Christopher S. Ruhland

Christopher Ruhland Dechert complex commercial litigation lawyer Los Angeles

Christopher S. Ruhland


Los Angeles | US Bank Tower, 633 West 5th Street, Suite 4900, Los Angeles, CA, United States of America 90071-2013
+1 213 808 5714 | +1 213 808 5760


Christopher S. Ruhland is a trial lawyer who represents clients in complex and significant litigation throughout the country. Mr. Ruhland is a founding partner of Dechert’s Los Angeles office and has served as managing partner of the office. He currently is the co-chair of Dechert's Business Litigation & Trials group. Mr. Ruhland has represented clients in a broad spectrum of sectors, including media, financial, healthcare, retail, transportation, government and education. He has won cases for clients in a wide range of civil litigation disputes, including fraud, breach of contract, unfair competition, antitrust, patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret, defamation, employment and product liability. Mr. Ruhland has been recognized for the quality of his work by rating organizations such as Chambers USA, The Legal 500 and Super Lawyers.

Mr. Ruhland teaches trial and pre-trial advocacy techniques to other lawyers, and he is a frequent author and speaker on civil litigation and intellectual property topics. He is the author of Attorney-Client Privilege Answer Book (Practising Law Institute), which recently was updated in the 2020 edition. He has presented before the International Trademark Association and the United States Copyright Society, has been quoted on legal subjects in publications such as the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times, and has appeared as a legal analyst on MSNBC and Bloomberg.

Mr. Ruhland also is active in the legal community.  He has been a board member of the Constitutional Rights Foundation since 2011.  He is a member of the Judicial Elections Evaluation Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar and is the co-chair of an ABA Trial Practice subcommittee.

Prior to joining Dechert in 2011 to establish the Los Angeles office, Mr. Ruhland was a litigation partner at another large international law firm. He also previously worked in-house as Senior Counsel at The Walt Disney Company.


Business Litigation

  • Obtained a complete victory for wind energy investment companies at a trial in Los Angeles involving alleged fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and breach of contract.
  • Successfully defended Motorola in bid protest lawsuits in California and Virginia.
  • Tried eight breach of contract and fraud cases to verdict for DHL Express in New York, Michigan, Utah and Texas, defeating claims for damages alleged to be well over US$200 million.
  • Successfully represented Vident in an antitrust lawsuit in Los Angeles against one of the nation’s largest suppliers of dental products.
  • Obtained judgments totaling US$43 million for Efferton DMCC in a fraud case in federal court in Los Angeles.
  • Defeated a class action in New York in which purchasers of delivery services contended that they were inappropriately billed millions of dollars for fuel surchages.
  • Prevailed on summary judgment and on appeal in the Ninth Circuit in a breach of contract case involving the alleged destruction of a reseller business.
  • Represented Ryder System in a class action in Los Angeles and obtained a settlement and dismissal before class certification.

Intellectual Property Litigation

  • Won a jury trial in Los Angeles for Quest Diagnostics against a large hospital that accused Quest of misappropriating trade secrets and breaching a confidentiality agreement.
  • Won dismissal of a trademark infringement lawsuit in Los Angeles against The Walt Disney Company and ESPN involving the title of a television program.
  • Prevailed in arbitrations involving movie titles for Fox Entertainment and Sony Pictures in disputes against other major movie studios.
  • Successfully represented Victoria’s Secret in several intellectual property disputes, including winning an appeal in a multi-million dollar patent lawsuit involving internet sales technology in the Federal Circuit.
  • Won a jury trial in Oakland for Commerce Insurance (including an award of attorneys’ fees) against a large insurance company that accused Commerce of misappropriating trade secrets.
  • Successfully defended Mount Saint Mary’s University in a trademark lawsuit in federal court in Maryland filed by another university.
  • Obtained a complete victory for a large corporation in a patent dispute involving interactive call processing systems that twice went to the Federal Circuit.
  • Represented clients such as Countrywide Financial, Fox and MySpace in successful domain name litigation in various jurisdictions.
  • Prevailed in copyright infringement disputes for clients such as Investor’s Business Daily, ViewSonic and The Walt Disney Company.
  • University of California, Irvine, B.A., 1991, cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa
  • UCLA School of Law, J.D., 1994, Managing Editor of the UCLA Law Review
  • California
  • District of Columbia
  • New York
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of California
  • United States District Court for the Central District of California
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of California
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of California
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, Association of Business Trial Lawyers
  • Member, Los Angeles County Bar (Judicial Elections Evaluation Committee)
  • Board Member, Constitutional Rights Foundation
Speaking Engagements
  • Trade Secrets — CEB, Los Angeles, CA (May 15, 2013)