Kevin is an experienced litigator who has been with SHB since 1993 and has practiced in California since 2000. He is an expert on California’s consumer protection laws and also has extensive experience in the defense of product liability and business litigation claims, and in opposing class actions. Many of these cases have involved federal preemption and the law applicable to claims for punitive damages. Kevin has drafted numerous successful motions and briefs and has argued before local and appellate judges in both state and federal court. He frequently speaks on topics such as consumer law, legal ethics and legal writing, among others.
Sample representations include the defense of:
- Numerous product liability actions and medical-monitoring class actions against Philip Morris USA and Lorillard Tobacco Co.
- Multi-district litigation against The Coca-Cola Company alleging that certain labeling and advertising claims misled consumers and violated FDA regulations, the California Unfair Competition Law and similar laws in other states.
- Many other cases involving the UCL and related claims, including cases against Toyota Motor Corporation, Sysco Corp., Interstate Bakeries, Kraft Foods, S&M NuTec, Sprint/Nextel Corp. and others.
- A multi-billion-dollar asbestos-reimbursement action against Philip Morris and Lorillard that included UCL claims. The action was ultimately dismissed.
Kevin’s legal commentaries have been featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, the Wall Street Journal, The Recorder, The Daily Journal, and the law journal The Green Bag. He is a contributor to Forbes.com and has also provided commentary for National Public Radio. Kevin writes about unusual legal news and issues on his website, Lowering the Bar (www.loweringthebar.net), which the ABA Journal recently named to its “Blawg 100” list for the second year in a row.
Kevin is admitted to practice before the state courts of California and Missouri; the U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Eastern, and Central Districts of California and the Western District of Missouri; and the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Eighth and Ninth Circuits.
1993 J.D., Georgetown University Law Center
1988 B.A., University of Kansas
Selected Business Publications
Mark Behrens, Kevin Underhill, Cary Silverman, Erin Sparkuhl & Christine Edwards, Asbestos Litigation “Magnet” Courts Alter Procedures: More Changes on the Horizon, 27:8 Mealey’s Litig. Rep.: Asbestos 1 (May 16, 2012). View
Kevin Underhill & Ashley Cornwall, Hill v. Roll International: Labels Matter, But Some More Than Others, SHB Class Action & Complex Litigation Working Paper, Summer 2011; reprinted in iCounsel Newsletter, a Bar Association of San Francisco Quarterly Publication for In-House Counsel, August 2011. View
Victor E. Schwartz, Mark A. Behrens & Kevin Underhill, Litigation Tourism Hurts Californians, 21:20 Mealey's Litig. Rep.: Asbestos 41, Nov. 15, 2006.
Kevin Underhill, Preferential Trial Settings, Summary Judgments Clash, San Francisco Daily Journal Extra, Dec. 22, 2003, at 7.
Mark A. Behrens & Kevin Underhill, A Call for Jury Patriotism: Why the Jury System Must Be Improved for Californians Called to Serve, 40 Cal. W. L. Rev. 135 (2003). View
Selected Humor Publications
A Year of Lowering the Bar, Green Bag Almanac & Reader (2009-2012).
Reasonable Consumer Would Know Crunch Berries Are Not Real, Judge Rules (and over 2,000 other posts), Lowering the Bar.net (2006-present).
Can You Deduct a Pirate Ransom?, Forbes.com, Jan. 24, 2012. View
You Say "Indefinite Military Detention of Citizens" Like It's a Bad Thing, Forbes.com, Dec. 7, 2011. View
International Community Extends No-Wig Zone to The Netherlands, Forbes.com, Apr. 22, 2011. View
President Receives Transparency Award in Closed Meeting, Forbes.com, Mar. 31, 2011. View
Florida Bill Would Make It a Felony to Take a Picture of a Farm, Forbes.com, Mar. 13, 2011. View
Illinois Golfer Not Liable for Errant Tee Shot, Forbes.com, Feb. 27, 2011. View
Kentucky Lawyers, Legislators Still Not Allowed to Duel, Forbes.com, Dec. 17, 2010. View
Millionaire Leaves Estate to Wombat Awareness Organization, Forbes.com, Sept. 21, 2010. View
United States Vs. One Moon Rock, Forbes.com, July 8, 2010. View
If Great Literary Works Had Been Written by Lawyers II, 4 Green Bag 2d 119, Autumn 2000.
If Great Literary Works Had Been Written by Lawyers, 2 Green Bag 2d 449, Summer 1999.