Caroline Van Ness is a litigation attorney whose practice focuses on commercial civil litigation in state and federal court on behalf of a broad and diversified client base. Ms. Van Ness has experience defending corporations and their officers and directors in all phases of civil and regulatory litigation, including matters alleging securities and consumer protection violations, breach of contract, and breach of fiduciary duties.

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

  • 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’s prohibition on unfair, deceptive and abusive acts or practices. 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;
  • Red Bull North America and its corporate parent in securing dismissal of a putative class action alleging violations of consumer protection laws based on product labeling;
  • a publicly listed “large cap” internet portal and content provider in an arbitral injunction action stemming from a contract dispute;
  • 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 county-owned hospital for alleged failure to provide qualified interpreters in violation of the ADA. The litigation prompted the U.S. DOJ to investigate the hospital and county, resulting in a global settlement requiring that the hospital provide effective communication to the deaf and hard of hearing, train its physicians and staff, and provide reports on its 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 based on alleged violations of housing and civil rights laws. The settlement, reached days before trial, provided plaintiffs with 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