Larson O’Brien, led by two of the most prominent trial lawyers in California, represents business, public entity and individual plaintiffs and defendants in complex litigation matters in federal and state court, including antitrust, environmental and water rights, oil and gas, intellectual property, entertainment, breach of contract and business torts, civil rights, and class actions. Both Larson and O’Brien are highly credentialed and experienced litigators – Stephen G. Larson is an accomplished former federal prosecutor and was a highly regarded federal judge. Robert C. O’Brien is the former California managing partner of a national AMLAW firm and presidentially-appointed US representative to the United Nations General Assembly. At heart, both are trial lawyers and each is proud of it. They know how to convincingly and effectively tell their client’s story to judges, juries, and other decision-makers, and together their ability to develop winning trial strategies, which in turn shapes all aspects of their approach to litigation, is second to none. Their successful jury and non-jury trial experience is extensive. In their combined 50 years of litigation experience, they have tried over 60 cases before federal and state juries and judges, as well as many more before administrative tribunals and both domestic and international arbitration panels. Their comfort zone is the court room. They fight fair but they fight hard, and they win. Clients include leading corporations, such as Chevron, Walt Disney, 21st Century Fox and F. Korbel & Bros; significant public entities, such as the Los Angeles County Employee Retirement Association, the Orange County Water District and Riverside County; prominent individuals and public officials. Whether it is Larson’s experience as a former member of the Ninth Circuit Jury Instruction Committee, or O’Brien’s experience as a federal court-appointed Discovery Master in several of the largest recent civil litigations brought in the Central District of California and a former Lawyer Representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, Larson O’Brien provides unique insights and a competitive advantage that produces proven success in complex cases.

Larson O’Brien represents corporations, partnerships, public officials, and individuals investigating or facing allegations of business-related civil, regulatory, or criminal misconduct. Job one is closing and resolving government inquiries and investigations before they escalate into allegations and charges. Thus their biggest victories are the ones you never hear about — they involve the international mining company, the California state Senator or the industrial manufacturer who were not indicted, or the False Claims Act (FCA) case against the municipal entity or retail importer that was dismissed under seal, all on account of their effective pre-charge counsel and representation. But when the cards are down, and the federal or state agents are on your doorstep, you need Larson O’Brien out in front to navigate and neutralize the effects of state audits, grand jury proceedings, subpoenas and search warrants, parallel civil proceedings, complaints and indictments, or anything else the government comes up with. Larson and his co-counsel defeated one of the few Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) cases to go to trial in the past decade (United States v. Aguilar, et al.) through a determined motion strategy that led to the dismissal of the indictment based on governmental misconduct. Larson is presently engaged in defending what Governor Jerry Brown described as “the most significant public corruption prosecution in California history” (People v. Biane, et al.), successfully achieving pre-trial dismissal of all conspiracy and conflict of interest charges. O’Brien led the team that recently uncovered wrong doing at a prominent Bay Area investment firm, and found and returned significant funds back to its investors.

Believing that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, Larson O’Brien relies on its background in the justice system and unique network of professional connections to provide cutting edge counsel and advice through compliance and training programs that help clients implement risk mitigation strategies long before the government regulators and prosecutors ever appear on the scene. Both Larson and O’Brien have led internal investigations of companies and entities in the US and abroad. When an internal investigation and action report is needed, Larson O’Brien’s experience, credentials, and methodical approach provide the reassurance and imprimatur needed to withstand the most exacting scrutiny.

FCPA and Anti-corruption Law Practice

Stephen G. Larson and Robert C. O’Brien each have served as counsel and arbitrators on both domestic and international arbitrations — Larson is on the panel of neutrals for FedArb and the American Arbitration Association, and O’Brien is on the panel of neutrals for the International Center for Dispute Resolution/American Arbitration Association, as well as several other international panels. They have served as chairmen, wing arbitrators and mediators in numerous international and domestic cases. Using their perspectives as highly regarded arbitrators, mediators, and accomplished trial lawyers, Larson and O’Brien represent a broad range of companies and individuals in domestic arbitration proceedings, and also represent both foreign sovereigns and contracting parties in international arbitrations. O’Brien’s extensive international experience – as a U.S. Representative to the United Nations General Assembly, a presidentially-appointed member of the U.S. Cultural Property Advisory Committee, the founding co-chairman of the Department of State Public-Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan, and as a UN legal senior officer processing billions of dollars in claims resulting from Iraq’s invasion and occupation of Kuwait – allows him to effectively manage the most complex of disputes that lead to international arbitration. Larson O’Brien has extensive experience supporting clients throughout the arbitration and dispute resolution process – from drafting the initial dispute resolution clauses, to negotiation when a dispute arises, to the conduct of proceedings and hearings, and the enforcement of awards.

ADR Services

Led by Stephen G. Larson, who sat as a federal appellate judge by designation of two Chief Judges of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal, Larson O’Brien’s appellate practice is first rate by every measure – and most importantly by the one that counts, results. From the California Court of Appeal to the California Supreme Court, and from the Ninth Circuit of Court of Appeals to the US Supreme Court, Larson succeeds by combining extraordinary appellate experience with a multidisciplinary approach that he and his appellate team have applied to a wide variety of legal issues, convincing courts to overturn large judgments at the post-trial and appellate stage. Successes this past year include resurrecting a state wrongful death case, that had been dismissed on demurrer and terminating sanctions, through direct appeal in the Second District Court of Appeal; reversing a trial court’s denial of a demurrer in a $102 million civil bribery case in the Fourth District Court of Appeal (published opinion in The Inland Oversight Comm. v. County of San Bernardino (2015) 239 Cal. App. 4th 671); and reversing a trial court’s denial of Motions for Return of Property and vacating its Order Authorizing Provision of Seized Documents to State Prosecutors in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In December of last year Larson appeared before the US Supreme Court, in Harris v. Independent Redistricting Committee, representing business interests in Arizona in a constitutional challenge to the State of Arizona’s reapportionment of congressional voting districts. Robert C. O’Brien has led three amicus brief teams in recent landmark US Supreme Court cases. In one such case, the majority referenced the amicus brief in its opinion. Larson O’Brien believes the most successful appellate strategy can begin in the trial court by obtaining reversals of wrongly decided matters before an appeal is filed. In one recent case, Larson convinced a federal district court to reconsider its denial of summary judgment to his Fortune 500 client and instead enter judgment in his client’s favor, and the judgment was later upheld by the Ninth Circuit. As important as deciding when to appeal is deciding when not to appeal, and Larson uses his extensive experience on both sides of the bench to advise clients, and their lawyers, when and whether to seek appellate review.