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Sheppard Mullin Elects Eight Attorneys to Partnership


Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP is pleased to announce that the firm has elevated eight of its attorneys to partner.  The eight new partners are Leo Caseria (Los Angeles), Aytan Dahukey (Century City), John C. Dineen (San Diego), Tobin M. Dommer (Palo Alto), Christopher E. Hale (Los Angeles), Gina Reif Ilardi (New York), Mark E. McGrath (New York) and Matthew M. Sonne (Orange County). 

Leo Caseria is a member of the Antitrust and Trade Regulation practice group and is based in the Los Angeles office.  Caseria’s practice focuses on antitrust law and complex commercial litigation, in both state and federal courts.  He has represented global companies in connection with a wide variety of antitrust matters, including matters involving alleged exclusionary conduct, price-fixing, and international cartels, as well as matters involving the intersection of antitrust and intellectual property.  Caseria has frequently defended companies in class actions and multidistrict litigation.  He is also knowledgeable regarding the enforceability of class action waivers, and has authored articles and counseled on the inclusion of class action waivers in arbitration agreements.  Caseria has also represented companies in connection with antitrust investigations by the United States Department of Justice.  He has represented clients including Samsung, Philip Morris and Live Nation in connection with major antitrust matters.  Caseria received his J.D. from Columbia University in 2005 and his undergraduate degree from University of California, Los Angeles in 2002.

Aytan Dahukey is a member of the Corporate practice group and is based in the Century City office.  Dahukey’s healthcare practice focuses on public and private mergers and acquisitions and general corporate counsel representing a wide variety of healthcare-related clients in California and nationally.  His clients include independent physician associations, large physician groups, hospitals and hospital-affiliated foundations and other integrated multi-specialty medical clinics, provider management services organizations, accountable care organizations (ACOs) and other healthcare entities as well as those private equity funds and strategic investors that participate in the healthcare sector.  Dahukey has extensive experience advising clients and negotiating mergers, asset and stock acquisitions, divestitures, leveraged buy-outs, professional services and management services arrangements, employment and independent contractor arrangements.  He received his J.D. from Brooklyn Law School in 2004 and his undergraduate degree, cum laude, from University of Arizona in 2001. 

John Dineen is a member of the Business Trial practice group in the San Diego office.  Dineen practices general business and commercial litigation.  He has a wide array of experience in complex civil litigation.  Dineen has successfully represented clients in claims involving breach of contract, unfair business practices, fraud, negligence, Truth-In-Lending and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Acts and other causes of action.  He also has significant experience in defending consumer class action claims, including claims brought under the Song-Beverly Credit Card Act, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the Consumer Legal Remedies Act, California's Rosenthal Act and other statutory claims.  Dineen has extensive experience in all aspects of class action litigation, including coordination proceedings in California courts.  He received his J.D. from University of California, Berkeley in 2002 and his undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Georgetown University in 1997. 

Tobin Dommer is a member of the Corporate practice group and is based in the Palo Alto office.  Dommer has significant experience representing corporate investors, venture capital funds, private equity investors, entrepreneurs and software, internet, digital media and hardware companies through all stages of growth.  He counsels clients on a wide range of corporate and commercial transactions, with an emphasis on venture capital and strategic investment transactions, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance matters, and licensing of intellectual property.  Dommer received his J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law in 2000 and his undergraduate degree from University of California, Berkeley in 1995.

Chris Hale is a member of the Government Contracts, International Trade and Investigations practice group in the Los Angeles office.  Hale specializes in commercial litigation and government contracts, with an emphasis on general business disputes, intellectual property, and investigations.   In the general business context, he has represented businesses and individuals in litigation and arbitrations related to contractual disputes, business torts, and trade secrets claims.  Hale has significant experience in drafting and opposing pleadings and motions, propounding and responding to discovery, fact gathering and analysis, and witness consultation.  In the government contracts area, he has counseled clients in the general commercial, defense, and health care industries on a wide variety of government contracting issues, including bid protests, the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR), the Contract Disputes Act (CDA), the False Claims Act (FCA), and other state and federal laws and regulations.  Hale received his J.D. from Stanford University in 2004 and his undergraduate degree from Cornell University in 2001.

Gina Reif Ilardi is a member of the Entertainment, Technology and Advertising practice group in the New York office.  Ilardi's practice includes the representation of studios, writers and independent production companies in various aspects of motion picture and television development, production, finance, distribution, advertising and promotions.  She advises several of the major film studios, broadcast and cable television networks, retailers, consumer brands and their agencies in many aspects of sports marketing, entertainment marketing and interactive marketing as well as in innovative branded entertainment, privacy and e-commerce initiatives.  Ilardi also advises clients on feature film distribution agreements, joint development agreements, television series development agreements, first-look agreements, rights acquisition agreements and options, book publishing, merchandising and other licensing agreements.  Her expertise also includes reviewing chain of title, acting as production counsel and performing diligence on television, motion picture and other intellectual property libraries in connection with mergers and acquisitions in the entertainment industry.  Ilardi received her J.D. from Fordham University School of Law in 2005 and her undergraduate degree, cum laude, from New York University in 2002.

Mark McGrath is a member of the Business Trial and Intellectual Property practice groups in the New York office.  McGrath focuses his practice on commercial and intellectual property litigation.  In the commercial litigation arena, he has particular experience in the areas of securities litigation, corporate trust litigation, consumer claims relating to alleged unfair business practices, internal investigations, director and officer liability, bankruptcy litigation, and distribution and regulatory actions.  McGrath’s experience in intellectual property matters has focused on litigating patent, trademark, false advertising, and unfair competition cases.  He received his J.D. from Fordham University School of Law in 1999 and his undergraduate degree from University of Notre Dame in 1994.

Matt Sonne is a member of the Labor and Employment practice group and is based in the Orange County office.  Sonne specializes in labor and employment law representing employers and speaks fluent Spanish.  He litigates in multiple areas of employment law and defends against individual and class action lawsuits alleging violations of wage and hour laws, discrimination, wrongful termination, harassment, and other related matters.  Specifically, Sonne has defeated multiple motions for class certification in wage-hour matters on behalf of restaurant, retail, and manufacturing industry clients, including the published decision of Morgan v. Wet Seal, 210 Cal.App.4th 1341 (2012) (denial of class certification affirmed in uniform/expense reimbursement case).  He is also experienced in issues involving arbitration agreements and class action waivers.  Sonne received his J.D. from the University of Virginia in 2005 and his undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Claremont McKenna College in 2000.  Prior to law school, he worked in the White House as a writer for the President.     

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