Tyson Arbuthnot
David E. Aron
Gayle M. Athanacio
Stephen L. Bacon
Merri A. Baldwin
Robert J. Breakstone
Dennis J. Callahan
Thomas H. Carlson
Jeffery M. Chiow
Alecia E. Cotton
Joshua M. Deitz
Robert C. Goodman
Lucas T. Hanback
John G. Heller
Dennis C. Huie
Suhani Kamdar
Lauren B. Kramer
S. Amber Lee
Mark J. Linderman
E. Jacob Lubarsky
James Robert Maxwell
Joseph C. McGowan
Patricia A. Meagher
Robert S. Metzger
Brian D. Miller
Alexis J. Morris
Nicholas T. Niiro
Roland Nikles
Neil H. O'Donnell
Dean D. Paik
Sharon Ongerth Rossi
Aaron M. Scolari
Aaron P. Silberman
Katherine M. Svinarich
Renée D. Wasserman
Alan J. Wilhelmy
Paul M. Zieff

John G. Heller
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Areas of Practice

Mr. Heller focuses on trials and appeals of commercial litigation, professional liability, civil rights, trade secrets, employment and real estate matters. He is the outgoing Chair of the Litigation Section Executive Committee of the San Francisco Bar Association. He is Co-Chair of the firmís Complex Commercial Litigation and Attorney Liability and Conduct Practice Groups, and is a certified specialist in Legal Malpractice Law, California Board of Legal Specialization. As an adjunct to his litigation practice, Mr. Heller serves as a mediator in a variety of civil disputes.

Professional Qualifications

Mr. Heller is an experienced trial attorney. In over 25 years of practice, he has successfully represented individuals and businesses in jury trials and litigation involving claims of breach of contract, fraud, retaliation, legal malpractice, bad faith, and products liability. Mr. Heller has obtained favorable rulings and settlements for attorneys sued for malicious prosecution and breach of fiduciary duty, threatened with judicial sanctions, or subject to disciplinary proceedings before the California State Bar. He has prevailed on numerous anti-SLAPP motions in litigation against professionals, and handled motions to disqualify.

Mr. Heller has also served as lead counsel representing parties in international arbitration proceedings arising from commercial disputes, and claims of accounting fraud. He represents parties in commercial real estate disputes, including those involving claims of mispresentation, broker malfeasance, and lis pendens. He has obtained preliminary injunctions on behalf of clients in trade secret misappropriation cases.

Mr. Heller represents claimants in civil rights litigation involving excessive force, First and Fourth Amendment violations, and retaliation and harassment. As lead trial and appellate counsel, he has won and successfully defended significant judgments, and obtained published Ninth Circuit rulings on behalf of a female FBI agent suing for gender discrimination, and a claimant imprisoned for objecting to parole conditions violating the Establishment Clause. His resolution of a First Amendment claim was the top-ranked civil rights settlement in California in 2014, according to a survey by VerdictSearch and The Recorder.

Mr. Heller lectures to attorneys and trade organizations on ethics and professional liability, developments in civil procedure, anti-SLAPP jurisprudence, and insurance coverage. He has taught law school legal malpractice classes and served on the ABA Section of Litigation Legal Services Advocacy Training at Stanford Law School, providing trial skills training to public interest attorneys. He served as a member of the Host Committee for the ABA Litigation Section Annual Meeting in San Francisco. Mr. Heller is a member of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers, and has been selected as a Northern California Super Lawyer every year since 2005.


J.D.,University of California,
Hastings College of the Law

B.A.,University of California at Berkeley
Magna Cum Laude in Political Science

Bar Admissions

Attorney Liability and Conduct
Complex Commercial Litigation

Recent Publications and Public Speaking

"Planning For The Next Panama Papers: Effective Representation of Clients Facing Exposure for Undisclosed Assets," Speaker, BASF panel, Jan. 26, 2016

"Ethics Considerations for CEQA Practitioners," Speaker, CLE International CEQA Conference, December 2016

"Ethics Considerations for CEQA Practitioners," Speaker, CLE International CEQA Conference, December 2015

"Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury... Your Witness," Moderator, Bar Association of San Francisco, November 2015

"IP Lawyer Ethical Issues," Speaker, PLI Intellectual Property Law Institute, October 2015

"Tips on Picking a Jury" Moderator, Bar Association of San Francisco, June 2015

"Credit Suisse: Too Big to Jail?" Moderator, Bar Association of San Francisco, November 2014

"Legal Ethics and the Cloud," Speaker, PLI Cloud Computing 2014 Conference, June 2014

"Evolving Legal Ethics: Portable Devices, the Cloud and Social Media," Speaker, PLI Information Technology Law Institute, May 2014

"We're All on the Same Team, Right? - Winning Through Effective Collaboration Between Trial and Appeal Counsel," Speaker, Bar Association of San Francisco, May 2014

“Ethics and Environmental Law," Speaker, NEPA -- Legal, Practice & Policy Developments Conference, March 2014

“Effective Advocacy at Mediation,” Moderator, Bar Association of San Francisco, October 2013

"Justice and the Courts," Speaker, PACE Program, Berkeley City College, October 2011

"E-Discovery, A to Z," Speaker, California State Bar Convention, September 2010

"How to Anticipate (and Avoid) Mediation Impasse," Co-Author, American Bar Association, Commercial & Business Litigation Newsletter, Spring 2009

California Liability Insurance Practice: Claims and Litigation, Contributing Author, Continuing Education of the Bar (2006 and 2007)

Robert Dollar Building
311 California Street, 10th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94104
Phone: 415.956.2828
Fax: 415.956.6457
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