Experienced Trial Lawyer James Fitzgerald Joins Akin Gump in Los Angeles

Tuesday, October 20, 2015 - 12:00

Akin Gump has announced that James E. Fitzgerald has joined the firm as a partner in its litigation practice in Los Angeles. Fitzgerald, who has tried more than 40 trials in federal and state courts over the course of his career and handled more than 20 arbitrations, comes to Akin Gump from Stroock & Stroock & Lavan.

Fitzgerald has a broad-based complex litigation practice focused on representing insurance companies in a wide range of cases against them, defending professionals (officers and directors, attorneys and accountants) and handling complex commercial cases and arbitrations in a variety of forums.

Among his career successes are defending major insurers in a $1.4 billion first- and third-party coverage and bad faith environmental insurance coverage case in a Texas state court that included a companion California state action arising out of California Superfund sites, as well as leading a successful prosecution of an insurance coverage case on behalf of a policyholder drug manufacturer that resulted in a reported California Supreme Court case defining the law on lost insurance policies. Fitzgerald also spearheaded a federal national fraud case involving the sale of hundreds of fake workers compensation policies that were marketed nationally and that prompted companion criminal investigations by several state agencies, ultimately ending in favorable settlements for the clients on the eve of trial.

In addition to his work in the insurance space, Fitzgerald advises major corporations in connection with internal corporate investigations concerning both civil and criminal liability. Among his matters in this area, he served as lead counsel to a major bank in a $200 million claim brought by a film distributor over the financing of a dozen films, resulting in a seven-week arbitration before the Independent Film and Television Alliance. The case ended with a defense verdict and a $10 million attorneys’ fee award in favor of the client.