Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Page 3


Sheppard Mullin Partner and Litigator John Pennington Dies at 55




Services will be held next Tuesday, Dec. 18, for John R. Pennington, a business litigator who spent his entire career at Sheppard, Mullin, Richter and Hampton.

Pennington died Friday of lung failure after a lengthy illness, his longtime friend and partner Robert E. Williams told the MetNews.

“He was a distinguished trial lawyer with a keen intellect, and a person of enormous integrity,” Williams said, who was often called upon to manage litigation or perform other administrative tasks and to mentor younger lawyers.

He also served on the board of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers.

“John was also a caring person, who took an authentic interest in the people around him,” Williams added. “He was a steadfast husband and father.  Those who knew him best will remember him most for his flashing sense of humor.”

A native of Eugene, Ore., Pennington received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon in his hometown in 1974.  He received his law degree from UCLA in 1977 and joined Sheppard Mullin soon after.

He had responsibility for hundreds of suits, largely involving financial institutions. He also represented service organizations, communications providers and businesses involved in real estate, securities, manufacturing, wholesaling and retailing. 

Pennington’s practice focused on contract claims, business torts, consumer fraud claims, lender liability, defense of class actions, unfair competition, statutory liability, complex business disputes and fiduciary duty cases.  He had jury and non-jury trial experience in federal and state courts, and won an $18 million verdict, affirmed on appeal, the firm noted.

He argued appeals before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the California Court of Appeal jury.

He also “had a love-hate relationship with golf,” Williams quipped before adding that he was an extremely brave individual who “faced his final illness with enormous courage.” Pennington, he said, worked for as long as he was physically able, and “surprised everybody with his courage and his stamina.”

He is survived by his wife, Carole Pennington, and children John Michael and Jennifer.

His memorial service next Tuesday is scheduled for 11:00 am at the San Marino Community Church, 1750 Virginia Road, San Marino, CA 91108. A John Pennington Memorial Fund has been established at the church, and his family asked that contributions be made in lieu of flowers.

Information regarding services may be obtained from Debbie Turner in the church office at (626) 282-4181 or email: A reception will immediately follow the services at San Gabriel Country Club, 411 East Las Tunas Drive, San Gabriel CA 91776.


Copyright 2007, Metropolitan News Company