Darlene devotes her litigation practice to defending clients in class action lawsuits filed in state and federal courts nationwide. She has significant experience defending economic loss class actions where plaintiffs claim that consumer products are defective or prone to premature failure and where marketing or business practices are challenged as being false, misleading or unfair to consumers. Darlene is also an experienced appellate attorney, having drafted numerous winning appellate briefs on behalf of her clients and prevailing in the Sixth, Ninth, and Tenth U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal and the California Court of Appeals. Darlene maintains a broad-based practice and her clients include automotive manufacturers and distributors, automotive finance companies, personal care products manufacturers, and retailers. 

Darlene is experienced in all stages of litigation, from developing litigation and discovery strategy, drafting key motions, taking depositions, engaging and working with experts, to mediation and arbitration. She also has managed large-scale document review projects in class action and MDL lawsuits. Darlene has also guided clients through resolving and settling putative class action lawsuits on both class-wide and non-class bases where appropriate. 

At her previous firm, Darlene was co-lead litigation counsel in a pro bono case where she and her team obtained a temporary restraining order preventing the federal government from deporting Cambodian nationals subject to removal orders without due process. Thereafter, Darlene briefed and successfully argued for the nationwide class certification of Cambodian nationals residing in the United States. 

Southern California Super Lawyers recognized Darlene as a “Rising Star” from 2013 to 2018.


Representative Matters

Reynante v. Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (Cal. Super. Ct., Los Angeles Cty.) | Obtained denial of class certification in case alleging misrepresentations of fuel economy in marketing materials, which was affirmed on appeal by the California Court of Appeals.

Rosenbaum v. Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (E.D. Mich.) | Obtained early dismissal of class action challenging the mile-range representation of plug-in hybrid vehicles, which was affirmed on appeal by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. 

Cordero v. American Honda Finance Corp. (Cal. Super. Ct., San Mateo Cty.) | Represented the captive finance company in a class action lawsuit alleging violations of California’s Rees-Levering Motor Vehicle Sales Finance Act, and assisted client with developing internal program for self-administration of class settlement.

Davidson and Jonah v. Kimberly-Clark (N.D. Cal.) | Defended manufacturer of personal care products in putative class action lawsuits concerning allegedly false “flushable” claims. Plaintiffs filed for voluntary dismissal of actions.

Strama v. Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (N.D. Ill.) | Defeated class action concerning excessive oil consumption in RAV4 vehicles where court held that Toyota’s warranty extension provided the same relief sought in litigation, leaving the court without subject matter jurisdiction.

Robbins v. Hyundai Motor of America (C.D. Cal.) | Represented Hyundai in a class action challenging the calculation of the repurchase price under California's Lemon Law; resulted in single-plaintiff resolution and voluntary dismissal of the action after key rulings on motion to dismiss.

Gertz v. Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (C.D. Cal) | Defeated class action concerning allegedly defective fuel tanks and prevailed on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Aberdeen v. Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (C.D. Cal.) | Obtained denial of class certification concerning the alleged concealment of information pertaining to the fuel economy rating for Prius vehicles, which was affirmed on appeal by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Winzler v. Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (D. Utah) | Defeated class action alleging defective engine control modules in Corolla vehicles, and prevailed on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit where Court concluded that the appeal had been mooted by Toyota’s implementation of a safety recall to address the defect.

Publications

First Circuit's Decision Provides Guidance on Enforceable Website Terms, Conditions, Bloomberg BNA, August 2, 2018 (with Michael Mallow and Alexis Miller Buese).