J.R. Riddell is a seasoned trial lawyer in the Sacramento office with a proven track record handling high stakes and bet-the-company matters for clients across the country and around the globe.

J.R.'s practice covers all aspects of commercial and business disputes, from preliminary investigations through trial and appeal.  While many of his engagements involve high-profile claims of trade secret misappropriation and breach of contract, he also routinely prosecutes and defends claims in a variety of other subject areas, including governmental compliance actions and torts.  Most of J.R.'s engagements have resolved favorably prior to trial (e.g., through motion practice and/or mediation), but where trial was merited the results achieved on behalf of his clients have been the subject of multiple awards and accolades in the press (including nationally-recognized top verdicts).   

Beyond litigation, J.R. developed a niche practice focused on the business side of mixed martial arts (MMA), and provides legal guidance and business advice to a wide variety of MMA clients. He is a recognized authority on various MMA legal issues and has served as a consultant, conference speaker and sports writer, with numerous articles published on ESPN.com and its MMA affiliate, Sherdog.com. He has also trained in various MMA disciplines at Ultimate Fitness, home to many top-ranked fighters and Team Alpha Male.

J.R. is an active participant in Orrick’s pro bono and associate training programs, and has served as a continuing legal education instructor.

Before becoming an attorney, J.R. served on active duty as an officer in the U.S. Air Force, both overseas and at the Pentagon.

  • J.R.'s ongoing and recent notable engagements include the following:

    • Oracle. Currently represents Oracle in a putative class action involving allegations of unequal pay and in litigation against the OFCCP involving allegations of compensation discrimination.  Successfully resolved state and federal litigation between Oracle and the State of Oregon concerning the development of Oregon's health insurance exchange. 
    • Wineries.  Currently represents well-known Napa and Sonoma valley wineries in a variety of transactional and litigation-related matters.    
    • Chinese Manufacturer. Represented one of China's largest building materials companies in complex federal multidistrict litigation involving allegations of defective drywall brought by more than 30,000 plaintiffs.
    • Sierra Railroad Co.  In a case hailed in the Daily Journal's list of top defense verdicts, J.R. represented Sierra Railroad in a weeks-long federal jury trial over claims of trade secret misappropriation, breach of contract and multiple torts.  J.R. orchestrated Sierra’s damages case, which resulted in a $52.8 million damage award. The victory was instrumental in advancing Sierra’s renewable energy division and propelling its cutting-edge gasification technology that creates energy from waste.
    • City of Stockton, California.  Served as a trial attorney in this Chapter 9 bankruptcy proceeding that garnered national media coverage. Orrick’s bankruptcy team brought in J.R. for the trial and presentation of evidence, which mirrored the process employed in civil actions.

    Other Matters

    J.R.’s experience in both federal and state court is broad and varied; for example:

    • He served as counsel for a CEO and business owner in a bitter dispute concerning the ownership and corporate governance of a very successful tech company.
    • He successfully defended a group of the top video game manufacturers against tort claims based on allegations of video game addiction.
    • In the early stages of litigation, he secured writs allowing his financial institution client to obtain $120 million in assets, quickly causing the defendant to settle on the best possible terms.  J.R. also successfully argued and defended the two writs of attachment on appeal.
    • J.R. has also prosecuted criminal cases to conviction as a Deputy District Attorney at the Sacramento County D.A.’s Office.

    Representative Clients

    • Representative clients include: Oracle, Bank of America, Bank of Stockton, Bellator MMA, ConAgra, PG&E, Electronic Arts, Sega, NVIDIA, an Indian Tribal Council, premier wineries, and various California governmental agencies.

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