Trent Norris is one of the foremost consumer product attorneys in the country and co-leader of the firm's Consumer Products and Retail Sector. His litigation, counseling, and government advocacy practice involves some of the most significant challenges for manufacturers and retailers of everyday products and services.
Mr. Norris litigates complex scientific and technical disputes involving consumer protection, advertising, environmental, and food and drug law, with a particular emphasis on the unique requirements of California law. His more than 25 years of experience with regulators, prosecutors, activists, bountyhunters, and plaintiffs lawyers also provide clients with practical perspectives on litigation avoidance.
His practice involves diverse products, technologies, and industries, including foods, beverages, dietary supplements, cosmetics, hospitality, medical devices, electronics, vehicles, drugs, and agriculture. He regularly represents trade associations and joint defense groups in strategic counseling, advocacy before regulatory agencies, and challenges to agency actions.
Common issues include preemption, commercial speech, interstate commerce, citizen enforcement, jurisdiction, and class action requirements. Because these issues often cannot be resolved at the trial court level, Mr. Norris has significant appellate experience. He has argued a dozen cases before the California Court of Appeal, the California Supreme Court, and the Ninth Circuit. Common opponents include activist and environmental groups, the California Attorney General, California District Attorneys, and plaintiffs' lawyers.
Mr. Norris has advised and defended hundreds of companies regarding California's unique toxics and labeling law, Proposition 65, and California's expansive consumer protection laws. Chambers USA (2012) notes that he "is renowned as one of the region's leading experts in toxic tort and Proposition 65 matters" and (2020) that clients consider him "one of the most creative people in the area, always looking for ways to deal with pending litigation to prevent it moving forward."
Mr. Norris is a founding partner of the firm's San Francisco and Silicon Valley offices and has served on its Policy, Compensation, and Lateral Committees. He is active in the firm's diversity and inclusion initiatives and is a member of the firm's LGBT affinity group.
Mr. Norris is registered as a lobbyist before the California Environmental Protection Agency and its sub-agencies. He served as a legislative aide to a US Senator and as an Editor of the Harvard Law Review.
- Major restaurant system in defeating two nationwide and four state class actions challenging nutritional information on menus.
- Leading grocery chain in consumer class action alleging failure to use rewards card database to contact consumers regarding food recalls.
- Private label manufacturer of flushable wipes in Federal Trade Commission proceeding.
- Two major cleaning product manufacturers in resolving class action claims over product quality and "natural" claims.
- Several retailers and manufacturers of cosmetics, drugs, and dietary supplements concerning slack fill allegations by California District Attorneys and consumer class action attorneys.
- Food company in obtaining judicial declaration that plaintiff is a vexatious litigant barred from bringing additional clams.
- Leading software as a service provider in defeating consumer class action challenging subscription and cancellation policy.
- Major retailer in defeating consumer class action alleging failure to disclose trans fat levels in food products.
- Cosmetic manufacturer in Lanham Act challenge to competitor's labeling.
- Leading satellite service provider in class action alleging unlawful recording of calls to customer service numbers.
- Civil Justice Association of California in passage of initiative reforming California's consumer protection laws.
Food & Beverages: Regulatory and Litigation (Nationwide) (2013-2020)
"San Francisco Lawyer of the Year" – Litigation: Environmental (2017)
- JD, Harvard Law School, 1992, magna cum laude
- BA, Computer Science, Brown University, 1986, magna cum laude
- District of Columbia
- Supreme Court of the United States
- US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
- US District Court, Northern District of Illinois
- US District Court, Eastern District of Texas
- US District Court, Central District of California
- US District Court, Eastern District of California
- US District Court, Northern District of California
- US District Court, Southern District of California
- Legislative Assistant (Appropriations, Environmental, Public Lands, and Transportation), US Senator Wyche Fowler, Jr.
- Member, Editorial Board, Association of Business Trial Lawyers (Northern California) Report (2002-2014)
- Lawyer Representative, Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference (N.D. Cal. 2010-2013)
- Member, Bar Association of San Francisco
- Member, Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (BALIF)
- Member, Board of Directors, The Peter M. Cicchino Social Justice Foundation (2000-2015)
- Member, Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Committee (N.D. Cal. 2011)
- Fellow, American Bar Foundation