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 and counseling 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, product safety, 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 often represents trade associations and joint defense groups in strategic counseling, litigation, and representation before regulatory agencies.

Common issues include preemption, commercial speech, interstate commerce, citizen enforcement, jurisdiction, and class action requirements. 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. Clients particularly laud his ability to focus on the issues at the core of the problems they take him."

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.

Experience

  • Several retailers and manufacturers of cosmetics, drugs, and dietary supplements concerning slack fill allegations by California District Attorneys and consumer class action attorneys.
  • 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.
  • 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.

  • Major restaurant system in defeating two nationwide and four state class actions challenging nutritional information on menus.
  • Major manufacturer of joint health products in purported nationwide class action alleging false advertising regarding product benefits.
  • Cosmetic manufacturer in Lanham Act challenge to competitor's labeling.
  • Leading satellite radio 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.

Perspectives

California Ballot Initiative Filed to Phase Out Single-Use Packaging and Ban Polystyrene Food and Beverage Containers
Advisory
Navigating the Minefield of State Consumer Product Chemical Disclosure Laws
State Chemical Disclosure Laws and California's Proposition 65
Speaker, Off-road Power Equipment Institute Legal & Regulatory Conference, Washington, DC
Key Developments in California's Proposition 65 and Beyond
Speaker, Food & Drug Law Institute Food Advertising, Labeling, and Litigation Conference, Washington, DC
Pesticides: Do Litigation Pressures Effectively Supersede Government Safety Determinations and Threaten to Exterminate Important Products?
Speaker, American Bar Association Section on Environmental, Energy and Resources Law (SEER) Fall Conference, Boston, MA
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Recognition

Chambers USA
Environment (California) (2005-2019)
Food & Beverages: Regulatory and Litigation (Nationwide) (2013-2019)
National Law Journal
Litigation Trailblazer (2018)
Best Lawyers
Litigation: Environmental (2007-2020)
"San Francisco Lawyer of the Year" – Litigation: Environmental (2017)
More

Credentials

Education
  • JD, Harvard Law School, 1992, magna cum laude
  • BA, Computer Science, Brown University, 1986, magna cum laude
Admissions
  • California
  • 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
Government & Military Service
  • Legislative Assistant (Appropriations, Environmental, Public Lands, and Transportation), US Senator Wyche Fowler, Jr.
Activities
  • Member, Editorial Board, Association of Business Trial Lawyers (Northern California) Report (2002-2014)
  • Lawyer Representative (N.D. Cal. 2010-13)
  • 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
Overview

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