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March Gladiator of the Month: David Knotts

March 2017

In honor of our Gladiators video and being referred to as gladiators in the courtroom, this monthly series highlights a Robbins Geller attorney who has shown exceptional merit in a case or has a historical track record of success.

Record-breaking. Stunning. Historic. Each one of these words can be applied to three impressive cases that partner David Knotts has recently litigated, Onyx, Websense and Rural/Metro. With all three cases being notable in some way, it should come as no surprise that Knotts is the Gladiator of the Month for March.

Late last year, Knotts played an integral role in making history in the Onyx Pharmaceuticals $30 million settlement, which was believed at the time to set the record for the largest post-merger common fund settlement in California state court history. Reached just days before a hearing on defendants’ motion for summary judgment was set to take place, the settlement came after three years of hard-fought litigation. A mere three weeks after the Onyx settlement was approved, Knotts and the Robbins Geller litigation team broke its own record by settling Websense, Inc. for $40 million.

“In my view, the unprecedented results of these two cases really speaks to the risk that we undertook when litigating these cases. Neither Websense nor Onyx was a case with a clearly established path to liability at the outset, but we dug into the facts and found that the rose-colored descriptions in the public documents regarding both transactions omitted crucial details,” Knotts remarked regarding the two cases. “It is gratifying to know that our hard work paid dividends to stockholders, especially in historic fashion.”

Knotts was also part of the Robbins Geller litigation team that obtained a historic judgment ordering RBC Capital Markets, LLC (“RBC”), an investment banking arm of Royal Bank of Canada, to pay former Rural/Metro shareholders nearly $110 million in an award TheStreet.com described as stunning and “one of the largest in the history of the Court of Chancery.”  The affirmed judgment constitutes the largest damages award ever obtained against an investment bank for its role as a merger adviser.

For a closer look at who Knotts is as a person and not just an attorney, here are a few things you may not know about him:

Why did you become a lawyer?

Because I wanted to represent the good guys.

On what occasion do you lie?

Officers of the court and Catholics never lie.

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

Me, of course.  Would be nice to have a free one. (If cats get nine lives, why not have two?)

What is your motto?

Live Free or Die Hard.

Who is your hero of fiction?

John McClane (see above answer).

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Convincing my wife to marry me.

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