Terry Ross

Terry graduated from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1970 and from the University of Southern California with a Juris Doctor in 1973.  After working in private practice in San Francisco for four years, he returned to southern California and joined his former U.S.C. classmates, Steve Young and Bob Logan, at the law offices of Samuel A. Keesal, Jr.  The firm changed its name to “Keesal, Young & Logan” in 1978, and Terry served as the firm’s managing shareholder from 1988 through 2014.

Terry’s legal specialty is trial practice in the disciplines of securities, employment, community and national banking, construction, and maritime personal injury.

Terry has tried or arbitrated more than 100 lawsuits in 15 states and U.S. territories, before state and federal courts (jury and bench trials) and in various arbitration forums. He has defended securities firms and their employees in civil proceedings in court and arbitration, and has defended firms and their employees in regulatory proceedings initiated by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the New York Stock Exchange, and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.  Terry has tried several securities class actions to completion.  As part of his defense of financial services firms, Terry also has defended national banks and community banks in mortgage banking, commercial lending and construction lending claims.  Terry’s employment practice encompasses wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, defamation, retaliation, and whistleblower claims.  Terry also has defended malicious prosecution, antitrust, and professional malpractice matters involving attorneys, architects, engineers, and contractors.  Terry also has tried maritime personal injury cases, and scuba-diving accident cases.

Representative Results

  • Victory for Citigroup on a $493 Million Claim in a 37-day AAA Securities Arbitration; In Addition, Citigroup Recovered $2 Million from Claimants.

Terry was one of the lead defense lawyers in a 37-day securities arbitration case before the American Arbitration Association in which the claimants sought $293 million in compensatory damages and another $200 million in punitive damages.  The claim involved hundreds of exchange-traded securities, new issues, margin transactions, variable forward purchase contracts and over-the-counter collars.  Twenty-eight witnesses testified from more than four states (some by video conference), and more than 1,000 exhibits were entered into evidence.  Ultimately, the arbitrators unanimously found in favor of the respondent, Citigroup Global Markets Inc. on all claims.  Additionally, after the arbitration, the claimants paid Citigroup $2 million in attorneys’ fees.  The result was reported by the Daily Journal’s “Verdicts & Settlement” column and labeled a “Top Verdict,” and also was reported by the Securities Arbitration Commentator and Arb Reporter.  Kosti & Marian Shirvanian, individually and as Trustees of the Kosti Shirvanian and Marian Shirvanian Living Trust v. Citigroup Global Markets Inc. (f/k/a Salomon Smith Barney), AAA Case No. 72-168-Y-00004-04 NOLG (10/27/2017). 

  • FINRA Arbitration Panel Dismissed $12 Million Claim.

Terry teamed with other KYL attorneys to defend Jacobs Engineering against an $80 million claim for breach of contract, engineering and construction management professional negligence and unjust enrichment in the construction of a brewery.  The case was tried in federal court in Denver for five weeks and resulted in a $1 verdict for the plaintiff.  Coors Brewing Company v. Jacobs Engineering Group Inc., Case No. 08-cv-00985-RPM, USDC Denver, Colorado (2013).

  • Defense of Engineering Firm in a 5-week Jury Trial in Denver resulting in a Plaintiff’s verdict of $1.

Terry teamed with other KYL attorneys to defend Jacobs Engineering against an $80 million claim for breach of contract, engineering and construction management professional negligence and unjust enrichment in the construction of a brewery.  The case was tried in federal court in Denver for five weeks and resulted in a $1 verdict for the plaintiff.  Coors Brewing Company v. Jacobs Engineering Group Inc., Case No. 08-cv-00985-RPM, USDC Denver, Colorado (2013).

  • Defense Judgment for Community Bank on $22 Million Claim After 29-day Bench Trial And Judgment in Favor of Bank on its $650,000 Counterclaim.

Terry obtained a defense judgment on behalf of a community bank in a 29-day bench trial conducted in the Superior Court of Santa Barbara (Santa Maria).  The plaintiffs sought $22 million in compensatory damages based on their claim that the bank had promised to provide them with various loans and lines of credit to support their farming and produce-marketing operations.  The trial judge found in favor of the bank on every claim and awarded the bank $650,000 and costs on its counterclaim.  Corona Fruits & Veggies, Inc., v. Heritage Oaks Bank, Superior Court of California, County of Santa Barbara Case No. 1290870 (11/26/2014 and 1/20/2015).

  • Summary Judgment against Wrongful Foreclosure Claim in Federal Court, affirmed by Ninth Circuit.

Terry obtained summary judgment for his client in a hotly contested, multi-million dollar series of claims alleging wrongful foreclosure, breach of contract, unfair business practices under California Business and Professions Code section 17200, promissory estoppel, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and negligenceThis judgment was affirmed on appeal.  Badame v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, Case No. CV-13-5425 PA (FFMx) (2014); Badame v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, Case No. 14-55789 (2016) (unpublished appellate opinion affirming trial court).

  • Securities Class Action Tried to Verdict.

Terry was a member of the team that represented Prudential Securities, Inc. in a securities class action in Ohio involving 250 class members who claimed their broker had engaged in unauthorized trading when he moved their money out of the stock market to a more conservative investment allocation just days before a market crash.  In this six-week jury trial, the trial judge refused to dismiss at least three jurors who were related to or knew members of the plaintiff class, and the jury found in favor of the plaintiff class.  The judgment was reduced on appeal.

– Dale Burns, et al. v. Prudential Securities, Inc., 145 Ohio App. 3d 424 (2001) (affirming order granting class certification)

– Dale Burns, et al. v. Prudential Securities, Inc., 167 Ohio App. 3d 809 (2006) (judgment affirmed in part and reversed in part)

Terry also handles appeals and has numerous published appellate opinions.

Terry has been recognized as a Southern California “Super Lawyer” every year since 2005.  He also has been recognized since 2009 in Best Lawyers in America.  He is on the panel of arbitrators for the National Futures Association.  Finally, Terry has been a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America since 2010.  Terry is admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and all of the United States District Courts in California, has been admitted pro hac vice in other circuits and territories, and was admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States in 1987.  He is AV® Preeminent rated by Martindale-Hubbell, having been AV rated for more than 25 years.