Daniel J. Herling

Member / Co-Chair, Product Liability Practice vCard


  • University of Dayton School of Law (JD)
  • University of Dayton (BS)

Bar Admissions

  • California
  • Pennsylvania
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

Dan’s practice is focused on product liability issues relating to consumer products. 

Specific to consumer class action lawsuits, Dan has successfully defended clients in class actions alleging false or misleading labeling or advertising of foods, cosmetics, over-the-counter drugs, dietary supplements, and homeopathic products. These claims have involved probiotics, “natural” ingredients, “clinically-proven” results, lack of efficacy, lack of substantiation, and failure to disclose. Representative statutes addressed include:

  • California’s Unfair Competition Law (Business & Professions Code § 17200) and similar unfair competition statutes in every state and the District of Columbia based on allegations of unfair competition or false advertising actions.
  • California Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Proposition 65)
  • Deceptive, False, and Misleading Advertising laws, such as California’s Business & Professions Code § 17500, and similar statutes proscribing advertising that contains false, deceptive, or misleading statements related to the sale of goods.
  • Consumer Legal Remedies Act (CLRA), California Civil Code § 1750, which establishes a remedy for unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts in the sale of goods to a consumer. CLRA violations commonly alleged against food and drug companies include “representing goods that have characteristics, ingredients, benefits or qualities that they do not have,” and “representing that goods are of a particular standard, quality, or grade.”
  • Breach of Express and Implied Warranties under state and federal laws, including the Magnuson-Moss Act.

His trial work also encompasses defense of pharmaceuticals & medical devices, sports equipment, commercial litigation and privacy and data security. Dan advises international companies in the pharmaceutical, medical device, food, over-the-counter drugs, homeopathic remedies, and dietary supplement, and sports industries. He has served as defense counsel in over 3,000 product liability cases and represented companies in both state and federal courts in California and the US. Dan routinely advises clients on regulatory matters as well as the selection of local counsel and lead trial attorneys. His commercial litigation practice has covered a wide spectrum of issues and included representation of several international companies based in Italy, Mexico, India, United Kingdom, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Germany, Australia, and Switzerland.

Representative Matters

  • Successfully resolved California Unfair Competition claims (17200) against manufacturers of dietary supplements, foods, cosmetics, and homeopathic medicine products.
  • Successfully represented a semiconductor equipment supplier against allegations of breach of contract, lack of good faith and fair dealing, fraud, and unfair competition. The plaintiff had sought approximately $200 million in damages. The defense verdict was selected as one of the Top Defense Verdicts of 2010 by the San Francisco Daily Journal and was upheld on Appeal.
  • Obtained complete dismissal of product liability, RICO action relating to medical devices through a motion to dismiss in the Southern District of Ohio.
  • Successfully defended a California grocery retailer in a state court lawsuit and on appeal. The lawsuit was filed by three Union for Food and Commercial Worker-employed plaintiffs alleging that the retailer violated the Rosenthal Roberti Item Pricing Act.
  • Obtained a summary judgment in the US District Court for the Northern District of California in a medical device action.
  • Successfully represented in Arbitration a supplier of component parts for a consumer product in breach of contract and breach of warranty claims arising from a nationwide CPSC recall.
  • Successfully obtained a pre-judgment attachment in the amount of $45 million in breach of contract action in the US District Court for the Northern District of California on behalf of a non-US based technology company.
  • Successfully obtained summary judgment in the US District Court for the Northern District of California in a business defamation claim that led to new management obtaining control of a non-US based software company.
  • Favorably settled action in the US District Court for the Northern District of California alleging breach of earnout provision of stock purchase agreement after preliminary injunction hearing.
  • Favorably settled purported three state class actions alleging product liability and contract claims in state court.
  • Obtained defense verdict in a state superior court action alleging product liability and breach of contract claims.

Recognitions & Awards

  • Litigation and Product Liability Guide: Leading Practitioners in Product Liability (2016)
  • Expert Guides: Product Liability Litigation (2014)
  • Northern California Super Lawyers: Class Action (2004 – 2018)
  • Best Lawyers in America: Product Liability Litigation (2012 – 2018)
  • Lead trial counsel in breach of contract/indemnity action case selected as a “Top 10 Defense Verdict” by The Daily Journal (2010)
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent

Professional & Community Involvement

  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • Member, Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel
  • Member, Drug and Medical Device Committee of the Defense Research Institute
  • Board of Editors, Law Journal Newsletter, Products Liability Law and Strategy
  • Chair, International Committee, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors
  • Arbitrator, San Francisco Municipal and Superior Courts
  • Member, University of Dayton School of Law Advisory Counsel
  • Delegate, Northern California KOTRA APEC Investment Mart in Seoul, Korea
  • Delegate, San Francisco Mayor’s Trade Commission to Mexico
  • Board Member, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce
  • Member, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce Leadership Program Alumni Council
  • Past Board Member, San Francisco School Volunteers