John P. Swenson
A well-rounded, veteran litigator and advocate for the automotive industry and financial services companies, John Swenson uses the most efficient and effective litigation strategies and techniques to reduce the costs, disruptions and risks of resolving business disputes. John has an extensive record of countering and neutralizing attacks by members of the plaintiffs’ bar against auto dealerships and by bounty hunters who bring Proposition 65 litigation against retailers and manufacturers of consumer products.
John defends commercial clients in heavily regulated industries facing an array of claims, allegations and lawsuits — from contract disputes to consumer complaints, personal injury claims and employment law issues. He achieves favorable outcomes on a range of claims, including violations of consumer protection statutes, products liability and Prop 65 lawsuits, partnership and shareholder disputes, and complex business litigation matters.
Clients particularly value John’s extensive knowledge of insurance coverage and carriers’ practices in the types of claims they must defend.
John uses the most efficient and effective litigation strategies and techniques to reduce the costs, disruptions and risks of resolving business disputes.
Litigation strategies and expert testimony
John’s experience in managing a large volume of disputes allows him to anticipate new litigation areas that consumer activists and plaintiffs’ attorneys may focus on next.
Experienced in handling substantial portfolios of cases involving asbestos, toxic torts and product liability allegations, John excels at identifying and presenting expert witnesses for testimony at deposition and trial. He draws from a cadre of specialists in engineering, automotive mechanics, accident reconstruction, medicine, fire, construction, architecture and other disciplines to strengthen clients’ cases.
For financial institutions, John has deep experience resolving litigation between financial services companies and providing regulatory compliance counsel. He is well-versed on the law of collection practices, particularly in the auto lending sector.
John extends the value of his litigation insights when drafting new construction contracts for auto dealers. When drafting contracts, he seeks to litigation-proof agreements, and he considers environmental, real estate and other key issues for dealers building and upgrading showrooms per their franchise agreements.
Business-focused litigation counsel
John appreciates that each client has his or her own risk tolerance, depending on the issue at hand and preferred approaches to settling disputes. He gains clients trust through close collaboration and communication with them and a deep understanding of their business concerns relate to the dispute.
Committed to increasing access to justice, John played a major role in a complex prop bono litigation involving a proacted dispute between low-income rent-controlled tenants and their Santa Monica landlords. John worked with the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles to achieve a $1 million settlement for his clients.
- “Beverly Hills Could Drive Autonomous Vehicle Revolution,” Law360, June 1, 2016
- “Insurance Industry Will Fuel Switch to Driverless Cars,” Law360, December 8, 2015
- “Benson Opinion Hands Victory to Dealers,” IADAC West Coast Dealer, December 2015
- “California Federal Court Finds No Duty to Defend and No Continuing Duty to Investigate,” Insurance Coverage Advisory, Issue 111, October 14, 2014
- “California Supreme Court Clarifies Specificity Requirement for Disparagement Claims Under Advertising Injury Insurance,” Insurance Coverage Advisory, Issue 97, June 16, 2014
- “NY’s New Test For Unifying Disparate Claimants’ Injuries,” Law360, March 25, 2013,
- J.D., University of Minnesota Law School, 1996
- B.A., St. Olaf College, Political Science, 1990
Bar and court admissions
- State Bar of California, 2003
- United States District Court, Central District of California
- United States District Court, Eastern District of California
- United States District Court, Northern District of California
- United States District Court, Southern District of California
- National Association of Dealer Counsel
- Los Angeles County Bar Association
- Gene Elliott Foundation, Board Member
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