Creative Representation | Expert Litigation

Patrick M. Ryan Named 2024 Leading Commercial Litigator

January 24, 2024

San Francisco, CAPatrick M. Ryan was named Leading Commercial Litigator by the Daily Journal. Since he joined the high-end litigation boutique Bartko LLP, formally operating under the name Bartko Zankel Bunzel & Miller P.C., Patrick has ascended to become its co-managing partner, member of the firm’s executive committee, head of litigation, and chair of the firm’s antitrust and IP protection groups.

The Daily Journal highlighted Patrick’s representation of Uber Technologies, Inc. For Uber, late in 2023, Patrick and the Bartko team scored a major win in trade secret, tort, and breach of contract case entitled Bama Commercial Leasing LLC v. Uber Technologies, Inc., CGC-19-579763 (S.F. Super. Ct., filed Oct. 3, 2019).

Patrick, as quoted in the article, stated: “We took a sweeping trade secret, fraud and breach of contract case and through tenacious motion practice whittled it down to a tiny breach of contract case.” Patrick and his team greatly limited the remaining breach of contract claims by winning a rarely granted Section 437c(f) Motion for Summary Adjudication on Issues of Duty arising from a contract. Bama Commercial Leasing LLC v. Uber Technologies, Inc., CGC-19-579763 (S.F. Super. Ct., filed Oct. 3, 2019). In early December 2023, “within one month of Uber’s victory on that motion, the plaintiff dismissed its entire case with prejudice.”

Patrick said tenacity and meticulous trial preparation are key. “When your adversary knows you’re always working toward trial, it gives you leverage and keeps the pressure on. Most litigators aren’t really trial lawyers—they try to win on the papers because trial scares them. So, it’s a natural advantage when you really want to get into the courtroom. People sense it.”

On the plaintiff side, Patrick represents numerous clients in major business, antitrust, and intellectual property cases. For example, in a large antitrust case that Patrick filed against numerous insurance companies—VHS Liquidating Trust, et al. v. Blue Cross Blue Shield Ass’n, et al., Alameda Cnty. Superior Court, Case No. RG21106600—the federal court remanded the case back to California state court following Patrick’s motion to remand. Since returning to California state court, the Court denied multiple attempts by some of the largest law firms in the world to dismiss and limit the case. In that case, Patrick and the Bartko team represent hospitals in massive landmark antitrust action, alleging the defendants illegally agreed to restrain competition by allocating markets into exclusive territories to sell health insurance and administer benefits, boycotting providers, and fixing prices. The defendants were initially represented by Kirkland & Ellis, but following remand, defendants engaged Cravath and Mayer Brown, who filed a demurrer, which the Court overruled on all but one claim with leave to amend, and rejected Defendants’ motion to strike, preserving Plaintiffs’ alleged damages period. Subsequently, the defendants filed a second demurrer and motion to strike and that Order was a huge victory in favor of Plaintiffs, leaving intact all of the causes of action.

In another case, Patrick represents one of the world’s leading graphic designers, Nicky Laatz, who sued online marketplace Zazzle Inc. for allegedly misappropriating her typeface design and software and reaping sales worth millions of dollars with zero compensation to her. In that case, the Court rejected Zazzle’s vigorous efforts to dismiss Plaintiffs’ claims for breach of contract, fraud, and copyright infringement, which are all proceeding. Laatz et al. v. Zazzle Inc. et al., 5:22-cv- 04844 (N.D. Cal., filed July 17, 2023), Order Denying Zazzle’s Motion to Dismiss.

More recently, Patrick said that recent favorable court rulings on his team’s motion for summary judgment confirm that the “Blooming Elegant” set of fonts at issue is included within the terms of the license his client had with the defendant (Laatz v. Zazzle, et al., 5:22-cv- 04844 (N.D. Cal., filed Jan. 9, 2024), Amended Order Partially Granting Summary Judgment). As quoted in the article, Patrick noted that: “This is a huge victory for Nicky because it takes a major issue off the trial table and it will prevent the jury from getting confused about what could have been a complex issue at trial.” Trial is set for 2025.

In addition to being named Leading Commercial Litigator in the United States, Patrick has received numerous accolades and awards over the years. For example, Patrick has been ranked as a Super Lawyer since 2010. In 2023, Patrick was ranked as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in California and one of the Top IP Lawyers in California. In awarding this honor to Patrick, the Daily Journal quoted him as saying: “I like to think not just outside the box, I like to use tactics from another dimension.” This creative approach is one of the keys to Bartko’s success. Prior to that, on October 7, 2020, Patrick was named Top Trade Secret Lawyer for 2020 by the California Daily Journal. One of the cases highlighted in that article was Patrick’s $845 Million judgment for one of the world’s leading supplier of semiconductor manufacturing equipment. This was one of the largest trade secret victories in history, resulting in the Bartko firm being ranked as Number 3 in the Top 100 Verdicts in the United States—published by The National Law Journal (June 2019)—and having the highest ranked intellectual property victory in the United States. In addition, the California Daily Journal’s Top Verdicts publication named Patrick’s case the highest Intellectual Property and Trade Secrets victory in California for 2019 and the Number 2 highest judgment overall for 2019.

About Bartko LLP

Bartko, established more than 45 years ago, is a boutique law firm specializing in national and international complex litigation and investigations, as well as real estate and franchising transactions. It is a 45+ lawyer firm dedicated to strategic cutting-edge representation of clients in California, nationally, and internationally. Bartko’s practice areas include representing both plaintiffs and defendants in complex business, intellectual property, antitrust and competition claims, trade secret litigation, anticounterfeiting, complex employment litigation, employment/labor strategic advice and collective bargaining, and real estate litigation, among others.

Contact: Patrick M. Ryan | pryan@bartkolaw.com | 415.291.4540