James Burnham

James Burnham represents companies and individuals in complex civil, criminal, and constitutional litigation, including lawsuits against federal and state governments and enforcement actions by governments. His practice has a particular focus on resolving complex legal issues and drafting dispositive appellate and trial-level briefs.

James has drafted briefs and delivered argument in numerous matters that involve cutting-edge legal issues. In particular, he was the primary draftsman of briefs on behalf of the Noel Canning Corporation in its recent challenge to President Obama's "recess" appointments to the National Labor Relations Board---a challenge that resulted in a 9-0 victory for Noel Canning. He also recently delivered oral argument before the en banc Seventh Circuit in Markadonatos v. Village of Woodridge, a due process challenge to a $30 "user fee" imposed on people solely for being arrested, and is currently representing a group of California public school teachers in Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, a First Amendment challenge to the coerced payment of "agency fees" to public employee unions. James has also worked on defending complex criminal investigations and prosecutions, and has experience in matters involving the First Amendment and commercial speech, procedural due process, federal preemption, the mootness and political question doctrines, securities law, the Clean Air Act and its applicability to successive coal plant operators, and the state of Mississippi's 1997 settlement agreement with the major tobacco companies.

James is also a former lecturer-in-law at the University of Chicago Law School, where he co-taught a seminar on federal sentencing law.

Good to know

Areas of Practice 1) Litigation and 2) Issues & Appeals
Law School Loyola University Chicago School of Law
Education University of Texas (B.A., 2006)
Bar Member / Association District of Columbia, Illinois, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Fourth, Seventh, Ninth, and D.C. Circuits
Most recent firm Jones Day
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