Donn P. Pickett concentrates his work in antitrust, intellectual property, and securities litigation. He also works with clients in defending class actions. While Donn almost always defends clients, he has also represented plaintiffs, receiving both a $1.3 billion jury verdict (Oracle v. SAP) and a $2.2 billion court award (Arcata v. United States). Representative clients include Intel, Deloitte, Oracle, Sumitomo, LVMH, KPMG, SanDisk, Lehman Brothers, Ernst & Young, GenOn Energy (fka Reliant Energy), Inline Connection, Blockbuster, McAfee, Eastman Kodak, and Pillar Point Partners.
With more than 30 years as a corporate litigator, Donn has developed a unique style in the management of large cases. His technique emphasizes the firm’s overall approach: responsible, lean and effective staffing; extraordinary responsiveness; early attempts to resolve matters, especially through mediation; discriminate use of discovery; a creative motions practice; avoidance of unnecessary costs; strict budgeting; and close client communications with active in-house participation. Many matters can be resolved economically and within a short period. If they can’t, Donn has successfully defended numerous major cases either to settlement or through trial.
Donn is an accomplished jury trial lawyer, and has tried a large number of cases in federal and state courts, including major jury trials in antitrust, patent infringement, and securities cases. He also has expansively argued appellate cases, including matters before the US Supreme Court, the Ninth and Federal Circuits, and the California Supreme Court. Donn also counsels clients on antitrust issues as well as represents them in negotiations and proceedings with state and federal regulatory agencies. In particular, Donn has handled multiple matters involving the nexus between intellectual property rights and antitrust policy. He also handles major arbitration hearings and international arbitrations.
Donn regularly teaches trial practice and complex litigation courses for the ABA, PLI, CEB, the State Bar of California, and others. He has led programs and seminars for clients in the antitrust, intellectual property, and securities litigation areas.
Donn is a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers. He is recognized as a “National Litigation Star” in commercial litigation by Benchmark Litigation and also a leading lawyer in antitrust, commercial litigation, and intellectual property law by Best Lawyers. Donn has been repeatedly selected as one of California’s top antitrust lawyers as well as one of the state’s top commercial litigation lawyers by Chambers USA. Sources called Donn a “first-rate first chair trial lawyer” who “exudes credibility.” He is recommended by the Legal 500 United States, where clients said Donn “is outstanding,” particularly in relation to high-stakes antitrust litigation and “exceedingly knowledgeable, experienced, hardworking, and excellent trial lawyer.”
Prior to joining Morgan Lewis, Donn was a partner in the antitrust and trade regulation practice of another international law firm, where he served on the firm’s practice committee and was co-chair of the litigation area. He was also vice chairman of the firm from 2002 through 2008 and chair of a prior legacy firm.
Carleton College, 1973, Bachelor of Arts, Magna Cum Laude
Yale Law School, 1976, Juris Doctor
Registered Foreign Lawyer in England and Wales
US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
US District Court for the Central District of California
US District Court for the District of Colorado
US District Court for the Eastern District of California
US District Court for the Northern District of California
US District Court for the Southern District of California
US Supreme Court
Awards and Affiliations
Member, Practice Group of the Year, Competition, Law360 (2017)
American College of Trial Lawyers, Fellow and Member of the Federal Civil Procedure Committee
Equal Justice Works, Board of Directors, Treasurer, Chair of Finance & Investment Committee and former Chair of the Audit Committee
Legal Aid Society of San Francisco, Board of Directors, Executive and Audit Committees
Association of Business Trial Lawyers
Bay Area Legal Aid, Development Committee
American Bar Association, Antitrust and Litigation Sections, former Chair of the Civil Practice and Procedure Committee and Vice Chair of the Trial Practice Committee
State Bar of California, former Chair of the Committee of Administration of Justice
Bar Association of San Francisco, former Chair of the Executive Committee for the Conference of Delegates and Board of Trustees
Civil Justice Reform Act Advisory Committee, Northern District of California, former Board Member
Benchmark Litigation, Local Litigation Star, Antitrust and Securities (California) (2017, 2018)
Benchmark Litigation, National Litigation Star in Commercial Litigation
Best Lawyers, Antitrust Law, Commercial Litigation, Intellectual Property (2016–2018)
Chambers USA, Antitrust and Commercial Litigation (California)
Ranked, Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business (2017)