E-mail MeJames S. Azadian, Esq.
James Azadian joined the firm in 2010 and became a partner in 2012. Mr. Azadian serves as the Chair of the firm’s Appellate, Writs, and Constitutional Law Group. He is admitted to practice in the California state courts, District of Columbia courts, the Supreme Court of the United States, the United States Courts of Appeals for the Second, Ninth, and Federal Circuits, as well as the United States District Courts for the Central District of California, the District of Columbia, and the District of Maryland. Before joining the firm, Mr. Azadian 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.
Mr. Azadian’s practice concentrates primarily on appellate, constitutional law, regulatory law and affairs, and intellectual property litigation. He has served as lead counsel in dozens of appeals and writ proceedings in a wide variety of areas. In particular, Mr. Azadian has developed an expertise in the First Amendment, Article 1 of the California Constitution, and the application of California’s anti-SLAPP statute in federal court. Mr. Azadian also works on regulatory matters, with a focus on the 8(a) Business Development Program administered through the United States Small Business Administration. Additionally, Mr. Azadian 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.
Mr. Azadian has represented clients in the telecommunications, outdoor advertising, aerospace, pharmaceutical, medical device, agricultural, entertainment, insurance, construction, and banking industries, among others, as well as religious institutions, trade and sports associations, counties, and municipalities. He has authored numerous briefs and pleadings in cases before state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States. He has substantial experience litigating high-stakes disputes involving complex issues and overseeing considerable discovery production and review of sensitive information in a variety of forums, including state and federal regulatory agencies. 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. Mr. Azadian 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.
In addition, Mr. Azadian 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.
Mr. Azadian has been named among the top attorneys in Super Lawyers’ 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 Southern California Rising Stars. Super Lawyers selects attorneys who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and personal achievement; only 2% of the lawyers in the state are named to the list. In January 2014, Mr. Azadian 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. Mr. Azadian was also 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.
Public Service and Speaking Engagements
In January 2013, Chief Judge Alex Kozinski of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit appointed Mr. Azadian to serve a new, three-year term as a Member of the Court's Advisory Committee on Rules of Practice and Internal Operating Procedures. Chief Judge Kozinski first appointed Mr. Azadian to serve on the Committee in August 2009. In that role, Mr. Azadian considers 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 proposes rule changes, assists the Court in updating the Circuit Rules to reflect current practice, and makes recommendations to the Circuit Judges concerning procedures for the conduct of Court business and rules of the Circuit Judicial Council.
In September 2013, the Ninth Circuit Judges elected Mr. Azadian to serve a three-year term as an Appellate Lawyer Representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference. As part of his responsibilities, Mr. Azadian 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. Mr. Azadian's service as an ALR is in addition to his role as a Member of the Ninth Circuit's Advisory Committee on Rules of Practice and Internal Operating Procedures.
Additionally, Mr. Azadian 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 and 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, Mr. Azadian serves as the Legal Commentator for PBS Television (L.A. Business Today, Channel 35) and is frequently asked by national and local news media to summarize Supreme Court and other appellate court decisions on the day of their release. He regularly serves on speaking panels before the judiciary, industry leaders, law faculty, and members of the federal and state bars. Mr. Azadian 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. Mr. Azadian has moderated and served as a panelist on numerous speaking panels addressing First Amendment and California Article 1 speech activity, the California anti-SLAPP statute, federal courts, federal appellate practice and procedure, the Federal Courts Jurisdiction Venue and Clarification Act of 2011, and the judicial nominations and Senate confirmation process before judicial conferences, bar organizations, trade conferences, and institutions of higher learning.
Areas of Practice
- Appellate Litigation
- Complex Civil Litigation
- Intellectual Property Litigation
- Regulatory Law and Affairs
- California, 2003
- District of Columbia, 2007
- Pepperdine University School of Law, Malibu, California
- J.D. - 2001
- University of California, Los Angeles, California
- B.A. - 1997
- Major: Political Science and Economics
- "Appeals, Writs and Post-Trial Motions," (Co-Author, 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" (Co-Author) , The Reserve & National Guard Magazine (AmeriForce Publishing), Nov., 2013
- "Alive and well in the 9th Circuit: anti-SLAPP" (Co-Author), Los Angeles Daily Journal, front page article, Dec. 12, 2013
- "California Roundup: 2014’s New Laws Affecting Businesses, Workplaces and Schools" (Co-Author), Orange County Lawyer Magazine, June, 2014
- 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.Appx. 997) (2009)
Professional Associations and Memberships
- California State Bar Association
- District of Columbia Bar Association
- American Bar Association
- Orange County Bar Association, Appellate Section
- Los Angeles County Bar Association, Appellate Courts Committee
- UCLA, USC, and Pepperdine University Faculty Associations