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James M. Mulcahy

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Antitrust Litigation Attorney in Irvine, CA

Mulcahy LLP
4 Park Plaza, Suite 1950
Irvine, CA 92614
Phone: 949-252-9377
Fax: 949-252-0090
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2012 - 2022
Licensed in California Since: 2001
Practice Areas: Antitrust Litigation (40%), Alternative Dispute Resolution (20%), Franchise/Dealership (20%), Intellectual Property (20%)
Attorney Profile

A proficient and talented Irvine, California, attorney with over 40 years of legal experience, James M. Mulcahy is the founder and managing partner of the law firm of Mulcahy LLP. Over the course of his accomplished career, he has assisted his clients with:

  • Federal and state franchise and dealership matters
  • Trademark and copyright infringement 
  • Trade secrets and unfair competition
  • Wholesale and retail distribution
  • Arbitration and alternative dispute resolution
  • Pricing distribution and compliance counseling
  • Employment and commercial litigation

Board-certified in franchise and distribution law by the California Board of Legal Specialization, Mr. Mulcahy has successfully taken a number of cases to trial on behalf of franchisors, manufacturers and other businesses. He has secured several favorable verdicts and millions of dollars in compensation. He recently litigated two franchise and distribution cases and obtained a $6.8 million settlement and a $4.3 million settlement.

After completing his B.A. from the University of Arizona, Mr. Mulcahy obtained his J.D. from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law in 1978. Licensed to practice in Illinois and California, he has handled hundreds of cases before the U.S. District Court for the Northern, Central, Southern and Eastern Districts of Illinois, the Supreme Court of the United States and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th, 7th and 9th Circuits.

A recipient of numerous awards and honors, Mr. Mulcahy is rated AV Preeminent* by Martindale-Hubbell and “Superb” by Avvo. He was honored by The Best Lawyers in America and listed in Who's Who Legal: Franchise Law. He was also named among the Top Attorneys by Coast Magazine and as a Legal Eagle by Franchise Times.

Active in his legal community, Mr. Mulcahy is a member of the American Bar Association, the Los Angeles County Bar Association, The State Bar of California, the Orange County Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association – Orange County Chapter, the National Panel of Arbitrators and the International Trademark Association.

*AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

Practice Areas
  • 40%Antitrust Litigation
  • 20%Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • 20%Franchise/Dealership
  • 20%Intellectual Property
Focus Areas

Antitrust & Trade Litigation, Arbitration, Copyrights, Trademarks

Selections

11 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2012 - 2022

White Papers

About James M. Mulcahy

First Admitted: 1979, Illinois

Professional Webpage: http://www.mulcahyllp.com/attorneys/jamesmmulcahy.html

Scholarly Lectures/Writings

  • Ixchel Pharma v. Biogen: Is This the Big One? 24 Franchise Lawyer 9 (2021) (with Sandra G. Gibbs)
  • Franchising Fundamentals: A Guide for the Uninitiated from a Regulatory, Transactional and Litigation Perspective, presented to the California State Bar Annual Meeting in September, 2004
  • What You See Isn’t What You Get: How the Colgate Doctrine May Apply to the Disposable Contact Lens Antitrust Litigation, Competition – The Journal of the Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law Section of the State Bar of California Vol. 24, No. 2 (Fall 2015) (co-authored with Filemon Carrillo)
  • Resale Price Maintenance: What Happened To Leegin Ten Years Later? – Mulcahy LLP Blog (July 20, 2017)
  • Walking the Line: When Are the Franchisor's In-House Counsel's Communications or Advice to a Franchisee and Ethical Violation? Franchise Law Journal (Spring 2018) (co-authored with Douglas Luther)
  • Leegin, Ten Years Later: Did Vertical Agreements Remain Unlawful Per Se Where Adopted To Facilitate A Price-Fixing Horizontal Scheme? Franchise Law Journal, Vol. 38, No. 1 (Summer 2018) (co-authored with Filemon Carrillo)
  • Faculty member, National Institute for Trial Advocacy and the College of Trial Advocacy
  • Inadvertent Franchises: Risks and Remedies, presented to the San Diego County Bar Association, Financial Professional Liaison Section, in March, 2009
  • An Overview of New Franchise Legislation and Pre-Dispute Arbitration Provisions: Issues of Unconscionability and Enforceability under California Law, presented during the California State Bar annual meeting in September, 2006;
  • Hidden Franchises: Definition and Consequences, Federal and State Laws, presented to the California State Bar, Education Institute Section in January, 2007
  • Inadvertent Franchises: Risks and Remedies, presented to the Orange County Bar Association, Business and Corporate Law Section in January, 2009
  • Franchise Agreement Drafting — Basic Tracks presented during the International Franchise Association's Annual Legal Symposium in May, 2006
  • Recent Decisions and Legislation: California Franchise and Distribution published in the June, 2006 edition of Business Law News for the California State Bar, Business Law Section
  • Contributing author of Chapter 5: Tying Law and Policy in Antitrust Law and Economics of Product Distribution by the American Bar Association, Antitrust Law Section (2006)
  • Hot Topics in Franchise Litigation: Recent Developments Involving the Rights, Remedies, and Alternative Dispute Resolution Procedures for California Franchisors and Franchisees, presented to the California State Bar Annual Meeting in September, 2005
  • Franchise Fundamentals: A Guide for the Uninitiated from a Regulatory, Transactional, and Litigation Perspective presented to the California State Bar annual meeting in September, 2004
  • Hot Topics in Franchise Litigation presented during the California State Bar annual meetings in September 2004
  • Franchising Fundamentals - A Guide for the Uninitiated from a Regulatory, Transactional and Litigation Perspective, Franchise Law Committee, Business Law Section, California State Bar Association Annual Meeting, September 2003
  • Hot Topics in Franchise Litigation: Rights and Remedies of Franchisees and Franchisors, presented to the California State Bar Annual Meeting in September, 2003
  • Current Developments in Franchise Law for the Business Law Section, Franchise Law Committee, California State Bar Association in March, 2003
  • Exclusive Distributorships and Dual Distribution: How to Avoid Dealer Litigation, which appeared in the November 2002 issue of the Orange County California Lawyer
  • Partnership within the Law: Developing Legal Issues Among Manufacturers, Agents and Retailers, presented at the 29th Annual National Sporting Goods Association Management Conference, 1993.
  • Capitalizing on the International Franchising Boom: What's Hot, What's Not, And How To Avoid Landmines, presented as program leader during the Franchise Leadership and Development Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, 2012
  • Franchisors Wince as Some Courts Re-Label Franchisees as Employees, published in the Executive Counsel Magazine, January 2013
  • Chapter 5, Handling Department of Corporations Enforcement Actions, and Chapter 11, California State Antitrust Law Issues, of the California Continuing Legal Education publication entitled California Franchise Law and Practice (2009, updated 2013)
  • AT&T Mobility v. AU Optronics Extends the California Cartwright Act's Expansive Geographical Scope, published in the American Bar Association Section of Antitrust Law Pricing Conduct Committee's Price Point Newsletter, Summer 2013
  • California Courts Are Beginning To Reexamine Their Outdated Decisions Addressing Vertical Price and Other Distributional Restraints Under The Cartwright Act, published in the American Bar Association, Section of Antitrust Law Distribution & Franchising Committee's Newsletter, September 2013
  • Ninth Circuit Dismisses Robinson-Patman and Sherman Act Claims, Stating: “We Must Return This Capitalist Rumble to The Forum Where it Belongs: The Market,” published in the American Bar Association, Section of Antitrust Law Pricing Conduct Committee’s Price Point Newsletter, Fall 2013
  • Building Winning Programs for Multi-Unit Franchise Growth, presented as panelist during the Franchise Leadership and Development Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, 2012
  • Dispute Resolution: Protecting the Franchisor— Keep Your Brand Out of Costly Lawsuits, published in Franchise Update Magazine, April 2012 (co-authored with Steven Emmons)
  • Are Franchisees Employees?, published in the Franchise Update Magazine, Franchise Law News, September 2012
  • Best Practices in Franchise Litigation, presented as roundtable facilitator during the Franchise Leadership and Development Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, 2011
  • Financial Performance Representations: Should You Make Them and, If So, What Should You Say Or Not Say, presented as moderator and panelist, during the Franchise Leadership and Development Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, 2011
  • Inadvertent Franchises and the GrayBar Hotel, published in Orange County Lawyer, June 2010 (co­authored with Gerald Davey)

Bar/Professional Activity

  • Vice Chair (2019), the Franchise and Distribution Law Advisory Commission, State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization
  • Member (2015-present), the Franchise and Distribution Law Advisory Commission, State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization
  • Certified Specialist in Franchise and Distribution Law for the State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization.
  • Co-Chair of the Franchise Law Committee, Business Law Section of the California State Bar (2005–2006).
  • Mr. Mulcahy is a frequent author and speaker on franchise, distribution, and competition issues for, among others, the California State Bar, the International Franchise Association, and the American Bar Association Antitrust Section.
  • Member (2014–2018 and 2005–2007), Franchise Law Consulting Group, and Franchise & Distribution Law Advisory Commission, State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. He is one of seven attorneys charged with writing the exam and establishing the necessary qualifications for attorneys to become certified specialists in franchise and distribution law — a certified specialty practice in California.
  • Admitted: 1979, Illinois, Northern District of Illinois; 2001, California, U.S. District Court, Central, Southern, and Eastern Districts; U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth, Seventh, and Ninth Circuits; U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Member of the International Network of Boutique Law Firms, and is currently the President of INBLF’s Los Angeles County/Orange County chapter. The INBLF is an organization of the most highly credentialed and preeminent single-discipline law firms throughout the United States and some of the world’s most prominent full-service law firms in foreign nations.
  • Memberships: Orange County Bar Association (Member: Business Litigation Section, Intellectual Property Section); Los Angeles County Bar Association (Member: Antitrust & Unfair Business Practices Section); California State Bar Association (Member: Antitrust & Unfair Competition Section; Co-Chair, 2005-2006, Franchise Law Committee, Business Law Section; 2014-2018 and 2005-2007, Franchise Law Consulting Group, and Franchise & Distribution Law Advisory Commission, Board of Legal Specialization); American Bar Association (Member: Forum on Franchising; Section of Antitrust Law; Antitrust Law Committees: Distribution & Franchising, Economics, Intellectual Property, Pricing Conduct; Section of Intellectual Property Law; Section of Litigation); Federal Bar Association (Orange County Chapter); Association of Business Trial Lawyers (Orange County Chapter); International Trademark Association; International Network of Boutique Law Firms (“INBLF”), President, Los Angeles/Orange County Chapter (2009-present).

Honors/Awards

  • Named a “Super Lawyer” by Super Lawyers Magazine (through peer-selection process)
  • Named among the "Best Law Firms in California" by U.S. News & World Report
  • Selected by Who's Who Legal: Franchise (2017-2018)
  • Honored by The Best Lawyers in America (2015-2018) for work in the practice area of Franchise Law
  • Selected by Franchise Times as a Legal Eagle (2016-2018, 2021)
  • Coast Magazine, Top Attorney (2015-2017)
  • Superb Rated (10 out of 10), by Avvo, Inc. legal directory
  • AV® Preeminent™ Rated (5 out of 5), Martindale-Hubbell Lawyer Directory
  • Former General Counsel of American Suzuki Motor Corporation
  • Nationally recognized authority on franchise and distribution law and antitrust and trade regulation litigation

Special Licenses/Certifications

  • The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization and the Franchise & Distribution Law Advisory Commission has certified Mr. Mulcahy as a Certified Specialist in Franchise and Distribution Law.
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Office Location for James M. Mulcahy

4 Park Plaza
Suite 1950
Irvine, CA 92614

Phone: 949-252-9377

Fax: 949-252-0090

Last Updated: 12/27/2021

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