James Sigel is a partner in Morrison & Foerster’s Appellate and Supreme Court practice. James briefs and argues complex appeals for clients nationwide. He has particular experience in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and in the California state appellate courts, having argued 12 times in those courts.
James has handled appeals in many areas of law, including class actions, securities, false advertising, antitrust, and environmental regulation. He has briefed dozens of appeals in federal and state appellate courts throughout the country, including the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the First, Second, Fourth, Seventh, Ninth, and D.C. Circuits, as well as the New York and California state courts.
James is an experienced appellate advocate on the west coast, where he clerked on both the Ninth Circuit and the California Supreme Court. His successful oral argument in the Ninth Circuit resulted in a victory for his client UPS in False Claims Act litigation that had been ongoing for more than a decade. Among James’s other victories, he has defeated multiple class actions against a leading consumer electronics corporation, secured a win for a major beverage company defending against a monopolization claim, and prevailed in another antitrust claim involving an alleged conspiracy in the shipment industry.
A former law clerk on the U.S. Supreme Court, James has authored more than a dozen briefs in that Court on important constitutional and statutory interpretation issues. James led the briefing on two cases during the Supreme Court’s 2019 term: Thole v. U.S. Bank and Atlantic Richfield Co. v. Christian. Law360 named Thole as among the “biggest ERISA rulings” and Christian as one of the “biggest environmental law decisions” of 2020.
James maintains an active pro bono practice, having briefed and argued appeals involving constitutional, criminal, and immigration issues. He is also the lead editor of Morrison & Foerster’s Left Coast Appeals blog, which keeps tabs on the Ninth Circuit and its decisions.
Before joining Morrison and Foerster, James clerked on the U.S. Supreme Court for Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Before the Supreme Court, James clerked for Judge David Tatel on the D.C. Circuit, Justice Goodwin Liu on the California Supreme Court, and Judge Stephen Reinhardt on the Ninth Circuit.
James graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he was a Notes Editor of The Harvard Law Review. He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard College magna cum laude, with a Bachelor of Arts in Government and Economics.
Legal 500 US