Overview

Adam J. Zapala is a Partner at Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP, where he focuses on complex litigation, including antitrust, employment & civil rights, privacy & cybersecurity, qui tam/false claims, consumer protection and class actions generally.

Mr. Zapala has served as lead counsel, or in other court-appointed leadership positions, in some of the largest and most complex litigation matters in the United States, and has obtained outstanding results. Mr. Zapala is known for his deep understanding of antitrust law and class action practice and procedure.  Additionally, Mr. Zapala regularly represents executives and employees in complex employment litigation, securing substantial settlements and judgments for his clients. 

Mr. Zapala has been recognized by courts, his peers, and by various publications for his outstanding work.  Since 2014, Mr. Zapala has been recognized as a Super Lawyer Rising Star, or Super Lawyer.  In 2019, the American Antitrust Institute (“AAI”) recognized the work of Mr. Zapala and his colleagues in the groundbreaking Auto Parts antitrust litigation, where CPM represents the end-payor plaintiffs and have recovered over $1 billion in settlements on their behalf.  In 2020, the Daily Journal recognized Mr. Zapala as one of the top antitrust lawyers in California.  His work on cases has regularly appeared in Top Settlements & Verdicts.

Mr. Zapala received a B.A. from Stanford University and his J.D. from University of California, Hastings College of the Law. Prior to CPM, Mr. Zapala worked at Davis, Cowell & Bowe, LLP. (now known as McCracken, Stemerman & Holsberry, LLP.) in San Francisco, where he represented labor unions, Taft-Hartley Pension and Health & Welfare funds, employees and consumers in complex litigation, arbitration and NLRB proceedings. While at DCB, Mr. Zapala served as trial counsel in countless arbitrations on behalf of labor unions and employee benefit funds. He has argued cases before the California First, Third, and Sixth District Court of Appeal.

Mr. Zapala also previously served as a staff attorney with Bay Area Legal Aid, where he focused on representing indigent clients in a wide variety of civil litigation matters. While there, Mr. Zapala developed expertise in Medi-Cal, Medicare and other publicly-financed healthcare systems. While in law school, Mr. Zapala also worked for the public interest law firms of Public Advocates, Inc. and Public Justice, focusing on civil rights class action litigation. Mr. Zapala also has legislative and policy experience, working on Capitol Hill as a policy aide for Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) in Washington D.C.

Mr. Zapala has deep ties to the Bay Area. He grew up in San Jose, California and attended Bellarmine College Preparatory. While at Stanford University, Mr. Zapala became a four-time Academic All-American, a four-time All-American, and Captain of the Stanford Men’s Soccer Team. In 2001, he was drafted in the Major League Soccer (“MLS”) Super Draft by the Dallas Burn (now FC Dallas).

Experience

Representative Matters:

Mr. Zapala has served as lead counsel, or in other court-appointed leadership positions, in some of the largest and most complex litigation matters in the United States, and has obtained outstanding results.  For example:

  • In re Transpacific Passenger Air Transportation Antitrust Litigation, No. 07-cv-5634-CRB (N.D. Cal.) (serving as lead counsel and obtaining over $140 million in settlements);
  • Precision Associates, Inc. et al v. Panalpina World Transport (Holding) Ltd., No. 08-cv-00042 (JG) (VVP) (serving as court appointed co-lead counsel in a case recovering over $400 million on behalf of the plaintiff class);
  • In re Capacitors Antitrust Litigation, No. 14-cv-02364-JD (N.D. Cal) (serving as sole Lead Counsel on behalf of a class of indirect purchasers and thus far recovering over $80 million);
  • In re Resistors Antitrust Litigation, No. 15-cv-03820-JD (N.D. Cal) (serving as sole Lead Counsel on behalf of a class of indirect purchaser and recovering $33.4 million);
  • In re Vizio, Inc. Consumer Privacy Litigation, No. 16-ml-02693-JLS (C.D. Cal) (serving as court appointed co-lead counsel in cutting edge privacy class action recovering $17 million and substantial injunctive relief on behalf of the class);
  • In re Automotive Parts Antitrust Litigation, Master File No. 12-md-02311 (E.D. Mich.) (serving as co-lead class counsel for the end-payor plaintiffs in what has been described by the Department of Justice as the largest antitrust case in its history, and recovering over $1.1 billion);
  • In re Domestic Airline Travel Antitrust Litigation, No. 15-1404 (CKK) (D. D.C.) (serving as court-appointed co-lead counsel and thus far recovering $60 million in this ongoing case);
  • In re Lithium Ion Batteries, No. 13-md-02420-YGR (N.D. Cal.) (serving as co-lead counsel in case recovering over $100 million on behalf of the indirect purchasers);
  • In re Generic Pharmaceuticals Pricing Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 2724 (E.D. Penn.) (appointed as a member of the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in groundbreaking price-fixing coordinated action).

News

News

Publications

  • Case Notes, Journal of Poverty Law and Policy, Barron v. Martinez, 173 Cal.App.4th 293 (2009)
    Clearinghouse Review, 2010

Honors & Awards

Honors & Recognitions

Daily Journal 2020 Top Antitrust Lawyer in California

American Antitrust Institute (“AAI”) 2019 Award for Outstanding Litigation Achievements for Auto Parts Litigation

2018-2019 Super Lawyer

2014-2017 Super Lawyer Rising Star

Best Moot Court Brief, Hastings College of the Law

Excellence for the Future Award (Pre-Trial Practice), Hastings College of the Law

Pro Bono Publico Award, Hastings College of the Law

Most Outstanding Student (Group Advocacy and Systemic Reform), Hastings College of the Law

4-Time Academic All-America, Stanford University

4-Time All-America, Stanford University

Freshman Athlete of the Year, Stanford University

Affiliations

Consumer Attorneys of California

Community Involvement

Board Member of The Legal Aid Society of San Mateo

Board Member of Public Justice

California Bar Association

San Mateo County Bar Association

American Bar Association

Consumer Attorneys of California (“CAOC”)

Education

University of California, Hastings College of the Law, J.D., 2006

Stanford University, B.A., 2000

Admissions

  • California
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