Caroline Van Ness focuses on commercial civil litigation on behalf of a diversified client base. She has experience defending corporations, and their officers and directors, in all phases of civil and regulatory litigation, and has considerable experience in plaintiff-side commercial litigation.

Ms. Van Ness’ experience includes the following select representations:

  • Accuworx USA and Accuworx West in defeating a temporary restraining order in trade secrets and unfair competition litigation brought by Patriot Environmental Services;
  • CashCall, Inc. and its CEO in an action brought by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) involving a novel theory of liability under the Consumer Financial Protection Act. After a bench trial, the court rejected the CFPB’s demand for $253 million in restitution and injunctive relief, and awarded the minimum statutory civil penalties. This case was selected by the Daily Journal as one of its Top Defense Verdicts of 2018;
  • a transportation infrastructure company bringing an action for breach of fiduciary duty by a former executive, including successfully defeating an anti-SLAPP motion and securing a sanctions award against the defendants of over $61,000;
  • the co-founder and CEO of Krux Inc. in securing complete dismissal of an action alleging fraud in connection with a stock sale;
  • Intuitive Surgical Inc. with respect to products liability litigation in California;
  • CytRx Corporation and its directors and officers in multiple state and federal securities class actions and derivative actions, and an SEC investigation;
  • the former CEO of Qualstar Corporation in litigation alleging breaches of fiduciary duties; and
  • Toyota Motor Corporation and Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. in the first Judicial Council Coordinated Proceeding economic loss bellwether trial.

Ms. Van Ness also maintains an active pro bono practice, including the following select representations:

  • two deaf plaintiffs in an action against a hospital alleging failure to provide qualified interpreters in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The litigation prompted an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and resulted in a global settlement requiring that the hospital provide effective communication to the deaf and hard of hearing, as well as employee training on ADA compliance;
  • a prisoner alleging Section 1983 claims before the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, obtaining partial reversal; and
  • tenants of a residential hotel located near Skid Row in Los Angeles in an action against the building’s owner alleging violations of housing and civil rights laws. The settlement, reached days before trial, provided plaintiffs with substantial monetary compensation and comprehensive injunctive relief.
Ms. Van Ness is a contributing author to The Class Action Chronicle, a quarterly publication that provides an analysis of recent class action trends, along with a summary of class certification and Class Action Fairness Act rulings issued each quarter.



  • J.D., New York University School of Law, 2011
  • B.A., University of Chicago, 2006


  • California

Caroline Van Ness