EDUCATIONUniversity of Virginia School of Law, J.D., 1997
Harvard College, A.B.,
magna cum laude, 1992
University of Bonn,
Bonn, Germany, 1991
ADMISSIONSDelaware (2008) [Inactive]
U.S. Courts of Appeals:
- Ninth Circuit (1998)
U.S. District Courts:
- N.D. Cal. (1997)
- E.D. Cal. (1998)
- C.D. Cal. (1998)
- S.D. Cal. (1998)
- Selected as "Super Lawyer"
by Thomson Reuters
Lesley E. Weaver
Lesley Weaver joined BFA in 2016, opening the Firm’s California office, to focus on antitrust and consumer litigation.Lesley joined Bleichmar Fonti & Auld LLP as a partner in 2016, opening the firm’s California office. In her twenty year career, Lesley has focused primarily on cases that protect the public interest, consumers, and public entities. In 2015, Lesley was appointed by U.S. District Judge Charles R. Breyer to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in In re Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litig., MDL No. 2672 CRB (JSC). Lesley's leadership position in the Volkswagen litigation included spearheading the investigation that ultimately uncovered German auto supplier Robert Bosch GmbH’s significant role in multiple schemes to place software in vehicles purposefully designed to evade emissions laws. Plaintiffs in the Volkswagen litigation have recovered $14.7 billion for class members and nearly $5 billion for the environment, the largest automotive class action recovery ever.
In June 2017, Ms. Weaver was appointed to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee leading claims against Fiat Chrysler and Bosch in In re Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep EcoDiesel Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability, MDL No. 17-MD-02777-EMC (“Fiat Chrysler”). Like Volkswagen, the Fiat Chrysler lawsuit seeks to redress harm to consumers arising out of the illegal and deliberate use of devices to sense when vehicles are being tested, so that those vehicles regularly emit significant amounts of pollution on the road.
In December 2017, Judge Charles R. Breyer appointed Ms. Weaver to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in In re: German Automotive Manufacturers Antitrust Litigation. Consumers and suppliers allege that German automakers engaged in a 20-year cartel—the single largest known automobile cartel in U.S. and European history—to suppress the development of technology in their automobiles.
As part of her mission to protect the public trust, Lesley also serves as counsel to a number of governmental entities, in both formal and informal roles. Lesley represents the Cities of Palo Alto and Richmond, California in a municipal subclass in In re Lithium Ion Batteries Antitrust Litig. Lesley also represents Oakland County, Michigan in In re Liquid Aluminum Sulfate Antitrust Litig. In In re Automotive Parts Antitrust Litig., Lesley represented Oakland County, Michigan, Traverse City, Michigan, the Village of Northport, New York, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, and Richmond, California in the case against manufacturers of wire harnesses that settled on a non-class basis far in excess of the entities’ actual damages.
Lesley was personally appointed co-lead counsel to lead the indirect purchaser class in In re Domestic Drywall Antitrust Litig., and serves on committees in In re Packaged Seafood Antitrust Litig. and In re Lithium Ion Batteries Antitrust Litig. She is leading the discovery committee in In re Disposable Contact Lens Antitrust Litig.
In addition, Lesley has extensive experience representing sophisticated institutional investors in landmark securities actions. Some of those cases include In re Cavanaugh Securities Litig. (including appeal to the Ninth Circuit concerning the method of selecting lead plaintiff and lead counsel after the enactment of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act.); In re Marsh & McLennan Cos. Sec. Litig. ($400 million settlement); In re Cardinal Health Inc. Sec. Litig. ($600 million settlement); and In re Cisco Systems, Inc. Sec. Litig. ($99 million settlement); In re Northpoint Communications Group, Inc. (notable decision finding that certain allegations of scienter and falsity in securities suit were pled with particularity required by PSLRA and statements made about potential merger with Verizon were deliberately reckless); and CommTouch Software, Ltd. Sec. Litig. (notable decision finding complaint pled with sufficient particularity to support an inference of deliberate misconduct), among other significant cases.
Lesley has also represented sophisticated institutional investors in securities actions, including Amalgamated Bank, the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System, and the California Public Employees Retirement System. In addition, Lesley counsels clients seeking to opt out of class action litigation, assisting them in negotiating confidential, private settlements, with outstanding results.
Lesley’s extensive trial experience has spanned her career. In October 2014, Lesley tried an internet privacy case against a Chinese-owned, California-based internet site, recovering 100 percent of economic damages and a $15 million punitive damages jury verdict, as well as significant injunctive relief. Her first trial was in 1998 before the Hon. Vaughn Walker on behalf of Amanda Buritica, a U.S. citizen born in Colombia who was unlawfully detained by U.S. Customs at San Francisco International Airport. The case resulted in the largest verdict at the time under the Federal Tort Claims Act.
Lesley is committed to public service through volunteer efforts, and currently serves on the Advisory Council of the East Bay Community Law Center, as well as the Executive Committee of the Securities Section for the Bar Association of San Francisco. She is a past Co-Chair of Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom, a past Co-Chair of the San Francisco LGBT Community Center, past National Chair of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and past Vice-President and Director of the Board of the Frameline Film Festival. She has previously served on the boards of Women Lawyers of Alameda County, Equality California, the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, and the Alice B. Toklas Democratic Club. She also is a member of the National Association of Public Pension Attorneys (NAPPA).
Lesley holds degrees from the University of Virginia, Harvard College, and the University of Bonn (Germany), and attended high school at Haderslev Katedraleskole in Denmark. She speaks German and Danish.