Education

  • Yale Law School (J.D., 1991), Notes Editor of The Yale Law Journal
  • Dartmouth College (B.A., 1986), magna cum laude with Honors

    John Hueston is Chair of the firm's Business Trial and Crisis Management practice, a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and has been selected to serve as lead trial counsel by Fortune 500 companies and by governments in a variety of cases, including business torts cases, securities and shareholder class action cases, patent litigation cases, trademark infringement cases, and environmental cases. A former lead prosecutor for the Enron trial of Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling, Mr. Hueston also devotes a substantial part of his practice to internal investigations, corporate crisis management and white collar criminal defense. 

    The American Lawyer magazine has recognized Mr. Hueston as one of the nation's Top 50 Young Litigators and California Lawyer magazine has named Mr. Hueston a "California Attorney of the Year." He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, an honor reserved for less than 1% 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." The Los Angeles Daily Journal named him as one of California’s 100 most influential lawyers in 2006, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2013 and as a Top 20 California Lawyer Under 40 in 2001. Chambers & Partners has repeatedly recognized Mr. Hueston as a "Band 1" leading litigation attorney for white-collar crime & government investigations. He was named a National Litigation Star (U.S.) and a Local Litigation Star (CA) by Benchmark Litigation in 2013 and 2014. Mr. Hueston was selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America for white-collar criminal defense in 2009-2015, as well as the Southern California Super Lawyers list for business litigation from 2006-2014. Super Lawyers also named him one of the Top 100 Southern California Super Lawyers in 2012 and 2013.

    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.

    As Forbes magazine noted of his work in the trial of Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling, where he served as a lead prosecutor, “John Hueston was quickly able to establish a clear, uninterrupted connection between fraudulent activities at Enron and the two defendants . . .  a methodically researched presentation of evidence proving the defendants’ guilt.” The Los Angeles Times described Mr. Hueston’s cross-examination of Lay as “devastating” and The Associated Press called him “the perfect David to Lay’s Goliath.” See Enron coverage excerpts here.

    As a partner at Irell & Manella, Mr. Hueston has been retained as lead counsel to represent clients in their most significant and high-profile matters, including:

    Business Trials and Litigation 

    • Secured unprecedented victory expected to result in a multibillion dollar damages award 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" in Law360 and "Anadarko, Kerr-McGee liable for Tronox cleanup costs -U.S. judge" in Reuters);
    • After a 3-week jury trial in New York federal court in April 2013, won a $12 million punitive damages verdict and liability findings on all claims of fraud, deceptive business practices and false advertising (see "Collecting: Thieves And Forgers Rush In Where Big Spenders Dare To Tread" in Forbes and "How They Won It: Irell Brings Populism To Koch Wine Fight" in Law360); 
    • 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 investment mismanagement case;
    • 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 8-month action;
    • Dismissal of trade secrets case (see "Teva Loses Amgen Spying Suit Over Blood Drug Secrets" in Law360);
    • Defense of Amgen in national class action after remand by U.S. Supreme Court (Amgen v. Connecticut Retirement Plan and Trust Funds);
    • Defense of Sempra Energy in federal case alleging business torts and fraud;
    • 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;
    • Recovery of $20 million “earn out” payments for former executives of Automotive.com;
    • Termination of one of a Fortune 500 company’s most significant patent litigation matters through an early and targeted motion for summary judgment for noninfringement;
    • Disposal of a multi-million dollar consumer class action case for Waste Management prior to filing of class certification briefing for nominal $10,000 settlement;
    • Obtained multimillion dollar settlement for former CEO deprived of change in control benefits in case initially deemed “meritless” in company public filings;
    • Secured permanent injunction and won trial for UCLA in civil actions against organizations and individuals threatening violence against faculty members and administrators;
    • Defeated CEQA challenges to proposed residential development by Las Vegas developer Marnell Corrao Associates and recovered 100% of attorney's fees;
    • Representation of the Navajo Nation in uranium contamination matters.

    Corporate Crisis and White Collar Criminal Defense

    • Secured the termination without action of a long-running insider-trading investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission into former Goldman Sachs banker Matthew Korenberg. 
    • Dismissal of criminal mortgage fraud indictment after evidentiary hearings for prosecutorial misconduct; Dallas County District Attorney held in contempt (see "Hill Wins, Watkins Loses" in the Dallas Morning News);
    • 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" in the National Law Journal);
    • Termination of criminal investigation of Edwards Lifesciences without payment of fine or civil settlement;
    • FCPA investigation on behalf of a Fortune 100 company completed within 60 days and without assessment of sanctions or fines;
    • Resolved SEC and FDIC investigations against former Chief Lending Officer of Downey Financial without charges or personal contribution to global settlement;
    • Resolved tri-state Attorneys General investigation into alleged false advertising by Fortune 500 health care company without fines or penalties;
    • Obtained prosecution declinations for UCI and former individual "targets" in highly publicized health care fraud investigation of the UCI Liver Transplant Program;
    • Obtained prosecution declinations of Kaiser Permanente in Nadia Suleyman “Octomom” investigations of alleged HIPAA violations;
    • Secured written declinations for two former Chief Executive Officers in two separate criminal and S.E.C. stock option backdating investigations;
    • Resolved federal investigation of alleged celebrity privacy breaches at UCLA without charges or fines;
    • Representation of executive in Galleon insider trading investigation;
    • Independent Counsel for County of San Bernardino in corruption investigation.

    Mr. Hueston also served as a lead trial attorney in one of the first criminal trademark infringement cases brought to trial in Southern California. Mr. Hueston has been specially commended by the National Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, the F.B.I., the I.R.S. and U.S. Customs for his performance as the lead trial attorney in fraud, tax and public corruption trials.

    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, U.S.C. 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 the National Deputy Co-Chair of the ABA White Collar Crime Committee. Additionally, Mr. Hueston currently serves as a Central District of California Judicial Conference Lawyer Representative and 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. He is a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers’ National Trial Competition Committee and Federal Rules of Evidence Committee. Mr. Hueston is also a member of the Steering Committee of the California Open Courts Coalition, which seeks restoration of court funds. He served as a Transition Team Member for California Attorney General Kamala Harris and as a member of her Mortgage Fraud Task Force. Mr. Hueston is a recipient of the Anti-Defamation League's Marcus Kaufman Jurisprudence Award. He is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Yale Law School Association.

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