James L. McGinnis: Lawyer with Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP

James L. McGinnis


Peer Rating
AV® Preeminent

Client Rating

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Experience & Credentials Ratings & Reviews

Practice Areas

  • Antitrust and Competition
  • International Reach
  • International Trade and Investment
  • Korea
  • Corporate Investigations
  • Litigation
  • Class Action Defense
  • International Investment Arbitration
  • White Collar Defense and
University Yale University, B.A., 1976
Law SchoolUniversity of California, Berkeley, J.D., 1979
Admitted1979, Pennsylvania; 1980, California


•Member, Antitrust, Litigation and Criminal Justice-White Collar Sections, American Bar Association
•Member, State Bar of California
•Member, Bar Association of San Francisco
•Member, Antitrust Section's Committee on Criminal Practice and Procedure, ABA


James McGinnis is a partner in the Antitrust and Competition Practice Group in the firm's San Francisco office. Mr. McGinnis was formerly an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern and Central Districts of California, serving in the Criminal Division from 1984-1988.

Areas of Practice

Mr. McGinnis specializes in complex litigation and white collar criminal matters with a focus on antitrust issues, often in the international arena. His complex litigation experience also includes parallel criminal/civil cases, class actions, securities and mass tort matters. In addition, Mr. McGinnis regularly conducts internal investigations and compliance reviews. He serves as U.S. national counsel directing the defense of criminal and civil litigation for leading international businesses in a wide variety of industries. Recognized by Chambers & Partners and Best Lawyers in America, Mr. McGinnis often has been selected by his peers and the courts as defense liaison counsel in complex multi-district class action litigation.

Mr. McGinnis is an accomplished trial lawyer and has extensive first chair jury trial experience in complex civil and criminal matters and major mass tort cases. He has been selected to be lead trial counsel in four major cases for Samsung Electronics Corporation or Samsung SDI. In over 35 years of practice, Mr. McGinnis has tried 40 cases, 22 of which were trials in state or federal court. Chambers USA noted that peers praise his abilities as a trial lawyer, highlighting that he is 'very good at handling complex antitrust issues in a courtroom.'

Mr. McGinnis has defended corporations and individuals in criminal cases and grand jury matters involving alleged price-fixing and other anti-competitive conduct, insider trading, government fraud and defense contracting fraud, and environmental violations, among other matters.

Mr. McGinnis is regularly quoted in the National Law Journal and other publications on antitrust and class action legal issues.


•Antitrust, Legal 500, 2015
•Top Antitrust Lawyers, Chambers USA, 2009-2015
•Northern California Super Lawyer, San Francisco Magazine, 2010-2015
•Best Lawyer in America, Best Lawyers, 2006-2015


Representative Cases

Motorola Mobility vs. Samsung SDI: secured dismissal of multi-billion dollar TFT-LCD price-fixing claims based on overseas purchases.

National counsel and defense liaison counsel for coordinated antitrust price-fixing class actions. In re Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) Antitrust Litigation, MDL. No 1917.

National counsel and defense liaison counsel for coordinated antitrust price-fixing class actions. In re TFT-LCD (FLAT PANEL) Antitrust Litigation, MDL. No 1827.

National counsel defending civil and criminal price-fixing charges in the memory chip market. In re Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 1486 and over 50 cases brought in state courts nationwide.

Leader of a highly publicized internal review of a 20+ billion dollar insurance provider.

Lead trial counsel for unsecured creditors' committee, successfully defending four objecting insurers' challenges to a reorganization plan with $985 million at stake. The reorganization plan was confirmed after a 4-week trial and the primary objecting insurer agreed to pay an additional $1.15 billion after closing argument. In re Western Asbestos Company, (N.D. Cal. 2004) No.02-46284.

California counsel defending a leading amino acid manufacturer against price fixing charges in federal MDL proceedings and California state coordinated litigation brought by direct and indirect classes as well as opt-out plaintiffs. In Re Methionine Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 1311 (N.D. Cal. 2000) (Cal. Jud. Council Coord. Proc. Nos. 4090 and 4096) (2000).

Lead counsel for a pharmaceutical-buying cooperative in California coordinated antitrust litigation challenging the distribution of prescription drugs. In Re Brand Names Antitrust Litigation (Jud. Council Coord. Proc., San Francisco, 1996).

Lead counsel for a national department store retailer, defended against charges of price fixing in women's cosmetics brought in coordinated California state court proceedings. In Re Cosmetics Antitrust Litigation (Jud. Council Coord. Proc. 1998).

Lead counsel defending a national department store company in federal and state court litigation brought by garment workers from the Island of Saipan. The putative class contained 50, 000 members and sought to bring numerous charges based on alleged sweat shop conditions and improper labeling and advertising of garments. Doss v. The Gap, et al. (C.D. Cal. 1999 and (S.F. Superior 1999)).

Trial counsel defending the chief financial officer of Ramtek, a Silicon Valley computer monitor component manufacturer, against class action claims. Also defended this client against criminal charges and SEC enforcement proceedings. In Re Ramtek Securities Litigation (N.D. Cal. 1991) and U.S. v. Adams (N.D. Cal. 1994).

Lead counsel defending president and CEO of accounting software manufacturer in class action and SEC proceedings against charges of improper revenue recognition in software sales. In Re Platinum Software Securities Litigation (C.D. Cal. 1995).

Publications & News


•A Matter of Class: A look at the collective action regimes in the UK and US

Competition Law Insight, December 8, 2015
• AUO In the Dock: Watershed Event, Business as Usual, or Both? A Roundtable, Competition: The Journal of the Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law Section of the State Bar of California, Vol. 22, No. 1; Spring 2013
•Antitrust Attorneys Grapple with Impact of 'Booker', July 18, 2005
•Roundtable White Collar Defense, September 10, 2004

Antitrust Law Blog Posts
• Evolving Private Remedies for Competition Infringements in Europe: Class Actions in the U.K., October 19, 2015
• “Individual Accountability for Corporate Wrongdoing”: A Sea Change Or Not? September 15, 2015
• FTC “Enforcement Principles” for Section 5 of the FTC Act: Is Something Better than Nothing? August 19, 2015
• Latest LCD Criminal Conviction - Stephen Leung Of AUO Convicted On Retrial, December 20, 2012
• DOJ Wins AUO Convictions in LCD Price-Fixing Trial, Successfully Defending Its Cartel Program, March 16, 2012


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Office Information

James L. McGinnis

Seventeenth Floor, Four Embarcadero Center
San FranciscoCA 94111


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