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Jean-Claude’s (J.C.) practice focuses on high-profile matters that address some of the most challenging legal issues, including constitutional issues, issues of statutory and regulatory interpretation, jurisdictional issues, preemption, class-certification issues, sovereign immunity, and efforts to obtain and defeat discretionary appellate review. J.C. co-leads the Appellate and Supreme Court Group.

Between private practice and government, J.C. has personally briefed and/or argued hundreds of distinct appeals before the U.S. Supreme Court, various U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals, the California Supreme Court, and the California Court of Appeal, including dozens of briefs and 3 arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court and over 100 briefs and 40 arguments before the Ninth Circuit. He regularly writes, speaks, and teaches about the Supreme Court, Ninth Circuit and California appellate practice, and appellate advocacy generally. 

Prior to joining BCLP, J.C. served as the West Coast head of the national Supreme Court and Appellate Practice of an international law firm. J.C. also served as an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) and, for four years, as the appellate chief at the Office of the United States Attorney for the Central District of California—the largest and most-populous federal district in the country. In addition to serving as the appellate chief, during his lengthy tenure as an AUSA, J.C. maintained an active district court caseload and was otherwise extensively involved in many of the office’s most high-profile investigations and prosecutions.

For his work before the U.S. Supreme Court, J.C. was recognized in 2014 by Reuters’ The Echo Chamber as one of an “elite cadre” of the 66 “most influential” lawyers practicing before the Supreme Court. In 2017, the judges of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit selected J.C. to serve as an Appellate Lawyer Representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference – a role in which J.C. studies and proposes improvements on a wide range of matters of importance to the court, including rule changes, alternative dispute resolution, and educational programs designed to aid the court and its district courts in improving the administration of justice. And most recently, the Los Angeles County Bar Association appointed J.C. as a member of the State Appellate Judicial Evaluation Committee, which evaluates persons whose names are submitted by the Governor for possible nomination to the California Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal, and makes recommendations on whether the candidate should be nominated.

Practices

Civic Involvement & Honors

    • Member, Board of Directors, Constitutional Rights Foundation (2019-present)
    • Council of Parent Attorneys & Advocates, Distinguished Service Award (2020)
    • Executive Office of United States Attorneys Director’s Award for “Superior Performance as an Assistant United States Attorney – Appellate” (2017)
    • Council of Parent Attorneys & Advocates, Distinguished Service Award (2020)
    • Executive Office of United States Attorneys Director’s Award for “Superior Performance as an Assistant United States Attorney – Appellate” (2017)
    • Executive Office of United States Attorneys Director’s Award for “Superior Performance as an Assistant United States Attorney – Appellate” (2017)
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Professional Affiliations

    • Appellate Lawyer Representative, Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference
    • Member, Litigation Section Executive Board, Los Angeles County Bar Association
    • Member, State Appellate Judicial Evaluation Committee, Los Angeles County Bar Association
    • Member, Litigation Section Executive Board, Los Angeles County Bar Association
    • Member, State Appellate Judicial Evaluation Committee, Los Angeles County Bar Association
    • Member, State Appellate Judicial Evaluation Committee, Los Angeles County Bar Association
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Representative Experience

  • Doe v. Olson, B286105, 2019 WL 4127263 (Cal. Ct. App. Aug. 30, 2019), review granted (Nov. 20, 2019) (No. S258498) (pending): Lead counsel for California Supreme Court petitioner in an appeal asking whether California’s litigation privilege applies to derivative breach-of-contract claims and whether an agreement “not to disparage” the other party waives the privilege
  • Kroessler v. CVS Health Corp., No. 19-55671 (9th Cir. docketed June 12, 2019) (pending): Lead counsel for retail pharmacy before the Ninth Circuit in an appeal involving whether claims under California’s Unfair Competition Law and Consumer Legal Remedies Act are preempted by the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act  
  • LG Electronics, Inc. v. Lovers Tradition II, LP, No. 05-19-1304-CV, 2020 WL 4281965 (Tex. Ct. App. July 27, 2020): Briefed for the appellant and obtained reversal of trial court’s finding that it could constitutionally exercise personal jurisdiction over the non-resident appellant
  • Doğan v. Barak, 932 F.3d 888 (9th Cir. 2019): Briefed, argued and obtained affirmance and holding that the former Prime Minister of the State of Israel was entitled to foreign official immunity from a suit seeking to hold him liable for torts committed during a military interdiction of suspected militants that he authorized while the Minister of Defense
  • Council of Parent Attorneys & Advocates, Inc. v. DeVos, 365 F. Supp. 3d 28 (D.D.C. 2019), appeal dismissed, No. 19-5137, 2019 WL 4565514 (D.C. Cir. Sept. 18, 2019): Lead counsel in obtaining invalidation under the Administrative Procedure Act of the Department of Education’s attempted delay of implementation of ameliorative special education regulations
  • Kisor v. Wilkie, 139 S. Ct. 2400 (2019): Lead counsel for amici curiae urging reversal in a case regarding deference to agencies’ interpretations of their own ambiguous regulations (judgment reversed 9-0)
  • United States v. Christensen, 828 F.3d 763; 624 Fed. Appx. 466 (9th Cir. 2015),  cert. denied, 137 S. Ct. 628; 137 S. Ct. 2109 (2017): Briefed for the government-appellee and obtained affirmances in a six-defendant post-trial appeal presenting dozens of issues, including racketeering, computer access fraud, and bribery issues arising from the Anthony Pellicano and Terry Christensen wiretapping scandal
  • United States v. Chhun, 744 F.3d 1110 (9th Cir. 2014),  cert. denied, 574 U.S. 853 (2014): Briefed, argued and obtained affirmance for the government-appellee in a post-trial appeal regarding a conspiracy to overthrow the sitting government of Cambodia
  • United States v. McTiernan, 695 F.3d 882 (9th Cir. 2012), cert. denied, 568 U.S. 1125 (2013): Briefed, argued and obtained affirmance for the government-appellee in an appeal regarding illegal private-party wiretapping by private investigator and Hollywood film producer 
  • United States v. Meredith, 685 F.3d 814; 485 Fed. Appx. 185 (9th Cir. 2012),  cert. denied, 568 U.S. 993 (2012): Briefed, argued and obtained affirmances for the government-appellee in a three-defendant appeal following tax-fraud trial presenting dozens of issues, including First Amendment issues
  • Ali v. Bureau of Prisons, 552 U.S. 214 (2008): Briefed and argued for the petitioner in a Federal Tort Claims Act case alleging that federal prison officials discriminatorily destroyed the petitioner’s devotional objects
  • LaRue v. DeWolff, Boberg & Associates, Inc., 552 U.S. 248 (2008): Briefed and obtained 9-0 reversal for the petitioner in an employee-benefits case regarding whether a 401(k) participant whose account was diminished by the plan administrators’ breach of their fiduciary duties may recover damages from the administrators
  • Jones v. Bock, 549 U.S. 199 (2007): Briefed, argued and obtained 9-0 reversal for the petitioners in three consolidated cases involving, among other things, whether the petitioners were required by Rule 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or the Prison Litigation Reform Act to negatively plead one of the respondents’ affirmative defenses 
  • Winkelman v. Parma City Sch. Dist., 550 U.S. 516 (2007): Briefed, argued and obtained 7-2 reversal for the petitioners in a case regarding whether the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act creates independent, enforceable rights for parents in the special education of their disabled children
  • Former Employees of IBM Corp. v. Chao, 435 F. Supp. 2d 1335 (Ct. Int’l Trade 2006), aff’d, 292 Fed. Appx. 902 (Fed. Cir. 2007): Briefed, argued and obtained unemployment benefits for displaced IBM software engineers challenging the Secretary of Labor’s denial of such benefits
  • Smith v. Superior Court, 39 Cal. 4th 77 (2006): Lead counsel for amici curiae urging reversal in an appeal regarding statutory penalties for untimely payment of wages (judgment reversed 7-0)
  • Copley Press, Inc. v. Superior Court, 39 Cal. 4th 1272 (2006): Lead counsel for amici curiae urging reversal of a California Public Records Act disclosure order (judgment reversed 6-1)

Publications

  • “Rule 23(f) Petitions in the Ninth Circuit: A Data-Driven Analysis,” The Recorder, August 20, 2020 (co-authored with David R. Carpenter and Paula C. Salazar).
  • “Supreme Court to Examine Discovery Rule in FDCPA Cases,” Daily Journal, October 8, 2019. 
  • “Chambers Appellate Overview 2019,” Chambers and Partners, 2019.
  • “Chambers Appellate Overview 2018,” Chambers and Partners, 2018 (co-authored with Andrew Talai).
  • “My Supreme Court Debut: Calm, Confidence And Poise,” Law360, November 14, 2017.
  • Co-author, “Appellate Motion Practice,” 61 United States Attorneys’ Bulletin 48, January 2013.