James C. Dugan is a partner in the Litigation Department focusing on complex commercial litigation. He has more than 25 years of experience representing Fortune 500 companies, hedge funds, private equity firms, C-level executives, and accounting and financial services firms in securities class actions, shareholder derivative litigation, bankruptcy litigation, contract disputes, employment disputes, and restrictive covenant and non-compete litigation.
Federal Securities and Business Litigation
- Represented Larry Lawson, former CEO of Spirit Aerosystems, as plaintiff in litigation arising from alleged breaches of non-compete covenants, resulting in a $43 million judgment.
- Represented Innovative Technologies, LLC in connection with trade secret misappropriation claims against former employees and its primary competitor, successfully obtaining a TRO and preliminary injunction.
- Represented Bettina Whyte, COFINA Agent, in connection with litigation resulting in restructuring of $18 billion sales tax bond debt in the Puerto Rico bankruptcy proceeding.
- Represented Xerox Corp. in litigation arising from termination of its merger agreement with Fuji Film Holdings, Inc.
- Represented Charles Ergen and SPSO, an investment vehicle formed by Mr. Ergen, in LightSquared adversary proceeding and plan confirmation dispute over approximately $1 billion investment.
- Represented Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia in litigation by former Licensee alleging breach of licensing agreement.
- Represented a private equity firm and portfolio company in litigation alleging violations of anti-counterfeiting law and arms export regulations.
- Represented partners in start-up private equity firm in arbitration proceedings and litigation brought by founder of their former firm alleging misuse of investment track record information.
- Represented MPM Silicones, LLC and affiliated entities in appellate litigation over confirmed plan of reorganization.
- Represented Tower Group International in securities class action alleging purposefully understated insurance loss reserves.
- Represented Hyperion Insurance Group in litigation over alleged violations of non-competes.
- Successfully defended portfolio company of a major venture capital fund against breach of contract and business tort claims by company's founders.
- Represented the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as an amicus in Janus Capital Group, Inc. v. First Derivative Traders and Erica P. John Fund, Inc. v. Halliburton Co. in the U.S. Supreme Court.
- Represented SIFMA as an amicus in Cyan, Inc. v. Benver County Employees Retirement Fund, et al., and Omnicare, Inc. v. Laborers District Council Construction Industry Pension Fund in the U.S. Supreme Court.
- Represented the former CFO of Merrill Lynch in shareholder derivative litigation arising out of subprime mortgage debt crisis.
- Represented William Fry, an Irish law firm, in class action litigation arising from the collapse of the Madoff Ponzi scheme.
- Represented Big Four accounting firm in litigation to enforce a non-compete agreement against former partners.
- Represented Federal Realty at trial for specific performance arising out of right of first offer violations.
- Represented Mueller Industries, Inc., a major manufacturer of copper tube and plumbing supplies, in lawsuit against former president involving claims of breach of fiduciary duty and unfair competition.
- Defended Big Four accounting firm against shareholder derivative and class action securities fraud claims arising out of accounting fraud.
- Defended Big Four accounting firm against fraud claims arising from tax shelter investments.
- Represented former CFO of KPNQuest in connection with federal securities class action.
- Represented former CFO of Livent, Inc. in federal securities class action litigation arising out of accounting fraud.
- Represented insurance company in claims against its former investment advisor arising from failed CDO investments.
- Represented plaintiff senior executive of a major business conglomerate in arbitration to enforce a retention agreement.
- Represented the bankruptcy estate of former major publishing company at trial over stolen securities.
- Defended Big Four accounting firm against claims of professional malpractice and fraud arising from client's failed acquisition of a consumer business.
Compliance, Enforcement, and Corporate Internal Investigations
- Represented CFO of Fairfield Greenwich Group hedge fund that invested with Bernard Madoff in connection with regulatory investigations and litigation.
- Represented former CFO of Black Box, Inc. company providing voice and data network services in connection with SEC investigation and shareholder derivative litigation involving allegations of stock option backdating.
- Conducted Audit Committee investigation of accounting improprieties at Dell, Inc.
- Conducted independent counsel investigation of accounting improprieties at a news media company in connection with a restatement.
- Conducted independent counsel investigation of alleged accounting improprieties at foreign subsidiary of a Fortune 500 company resulting in a restatement of the company's financial statements.
- Conducted independent counsel investigation of alleged accounting improprieties at a U.S. subsidiary of a publicly traded foreign company.
- Defended SEC reviewing partner in a 102(e) proceeding arising from accounting irregularities at a media company.
- Represented Big Four accounting firm in connection with internal corporate investigation and SEC investigation arising out of a restatement.
- Represented an entertainment company CFO in an SEC and Department of Justice investigation of accounting irregularities.
- Conducted investigation of FCPA violations at foreign subsidiary of a Fortune 500 company.
- Represented audit committee members of a Fortune 500 company in SEC enforcement proceeding involving improper revenue recognition practices.
- Represented major hotel and casino operator and CFO in the first SEC enforcement case involving regulation FD.
Selected Pro Bono Experience
Jim has represented the Innocence Project and its affiliated organization, the Innocence Network, in connection with numerous amicus brief submissions in the United States Supreme Court and in other appellate courts in multiple states.
Jim previously served on the Law360 Editorial Advisory Board for Securities and on the Executive Board of the Cornell Law Association.
Jim is the author of the following publications:
“Private Equity,” Commerical Litigation in New York State Courts, 5th ed, Thompson Reuters (April 2021).
- "Civil Liability under the Securities Act of 1933" in Sommer, Federal Securities Act of 1933 (Matthew Bender, 2019).
- "Closing Time: You Don't Have to Go Home, But You Can't Stay Here" (how foreign litigants are increasingly unable to recover in U.S. courts for injuries suffered abroad) The Business Lawyer (August 2012).
- "District Court, Applying Janus Broadly, Rules Against the SEC in Securities Fraud Case" Financial Fraud Law Report (February 2012).
- "Supreme Court Adopts Rule of Narrow Construction for Rule 10b-5," New York Law Journal (June 23, 2011).
- "The Halliburton Oral Arguments: The Supreme Court Grapples with the Role of Loss Causation in Class Certification" Securities Litigation Report (June 2011).
- "Recent Developments in Securities Law" (Aspatore Books, 2010).
- "The Future of Secondary Actor Liability under Rule 10b-5 After Stoneridge Investment Partners, LLC v. Scientific-Atlanta, Inc." NYU Journal of Law and Business (Summer 2009).
- "The Special Inspector General for TARP: the New Enforcer and the Next Wave of Investigations" Financial Fraud Law Report (September 2009).
- "TARP Enforcement: Latest Developments and Insights" The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel (July 2009).
- "Whither Stoneridge Investment Partners v. Scientific-Atlanta? The Early Results," New York Law Journal (July 8, 2008).
- "Our Forbidding Litigation Environment Can Be Changed," The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel (July 2007).
- "Scheme Liability under Rule 10-b-5: An Emerging Cause of Action," published in the December 2006 and January and February 2007 issues of The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel.
Speaker, "Loss-Reserving and the Law: What Every Actuary Needs To Know," (Casualty Actuary Society); Faculty Member, "Litigating Expert Testimony in Georgia: Making Harper Motions & Cross-Examining Experts," (Innocence Project Conference); Panel Member, "Managing the Legal Exposure of Global Markets" (PwC Leadership Forum); Speaker, "Internal Investigations" (sponsored by TRACE International); Speaker, "Anti-corruption and Anti-bribery Guidelines" (Cendant Legal Conference); Panel Member, "Trends and Issues in Cross Border Multinational Investigations" (KPMG Global Energy Conference); Speaker, "Getting the Most from Your Financial Experts: Effective Timing & Teaming" (BVR Legal/Mealey's); Speaker, " Legal Risks for Accountants: Update on Securities Litigation Developments" (Incisive Media); Speaker, "What Venture Capital/Private Equity Professionals Need to Know About the Overhaul of the Financial Regulatory System" (Reed Seminars); Speaker, "TARP Enforcement: the New Regulatory Regime" (Willkie/KPMG); Panel Member, "Ask the Regulators" (AICPA National Forensic Accounting Conference); Panel Member, "Securities Law: Primary Liability for Secondary Actors" (Federal Bar Council), Moderator, "Janus Capital Group vs. First Derivative Traders: Practical Implications of the Supreme Court's Decision" (Law Seminars International), Speaker, "Closing Time: How Recent Developments Are Closing the Courthouse Door to Foreign Plaintiffs" (client CLE presentation)