Julian W. Poon is an appellate, business, and general civil litigation partner in the Los Angeles office of Gibson Dunn, and vice-chair of the firm's California Appellate Law Practice Group. His first-chair appellate experience includes presenting oral argument to the Ninth, Eleventh, D.C., and Federal Circuits, and to California's state appellate courts (including the Supreme Court), and he has successfully handled a broad range of cases at both the appellate and trial court levels, in state and federal court, including several major wage-and-hour and other class actions. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Poon served as a law clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia of the Supreme Court of the United States, and to Judge J. Michael Luttig, formerly of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
Mr. Poon's recent appellate matters include obtaining a unanimous affirmance from the California Supreme Court on behalf of a major law firm in a case concerning the "interim adverse judgment rule" and the probable-cause element for the tort of malicious prosecution; securing the complete reversal (featured as one of the Top Appellate Reversals of 2016 by the Daily Journal) in the California Court of Appeal of a summary judgment and attorneys' fee award worth nearly $70 million, in a hard-fought cross-border dispute involving the children of one of Hong Kong's recent leading billionaire tycoons; winning several False Claims Act appeals before the Ninth and Eleventh Circuits involving proprietary institutions of higher education; persuading the Los Angeles Superior Court, on post-trial motions, to vacate a record-breaking judgment in excess of $178 million in a wrongful death action following a six-week jury trial (featured as one of the Top Defense Verdicts of 2014 by the Daily Journal); securing a writ of mandate from the California Court of Appeal in a state-wide wage-and-hour class action involving insurance claims adjusters; obtaining a unanimous reversal from the California Supreme Court enforcing significant constitutional and statutory restrictions on the taxation of intangible assets and rights (including emission reduction credits); persuading the Central District of California to vacate a $14 million false-advertising judgment following a 2-week jury trial, and then persuading the Ninth Circuit to affirm in full; persuading the Ninth Circuit to reverse a grant of summary judgment and vacate an award of attorneys' fees in a breach-of-contract dispute over the sale of a multi-state auto insurance business; winning a precedent-setting decision regarding 28 U.S.C. § 1782 (the statute authorizing U.S. discovery in aid of foreign proceedings) from the Fifth Circuit and a string of related appellate victories, including in the Third, Sixth, and Ninth Circuits; persuading the Ninth Circuit to grant interlocutory review, on the eve of trial, of a class-certification ruling in a major wage-and-hour class action; securing a complete victory from the Federal Circuit in a patent-infringement dispute; winning a precedent-setting decision on loss causation from the Tenth Circuit; and obtaining a precedent-setting decision from the Arkansas Supreme Court regarding the obligation of corporate officers and directors to disclose their own wrongdoing.
Mr. Poon has also played a substantial role in a wide range of energy, tax, commercial, First Amendment and other trial-court matters, including defeating a putative nationwide wage-and-hour class action brought against a leading electronics distributor, without any discovery having taken place; defeating a putative state-wide wage-and-hour class action brought on behalf of all of a leading retailer's current and former employees in California; and participating in the successful defense of a major energy provider in the largest antitrust class action in California history.
Mr. Poon graduated summa cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1999, receiving the Fay Diploma for placing first in his class. He served as a Note Editor of the Harvard Law Review, and was awarded the Sears Prize during each of his first and second years of study for placing at the top of his class. Mr. Poon also graduated with distinction and with honors, in Economics and in Public Policy, from Stanford University in 1996, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
Mr. Poon is admitted to practice before all state and federal courts in the State of California, and is also a member of the bar of the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Ninth, Tenth, Eleventh, District of Columbia, and Federal Circuits, as well as the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. In 2015, he was reappointed by the Chief Justice of California to serve on the Judicial Council's Advisory Committee on Civil Jury Instructions. He was first appointed to the committee in 2012. He has published, spoken, and been a commentator on a range of topics, and was featured on the cover of the February 2011 issue of Los Angeles Lawyer magazine. Recently, Mr. Poon was named as a California Litigation Star in the 2016 edition of Institutional Investor's Nationwide Benchmark Litigation Guide, in which he was previously recognized as a "Future Litigation Star" from 2010 to 2015. Mr. Poon was also named a Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation in 2017 and 2018. He has been recognized as a Leading Lawyer in Labor & Employment in California in the 2013-2017 editions of Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, and as a 2014 Rising Star in Class Actions by Law360. In the US Legal 500 2016 guide, Mr. Poon is named as a top-tier recommended lawyer in the area of labor and employment, and in 2012, US Legal 500 noted that Mr. Poon, among others, is "widely regarded for [his] appellate work." In 2008, he was named one of the "Top 20 Under 40" lawyers in California by the Daily Journal and as one of the "Best Lawyers Under 40" in 2011 by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. Mr. Poon was also named a "Southern California SuperLawyer" from 2014-2017, as well as a "Southern California Rising Star" for eight years before that, by Law and Politics and Los Angeles magazines.