Areas of Practice

Areas of Practice

  • Appellate Litigation
  • Complex Civil Litigation
  • Intellectual Property Litigation
  • Regulatory Law and Affairs

Bar Admissions

Bar Admissions

  • California, 2003
  • District of Columbia, 2007
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims, 2015

James S. Azadian

James joined the firm in 2010 and became a partner in 2012. James serves as the Chair of the firm’s nationwide Appellate, Writs, and Constitutional Law Practice, and Regulatory Practice. Before joining the firm, James was a litigation and appellate associate in the Washington, D.C. office of Sidley Austin LLP, and earlier held judicial clerkships with the Honorable Consuelo M. Callahan of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and the Honorable Ricardo M. Urbina of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

James’ practice concentrates primarily on appellate law, constitutional law, regulatory law and affairs, and intellectual property litigation. He has served as counsel in over one-hundred-and-fifty appeals and writ proceedings in a wide variety of areas, and he frequently serves as special counsel to other law firms to prepare advocates for oral argument and to assist with the drafting of appellate briefs as well as critical motions at the trial court level. James has an expertise in the right to the freedom of speech under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article 1 of the California Constitution, as well as the application of California’s anti-SLAPP statute in federal court.

James’ regulatory work focuses on agency rule making and the 8(a) Business Development Program administered through the United States Small Business Administration. Additionally, James counsels a variety of clients affected by the redevelopment agency dissolution process mandated under the California Community Redevelopment Law, including city attorneys, city managers, city finance departments, successor agencies, oversight boards, and private parties to redevelopment agency contracts. He also has substantial experience in internal corporate investigations, high-profile congressional and U.S. Department of Justice investigations, and in creating and implementing strategic mass-media and public-relations campaigns to preserve client interests.

In addition, James is an adjunct professor teaching graduate courses for Legal Ethics and the Law & Public Policy at the University of Southern California, as well as Appellate Advocacy at Pepperdine University School of Law. He has also served as an adjunct professor for an undergraduate course in Law and Economics at the University of California, Los Angeles, and supervised students of the Northwestern University School of Law Supreme Court Practicum in preparing merits briefs, petitions for certiorari, and in conducting moot courts for lawyers arguing before the Supreme Court of the United States.

For each year since 2010, James has been named among the top attorneys in Super Lawyers’ Southern California Rising Stars. Super Lawyers selects attorneys who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and personal achievement; less than 2% of the lawyers in the state are named to the list. In January 2014, James was selected to the American Registry as “one of North America’s Top Attorneys” in recognition for achieving consistently successful outcomes for clients on appeal. That same year, James was awarded the Chief Justice John Marshall Medal by the Supreme Court Historical Society for his excellence in appellate advocacy and his commitment to the advancement of civic learning among youth.

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  • Pepperdine University School of Law, Malibu, California
    • J.D. – 2001
  • University of California, Los Angeles, California
    • B.A. – 1997
    • Major: Political Science and Economics

Published Works

  • “Appeals, Writs and Post-Trial Motions,” (State Bar of California Litigation Section) , 2008 California Litigation Review, 2009
  • “How to Make a Proper Record for Appeal,” State Bar of California Skill-Builder Magazine, Nov. 2009
  • “Preserving an Evidentiary Objection for Appellate Review,” Los Angeles Lawyer Magazine, Feb. 2010
  • “Circuit Reluctant to Remove anti-SLAPP,” (Co-Author) , Los Angeles Daily Journal, Sept. 25, 2013
  • “Do You Qualify? Entrepreneur and Other Small Business Programs for Reserve Component Members”  The Reserve & National Guard Magazine (AmeriForce Publishing), Nov. 2013
  • “Alive and well in the 9th Circuit: anti-SLAPP,” Los Angeles Daily Journal, front page article, Dec. 12, 2013
  • “California Roundup: 2014’s New Laws Affecting Businesses, Workplaces and Schools,”  Orange County Lawyer Magazine, June 2014
  • “Free(r) Speech in California,” Los Angeles Daily Journal, June 25, 2014
  • “Floors, Ceiling, and Signs,” Los Angeles Lawyer Magazine, Sept. 2015
  • “New State and Federal Laws”, Orange County Lawyer Magazine, Sept. 2015
  • “Big Cases Remain on the Docket,” Los Angeles Daily Journal, June 02, 2016
  • “Supreme Court Round-Up,” Los Angeles Daily Journal front page article. June 30, 2016
  • “The First Monday: Preview of Noteworthy Cases on the High Court Docket,” Los Angeles Daily Journal, front page article, Oct. 3, 2016

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • California State Bar Association
  • District of Columbia Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Orange County Bar Association, Appellate Section (Secretary and Treasurer, 2016-2017)
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association, Appellate Courts Committee
  • UCLA, USC, and Pepperdine University Faculty Associations



Representative Cases

  • Banyan Ltd. P’ship v. Baer, California Supreme Court (2013 Cal. LEXIS 9536), California Court of Appeal (WL 4094373, WL 4094365, WL 4094352) (2013)
  • Barnes, Crosby, FitzGerald & Zeman v. Ringler, California Supreme Court (2013), California Court of Appeal, 212 Cal.App.4th 172 (2012)
  • Best Aviation Ltd. v. Atlas Aviation, LLC, United States District Court, Central District of California (WL 5457439) (2012)
  • Chapman v. Allied Waste Industries , California Court of Appeal (WL 602554) (2010)
  • Clarendon National Insurance Company v. State Farm Mutual Auto Insurance Company, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (359 Fed.Appx. 734) (2009)
  • Cooper v. Wallen, California Court of Appeal (2012 WL 748757)
  • Cressy v. OM Financial Life Insurance Company, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, United States District Court, Central District of California (2012)
  • DiMarco v. Singer, California Court of Appeal (2012 WL 472876) (2012)
  • James R. Glidewell Dental Ceramics, Inc. v. Keating Dental Arts, Inc., United States District Court, Central District of California (WL 655314) (2013)
  • Kelter v. Associated Financial Group, Inc., United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (382 Fed.Appx. 632) (2010)
  • Koszdin v. State Compensation Insurance Fund, California Court of Appeal (186 Cal.App.4th 480) (2010)
  • Millennium Dental Technologies, Inc. v. Fotona d.d., United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (407 Fed.Appx. 482) (2011), (427 Fed.Appx. 893) (2011)
  • Miss Professional Nail, Inc. v. Realistic Colors LLC, United States District Court, Central District of California (2012)
  • Nguyen v. Superior Court of Riverside County (Hemet Community Medical Group), California Court of Appeal (2011)
  • Pepsi Bottling Group LLC v. Continental Vending, Inc., United States District Court, Central District of California (2012) Prime Partners IPA of Temecula, Inc. v. Chaudhuri, United States District Court, Central District of California (2012 WL 1669726) (2012)
  • Sentry Insurance v. U.S. Reports, Inc., United States Court of Appeals for the ninth Circuit (326 Fed. Approx. 997) (2009)
  • Baer v. Grammer, California Court of Appeal (2016 Cal. App. Unpub.)

In August 2009, then-Chief Judge Alex Kozinski of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit appointed James to serve as a member of the Court’s Advisory Committee on Rules of Practice and Internal Operating Procedures, and re-appointed James to serve on the Committee in January 2013. In that role, James considered public comments, including comments from trial-court judges and the appellate bar, with the goal of improving the Court’s rules and operations. He also proposed rule changes, assisted the Court in updating the Circuit Rules to reflect current practice, and made recommendations to the Circuit Judges concerning procedures for the conduct of Court business.

In September 2013, the Ninth Circuit Judges elected James to serve as an Appellate Lawyer Representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference. As part of his responsibilities, James co-authors the Appellate Lawyer Representatives Guide, facilitates and leads federal appellate court meetings throughout the circuit, including the annual circuit-wide judicial conference, a gathering of federal judges, attorneys, agency representatives, and court staff to consider the business of the federal courts and the administration of justice within the Ninth Circuit. He also serves on ALR subcommittees enhancing attorney education and pro bono representation, and indigency access to justice. Additionally, James is a court-designated mentor to attorneys with appeals before the Ninth Circuit, and he also assists with the administration of the Ninth Circuit Mentoring Program. At the local level, James was elected by the members of the Orange County Bar Association to serve as the Secretary and Treasurer of its Appellate Section (2016-2017).

James founded and directs the Ninth Circuit Civics Leadership Program, and serves as an instructor and mentor for the California Appellate Court Experience Program, enabling at-risk youth to gain first-hand knowledge of state and federal judicial systems by encouraging their pursuit of higher education. He has been the recipient of various Pro Bono Awards, and his work with schools has been featured in the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit’s newsletter, Circuit Voice. In addition, James serves as a Legal Commentator for PBS Television (L.A. Business Today, Channel 35) and is frequently asked by national and local news organizations to summarize Supreme Court and other appellate court decisions on the day of their release.

James has also served as a member of a televised panel discussion on the impact of the Prosecutorial Remedies and Tools Against the Exploitation of Children Today Act of 2003 (PROTECT Act) on trial and appellate courts at the Federal Judicial Center, commenting on the legal issues that courts face with changes made to sentencing procedures by the PROTECT Act. He regularly delivers lectures to the judiciary, industry leaders, law faculty, and members of the federal and state bars. James has also moderated and served as a member on numerous speaking panels addressing First Amendment and California Article 1 speech activity, the California anti-SLAPP statute, federal appellate practice and procedure, and the judicial nominations and Senate confirmation process before judicial conferences, bar organizations, trade conferences, and institutions of higher learning.