently first-chaired a two-week bench trial in an action against a school district arising out of its allocation of $417 million in bond funds. The plaintiffs, led by a taxpayer association, sought $90 million for construction of a new school. After navigating a year-long political imbroglio and defeating plaintiffs’ summary judgment motions following a defense that Judge Pressman described as “brilliantly argued,” the case proceeded to a trial that resulted in a decision in favor of the district on all claims. The case is now on appeal.
Khai also was one of the lead members of an Orrick team that defended PayPal, Inc. in an action alleging PayPal violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) by processing online payment transactions involving sales of alleged counterfeit goods. In prevailing on the motion to dismiss the claims against PayPal, Khai helped establish defenses that would avert future attempts to hold PayPal and other businesses liable under RICO for engaging in routine business transactions with their customers.
In the field of life settlements, Khai has counseled financial institutions on their management of life insurance assets and litigated a wide variety of disputes involving secondary and tertiary market transactions. He has prevailed in defending lenders in actions arising out of loans to fund premium payments, which have included claims for breach of contract and fraud, as well as under RICO, the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA), and California’s Unfair Competition Law (UCL). Khai also has defended insurer actions seeking to rescind policies and helped clients recover hundreds of millions of dollars in policy proceeds.
Khai has represented numerous clients pro bono, from indigent individuals to large public interest organizations, devoting hundreds of hours to matters involving juvenile justice and equal access to justice.
Khai co-authored the amicus brief filed on behalf of the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in the seminal case of Graham v. Sullivan, 540 U.S. 48 (2010), in which the United States Supreme Court held it unconstitutional to sentence a juvenile to life without parole for a non-homicide offense. The brief, which Justice Kennedy cited in the majority opinion, outlined developments in technology and brain science leading to conclusive findings that parts of the human brain responsible for controlling behavior continue to mature through late adolescence, making juveniles less culpable and more capable of reform. A few years later, the brief was updated and submitted in Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S. 460 (2012), in which the United States Supreme Court held that mandatory sentences of life without parole are unconstitutional for juvenile offenders.
Khai currently represents the NAACP Legal Defense Fund in various matters, including advising LDF on developments in criminal justice, economic and environmental justice, education, and political participation.
Other current or recent engagements include: