HENRY WEISSMANN is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP. Mr. Weissmann represents organizations operating in regulated industries in administrative proceedings, high-stakes class actions and challenges to government regulations. In 2010, BTI recognized Mr. Weissmann as one of its 165 “Client Service All-Stars,” which are selected by corporate counsel. He also is consistently ranked by Chambers USA as a leading lawyer and is listed in The Best Lawyers in America.
Mr. Weissmann has participated in over 25 state and federal administrative proceedings, including representation of:
- Southern California Edison Company in proceedings before the California Public Utilities Commission in connection with the energy crisis in 2000-2001. See SCE v. Peevey, 307 F.3d 794 (9th Cir. 2002); SCE v. Peevey, 31 Cal. 4th 781 (2003).
- Southern California Edison Company in proceedings before the California Public Utilities Commission regarding recovery of uninsured costs of claims resulting from wildfires in which utility facilities are involved.
- Verizon Wireless in proceedings before the California Public Utilities Commission to establish consumer protection rules.
- Verizon Wireless in proceedings before the Federal Communications Commission regarding wireless data roaming and preemption of local authority with respect to late fees.
Mr. Weissmann also represents clients in matters involving challenges to government actions, such as:
- Representation of Tesoro in litigation against the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power concerning whether Tesoro may purchase electricity from another supplier by taking delivery at a point in the refinery located outside the boundary of the City of Los Angeles. In a case of first impression, the California Court of Appeal ruled in September 2010 in favor of Tesoro.
- Representation of Alltel in an action brought by the Florida Attorney General alleging deceptive marketing of a roadside assistance feature. Following a bench trial, Alltel prevailed.
- Challenges to wholesale rates established by state commissions. See, e.g., Verizon California v. Peevey, 413 F.3d 1039 (9th Cir. 2005).
- Challenges to local zoning ordinance governing siting of wireless facilities. See, e.g., Verizon Wireless (VAW) LLC v. City of Rio Rancho, 476 F. Supp. 2d 1325 (D.N.M. 2007).
- Challenges to state regulation of wireless carriers.
- Cases alleging that telecommunications carriers assisted the National Security Agency in conducting counter-terrorism intelligence-gathering, including surveillance and the compilation of call records.
In addition, Mr. Weissmann has extensive experience in class actions. He has defended clients in over 25 class actions in jurisdictions nationwide, including:
- Verizon California in a putative class action in U.S. District Court in the Central District of California involving the marketing of Caller ID service. The court denied class certification in August 2010.
- MCI in a putative class action in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York alleging deceptive practices in enrolling customers in long-distance plans. The court denied class certification in March 2010.
- Actions alleging that early termination fees in wireless contracts are unlawful penalties. In June 2010, the California Court of Appeal affirmed the approval of a nationwide settlement of those claims.
- Actions alleging inadequate disclosure of various billing practices.
Mr. Weissmann is a member of The American Law Institute.
Both as part of his practice and as an adjunct to it, Mr. Weissmann pursues scholarly perspectives on legal problems. For example, he is a co-author of “The Gild That Is Killing The Lily: How Confusion Over Regulatory Takings Doctrine Is Undermining The Core Protections Of The Takings Clause,” published by the George Washington Law Review, Volume 73, No. 3, April 2005.
Mr. Weissmann also is actively involved in the community. He is one of the founding members of the Los Angeles Lawyers Division of the Federalist Society and served as president of the local chapter from 1992 through 2004. In addition, Mr. Weissmann has served as a director of the Federalist Society’s National Telecommunications Practice Group since 1999 and has spoken at Federalist Society events.
Mr. Weissmann served on the board of directors of the Conference of California Public Utility Counsel, a group of private and public sector lawyers who practice before the California Public Utilities Commission. He served as president of the organization in 2002 and has spoken at numerous meetings.
Mr. Weissmann has served as a member of the board of directors of Chrysalis since 2003. Chrysalis is a non-profit organization devoted to helping the homeless find work. It has offices in the Skid Row area of Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Pacoima, and its annual operating budget is approximately $8 million.
Mr. Weissmann is the co-chair of the board of advisors of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Debate League, a non-profit organization devoted to organizing debate programs at inner-city high schools. The organization and affiliates in other urban areas have met with considerable success, with participants exhibiting notable increases in test scores and rates of graduation and matriculation to college.
Mr. Weissmann received his B.A. from Claremont McKenna College in 1984, where he graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. Mr. Weissmann received his J.D. degree from Yale Law School in 1987, where he was awarded the prizes for best argument in moot court and best presentation in trial advocacy.
Mr. Weissmann served as law clerk to Judge James L. Buckley of the United States Court of Appeal for the D.C. Circuit during the 1987-88 term. He served as law clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia of the United States Supreme Court during the 1989-90 term.