Colin Kemp is a trial attorney in the law firm’s Litigation group and is located in the San Francisco office. He brings pragmatism, charisma, dedication and focus to his clients and their legal matters. In his trial practice, he understands how to articulate the law and the facts to create winning arguments, and he knows how to persuade the jury. “Mad skills,” is how one juror described his abilities, after the jury had delivered the record verdicts described below.
Most recently, Colin spent 11 weeks between January and August 2015, in trial in the case Victaulic Co. v. American Home Assurance Co. et al., RG12642929 (Alameda County Superior Court), an insurance coverage matter against three AIG entities for Victaulic Company, a pipe fitting manufacturer against one of the world’s largest insurance companies. First, Colin, and his colleagues Joseph Jean and Jeffrey Kiburtz, tried a five-week bench trial (the “Phase I trial”) concerning equitable issues (e.g., the existence and scope of the duty to defend; existence of duty to indemnify). In its Phase I statement of decision issued June 10, 2015, the court delivered Victaulic a resounding victory, including determining that AIG had a duty to defend and indemnify Victaulic in the underlying actions. The Phase I victory led to the Phase II jury trial.
In the Phase II jury trial – which lasted six weeks – Colin, again with Joe Jean and Jeff Kiburtz, obtained for Victaulic the largest jury verdict in Alameda County Superior Court since 2006: $55.3 million in contract, bad faith and punitive damages. In particular, the jury awarded $9.3 million in contract and bad faith damages on July 29, 2015. A week later, the jury awarded Victaulic $46 million in punitive damage. In addition to the record verdicts, Colin and his colleagues also obtained for Victaulic substantial sanctions against AIG in the litigation for the latter’s willful discovery abuses.
But Colin is not only a coverage trial attorney. Rather, a substantial portion of his practice involves representing companies in the life sciences, biotechnology and medical device fields in all types and phases of intellectual property disputes, whether with pre-litigation counseling and analysis, or prosecuting or defending against patent infringement and/or breach of license agreement actions. Colin was one of Pillsbury’s authors of the Practicing Law Institute’s treatise, "A Practical Guide to Life Sciences Companies, Commercializing and Protecting Innovation," and was a primary author of the treatise’s 12 chapters on patent litigation.
Colin’s IP practice extends beyond the life sciences sector—he handles all types of patent, trademark, trade dress, and unfair competition cases, as well as general business, real estate and securities litigation matters; and he has also conducted internal corporate and pre-litigation investigations. Although a tireless trial attorney who has tried cases to juries in both federal and state courts, Colin is also adept at mediating cases to early resolution.
Colin believes strongly in giving back to the community. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Justice & Diversity Center of The Bar Association of San Francisco – the JDC is devoted to advancing fairness and equality by providing pro bono legal services to low-income people and educational programs that foster diversity in the legal profession. He also maintains a strong pro bono litigation practice. For example, in 2011-2013, he prosecuted a civil rights action for an inmate in California’s Centinela State Prison against prison guards for a beating that occurred during routine cell sweeps.
When not in the office or chasing his kids, Colin most likely can be found in Tahoe, reliving his competitive snowboarding (Giant Slalom and Slalom) days.
- Super Lawyers, Rising Stars—Northern California (2010-2014)
Board Member, Justice & Diversity Center, The Bar Association of San Francisco