Laura Hurtado, a partner in Pillsbury’s Litigation practice, represents entities and individuals in complex civil litigation. Practicing in both state and federal courts, Laura focuses on antitrust, unfair competition and education matters, with significant experience in class action litigation.

Laura’s practice includes defending companies in international cartel litigation, consumer class actions, securities class actions, and high-stakes contract disputes and defending universities in matters involving retaliation, tenure and university governance. Laura’s clients span the technology, healthcare, education, financial services, industrial and retail sectors.

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Prior to joining Pillsbury, Laura clerked for the Honorable William Alsup on the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Before that, she was a fellow at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, where she defended the rights of homeless individuals and immigrants through direct legal services, impact litigation, and policy advocacy. Between college at Yale and law school at Stanford, Laura was a paralegal in the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and worked in the Division’s Appellate Section and San Francisco office. 

Laura serves as Hiring Chair for Pillsbury’s San Francisco office.

Representative Experience

  • Defend a world-class teaching hospital in an antitrust action alleging price fixing and monopolization.
  • Defend a high-tech commercial bank in a lawsuit alleging fraud and negligence claims.
  • Defended a national fitness center chain in an unfair competition class action alleging a nationwide and California class. Negotiated a favorable confidential settlement on an individual basis and obtained dismissal.

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  • Defend a leading American capacitors manufacturer in antitrust class actions pending in the Northern District of California and in opt-out actions alleging defendants conspired to fix prices.
  • Defended a Japanese inductors manufacturer in an antitrust class action pending in the Northern District of California alleging defendants conspired to fix prices.
  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of a university on breach of contract claims and a fair procedure claim.
  • Defended a university in a breach of contract and intentional misrepresentation action brought by a former university coach.
  • Obtained dismissal on behalf of Hewlett Packard’s former CEO in Rule 10b-5 action.
  • Represented a building products manufacturer in a shareholder derivative suit and a class action concerning proxy disclosure issues. Obtained favorable settlement.
  • Represented a financial services firm in a judgement enforcement action under California’s Uniform and Fraudulent Transfer Act. Obtained issue and evidence sanctions, which drastically reduced client’s burden of proof at trial. Won bench trial and obtained order requiring defendant to repatriate millions of dollars to satisfy underlying judgment.
  • Brought anti-cybersquatting action on behalf of plaintiff and obtained emergency temporary restraining order preventing sale of internet domain name. Obtained defendant’s stipulation to preliminary and permanent injunctions and transfer of domain name to client.
  • Special Master
    • Served as a court-appointed Special Master over a fee dispute in an ERISA case.
  • Pro Bono
    • Represent a death row inmate in habeas corpus proceedings.

    • Represented journalists in a FOIA and Privacy Act lawsuit against FBI. Obtained release of records.

Professional Highlights

Honors & Awards

  • Recognized by Best Lawyers (published by BL Rankings LLC), Commercial Litigation (2021-2022)
  • Recognized by The Legal 500, U.S., Antitrust – Civil Litigation/Class Actions: Defense (2019-2020)
  • Named a Super Lawyers “Rising Star (2018-2019)

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  • Board & Community Service
    • United States District Court for the Northern District of California Historical Society (Board of Directors)
    • Association of Business Trial Lawyers (Board of Governors)
    • Bar Association of San Francisco Justice & Diversity Center (Board of Directors)
    • San Francisco La Raza Lawyers Association (Past President, Board of Directors)
    • Association of Business Trial Lawyers – Leadership Development Committee (Past Chair)
    • Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights (Member)
  • Speaking Engagements
    • Moderator, Federal Bar Association, “The Civil Rights Movement:  Lessons Learned – Reflections for the Future,” (February 2021)
  • Memberships
    • Bar Association of San Francisco
    • California Lawyers Association, Antitrust, UCL, and Privacy Section
    • American Bar Association
  • External Publications
    • Questionable Proceedings, Los Angeles Lawyer, Authors: Laura C. Hurtado, Sarah A. Good, 02/01/2017
    • Things to Consider Before Counseling During Deposition, Law360, Authors: Laura C. Hurtado, Stacie O. Kinser, Marley Degner, 10/03/2013
  • Firm Publications 
    • Circuit Split Cries Out for Supreme Court Review, Authors: Laura C. Hurtado, Sarah A. Good, 06/29/2017
    • Constitutionality of SEC’s Administrative Law Judges Headed to Supreme Court?, Authors: Laura C. Hurtado, Sarah A. Good, 12/29/2016
    • Spoofing Is No Joke: Prosecutors Clamp Down on High-Frequency Traders, Authors: Marc H. Axelbaum, Ildiko Duckor, André W. Brewster, Laura C. Hurtado, 01/04/2016
    • Is Proxy Disclosure Shareholder Litigation on Executive Compensation Finally Over?, Authors: Cindy V. Schlaefer, Laura C. Hurtado, Dorothy F. Kaslow, Sarah A. Good, 06/23/2014
    • Best Laid Plans Gone Awry: Practices for Rule 10b5-1 Trading Plans, Authors: Gabriella A. Lombardi, Cindy V. Schlaefer, Laura C. Hurtado, Brian M. Wong, Sarah A. Good, 05/09/2013

Education

  • J.D., Stanford Law School, 2009

    B.A., History, Yale University, 2004
    with distinction

Admissions

  • California

Courts

  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

    U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

Clerkships

  • The Hon. William Alsup, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, 2011 - 2012