James W. Spertus is an experienced trial attorney and a former federal prosecutor who has been litigating cases in federal and state courts for more than 26 years. He has tried dozens of cases to favorable jury verdicts and has successfully argued numerous cases in federal, state, trial, and appellate courts throughout the United States. Broad trial and appellate experiences help Mr. Spertus quickly identify the essential issues, facts, documents, and witnesses that drive outcomes, and he achieves remarkable results for clients efficiently and at a fraction of the cost charged by larger firms. Mr. Spertus is nimble, focused, aggressive and decisive, all qualities required to achieve extraordinary outcomes.
From 1996 to 2004, Mr. Spertus was a federal prosecutor in the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, where he spent nearly eight years as a trial attorney prosecuting major frauds, major crimes, and computer crimes in a wide variety of areas. Mr. Spertus became a founding member of the Computer Crimes and Intellectual Property Section in 2000, and spent many years as an intellectual property prosecutor supervising complex investigations involving trade secret theft, computer intrusions, and intellectual property. Mr. Spertus has also lectured at numerous training sessions for federal agents and Assistant United States Attorneys, including advanced training sessions at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia.
From 1992 to 1996, Mr. Spertus was an associate at the Los Angeles law firm Irell & Manella, specializing in civil litigation. From 1991 to 1992, Mr. Spertus clerked on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for the Honorable Procter Hug, Jr. He earned his law degree from the University of Southern California Law Center in 1991, where he was Order of the Coif (Top 10%), Phi Kappa Phi (Top 5%), and Managing Editor of the Southern California Law Review. Mr. Spertus spent his first three undergraduate years at the University of California, Berkeley, and then transferred to the University of California, Los Angeles where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1988.
Mr. Spertus founded the Firm in 2006, was a Ninth Circuit Lawyer Representative through 2016, and serves on the Board of Directors of the ABA White Collar Crime Subcommittee, Los Angeles Chapter, and the FBA Rules of Criminal Procedure and Evidence Subcommittee. Mr. Spertus has received multiple accolades for his accomplishments, including Chambers USA, Southern California Super Lawyers for each year from 2008 through 2022, and U.S. News and World Reports' Best Lawyers in America from 2012 through 2022. Mr. Spertus has also been recognized as a superior trial attorney by numerous other organizations such as The National Trial Lawyers Top 100, Lawyers of Distinction, AVVO, and Top 100 Lawyers.
- Southern California Super Lawyers, 2008-22
- Best Lawyers in America, 2012-20
- Ninth Circuit Lawyer Representative, 2012-16
- Board of Directors, ABA Los Angeles Chapter White Collar Crime Subcommittee, 2006-20
- Assistant United States Attorney, 1996-2004
- Obtained $307M judgment in civil wrongful death action on behalf of grandson of murder victim.
- Successfully defended a large number of securities fraud cases in civil and criminal courts, and before the Securities and Exchange Commission.
- Successfully defended and prosecuted a large number of general business disputes in federal and state courts.
- Represented grocery chain executive in 3-week federal criminal trial on a 23-count fraud indictment resulting in not guilty jury verdicts on all 23 counts charged.
- Represented business owner in federal criminal trial involving structuring and fraud allegations that resulted in not guilty verdicts on 11 charged counts.
- Obtained dismissal of a high profile state criminal public corruption case involving a supervisor at the Los Angeles Department of Mental Health.
- Represented City of Bell Chief Administrative Officer Robert A. Rizzo in state and federal criminal cases, and obtained dismissal of civil cases filed by the Attorney General for the State of California.
- Obtained federal defendant’s forthwith release on Writ of Coram Nobis after appellate rights were exhausted.
- Obtained dismissal of Attorney General public corruption case against former City of Bell Chief Administrative Officer Robert Rizzo based on principles of legislative immunity.
- Obtained $400,000 judgment after trial in civil breach of contract case filed by supermodel against a former sponsor.
- Obtained reversal of conviction on appeal to the Ninth Circuit from federal guilty plea that was neither knowing nor voluntary, and the Ninth Circuit exercised its supervisory authority to recuse assigned judge and reassign case.
- Prevailed in civil Ninth Circuit appeal, and before the United States Supreme Court, to establish standing without economic loss after national title insurer opposed class certification on that ground.
- Prevailed on appeal filed by the United States from a favorable sentence in a criminal case involving child pornography.
- Prevailed on appeal and in trial court in significant civil case involving idea theft for creators of successful reality television program.
- Obtained Peremptory Writ of Mandate compelling state trial court to dismiss multiple fraud counts after motion to dismiss was wrongly denied by trial court judge.
- Obtained dismissal from district court of federal civil complaint filed against client, an NFL star defensive player.