James E. Houpt

Jim Houpt,

a litigation lawyer in the Sacramento office, has litigated a wide range of complex business disputes, including antitrust, fraud and breach of fiduciary duty, insurance coverage, unfair competition and trademark and copyright infringement. Mr. Houpt’s practice includes litigation in the bankruptcy court, where he has assisted clients in the Enron, U.S. Airways, Tri-State Outdoor Media Group and Stone & Webster cases, among others.

In addition to his commercial litigation practice, Mr. Houpt has extensive experience in libel, slander and privacy law, the pursuit of federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and California Public Record Act requests, and the prosecution and defense of special motions to strike under California’s landmark anti-SLAPP statute for the news media, Internet content providers and others. Mr. Houpt has also devoted a significant amount of his practice to appellate work in federal and state courts.

Mr. Houpt's published decisions and electronic reports from appellate and trial courts include the following.

SWE&C Liquidating Trust v. Saudi Arabian Oil Co. (In re Stone & Webster, Inc.), No. 07-3891, 2009 US. App. LEXIS 14984 (3d Cir. July 2, 2009), affirming the denial of intervention by a foreign bank in proceedings before a United States bankruptcy court, and confirming that creditors do not have an unqualified right of intervention under Bankruptcy Code § 1109.
Fremont Indem. Co. v. Fremont General Corp., 148 Cal. App. 4th 97, 55 Cal. Rptr. 3d 621 (2007), reversing a trial court's finding that a parent holding company could not be held liable for misappropriating net operating losses from its insurer subsidiary.
Aboui v. Watson, C-49902, 2007 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 8410 (October 17, 2007), reversing a trial court’s failure to find that a law firm’s pre-filing investigation of a lawsuit was protected by the First Amendment and subject to California’s anti-SLAPP statute, and ordering the trial court to award attorneys’ fees to the movants.
Women’s Resource Network v. Gourley, 305 F. Supp. 2d 1145 (2004), a successful intervention in a lawsuit concluding that California’s system for approving specialty license plates violated the First Amendment, but finding that the California Legislature did not infringe free-speech rights when it approved a license plate for the Yosemite Fund to promote and raise funds for Yosemite National Park.
Thompson v. Miller, 112 Cal. App. 4th 327 (2003), affirming a complete defense verdict on claims for fraud and breach of fiduciary duty, and reversing the trial court’s denial of attorneys’ fees and expert-witness costs to the prevailing defendant.
In re Stone & Webster, Inc., 286 B.R. 532 (Bankr. D. Del. 2002), the first reported decision to find that bankruptcy courts may continue to substantively consolidate debtors after the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Grupo Mexicano de Desarrollo, S.A. v. Alliance Bond Fund, Inc. that curtailed the equity jurisdiction of federal courts.
Berkla v. Corel, 302 F.3d 909 (9th Cir. 2002), reversing the trial court’s denial of costs to the prevailing plaintiff in a breach-of-contract and copyright infringement action.
Rosenaur v. Scherer, 88 Cal. App. 4th 260, 105 Cal. Rptr. 2d 674 (2001), a trailblazing case approving the award of attorneys’ fees under California’s anti-SLAPP statute to defendants represented by pro bono counsel. Mr. Houpt has also served as an adjunct professor of legal writing at the King Hall School of Law, University of California, Davis.

Good to know

Areas of Practice 1) Intellectual Property, 2) Trademark, 3) Copyright & False Advertising Litigation & Counseling, 4) Bankruptcy Litigation, 5) Antitrust & Competition, 6) Insurance, 7) International Arbitration & Dispute Resolution and 8) Litigation
Law School J.D., cum laude, Harvard Law School, 1992
Education B.A., with distinction, Communications Studies, California State University, 1976
Bar Member / Association State bar of California,State bar of Maryland,State bar of Virginia,State bar of District of Columbia
Most recent firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
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