John C. Dwyer

John C. Dwyer is Partner-In-Charge of the Palo Alto office and Co-Chair of the Firm's national Securities Litigation practice. He joined the Firm in July 1998.

Mr. Dwyer's practice includes a variety of litigation, negotiation and counseling services in both civil and criminal matters. He has developed substantial expertise in numerous areas, including securities law; officer and director liability matters; mergers and acquisitions litigation; antitrust; white collar litigation; and professional liability matters.

Mr. Dwyer has successfully represented a wide range of public companies and their officers and directors in actions arising under federal and state securities laws. He regularly represents such clients in civil class actions as well as in investigations and proceedings brought by the Securities & Exchange Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice. Recently, he secured a major victory for Rigel Pharmaceuticals resulting in an important decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit with significant implications for all publicly-traded life sciences companies [click for link to CooleyAlert].

He also has extensive experience litigating cases arising from corporate acquisitions and other major corporate transactions. He has handled such cases in Delaware courts as well as other courts around the country.

Mr. Dwyer also has substantial antitrust expertise. He has represented major U.S. and foreign corporations in criminal antitrust matters involving the U.S. Department of Justice and other competition authorities around the world. He also has substantial expertise representing such clients in civil antitrust litigation.

In addition to representing clients in federal and state courts, Mr. Dwyer regularly advises public and private companies and their officers and directors on a broad range of issues regarding fiduciary duties, disclosure matters, litigation strategy and compliance matters. He has also conducted numerous special investigations into allegations of possible misconduct on behalf of corporate boards and board committees.

Representative corporate clients include Adobe, AMAG Pharmaceuticals, Brocade Communications Systems, Dow Chemical, eBay, Ernst & Young, Gilead Sciences, Medivation, Morrison & Foerster, NVIDIA, Pacific Gas & Electric Company, Power Integrations, Sony and Zynga.

Mr. Dwyer is regularly recognized by major publications – including Chambers, Lawdragon, and Best Lawyers in America – for his superior legal skills. For example, in 2012, he was named one of Northern California's "Super Lawyers" in four categories: antitrust, securities litigation, commercial litigation and "Bet the Company" litigation. In 2005, Mr. Dwyer was named California Lawyer of the Year in securities law by California Lawyer magazine in recognition of, among other things, Mr. Dwyer's successful defense of an enforcement action brought by the Securities & Exchange Commission against Siebel Systems, Inc. and two of its officers in the only successful defense of an SEC action seeking to enforce Regulation FD. Also in 2005, a major pro bono litigation brought and won by Mr. Dwyer on behalf of legal immigrants against the United States Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security was recognized by the National Law Journal as one of the top four pro bono cases nationally.

Prior to joining the Firm, Mr. Dwyer served from January to December 1997, as the Acting Associate Attorney General for the United States Department of Justice. Mr. Dwyer was selected for the post, the third highest in the Department of Justice, by President Clinton. As Acting Associate Attorney General, he oversaw the Department's Antitrust, Civil, Environment and Natural Resources, Civil Rights and Tax divisions. From 1993 to 1997, Mr. Dwyer served as Deputy Associate Attorney General. In that capacity, he served as a senior advisor to Attorney General Janet Reno on a wide variety of civil and criminal enforcement issues and acted as a primary liaison with the White House Counsel's Office.

Mr. Dwyer earned a JD, magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 1988. He received a BS, summa cum laude, in Business Administration from the University of California at Berkeley in 1984 where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Prior to joining the Department of Justice, he was an associate with Jackson, Tufts, Cole & Black in San Francisco.

Prior to attending law school, Mr. Dwyer worked as an auditor at Arthur Andersen & Co.

Mr. Dwyer is admitted to practice in California and the District of Columbia and is a member of the bar of the United States Supreme Court.

Good to know

Areas of Practice 1) Antitrust & Competition, 2) Commercial Litigation, 3) Crisis Management, 4) Shareholder Activism, 5) Foreign Corrupt Practices Act & International Anti-Corruption, 6) Securities Litigation and 7) White Collar & Regulatory Defense
Law School Harvard Law School, J.D.,1988
Education University of California at Berkeley, B.S.,1984
Bar Member / Association California State Bar Association, District of Columbia Bar Association
Most recent firm Cooley LLP
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