J.R. Riddell

Of Counsel
Commercial Litigation

“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. He represents clients in myriad commercial and general litigation matters, with an emphasis on representing clients in the financial, real estate, technology, manufacturing and retail sectors.

Recent notable engagements include the following:

  • Sierra Railroad Co. In a case hailed by the Daily Journal as one of the top defense verdicts of 2014, J.R. represented Sierra Railroad in a weeks-long federal jury trial concerning claims that included trade secret misappropriation, breach of contract and multiple torts. In addition to serving as trial attorney, J.R. orchestrated Sierra’s damages case, which resulted in a US$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. J.R. 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 defended a group of well-known video game manufacturers against tort claims based on allegations of video game addiction.
  • Prior to conducting discovery, he managed to obtain writs to attach US$120 million worth of a defendant’s assets, which set the stage for his financial institution client to obtain a favorable settlement. J.R. also successfully argued and defended the two writs of attachment on appeal.
  • J.R. has also prosecuted criminal cases to conviction while serving on assignment as a Deputy District Attorney at the Sacramento County D.A.’s Office.

Representative Clients

  • Representative clients include: Bank of America, Bank of Stockton, Bellator MMA, ConAgra, PG&E, Electronic Arts, Sega, an Indian Tribal Council, and various California governmental agencies.
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 joining Orrick, J.R. served on active duty as an officer in the U.S. Air Force, both overseas and at the Pentagon.

J.R. Riddell
Admitted In
  • California
  • Louisiana
Court Admissions
United States Court of Appeals
  • Fifth Circuit
  • Ninth Circuit
United States District Court
  • Eastern District of California
  • Eastern District of Louisiana
  • Middle District of Louisiana
  • Western District of Louisiana

  • J.D., Georgetown University Law Center
  • Certificate, International Legal Studies Program, University of Salzburg, Austria
  • B.S., Florida State University

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