Owen M. Praskievicz
Owen Praskievicz specializes in commercial business litigation with an emphasis on contract disputes, intellectual property, and other business torts, including defending against claims of misleading product labels. Owen’s practice also concentrates on defending personal injury and wrongful death actions against corporate and governmental entities. Representing both plaintiffs and defendants, Owen is able to achieve a client’s goals efficiently and professionally.
Owen is proud of both his trial and appellate advocacy skills. Among Owen's early successes, he has first-chaired a jury trial enforcing a breach of oral contract, invalidated a testamentary document in arbitration, and overturned a U.S. District Court order compelling international arbitration in the published case Casa del Caffe Vergnano v. ItalFlavors, LLC, 816 F.3d 1208 (9th Cir. 2016).
Prior to joining Schwartz Semerdjian, Owen was a Judicial Extern for the Honorable Mitchell Dembin, United States Magistrate Judge for the Southern District of California. During law school, Owen was on the Editorial Board of the San Diego Law Review and a member of the Appellate Moot Court Associate Board. Owen is a graduate of the University of San Diego School of Law and the University of Maryland.
Prior to law school, Owen broadened his horizons as a journalist in Washington, D.C., as a private equity prospector in New York City, as a research analyst in Portland, Oregon, and as an English teacher in Santa Cruz do Sul, Brazil.
This week, Schwartz Semerdjian associates Owen Praskievicz and Alison Adelman are participating in the San Diego County High School Mock Trial Competition. This year, participation is expected to include over 500 students in San Diego County and over 8,000 students statewide. The trial is a simulation of a criminal case, in which students portray each of the principals in the array of courtroom participants. Students participate as lawyers, witnesses, court clerks, and bailiffs, thus acquiring a working knowledge of our judicial system.3.15.16
Schwartz Semerdjian client ItalFlavors, LLC Prevails in Ninth Circuit Appeal Overturning District Court’s Order to Arbitrate Dispute Internationally - The Ninth Circuit recently published an opinion overturning a U.S. District Court order that required Schwartz Semerdjian client, ItalFlavors, LLC, to arbitrate a California franchise law dispute in Switzerland. At issue was whether ItalFlavors entered into a binding arbitration agreement with Italian company Casa del Caffe Vergnano S.p.A. when it simultaneously executed two agreements in Italy in 2010. The first agreement was a boilerplate franchise agreement created in an effort to expedite immigration paperwork. This agreement contained an international arbitration clause. The second agreement, executed simultaneously, explicitly disavowed any legal effect of the first agreement and made clear the parties would execute a formal franchise agreement in the future. The District Court held that the effect of the second agreement on the first agreement was a question to be decided by an international arbitrator—essentially, a Swiss arbitrator would decide whether the case was arbitrable in the first place. The Ninth Circuit reversed, holding that when parties do not have a meeting of the minds on forming a contract, an arbitration clause in the unformed contract is not effective. The parties can now resolve their dispute in California. Link to the published opinion of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal. Link to the video of Attorney Owen Praskievicz’ oral argument before the Ninth Circuit.