How They Won It: Irell Brings Populism To Koch Wine Fight

Law360, New York (May 24, 2013, 1:40 PM EDT) -- After billionaire William Koch bought some allegedly counterfeit wine at auction, Irell & Manella LLP attorneys won him a $12 million fraud verdict by showing jurors that false labeling is a consumer rights issue that can affect anyone — not just wealthy businessmen.

Koch won an auction in 2005 for 24 bottles of purportedly rare Bordeaux, which had been consigned to Zachys Wine Auctions by Internet entrepreneur Eric Greenberg. When Koch discovered two years later what he claimed was proof that the bottles were fakes, he sued Greenberg for fraud, deceptive business practices and false advertising.

Following a 13-day trial last month,...

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