James Stengel

Partner

New York


Read full biography at www.orrick.com
James Stengel represents clients in large, complex and multi-party class action litigation, including significant actions involving the chemical, building products and medical device industries. He also has significant experience representing Chinese companies in litigation in U.S. courts. 

Jim is consistently recognized as a leading lawyer in legal publications such as Chambers USA and Benchmark Litigation. Chambers notes Jim's work on asbestos claims and environmental contamination and cites sources who say he is "very smart, very tactical and very much a big-picture guy who knows how to get things done."  

Jim has served in a variety of management roles at Orrick, including Managing Director of Litigation, Member of the Executive Committee and Board, Lead Director, and, currently, a member of the firm’s Management Committee.

Jim has written and lectured on complex litigation and mass tort subjects at a variety of law schools and seminars.

Before joining Orrick, Jim was a partner at Donovan Leisure Newton & Irvine LLP.

Posts by: James Stengel

Chinese Company’s Use of Foreign Sovereign Immunity Defense Linked to FTAIA Standard for “Direct” Impact on U.S. Commerce

On February 1, 2018, the Northern District of California court handling the sprawling In re Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) Antitrust Litigation[1] (“CRT”) declined to enter a default judgment against related Chinese defendants, finding the companies had made a sufficient showing of immunity under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act[2] (“FSIA”) for the issue to be addressed on the merits more fully.  The decision by Judge Tigar turned on the court’s interpretation of the “commercial activity” exception to the FSIA’s general preclusion of jurisdiction against foreign sovereigns and their agencies and instrumentalities, an exception that requires conduct having a “direct effect” in the United States.  That statutory construction in turn was drawn from the alternative test for Sherman Act claims under the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act[3] (“FTAIA”) that requires foreign conduct have a “direct, substantial, and reasonably foreseeable” effect on U.S. commerce.  In looking to the FTAIA to interpret the FSIA, the court made a pair of assumptions that are not thought to be correct in all circuits:  That the similar (but different) FTAIA and FSIA “direct effect” provisions have the same meaning, and that the correct meaning is one in which a “direct” effect must follow ‘immediately” from the defendant’s predicate act.  The court’s decision may have implications for the construction of both the FTAIA and the FSIA, certainly in antitrust cases and, while this remains to be seen, perhaps more broadly. READ MORE