SAN FRANCISCO--()--The Honorable Vaughn R. Walker, former chief judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, announced today that he has opened a law practice focusing on dispute management and resolution. This includes alternative dispute resolution (ADR) as well as counseling clients with respect to litigation risks, especially in protracted and complex litigation.
“We are delighted that Pillsbury can assist Vaughn with the logistics of his new practice”
In his 21 years on the federal bench, Judge Walker presided over an estimated 8,000 cases, more than 250 jury and bench trials, numerous settlement conferences and sat by designation on the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the Federal Circuit. He was a member of the Judicial Conference of the United States Committee on Civil Rules, which promulgates procedural rules for the federal courts. Walker performed judicial training and education in many foreign countries under the auspices of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and the U.S. Department of State.
Walker was known for his handling of complex, high-profile cases, in the fields of antitrust, copyright and patent law and in cases involving disputes over securities fraud, terrorist surveillance and same-sex marriage.
“The awareness of the complexities and increasingly multi-national character of legal disputes has prompted me to focus the next phase of my career on helping parties strike a path to practical management of these issues and resolutions,” Walker said.
Complex and noteworthy cases have been at the heart of Walker’s two-plus decades on the federal bench. These include his August 2010 ruling holding California’s Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional; a 2007 multi-district series of cases challenging telecommunications carriers’ alleged cooperation with the Terrorist Surveillance Program of the Bush Administration; copyright infringement cases between Apple Computer and Microsoft Corporation; and Oracle's merger/hostile takeover of PeopleSoft, approved despite Justice Department opposition. Currently, Walker is co-teaching a course on complex and aggregate litigation at the UC Berkeley School of Law.
Walker will share space and administrative services with Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, where he was a partner prior to his 1989 appointment to the federal bench by President George H. W. Bush. Walker's practice is completely independent from, and will not share clients, with Pillsbury. This arrangement enables him to engage in dispute resolution services free of conflicts, while being available to serve as co-counsel with Pillsbury and other firms on select client matters.
“We are delighted that Pillsbury can assist Vaughn with the logistics of his new practice,” said Pillsbury Firm Chair Jim Rishwain. “We also look forward to working with him as his practice develops.”
Walker is a 1966 graduate of the University of Michigan. He studied law at the University of Chicago and Stanford University (JD 1970), and was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow in Economics at the University of California, Berkeley. Walker is a member of numerous professional organizations, has been published in legal journals and lectures internationally on business law and judicial topics.
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