James E. Tysse is a member of the Supreme Court and appellate practice, having argued cases, developed strategy, and authored briefs both on appeal and in high-stakes trial litigation. While his practice is as varied as the firm’s is broad, he has focused on administrative, labor and employment, energy, constitutional, securities and energy law.
James helps clients develop appellate strategy before the U.S. Supreme Court and other federal and state appellate courts throughout the country. He has prepared more than 75 appellate briefs at the merits and certiorari stages in the U.S. Supreme Court, 10 separate circuit courts, and numerous state and tribal appellate courts.
He has also argued multiple appeals and dispositive motions in five separate circuit courts, the New York Appellate Division (First Department), and numerous state and federal trial courts.
A clear thinker and writer, James is also a creative problem-solver, working with clients to evaluate litigation as an option to challenge unfavorable laws on constitutional or statutory grounds.He has prepared dozens of briefs at the trial level throughout the country, usually at dispositive stages.
James is also known for his commitment to pro bono causes and was named by the firm as “Pro Bono Partner of the Year” in 2017 for his work on behalf of human rights and immigration clients.
- Has successfully argued in courts across the country including the U.S. Courts of Appeal for the D.C. Second, Fourth, Fifth, and Eleventh Circuits.
- Member of Supreme Court and appellate practice.
- Has prepared more than 75 appellate briefs in cases at every appellate level.
- Served as counsel for Akin Gump in an appeal by the State of Texas regarding a successful challenge by the firm of Texas’ prohibition of same-sex marriage. In that case, the firm was awarded more than $500,000 in attorney’s fees from the State of Texas. Successfully argued the case on appeal against Texas before the Fifth Circuit Court, winning nearly $600,000 for pro bono and other charitable causes.
- Defended the National Football League in a dispute over a disciplinary action taken by the League against Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson for harming his young son. The NFL Players’ Association filed a lawsuit in federal court. The suit threatened to undermine the NFL’s collectively bargained discipline process by allowing a player to escape just punishment under the bargained-for procedures. Helped devise the trial and appellate strategy and served as primary brief writer and as second chair in the argument before the Eighth Circuit Court. Won a unanimous published verdict, which was a resounding success for the league and its disciplinary process.
- Represented the Gun Lake Tribe of Michigan in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court in a case regarding the continued operation of the tribe’s most valuable asset, a casino. Served as second chair and as the primary brief writer, and managed the day-to-day process in the proceedings. Developed the ultimately successful strategy. The theory that the team developed and argued in the Supreme Court—that the case should be resolved on sovereign immunity grounds—ended up being the dispositive factor in the case.
- Advised Starbucks in an alleged breach of contract in a settlement with an employee. The company faced the prospect of trial on discrimination claims. Wrote the appeal briefs and argued the appeal in the D.C. Circuit Court, winning a unanimous victory before summary judgment.
- Member, Edward Coke Appellate Inn of Court.
- J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 2006
- B.A., University of Virginia, 2002
- U.S.D.C., Northern District of Georgia
- U.S.C.A., D.C. Circuit
- District of Columbia
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