Jim Asperger is a leading national trial attorney and a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He 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 fields of business litigation and Bet-The-Company Litigation, and as a Top Trial Lawyer in Los Angeles by the LA Business Journal. Chambers USA ranks Jim in Band One for White Collar Crime & Government Investigations and praises him as “‘an established star’ and ‘a brilliant courtroom lawyer,’ according to clients, who count upon his ‘proactive and strategic thinking’ in a wide array of white-collar criminal matters.” Chambers also recognizes him as being “a superb choice to handle high-stakes criminal trials and investigations,” whose “clients comment ‘he’s practical and he understands the client and business realities.’” Jim has 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 has also been recognized as a 2018 Top Rated Lawyer in Intellectual Property Law by Corporate Counsel and The American Lawyer. Who’s Who Legal has ranked him for Business Crime Defence 2019. Jim recently received the American Lawyer “Litigator of the Week” award for obtaining a $1.1 billion jury verdict on behalf of the California Institute of Technology in a patent infringement trial against Apple and Broadcom Corporation.
Jim is Co-Chair of the Firm’s White Collar and Corporate Investigations Practice, and has tried over thirty cases to verdict, including securities fraud actions, patent claims, and a wide range of other business disputes. He has extensive experience representing publicly traded companies, audit committees, independent directors, and corporate officers in federal grand jury, SEC and other governmental investigations. He is an expert in international business crime issues, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, antitrust law, and international financial transactions. 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; he defended a major international airline in connection with DOJ criminal allegations of price fixing, and he has represented senior officers in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, money laundering and Bank Secrecy Act investigations.
- Caltech v. Apple & Broadcom Corporation
Jim is co-lead counsel for the California Institute of Technology (“Caltech”) in patent infringement action against Apple and Broadcom for infringement of Caltech patents involving powerful error correction codes called Irregular Repeat Accumulate (“IRA”) codes. Earlier this year, after a two and a half week trial, Jim obtained a federal recent jury award for Caltech of over $1.1 billion for Apple’s and Broadcom’s infringement of these patents. The technology covered by these patents improves the operations of Apple products such as iPhones, iPads, iMacs, and other Apple devices by making their WiFi transmissions more reliable and error free. This is the largest jury award this year and sixth largest jury award in a patent trial ever.
- 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 nine figure settlement for AIG.
- Caltech v. Hughes Communications and Dish Network
Jim was co-lead counsel for the California Institute of Technology in this patent infringement action involving the use of Caltech’s patented IRA codes in satellite technology. After the Court denied defendants motions alleging that the claims were not patent eligible and not invalid, the matter settled.
- Co-Founder of Federally Insured Bank
Jim served as lead counsel in representing the co-founder of a large financial institution in an SEC investigation, federal securities class action and derivative lawsuits, and a wrongful termination lawsuit. All were resolved favorably for Jim’s client.
- Chairman and CEO of Insurance Company
Jim represented the Chairman and CEO of a large insurance company in a wrongful termination action against the Founders. The matter was resolved favorably for Jim’s client.
- BlackBerry v. Typo
Jim was co-lead counsel for BlackBerry in a patent and trade dress infringement action brought by BlackBerry against Typo Products LLC (co-founded by Ryan Seacrest) and Show Media LLC. Defendants offered for sale an iPhone case with an add-on physical Bluetooth keyboard that is the slavish copy of copied the iconic BlackBerry keyboard. BlackBerry asserted design and utility patents against the Defendants. Jim was successful in obtaining and preliminary injunction on behalf of Blackberry to halt the sale of Defendants’ infringing product. When Defendants failed to comply with the injunction, the Court ordered Typo to pay BlackBerry over $860,000 in sanctions and awarded Blackberry its attorneys’ fees and costs relating to the contempt motion.
- Former General Counsel of Broadcom Corporation
Jim 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.
- BlackBerry v. Facebook
Jim is co-lead counsel in representing BlackBerry in a patent infringement suit against Facebook for infringing a number of patents relating to messaging and security. He is also co-lead counsel in a counter lawsuit by Facebook against BlackBerry as well.
- 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.
- 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.
- Former CEO of Federally Insured Financial Institution
Jim represented the former CEO of a large federally insured financial institution in a federal criminal and enforcement investigation into alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Bank Secrecy and Patriot Acts, and money laundering statutes relating to international financing transactions. Ultimately, Jim's work led to convincing the Department of Justice and enforcement authorities that no governmental action was appropriate.
- Henry Huang v. Caltech, Applied Biosystems, et al.
Lead trial counsel for the 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.
- Audit Committee and Internal Investigations
Jim has represented numerous Audit Committees, Board Committees and senior corporate officers in internal corporate and SEC investigations and related securities litigation.
- 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 a major oil company in numerous high-stakes environmental actions in California. He was brought in as lead trial counsel in an action filed by the Orange County District Attorney and is hotly contested litigation achieved a favorable result for the client on the eve of trial. He led 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 a 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 the City of Lancaster in federal grand jury investigation into multiple alleged environmental violations of RCRA, hazardous waste and storage laws, and Clean Water Act.
- 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. Jim's efforts convinced the government to decline criminal prosecution.
- 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 newsgathering vehicle. Issues included allegations of negligence, product 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 anti-corruption compliance programs for its worldwide operations and prepare annual reports for DOJ and the SEC on these issues.
- Health Care Fraud and Abuse
Represented hospitals, doctors, and publicly traded companies in a wide variety of government 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.
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, Patriot and Bank Secrecy Act issues, product performance and efficacy, scientific experts, money laundering, as well as sensitive media and congressional issues.
- Antitrust & Competition
- Environmental Litigation
- Government Contracts Litigation
- Health Care Litigation
- Intellectual Property Litigation
- Product Liability & Mass Torts Litigation
- Satellite & Aerospace Litigation
- Securities Litigation
- Investigations, Government Enforcement & White Collar Criminal Defense Practice
- Crisis Law & Strategy Group
- Patent Litigation
- University of California, Los Angeles
- Order of the Coif
- UCLA Law Review:
- UCLA Alumni Award for Academic Distinction
- University of California, Davis
- O'Melveny & Myers LLP:
- Law Clerk to the Hon. William H. Rehnquist:
- United States Supreme Court
- United States Supreme Court
- Law Clerk to the Hon. Stanley Mosk:
- Supreme Court of California
- Ranked as one of The Best Lawyers in America, for Bet-the-Company and Commercial Litigation 2008-2021
- Ranked by Who’s Who Legal for Business Crime Defence 2019.
- Recognized in Who’s Who Legal: Investigations 2019.
- Selected as a SuperLawyer, 2004-2020.
- National Litigation Star, Benchmark Litigation 2015-2018.
- Recognized as one of the world's leading practitioners in “The Guide to the World's Leading White Collar Crime lawyers” by Euromoney.
- Recognized in Who’s Who Legal: Investigations 2016.
- Recognized in Who’s Who Legal: Business Crime Defence 2015-2016.
- Leading Investigations Lawyer, The International Who's Who of Investigations Lawyers & Forensic Experts 2014.
- United States Attorney General Award for Distinguished Service at the Department of Justice.
- Award from the Executive Office of United States Attorneys for Outstanding Service as an Assistant United States Attorney.
- Leading Investigations Lawyer, The International Who's Who of Investigations Lawyers & Forensic Experts 2014
- National Litigation Star, Benchmark Litigation 2015
- United States Attorney General Award for Distinguished Service at the Department of Justice.
- Award from the Executive Office of United States Attorneys for Outstanding Service as an Assistant United States Attorney
- Member, Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers
- Former Chair, ABA, West Coast White Collar Crime Committee
- Former Vice-Chair, ABA, National White Collar Crime Committee
- Lecturer, Continuing Legal Education Courses on Criminal Law, Civil Enforcement Actions, and the RICO Statute