William E. “Bill” Wegner, of Brown Wegner, served as the 2014 President of the Litigation Counsel of America.
Prior to joining Brown Wegner, Mr. Wegner served as a partner in Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP’s Los Angeles office. Mr. Wegner joined Gibson Dunn in 1980 after graduating first in his law school class and became a partner in 1987. He has extensive trial experience in commercial, antitrust, intellectual property, entertainment, and product liability. Mr. Wegner’s trial and litigation successes include securities class action defense, mass environmental torts, product defect and recall, antitrust, Lanham Act, false advertising, unfair completion, copyright infringement, publicity rights, weights and measures regulatory actions, and commercial gaming cases.
Mr. Wegner’s frequent description as “calm under fire” may be attributable to seven years of military service in the U.S. Army Medical Services Corps (Third Infantry Division), where he developed strategic skills that he continues to employ in litigation today. While serving, he was awarded the U.S. Army Commendations Medal, Oak Leaf Cluster. He was also designated Defender of Berlin by the Commandant of West Berlin for service behind the Iron Curtain in defense of the City of West Berlin.
He is consistently named in the Top 100 Lawyers in Los Angeles, Los Angeles Business Journal, and is also listed in the 2014 edition of The Best Lawyers in America®, for Product Liability Litigation – Defendants. Best Lawyers® also named him 2014 Lawyer of the Year, Product Liability Defense in Los Angeles. He is a perennial Super Lawyer in the area of civil litigation and holds an AV Preeminent® rating with Martindale-Hubbell. Mr. Wegner is also a Past President of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers.
He co-authored the California Practice Guide – Civil Trials and Evidence, Volumes 1-3; and the Federal Practice Guide – Civil Trials and Evidence, Volumes 1-3, (The Rutter Group/Thompson West). He has also published the comprehensive work Relations Among Competitors in Restraint of Trade – Horizontal Price Fixing (Practicing Law Institute), and various articles, including “Fifty Ways to Leave Your ‘Judger’ – Challenging the Judge” (Litigation Magazine, American Bar Association).
As a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, he co-founded the Complex Commercial Litigation Institute (CCLI). He is past President of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers and former Chairman of the President’s Counsel Executive Committee, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.
Mr. Wegner graduated first in his class at the University of Seattle School of Law in 1980. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from the University of Santa Clara in 1973.
His Civic involvement has included his being Board Member for the Stand Up and Shout Foundation, Board Chair of the Shakespeare Festival of Los Angeles, Board Member for The Wonder of Reading, Chair of the Executive Committee of the Presidents Counsel of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and membership in the Chancery Club.
Mr. Wegner’s career highlight was successfully defending the James Dean family against a $90 million claim that Warner Brothers brought in federal court over the rights to James Dean’s publicity rights.