Photo of Whitney Jones Roy

Whitney Jones Roy

Partner
Los Angeles
F: +1.213.620.1398

Education

  • J.D., University of Southern California, 2000,
  • • 1999 Champion of the USC’s Hale Moot Court Honors Program
  • • 2000 Outstanding Oralist at Brooklyn Law School's Jerome Prince Evidence Moot Court Competition
  • • Worked for noted Professor Charles Whitebread as a teaching and research assistant
  • • Staff member for the Southern California Review of Law and Women's Studies
  • B.A., Political Science, University of California, Los Angeles, 1997, cum laude
  • B.A., Sociology, University of California, Los Angeles, 1997, cum laude
  • Prior to working at Sheppard Mullin, Ms. Roy worked for the Honorable Harvey Schneider of the Los Angeles County Superior Court Complex Division as an extern in 1998.
  • California, 2000
  • United States District Court for the Central District of California
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of California
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of California
  • United States Second Circuit Court of Appeals
  • United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
Overview
Honors
Experience
Thought Leadership
Memberships

Overview

Whitney Jones Roy is a litigation partner in firm's Los Angeles office. Ms. Roy was recognized by Law360 as a “Female Powerbroker” and by the Daily Journal as one of the Top 100 Women Lawyers in California in 2014.

Areas of Practice

Ms. Roy has experience in all aspects of California and federal civil procedure through trial. She also defends her clients on appeal when necessary.

Business Litigation

Ms. Roy specializes in business litigation. Her experience includes representing companies in a variety of business disputes and against claims of fraud, breach of fiduciary duties, breach of contract, and unfair business practices.

Ms. Roy's cases have related to a broad spectrum of industries, including oil companies, financial institutions, insurance, real estate, construction equipment, food and beverage, and retail.

Environmental Litigation

Ms. Roy also specializes in complex environmental litigation and related products liability litigation. Her expertise includes the Clean Air Act, CERCLA, RCRA, design defect, failure to warn, negligence, nuisance, and trespass.

Proposition 65 Counseling & Litigation

Ms. Roy counsels companies on compliance with California Prop 65 warning obligations and defends her clients when accused of failing to comply.

Activities

Ms. Roy is the founder of Sheppard Mullin’s Los Angeles Women Lawyers Group and a member of the firm’s Women’s Leadership Council. Ms. Roy also served as the Office Managing Partner for the Los Angeles office of Sheppard Mullin from 2009 to 2017. She is a member of Sheppard Mullin’s Recruiting Committee. Each summer, Ms. Roy serves as an instructor and public speaking coach for Sheppard Mullin's Trial Advocacy Program (“TAP”) for summer associates.

Ms. Roy oversees the firm’s participation in Public Counsel’s pro bono Adoptions Project helping parents finalize adoptions in Los Angeles County. She also volunteers her time advocating for special education rights in partnership with The Alliance for Children’s Rights.

Ms. Roy also is a member of the Board of Directors for the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.

Honors

  • Top Women Lawyers, Daily Journal, 2014
  • Nominee for the 2013 Los Angeles Business Journal “Women Making A Difference” Award
  • Ms. Roy was selected as the 1999 Champion of the University of Southern California's Hale Moot Court Honors Program and received the honor of Outstanding Oralist at Brooklyn Law School's Jerome Prince Evidence Moot Court Competition in 2000.

Experience

Representative Matters

Business Litigation

Ms. Roy obtained a complete defense verdict for State Compensation Insurance Fund in the matter Cumbre, Inc. et al. v. State Compensation Insurance Fund. The case was filed by several insurance brokers who asserted a variety of novel legal theories including unfair business practices, violation of due process, violation of the duty of fair procedure and breach of contract. Despite the plaintiffs’ demand of $49 million in damages, after a 6 week jury trial in state court, Ms. Roy succeeded in obtaining a complete defense verdict. Ms. Roy then successfully defended the judgment on appeal before the Fourth Appellate District of the State of California and in a subsequent federal court action that was reviewed by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Ms. Roy obtained a $24.7 million fraud judgment for her clients in a 9-day private arbitration in the matter Bruinbilt v. Persistence Capital, et al. Ms. Roy’s clients were investors who had been defrauded by an elaborate ponzi scheme involving life insurance.

Ms. Roy also prevailed on summary judgment on behalf of client Wynn Oil Company in the Los Angeles Superior Court matter Miguel, et al v. Wynn Oil Company. The case involved allegations of fraud, breach of contract, intentional interference with economic advantage, unfair business practices, and misappropriation of trade secrets associated with a 10-year relationship between Wynn Oil and its Brazilian distributor. Ms. Roy successfully defended the judgment on appeal to the Second Appellate District of the State of California.

Environmental Litigation

Ms. Roy was counsel for Exxon Mobil Corporation in City of Merced v. Chevron U.S.A. Inc., et al., a 4½-month products liability jury trial in Merced County Superior Court. She obtained dismissal on directed verdict of punitive damages and millions of dollars in claimed compensatory damages, followed by a favorable jury verdict.

Ms. Roy obtained the following significant victories in a series of cases regarding MTBE groundwater contamination and products liability claims pending in a federal multi-district litigation and in California courts:

  • Summary judgment on all claims in City of Fresno v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, et al.
  • Summary judgment on all claims in City of Merced Redevelopment Agency v. Exxon Mobil Corporation, et al.
  • Summary judgment disposing of most of the claims asserted in Orange County Water District v. Unocal, et al. A portion of the case remains in the Southern District of New York while focus sites have been remanded to the Central District of California for trial.

Ms. Roy obtained summary judgment on all claims in Orange County Water District v. SABIC Innovative Plastics, et al. The case involved a claim for tens of millions of dollars in purported future damages associated with alleged groundwater contamination in Orange County asserted against approximately 40 property owners and manufacturers.

Ms. Roy obtained summary judgment in D&H v. Exxon Mobil Corporation. She argued and successfully defended the judgment on appeal before the Second Appellate District.

Thought Leadership

Articles

Real Estate, Land Use, and Environmental Law Blog Posts

Media Mentions

Speaking Engagements

  • Moderator, "Is Your Product Legal in California? California’s Green Chemistry Laws," 16th Annual Environmental Law Fall Symposium LACBA, November 3, 2017
  • Speaker, "Woman Leaders: Lessons Learned on the Journey," Central Valley Women's Forum, March 30, 2016
  • Speaker, "Women in Leadership: How to Position Yourself for a Leadership Role and What to do Once You Get There," hosted by Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, April 24, 2014
  • Panelist, "Inspiring Stories - Paths to Leadership," hosted by the Women of Grant Thornton, June 26, 2013
  • Panelist, "Women making partner: The balancing act," USC Gould School of Law, April 3, 2013

Memberships

  • Member, Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Women's Law Association of Los Angeles
  • Member, California Women Lawyers
  • Member, National Association of Women Lawyers
  • Member, Association of Business Trial Lawyers
  • Alumnus, Leadership California - Class of 2005