Melvin R. Goldman

Attorney in San Francisco, CA

Personal Background

Mr. Goldman graduated from Northwestern University School of Law after serving as Managing Editor of the Law Review and being elected to the Order of the Coif, the law honorary society. He is also a graduate of Stanford University School of Law with the degree of Masters in Law. He has served on the Board of Visitors of both Stanford Law School and Northwestern Law School. Mr. Goldman was listed in Who's Who Legal: California 2009 as one of California's leading practitioners in the field of commercial litigation. He has also been listed by San Francisco Magazine as one of the top 100 lawyers in Northern California. In addition, Mr. Goldman has been listed for over 25 years in The Best Lawyers in America, where he is named as a leader in the fields of Bet-the-Company Litigation, Business Litigation, and Commercial Litigation.

Mr. Goldman associated with the law firm of Morrison & Foerster in 1965. He became a partner of the firm in 1969 and was chair of its Litigation Department. He is past chair of the firm's Partner Compensation Committee.

Trial Experience

Active in the trials of lawsuits, Mr. Goldman has successfully defended corporations and their officers and directors before juries in securities and fraud actions, as well as other complex commercial lawsuits. He has taught trial technique to government lawyers and antitrust attorneys, as well as private practitioners, as a faculty member of a program sponsored by the Columbia University School of Law. Mr. Goldman is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

Special Investigations and Reviews

Mr. Goldman has been retained by Boards of Directors, Audit Committees and Special Committees of Boards of Directors to assist in their conduct of investigations and reviews of various matters, including claims or issues raised in derivative or class action lawsuits or in regulatory proceedings. In the past two years he has been retained by Special Committees of Cisco Systems, Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Company Boards of Directors.

Accounting Experience

In college, Mr. Goldman majored in accounting and was elected to membership in the Beta Gamma Sigma Honorary Society. Before attending law school, he was employed by a public accounting firm as an accountant, where he worked on audits of public and privately held companies. For the past 35 years, Mr. Goldman has specialized in defending security-accounting class actions and derivative suits and SEC and other governmental investigations involving revenue recognition, accruals, reserves, audits, restatements, information systems, internal controls, and other accounting and financial reporting claims.

Lecturing; Bar Associations

Mr. Goldman is active in local, state, and national bar activities. He has lectured to numerous professional organizations in the areas of securities law and complex commercial litigation, including the Practicing Law Institute, California Continuing Education of the Bar, San Diego Securities Regulation Institute, and ALI/ABA. He served as a lawyer representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, is a member of the American Law Institute, and is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation. He was appointed by the Chief Judge of the Northern District of California as a member of the Court's Advisory Committee under the Civil Justice Reform Act. During 1995, he served as President of the Bar Association of San Francisco.

Court Admissions

Mr. Goldman is admitted to practice in state and federal courts in California and Illinois, and in the United States Supreme Court.

Securities Litigation

Mr. Goldman's experience with securities litigation reaches back nearly 40 years since he represented Memorex Corporation in the first large securities class action filed against a Silicon Valley high-tech company. Since then he has been involved in over 100 securities cases, both in California and elsewhere in the United States, representing numerous companies, financial institutions, and their directors and officers in defense of class and derivative litigation and SEC actions and investigations involving a variety of accounting and financial disclosure issues. He has also been retained by several law firms and accounting firms in defense of securities claims made against them. He has lectured widely on securities litigation-related topics. At Stanford University School of Law, he taught a course regarding securities litigation. He has also lectured at the Directors' College presented by Stanford Law School in conjunction with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Currently, he is representing the former officers and directors of Downey Savings and Loan, a bank taken over by the FDIC in 2009, and Downey Financial Corporation, its parent now in bankruptcy. A federal securities class action filed in Los Angeles against these officers and directors was dismissed with prejudice by the Court in 2009 following the defendants' successful motions to dismiss.

Antitrust Experience

Mr. Goldman's practice has also focused on the defense of private and government antitrust actions involving individual and class claims of price fixing, market divisions, and other types of claimed collusive activity by industry competitors. He has defended companies charged with antitrust violations in connection with vertical distribution and marketing activities, including resale price maintenance, territorial and product allocations, and exclusive dealing arrangements. He has also brought and defended claims directed at mergers of competitors and of suppliers and distributors. These matters involve a variety of industries and products, including milk, liquor, beer, pharmaceuticals, respirators, ticket sales, books, records, newspapers, television, soft drinks, petroleum, auto windows, chemicals, and tax services.

Mr. Goldman's trial experience includes lengthy jury trials in major antitrust actions. In his most recent trial, he defended Bergen Brunswig, a drug wholesaler, in a jury trial in federal court in the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago. The claims of a class of all retail pharmacists in the United States were dismissed by the Court at the close of plaintiffs' case, and the dismissal was affirmed by the Court of Appeals. Prior to trial, other drug company defendants had settled their claims by paying several billion dollars to the plaintiffs.

Later, he was retained by Barnes & Noble (to defend the company in an antitrust lawsuit brought by the American Booksellers Association and individual retail booksellers) and by The Coca-Cola Company (to defend antitrust claims of transshippers). Both cases resulted in summary judgments for defendants dismissing plaintiffs' major antitrust claims. He also represented a major banking institution in federal court in New York in its defense to an antitrust action by American Express involving credit cards.

Currently, he is defending Seiko Epson (and related entities) in antitrust damage actions pending in San Francisco Federal Court involving claims of price-fixing in the sale of LCD panels for TVs, monitors, notebooks and cell phones.

Mr. Goldman has argued antitrust appeals involving price fixing claims before the Ninth Circuit. He argued cases involving grants of summary judgment to Tower Records in Zoslaw v. Tower Records, et al. (Robinson Patman and Sherman Act section 2) and to McKesson Corporation in Sausalito Pharmacy v. Blue Shield (Sherman Act section 1 and Cartwright Act).

Mr. Goldman has represented companies in the pharmaceutical, liquor, dairy, and construction industries in federal grand jury proceedings involving criminal price fixing investigations. He has defended companies in antitrust suits brought by the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission. In addition, Mr. Goldman has counseled numerous companies in connection with antitrust compliance, mergers and acquisitions, and other issues arising under federal and state antitrust laws.

Mr. Goldman also has extensive teaching experience in antitrust. He taught all aspects of trial of criminal and civil antitrust cases to government attorneys a faculty member of the Antitrust Trial Practice Program sponsored annually by the Columbia University School of Law. He has lectured at other antitrust courses including those sponsored by the Practising Law Institute, the Conference Board, and the ABA Antitrust Section. With respect to the ABA Antitrust Section, Mr. Goldman has served as chair of its Clayton Action section 8 subcommittee and has been a long time member of its Robinson-Patman Act Committee. He is also past chair of the San Francisco Bar Association's Antitrust Section.


Melvin Goldman is recommended as a leading lawyer by Chambers USA 2009, PLC Which lawyer? 2009, Best Lawyers In America 2014, Benchmark Litigation 2010 and Super Lawyers 2009.

(415) 268-7311
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Peer Rating 5.0 of 5

Areas of Law

  • Antitrust Law
  • Class Actions
  • Securities Litigation, Enforcement & White-Collar Defense
  • Antitrust Law / Litigation
  • Litigation
  • Trials
  • False Claims Act


Peer Rating


Overall Peer Rating

5.0 out of 5.0
  • Meets very high criteria of general ethical standards
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Experience & Credentials


Senior Partner

Admission Details

Admitted in 1961, Illinois
1963, California

Credit Cards Accepted
Law School Attended

Northwestern University School of Law
Class of 1961

Stanford Law School
Class of 1963

University Attended

DePaul University
Class of 1958

Contact Information


(415) 268-7311


Send email to Melvin R. Goldman

Office Information
Melvin R. Goldman
Senior Partner
 425 Market Street,
San Francisco, CA 94105-2482


Morrison & Foerster LLP (San Francisco, California)

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