Gordon is a seasoned trial lawyer with three decades of experience trying and arbitrating cases for Fortune 500 companies, banks, trustees, individuals, and investment advisors. These cases include securities, trusts & estates, probate, employment, unfair competition, trade secret, and personal injury cases in court and arbitration. Gordon has been recognized every year since 2007 as a Northern California SuperLawyer for his work in securities litigation, since 2012 by Best Lawyers for his work in products liability litigation, and he has been peer rated AV Preeminent (the highest rating possible) by Martindale Hubble for more than 15 years. Gordon has successfully handled hundreds of cases and tried or arbitrated more than 80 cases to conclusion.
Gordon graduated from St. Mary’s College in 1988 where he served as student body vice president and played four years of collegiate rugby. He graduated in December 1991 from the University of San Francisco School of Law. While at USF, Gordon was chosen by a panel of judges that included California Supreme Court Justice Ming Chin, Ninth Circuit Judge Cecil F. Poole, and USDC for the Northern District of California Vaughn R. Walker as the winner of the school-wide moot court competition.
Obtained a complete defense award in a FINRA arbitration on behalf of a national broker-dealer in a claim arising out of the alleged delay in settling a prime broker trade of rights on the London Stock Exchange. In addition to obtaining a defense award, the arbitrators awarded the client all of its defense fees on a contractual indemnification claim against a registered investment advisor who placed the trade.
Obtained a complete defense a defense award in a FINRA arbitration on behalf of a national broker-dealer in a claim arising from the Claimant’s active trading in a meme stock during the meme stock craze of 2021.
Represented a CEO and beneficiary in a trust contest concerning a successful family business.
Represented two siblings who are beneficiaries of their parent’s trust in an ongoing breach of fiduciary duty and trustee removal petition and related corporate governance disputes.
Defended a 13-day bench trial for a national insurance brokerage against unfair competition and misappropriation of trade secret claims brought by a competitor. The court dismissed the trade secret case at the conclusion of the competitor’s case, and ultimately awarded the competitor damages representing fewer than 6 cents on the dollar of the amount requested in closing.
Prosecuted a breach of fiduciary duty and wrongful termination claims in trust-related litigation involving a 9-figure trust that owned a regional bank.
Defended a FINRA registered representative who was being investigated for alleged false statements on his Form U-4 and U-5. The matter closed with no penalty, fine or censure.
Prosecuted a trust claim on behalf of two beneficiaries resulting in a temporary restraining order against the trustee who subsequently resigned after allegedly squandering $1.9 million of trust funds.
Obtained a defense award in a FINRA arbitration on behalf of a national broker-dealer in a claim arising from a public customer’s substantial investment in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac preferred stock. In addition to ruling in favor of the broker-dealer, the FINRA arbitration panel also recommended expungement of the claim from the professional records of the two licensed professionals named in the claim.
Litigated a multi-million dollar trust dispute on behalf of two young adult beneficiaries who alleged the trustee mismanaged trust investments and was refusing to pay school tuitions. The case was resolved in a settlement for the beneficiaries that included the trustee’s resignation and replacement with a professional fiduciary.
As lead counsel, Gordon obtained a defense award in a AAA arbitration on behalf of one of the largest banks in the United States in a $3.7 million claim arising from allegations that the bank’s trust/investment management department had breached its fiduciary duty by over-concentrating an irrevocable trust’s multi-million investment portfolio in market linked structured notes and other risky investments.
As lead counsel, Gordon obtained a defense award on behalf of a broker-dealer in a FINRA arbitration in San Francisco arising from alleged losses from alleged mismanagement of a publicly traded municipal bond mutual fund. In addition to ruling in the client’s favor, the arbitration panel also recommended expungement of the claim from the professional records of the broker-dealer’s licensed employees, including the mutual fund’s manager.
As lead counsel, Gordon led a team that obtained a directed verdict/dismissal on behalf of a Wall Street firm in a FINRA arbitration mass action in San Francisco arising from a failed investment in a high-tech Silicon Valley start-up.
University of San Francisco School of Law, J.D., 1991
St. Mary’s College, B.A., 1988
Super Lawyers, Securities Litigation, 2007 – 2023
Best Lawyers, Product Liability Litigation, 2012 – 2023
California State Bar Association
SIFMA Compliance & Legal Society
Contra Costa Bar Association
Advisory board of Santa Maria Catholic Church in Orinda
Advisory board of St. Perpetua School in Lafayette
Advisory board of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the Oakland-East Bay
“Communications with the Public for Broker-Dealers,” National Society of Compliance Professionals, San Francisco, California, March 2014.
“Arbitration Practitioners Workshop: Strategies from the Front Lines” Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) Law & Compliance Annual Seminar, Phoenix, Arizona, March 2013.
“Complex Products: Appropriate Cautions and Considerations,” National Association of Compliance Professionals, Chicago, Illinois, April 2012.
“Arbitration Practitioners Workshop: Strategies from the Front Lines,” SIFMA Law & Compliance Annual Seminar, Miami, Florida, March 2012.
“The New Fiduciary Standard,” American Conference Institute, New York, New York, March 2011.
“Arbitration in the Current Environment,” SIFMA Law & Compliance Annual Seminar, Phoenix, Arizona, March 2011.