R. DeWitt “Kyle” Kirwan is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Barnes & Thornburg and a member of the firm’s Litigation Department. Mr. Kirwan focuses his practice on the trial of complex and high-stakes civil litigation, including class action and NLRB cases.
Mr. Kirwan has more than 38 years of trial experience and has tried more than 40 major jury trials, as well as many arbitrations and court trials. His experience includes high-stakes product and toxic tort litigation; unfair trade practices; wrongful termination and labor and employment; lender liability; and business and commercial litigation.
The National Law Journal featured a case of Mr. Kirwan’s – a seven-week jury trial in which he served as lead trial counsel for a preeminent entertainment company, in a highly publicized multimillion dollar lawsuit – as one of the top 10 defense verdicts in the U.S. in 2005. Additionally, he has tried high-stakes business and employment litigation, complex labor cases, and union-instigated discrimination litigation, as well as trade secret and antitrust lawsuits tried to verdict, resolution or settlement.
Mr. Kirwan is listed in The Best Lawyers in America (2014, 2015), Who’s Who in America (2011), Who’s Who in the World (2011), and Who’s Who in American Law (2011). He was listed in Corporate Counsel Magazine’s “Top Lawyers” list and was selected by his peers, a Southern California “Super Lawyer” (2008). In addition, he is a frequent speaker on the topic of jury trial practice, and is the author of Product Liability Under California Law.
Mr. Kirwan is a 1966 alumnus of the University of California Berkeley, where he earned his B.A. with honors. In 1969, he earned his J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law. He served as an infantry officer in the U.S. Army in the Vietnam War, and is fluent in German.
Where civic pursuits are concerned, Mr. Kirwan has been deeply involved as a director of the Outward Bound School; as president of the executive board of the University of California at Berkeley; as a trustee of the U.C. Berkeley Foundation; and as a director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association. He is a current member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, as well as a commissioner on the Governor’s Commission on Judicial Nominations.
Mr. Kirwan is admitted to practice in the state of California, before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, before the U.S. District Courts for the Southern, Central and Northern Districts of California, and before the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona.