The firm mourns the death of our retired partner and friend Jim Lyons. An exceptionally talented lawyer who focused on securities and corporate litigation issues, directors' and officers' liability, international arbitration and other complex commercial disputes, Jim played a key role in the development of the firm's reputation for bet-the-company litigation. His many significant representations include advising clients such as McKesson, Yahoo!, Bearing Point and Apollo Advisors in some of their most important matters.
Jim joined our litigation department in New York in 1977, then took a one-year leave to clerk for Hon. Robert W. Sweet, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, when Judge Sweet resigned from the firm to join the bench in 1978. In 1983, Jim moved to Los Angeles to help develop our litigation capability in our new office there. In 1991, at our request he relocated again, this time to Northern California to head our Litigation Group in the San Francisco office. He co-headed our West Coast litigation practice until his retirement in 2011.
Born and raised in Missouri, Jim attended the University of Missouri ('73) and NYU School of Law ('76). Those of us who grew up with him and under his mentorship will remember Jim not only for his legal acumen, but also for his warmth, his Mark Twain-like wit and his great love for the firm.
Jim is survived by his wife, Mary Jane, and his children, Sean and Caitlyn. He will be greatly missed.