Courtney L. Baird serves as outside counsel to businesses handling their compliance and risk management issues and prosecution and defense of litigation. She has extensive experience in complex litigation, including class actions, consumer claims (Consumer Legal Remedies Act, Unfair Competition and False Advertising Law), products liability, contract, tort, and the False Claims Act. Her strategic approach, substantive experience and ability to cost-effectively optimize her clients' business and legal objectives has led to her representation of companies across the United States and internationally.
Ms. Baird has a secondary focus on aspects of white-collar criminal defense and related parallel proceedings in addition to her emphasis on business litigation. She has experience representing individuals and entities in matters involving government contract fraud, securities fraud, criminal tax matters, and criminal environmental violations.
Ms. Baird is licensed to practice in California and Nevada. She represents clients in all forums, including federal and state courts and arbitration. She has been involved in hundreds of arbitrations and advises businesses on all arbitration-related issues. She serves as a pro bono Arbitrator for the Arbitration Committee of the San Diego County Bar Association and was a speaker at the Annual National Academy of Arbitrators Conference.
Ms. Baird has been recognized as one of San Diego's Best of the Bar, San Diego Super Lawyer Rising Star, San Diego's Young Influentials and Best Young Attorneys in San Diego County. She is the Chair of the Civil Litigation Section of the San Diego County Bar Association. Ms. Baird has served on the Board of Governors for the Association of Business Trial Lawyers, is the past Office Chair for the firm’s Women's Impact Network for Success and is the current hiring Partner for the Firm's San Diego office Summer Associate Program.
- Representation of private equity firm in serial claims alleging alter-ego liability. Obtained defense verdicts in each of the cases.
- Representation of multiple corporate defendants and individual in federal court action involving claims of breach of contract, unfair competition, breach of loyalty, theft of trade secrets, and interference with contractual relations.
- Representation of national customer service business with respect to claims of breach of duty of loyalty, interference with contract and prospective economic advantage, and unfair competition law against former executives of company.
- Representation of general contractor in state court action involving claims of unfair competition, contractual interference, and unfair business practices.
- Representation of global convenience store franchisor in obtaining temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against franchisee of numerous franchised stores in federal court action involving claims for breach of contract, fraud, trademark infringement, and violation of RICO.
- Representation of international cosmetic manufacturer in a complex state court business dispute regarding purchase of assets and formation and governance of business. The matter involved claims of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duties, misrepresentation and self-dealing, and a cross-complaint. Obtained a judgment in client's favor.
- Representation of the world's largest producer of standard welding equipment in complex products liability and toxic tort litigation involving allegations of negligence, strict liability, failure to warn, design defect and fraudulent concealment. Obtained settlement that client found favorable and dismissal of action with prejudice through the filing of a motion for summary judgment on the issue of general causation.
- Representation of scientific clinical-development services corporation in action arising out of clinical drug trials involving causes of action for breach of contract, common counts, unjust enrichment, and conversion. Negotiated a dismissal and settlement that client found favorable.
- Representation of a top 5 franchisor in federal court franchise termination against former franchisees involving claims of violation of RICO, fraud, breach of contract, unfair competition, and trademark infringement. Obtained outcome client found favorable.
- Representation of commercial real estate investor in fraud action against developer. Obtained million dollar settlement on behalf of client and possession of the property.
- Representation of document scanning and data storage company in complex federal court shareholders' action involving claims and counterclaims for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, securities fraud, and fraud. Negotiated settlement that client found favorable and dismissal of the action.
- Representation of cannabis company that was victim of misappropriation of funds by its payroll company. Obtained recovery for company.
- Representation of company in consumer class action involving claims under the Unfair Competition Law and Consumer Legal Remedies Act. Ms. Baird compelled the matter to arbitration and as a threshold matter in arbitration obtained an award defeating the class action.
- Representation of marketer and seller of supplement products with respect to a consumer class action alleging mislabeling of nutritional information.
- Representation of national theme park in federal court consumer class action alleging violation of the Song-Beverly Credit Card Act, which prohibits the collection of personal information from credit card customers. Obtained a dismissal with prejudice at the preliminary stage of the litigation.
- Representation of university in state court consumer class action alleging violations of the Unfair Competition Law, False Advertising Law, and Consumer Legal Remedies Act. Defeated class certification by demonstrating that the plaintiffs could not prove the necessary elements for class certification. The case then proceeded on an individual basis in state court and was resolved on terms the university found favorable.
- Representation of college in state court wage and hour class action. Successfully defeated the class action claims by obtaining a determination that the parties' arbitration agreement did not authorize class arbitration and the individual claims were compelled to arbitration.
- Representation of company in state court consumer class action. Prevailed in compelling the case to arbitration. In arbitration, defeated class certification. After class certification was denied the plaintiffs filed a motion to vacate and a motion for reconsideration in state court. Successfully opposed both motions. Thereafter, the remaining plaintiffs pursued their individual claims in arbitration. Prevailed on a dispositive motion to dismiss a substantial portion of the plaintiffs' causes of action and a former employer of the company who had been named as a defendant.
- Representation of cosmetology school in federal court wage and hour class action in which students claimed they were employees. Defeated the class through a motion for summary judgment and obtained dismissal with prejudice in school's favor.
- Representation of company in state court wage and hour class action. Obtained order compelling arbitration and obtained dispositive ruling in arbitration that the case could not proceed on a class basis, including the plaintiffs' alleged Private Attorneys General Act claims.
- Representation of institution in Consumer Legal Remedies Act and Unfair Competition Law class action which alleged misrepresentations in marketing of services in which consumers sought damages, including full-refunds, restitution and injunctive relief.
- Representation of national bank in federal court action involving claims for violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and the California Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act. Obtained dismissal and judgment in bank's favor through a motion to dismiss and successfully opposed plaintiffs' motion for relief from the judgment.
- Representation of company in state court consumer action with over 30 individual plaintiffs alleging claims of fraud, negligence, and violations of the Consumer Legal Remedies Act and Unfair Competition Law. Compelled case to arbitration and successfully opposed plaintiffs' writ. Thereafter, managed over 30 individual consumer arbitrations before the American Arbitration Association and obtained favorable results for the Company.
- Representation of corporation and its subsidiary in complex consumer claim involving multiple claimants in which plaintiffs sought millions of dollars in alleged damages based on claims sounding in contract and tort. Obtained an award in her clients' favor, including an award of attorneys' fees and cost, in which the trier of fact specifically determined that Ms. Baird's representation of her clients in the matter was critical to the result achieved.
- Representation of national bank in federal court action involving violations of the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, and negligence. Through enforcement of an indemnity agreement and dispositive motion, achieved a result that the bank found favorable.
- Representation of company in consumer action alleging claims under the Consumer Legal Remedies Act and Unfair Competition Law with respect to alleged false advertising. Through a dispositive motion, obtained a judgement in her client's favor.
- Representation of company in consolidated consumer arbitration alleging claims for breach of contract, fraud, and violations of consumer protection laws. Obtained award in client's favor, including an award of attorneys' fees.
- Representation of DoD contractor in ongoing federal criminal investigation regarding fraudulent billing practices in sales to the Navy.
- Representation of CFO of private equity fund in criminal tax investigation in the Northern District of California conducted by the Tax Division of DOJ.
- Representation of former executive of DoD contractor in federal criminal investigation of fraudulent billing practices being conducted in the Southern District of California.
- Representation of environmental services company in federal criminal investigation of possible illegal transportation of hazardous waste materials.
- Representation of federal government contractor in ongoing civil litigation alleging violations of the whistle-blower provisions of the Civil False Claims Act.
- Representation of hotel management company that was victim of misappropriation of funds by a former manager. After obtaining a TRO tying up the defendant’s assets, obtained a recovery of the full amount stolen, as well as client's legal fees and investigative costs.
- Representation of former DoD contractor in the sale of its business and disputes arising therefrom.
- Representation of Taiwanese biotechnology company regarding potential claims against competitor for misappropriation of trade secrets.
Defense of Class Actions
Defense of Consumer Claims
White Collar Criminal Defense and Fraud Litigation
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
- U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada
- University of San Diego School of Law, J.D., with Honors, 2004
- San Diego State University, B.A., with Distinctions, 2000
- Duane Morris LLP
- Partner, 2014-present
- Associate, 2006-2013
- Cozen O'Connor
- Associate, 2004-2006
- American Bar Association
California State Bar
- Litigation Section
San Diego County Bar Association
- Chair, Civil Litigation Section, 2018 and 2019
- Vice-Chair, Civil Litigation Section, 2017
- Serves as an Arbitrator for Fee Arbitration Committee
- Alternative Dispute Resolution Section
- Business/Corporate Law Section
- Association of Business Trial Lawyers
- Served on the Board of Governors
- Lawyers Club of San Diego
- Duane Morris Women's Impact Network
- Served as Office Chair
- Office Chair for Duane Morris Summer Associate Program
Honors and Awards
- Honored as one of the Best of the Bar by the San Diego Business Journal
- Honored as San Diego's Young Influentials, which recognizes San Diego County's young successful business leaders
- Honored as one of the Best Young Attorneys in San Diego County
- Honored as San Diego Super Lawyer, Rising Star
Co-author, "New Rules in 2019: Civil Procedure Changes," San Diego Lawyer Magazine, Jan/Feb 2019; reprinted in Association of Business Trial Lawyers’ Report, Spring 2019
- Chapter Author, Recent Trends in Class Action Lawsuits, Thomson Reuters Westlaw, 2015
- Contributing Chapter Author, Privacy, Transparency, Legitimacy, Proceedings of the Sixty-Eighth Annual Meeting, National Academy of Arbitrators, 2015