Daniel Girard, Girard Sharp Photo

Daniel C. Girard



Under Daniel Girard’s leadership, Girard Sharp has become one of the most respected and experienced class action law firms in the United States. Dan believes that, too often, the U.S. legal system favors companies and financial institutions over ordinary people. He founded the firm to provide individuals who work hard and play by the rules the same focused, dedicated representation enjoyed by corporations, banks, and insurance companies.

Dan is frequently appointed by courts to lead major complex cases. Most recently, Dan was appointed to serve as co-lead counsel in the Intuit Free File Litigation, a nationwide class action alleging unfair business practices in the market for online tax preparation software services. Dan also serves as lead counsel in the Woodbridge Investments Litigation, as a member of the leadership team in the USC Student Health Center Litigation, as lead counsel in the United States Office of Personnel Management Data Breach class action, and as lead counsel for the California Teachers Retirement System in litigation against Walmart for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  

Dan’s past work includes serving as lead lawyer for securities investors following the collapse of Lehman Brothers and as lead counsel for commodities investors following the failure of the Peregrine Financial Group. He has served as lead attorney in successful class actions under a range of federal and state statutes, emphasizing investment and financial services matters. 

Dan’s past and present clients include the California Teachers Retirement System, the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System, the American Federation of Government Employees, Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company, Allianz Life Insurance Company, Nu Skin International Inc., and celebrity photographer Gunter Sachs. 

Dan has served the federal court system through his work on federal rule-making committees. He was appointed by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist to the United States Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Civil Rules in 2004 and served on the Civil Rules Committee through 2010. Chief Justice John G. Roberts appointed Dan to the Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure in 2015 and reappointed him to a second term in 2018. Dan’s article, Limiting Evasive Discovery: A Proposal for Three Cost-Saving Amendments to the Federal Rules, 87 Denver University Law Review 473 (2010), proposed several rule amendments that were ultimately adopted in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 34(b)(2).

Dan also serves as a member of the Council of the American Law Institute.

Dan was educated in France and the United States and is fluent in French.


J.D., University of California at Davis School of Law, 1984

  • Editor, Law Review

B.A., Cornell University, 1979


  • California
  • Northern District of California
  • Central District of California
  • Southern District of California
  • Eastern District of California
  • District of Columbia
  • District of Colorado
  • Northern District of Illinois
  • Courts of Appeals for the First, Second, Fourth, Fifth, Seventh, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Circuits
  • The Supreme Court of the United States


Jay Peak EB-5 Investment Visa Litigation
Worked with leadership team members and federal equity receiver to recover $150 million in action against Raymond James Financial relating to EB-5 Visa investment project to develop Jay Peak in the Vermont area.

In re Sears Derivative Litigation
Lead counsel in action arising out of Sears’s spinoff of 235 properties to Seritage Growth Properties, a newly formed REIT, to a group that included hedge funder Eddie Lampert and now-treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin. Negotiated a $40 million recover for Sears Holdings Corporation in a derivative action in Delaware Chancery Court. 

In re Sony Pictures Employee Data Breach Litigation  
Lead counsel in action on behalf of employees affected by cyberattack attributed to North Korea following release of film The Interview; led negotiation of settlement for cash and identity theft insurance.

In re Peregrine Financial Group
Lead counsel in action against US Bank following collapse of Peregrine Financial Group, prosecuted in coordination with federal bankruptcy trustee and Commodities Futures Trading Commission. Recoveries totaled over $70 million.   

In re Provident Royalties, LLC/Medical Capital
Lead counsel in a class action against broker-dealer Securities America Inc. and its corporate parent, Ameriprise Inc., in connection with sales of Provident Royalties and Medical Capital investment schemes. Led settlement negotiations resulting in a $150 million settlement for the federal class action and individual investors in arbitration proceedings.

In re American Express Financial Advisors Securities Litigation
Co-lead counsel in a class action on behalf of individuals who alleged that American Express steered its clients into underperforming “shelf space funds” to reap kickbacks and other financial benefits. Negotiated a cash settlement of $100 million and additional relief.

Scheiner v. i2 Technologies, Inc., et al.
Represented the lead plaintiff, Kansas Public Employees Retirement System, and served as co-lead counsel in securities fraud class action on behalf of investors in i2 Technologies. Negotiated cash settlements of $88 million from the company, its officers, and its former auditor (Arthur Andersen LLP), as well as significant corporate governance reforms.

In re Corrections Corporation of America
Served as co-lead counsel in securities class action brought by investors against a real estate investment trust and its officers and directors following false statements the defendants allegedly made in the context of a merger. Negotiated a settlement for over $104 million in cash and stock.

In re H&R Block Express IRA Litigation
Served as lead counsel in class action against H&R Block alleging that the tax firm misled consumers in the marketing and sale of its “Express IRAs.” Recovered $19.4 million settlement for H&R Block customers.

Odom v. Microsoft
Lead counsel in this consumer class action on behalf of Best Buy customers who were signed up for free trials of Microsoft’s MSN internet service, never logged in, or used the service, but were charged regular monthly fees by Microsoft after the end of the trial period. Achieved a cash settlement providing for reimbursements up to a maximum of $75 as well as other benefits.

Natural Gas Antitrust Cases I, II, III, IV
Member of the Executive Committee in this coordinated antitrust litigation against numerous natural gas companies for manipulating the California natural gas market. Settled for total recovery of $160 million.

In re Towers Financial Corporation Noteholders Litigation
Served as liaison counsel and Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee member in this securities and RICO class action against promoters and professionals associated with failed investment scheme described at the time by the SEC as the “largest Ponzi scheme in U.S. history.”

Mitchell v. American Fair Credit Association
Served as lead counsel in a class action lawsuit alleging that American Fair Credit Association (AFCA) operated an illegal credit repair scheme. Achieved settlements for the class valued at over $40 million.

Ho v. San Francisco Unified School District
Lead lawyer for San Francisco public school students of Chinese descent in civil rights action seeking to terminate racial and ethnic quotas imposed under 1983 desegregation consent decree. Settled on the first day of trial, with SFUSD and California State Board of Education agreeing to end quota system and mandatory racial “self-identification.”

Honors and Awards

Honors and Awards

  • Top 100 Super Lawyers in Northern California (2012, 2013, 2019)
  • Named to the Northern California Super Lawyers list (2007-present)
  • Best Lawyers in America (2012-2021)
  • Best Lawyers in America’s “Lawyer of the Year” in San Francisco for Class Action/Mass Tort Litigation – Plaintiffs (2013)
  • Featured in San Francisco’s Top AV-Preeminent Rated Lawyers (2012)
  • AV-Preeminent rating by Martindale-Hubbell


Community & Professional

  • United States Judicial Conference Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure (2015-present)
  • American Law Institute (2006-present)
    • Council Member (2019-present)
  • United States Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Civil Rules (2004-2010)
  • Business Law Section of American Bar Association
  • Advisory Board, Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS) (2009-2015)
  • Advisory council, Duke University Law School, Distinguished Lawyer Series
  • Board chair, Board of Trustees member, St. Matthew’s Episcopal Day School (2003-2008)



Speaking Engagements


  • Co-author, Managez efficacement vos litiges d'affaires
    Extrait du magazine, Decideurs N121
  • University of Denver Law Journal
  • Author, Litigation and International Arbitration: Acquiring the Right Reflexes (Contentieux et Arbitrage International: les bons réflexes à acquérir) Paris, France
  • The National Law Journal
  • Contributor, “How the Economic Crisis is Affecting U.S. Class Actions” Asset Managers Working Group on U.S. Class Actions Paris, France
    Asset Managers Working Group on U.S. Class Actions
  • Author, Billions to Answer For: The auction-rate securities debacle stuck investors with a real need for representation
    Legal Times
  • Author, “Electronic Discovery and the Amended Rules After a Year...What's New? What's Next?” West LegalWorks- Emerging Ethics Issues in E-Discovery
    West LegalWorks- Emerging Ethics Issues in E-Discovery
  • The Consumer Advocate, Volume 14, No. 2
  • American Bar Association Business Law Section
  • Co-author, Recent Developments in Class Action Litigation: Mandatory Certification in Complex Securities and Mass Tort Cases
    Inside Litigation
  • Author, Toward Lomé III: Perfecting the European Community’s African Partnership
     16 Case W. Res. J. Int’l L. 459
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