Keker & Van Nest

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Keker & Van Nest LLP
Keker & Van Nest Logo.jpg
Headquarters San Francisco, California
No. of offices 1
No. of attorneys 85
Major practice areas Litigation
Key people Steven Taylor, Managing Partner
Date founded 1978
Founder John W. Keker and William A. Brockett, Jr.
Company type Limited liability partnership

Keker & Van Nest LLP is a premier litigation boutique located in San Francisco, California. For more than thirty years, Keker & Van Nest has tried and litigated complex, high-stakes civil and criminal cases throughout the nation. Areas of practice include intellectual property, professional liability, class actions, wrongful termination defense, general contract and commercial litigation, antitrust, white collar crime, and appellate.


The firm was founded in 1978 by Yale Law School colleagues John Keker and William A. Brockett, Jr. The firm was renamed Keker & Van Nest in 1994, reflecting the addition of Robert Van Nest to the firm's leadership.

Recognition and Rankings[edit]

  • On October 15, 2014, The Daily Journal recognized Keker & Van Nest as a Top Litigation Boutique in California.
  • John Keker has been named one of the National Law Journal's 100 Most Influential Lawyers in the United States since 2006.
  • Keker & Van Nest attorneys have consistently been included on The Daily Journal lists of the Top 100 Lawyers in California, the Top 75 Leading IP Litigators, and Top 75 Women Litigators.
  • Chambers USA lists Keker & Van Nest as a top firm in the areas of Intellectual Property: Patent; Intellectual Property: Trademark, Copyright & Trade Secrets; General Commercial Litigation; White-Collar Crime and Government Investigations; and Leading Lawyers. Individual attorneys John Keker; Robert Van Nest; Jeffrey Chanin; Jan Little; and Elliot Peters were all individually recognized for their achievements.[3]
  • Legal 500: Top rankings for Leading Lawyers, White Collar Criminal Defense, Trade Secret and Patent Litigation. Legal 500 has said that Keker & Van Nest is "peopled with a preponderance of outstanding trial lawyers" and "a distinguishing feature of the firm is the ability to cut through to the essence of the case and empower juries and judges to decide complex issues." It has also written that "the firm has consistently recovered a high total value of claims for plaintiffs".[4]

Noteworthy Cases[edit]

  • United States Department of Justice v. McKesson Corporation. Keker & Van Nest defeated the government’s six-year False Claims Act case against McKesson Corporation and one of its subsidiaries. The government had sought nearly a billion dollars in penalties and damages based on allegations that a McKesson subsidiary submitted "legally false" Medicare insurance reimbursement claims by violating Medicare supplier standards and charging less than fair-market value for billing services in exchange for product sales. In early 2010, Hon. Sharion Aycock dismissed the Qui Tam Relator who initiated this case, the Fifth Circuit affirmed the decision on appeal. In March 2011, Keker & Van Nest won summary adjudication on all claims relating to alleged violations of Medicare supplier standards. After a three-week bench trial, the court granted judgment in defendants’ favor.[5]
  • VS Technologies LLC v. Twitter Inc. By winning a defense verdict in this federal jury trial, Keker & Van Nest protected Twitter Inc. from a patent infringement suit and a $40 million damages claim.[12][13]
  • Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation v. Semiconductor Company. Representing a semiconductor company in a case where CSIRO asserted patent infringement claims against more than a dozen of the world's leading technology companies. CSIRO contended the defendants' Wi-Fi products infringed on CSIRO's patent, and sought nine to ten figure royalty payments. All parties settled a week into the jury trial.
  • John J. Tennison v. City and County of San Francisco. Representing John Tennison in his habeas corpus case where it was discovered that exculpatory evidence hidden by the police which proved Mr. Tennison's innocence-including a taped confession by another man.[21][22] A civil rights claim was brought against the City and County of San Francisco, the police and prosecutor responsible for the wrongful conviction. The civil rights case was settled for $4.6 million. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, it was the largest amount the city has ever paid to a wrongly convicted person.[23]

Pro Bono Work[edit]

  • In 2014, Jon Streeter, Sharif Jacob and Benita Brahmbhatt secured the release of Roy Butler, who served 13 years beyond his base term. Butler’s case caused California to reform its parole system.[25]
  • In 2012, Dan Purcell and Eric MacMichael were named California Lawyer "Attorney of the Year" in the area of pro bono.[28] They dedicated five years to exonerating Caramad Conley, a man who was wrongfully convicted of a double homicide and spent 18 years in prison.[29]
  • In 2009, the Northern District and San Francisco Bar Association's Volunteer Legal Services Program gave Keker & Van Nest an award for its pro bono service, particularly for its representation of prisoners pursuing civil rights cases.
  • Overturned the murder conviction of Caramad Conley, wrongfully imprisoned for 17 years, by uncovering prosecutorial and police misconduct.[30][31]
  • Represented John J. Tennison in his habeas corpus case and won an order reversing his conviction, after which he was set free. Keker then represented John J. Tennison in a civil rights claim for wrongful conviction against the City and County of San Francisco, the police and prosecutor involved in his criminal trial. Tennison settled the civil rights case.


  1. ^ Braverman, Paul. The American Lawyer. ALM, 2005.
  2. ^ American College of Trial Lawyers. [1], 2012.
  3. ^ Chambers USA Guide Profile. [2], 2010.
  4. ^ Legal 500 Rankings. [3].
  5. ^ Karabin, Sherry. [4], "Keker Team Won a $1 Billion Bet for McKesson", National Law Journal, August 12, 2013.
  6. ^ Sembi, Kamaldeep. [5], "Oracle v. Google: Judge Alsup Sets The Record Straight", MBM's Canadian Intellectual Property Law Blog, June 5, 2012.
  7. ^ Proffitt, Brian. [6], "What's at stake in Oracle v. Google", IT World, May 3, 2012.
  8. ^ Mullin, Joe. [7], "Google wins crucial API Ruling, Oracle's case decimated", ars technica, May 31, 2012.
  9. ^ Honig, Zach. [8], "Jury issues verdict in Android suit, finds that Google doesn't infringe Oracle patents", Endgadget, May 23, 2012.
  10. ^ Tibken, Shara. [9], "Intel To Pay $6.5 Mln In Settlement As NY Ends Antitrust Suit", The Wall Street Journal, February 9, 2012.
  11. ^ Van Voris, Bob and Emily Grannis. [10], "SEC Loses Lawsuit Against Ex-Citigroup Official Stoker", Bloomberg News, August 1, 2012.
  12. ^ Barnett, Griffin. [11], "Twitter Prevails in ‘Virtual Community’ Patent Lawsuit", American University Washington College of Law Intellectual Property Brief, November 1, 2011.
  13. ^ Decker, Susan. [12], "Twitter Wins Patent Trial Over Virtual Internet Community", Bloomberg, October 31, 2011.
  14. ^ Elinson, Zusha. [13], "Keker Wins Trade Secret Theft Case", The Recorder, November 5, 2009.
  15. ^ Elinson, Zusha. [14], "Semiconductor Trade Secrets Case Settles for $200 Million", The Recorder, November 10, 2009.
  16. ^ LaRoe, Ginny. [15], "Steroids in Baseball: 9th Circuit Backtracks on Electronic Search Rules", The Recorder, September 14, 2010.
  17. ^ Mueller, Florian. [16], "Apple wins ITC ruling of narrow technical scope against HTC: a limited victory but just the beginning", Foss Patents, December 19, 2011.
  18. ^ Davis, Ryan. [17], "Apple, HTC Strike Deal To End Smartphone Patent Suits", Law360, November 13, 2012.
  19. ^ Ferenstein, Gregory. [18], "Apple And HTC Settle Remaining Lawsuits", TechCrunch, November 10, 2012.
  20. ^ Levine, Dan. [19], "Apple and HTC settle global patent battle", Reuters, November 10, 2012.
  21. ^ Rosenfeld, Seth. [20], "After 13 years, its beautiful to be free again. Exonerated inmate couldn't believe he was getting out", San Francisco Chronicle, September 3, 2003.
  22. ^ Ryan, Joan. [21], "Innocent man freed with luck, good lawyers", San Francisco Chronicle, May 2, 2004.
  23. ^ Van Derbeken, Jaxon. [22], "S.F. man pay freed man $4.5 million settlement", San Francisco Chronicle, June 4, 2009.
  24. ^ Hawkinson, John. [23], "Swartz gets high-powered attorneys", The Tech, November 2, 2012.
  25. ^ Egelko, Bob. [24], "Settlement could mean earlier paroles for some", San Francisco Chronicle, December 17, 2013.
  26. ^ California Lawyer. [25], “California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year”, March 2013.
  27. ^ Bulwa, Demian. [26], "Innocent Man is freed after 7 years", San Francisco Chronicle, February 23, 2013.
  28. ^ California Lawyer. [27], "2012 California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year", March 2010.
  29. ^ Cote, John. [28], "Wrongfully convicted S.F. man poised to get $3.5 million", San Francisco Chronicle, July 13, 2014.
  30. ^ Van Derbeken, Jaxon. [29], "Man wrongfully convicted of SF killings to go free", San Francisco Chronicle, January 12, 2011.
  31. ^ Berton, Justin. [30], "S.F.: Man wrongfully convicted of 2 murders freed", San Francisco Chronicle, January 13, 2011.

External links[edit]