Managing Partner of Los Angeles Office

John Nadolenco

Consumer Litigation & Class Actions, ERISA Litigation, Electronic Discovery & Information Governance


John Nadolenco is the Managing Partner of Mayer Brown’s Los Angeles office and current global co-chair of the Technology Industry Group. His civil litigation and trial practice focuses on high-stakes cases and class-action defense. John’s recent trials include obtaining a complete defense verdict after a month-long jury trial where the plaintiff class sought over $100 million, a defense verdict after a bench trial where a class sought tens-of-millions in damages, and a $90 million verdict for a client after a lengthy bench trial. John also has led teams that obtained dismissals in many putative class actions, and otherwise avoided class certification. Indeed, John was lead counsel in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, which the United States Supreme Court decided in our client’s favor, making it harder for plaintiffs to bring no-injury lawsuits. Some said “the future of consumer class actions” was at stake as the case raised significant constitutional issues under Article III and, ultimately, made it harder for plaintiffs in Internet privacy, cybersecurity and numerous other types of cases to bring no-injury lawsuits.


  • Vellali et al. v. Yale University et al. (US District Court for the District of Connecticut). Obtained a complete victory on behalf of Yale University in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) class action suit, Vellali et al. v. Yale University et al.—a first-of-its-kind jury trial. The case involved allegations that Yale had breached its fiduciary duty to prudently monitor the plan's recordkeeping fees and investment lineup, as well as the share classes offered for those investments. After a five-week trial, the jury found no loss to the plan from Yale's failure to monitor recordkeeping fees, and no breach by Yale as to investment monitoring and share classes. As a result, the plaintiffs—who originally sought more than half a billion dollars, and asked in their closing for over $130 million from the jury—were awarded zero dollars in damages.
  • Alliance for Automotive Innovation v. Healey (US District Court for the Central District of Massachusetts). Represents the Alliance for Automotive Innovation in challenging the constitutionality of a Massachusetts ballot initiative that requires car companies to share data generated by their vehicles. In the November 2020 election, Massachusetts voters overwhelmingly passed a law—dubbed the Right to Repair Law—that requires car companies to provide open access to vehicle data wirelessly to drivers and independent repair shops. We challenged the constitutionality of this law because, as we believe we showed at trial, it requires car companies to dismantle cybersecurity protections, thereby creating safety defects. Thus, we argued that the state law is pre-empted by the federal Motor Vehicle Safety Act. The court has not yet issued a judgment on our claims.
  • Rostack Investments Inc. v. Angela C. Sabella. (Court of Appeals of California). Prevailed in an appeal of a $90 million judgment in favor of Rostack Investments in California state court—capping a 14-year-long battle involving one of Hong Kong's wealthiest families. The case involved a $30 million loan that Rostack made to its deceased founder's daughter, Angela Sabella. After the Mayer Brown team prevailed at trial, Sabella appealed the judgment, arguing that the trial court improperly refused to allow a portion of Sabella's case to go to a jury, and that the judge's fee award in Rostack's favor was excessive. The Court of Appeal rejected Sabella's arguments and affirmed the trial court's judgment in its entirety.
  • Robert Lauderdale et al. v. NFP Retirement Inc. et al. (US District Court for the Central District of California). Obtained an across-the-board trial win on behalf of Wood Group US Holdings Inc. in the US District Court for the Central District of California in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) class action suit, Robert Lauderdale et al. v. NFP Retirement Inc. et al. The case involved allegations that Wood imprudently selected flexPATH as the investment manager for the Wood 401(k) plan, and then was imprudent in monitoring flexPATH and failing to prevent flexPATH from utilizing its own target date funds in the plan's investment lineup. After a nine-day bench trial, on February 23, 2024, US District Judge James Selna ruled in favor of Wood, concluding that the company acted appropriately in hiring flexPATH as an investment manager and in monitoring flexPATH thereafter.
  • In re Volkswagen.  Defended VW in dozens of California federal and state putative class actions alleging that the company improperly installed emissions-defeat devices on some of its diesel cars.
  • Robins v. Spokeo, Inc. (US District Court for the Central District of California). Representing Spokeo in a putative nationwide class action under the Fair Credit Report Act.  After obtaining dismissal from the trial court and the Ninth Circuit reversing, the case headed to the US Supreme Court (see above).  Ultimately, the Court ruled for Spokeo, holding that plaintiffs must allege real and particularized injuries to satisfy Article III.  Since then, John has handled numerous cases raising “Spokeo issues.”
  • In re Bahia Emerald. Representing the country of Brazil—before state and federal courts, and before numerous federal agencies—in its effort to repatriate the infamous 840-pound Bahia Emerald. The case has drawn a significant amount of international and national media attention.  Succeeded in working with U.S. Department of Justice to seize the Emerald pending criminal proceedings in Brazil.  


  • Benchmark Litigation - California Litigation Star and Litigation Star (Class Action/Labor and Employment)


  • American University Washington College of Law, JD, summa cum laude
  • アリゾナ大学, BA, summa cum laude


  • California


  • US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • US District Court for the Central District of California
  • US District Court for the Northern District of California
  • US District Court for the Southern District of California
  • US District Court for the Eastern District of California


  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • Member of the Board of Governors for the Association of Business Trial Lawyers (ABTL), Los Angeles, since 2005