James R. Asperger

 

Los Angeles Office
Tel: +1 213-443-3000
Fax: +1 213-443-3100
jimasperger@quinnemanuel.com

Practice Areas
Antitrust and Trade Regulation
Environmental Litigation
Government Contracts Litigation
Health Care Litigation
Intellectual Property Litigation
Product Liability and Mass Torts Litigation
Satellite and Aerospace Litigation
Securities Litigation
White Collar and Corporate Investigations

Education


University of California, Los Angeles

(J.D.)
     Order of the Coif
     UCLA Law Review:
          Editor-in-Chief
     UCLA Alumni Award for Academic Distinction

University of California, Davis
(B.A.)






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Biography


Jim Asperger is a partner in Quinn Emanuel's Los Angeles office.  He is Co-Chair of the Firm’s White Collar and Corporate Investigations Practice, and Chair of the Government Contracts Practice.  He  is a leading national trial attorney and a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.  He tries civil and criminal cases.

Jim has been repeatedly recognized in Chambers USA - America’s Leading Business Lawyers as a leading lawyer in the field of White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations; The Best Lawyers in America, for “Bet-the-Company and Commercial Litigation”; The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers; as a Southern California “Super Lawyer” in the field of business litigation, and as a Top Trial Lawyer in Los Angeles by the LA Business JournalChambers USA ranks Jim in Band One for White Collar Crime & Government Investigations and praises him as having an "incredible grasp of the law, is very intelligent and a very good manager – he keeps everyone organized."  Jim has also been named by The Daily Journal as among the “Top 100 Attorneys” in California, and by InterContinental Finance Magazine as one of the top 500 lawyers in the world.  

Jim also has extensive experience conducting internal corporate investigations, and representing publicly traded companies, audit committees, independent directors, and corporate officers in federal grand jury, SEC, and other government investigations.  He is an expert in international business crime issues, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and antitrust laws.  For example, he served as a DOJ appointed monitor of Schnitzer Steel in examining its worldwide anticorruption policies; he represented the International Olympic Committee in the DOJ investigation relating to 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics alleged bribery scandal; and he defended a major international airline in connection with DOJ criminal allegations of price fixing.

 






Notable Representations


AIG v. Bank of America, Countrywide and Merrill Lynch
Jim represented AIG in its successful lawsuit against Bank of America, Countrywide and Merrill Lynch for their alleged roles in perpetrating a massive fraud in marketing mortgage backed securities, resulting in a settlement for AIG of $650 million.

Former General Counsel of Broadcom Corporation
Jim recently obtained the complete vindication of the former general counsel of Broadcom in a Department of Justice investigation and Securities & Exchange Commission lawsuit involving the largest restatement in the country for alleged stock options backdating.

U.S. v. Tenet Healthsystem Hospitals, Inc., et al.
Lead trial counsel for Alvarado Hospital Medical Center, Inc. in an eleven-month jury trial in which the Hospital, Tenet and a former CEO of the Hospital were accused of conspiracy and violations of the federal healthcare anti-kickback statute.  Following trial, the judge dismissed all criminal charges.

Henry Huang v. Caltech, Applied Biosystems, et al.
Lead trial counsel for California Institute of Technology, for whom the DNA sequencer patents represent an important source of funds and prestigious accomplishment.  At issue in the case was the inventorship of Caltech’s patents for the DNA sequencer, which was used to decode the human genome and represents one of the most significant scientific inventions of the 20th century.  The trial included the presentation through lay and expert testimony of technical scientific issues related to the development and function of the sequencer.  At the conclusion of the trial, U.S. District Judge Mariana Pfaelzer ruled for Caltech on all claims.

Nuance Communications, Inc.
Lead trial counsel for Nuance, the world’s leading provider of voice technology solutions, in an arbitration against a competitor to terminate its software license agreement for revealing confidential information to one of Nuance’s competitors. 

Director of Hazardous Waste at Rockwell’s Rocketdyne Division
Lead trial counsel for the former Director of Hazardous Waste at Rockwell’s Rocketdyne Division in a criminal environmental prosecution brought by the United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles.  The case involved environmental, scientific, expert testimony, and media issues arising from the death of two scientists in an explosion from hazardous waste disposal that formed part of the basis for the charges.  A very favorable result was obtained on the eve of trial.

International Olympic Committee
Represented the IOC in the Salt Lake City 2002 Olympic Bribery scandal.  The case received daily worldwide media coverage and was the subject of congressional inquiry and hearings.

Environmental Actions Against Oil Company
Lead counsel in representing major oil company in numerous high-stakes environmental actions in California.  He was brought in as trial counsel in an action filed by the Orange County District Attorney and in hotly contested litigation achieved a favorable result for the client on the eve of trial.  He lead multiple other actions and investigations against the California Attorney General’s Office, the United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles, and more than a dozen district attorney, city attorney, and county counsel offices in California.

Hazardous Waste/Materials Investigations of Fortune 100 Company
Jim spearheaded the defense of a Fortune 100 company in connection with a statewide investigation conducted by the former and current California Attorney General and several District Attorneys’ offices into the company’s statewide hazardous waste and materials practices.  The case raised complex issues of first impression involving the application of these laws to retail facilities, with the government claiming the right to seek billions of dollars of multi-day penalties for hundreds of stores throughout California.  In late 2007, he negotiated a favorable settlement for the client following an extensive two-and-a-half-year investigation and lengthy negotiations.

Clean Water Act
Represented large utility and energy company in federal criminal investigation into alleged violations of the Clean Water Act.

Hazardous Waste, Materials Storage and Transportation Laws
Represented cosmetics company in federal grand jury investigation into alleged violations of hazardous waste and materials storage and transportation laws.  Negotiated deferred prosecution agreement.

City of Lancaster
Represented City of Lancaster in federal grand jury investigation into multiple alleged environmental violations of RCRA, hazardous waste and storage laws, and Clean Water Act.

Former Chairman and CEO of Publicly Traded Pharmaceutical Company
Lead counsel for the former Chairman and CEO of a publicly traded pharmaceutical company in securities litigation and governmental investigations arising from public disclosures about scientific disputes with the Food and Drug Administration over a New Drug Application.  These matters included scientific and expert issues relating to the efficacy of the drug, as well as sensitive media relations issues.

Starwood v. Hilton
Lead counsel for former officers and employees in federal grand jury investigation for alleged theft of trade secrets and in related civil litigation.

Former Santa Ana City Councilman
Lead trial counsel for a former Santa Ana City Councilman in an important criminal public corruption case brought by the Orange County United States Attorney’s Office.  Jim reached an extremely favorable result in which his client received probation on the eve of trial.

American Broadcasting Corporation 
Lead trial counsel for American Broadcasting Corporation in a high-stakes personal injury case brought by a news reporter who was seriously injured in an accident while she was reporting in an electronic news gathering vehicle.  Issues included allegations of negligence, products liability, and other claims.  A favorable settlement was reached on the eve of trial.

Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc.
As part of its deferred prosecution agreement with the U.S. Justice Department, Schnitzer was required to retain a Compliance Consultant to evaluate its compliance with the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  Jim was specially recommended by the Department of Justice and selected by Schnitzer to assume the position.  He conducted a top-to-bottom review of Schnitzer’s anticorruption compliance programs for its worldwide operations and prepared annual reports for DOJ and theSEC on these issues. 

Current Financial Crisis
Represents clients in several confidential matters involving issues relating to mortgage backed securities, collateralized debt obligations, credit default swaps, and other issues arising from the current financial crisis. 

Health Care Fraud and Abuse
Represented hospitals, doctors, and publicly traded companies in a wide variety of governmental investigations into alleged violations of the health care fraud and abuse laws, including the federal anti-kickback statute. 

Defense Contractor Fraud and Abuse
Jim frequently represents major government contractors and officers in criminal and False Claims Act investigations, involving accounting issues, compliance with contract requirements, space exploration, international sales under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Export Control Laws, ITAR requirements and other issues. 

Trial of Barry Minkow, whiz kid founder, Chairman and CEO of ZZZZ Best Co., Inc.
Jim prevailed in the four-month criminal jury trial of Barry Minkow.  This case received extensive media attention, was the subject of congressional hearings, and was one of the largest securities fraud/money laundering cases tried on the West Coast in the 1980s.

Trial of Orange County Businessman of the Year Michael Parker
This month-long jury trial involved substantial media attention and, after the trial, the district court judge complimented Jim for his outstanding trial work.

Other
Jim has also represented a number of other Fortune 500 corporations, executive officers, directors, and other entities and institutions in highly sensitive and important litigation, governmental investigations, and internal investigations involving a wide range of matters, including public company reporting obligations, accounting issues, product performance and efficacy, scientific experts, as well as sensitive media and congressional issues.