Julian W. Poon, a partner in the Los Angeles office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, is an appellate and general commercial litigator specializing in class-action appellate and general litigation. His first-chair appellate experience includes presenting oral argument to the Ninth, 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 class actions. Prior to joining the firm’s Litigation Department, 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 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 against a trucking company and its former truck driver following a six-week jury trial; securing a writ of mandate from the California Court of Appeal in a putative 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 (and emission reduction credits, in particular); persuading the Ninth Circuit to reverse a grant of summary judgment and vacate an award of attorneys’ fees in a multi-million-dollar breach-of-contract dispute over the sale of a multi-state non-standard auto insurance business; winning a precedent-setting decision on 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, on behalf of a major oil company in a potentially multi-billion-dollar environmental dispute; persuading the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to grant review in a significant wage-and-hour class action involving a nine-figure verdict; 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; briefing and arguing an appeal concerning the existence of a settlement privilege in the D.C. Circuit; briefing and arguing a trademark appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; presenting oral argument to the California Court of Appeal and persuading that court to recognize that a will can have a non-testamentary, in praesenti effect; winning a precedent-setting decision on loss causation from the Tenth Circuit in a major securities class-action appeal; securing a precedent-setting decision from the Arkansas Supreme Court regarding the obligation of corporate officers and directors to disclose their own wrongdoing; defeating an appeal brought in the Ninth Circuit by a major insurer against a well-known reinsurer; helping to secure a precedent-setting decision from the Ninth Circuit concerning the classification of claims adjusters for purposes of overtime-pay requirements; and helping to secure the affirmance of the denial of class certification in a major state-court wage-and-hour class action against a health care provider.
Mr. Poon has also played a substantial role in a wide range of labor, antitrust, trade regulation, intellectual property, energy, First Amendment, media access, and other matters, including defeating a putative nationwide wage-and-hour class action brought against a major 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 the State of California; and participating in the successful defense of a major energy provider and its public utility subsidiaries 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 law in the State of California. He 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, the U.S. District Courts for the Central, Northern, Eastern, and Southern Districts of California, as well as the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. In 2012, he was appointed by the Chief Justice of California to serve on the Judicial Council’s Advisory Committee on Civil Jury Instructions. He has published, spoken, or been a commentator on a range of topics, including class actions, punitive damages, securities, antitrust, intellectual property, and settlement privileges, and was featured on the cover of the February 2011 issue of Los Angeles Lawyer magazine. Mr. Poon has also been recognized as a Leading Lawyer in Labor & Employment in California in the 2013 and 2014 editions of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, and as a 2014 Rising Star in Class Actions by Law360. In 2012, in ranking the firm in Band 1 of its Appellate and Supreme Court categories, US Legal500 noted that Mr. Poon, among others, is “widely regarded for [his] appellate work.” In 2008, Mr. Poon 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 (NAPABA). He was also named a “future litigation star” from 2010 to 2015 by Institutional Investor’s Nationwide Benchmark Litigation Guide, a “Southern California SuperLawyer” in 2014 and 2015 and a “Southern California Rising Star” in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013 by Law and Politics and Los Angeles magazines. Mr. Poon serves on the Board of Trustees of Southern California Public Radio, and serves or has served on the firm’s Associate Compensation, Diversity and Hiring Committees.