Kennedy, John M.



University of Michigan School of Law
Colgate University


The State Bar of California
Admitted 1991

State Bar No. 156009

Kennedy, John M.


John Kennedy is a certified appellate specialist.  Mr. Kennedy’s practice is centered in the employment, business/commercial disputes and personal injury areas of the law.  He represents defendants and plaintiffs in state and federal court and continues to build a sophisticated appellate practice.  His practice also focuses on complex commercial and class action litigation, as well as construction, toxic tort, and actions involving allegations of fraud and products liability.

Mr. Kennedy has defended clients in a wide range of matters including wage and hour class actions, intellectual property, business disputes, construction disputes, insurance coverage disputes and alleged violations of the federal securities laws. Mr. Kennedy has also represented owners of buildings, malls and restaurants in claims arising from alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Civil Rights Act.

Mr. Kennedy was formerly associated with O’Melveny & Myers and was Senior Counsel in the Los Angeles office of Liner, LLP. There he focused on real estate, construction, entertainment, and complex employment litigation. He also represented various high profile clients. Mr. Kennedy served on a litigation team for a major chemical company in its California toxic tort and asbestos litigation.

Prior to Liner, Mr. Kennedy served as a Senior Appellate Attorney for the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District from 2001 to 2009. In that capacity, he drafted over 275 bench memoranda for the Court thus leading him to become an appellate specialist. While at the Court, he authored bench memoranda in civil, criminal, probate and family law cases, involving a broad array of issues, from fraud, bad faith homeowner insurance coverage disputes from the Northridge Earthquake, first amendment rights, to criminal sentencing and custody disputes. Before joining the Court, Mr. Kennedy was a litigator with O’Melveny & Myers. There, he represented clients in state and federal court in toxic tort cases, such as the Exxon Valdez case. He also provided counsel on many complex cases, and served as an integral member of trial and arbitration teams.

Notable Engagements include representing: a prominent Southern California municipality in a high-profile personal injury matter; a chain of night clubs in its employment and business disputes; a major American chemical company in toxic tort and asbestos litigation; a major refuse hauler in a breach of contract action; a national restaurant chain in a trade-dress infringement action; a national radio company in a multi-million dollar lease dispute; and represented numerous business owners in commercial disputes. Mr. Kennedy has also served as in-house counsel to a film production company and supervised trademark and intellectual property litigation by outside counsel.

In 2011, Mr. Kennedy was appointed to the State Bar of California’s Committee on Appellate Courts. He is a member of the American and Los Angeles County Bar Associations. He also serves as an appellate mediator for the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District. Mr. Kennedy was a guest lecturer on a wide variety of appellate subjects in “The Complete Appeal: Strategies from Start to Finish,” An Intermediate to Advanced Appellate Course, May 8, 2008, Los Angeles, California. For more than three years, he traveled to numerous law firms and taught an MCLE seminar entitled “Insight from a Former Research Attorney: Tips for Not Losing Your Appeal in the Trial Court,” Los Angeles, California. State Bar MCLE Approval from August 13, 2008 to August 13, 2010.

He is admitted to practice in California and before the United States District Court for the Northern, Eastern, Central, and Southern Districts of California, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and the United States Bankruptcy Courts for the Northern, Central and Southern Districts of California.

Mr. Kennedy has dozens of unpublished appellate cases. His published cases include: Janken v. G.M. Hughes Electronics (1996) 46 Cal.App.4th 55; Crosstalk Productions, Inc. v. Jacobson (1998) 65 Cal.App.4th 631; StreetScenes v. ITC Entertainment Group, Inc. (2002) 103 Cal.App.4th 233; Cleveland v. Internet Specialties West, Inc. (2009) 171 Cal.App.4th 24; and Stewart v. Union Carbide Corp. (2010) 190 Cal.App.4th 23.

Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, Mr. Kennedy has made his home in Los Angeles, California where he has practiced law for more than twenty-five years. He earned his J.D. from the University of Michigan, where he graduated suma cum laude. Mr. Kennedy obtained his B.S. with honors from Colgate University where he majored in history and political science. At Colgate, Mr. Kennedy was inducted into the academic honor society Phi Beta Kappa.