FacultyFaculty/Author Profile

James W. Quinn

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

New York, NY, USA


James W. Quinn co-chairs Weil's global, 400+ lawyer Litigation practice and is a senior member of the firm's 17-person Management Committee. Mr. Quinn is an accomplished trial lawyer who specializes in high-stakes commercial disputes across all areas of complex litigation and alternative dispute resolution, with particular emphasis on antitrust, securities, false advertising, sports, entertainment, patent, and related complex intellectual property litigation.

Known for his judgment, thorough preparation, and mastery of detail, Mr. Quinn is able to take command of the courtroom with penetrating cross-examination of witnesses and logically compelling arguments. Clients call upon him in matters that are high-profile, high-stakes, and often international in scope.

Mr. Quinn's most recent successes include obtaining the dismissal, affirmed on appeal, for CBS Corporation and certain of its officers of a securities fraud class action arising out of disclosures relating to goodwill; securing a complete dismissal for ESPN, Inc. and certain Walt Disney Co. companies in a $130 million suit brought by Echostar concerning alleged contract breaches relating to rights to ESPN and Disney's high-definition television networks; obtaining a complete dismissal for CBS Corporation in a $70 million breach of contract, fraud, and breach of fiduciary duty suit filed by its former anchorman and correspondent Dan Rather stemming from his departure from the network in 2006; on behalf of ExxonMobil, defeating class certification of a purported national class alleging that major petroleum companies conspired to restrict the supply of gasoline; and securing summary judgment for ESPN, Inc. in litigation against boxing promoter Don King, who alleged defamation and false light invasion of privacy and sought $2.5 billion in damages.

In another recent and high-profile matter, Mr. Quinn served as co-lead counsel for Vivendi in In re Vivendi Universal, S.A. Securities Litigation, the largest shareholder class action ever to go to trial. He continues to represent Vivendi on appeal and in other post-trial proceedings, where he has since obtained the dismissal of approximately 90% of all of the initial shareholder claims brought in that case.

Throughout the past decade and beyond, Mr. Quinn has established himself as a leading commercial litigator with a string of impressive wins, including a $417 million verdict for ExxonMobil (Exxon Mobil v. SABIC) which was among the largest verdicts in the United States in 2003 and remains the largest in a commercial case in Delaware's history; a complete defense verdict for Procter & Gamble Co. on an $80 million false advertising claim brought by the Colgate-Palmolive Co., relating to home teeth-whitening products; and representation of the Arthur Andersen Worldwide Member Firms in the largest International Chamber of Commerce arbitration in history, which involved nearly 300 parties and almost $15 billion in claims. During this time, Mr. Quinn also scored significant wins for UnitedHealth Group, Johnson & Johnson, and Disney, among others.

Additionally, Mr. Quinn has earned a reputation with his clients for his unmatched experience in sports and entertainment litigation. He is the most successful and influential litigator of sports antitrust cases in the quarter-century that these cases have been played out in the national arena. He is known for his strategic personal assessment of each client and his keen execution of the facts in the courtroom. Mr. Quinn has counseled and represented players associations in Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League and Major League Soccer. In the last year alone, Mr. Quinn led the negotiating sessions on behalf of the National Basketball Players Association that ended the 149-day NBA lockout and allowed an abbreviated season to start in December 2011, and represented the NFL Players in obtaining a key preliminary injunction against the NFL's lockout before the 2011 season, which led to a global settlement that allowed the season to start on time. Mr. Quinn earlier served as the lead counsel for the NFL Players in their successful antitrust challenge to the player restrictions in the League (McNeil v. NFL). In this three-month jury trial, Mr. Quinn ensured that a fair jury was chosen for his clients, and his winning strategy secured for his clients a multi-million dollar treble damage verdict as well as the right to free agency. He is able to make juries understand complicated cases by presenting his client's points in a readily comprehensible and persuasive manner. The New York Times labeled Mr. Quinn's participation at trial as "instrumental in helping change the face of major professional sports."

His precedent-setting success extends beyond sports to include all manner of contract disputes, antitrust litigation, and novel, evolving areas of law and business. Mr. Quinn represented Westinghouse in a series of multi-billion dollar lawsuits concerning nuclear power plants. Over a dozen lawsuits of RICO, fraud, and breach of contract were brought against Westinghouse, and Mr. Quinn used judgment and tenacity to win every single one. Mr. Quinn also represented a group of local television stations in an antitrust case against music licensing societies. The results of this litigation led to a complete change in the manner in which music licensing rights in television and radio industries are handled nationwide.

Among many honors and awards, Mr. Quinn was selected in 1993 and 2004 by The National Law Journal as one of the ten top trial lawyers in the United States in its annual feature, "Winning: Successful Strategies From 10 of the Nation's Top Litigators"; only a handful of lawyers have ever been selected twice for this prestigious award.

Mr. Quinn has also been recognized as a leader in New York commercial litigation and nationwide sports law in 2005-2012, and as a top US trial lawyer in 2010-2012, by Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business. He was also shortlisted for the Chambers USA "Award for Excellence" in the category of "Litigation: Business Trial Lawyer" in 2009-2011. He was also listed as highly recommended in PLC Which Lawyer? Yearbook 2006-2009 for Dispute Resolution, and was included in Euromoney's 2004 Guide to the World's Leading Experts In Commercial Arbitration, The International Who's Who of Commercial Litigators 2006, 2008, and 2009, and Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers 2004 and 2005. Mr. Quinn has been selected by his peers for inclusion in the 2009, 2010 and 2011/2012 editions of The Best Lawyers in America in the specialties of Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, International Arbitration, and Sports Law.

Mr. Quinn is a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and the American College of Trial Lawyers, and a member of the International Society of Barristers. He is also a Fellow of The New York Bar Foundation. He has chaired a variety of committees of both The American Bar Association and The Bar Association of The City of New York. He is a member of the Advisory Board of The National Judicial College and the Panel of Distinguished Neutrals of the Center for Public Resources. Mr. Quinn also serves as a Board Member of the American Diabetes Association, the Landmark Foundation, and The Respect For Law Alliance, among many other organizations. He received his LL.B. from Fordham University and his B.A., cum laude, from the University of Notre Dame.

James W. Quinn is associated with the following items:
Answer Book Chapters  Answer Book Chapters The Decision to Mediate: Choosing the Mediator, Venue, and Process - Financial Services Mediation Answer Book (2017 Edition), Thursday, June 22, 2017
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