During his many years of practice, John Oberdorfer has established himself as an advocate for complex domestic and international disputes. His many successful cases demonstrate his ability to work in uncharted waters and develop new and creative arguments and solutions. He prides himself on communicating complex issues in a straightforward, understandable, and persuasive way. In 2013, Mr. Oberdorfer was ranked among the top 10 commercial litigation lawyers in the nation by United States Lawyer Rankings.
Mr. Oberdorfer’s prime areas of concentration are complex civil and government investigations and disputes (both in the U.S. and internationally), the defense of securities accounting cases, and class actions. He has represented non-U.S. clients at the World Bank and in litigation in U.S. courts. Mr. Oberdorfer has represented clients in arbitration disputes, and has also advised and spoken about arbitration issues.
He has successfully litigated Fifth Amendment “takings” cases, as well as First Amendment commercial speech cases. In his securities defense work, he represents clients before the SEC, in court cases brought by the SEC, and in shareholder class actions. He has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in class actions. Mr. Oberdorfer chaired Patton Boggs’ litigation department for many years and has served on the firm’s Executive Committee. He is currently president of the Patton Boggs Foundation.
- Prevailed in U.S. arbitration of contract dispute.
- Settled international arbitration matter.
- Defended major non-U.S. companies in debarment actions before the World Bank Sanctions Committees of the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. Defended a U.S. company in a USAID Inspector General’s investigation.
Securities Litigation and SEC Investigations
- Defended a CEO in a class action and a chief accounting officer in a case in federal court brought by the SEC.
- In a securities fraud class action against a chief financial officer, persuaded court to dismiss the matter prior to any discovery.
- Representation of corporate officers and employees before the SEC and in class actions.
- Successfully settled a class action for a pipeline operator in litigation stemming from an oil spill.
- For a major home insurance company, won dismissal of class action case (8th Circuit), and successfully settled claims under the Fair Housing Act brought by the Department of Justice and a private class.
- Won class action for minority construction workers seeking union membership.
- Filed amicus brief for 21 Members of Congress on unconstitutionality of state laws restricting sale of out-of-state wine.
- Represented advertising trade associations in a First Amendment challenge to the Food and Drug Administration’s tobacco advertising rules.
- Won declaration by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit that a Massachusetts law requiring manufacturers of tobacco products to publicly disclose product ingredients violates the Fifth Amendment because it would take the companies’ trade secrets without compensation.