John Nyhan joined the firm in 2007, after practicing in Los Angeles and New York with Chadbourne & Parke LLP and prior to that, in Los Angeles with Pillsbury Madison & Sutro. He has extensive experience in trial of high-profile, high-stakes commercial and products liability litigation. He served as national and chief trial counsel in cases pending in state and federal courts throughout the country, coordinated and managed international litigation and tries cases and arbitrations involving complex business transactions, intellectual property and personal injuries.
Represents Native American Indian Tribes in litigation relating to federal recognition, enforcement of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, banking regulations, tribal land claims, land use and taxation issues.
Represents pharmaceutical manufacturers in product liability litigation.
Represents property owners in environmental cleanups involving various chemical exposures in California, New York, Ohio, Texas and Ontario, Canada.
Represented parent of airport security screening company in litigation relating to the September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center.
Represented charitable foundation in arbitration involving breach of contract and intellectual property claims.
Represented tobacco companies in litigation in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and South America. Selected, trained and coordinated work of local counsel.
Served as lead trial counsel for manufacturer of dietary supplement in 650 personal injury cases filed in 25 California counties and in federal multi-district litigation.
Obtained defense verdict in case tried in Los Angeles County Superior Court where the plaintiff sought $300 million in punitive damages; successfully defended claims for punitive damages in the only other L-tryptophan case to go to trial in California.
Obtained defense verdict in wrongful death jury trial in California against a tobacco company; successfully defended tobacco company in a wrongful death jury trial in Florida.
Successfully defended two major tobacco companies in approximately 50 cases filed in California alleging injury from exposure to cigarette smoke and asbestos.
Managed mass tort litigation for oil company including 65 cases in Colorado involving exposure to gasoline from underground storage tank leak and over 100 cases in Arizona resulting from explosion of a railroad tank car.
Won first jury trial in California involving claims that asbestos-containing materials in a high-rise office building caused damage to the building’s owner.
Represented nuclear bomb-maker in litigation involving claims of 2,500 residents of the Marshall Islands stemming from the test of the first hydrogen bomb in 1954.
Represented judicial candidates in election law contests in California.
Serves as General Counsel of two non-profit organizations: New York Disaster Interfaith Services, formed after the 9/11 attack to aid disaster victims and traumatized recovery workers in the New York City region and provide disaster preparedness planning; R.M. Pyles Boys Camp in California, established to provide wilderness experience to inner-city boys at risk.
Activities and Affiliations
American College of Trial Lawyers, Fellow; Chair, Complex Litigation Committee
National Institute for Trial Advocacy, Litigation Training Instructor
Federal Bar Council, CLE Program for Second Circuit Judicial Clerks: Developments in Class Actions
Seminar leader, Products Liability Litigation, presented in Africa, Asia, South America, U.K.
American College of Trial Lawyers, Mass Tort Litigation Manual, July, 2006. Wrote “Trial” chapter.
California Continuing Education of the Bar, Civil Procedure Before Trial, 1996. Wrote “Submitted Case,” “Consent Judgment” chapters.
Donald E. Vinson. Jury Persuasion: Psychological Strategies and Trial Techniques. Prentice Hall, 1993. Contributor.
Practicing Law Institute. Civility in the Courts, 2001 Program Course Materials.
Education and Professional Background
Villanova University, J.D., 1971; Managing Editor, Villanova Law Review, 1970-1971
Tufts University, B.A., 1965
Admitted to Practice: California, District of Columbia, New York
Lieutenant, U.S. Navy, 1965 – 1968
LitigationFederal Indian LawProducts LiabilityCommercial ArbitrationEnvironmental Litigation and Compliance