John S. Gibson, Partner Orange County
Phone: +1 949.798.1330
3 Park Plaza
20th Floor
Irvine, CA 92614-8505

John S. Gibson is a trial lawyer with 25 years of experience. He is a partner in the firm's Antitrust Group, where he focuses on litigation involving competition, technology, patents, standard-setting, and health care as well as other complex litigation. He also represents clients in a variety of high-stakes dealings with federal and state antitrust enforcement agencies. And his practice includes successful post-trial rescue missions and appeals for companies facing substantial jury verdicts, adverse court awards, or other high-risk situations. John is rated AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5.0 by Martindale-Hubbell. This is Martindale's top rating, reflecting practice "at the highest level of professional excellence."* John is also a fellow in The Litigation Counsel of America honorary society for trial lawyers. And he is listed as one of The Best Lawyers in America (2013-2016 editions).

As lead counsel in complex and class action litigation cases, John has achieved numerous game-changing results for clients. His experience includes representing companies (from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups) and individuals in the Internet, Web-browser, mobile/wireless, software, computing, consumer electronics, medical device, health care, professional sports, manufacturing, automotive, airlines, gaming, hospitality, real estate and financial services industries. He serves on the Steering Committee of the firm's Diversity Council. 

Representative examples of his practice include:

  • Served as lead trial counsel for the Los Angeles Clippers basketball franchise in historic litigation against NBA-banned owner Donald Sterling. Winning the trial successfully rescued the team by forcing a widely-acclaimed sale of the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
  • Representing leading mobile telecommunications technology company in antitrust and licensing litigation over standard-essential patents.
  • Won motion to dismiss leading mobile-device maker in federal antitrust litigation over company's role in technical standard-setting for 4G-LTE mobile technology.
  • Representing a leading distributor of medical and surgical supplies in federal antitrust litigation over pricing policies.
  • Representing a top healthcare company in federal antitrust litigation over competitive business practices.
  • Represented a top Web-browser maker in IP and standard-setting issues regarding the next-generation hypertext markup language (HTML) for the World Wide Web.
  • Eliminated 95 percent of the largest antitrust jury verdict in the U.S. through a rescue mission by taking over the case after trial.
  • Won judgment N.O.V., eliminating a $10 million jury verdict in a commercial real estate case, by taking over the matter after trial.
  • Defeated $2 billion in federal antitrust claims before trial for a Fortune 10 company in multiple cases brought by a putative class of the company's thousands of domestic distributors/retailers.
  • Won a high-profile trial defending the country's second-largest school district against a Donald Trump partnership that sought $26 million in damages regarding development of an historic site in Los Angeles.
  • Turned the tables for one of the top companies in Asia by taking over declaratory relief litigation that another firm had lost for the company. Prevented Plaintiff from using collateral estoppel against the company in a second action for $30 million in damages.
  • Won summary judgment for a major airline in defending against the general contractor's construction-delay and fraud claims in federal court. The lawsuit involved a $40 million project at a major international airport.
  • Defeated a significant lease pass-through liability for a major bank that was the anchor tenant in a downtown office building affected by an assessment for commercial asbestos-abatement and fire-sprinkler retrofit work. Also recovered attorney's fees and costs for the client in the highly-publicized arbitration proceeding.

John also served as in-house counsel and vice president for companies formed by the Robert M. Bass Group while helping to liquidate more than $6 billion in "bad bank" assets formerly held by American Savings & Loan Association.

In addition to private practice, John is very involved in the community. He has served on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the Constitutional Rights Foundation. He has handled significant pro bono matters, including a recent litigation victory in which he obtained the first federal court order in the U.S. requiring a school district to accommodate the service dog of a student with autism. John has also been a volunteer youth basketball coach.

John holds a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School, where he was a member of the Law Review, and an A.B. from Harvard College, where he was a John Harvard Scholar (top 5 percent of undergraduate students). After law school, he clerked for the Honorable John Feikens, United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Michigan. John was also a NCAA Division I student-athlete in basketball, and he was a high school teammate of NBA Hall-of-Famer Magic Johnson. He was selected Honorable Mention on the McDonald's High School All-American Basketball Team by a panel that included legendary coach John Wooden.


Admitted to practice: California

(*AV Preeminent is a certification mark of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell® certification procedures, standards and policies.)

Speeches & Presentations

  • "Standards-Essential Patents and Competition Law," Queen Mary/Crowell & Moring Global Competition Conference, Brussels (May 2014). Speaker: John S. Gibson.
  • "Trying Your First Case: A Practitioner's Guide," American Bar Association Litigation Section Annual Conference (April 10, 2014). Speaker: John S. Gibson.
  • "Litigation Forecast Antitrust Webinar: Litigating SEPs and FRAND Terms," Crowell & Moring Webinar (February 12, 2013). Presenters: John S. Gibson, Mark A. Klapow, Beatrice B. Nguyen, and M. Brinkley Tappan.


Client Alerts & Newsletters

In the News

  • California's Antitrust Bar
    March 2015 — Global Competition Review

    Crowell & Moring's California Antitrust Group is noted as "highly recommended" in the state, in a special feature published in Global Competition Review that explores the law firms doing the best antitrust work in California. The article notes that Crowell & Moring's California antitrust practice is "one of the most remarkable in the state… [that] has found its niche splitting its time between defense and plaintiffs matters, leading for major opt-out clients in some of the top antitrust litigation matters in the country."

  • Minority Powerbrokers Q&A: Crowell & Moring's John Gibson
    November 14, 2014 — Law360

    Orange County-based Antitrust Group partner, John S. Gibson, is featured as one of Law360's Minority Powerbrokers. In the Q&A article, Gibson answers a wide-array of questions focusing on his successful career, including some of the unique challenges he has overcome. As Gibson has seen a promising increase in diversity throughout his 25 years as a trial lawyer, he encourages his peers to keep up the momentum stating, "Let's help the next generation dream big, be bold, and achieve a legal profession without glass ceilings."

  • 20 Questions with California Fellow John S. Gibson of Crowell & Moring LLP
    July/August 2014 — Litigation Commentary & Review

    John S. Gibson, Orange County-based antitrust partner, is featured in a 20-question interview piece by Litigation Commentary & Review. Gibson talks through a wide-range of topics from his success as a trial lawyer to his own personal motto. When asked, "What is the civic cause with which you most identify?," Gibson praised sponsorship stating, "I think it is important to support our next generations through sponsorship. Sponsorship goes beyond mentoring and giving advice. Sponsorship means using my experience, contacts, skills, and time for the benefit of those I sponsor."

  • Health Cos. Want Antitrust Cases Consolidated In Kan.
    July 18, 2013 — Law360

    Orange County-based Antitrust Group partner, John Gibson is featured in Class Action, Competition, Health, and Life Sciences Law360 for his representation of Owen & Minor Inc. The article highlight's Gibson's arguments that a case his client is involved in "mirrored" a $200 million antitrust suit filed in Kansas federal court, and said "… that both cases are ripe for consolidation in one court and that, because of the 'first-filed' rule, the court should be in Kansas."

  • Crowell & Moring Nabs Winston & Strawn Competition Wiz
    March 29, 2012 — Law360; Global Competition Review

    Orange County-based Antitrust Group partner John S. Gibson was featured in Competition Law360 and Global Competition Review on his arrival to Crowell & Moring. He discusses his experience and the future of antitrust law in the articles.

    According the Competition Law360 article, Gibson says, "The new action for antitrust law is going to be at the intersection of intellectual property and antitrust. Crowell & Moring is established on the West Coast and is committed to growing at a time when demand for that practice is skyrocketing."

    Gibson told Global Competition Review, "Crowell & Moring has a premier antitrust practice with a deep bench, nationally and internationally, and I am excited about becoming a part of this entrepreneurial team. The firm continues to expand its practice at the intersection of intellectual property and antitrust law, the new frontier for high-technology clients."

  • Cypress Family Fights for Autism Service Dogs in Schools
    June 16, 2011 — ABC-7, Los Angeles

    John Gibson represented an Orange County family in its suit against a public school district, arguing the District must accommodate the service dog of a student with autism under the Americans with Disabilities Act. A federal judge agreed in a landmark decision, allowing the student to bring his service dog to school with him.

Firm News & Announcements

Aug.25.2015 The Best Lawyers in America 2016 Recognizes 39 Crowell & Moring Attorneys
Aug.28.2014 The Best Lawyers In America 2015 Recognizes 40 Crowell & Moring Attorneys
Sep.03.2013 The Best Lawyers In America 2014 Recognizes 41 Crowell & Moring Attorneys
Jan.29.2013 Crowell & Moring Releases Report, "Litigation Forecast 2013"
Sep.04.2012 The Best Lawyers in America 2013 Recognizes 44 Crowell & Moring Attorneys
Mar.28.2012 Crowell & Moring Boosts Antitrust Litigation Practice in California
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