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Cathleen S. Huang

  • Partner

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Practice Areas

  • Business & Commercial Litigation (International) 50%
  • Products Liability 40%

Biography

Commanding native fluency of Mandarin Chinese, Cathleen Huang acts as international and national counsel to numerous product manufacturers, distributors, trading companies, and online retailers based in Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, and the U.S. from various  industries, including consumer electronics and gas appliances, solar modules/wafers and appliances, lighting products, computer components, hand tools, various gas cylinders, luggage, bicycles, food supplements, glass containers, and medical devices, etc.

She frequently visits manufacturing facilities overseas and meets with company executives and engineers to learn the design, testing, manufacturing, quality control procedures and processes and become knowledgeable about the clients’ business operations and products and identify and mitigate potential risks.

She counsels her clients throughout the product lifecycle, from product research and development concepts to evaluation of packaging and marketing materials and representations, product regulatory compliance, corporate formation, and litigation.  She has over 20 years of litigation experience and her areas of practice include the following:

INTERNATIONAL COMMERCIAL LITIGATION/ARBITRATION

  • Breach of contracts/warranties
  • Breach of fiduciary duties as to corporate officers, board of directors and majority stockholders
  • International trade compliance

PRODUCT SAFETY/LIABILITY

  • Product liability claims/litigation
  • Global product recalls
  • Federal and state regulatory compliance:
    • Consumer Product Safety Commission/ Health Canada/Profeco reporting
    • Proposition 65 warnings
    • Model Toxics in Packaging Legislation
    • Country of origin claims

CLASS ACTION DEFENSE

  • False advertisement/consumer fraud/unfair business practice
  • Breach of warranties
  • Country of origin

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY DISPUTES

  • Patent infringement prosecution/defense
  • Trademark infringement/Trade dress prosecution/defense
  • Misappropriation of trade secrets

Notable Achievements

  • Obtained a seven-figure international arbitration award on behalf of minority shareholders involving foreign investment in a U.S. online travel technology company. We successfully asserted breach of fiduciary duties and intentional tort claims against the majority shareholder (a major multinational Chinese conglomerate in the airline industry), as well as the board members and officers appointed by the Chinese conglomerate to the U.S. online startup company;
  • Favorable settlement on behalf of the largest Chinese solar manufacturer in Northern China defending an alleged breach of international supply of raw materials contract valued at more than $400 million. Defended depositions of Chinese-speaking executives in Hong Kong;
  • Favorable settlement on behalf of the largest solar manufacturer in Taiwan in an alleged breach of an international supply of raw materials contract valued at more than $730 million;
  • Obtained temporary restraining order prohibiting the dispersal of $100 million in proceeds from the sale of a Chinese company that constructed and managed water treatment facilities. Subsequent litigation ensued against domestic and foreign individuals and entities, where additional TROs were issued as well as a preliminary injunction to preclude dissipation of international assets;
  • Conducted multiple product recalls in U.S., Canada, and Mexico on behalf of overseas manufacturers of various consumer appliances;
  • Obtained dismissal of a $15 million products liability case based on repeated acts of perjury by the plaintiffs. See Englebrick v. Worthington 944 F. Supp. 899 (2013);
  • Obtained a defense verdict on behalf of Kwang Yang Motor Company (KYMCO) after 3-week trial on a product liability case involving a ATV accident;
  • Obtained a $3.5 million settlement on behalf of a U.S. national distributor of nutritional supplements against a Japanese public company in a breach of contract action;
  • Obtained a $2.4 million settlement on behalf of a U.S. software company against a British public company in a breach of contract action;
  • Successfully defended one of the largest glass manufacturers in the world in a $10 million breach of contract action;
  • Obtained summary judgment in a product liability action alleging that a defective flammable gas cylinder caused severe burns. The court granted the defense motion to preclude Plaintiffs’ experts from testifying on the grounds the expert opinions were not scientific or reliable.  The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the ruling;
  • Successful defense of a Taiwanese manufacturer of power supply against patent infringement claim and negotiated a lucrative license agreement on behalf of the same company;
  • Successful defense of a Taiwanese manufacturer of bicycle forks against $10 million breach of contract claim.

Speaking Engagements

  • April 13, 2006, Taipei International Sporting Goods Show (TaiSPO), Taipei, Taiwan. Topic: U.S. Product Liability Law and Consumer Product Safety Commission.
  • May 10, 2006, National Hardware Show, Las Vegas, Nevada. Topic: IP, CPSC and Products Liability Issues for Foreign Manufacturers.
  • May 21, 2007, A moderator at the first annual International Consumer Product Safety Symposium at Beijing, China, which was co-sponsored by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) of the Peoples’ Republic of China and the International Consumer Product Safety and Health Organization.
  • October 2007 Separate Presentations to the Neihu Business Association, Taipei, Taiwan; Taichung Industrial Park, Taichung, Taiwan. Topic: Effective Strategies for Preventing Lawsuits for Companies Selling Goods to the U.S.
  • October 2008, Separate Presentations to TAITRA branches in Tainan and Kaohsiung, Taiwan and Chang An, China. Topic: Protecting Patent Rights in the US and Limiting Foreign Manufacture Exposure in the U.S.
  • March 2009, Separate Presentations to TAITRA branches in Taipei and Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Topic: What You Need to Know about the 2008 CPSIA and Strategies for Preventing Lawsuits for Companies Selling Goods to the U.S.
  • June 2, 2009, Sponsor Hangzhou Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau (CIQ). Hangzhou, China. Topic: Sino-US Trade Related Laws and Regulations.
  • November 10, 2009, Taipei Bar Association. Taipei, Taiwan. Topic: Representing Product Manufactures and Exporters: What every Taiwanese Attorney Needs to Know About US Law.

Education

  • American University, Washington College of Law, Washington, District of Columbia
    • J.D.
    • Honors: magna cum laude
  • Walter A. Haas School of Business at University of California at Berkely, Berkeley, California
    • B.S. - 1992
    • Major: Corporate Finance and Marketing

Bar Admissions

  • Virginia, 1998
  • California, 2002
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California, 2005
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 2006
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois, 2015

Professional Associations

  • Defense Research Institute
  • International Consumer Product Health & Safety Organization
  • Propane Gas Defense Association
  • Asian American Bar Association

Representative Cases

  • Oettle vs. Walmart, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 150464 (S.D. Ill., Aug. 22, 2022)
  • Englebrick vs. Worthington Industries, Inc., 944 F. Supp. 2d 899 (C.D. Cal. May 13, 2013)
  • Perez-Encinas vs. AmerUs Life Ins. Co., 468 F. Supp. 2d 1127 (N.D. Cal. Jul. 26, 2006)
  • Shalaby vs. Irwin Indus., 2009 U.S. Dist. Lexis 129812 (S.D. Cal. Jul. 28, 2009)

Representative Clients

  • Venture (Singapore)
  • Chicony Power Technology Co., Ltd. (Taiwan)
  • Kwang Yang Motor Company (KYMCO) (Taiwan)
  • Taiwan Glass (Taiwan)

Past Positions

  • Valerian, Patterson, Strateman & Love, Trial Attorney, 2002 to 2004

Languages

  • Mandarin Chinese
  • Taiwanese