- Duke University School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude (Order of the Coif)
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, B.A., summa cum laude (Phi Beta Kappa)
- New York
- District of Columbia
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York
- U.S. District Court, Western District of New York
- U.S. District Court, District of the District of Columbia
- U.S. Court of International Trade
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Temporary Emergency
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit
- U.S. Supreme Court
Chris has been recognized for his exceptional standing in the legal community in the area of Business Litigation in the 2006–2012 editions of New York Super Lawyers. He has successfully represented clients in a number of substantial class actions and other complex cases in the past several years.
CHRISTOPHER M. MASON
Christopher Mason’s practice focuses on litigation and appeals, particularly class actions, and on arbitration, mediation, and other alternative dispute resolution techniques, as well as litigation prevention and avoidance.
Chris has experience in antitrust; banking, finance, and international trade cases; securities and consumer class actions; shareholder derivative suits; telecommunications cases; bankruptcy and workouts; copyright, trademark, computer software, Internet, and new media issues; energy and project finance disputes; First Amendment litigation; consumer affairs, marketing, and advertising issues; employment law; and Securities and Exchange Commission, Food and Drug Administration, Department of Justice, and other governmental investigations.
Chris has handled cases in courts in, among other places, Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Washington, DC, as well as various matters with the American Arbitration Association, the United States Food and Drug Administration, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, and the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. His experience includes a number of disputes involving cross-border legal issues, among them Argentinean, Australian, Canadian, Chinese, Colombian, Croatian, English, French, Irish, Italian, Hungarian, Jamaican, Japanese, Polish, Spanish, Swedish, and Swiss matters.
- Ackal v. Centennial Beauregard Cellular, L.L.C., 700 F.3d 212 (5th Cir.). In a decision of first impression in any court, the Fifth Circuit reversed certification of a class in part because of inclusion of governmental entities as absent class members. Chris represented the successful defendants, subsidiaries of AT&T, in the trial court and on appeal.
- Merizon Grp. Inc. d/b/a Modern Bus. Mach. v. Canon U.S.A., Inc.¸ No. 12 Civ. 2744 (LDW) (E.D.N.Y.). In this case, Chris represented former Canon office imaging equipment dealers suing for violations of Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Antitrust Act and Section 2 of the Robinson-Patman Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1, 2, and 13, as well as Iowa and Wisconsin state law, to secure access to necessary parts and supplies following termination. The case concluded successfully when the parts became available to the former dealers.
- Fresco v. R.L. Polk & Co., Case No. 07-60695-Civ-Martinez/Bandstra (S.D. Fla.). This case, settled for a modest amount of attorney’s fees, no economic relief to the plaintiffs, and an injunction on consent that, for the most part, simply codified the client’s existing internal controls, involved the defense of a nationwide class action for violation of federal statutory privacy protections brought against the oldest database company in the United States. The nature of the statute, the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2721-25, meant that the minimum statutory damages for the class probably exceeded $1 trillion. The class itself was probably the largest in history, comprising all persons in the United States who, at any time during more than a decade, had ever had a driver’s license.
- Davis v. Carfax, Inc., No. CJ-04-1316 L (Okla. Dist. Ct.), appeal dismissed, No. No. 103008 (Ok Sup. Ct.). In this case, Chris defeated class certification and won dismissal of a statewide class action asserting breach of contract and violation of consumer protection statutes. On appeal, the case was used as a vehicle to settle, on terms very favorable to the client, all claims in other parallel state court class actions commenced in California, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, and Texas.
- Digital Documents Store v. Xerox Corp., Case No. 72 155 Y 00474 08 JENF (AAA) and Elite v. Global Imaging Sys. Inc., No. BC379155 (Cal. Super. Ct.). Lead cases and arbitration of claims of over $1 billion for breach of contract, antirust or unfair competition, and misuse of confidential information by a large group of Xerox agents and dealers. Through pretrial proceedings, the various lawsuits were stayed or dismissed and the damages claimed in the arbitration were reduced many-fold. The remaining claimants settled their disputes on terms highly favorable to Xerox and its subsidiary, Global Imaging Systems, rather than continue any further.
- Deutsche Bank Trust Co. Ams. as Trustee v. LaCrosse Fin. Prods., LLC, No. 08 CV 0955 (LAK) (S.D.N.Y.). In this, and other similar cases such as Deutsche Bank Trust Co. Ams. v. Elliot Int’l, L.P., No. 09 CV 5242 (WHP) (S.D.N.Y.), and U.S. Bank N.A. v. Black Diamond CLO 2005-1 Adviser, L.L.C., 11 Civ. 5675 (JSR) (S.D.N.Y.), Chris has pioneered the use of federal statutory interpleader in combination with a little-known federal lien enforcement statute to provide world-wide quasi in rem jurisdiction to resolve disputes over the interpretation of structured debt products involving hundreds of millions of dollars at a time.
- Morrissey v. Nextel Partners, Inc., Index No. 3194-06 (N.Y. Sup. Ct.). In this case, a purported national class by disgruntled cellphone subscribers, Chris defeated national class certification in the trial court, and defeated all efforts on appeal at class certification except for the possibility of a partial class of New York-only customers—as to which there are almost no net damages that could be claimed.
- Orcutt v Nat’l Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc., No. 6:12-CV-0513 (GTS/TWD) (N.D.N.Y.). This putative nationwide class action claiming violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq. (as amended by the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act) ended in a voluntary dismissal by the individual plaintiffs without class certification.
- Zeller v. Constellation Brands, Inc., Case No. BC443338 (Cal. Super. Ct.). This is the lead case of several consumer class actions, triggered by fraud convictions in France against a number of wine sellers in the Languedoc-Roussillon region, involving claims of a proposed class of all United States purchasers of certain pinot noir wines from 2005 to 2008. The plaintiffs asserted that the wines were falsely labeled as pinot noir following the huge increase in demand for that varietal that occurred after the hit movie Sideways. After dismissal of several of the plaintiffs’ cases, the remaining case was settled for a very modest amount on a claims made basis.
- In re the Reserve Fund Secs. and Derivative Litig., 09 MD. 2011 (PGG) (S.D.N.Y.). In this case, Chris—after an initial flat denial—persuaded the trial court to reverse its initial decision 180 degrees and recalculate the client’s multimillion dollar entitlement to payment with respect to money fund redemptions in the infamous “break the buck” cases triggered by the Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy.
- Ranieri v. Bell Atl. Mobile, 304 A.D. 2d 353, 759 N.Y.S. 2d 448 (N.Y. App. Div. 1st Dep’t). In this significant decision, the court (with respect to an arbitration clause drafted by Chris), concluded that in New York “a contractual proscription against class actions” in a form consumer contract “is neither unconscionable nor violative of public policy.”
- D.S. Meyerson Assocs., Inc. v. Allen, No. 00 Civ. 5772 (S.D.N.Y.). In a unique role as settlement counsel after years of dispute and litigation by other lawyers, Chris achieved a swift and favorable settlement of all claims.
- Campbell v. AirTouch Cellular, Case No. GIC 751725 (Cal. Super. Ct.). In this case, at the time one of the largest class actions in history, Chris achieved a successful settlement covering multiple different class actions after several years of litigation.
- Miletich v. Bookmeier, Index No. 00/114972 (N.Y. Sup. Ct.). Chris resolved this difficult shareholder derivative suit with a highly favorable settlement for the client.
- In re Cellco Consumer Litig., Master File No. L-9435-96 (N.J. Super. Ct.). Chris secured a dismissal after a number of years of litigation (including a successful decertification fight) of this multistate, consolidated consumer class action involving tens of millions of putative class members.
- Quick Page of New Jersey, Inc. v. Cellco P’ship, Case # 13 494 00811 00 02 (AAA). In this case Chris won an arbitration award under the Lanham Act and other theories to enjoin advertising and infringing behavior by a former distributor.
- AXA Réassurance S.A. v. Chase Manhattan Bank, Index No. 99/121290 (N.Y. Sup. Ct.). In this proceeding Chris won dismissal of all claims against a well-known motion picture producer, allowing the producer to pursue his own claims in arbitration.
- Federated Strategic Income Fund v. Mechala Grp. Jamaica Ltd., No. 99 Civ. 10517 (HB) (S.D.N.Y.). This case ended with Chris obtaining for the client an unprecedented injunction on Trust Indenture Act grounds against a tender offer for debt securities.
- Omnipoint Commc’ns, Inc. v. New York Yankee P’ship, Index No. 601910/97 (N.Y. Sup. Ct.). Chris won summary judgment on all counts in this case involving substantial breach of contract and tortious interference claims for advertising in Yankee Stadium.
“Third Circuit, Refusing to Apply the Law Chosen on the Face of a Contract, Reverses and Remands for Consideration of a Class Action Waiver in an Arbitration Clause,” Class Action Alert, March 17, 2009. (Co-author)
“Good Hygiene for Special Litigation Committees,” Class Action Alert, July 10, 2008. (Co-author)
Second Circuit Creates Doubt About Arbitration Clauses and Class Action Waivers in Credit Card Contracts.
Supreme Court Holds that Parties May Not Agree to Expand Grounds for Vacating or Modifying an Arbitration Agreement Under Federal Arbitration Act.
Class Action Lawsuits and Related Cases in the United States: A Short Guide for Swedish Businesses in Lagen Om Grupprätegång and Experiences from the USA with Class Actions and Product Liability.
“Developments in Class Action Litigation” Professional Indemnity Agency, 2007.
“When and How to Use Mediation to Your Advantage” New York State Bar Association/ADR Committee Annual Program, 2007.
“Building the Mediation Profession: Are We Certifiable?” Association for Conflict Resolution of Greater New York, 2006.
“Alternative Dispute Resolution—What Corporate Counsel Need to Know to Effectively Manage Business Challenges,” 18th Annual General Counsel Conference, 2006.
“Factors in Choosing a Mediator for a Business Dispute,” Section on Alternative Dispute Resolution of the New York State Bar Association, 2006.
“Electronic Discovery Today,” Annual California MCLE Program, 2006.
“Foreign Corrupt Practice Act Basics,” Annual California MCLE Program, 2006.
“Shoring Up Your Defenses: Thoughts for Corporate Counsel about Defending Future Class Actions,” Marcus Evans Conference on How to Effectively Master, Settle, and Manage Your Insurance Litigation, 2005.
“The Class Action Fairness Act and the New York State Courts (And Some Other Interesting Class Action Developments),” New York State Bar Association, 2005.
“Corporate Dissolution in New York State: The Basics and Some Advanced Issues,” New York State Judicial Institute, 2005.
- Don't "Put the Cart Before the Horse": Supreme Court Rejects Amgen's Argument that Securities Fraud Plaintiffs Must Prove Materiality of Alleged Misrepresentations at the Class Certification Stage
Legal Insights | April 15, 2013
Commercial litigation partners Chris Mason and Carolyn Nussbaum and commercial litigation associates Paige Berges and Leah Threatte Bojnowski co-authored this column about the Supreme Court’s split decision upholding the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Amgen Inc. v. Conn. Retirement Plans and Trust Funds.
- Landmark Class Action Case to Be Heard in Supreme Court
Law 360 | December 13, 2012
Commercial Litigation partners Chris Mason and Carolyn Nussbaum and Commercial Litigation associate Paige Berges co-authored this column noting that the United States Supreme Court granted a writ of certiorari to review the most recent decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in American Express Travel Related Services Co. v. Italian Colors Restaurant.
- Another Pro-Arbitration Decision Of The Supreme Court
Law 360 | December 7, 2012
This contributed article authored by New York Litigation associate Paige Berges and New York Litigation partner Chris Mason focuses the Supreme Court’s interpretation of arbitration clauses.