Brian Boone is a member of the Litigation & Trial Practice Group. Brian has represented clients before the U.S. Supreme Court, federal and state appellate and trial courts, and arbitration panels in cases (including many class actions) involving constitutional law, the antitrust laws, RICO, the False Claims Act, the healthcare laws, the securities laws, and state consumer-fraud laws. Recently, Brian and fellow Alston litigator Nowell Berreth convinced the U.S. Supreme Court to grant review in Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co., LLC v. Owens, No. 13-719 (S. Ct. October Term 2014)—a case in which the Court will clarify the standards for removing an action to federal court.
Brian started private practice in the Washington, D.C. office of a global law firm, where he focused on appellate and complex commercial litigation. Before that, Brian served as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Karen J. Williams of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. He graduated with high honors from Emory University School of Law, where he was the Sol I. Golden Scholar. Brian received his undergraduate degree, summa cum laude in political science and history, from King College.
Brian was named a 2014 North Carolina Super Lawyers “Rising Star” in Litigation.
- Successfully petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court in Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co., LLC v. Owens, No. 13-719 (S. Ct. October Term 2014). The Court will clarify the standards for removing a case from state court to federal court—an important issue for corporate defendants who face class actions and other litigation in state court.
- Winning summary judgment for a Fortune 500 company in a high-profile preemption and First Amendment challenge to a New York City regulation. Brian wrote the briefs that convinced the federal court to strike down the regulation as preempted by federal law.
- Defending Georgia’s business judgment rule before the Georgia Supreme Court.
- Defending a Fortune 100 managed care company against multiple nationwide class actions involving claims under ERISA, RICO, and the Sherman Act.
- First-chairing and winning multiple arbitrations for a Fortune 500 company.
- Representing a GPO trade association as amicus curiae before the U.S. Supreme Court in an antitrust case challenging the legality of above-cost market-share and volume discounts. Brian drafted the association’s amicus brief.
- Representing a global automobile manufacturer in one of the largest multidistrict litigations in history.
- Defending a municipal property tax against constitutional challenge before the U.S. Supreme Court. Brian drafted the city’s merits brief.
- Representing a large bank in consolidated, nationwide consumer class actions in federal court challenging checking-account overdraft fees.
- Representing a national satellite television provider in putative nationwide antitrust class actions challenging the National Hockey League’s and Major League Baseball’s systems for distributing telecasts of live games.
- Representing the nation’s largest independent securities regulator in preliminary injunction proceedings in North Carolina federal court. The court ruled in the regulator’s favor.
- Representing three former U.S. Attorneys General as amici curiae in a U.S. Supreme Court case addressing issues under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.
- Defending a Big Four accounting firm in a high-stakes professional liability action stemming from the failure of three Florida insurance companies.
- Obtaining a preliminary injunction in federal court for a Fortune 100 financial institution, stopping a rogue arbitration.
- Defending a federal officer against Bivens claims in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
- Petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court in a case raising novel issues under the Double Jeopardy Clause.
In April 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co., LLC v. Owens, No. 13-719 (U.S. Apr. 7, 2014). On October 7, 2014, the High Court heard oral argument in the case. Alston & Bird litigators Nowell Berreth, Brian Boone, and Jonathan Parente represent petitioners Dart Cherokee and Cherokee Basin in the Supreme Court proceedings.
October 7, 2014
During the third quarter of 2014, we again saw various federal courts interpret and apply Comcast with mixed results for class defendants. Some courts (like the Tenth Circuit) found that damages presented highly individualized issues precluding class-wide treatment, while others approved of proposed class-wide damages models. Arguments regarding inadequate representation were on the rise this quarter and posed hurdles for several putative classes.
This advisory discusses Reed Elsevier, Inc. v. Crockett, No. 12-3574 (6th Cir. Nov. 5, 2013), where the Sixth Circuit took a deep dive into the Supreme Court’s recent arbitration jurisprudence and continued the trend of pro-defendant arbitration decisions. Following the Supreme Court’s recent decision in AMEX, the circuit court held that the arbitration clause at issue did not authorize classwide arbitration because “the clause nowhere mention[ed] it.”
November 12, 2013
This advisory discusses the Ninth Circuit’s holding in Rodriguez v. AT&T Mobility Services LLC, No. 13-56149 (9th Cir. Aug. 27, 2013), where the court made it a little easier for defendants to remove cases under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA). Taking its cues from the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Standard Fire, the Ninth Circuit held that a defendant seeking to remove a case under CAFA needs to prove the amount in controversy only by a preponderance of the evidence, not by a legal certainty.
Rodriguez is good news for defendants.
September 5, 2013
Last term, in Comcast Corp. v. Behrend, 133 S. Ct. 1426 (2013), the Supreme Court made clear that class certification is inappropriate if the plaintiffs’ injury model does not fit their liability theory.
This advisory discusses how, two weeks ago, in In re Rail Freight Fuel Surcharge Antitrust Litigation, No. 12-7085 (D.C. Cir. Aug. 9, 2013), the D.C. Circuit applied Behrend to vacate class certification because the plaintiffs’ injury model was not tailored to their alleged harm. The ruling could be a sign of things to come.
August 19, 2013
The second quarter brought a number of high-profile and potentially game-changing class action decisions. In AMEX, the Supreme Court settled that class action waivers in arbitration clauses are enforceable, but in Oxford Health, the Court reminded us that it’s never safe to leave arbitration terms (such as a class waiver) to the arbitrator’s imagination. In Raskas and Roth, the Eighth and Ninth Circuits cleared the way for more removals under CAFA.
We cover those and other cases in this edition of Where the (Class) Action Is.
This advisory discusses how, in back-to-back rulings, the Eighth and Ninth Circuits cleared potential barriers to removal under the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA).
July 8, 2013
If you check your cellphone contract or your bank-account agreement, you’ll likely find an arbitration clause. That arbitration clause most likely includes a class-action waiver. Two years ago, in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, 131 S. Ct. 1740 (2011), the Supreme Court held that a class waiver in an arbitration clause is enforceable just like any other contractual provision. Last Thursday, in American Express Co. v. Italian Colors Restaurant (“AMEX”), No. 12-133 (June 20, 2013), the Court confirmed that it meant what it said in Concepcion and held that a class waiver is enforceable even if the costs of litigating a claim individually outstrip the plaintiff’s potential recovery.
AMEX could be the death knell to many class actions.
June 28, 2013
This is the first installment of Alston & Bird’s Class Action Round-Up—we’re calling it “Where the (Class) Action Is.” Each quarter, we will review class decisions across the spectrum of litigation—from antitrust to consumer fraud to labor and employment—and will report about unique or important rulings in short, easy-to-read summaries. Our goal is to provide you with a handy resource for following (and storing for future use) class cases across the full range of subject-matter areas. This isn’t meant to serve purely as a source of aggregated information, but rather to highlight those cases that reveal trends (or possible trends) in class litigation—and to do it with a distinctive Alston & Bird spin.
For the second time in two weeks, the Supreme Court delivered a win to class-action defendants. Two weeks ago, in Standard Fire Insurance Co. v. Knowles, No 11-1450, 568 U.S. ___ (March 19, 2013), the Court rejected a named plaintiff’s attempt to thwart removal to federal court by stipulating to damages below the Class Action Fairness Act’s $5 million jurisdictional threshold. Last week, in Comcast Corp. v. Behrend, No. 11-864, 569 U.S. ____ (March 27, 2013), the Court (in a 5-4 decision) made clear that the “rigorous analysis” first called for in General Telephone Co. v. Falcon, 457 U.S. 187 (1982) and reaffirmed in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 131 S. Ct. 2541 (2011) applies to damages issues, even when those issues overlap substantially (or even completely) with the merits.
April 2, 2013
January 15, 2013
- Admitted to practice in North Carolina, Georgia, and the District of Columbia and before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Fourth, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits, the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of North Carolina, and the Georgia Supreme Court.