Stephen J. Oddo’s litigation efforts on behalf of individual and institutional shareholders in corporate merger and acquisition class actions have helped preserve the integrity of the merger process in companies across the country. For over a decade, Mr. Oddo has maximized shareholder value by securing tens of millions of dollars of additional consideration for shareholders whose investments have been adversely impacted by corporate transactions and obtaining disclosures of material information for shareholders. Mr. Oddo also represents shareholders in securities fraud class actions and in cases seeking to recover excessive fees charged by mutual fund advisors.
Prior to joining Robbins LLP, Mr. Oddo was a partner at the firm now known as Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP, where he was part of a team at the forefront of litigating shareholder claims challenging unfair business combinations. Before entering the legal profession, Mr. Oddo served as Press Secretary to U.S. Representative Robert T. Matsui (D-Cal).
Mr. Oddo earned his Juris Doctor from University of San Diego School of Law, during which he interned for the Honorable Eugene Lynch, U.S. District Judge in the Northern District of California. Mr. Oddo earned his Masters of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University, Medill School of Journalism, and his Bachelor of Arts at Santa Clara University.
Saba Software, Inc.
Mr. Oddo served as lead counsel in this shareholder class action against the officers and directors of Saba Software for breaches of fiduciary duties related to the buyout of Saba Software by Vector Capital Management. Plaintiffs alleged that because the company was facing mounting financial concerns, including delisting by the Securities and Exchange Commission and a failure to complete its internal review of the accounting treatment of certain international transactions, defendants chose to sell the company in a flawed and self-serving sales process in exchange for inadequate merger consideration for Saba Software shareholders. After three and half years of litigation, including extensive discovery, mediation, and a lengthy settlement negotiation process, defendants agreed to pay Saba Software's former shareholders $19.5 million. In approving the settlement, Vice Chancellor Slights called Robbins's representation of the class "exemplary" and touted the settlement as a "strong recovery for the class." Transcript of Proceeding at 18, 22, In re Saba Software, Inc. Stockholder Litig. C.A., No. 10697-VCN (Del. Ch. Sept. 26, 2018). In re Saba Software, Inc. Stockholder Litig. C.A., No. 10697-VCN (Del. Ch. Sept. 26, 2018).
Mr. Oddo served as co-lead counsel to the public shareholders of Venoco, Inc. in this class action arising out of a scheme by the energy company's Chief Executive Officer to buy out Venoco's minority shareholders at an inadequate share price. After four years of contentious litigation and amidst the company's demise, Mr. Oddo achieved a settlement fund of $19 million for shareholders—a significant recovery in light of Venoco's dire financial circumstances. The court noted that this settlement represented a 5.2% increase in the consideration received by the shareholders over the $12.50 share price in the merger consideration, an increase greater than recent settlements of this type. At the final approval hearing, the Honorable Sam Glasscock III, Vice Chancellor, in the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware touted the settlement as a "good result for all" and "very fortunate for the class." Transcript of Proceeding at 19, 22, In re Venoco, Inc. S'holder Litig., C.A. No. 6825-VCG (Del. Ch. Oct. 5, 2016). In re Venoco, Inc. S'holder Litig., C.A. No. 6825-VCG (Del. Ch. Oct. 5, 2016).
Star Scientific, Inc. (now Rock Creek Pharmaceuticals, Inc.)
Mr. Oddo served as lead counsel in this securities fraud class action against Star Scientific alleging that the defendants made materially false and misleading statements regarding John Hopkins University School of Medicine's purported involvement in the clinical development and testing of Star Scientific's main product - Anatabloc® - to increase Star Scientific's stock price to the detriment of stockholders and to secure the equity financing the company needed to stay in business. Mr. Oddo successfully defeated defendants' motion to dismiss, conducted preliminary discovery, and engaged in extensive settlement discussions. Ultimately, Mr. Oddo secured a $5.9 million settlement fund on behalf of stockholders who purchased their shares of Star Scientific stock based on the misrepresentations. In re Star Scientific, Inc. Securities Litig., No. 3:13-CV-00183-JAG (E.D. VA July 6, 2015).
PETCO Animal Supplies, Inc.
Mr. Oddo led the charge in this class action alleging that the going-private acquisition of PETCO by a private equity group was consummated at an unfair price. After more than three years of contentious litigation, Mr. Oddo helped secure a $16 million settlement fund to be distributed to the class of shareholders. In re PETCO Animal Supplies, Inc. S'holder Litig., Lead Case No. GIC 869399 (Cal. Super. Ct.-San Diego Cnty. Mar. 26, 2010).
Electronic Data Systems, Inc.
Mr. Oddo served as lead counsel in this securities class action that challenged the acquisition of Electronic Data Systems Corporation by Hewlett-Packard Company. Mr. Oddo negotiated a pre-closing settlement that secured for Electronic Data Systems shareholders a $25 million dividend and the disclosure of previously omitted material information concerning the transaction that allowed for an informed shareholder vote. In re Electronic Data Systems Class Action Litig., Master File No. 366-01078-2008 (Tex. Dist. Ct.-Collin Cnty. Dec. 23, 2008).
Mr. Oddo represented the shareholders of eMachines, Inc. in a challenge to the efforts of the company's founder to take the company private. Mr. Oddo's litigation efforts helped secure a $24 million common fund for shareholders. In re eMachines, Inc. Merger Litig., No. 01-CC-00156 (Cal. Super. Ct.-Orange Cnty. July 25, 2007).