Darlene is an experienced complex and class action litigator, who defends companies in state and federal courts throughout the country against claims of consumer fraud, false advertising, breach of warranty, and other torts.
In addition to having significant experience in all phases of complex litigation, including pleadings challenges, discovery and deposition experience, fact, witness, and expert development, and dispositive motions, Darlene also maintains an active appellate practice, having drafted 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 is also a capable and competent negotiator and through effective defense strategies has been able to position her clients for voluntary dismissals, most recently on behalf of her clients, Ford Motor Company, in a federal class action filed in the District of Maryland (May 2023), and Nissan North America, Inc., in a federal class action filed in the Central District of California (September 2023).
Darlene is also proud of her pro bono work. 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. Darlene has also represented an adopting parent in adoption proceedings.
Southern California Super Lawyers recognized Darlene as a “Rising Star” from 2013 to 2018.
Aberdeen v. Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (Central District of California): 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.
Gertz v. Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (Central District of California): Defeated class action concerning allegedly defective fuel tanks and prevailed on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Reynante v. Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (Los Angeles Superior Court): 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.
Robbins v. Hyundai Motor of America (Central District of California): 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.
Rosenbaum v. Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (Eastern District of Michigan): 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.
Sonneveldt v. Mazda Motor of America, Inc. (Central District of California): Obtained summary judgment in certified class action lawsuit concerning allegedly defective coolant pumps in Mazda vehicles where the plaintiffs’ damages expert estimated damages to exceed $475 million.
Strama v. Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (Northern District of Illinois): 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.
Winzler v. Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (District of 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.
First Circuit's Decision Provides Guidance on Enforceable Website Terms, Conditions, Bloomberg BNA, August 2, 2018 (with Michael Mallow and Alexis Miller Buese).
Mazda Pump Class Action Sunk By Faulty Report, Judge Says, Law360, Feb. 23, 2023.
ICE Can't Conduct Surprise Raids On Cambodian Refugees, Law360, Jan. 4, 2019.