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Kent Bronson

Partner

Overview

Kent A. Bronson is an experienced and aggressive litigator who has been representing injured stockholders, consumers, and small businesses in complex commercial litigation for over two decades. Mr. Bronson’s practice areas include stockholder class action and derivative litigation, mergers & acquisition litigation, consumer fraud litigation, and others.

Mr. Bronson is based in New York and resides in central New Jersey. He has been involved in litigation in state and federal courts across the country, resulting  in the recovery of hundreds of millions of dollars, significant corporate governance reforms, and other important benefits for injured stockholders, consumers, and small businesses.

Notable Cases

Mr. Bronson is currently involved in prosecuting complex commercial cases against, among others: E*Trade Securities (in federal court in New York, on behalf of a proposed class of short-trader stockholders using E*Trade’s platforms, for E*Trade’s charging  of “shockingly high” undisclosed interest rates on short sales of so-called “hard-to-borrow securities”); and International Business Machines (IBM) (in California federal court and New York State court, on behalf of proposed classes of IBM sales representatives who were allegedly falsely told by IBM that their sales commissions would be “uncapped”).

Recently, Mr. Bronson was counsel for a group of Israeli entrepreneurs and their app development company against tech behemoth Google in a tort case in Manhattan in the New York Supreme Court, Commercial Division.  In Callsome Solutions Inc. v. Google LLC (652386/2014), plaintiff alleged Google unfairly banned its product from the Google Play Store under false pretenses, and committed tortious interference and trade libel.  After the complaint was sustained in 2015, Google improperly concealed the vast majority of its substantive documents in the case from plaintiff’s view with abusive “Attorney’s Eyes Only” (AEO) designations, severely delaying the progress of the litigation. Mr. Bronson successfully fought Google’s discovery abuse, obtaining critical and unprecedented court rulings sanctioning Google for its conduct, calling out Google’s “chutzbah” and imposing almost $200,000 in fees and expenses. This was reported on Law360 at Google Sanctioned For Overdesignating Docs As Private and NY Judge Calls Out Google’s ‘Chutzbah’ In Sanctions Order. The parties ultimately resolved the case in 2020 on a confidential basis.

Mr. Bronson was co-lead counsel in N.J. Carpenters Pension Fund v. infoGROUP, Inc. (No. 5334-VCN, 2014) in the Court of Chancery of Delaware, a breach of fiduciary duty action involving the 2010 acquisition of infoGROUP, Inc. for approximately $650 million by a private equity fund. Among other things, Mr. Bronson researched and wrote an amended complaint ultimately sustained by the Chancery Court in a groundbreaking ruling that the majority stockholder/company founder’s desire or need for imminent liquidity raised a strong inference that he had a “disabling” conflict-of-interest in voting on a merger that would give him a $100-million-plus cash infusion, and also that the founder dominated most of the other directors such that their approval of the merger could not be deemed independent. This case achieved a remarkable $13 million common fund recovery for the benefit of the class of injured non-insider stockholders.

Mr. Bronson was one of the co-lead counsel in In re Hansen Medical, Inc. S’holder Litigation (16-CV-294288) in California Superior Court, Santa Clara County, which challenged the fairness of the 2016 sale of Hansen Medical and alleged that it was the product of a severely conflicted and flawed sales process resulting in Hansen’s minority stockholders receiving an inadequate price for their Hansen Medical stock.  The litigation resulted in a $7.5 million settlement for the benefit of Hansen’s minority stockholders.

Mr. Bronson was co-lead counsel in City of Miami Police Relief & Pension Fund v. Dreier, et. al., and The Ryland Group, Inc. (BC411143) in California Superior Court, Los Angeles County, a stockholder derivative action for breach of fiduciary duty and other claims against the directors of homebuilder/mortgage lender The Ryland Group, Inc., a Maryland company, arising from systematic Housing & Urban Development (“HUD”) regulatory violations in connection with issuance of sub-prime mortgages in the 2000s (the type of conduct resulting in the national housing bubble and subsequent nationwide financial crisis).  The plaintiff’s complaint, painstakingly researched and crafted by Mr. Bronson, was at the time only the second complaint ever to survive dismissal under the onerous demand futility standard set by Maryland law. This case resulted in a $1 million recovery for the company as well as significant corporate governance reforms for the benefit of the company and its stockholders.

Mr. Bronson is a Thomson-Reuters Super Lawyers® selection from 2013-2020.

Other noteworthy past cases in which Mr. Bronson has been involved:

Common Law Settlement Csl. v. Travelers (In re Johns-Manville), a successful action before the Hon. Burton R. Lifland in the Southern District of New York Bankruptcy Court to enforce settlement agreements requiring Travelers insurance companies to pay over $500 million to asbestos plaintiffs nationwide.  Judge Lifland’s decision, reported at 440 B.R. 604, was ultimately upheld by a unanimous panel of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which refused an en banc review.  The case was reported on at Law360.

In re Biovail Corp. Securities Litigation (03-8917), a class action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York alleging that the Canadian pharmaceutical firm violated federal securities laws by issuing a series of false and misleading statements about its financial results relating to the launch of hypertension drug Cardizem LA (“CLA”), resulting the artificial inflation of the market price of its common stock and damage to Biovail stockholders.  The case resulted in a cash settlement of $138 million for injured stockholders (at the time the second largest involving a Canadian issuer) and the addition of important corporate governance changes.

In re PLX Tech. Stockholders Litigation (9880-VCL) in the Delaware Court of Chancery, alleging that the board of directors of PLX breached fiduciary duties in connection with the sale of the company, and aiding and abetting claims against a financial advisor and private equity fund involved in the sale.  The case resulted in a partial settlement of over $14 million for a class of injured stockholders

In re Coordinated Title Insurance Litigation (009600/2003) in New York Supreme Court, Commercial Division (Nassau County) charging eight insurers for overbilling New York homeowners for title insurance in refinance transactions. The case resulted in a $31.5 million settlement, providing complete recovery to homeowners with valid claims.  At the time this was reportedly the largest consumer class action settlement in Nassau County history. In approving the settlement, presiding Justice Ira Warshawsky praised the prosecution of the case as “lawyering of the highest quality.”

In re Providian Financial Securities Litig. (MDL 1301) in the  U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, representing multi-billion dollar retirement fund Xerox (GB) Pension Scheme in a securities fraud class action alleging that a credit card company’s inflated profits with illegal consumer charges. The case resulted in a $38 million settlement, with the Court commenting on the “extremely high quality” and “skill and efficiency” of plaintiffs’ counsel’s work.

Mr. Bronson was a research editor for the University of Pittsburgh Law Review and was awarded the University of Pittsburgh School of Law Dean’s Scholarship.

Mr. Bronson is admitted to practice in New York State Courts, the U. S. District Courts for the Southern, Eastern, and Northern Districts of New York, and the U. S. Courts of Appeals for the Second and Tenth Circuits. Mr. Bronson has been admitted pro hac vice in numerous other state and federal courts across the country.

Mr. Bronson served as the Panel Administrator for the 2012 New York County Democratic Committee Independent Judicial Screening Panel, responsible for evaluating and reporting on candidates for civil court and surrogate’s court judgeships.

Practice Areas

Education

  • B.A., State University of New York at Binghamton, 1994
  • J.D., University of Pittsburgh, 1998

Bar Admissions

  • State of New York, 1999
  • U. S. District Court for the Southern District of New York,
  • U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York,
  • U. S. District Courts for the Western District of New York,
  • U. S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit,
  • U. S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit,

Awards

  • Super Lawyers, 2013-2020

Professional Activities

  • Served as the Panel Administrator for the 2012 New York County Democratic Committee Independent Judicial Screening Panel