John Owens joined Munger, Tolles & Olson in 2012 as a litigation partner, and splits his time between Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego. A complex business litigator, Mr. Owens focuses his practice on representing individuals and corporations in government investigations, and conducting internal investigations into allegations of corporate misconduct. Having served as a federal prosecutor for more than 11 years, Mr. Owens specializes in anticipating the government's investigative, trial and settlement strategies and mapping out the client's best response, both inside and outside the courtroom. With his Munger Tolles colleagues, Mr. Owens represents the drilling company Transocean in the criminal investigation arising from the April 20, 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Mr. Owens has handled Foreign Corrupt Practice Act matters as a prosecutor and defense attorney, has lectured on FCPA trends and is frequently quoted on the subject by the media. As a prosecutor, he worked with the Fraud Section at the Department of Justice, which oversees all FCPA investigations. He represents individuals and corporations in wide-ranging SEC and DOJ FCPA probes, and advises multi-national corporations on FCPA litigation and compliance strategy. Mr. Owens also coordinates with defense counsel around the country to identify FCPA legal issues to challenge in federal trial and appellate courts.
Pharmaceutical and Health Care Fraud Experience
As a prosecutor, Mr. Owens worked on numerous Health and Human Services and Food and Drug Administration criminal investigations, including kickback, false billing and off-label marketing cases. Mr. Owens also worked at the Office of Consumer Litigation at the Department of Justice, which specializes in complex FDA investigations into the pharmaceutical industry. As a defense attorney, Mr. Owens represents a high-level executive in an HHS kickback and off-label marketing investigation.
White Collar Prosecutorial and Trial Experience
Prior to joining Munger Tolles, Mr. Owens served as a federal prosecutor at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. and at the United States Attorney's Offices for the Central and Southern Districts of California. In the Southern District, Mr. Owens served as Chief of the Criminal Division, where he oversaw all criminal prosecutions in one of the busiest and most productive offices in the nation.
During his career as a prosecutor, Mr. Owens led white collar investigations and trial teams, and received numerous awards for his work. In 2009, Mr. Owens received a prestigious Director's Award for his trial work in United States v. Treadwell, in which the lead defendant received a 25-year sentence after a month-long trial. In 2010, Mr. Owens successfully prosecuted currency trader Mark Hauze, who received a 108-month sentence after a multi-week trial for fraud and tax violations. In 2011, Mr. Owens obtained a 30-year sentence ─ the longest in the history of the Southern District for a white collar defendant ─ after trial in United States v. Cao. Also in 2011, Mr. Owens received a second Director's Award for his management of the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Mr. Owens has extensive experience dealing with classified information, including the Classified Information Procedures Act and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act litigation. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Secret Service, Postal Inspection Service and Internal Revenue Service have recognized Mr. Owens with numerous awards for his work on white collar investigations and trials, and the television show “American Greed” has featured his courtroom successes.
Academic and Federal Clerkship Experience
Mr. Owens graduated first in his class from Stanford Law School in 1996. He served as a law clerk to Judge J. Clifford Wallace of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the Supreme Court of the United States. Mr. Owens regularly lectures about white collar crime at law schools in Southern California, and has published articles in law journals around the country.
Mr. Owens is regularly quoted about internal investigations and criminal law issues, including in publications such as Politico and the Daily Journal.