John A. Conkle

Contact John A. Conkle

Phone: 310-998-9100

Conkle, Kremer & Engel, PLC
3130 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 500
Santa Monica, California

John A. Conkle

John Conkle’s practice focuses in commercial litigation matters for California-based and national clients. Significant matters have included representations in major patent, insurance and malpractice cases, first amendment and other matters, as well as ongoing representations of one of the world’s largest providers of computer products and services, representation of several of the nation’s largest food processors, and representation of numerous entities in the personal care products market. These matters have arisen in state and federal courts throughout the United States, and in administrative agencies such as the International Trade Commission and the United States and California Departments of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Energy Office of Hearings and Appeals, the Department of the Treasury Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and the Wages and Price Council and state regulatory bodies.

John has been active in arbitration and mediation matters and making presentations regarding Alternative Dispute Resolution procedures and litigation of trade secret matters to American Bar Association conferences of in-house and outside counsel. He has argued numerous appellate matters in the California Supreme Court, the California Court of Appeal and the Ninth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals, including Wang Laboratories, Inc. v. Kagan, 990 F.2d 1126 (9th Cir. 1993); Jordache Enterprises, Inc. v. Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison, 49 Cal. App. 4th 609 (1996) ,18 Cal. 4th 739 (1998) & 1999 WL 33842865, Prasad v. PepsiCo Inc., 1996 U.S. App. Lexis 29092, Sebastian Int’l Inc. v. Russolillo, 151 F. Supp. 2d 1215 (2001); KGV Easy Leasing v. NHIC Corp., 2001 Cal. App.  Unpub. Lexis 633 (2011).

John graduated from the Ohio State University in 1971, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a major in Accounting. While in college, John worked as a State Examiner for the Auditor of the State of Ohio. Following service as a line officer in the United States Navy, he attended the University of Cincinnati College of Law, graduating in 1977. While at Cincinnati, he earned a number of academic awards in administrative law and other subjects and served as Executive Editor of the University of Cincinnati Law Review.  Prior to his admission to the California State Bar, John practiced with a large Washington D.C. firm.

Experience, Presentations and Publications

Representative Engagements
  • Managed defense of $40 million claim against client for failures in performance of information technology service agreements, such that claimant agreed to settle by paying client over $7 million.
  • Successfully defended multiple clients against allegations by Medicare Providers that the clients improperly denied reimbursement claims.  KGV Easy Leasing, Inc. v. NHIC, Corp., 2011 WL 240818 (Cal. Ct. App. Jan. 27, 2011).
  • Represented manufacturer of famous salon hairspray product victimized by counterfeiting conspiracy involving nearly 1 million illegal products.  Obtained monetary damages of nearly 1 million against distributors and retailers that sold the counterfeit products. Sebastian International, Inc. v. Russolillo, 151 F. Supp. 2d 1215 (C.D. Cal. 2001).
  • Represented major government contractor in lawsuit brought under False Claims Act, including federal investigation which led to decision by the government not to intervene and subsequent dismissal of qui tam complaint.
  • Represented a church whose facility was defectively constructed, leading to mold problems.  Obtained a judgment against the contractor, which was then asserted against the contractor’s insurance company, ultimately obtaining a seven-figure settlement.
  • Represented Trustor in Probate Court action, successfully resisting demands of beneficiary for immediate trust distributions.
  • Obtained indemnification from manufacturer on behalf of our supplier client in a California Proposition 65 action involving exposure to the regulated chemical DEHP.
  • Obtained the first published decision by the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal on the appropriate statute of limitations that apply in an ERISA case.  Wang Laboratories, Inc. v. Kagan, 990 F.2d 1126 (9th Cir. 1993).
  • Resolved claims of deficient performance of web hosting made by national newspaper chain to defeat injunctive remedies and re-establish client’s business relationship.
  • Represented a manufacturer of products linked to residential fire dangers.  In addition to resolving the product liability claims against the manufacturer and limiting the scope of the Consumer Product Safety Commission recall and investigation, we assisted the client in obtaining funds from its insurer to help resolve the recall issues, despite the lack of recall coverage in the client’s insurance policy.
  • Settled a potential class action lawsuit involving false advertising claims related to a hair color product.
  • Represented subcontractor involved in government construction projects seeking payment for contract amounts due from general contractor.  Used insurance proceeds and general contractor payments to make subcontractor client whole.
  • Defended a national manufacturer of high-tech products against claims by a commissioned salesman, convinced the court that the payments of the commissions were discretionary despite provisions in the salesman’s manual providing a commission structure, and further obtained an order directing the salesman to return confidential company information that he misappropriated.
  • Obtained first published court decision that it is both a crime and unfair competition in California to remove or alter manufacturer’s codes on personal care products, or to possess such products when these codes have been removed or altered.
  • Overcame express written agreement by presenting client’s claim of inconsistent oral agreement so as to achieve $7.5 million in settlement.
  • Emerging Issues Conference, Personal Care Products Council, Santa Monica, CA, November 2014
  •  “Combining Forces:  Coordination of Public & Private Sectors Against Pirates & Counterfeiters,”  Global Anti-Counterfeiting Conference, International Quality and Productivity Center (IQPC), New York, NY, September 2014
  • “What to do When a Top Executive Jumps Ship,” American Bar Association Committee on Corporate Counsel, Annual CLE Conference, Palm Springs, CA, February 2014
  • “Are Your Products California Bound?  Dealing With California’s Unique Regulatory Schemes,” New York, NY, March 2014
  • “What’s Your Game Plan?” Emerging Issues Conference, Personal Care Products Council, Santa Monica, CA, November 2012
  • “First Response to Surprise Departure of Top Executive to a Marketplace Rival,” American Bar Association Publication, Corporate Counsel Newsletter, February 2003


  • University of Cincinnati College of Law, J.D., 1977
    • Executive Editor of the University of Cincinnati Law Review
  • The Ohio State University, B.S. (Business Administration/Accounting), 1971

Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association (Section of Litigation, Corporate Counsel Committee)


  • State Bar of California, 1985
  • Bar of District of Columbia, 1978
  • State Bar of Ohio, 1977
  • All Federal Courts in California
  • U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, 1978
  • U.S. Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit, 1986
  • U.S. Court of Appeal for the District of Columbia Circuit, 1978
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, 2004
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, 2007

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