Picture of John A. Graham

John Graham is a partner in the Firm's Litigation Group.  He has served as counsel for over 40 years for a wide variety of businesses, including financial institutions, leasing companies, and manufacturers.  In addition to his extensive litigation and trial experience, he has developed a well-earned reputation for strategic litigation planning and managing difficult litigation.

Litigation Planning and Management

No matter how good your present attorneys are, there are times when strategic advice from an expert who is not counsel of record can be invaluable in charting the right course of action at any stage of the dispute, including settlement.

Certain types of cases require a disinterested expert to provide critical oversight and guidance.

The litigation management and planning service is not designed to replace your counsel, but to provide independent oversight and creative strategies.


  • Provides critical litigation oversight and guidance to many institutional legal departments on a regular basis.
  • Over 70 cases tried to verdict in state and federal courts in all manner of financial, business and commercial law matters.
  • Handled hundreds of high-stakes injunction and prejudgment remedy hearings in both state and federal courts. 
  • Deep expertise in complex federal and state court litigation and arbitrations regarding:  business disputes, commercial law, insurance coverage, employee claims, lender liability claims, fraudulent business schemes, Ponzi schemes, alternative business entities, criminal enterprises, money laundering, and federal forfeiture actions.
  • Expertise includes problem-solving, litigation and trials under the Uniform Commercial Code, including Article 2 (sale of goods), Articles 3, 4, 5, Article 9 (secured transactions), and Article 10 (personal property leases).
  • Expertise in real estate secured transactions, the one-action rule, security-first rule, antideficiency statutes, and mixed-collateral foreclosure.


Experienced mediator for complex financial and commercial disputes.

Mediation Credentials

  • Court-Appointed Mediator for the United States District Court, Central District of California.  Assigned by the Court to assist in the settlement of complex commercial disputes
  • Court-Appointed Mediator, United States Bankruptcy Court Mediation Program, Central District of California
  • Pepperdine University School of Law, Institute for Dispute Resolution Graduate

Expert Witness Services

Providing expert witness testimony in complex commercial law and bankruptcy law areas.

Structural Engineering For Loans

Significant experience in providing focused review and analysis of the structure of a loan lenders who are in the process of obtaining final loan approval.  If you have a loan that creates concerns regarding your institution's exposure, a loan backed by unusual or complicated collateral, or just something you have not done before, a structural review can be of material assistance.

A "structural engineering" review includes:

  • A general review of your loan documents to determine if your loan structure will accomplish the stated goal of your credit memo and loan committee approval.
  • Insightful analysis regarding your loan structure and suggestions as to how to correct deficiencies or improve the structure.
  • Analysis of potential future enforcement issues to determine if your loan structure is sound and will resist the usual attacks when your borrower does not pay.

As a veteran commercial trial lawyer who has enforced and defended virtually every type of unsecured and secured loan, I have direct experience as to what has worked and what has failed in front of numerous judges.

Many serious losses to financial service companies are the result of avoidable mistakes made in the original structuring of the loan.  Often, the lender's documents are sufficient, but costly mistakes are made in structuring the loan, such as identifying the correct borrowers and guarantors.  A failure to properly identify and determine the proper source of loan payments may result in your loan payments being recovered as fraudulent transfers.

Be safe, use Structural Engineering for Loans


  • Represented Union Bank in its appeal to the United States Supreme Court in Union Bank v. Wolas, 502 U.S. 151 (1991), which resulted in a unanimous decision in favor of petitioner Union Bank.
  • Designed and implemented legal strategies on behalf of trustee in bankruptcy in a complex Ponzi scheme matter involving leasing and financing of equipment. The legal proceedings resulted in published rulings awarding creditors $82 million. Teleservices Group, Inc. v. The Huntington National Bank, 444 B.R. 767 (2011); Teleservices Group, Inc. v. The Huntington National Bank, 469 B.R. 713 (2012); Judgment entered September 28, 2015, Marcia R. Meoli v. Huntington National Bank, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129909.
  • Served as expert witness and provided testimony to the High Court of Justice, Queen’s Bench Division in Robert Gresham Gray v. Richard Smith, et. al., which involved a high-stakes dispute over ownership of a rare McLaren F1 racecar, one of only nine factory-built “Long-Tails” ever made.  The English court required California law expertise on complex issues under Division 2 of the California Uniform Commercial Code, including the effect on title caused by a complex fraud by a duplicitous agent who purchased and later resold the McLaren racecar.  The court’s judgment adopted the opinion formulated by Mr. Graham.
  • In two separate matters, represented major developers and shopping center owners in bet-the-company financial workouts with international financial institutions.
  • Served on the board of directors for a local Beverly Hills bank for five years.
  • Defended a manufacturer in a federal court wage and hour class action.
  • Retained by Visa and Mastercard to represent credit card industry on an issue of national significance regarding bankruptcy fraud standards in Household Credit Services, Inc. v. Christopher W. Ettell; Marla Ettell, 188 F.3d 1141 (9th Cir. 1999).
  • Represented clients in many national Chapter 11 reorganizations, including such cases as Alamo Rent-a-Car, Storage Technology Corporation, NuCorp Energy, Maxicare, and Leisure Technology.
  • Represented the American Bankers Association, California Bankers Association, and the California League of Savings Institutions in their amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court in Timbers of Inwood Forest, 484 U.S. 365 (1988).
  • Represented the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the Parker North American case which resulted in a favorable Ninth Circuit opinion protecting attorney-client privilege between creditors' committees and counsel (Marcus v. Parker, 978 F.2d 1159 (1992)).
  • Represented Crocker National Bank as trial counsel in In re American Mariner, 734 F.2d 426 (1984)


J.D., University of San Diego School of Law, 1976

B.A., Pennsylvania State University College of Science, 1972

Pepperdine University School of Law, Institute for Dispute Resolution Graduate

Bar Admissions State Bar of California
United States Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
Central District of California
Southern District of California
Eastern District of California
Northern District of California
Western District of Michigan

Member, Financial Lawyers Conference

Member, Los Angeles County Bankruptcy Forum

Member, Board of Directors of the Los Angeles County Bankruptcy Forum, 1994-96

Member, Orange County Bankruptcy Forum

Court-Appointed Mediator for the United States District Court, Central District of California, assigned by the Court to assist in the settlement of complex commercial disputes

Court-Appointed Mediator, United States Bankruptcy Court Mediation Program, Central District of California

Judge Pro Tem, Los Angeles Superior Court, 1993-95

Judge Pro Tem, Los Angeles Municipal Court, 1989-92

Awards & Recognition
  • Recognized as one of Los Angeles Magazine's Southern California's Best Lawyers, 2012
  • Selected as a Southern California Super Lawyer, 2006-2014 (Business Edition, 2014)