Venable Adds Team of Leading Complex Commercial Litigators to Its San Francisco Office

4 min

Venable LLP is pleased to announce the addition of three leading complex commercial litigators to its growing national Commercial Litigation Practice in the San Francisco office. John S. Worden and Jean-Paul Cart, formerly of Schiff Hardin LLP, are joining the firm as partners. In addition, Steven E. Swaney is joining the firm as counsel.

James E. Nelson, partner-in-charge of the firm's San Francisco office, said, "In keeping with what is core to Venable, our office has built its reputation on the careful selection of the highest-caliber attorneys who value a collaborative environment. John and his team are well-regarded trial attorneys with expertise across a broad spectrum of matters in such areas as bet the company commercial disputes, advertising, class actions, real estate, insurance, mass torts, and securities. The versatility of their practice will strengthen our bench and boost our presence in the Bay Area.”

The chair of the firm's Litigation Division, Geoff Garinther, said, "A wave of litigation looms on the horizon as businesses continue to grapple with a series of unprecedented situations caused by the pandemic. The opportunity to augment our Commercial Litigation Practice with this team of attorneys is one that we could not miss. John, Jean-Paul, and Steven bring a level of talent and experience that will be of great service to our clients and the firm at large.”

Commenting on the group’s move to Venable, Mr. Worden said, “I was a summer associate in my prior office in 1988. I never would have left Schiff unless I could find a trial powerhouse with substantial depth in the nation’s largest legal markets (especially California), a dedication to client service, a proven faithfulness to diversity and inclusion, and an exceptional commitment to pro bono. Venable is perhaps the only Am Law 100 firm checking all those boxes, and then some.”

John Worden is a trial lawyer. He has tried more than 50 cases for plaintiffs and defendants in state and federal courts and in front of judges, juries, and binding arbitration panels across the country. Although most of his trials have been on the defense, he has also won four seven- and eight-figure plaintiff verdicts. He practices throughout the U.S., and in addition to being admitted in California, is admitted in Nevada (where he has tried—and won—seven cases to verdict). Mr. Worden received his J.D, magna cum laude, from Seattle University School of Law in 1989, and his B.A., with honors, from Seattle University in 1986.

Jean-Paul Cart represents clients in complex business litigation matters in all varieties of business torts and commercial disputes, including consumer class actions, trademark infringement, securities and derivative class actions, licensing and contract actions, insurance disputes, privacy litigation, ADA website accessibility and Proposition 65 claims, and other related commercial litigation. He also provides pre-litigation risk analysis and counseling to clients involved in complicated transactions. His experience also covers all aspects of litigation, from declaratory relief actions to nine-figure demands. Mr. Cart received his J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley School of Law in 2009, and his B.S., summa cum laude, in Business Administration from the California Polytechnic State University in 2006.

Steven Swaney is a seasoned trial attorney with experience in all aspects of litigation. His practice focuses on the defense against consumer class actions involving allegations of product defect, fraud, false advertising, breach of warranty, and other claims across a wide variety of industries, including automotive, electronics, and children’s products. As a former assistant United States attorney in the District of Columbia and Maryland, he has tried more than 20 cases to juries and coordinated in excess of 100 grand jury investigations. Mr. Swaney received his J.D., cum laude, from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law in 2002, and his B.A., cum laude, in English from Santa Clara University in 1997.


Venable LLP is an American Lawyer Global 100 law firm headquartered in Washington, DC that serves as primary counsel to a worldwide clientele of large and mid-sized organizations, nonprofits, high-net-worth entrepreneurs, and other individuals. With more than 850 professionals across the country, including California, Delaware, Maryland, New York, Virginia, and Washington, DC, the firm strategically advances its clients' objectives in the U.S. and around the globe. Venable, which is celebrating its 120-year anniversary, advises clients on a broad range of business and regulatory law, legislative affairs, complex litigation, and the full range of intellectual property disciplines. For more information, please visit