Paul A. Rigali

Partner
  • BIOGRAPHY
  • Awards & Recognition
  • In the news

Described by clients as "pragmatic," "courtroom-savvy," and someone "you will be glad you hired for your most difficult cases," Paul Rigali is an experienced litigator who has tried cases in state and federal courts, the Delaware Court of Chancery, and private arbitration. Paul’s successful advocacy for his clients in commercial and white collar defense cases has earned him recognition as one of the foremost young trial lawyers in the country. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America©, and Benchmark Litigation counts him among the most promising litigators on the West Coast. 

Paul tackles the toughest problems for clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to high-net-worth individuals in complex contract cases; class actions; and partnership, corporate governance, and fiduciary duty disputes. His experience litigating high-stakes matters spans an array of industries, including real estate, software, sports and entertainment, healthcare, mining and precious metals, and financial services. Paul’s diverse practice benefits from his knack for developing creative and aggressive case strategies that consistently yield victories. 

Much of Paul’s commercial litigation practice involves complex real estate, environmental, and water rights disputes. He successfully represented a developer defrauded in a financing hoax; a prominent shopping center in eminent domain disputes; and landowners in title, zoning, and boundary disputes. Paul also effectively litigated a municipal water agency’s claims that a private water company illegally pumped more than $100 million of groundwater from an adjudicated basin. In another matter, he obtained summary judgment for a private water company accused by landowners of illegally diverting water.

Paul’s white collar defense experience includes representing clients in trials and investigations involving procurement fraud, the False Claims Act, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, wire fraud, and money laundering. In a complete vindication for a health clinic’s billing and record-keeping practices, he obtained summary judgment for the clinic, defeating False Claims Act allegations seeking more than $50 million. Paul is one of three Larson O’Brien partners defending the former USC water polo coach, Jovan Vavic, against RICO charges in the highly publicized "Varsity Blues" case. A skilled appellate advocate, Paul has also been involved in more than a dozen appeals throughout his career, including prevailing arguments before the California Court of Appeal. 

An original member of Larson O’Brien upon its formation in 2016, Paul currently serves as the firm's managing partner. He forged his legal career at Am Law 200 firms, Venable LLP and Arent Fox LLP, and gained appellate experience early on in law school through his externship with the Honorable Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Paul’s lifelong interest in sports translates to his pro bono efforts, which include having represented the Special Olympics World Games Organizing Committee in support of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles. Outside of managing the firm, Paul enjoys an active home life with his wife and their four young kids.

Representative Matters

  • Obtained a complete defense verdict on allegations of fraud, breach of contract, and unfair competition for an automotive dealer group, following a three-week trial. 
  • Won summary judgment for a Federally Qualified Health Center accused of violating the federal False Claims Act. 
  • Represented a software company and its founders against claims alleging copyright violations, misappropriation of trade secrets, civil RICO violations, and breached employment agreements, in arbitration.
  • Represented a software company and its founders in a Section 225 trial before the Delaware Court of Chancery to resolve issues of corporate control. 
  • Won dismissal of a putative class action complaint against a mortgage servicer and Fortune 50 company, alleging violations of California’s Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
  • Won summary judgment, which was later affirmed on appeal, in favor of a private water company and its officers, defeating allegations that defendants misappropriated water rights and breached fiduciary duties. 
  • Won summary judgment in favor of non-profit foundation accused of aiding and abetting fraud of its board members. 
  • Represented a professional sports franchise in a two-week arbitration hearing between the franchise and its sponsor, winning a seven-figure arbitration award.
  • Represented a municipal water district in connection with its remediation and cost recovery efforts related to two plumes of volatile organic compounds affecting groundwater.
  • Represented a corporate officer and corporation in a three-week criminal trial of procurement fraud and wire fraud claims in federal court.
  • Represented a municipal water district in a water rights dispute with a private water company alleged to have over pumped water worth approximately $50 million.
  • Conducted internal investigation of fraud and embezzlement by corporation’s investment advisor and treasurer.
  • Conducted internal investigation of trade organization arising from allegations of workplace harassment and discrimination claims.  
  • Successfully defended fast food companies, clothing companies, and automotive dealers, in various class actions, including claims arising from the unfair competition laws, the Consumer Legal Remedies Act, the Telephone Consumer Protections Act, California's "Made in USA" statute, and state and federal employment laws. 

Activities

Publications

  • Co-Author, "Expanding Use of False Claims Act in International Arena," Daily Journal (April 2013)
  • Co-Author, "FCA And ITAR – A Lethal Combination," Law360 (February 14, 2011)
Benchmark Litigation

Benchmark Litigation recognizes firm and partners

Larson O’Brien has been named a “Recommended” firm and partners Stephen G. Larson, Jonathan E. Phillips, and Paul A. Rigali have been recognized as “Litigation Stars” by Benchmark Litigation 2021.

Law360 | CNN

"Varsity Blues" feds make third attempt at client

The Larson O'Brien defense team is undeterred by a new indictment of threadbare allegations against client Jovan Vavic in the "Varsity Blues" case.

Best Lawyers©

Five attorneys recognized by Best Lawyers©

Four Larson O’Brien partners were recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© 2021 and one associate was included in the inaugural edition of the Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch.

Firm’s summary judgment win affirmed on appeal

On Aug. 3, 2020, the California Court of Appeal affirmed the Superior Court of Los Angeles County’s summary judgment order, which Larson O’Brien won for Canyon Water Company and its officers in a complex property and water rights dispute.

Larson O’Brien joins Law Firm Antiracism Alliance

The national coalition of law firms aims to create large-scale, coordinated pro bono projects that address systemic racism.

Law360

RICO charge not fit for "Varsity Blues" coaches

Partner Kori L. Bell argued on behalf of Larson O'Brien client Jovan Vavic in a hearing on July 1, 2020 regarding whether conspiracy counts should be dismissed in the "Varsity Blues" case.

Benchmark Litigation

Paul Rigali recognized on "40 & Under Hot List"

Benchmark Litigation included partner Paul A. Rigali as an honoree on its annual "40 and Under Hot List" for the second consecutive year.

Law360

"Varsity Blues" defendants refer to Bridgegate

The Larson O'Brien defense team for Jovan Vavic filed a brief arguing that the Bridgegate ruling closes the "Varsity Blues" case, along with the lawyers for four other defendants.

Court of Appeal affirms order in favor of client

On June 2, 2020, the California Court of Appeal affirmed the Orange County Superior Court’s order denying attorneys’ fees sought against Larson O’Brien client O Properties, Inc. in a San Juan Capistrano real estate dispute.

Firm joins L.A. Represents pro bono initiative

Mayor Eric Garcetti's pro bono initiative is composed of top Los Angeles law firms providing free legal services to residents facing hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Law360

Live Nation, others cut loose from IP fight

U.S. District Judge Philip S. Gutierrez granted Live Nation's motion to dismiss producer Darryl Payne's copyright claims

Daily Journal

Larson O'Brien hired in college admissions scandal

Ex-judge, Stephen G. Larson, hired to represent water polo coach in college admissions scandal

Law360

Larson added to "Varsity Blues" defense team

Larson O'Brien counted among elite firms that make up the "Varsity Blues" defense team

Benchmark Litigation

Rigali recognized by Benchmark Litigation

Partner Paul Rigali has been named on Benchmark Litigation's annual "Under 40 Hotlist"

The Daily Journal

Daily Journal names Rigali to Top 40 under 40 list

The Daily Journal named Larson O'Brien LLP partner Paul Rigali in its annual list of the best 40 lawyers in California under age 40

Bloomberg

Eleven lawyers depart Arent Fox to open boutique

Eleven lawyers have jumped ship from Arent Fox to start a litigation boutique in Los Angeles. Larson O'Brien will focus on high stakes matters, including commercial litigation, internal investigations, appellate work and international arbitration.

  • EDUCATION

    University of Southern California Gould School of Law, J.D.

    University of Southern California, B.A., cum laude

  • ADMISSIONS

    California
    U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
    U.S. Court of Federal Claims
    U.S.D.C. Central District of California
    U.S.D.C. Eastern District of California
    U.S.D.C. Northern District of California
    U.S.D.C. Southern District of California