William D. Temko

William D. Temko

For the past 34 years, Mr. Temko has been engaged in a complex commercial litigation practice in the Los Angeles firm of Munger, Tolles & Olson.

Bill Temko was born in Washington, D.C., in 1954. He received his B.A. degree from Williams College (with honors, magna cum laude) in 1976, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and was awarded the 1976 Graves Essay Prize for the best senior thesis in Political Science.

Mr. Temko received his J.D. degree from Columbia Law School in 1979, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and articles editor of the Columbia Journal of Law and Social Problems. Following graduation from law school, Mr. Temko served as law clerk to the Honorable Frank A. Kaufman of the United States District Court for the District of Maryland during the 1979-1980 term.

For the past 34 years, Mr. Temko has been engaged in a complex commercial litigation practice in the Los Angeles firm of Munger, Tolles & Olson. As part of that commercial litigation practice, Mr. Temko has counseled clients, litigated, and negotiated complex multi-party agreements and settlements in the areas of business and contract litigation, securities litigation and antitrust.

In addition, Mr. Temko has had an active and varied practice focused on sports and entertainment litigation and counseling. Some of his representative matters include:

  • Represented the Seattle Seahawks football team in their efforts to move the franchise from Seattle to Los Angeles, including all related litigation; also represented the owners of the Seahawks in the sale of the team to Paul Allen.
  • Extensive practice representing professional athletes in litigation and endorsement related disputes (including professional basketball, baseball and soccer players and professional golfers).
  • Represented Jermaine O’Neal in litigation and arbitration proceedings arising out of the “Malice at the Palace” altercation between fans and players during a 2004 game between the Indiana Pacers and the Detroit Pistons.
  • Represented and counseled preeminent sports agents in litigation matters (including successfully defending a lawsuit brought against his agent by Latrell Sprewell arising out of his choking incident and suspension).
  • Represented the National Football League in contract litigation.
  • Represented Warner Bros. and the WB Television Network in lawsuits involving contractual disputes.

In addition, Mr. Temko regularly provides pro bono representation to various community organizations in the Los Angeles area. He is a member of the Board of Directors (and former Board Chair) of United Friends of the Children and Co-Chair of the California Committee South of Human Rights Watch.


Key Representations

  • Represented Shell Oil Company in class actions alleging gasoline price-fixing in California and Hawaii. Obtained summary judgment in indirect purchaser class action, which was affirmed by the California Supreme Court in Aguilar v. Atlantic Richfield Co., 25 Cal.4th 826 (2001).
  • Representing LG Electronics in multi-district antitrust litigation based on allegation that manufacturers of cathode ray tubes conspired to fix prices.
  • Represented Alyeska and its oil company owners in the civil litigation arising from the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
  • Since 1981, have served as primary outside litigation counsel for Cook Inlet Region, Inc. (CIRI), a Congressionally-established Native American-owned corporation based in Anchorage, Alaska.
    • Acted as lead counsel for CIRI in a series of lawsuits filed in federal court in Alaska and Washington, D.C. involving the United States, the State of Alaska, and major oil companies regarding oil and gas royalty rights in Alaska, resulting in payments of more than $100 million to CIRI.
    • Played a lead role in negotiating a global revenue-sharing agreement among the twelve Native-owned Alaska Regional Corporations under the aegis of a Court-appointed Special Master.
    • Represented CIRI in a series of cases enforcing the Alaska Securities Act, including obtaining court orders voiding proxies obtained by false and misleading proxy solicitations.
  • Represented Shell Oil Company in nationwide litigation, including multi-district litigation proceedings in the Southern District of New York, arising out of gasoline additive contamination of drinking water aquifers.
  • Represented Salomon Bros. in lawsuits involving mortgage-backed securities.
  • Represented GCI Communications, a telephone and wireless communications company in Anchorage, Alaska, in a series of commercial disputes.
  • Represented hedge fund in a series of lawsuits involving contractual disputes and mortgage-backed securities.