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As a leading litigator and a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, Carolyn Kubota has handled more than 20 jury and bench trials in state and federal courts. In her practice, Ms. Kubota is focused on civil and criminal trials, white collar criminal defense, and high stakes business litigation, with particular emphasis on the pharmaceutical industry.

Ms. Kubota has a depth of experience representing domestic and international companies in investigatory matters including Attorney General- and other government-led investigations of alleged consumer fraud; false public reporting; violations of the FCPA and the Anti-Kickback Statute; and other alleged wrongdoing.

  • Co-lead national counsel for a major pharmaceutical company in consumer fraud investigations and litigation centered on allegations that the company misleadingly marketed its opioid pain medications and thereby contributed to a national epidemic of opioids addiction. The matters include multiple Attorney General actions and investigations, a federal Multi-District Litigation, and hundreds of state actions by municipal and county governments.
  • National counsel for a major pharmaceutical company in connection with consumer fraud allegations arising out of the sale and marketing of the company’s mesh implant products. The matters include a multi-state investigation by 43 state Attorneys General and lawsuits by four attorneys general arising from the multi-state investigation.
  • National counsel for the United States Olympic Committee in a series of cases in which former Olympic athletes contend that the USOC should be held liable for abuse by former USA Gymnastics physician, Dr. Larry Nassar.
  • SEC v. Tekulve, et al. An enforcement action by the SEC against the former CFO of a publicly-traded water purification company in Southern California. The SEC charged Tekulve with fraudulently recognizing revenue from sham transactions to inflate the company’s stock price, as well as lying to auditors, and books and records violations. Following a nine-day bench trial, U.S. District Judge Manuel Real found for the client on all claims.
  • United States v. W.R. Grace, et al. Represented a former senior executive of W.R. Grace who was charged with conspiracy and criminal violations of the Clean Air Act in connection with asbestos contamination in Libby, Montana. Thousands of illnesses and hundreds of deaths of Libby residents were attributed to exposure to tremolite asbestos, a byproduct of W.R. Grace’s mining operation in Libby. Environmental experts described the criminal case as one of the largest and most important criminal environmental cases ever prosecuted. Following an emotionally-charged three-month trial in Missoula, Montana, the jury acquitted the client of all charges after deliberating for less than one day.
  • Rosenblood v. Discus Dental. Represented Discus and three of its major shareholders against claims of breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty by a shareholder and former officer and director of Discus. Following a bench trial in Los Angeles County Superior Court, the court rejected the plaintiff’s claims and entered a defense verdict. Recognized by The Daily Journal as one of the “Top Defense Verdicts of 2009.”
  • United States v. Alvarado Hospital, et al. Successfully defended San Diego-based Alvarado Hospital against alleged criminal violations of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute. Alvarado was accused of bribing local doctors to refer patients to the hospital and disguising the payments as physician relocation agreements. After a seven-month trial in federal court, followed by four months of jury deliberations, the jury deadlocked and the court declared a mistrial. The government later dismissed all criminal charges against Alvarado and its co-defendants pursuant to a civil settlement.
  • Huang v. California Institute of Technology. Successfully defended the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) against claims challenging the validity of Caltech’s patent for the DNA sequencer, a device used to decode the human genome. At the conclusion of the trial, U.S. District Judge Mariana Pfaelzer ruled for the defense on all claims. Ms. Kubota also obtained the dismissal of False Claims Act charges against Caltech brought by a commercial competitor of Caltech’s licensee for the manufacture of the DNA sequencer.
  • Represents a former senior executive of a major bank in multiple state, federal, and regulatory investigations of the bank’s account solicitation and cross-selling practices. Also represents a former senior executive of the bank’s automobile lending business in multiple state, federal and regulatory investigations of the bank’s insurance practices, and related civil litigation. 
  • Represented an international agricultural company in an internal investigation of potential FCPA violations by the company’s Australian affiliate engaged in exports to China and Russia.
  • Represented a Southern California digital media company in an internal investigation of allegations that the company’s CEO had engaged in financial impropriety.
  • Represented a prestigious Southern California college in an internal investigation related to the false public reporting of admissions data by a member of the College’s senior admissions staff.
  • Defended former FBI agent Denise Woo in a prosecution for alleged national security violations. At the conclusion of the matter, which was profiled in The American Lawyer, the government agreed to a probationary sentence and a minor fine in lieu of the mandatory 15-year prison term Ms. Woo faced on the original charges. For her work in this case, the California Lawyer awarded Carolyn its “Angel Award” for outstanding work in a pro bono matter.
  • Represents Caltech in an action by a tenured professor who alleges that Caltech retaliated against her for disclosing national security violations to the FBI.
  • Defended Caltech in a high-profile wrongful death case involving the suicide of a Caltech student. The court granted summary judgment in Caltech's favor in September 2011.
  • Represented FedEx Ground in connection with a series of class actions and “mass” actions in 42 states challenging the employment classification of thousands of independent contractors engaged in package pick-up and delivery services. Won summary judgment in the 27 cases certified as class actions.

Previous Experience

  • Partner at an international law firm practicing in the White Collar Practice Group.
  • Ms. Kubota taught trial advocacy for two years as a clinical professor at the UCLA School of Law.
  • Los Angeles U.S. Attorney’s Office, Assistant U.S. Attorney
  • American College of Trial Lawyers, Fellow  
  • Chambers USA, White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (2013-2020)
  • Legal 500 US, White Collar Criminal Defense
  • Recognized as a “Top Woman Lawyer,” by The Daily Journal (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019)   
  • Led team named among the “Top Defense Verdicts of 2009” by The Daily Journal   
  • Southern California Super Lawyers, White Collar (2009-2020)
  • Best Lawyers in America, Criminal Defense: White Collar (2008-2020)
  • U.S. Department of Justice Director’s Award for Superior Performance
  • U.S. Attorney’s Office Award for Superior Performance