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John Gibson

John Gibson


Co-Chair, US Business & Commercial Litigation

Remarkably skillful trial lawyer, trusted advisor and excellent litigator.
Clients quoted in Thomson Reuters’ Stand-out Lawyers

John Gibson co-chairs DLA's Chambers-ranked "Band 1" business & commercial litigation practice. He focuses on creative strategies to win defensive and offensive save-the-company cases involving contracts, IP licensing, commercial, healthcare, technology, and antitrust litigation, including business and consumer class action and multi-district litigation. He has won high-profile trials and cases in California and around the nation for life sciences, healthcare, and high-tech companies, as well as professional sports teams, celebrities, and pro bono clients. He is recognized for having won a top-100 jury verdict in California during 2022 in a business & commercial case where he represented a corporate client as the plaintiff.

Bar admissionsCalifornia


Life Sciences & Healthcare

  • Won company-saving trial victory in international arbitration for branded-pharmaceutical innovator before unanimous tribunal of retired judges in New York. Achieved critical savings for the client by having long-term patent license and product supply agreements declared unenforceable. Publication of the trial victory caused the client's stock price to rise by more than 50% in before-hours trading
  • Won summary judgment for industry-leading distributor of medical and surgical supplies in federal antitrust litigation over pricing policies brought by competitor and nationwide putative classes of customers (hospitals)
  • Successfully represented top healthcare company in federal antitrust litigation over competitive business practices brought by competitor
  • Successfully represented health insurers in multi-district and class action litigation involving pharmaceutical pricing issues and competition by generics
  • Successfully represented top healthcare providers in multiple contract litigation matters
  • “Red Team” trial and argument preparation work for leading life sciences, medical device, and technology companies involving commercial, patent infringement, and antitrust issues
  • In a case covered by ABC News Television, won the nation's first mandatory injunction in federal court requiring a school district to accommodate the service dog of a student with autism

Technology & IP

  • Argued and won (in part) motion to dismiss billion-dollar multi-district litigation involving putative state and nationwide consumer class actions over gaming apps alleged to be unfair competition and illegal gambling
  • Successfully argued motion for centralization/transfer of multiple putative class actions around the nation to N.D. Cal. for top Silicon Valley technology company
  • Won summary judgment for leading technology company, defeating an unfair competition law claim in a precedent-setting antitrust and contract litigation to determine fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) licensing terms for a worldwide portfolio of standard-essential mobile-telecommunications patents. Also, helped the client win a trial verdict determining that the company did not breach its FRAND licensing obligations
  • Won motion to dismiss with prejudice for a leading mobile-device maker in federal antitrust litigation over company's role in technical standard-setting for 4G-LTE mobile technology—thus defeating a threatened injunction against launch of the company's 4G devices
  • Represented a top Web-browser maker in IP and standard-setting issues regarding the next-generation hypertext markup language (HTML) for the World Wide Web
  • Represented leading technology companies in patent infringement litigation involving cellular and WiFi technologies


  • Won jury trial in downtown Los Angeles on behalf of large conglomerate against the client's former head of sales and related individuals for leading a secret fraudulent kickback scheme with some of the client's suppliers and customers. The jury returned a verdict in the client's favor on all causes of action and awarded it punitive damages, resulting in a judgment that includes treble damages and attorneys' fees. This was one of the top 100 jury verdicts in California during 2022.
  • Represented more than 50 Fortune 500 companies suing major credit card issuers in multi-district antitrust litigation over credit and debit card interchange fees charged to major merchants
  • Eliminated 95 percent of the largest antitrust jury verdict in the US by taking over a case, after trial, involving online advertising in the mortgage lending industry
  • Defeated $2 billion in federal antitrust claims before trial for a Fortune 10 company in multiple cases brought by a putative class of the company's thousands of domestic distributors and retailers
  • Won judgment NOV, eliminating a $10 million jury verdict in a commercial real estate case by taking over the matter after trial
  • Won a high-profile trial defending the country's second-largest school district against a claim by a Trump partnership seeking $26 million in damages regarding development of an historic site in Los Angeles
  • Turned the tables for a top company in Asia by taking over declaratory relief litigation that another firm had lost for the company; prevented the plaintiff from using collateral estoppel against the company in a second action for $30 million in damages
  • Won summary judgment for a major airline in defending against the general contractor's construction delay and fraud claims in federal court. The lawsuit involved a $40 million project at a major international airport.
  • Defeated a significant lease pass-through liability for a major bank that was the anchor tenant in a downtown office building affected by an assessment for commercial asbestos-abatement and fire-sprinkler retrofit work. Also recovered attorney's fees and costs for the client in the highly-publicized arbitration proceeding.


  • Served as lead trial counsel for the Los Angeles Clippers basketball franchise in historic diversity and inclusion-related litigation against the former owner, whose allegedly racist remarks published by TMZ caused the NBA to ban him from managing the team. Winning the “trial of the decade” helped rescue the team by enabling a widely-acclaimed sale of the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. The crisis management and resolution also avoided a potential walkout of the NBA's star players.
  • Led investigations relating to recent college sports scandals.

Mass Torts

  • John's tort litigation experience began when he was the senior law clerk to the chief judge of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. His judge presided over all of the asbestos litigation then pending in the district. John helped the judge review the Sumner Simpson papers in camera and write several seminal opinions on theories of product liability, causation and damages at the summary judgment, directed verdict and post-trial stages.
  • In practice, John has successfully defended litigation against manufacturers in the medical device, medical supplies, and metals industries as well as RCRA, CERLA and private tort litigation against owners of superfund sites.

Multi-district litigation

  • In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation, 1:05-md-01720-MKB-JO (E.D.N.Y.)
  • In re Automotive Parts Antitrust Litigation, 2:12-md-02311-SFC-RSW (E.D. Mich.)

  • In re Generic Pharmaceuticals Pricing Antitrust Litigation, 2:16-md-02724 (E.D. Pa.)

Representative decisions

  • TCL Commc'n Tech. Holdings, Ltd. v. Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson, No. 8:14-cv-00341-JVS-DFM, 2018 WL 4488286 (C.D. Cal. Mar. 9, 2018): trial decision that clients did not breach their FRAND licensing commitments in negotiations over licensing of worldwide standard-essential patent portfolio
  • TCL Commc'n Tech. Holdings, Ltd. v. Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson, No. 8:14-cv-00341-JVS-DFM, 2016 WL 7049263 (C.D. Cal. Aug. 9, 2016): summary judgment on California Unfair Competition Law claim alleging restraint of trade for failure to license worldwide portfolio of standard-essential patents on FRAND terms
  • Suture Express, Inc. v. Owens & Minor Distribution, Inc., No. 12-2760-DDC-KGS, 2016 WL 1377342 (D. Kan. Apr. 7, 2016): summary judgment on federal and state antitrust claims alleging anticompetitive bundled loyalty discount pricing in medical-surgical supply markets
  • Corr Wireless Communications, L.L.C. v. AT & T, Inc., No. 3:12CV036-SA, 2013 WL 4829287 (N.D. Miss. Sept. 10, 2013): pleading stage dismissal of federal antitrust claims alleging that client led an antitrust conspiracy to create a baseless technical standard for 4G-LTE that restrained competition by regional wireless carriers and networks
  • Van Dyck Motors Inc v. Ford Motor Co., No. 5:03-cv-00133-VAP-SGL (C.D. Cal. Dec. 23, 2003): summary judgment on fraud claim and federal antitrust claim alleging restraint of trade in delivery of patented computer services to putative nationwide class of Ford and Lincoln/Mercury dealers
  • Hathaway Dinwiddie Const. Co. v. United Air Lines, Inc., No. 2:00cv1289 (C.D. Cal. Apr. 2, 2001): summary judgment on contract and fraud claims over construction delay in terminal improvements at Los Angeles International Airport
  • J.D., University of Michigan Law School
    Associate and Contributing Editor, Michigan Law Review
  • A.B., Harvard College
    John Harvard Scholar, top 5% of undergraduate students


The Legal 500 United States

  • Recommended, General Commercial Disputes (2024)
  • Recommended, Cartel (2023)
  • Recommended, Civil Litigation/Class Actions: Defense (2021, 2023)
Additional Awards
  • Recognized for winning one of California's top 100 jury verdicts (2022)
  • Chosen as a Top Antitrust Lawyer (2021-2022)
  • Won the Burton Award for being one of the "finest law firm writers" (2019)
  • Rated AV Preeminent® 5.0 out of 5.0 by Martindale-Hubbell®, the top rating, reflecting practice at the highest level of professional excellence
  • Listed as one of The Best Lawyers in America® by Best Lawyers® (2013-2022)
  • Honored as the "Attorney of the Year" by the Thurgood Marshall Bar Association (2019)
  • Selected as one of the National Top 100 Black Lawyers


  • "District Court Decision In FTC v. Qualcomm Spawns Controversy: Four Issues To Watch On Appeal," IP Litigator, July/August 2019
  • "To Cooperate, or Not to Cooperate (with Competitors), That is the Question" Daily Journal, June 2019
  • "Seven Ways To Prepare Your Legal Department For The Fourth Industrial Revolution," ACC Docket, September 2018
  • "Reinvigorated Antitrust Enforcement Has Arrived," Law360, January 2013 


  • Panelist, "Current Trends in Healthcare and Life Sciences," 36th Annual NBA Corporate Counsel Conference, February 23, 2023
  • Speaker, "Law and Society," UCI Law Guest Speaker Series, September 24, 2020
  • Speaker, "Anti-suit Injunctions and the Future of FRAND Litigation," Intellectual Property Owners Association Webinar, January 9, 2020
  • Speaker, "Resolving Competitor Disputes Generally and in the NBA: A Focus on NBA Game Protests." OCBA Young Lawyers Division HoopLaw CLE & Clippers Game Night, December 2019
  • Speaker, "Summit of Managing Partners: What Works & What Doesn’t?" 2019 LACBA Diversity and Inclusion Conference, Los Angeles, September 2019
  • Speaker, "Developing Standards For 3D Printing," The Legal, Regulatory and Business Conference on 3D Printing, Chicago, June 2018
  • Moderator, "Moving the Needle on Diversity & Inclusion," An Evening at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington, DC, March 2018
  • Speaker, "Recent Developments in Patent Laws," US - China Intellectual Property Summit, Los Angeles, October 2017 
  • Presenter, "Get Your Swagger On: How to Roll with Style and Quiet Confidence," California Minority Counsel Workshop, Irvine, California, July 2017
  • Presenter, "SEPs and FRAND: The US Approach," EU Competition Law: Current Issues in a Global Context, Brussels, May 2016
  • Presenter, "Winning as a Team!" California Minority Counsel Program 26th Annual Business Conference, Los Angeles, October 2015
  • Speaker, "Standard-Essential Patents and Competition Law," Queen Mary/Crowell & Moring Global Competition Conference, Brussels, May 2014
  • Speaker, "Trying Your First Case: A Practitioner's Guide," American Bar Association Litigation Section Annual Conference, Scottsdale, Arizona, April 2014

Media Mentions

Civic and Charitable

  • Serves on Board of Directors of Western Center on Law and Poverty
  • Serves on Board of Visitors of University of California, Irvine School of Law
  • Served on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the Constitutional Rights Foundation
  • Served on the Board of Directors of the Orange County Bar Association
  • Volunteered as a youth basketball coach

Memberships And Affiliations

  • A fellow in The Litigation Counsel of America honorary society for trial lawyers