Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton
||This article is in a list format that may be better presented using prose. (May 2008)|
|Headquarters||Bank of America Center
Los Angeles, California
|No. of offices||15|
|No. of attorneys||600|
|Major practice areas||General practice|
|Key people||Guy N. Halgren (Chairman)|
|Company type||Limited liability partnership|
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP, known more commonly as Sheppard Mullin, is an AmLaw 100 law firm with over 600 attorneys in 15 offices. Its first office was founded in Los Angeles, California in 1927. Its most recent office opened in Seoul in 2012.
The firm's four name partners had distinctive careers.
- James C. Sheppard (1898–1964) was the first chairman of the American Bar Association Section of Labor Law in 1955, a member of the State Bar Board of Governors, and President of the State Bar of California in 1960-1961. When the United States entered World War II, Sheppard became Director of the Office of Civil Defense for eight western states.
- J. Stanley Mullin (1907–2000) was Chairman of the American Bar Association Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Sections and served on the Board of Trustees of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. In World War II, Mullin received a Navy commission and served with distinction in both theaters, including the Normandy invasion and the battle of Iwo Jima. He was an avid sportsman who participated in the 1932 Olympic Trials in equestrian events and was on the organizing committee for the 1960 Winter Olympic Games at Squaw Valley.
- George R. Richter (1910–2002) specialized in banking and commercial law. He helped author the original Uniform Commercial Code. A plaza at the USC School of Law is named after him.
- Gordon F. Hampton (1912–1996) helped develop the antitrust laws during the 1950s and was a founder of the American Bar Association Antitrust Section. He was a well known collector of contemporary art and a charter benefactor of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; a gallery at the Museum's California Plaza location is named after him.
In 1946, at a time when there were few women practicing law, Sheppard Mullin became one of a handful of law firms in Los Angeles to hire a female associate, the late Kathleen Parker. Ms. Parker went on to become one of the first female judges in Los Angeles County where she served on the bench for more than 30 years.
Sheppard Mullin's first branch office opened in Orange County in 1977, followed by the openings of the San Francisco and San Diego offices in 1981 and 1986, respectively.
The twenty-first century has been a period of significant expansion for Sheppard Mullin: establishing a well known entertainment practice in Century City (2001); establishing a dedicated video-game practice group (2009); also in 2001 opening an office in Del Mar Heights—located in the biotech corridor near San Diego; expanding to the East coast, opening offices in Washington, D.C., and in New York (2003); going global with the firm's first international office in Shanghai (2007); opening in Silicon Valley (2008); opening in Beijing, Brussels and London (2011); and most recently opening in Chicago and Seoul (2012).
Sheppard Mullin currently has offices in Beijing, Brussels, Century City, Chicago, Del Mar, London, Los Angeles, New York, Orange County, Palo Alto, San Diego, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai, and Washington, DC.
Areas of Practice
The firm's primary practice groups provide in-depth services:
- Antitrust & Trade Regulation
- Bankruptcy & Restructuring
- Entertainment, Technology & Advertising
- Government Contracts, Investigations & International Trade
- Intellectual Property
- Labor & Employment
- Real Estate, Land Use & Natural Resources
Attorneys in all eleven groups also have expertise in international law, advising clients on their inbound and outbound transactions. Services include: structuring and financing of overseas businesses, cross-border mergers and acquisitions, and the representation of U.S. companies investing in and doing business abroad, particularly in China and Latin America.
The firm has numerous industry-focused teams and blogs including:
- Climate Change & Clean Technology
- Construction & Infrastructure
- Fashion & Apparel
- Financial Institutions
- Life Sciences
- Social Media
- Video Games
- Sheppard Mullin partners have been ranked in Best Lawyers in America, Chambers, Legal 500, Super Lawyers, and Which Lawyer PLC
- Ranked as one of the "Best Places to Work" by the Los Angeles Business Journal, San Francisco Business Times, San Diego Business Journal, Orange County Business Journal, Crain's New York Business and Washington Business Journal.
- Corporate Counsel magazine recognized Sheppard Mullin as a Fortune 500 "Go-To" Law Firm, 2014
- Recognized for delivering superior client service by BTI Consulting Group in its Survey of Client Service Performance for Law Firms: The BTI Client Service A-Team 2014
- U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers ranked Sheppard Mullin among the "Best Law Firms" in the country, including national rankings of the firm's antitrust, finance and bankruptcy, corporate and tax, entertainment, litigation, and real estate and land use practices.
- Ranked among the best litigation firms in California by Benchmark Litigation, 2014
- The Human Rights Campaign gave Sheppard Mullin a 100% Corporate Equality Index (CEI) rating
- Ranked as one of Multicultural Law’s 2011 Top 100 Law Firms for Diversity and Women
- Ranked as one of the top 100 law firms in the country when it comes to diversity, according to the 2013 "Diversity Scorecard" published by the American Lawyer
- Sheppard Mullin is General Counsel for GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation)
The firm has a long tradition of providing legal services to people and community organizations who could otherwise not afford access to legal representation. "The Recorder" recognized the firm’s pro bono efforts in its September 2012 issue, listing Sheppard Mullin as one of the 10 leading Northern California pro bono practices: “[Sheppard Mullin] has demonstrated a commitment to pro bono clients or causes through determined and creative advocacy…The scope of Sheppard Mullin’s pro bono work has traditionally been broad, involving asylum and immigration issues, education, criminal matters, as well as business representation.” Sheppard Mullin's Washington, D.C. and New York offices were the recipients of the prestigious Frankel Award from Human Rights First for extraordinary pro bono commitment on behalf of political asylum applicants in the United States. Human Rights First is one of the leading human rights organizations in the United States. The firm was recognized at the Human Rights First Annual Gala Dinner in New York City on October 26, 2011.
- Sheppard Mullin website
- Sheppard Mullin Careers website
- Sheppard Mullin blogs
- Martindale-Hubbell Profile
- Vault Profile
- Organizational Profile at the National Law Review
- LinkedIn Profile
- Facebook Profile
- Twitter Profile
- Lawrence B. Lockwood v. Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton et al.
In June 2007, Sheppard Mullin and former Sheppard Mullin partner Jonathan Hangartner were named in a lawsuit filed in the Los Angeles County Superior Court by inventor Lawrence Lockwood. The lawsuit alleged that Sheppard Mullin and Hangartner, who represented defendants in a number of patent suits filed by Lockwood, made false representations in requesting re-examination of the patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Lockwood claimed that the firm "fudged the date" of one of the alleged publications and "misrepresented what the other publications actually disclosed." Sheppard Mullin filed a demurrer and a special motion to strike the lawsuit under section 425.16 of the California Code of Civil Procedure. The trial court granted Sheppard Mullin's motion to strike. Lockwood appealed, and in April 2009 the California Court of Appeal vacated the judgment of the trial court, holding that "Lockwood's complaint arises under the patent laws of the United States and therefore is subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal courts."
In July 2009, Lockwood filed his lawsuit anew against Sheppard Mullin, this time in the federal district court for the Central District of California, naming former Sheppard Mullin attorneys Jonathan Hangartner (now a sole practitioner) and Steve P. Hassid (subsequently an associate at Greenberg Traurig's Los Angeles office) individually. The complaint brought causes of action against Sheppard Mullin, Hangartner, and Hassid for malicious prosecution, interference with prospective economic advantage, and violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act ("RICO"). Sheppard Mullin filed a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss and a special motion to strike the lawsuit under section 425.16 of the California Code of Civil Procedure. In November 2009, the district court granted Sheppard Mullin's motion to dismiss. In November 2010, Lockwood's appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit was denied without comment. Mr.Lockwood and his company, PanIP, LLC, requested review of the judgment of the Federal Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari in October 2011.
This was dismissed by both state and federal trial courts on Sheppard Mullin's motion and affirmed on appeal.
- Pan Am Railways, Inc. v. Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton et al.
In March 2007, Pan Am sued Sheppard Mullin and former Sheppard Mullin attorney John R. Fornaciari (now a sole practitioner), in Superior Court in the District of Columbia, alleging that Sheppard Mullin, which represented two of the airline's subsidiaries in the past, breached a fiduciary duty by agreeing to represent Pan Am's general counsel, John Nadolny, without the company's knowledge. According to the complaint, Nadolny had forged a $320,000 bond meant to secure a settlement Pan Am had reached with the Air Line Pilots Association. When the bond company's inspectors made inquiries, Nadolny turned to attorneys at Sheppard Mullin, including John Fornaciari, then a partner and white-collar defense attorney at the firm, for advice on how to handle the insurance company's investigation. Nadolny had worked with Fornaciari in the past on Pan Am-related litigation in New England and in Florida. Sheppard Mullin agreed to take Nadolny on as a client, but for several months allegedly failed to inform Pan Am that it had done so, nor did it alert Pan Am to the problem with the pending bond. Pan Am alleges that this clandestine relationship resulted in damage to the company's reputation and the instigation of a Transportation Department proceeding that has remained stalled for two years.
Summary judgment was granted to Sheppard Mullin and affirmed on appeal.
- United States Fire Ins. Co. v. Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton
U.S. Fire filed a lawsuit against Sheppard Mullin to enjoin it from representing Kelly-Moore Paint Company, whose interests were allegedly adverse to those of U.S. Fire. In 2001, Sheppard Mullin had defended U.S. Fire against claims by the Kelly-Moore Paint Company that the insurer failed to defend and indemnify it in connection with certain asbestos litigation. U.S. Fire now contends that confidential information obtained by the law firm during that representation could be used adversely to the insurer in connection with a pending suit—a declaratory action by Plant Insulation Company concerning potential benefits owed to Plant by its insurers, including U.S. Fire. U.S. Fire noted that it had never given a conflict waiver, and that 260 boxes of documents, which the insurer said included information about its settlement and litigation strategies and liability analysis, was turned over to successor counsel when Sheppard Mullin was substituted out of the Kelly-Moore litigation in 2006.
In March 2009, the California Court of Appeal affirmed the denial of Sheppard Mullin's special motion to strike the lawsuit under section 425.16 of the California Code of Civil Procedure, allowing the case to proceed.
U.S. Fire sued to prevent Sheppard Mullin from representing asbestos creditors of Plant Insulation Company, not Kelly-Moore Paint Company. When Plant Insulation filed a chapter 11 proceeding in 2009, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California authorized the Official Creditors' Committee to employ Sheppard Mullin over the objections of U.S. Fire.
The case was dismissed by U.S. Fire with no payment by Sheppard Mullin.
- Vinewood Capital, LLC v. Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton
Vinewood Capital filed a lawsuit in the 191st Judicial District Court in Dallas County, TX on November 25, 2009, alleging breach of fiduciary duty and fraud against Sheppard Mullin, Sheppard Mullin attorneys James J. McGuire and Tim McCarthy (both of whom subsequently moved to Mishcon de Reya), as well as Cox Smith Matthews Incorporated. Vinewood had engaged Sheppard Mullin to provide legal advice about its various business plans and proposed transactions. However, when an investor in Vinewood, Dar Al-Maal Al-Islami Trust ("DMI") allegedly breached its contract with Vinewood, Sheppard Mullin attorneys McGuire and McCarthy appeared as counsel for DMI and allegedly took positions against Vinewood. Vinewood alleged that Sheppard Mullin shared its confidential and proprietary information with DMI and others.
Sheppard Mullin removed the case to federal court in the Dallas Division of the Northern District of Texas on December 28, 2009. On April 2, 2010, Judge Sam A. Lindsay transferred the case to the Fort Worth division of the Northern District.
The court ordered the case dismissed with prejudice and awarded sanctions in favor of Sheppard Mullin against the plaintiff and its counsel.
- "EFF and Sheppard Mullin Defend Wikipedia in Defamation Case". Electronic Frontier Foundation. May 2, 2008. Retrieved 2012-12-10.
- "Industries". Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
- "Recognition". Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
- "LOCKWOOD v. SHEPPARD MULLIN RICHTER HAMPTON". FindLaw. April 30, 2009. Retrieved 2012-12-10.
- Liz MacKenzie (May 1, 2009). "Inventor's Re-Exam Suit A Federal Issue: Calif. Court". LAW 360. Retrieved 2012-12-10.
- "Lawrence B. Lockwood et al v. Sheppard, Mullin, Ricther & Hampton, LLP et al". Justia. July 15, 2009. Retrieved 2012-12-10.
- "LAWRENCE B. LOCKWOOD and PANIP, LLC, v. SHEPPARD, MULLIN, RICHTER & HAMPTON, LLP, JONATHAN HANGARTNER, and STEVE P. HASSID". United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. November 15, 2010. Retrieved 2012-12-10.
- Schwegman, Lundberg, Woessner & Kluth (May 9, 2011). "Lockwood Cert Petition Seeks Clarification of Redress for Alleged "Sham" Reexamination Request". The National Law Review. Retrieved 2012-03-14.
- "Order List". Supreme Court of the United States. Oct. 3, 2011. p. 11. Retrieved Oct. 3, 2011.
- Lawrence B. Lockwood et al v. Sheppard, Mullin, Ricther & Hampton, LLP et al, Justia. Retrieved 2013-09-27.
- Attila Berry (September 24, 2007). "Pan Am Alleges Sheppard Mullin Helped Ex-GC Conceal His Fraud". Legal Times. Retrieved 2012-12-10.
- Boston-Maine Airways Corporation, Appellant v. Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP & John Fornaciari, Appellees, No. 12-CV-0499, Mem. Op. & J. at 7 (D.C. Aug. 28, 2013).
- Kenneth Ofgang (March 13, 2009). "Conflict-of-Interest Suit Against Law Firm Not SLAPP—C.A.". Metropolitan News Company. Retrieved 2012-12-10.
- United States Fire Insurance Company v. Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP, Case No. 09-31347, (U.S. Bankruptcy Ct. N.D. Cal., July 29, 2013)
- https://ecf.txnd.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/show_public_doc?2010cv0220-35 USDC - Northern District of Texas