John Olsen has been practicing law since 1991. He is a 1986 graduate of the University of New Hampshire and attended Law School at the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento, California, where he graduated with great distinction and was elected to the Order of the Coif. At McGeorge, Mr. Olsen served on the International Moot Court Honors Board and was a staff member of the Pacific Law Journal, first as a Comment Writer and then as an Assistant Comment Editor.
After law school, Mr. Olsen joined Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker, LLP in Los Angeles where he practiced with the securities litigation team. Mr. Olsen left Paul, Hastings with a group of partners and associates to join Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP’s Los Angeles office. He spent three years with Orrick in its Los Angeles office and another three years with Orrick in New York City. Mr. Olsen was a member of Orrick’s national Litigation Department and Securities Litigation Group and handled securities, intellectual property, real property, construction and other complex litigation matters.
Most recently, before forming the Law Office of John F. Olsen, LLC in 2008, Mr. Olsen spent 8 years with the Newark, NJ firm of Robertson, Freilich, Bruno & Cohen, LLC where he became the first partner of the firm that was not also a founding member. At Robertson, Freilich, Mr. Olsen continued handling complex commercial litigation matters. In addition to the types of matters he handled at Orrick and Paul Hastings, Mr. Olsen handled insurance coverage, environmental and antitrust matters at Robertson, Freilich.
Through working with his litigation clients, Mr. Olsen has developed a transactional practice dealing primarily with drafting and negotiating contracts in the areas of real estate, construction, employment and intellectual property.
Recent successes include a jury verdict for a client in a defamation case. Mr. Olsen’s client – a New Jersey based financial firm –was defamed by statements printed in a report prepared and distributed by the defendant. The defendant was a due diligence company that sold its due diligence reports to clients considering investments in hedge funds and other financial firms. After a one-month trial, the jury found Mr. Olsen’s client was defamed and returned a verdict of $2.6 million, which included a $250,000 punitive damages award.
Mr. Olsen successfully represented a construction firm against breach of contract claims asserted by a sub-contractor on a project in New York City. The matter was tried before an arbitrator and Mr. Olsen’s client won a dismissal of the claims asserted against it and prevailed on its counterclaim for damages. Mr. Olsen’s client was also awarded its legal fees under the fee provision of the parties’ contract.
Mr. Olsen drafted and negotiated construction contracts with a combined value of more than $100 million. Mr. Olsen represents the owner of a large commercial office building in downtown Manhattan. These contracts were for Hurricane Sandy renovation work at a single building in downtown Manhattan.
Mr. Olsen is a member of the New Jersey, New York and California bars. He enjoys the outdoors and skis, fishes and sails whenever time allows.