Kevin Underhill

Partner, Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP

Kevin is an experienced litigator who has been with SHB since 1993 and has practiced in California since 2000. He is an expert on California’s consumer protection laws and also has extensive experience in the defense of product liability and business litigation claims, and in opposing class actions. Many of these cases have involved federal preemption and the law applicable to claims for punitive damages. Kevin has drafted numerous successful motions and briefs and has argued before local and appellate judges in both state and federal court. He frequently speaks on topics such as consumer law, legal ethics and legal writing, among others.

Sample representations include the defense of:

  • Numerous product liability actions and medical-monitoring class actions against Philip Morris USA and Lorillard Tobacco Co.
  • Multi-district litigation against The Coca-Cola Company alleging that certain labeling and advertising claims misled consumers and violated FDA regulations, the California Unfair Competition Law and similar laws in other states.
  • Many other cases involving the UCL and related claims, including cases against Toyota Motor Corporation, Sysco Corp., Interstate Bakeries, Kraft Foods, S&M NuTec, Sprint/Nextel Corp. and others.
  • A multi-billion-dollar asbestos-reimbursement action against Philip Morris and Lorillard that included UCL claims. The action was ultimately dismissed.

Kevin’s legal commentaries have been featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, the Wall Street Journal, The Recorder, The Daily Journal, and the law journal The Green Bag. He is a contributor to and has also provided commentary for National Public Radio. Kevin writes about unusual legal news and issues on his website,Lowering the Bar (, which the ABA Journal recently named to its “Blawg 100” list for the second year in a row.

  • 1993 J.D., Georgetown University Law Center
  • 1988 B.A., University of Kansas

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