John Hueston, a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, has been described by Chambers USA as “hard driving, insightful and aggressive” with a “commanding reputation for his trial advocacy.” Rated one of the nation’s top trial lawyers, Mr. Hueston has been recognized twice as a “California Lawyer of the Year,” including for his recovery of $5.15 billion after trial.
Mr. Hueston has represented Fortune 500 companies and governments as lead counsel in their most challenging and high-profile cases and investigations. His work has ranged from winning and defeating multibillion-dollar actions to terminating some of the nation’s most significant regulatory and criminal investigations and cases.
A former lead prosecutor for the Enron trial of Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling, Mr. Hueston is also noted for “his deftness with sensitive, white collar matters and investigations” (Benchmark Litigation). In these matters, his unrelenting focus is not just winning, but avoiding reputational damage. As noted by Benchmark Litigation: “As great as he is with high-profile work, he is equally great with deliberately ‘low profile’ stuff — the matters his clients don’t want you hearing about.”
Representative Commentary and Reviews
The American Lawyer magazine has recognized Mr. Hueston as one of the nation’s Top 50 Young Litigators. As a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, Mr. Hueston is among less than 1 percent of active lawyers who have “mastered the art of advocacy and whose professional careers have been marked with the highest standards of ethical conduct, professionalism, civility and collegiality.” Chambers & Partners recognizes Mr. Hueston as a “Leader in his Field,” and as a leading lawyer in commercial litigation and white collar crime and government investigations. Benchmark Litigation and the National Trial Lawyers have cited him as a national “Top 100 Trial Lawyer;” Benchmark has annually recognized Mr. Hueston as a National Litigation Star. Lawdragon Magazine has repeatedly recognized Mr. Hueston as one of “The 500 Leading Lawyers in America.” Best Lawyers in America has named Mr. Hueston a “Lawyer of the Year” and has recognized him annually since 2009. TheDaily Journal has repeatedly named him as one of California’s 100 most influential lawyers. Mr. Hueston is a recipient of the Anti-Defamation League’s Marcus Kaufman Jurisprudence Award.
As a prosecutor, Mr. Hueston was presented with four awards by three U.S. attorneys general for his trial work, including the highest award bestowed by the U.S. Department of Justice.
BUSINESS TRIALS AND LITIGATION: REPRESENTATIVE MATTERS
- Secured a $5.15 billion settlement after trial for the Tronox Trust as the Litigation Trustee responsible for prosecution of consolidated national litigation against Anadarko Petroleum Company and Kerr McGee Corporation for fraudulent transfer of massive environmental, tort, retiree and other liabilities (see “Tronox Trust Wins Up To $14B In Kerr-McGee Spinoff Row” Law360 ; “Anadarko, Kerr-McGee liable for Tronox cleanup costs” Reuters ; “Judge Approves Anadarko’s $5.15 Billion Settlement” Wall Street Journal);
- In multibillion-dollar securities action against Amgen, obtained dismissal of shareholder derivative suit and favorable resolution of related actions (see “Amgen Beats decade-old Investor Suit over Off-Label Scheme” Law360 );
- Won trial for client State Bar of California after a high-profile legal battle with its former Executive Director/CEO, defeating claims of whistleblower retaliation and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. (see “Joe Dunn Loses arbitration over his firing by State Bar” Sacramento Bee);
- Obtained summary judgment for Sempra Energy in a cross-border dispute relating to a billion-dollar liquefied natural gas terminal (see “Sempra wins one showdown with Mexican rancher” San Diego Tribune);
- Served as lead trial counsel in a highly-publicized three-week jury trial in New York federal court, winning an 8-figure punitive damages verdict and liability findings on all claims of fraud, deceptive business practices and false advertising on behalf of his client. (See “Collecting: Thieves And Forgers Rush In Where Big Spenders Dare To Tread” Forbes ; and “How They Won It” Law360);
- Successfully challenged the constitutionality of a land use ordinance described by theNew York Times as “one of the most stringent anti-development measures ever attempted in the country.” (See “Judge Overrules Malibu Voters…” L.A. Times);
- Lead trial counsel in patent jury trial against LG Electronics, obtaining favorable infringement and invalidity verdicts as to all asserted claims, and a damages award of the full amount sought;
- Represents Navajo Nation for matters rising from Gold King Mine waste water disaster (see “Navajo Nation preps lawsuit against EPA over mine spill” The Hill);
- Represents Sumner M. Redstone in breach of fiduciary duty and fraud case (see “Sumner Redstone Sues Ex-Companions for Elder Abuse” Vanity Fair);
- Represents Alec Baldwin in fraud case against art dealer (see “Alec Baldwin Files Suit Accusing Art Dealer of Fraud” New York Times);
- Obtained preliminary injunction on behalf of IMDb enjoining California law restricting speech (see “IMDb Sues California Over Law Allowing Actors to conceal Their Ages” Wall Street Journal;
- Defending Caltech against allegations of retaliatory termination and breach of implied contract;
- Obtained $50 million for Pacific Life against Bank of New York Mellon at conclusion of motions for summary judgment in breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty matter in an investment mismanagement case;
- Obtained dismissal with prejudice of consolidated federal shareholder litigation arising from a $600 million settlement with the USDOJ for alleged off-label promotional activities related to Botox;
- Obtained over $50 million and award of IP rights for major telecommunications company at the conclusion of an eight-month action;
- Obtained dismissals and defeated TROs in high-stakes trade secrets cases including Broadcom v. SpaceX (see “SpaceX Wins First Round” Courthouse News) and Teva v. Amgen (see “Teva Loses Amgen Spying Suit Over Blood Drug Secrets” Law360);
- Obtained broad injunctions against theft of trade secrets and confidential information, admissions of misappropriation of confidential information and published apologies from five former employees of CoreLogic Solutions, LLC;
- Secured decertification of consumer class action alleging violations of California’s false advertising and consumer protection laws;
- Obtained dismissal with prejudice of False Claims Act claims alleged to be worth tens of millions of dollars in action brought against public entity;
- Recovered $20 million “earn out” payments for former executives of Automotive.com
- Secured permanent injunction and won trial for UCLA in civil actions against organizations and individuals threatening violence against faculty members and administrators.
CORPORATE CRISIS AND WHITE COLLAR CRIMINAL DEFENSE: REPRESENTATIVE MATTERS
- On the eve of trial in July 2015 and after four years of investigation and litigation, obtained dismissal of all felony federal charges against a subsidiary of Waste Management Inc., America’s largest environmental services provider, and two of its managers;
- Secured termination of SEC investigation of high-level PIMCO officer relating to allegations of misleading investors about the performance of fund and alleged failure to accurately value certain fund securities;
- Obtained dismissal of criminal mortgage fraud indictment after evidentiary hearings for prosecutorial misconduct; Dallas County District Attorney held in contempt (see “Hill Wins, Watkins Loses” Dallas Morning News);
- Reversed initial SEC charging decision and terminated insider trading and tipping investigation into Goldman Sachs banker with alleged ties to Galleon Group (see “U.S. SEC, in about-face, Ends Probe of Goldman Banker” Reuters);
- Obtained dismissal of all 306 counts of an indictment brought by the Nevada Attorney General’s “Mortgage Fraud Task Force” in first “robo-signing” prosecution (see “Massive ‘robo-signing’ prosecution dismissed for misconduct” National Law Journal);
- Obtained declination of criminal case against Angelo Mozilo, former CEO of Countrywide Financial;
- Obtained complete dismissal of felony charges based on successful challenge to the constitutionality of the offense statute;
- Terminated criminal investigation of Fortune 500 medical device manufacturer without payment of fine or civil settlement;
- Conducted FCPA investigation on behalf of a Fortune 100 company within 60 days and concluded it without assessment of sanctions or fines;
- Terminated criminal and parallel civil investigations targeting CEO of Fortune 500 medical device manufacturer for alleged complicity in off-label promotion scheme and false and misleading public statements and filings regarding device development;
- Resolved tri-state attorneys general investigation into alleged false advertising by Fortune 500 health care company without fines or penalties;
- Obtained prosecution declination for Kaiser Permanente in Nadya Suleman “Octomom” investigations of alleged HIPAA violations;
- Resolved federal investigation of alleged celebrity privacy breaches at UCLA without charges or fines;
- Served as independent counsel for investigations on behalf of numerous government agencies, including the County of San Bernardino and the City of Santa Monica.
Mr. Hueston has lectured nationally at law and business schools on topics of trial advocacy and corporate governance, including Cornell, Loyola, Stanford, UCLA, U.C. Hastings, UCI, USC, and Yale.
Mr. Hueston served as a law clerk for the Honorable Frank M. Johnson, Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Mr. Hueston is currently National Co-Chair of the ABA White Collar Crime Committee. Mr. Hueston is a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers’ National Trial Competition Committee, California-Southern State Committee and Federal Rules of Evidence Committee. Additionally, Mr. Hueston serves as a Central District of California Merit Selection Panel member to assist the U.S. District Court with the appointment and reappointment of magistrate judges.
Mr. Hueston is a past President of the Orange County Bar Association, the second largest bar association in the State of California, and a former President of the Federal Bar Association of Orange County. Mr. Hueston also served as a Central District of California Judicial Conference Lawyer Representative. Mr. Hueston serves as a member of Senator Kamala Harris’ Leadership Circle. Mr. Hueston also serves Yale Law School and Dartmouth College in a number of leadership roles, and is a member of the Board of Visitors for UCI Law School.