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February 2011 Issue

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James D. Nguyen

Jimmy Nguyen is a partner at Wildman, Harrold, Allen & Dixon LLP.  Since graduating law school at age 22, he has become a star of the legal, entertainment and new media industries.  In 2008, Lawdragon named him (at only age 36) to its list of “500 Leading Lawyers in America,” describing him as: "Wildman’s dynamo talent is a one-stop shop for companies in entertainment, technology, advertising, sports and other industries seeking IP, litigation and transactional advice.”  From first chairing trials to handling diverse transactional matters, Jimmy is a rare “360 degree” legal professional.  He is particularly known for his experience with the Internet and evolving media. 

Jimmy was born in Saigon, Vietnam - the youngest son of a magistrat judge under the French civil law system.  In April 1975, his family fled the night before Saigon fell to North Vietnamese forces, and rebuilt life in the United States. 

Since then, Jimmy has a life history of excelling early, finishing high school at age 16.  At 19, he graduated magna cum laude from UCLA with a B.A. in Communication Studies.  Jimmy also attended Mt. San Antonio College, where he was a 7-time national gold medalist in collegiate speech competition and 2-time winner of the top overall speaker award at the Phi Rho Pi National tournament.  In 2010, he was named Mt. SAC’s “Alumnus of the Year.”
In 1995, when only 22 years old, Jimmy earned his J.D. from the University of Southern California.  The youngest member of his class, he was known as “Doogie Howser, J.D.”  In law school, Jimmy was champion and chair of the Hale Moot Court Honors Program, and champion of the 1995 Jerome Prince National Evidence Moot Court Competition.
By age 31, he was a partner at Foley & Lardner, one of America’s largest firms.  He co-founded and co-chaired that firm’s Entertainment & Media Industry Team, and was a vice chair of its IP Litigation group.

Jimmy built his own practice with leading clients that include Major League Baseball Properties; LEGO Systems; Kia Motors America; CBS Films; BBC Worldwide Americas; Image Entertainment; Sony Computer Entertainment America; Journal Communications; the BODOG worldwide online gaming and entertainment brand; AllianceBernstein; and organizers of the Miss California USA pageant. 

In 2010, Jimmy was named one of the Lawdragon 3000 Leading Lawyers in America; by the Daily Journal as one of the Top 20 Lawyers Under 40 in California; and by the National LGBT Bar Association as one of the Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40 in America.  In 2009, he received a Founders Award from the Association of Media & Entertainment Counsel.  In addition, Lawdragon recognized him as one of its "New Worlds, New Stars" in 2006; he was named a Southern California Super Lawyer every year from 2005 to 2011, and as one of the Best Lawyers under 40 by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association in 2005.  Outside law, in 2010, the Advocate magazine named Jimmy one of the “Forty under 40” leading LGBT persons in America.

A visionary leader, Jimmy is Immediate Past Chair of the Executive Committee for the State Bar of California's IP Law section.  He also previously co-chaired the Beverly Hills Bar Association's IP, Internet & New Media section.

A strong diversity advocate, Jimmy has served on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee for the California Minority Counsel Program, and served as CMCP's co-chair for 2010.  He also sits on the Board of Equality California, California's leading LGBT political organization.

Jimmy is a dynamic speaker and writer on evolving media, IP and diversity topics.  In the past year, he provided legal commentary for ABC’s Good Morning America and National Public Radio.  Outside law, Jimmy uses his voice on his personal web site and regularly contributes to online media outlets.  He comments on legal, political, and cultural issues around a core message:  embrace who you are and “Live InsideOut.”


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