John L. Schwab

John L. Schwab

John Schwab is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Munger, Tolles & Olson. 

His practice focuses on complex civil litigation, with an emphasis on commercial and intellectual property disputes. He maintains an active pro bono practice.

Mr. Schwab has represented companies whose business interests span a wide spectrum, including media and entertainment, pharmaceuticals and cutting-edge technology. He has handled matters at every stage of litigation, from pre-litigation counseling through trial and appeal. Mr. Schwab has argued successfully in the California Court of Appeal including, most recently, advocating for citizen taxpayers’ standing to challenge allegedly unconstitutional activities by Orange County law enforcement.

Mr. Schwab joined the firm after clerking for Judge Alex Kozinski of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Mr. Schwab received his J.D. from Columbia Law School, where he was an articles editor of the Columbia Law Review. Prior to law school, Mr. Schwab worked as a network television writer on a variety of programs.


  • “Due Process and the ‘Worst of the Worst’: Mental Competence in Sexually Violent Predator Civil Commitment Proceedings,” 112 Colum. L. Rev. 912 (2012)
  • “Houston, We Have a Problem: Does the Second Amendment Create a Property Right to a Specific Firearm?,” 112 Colum. L. Rev. Sidebar 158 (2012, with Thomas G. Sprankling)
  • “Audiovisual Works and the Work for Hire Doctrine in the Internet Age,” 35 Colum. J. L. & Arts 141 (2011)


Representative Matters

  • Disney, Fox and Paramount in cases alleging copyright and patent infringement relating to the use of facial motion capture in feature films.
  • ITV in obtaining an appellate victory against the founders of Gurney Productions over control of the company.
  • ACF Property Management in overturning a $14.5 million verdict against ACF and its principal.
  • Lyft, Inc., in an appeal of a preliminary injunction in a government enforcement action that would prohibit Lyft from classifying rideshare drivers as independent contractors.
  • Successfully opposed writ of mandate, after Palma notice had been issued, seeking to challenge order mandating arbitration in construction defect dispute.
  • A prominent media company in arbitrating claims arising out of the termination of a senior executive.
  • Fox’s studio and network entities in contingent compensation disputes.
  • Universal Music Group in a multi-district action consolidated before the federal court in Manhattan, alleging that the four major recorded music companies conspired to fix the price of music sold online in digital format.
  • Takeda Pharmaceuticals in obtaining a judgment of patent infringement and validity against three generic companies seeking to market a generic version of Takeda’s drug Dexilant®.
  • Pro bono defendants in a successful anti-SLAPP motion striking a complaint, brought by a former employee of Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee, alleging defamation based on defendants’ reporting to law enforcement.