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James Hughes

Senior Associate

James Hughes


T:+1 512 536 5228

James Hughes is an Austin-based commercial litigation senior associate.  James represents commercial plaintiffs and defendants in federal courts in Texas, California, and elsewhere, and in state courts and arbitration.  He has been involved in the full life cycle of numerous disputes, from pre-suit negotiations, initial pleadings, discovery, motion practice, judgment, appeal, and settlement.

While acting as a prosecutor in the Attorney-Loan program with the City of Austin, James first-chaired five criminal-misdemeanor trials, successfully obtaining guilty verdicts in every trial.

James believes the hallmarks of good representation are responsiveness, attention to detail, and creativity.  Every case is unique, and this means that attorneys must be proactive in developing and prosecuting a strategy that is tailored to each case.

Prior to joining Norton Rose Fulbright, James served two judicial clerkships at both the trial and appellate levels.  From 2011–2013, he was a federal judicial clerk for Judge Sam Sparks of the U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas.  From 2010–2011, he served as a judicial clerk for Justice Eva M. Guzman of the Texas Supreme Court.

During both clerkships, James worked on numerous cases involving both federal and state procedural and substantive law.  These cases covered a wide gamut of trade secrets, patents, trademarks, First Amendment issues, commercial and employment contracts, administrative appeals, and numerous other areas of law.  Finally, James has extensive experience with federal motions practice and federal procedure.

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  • Education

    JD, with Honors, University of Texas, Austin (recipient of the Judge Thomas Gibbs Gee Scholarship), 2010

    • Chief Notes Editor for the Texas Law Review, Volume 88
    • Order of the Coif

    BA, History & Political Science, Louisiana State University (recipient of the LSU Honors Scholarship), 2000

  • Representative experience
    • Represented national medical products manufacturer in trade secrets action against former key employee
    • Defense of national retailer in a consumer class action case regarding sales tax rebates
    • Represented fabless semiconductor company in patent infringement suit against competitor
    • Defense of national retailer in employee class action regarding sick-leave policies
    • Defense of national telecommunications firm in arbitration with former executive
    • Represented national computer technology company in defense of patent infringement claims and state-law counter-claims
  • Admissions
    • Texas State Bar
  • Publications
    • "When Is Our Response Due? – Local Rules and the Three-Day Extension Under Fed. R. Civ. P. 6(d)," Austin Lawyer, Sept. 2016, Vol. 25, No. 7, available at
    • Co-author, "Excluding parties in Texas trade secrets hearings," June 2016, available at
    • Co-author, "2016 Defend Trade Secrets Act creates federal cause of action for theft of trade secrets," April 2016, available at
    • Co-author, "Pitfalls in Settlements: An Ethical Standard Settlement Agreement for Texas," State Bar of Texas, June 18, 2015
    • "Check state and local laws...," Global Workplace Insider, May 15, 2015
    • Co-author, "Why the NLRB Should Matter to a Non-Union Employer," UT Law CLE, April 17 & May 8, 2015
    • Co-author, "New Mandates for Employers with Federal and Federally Assisted Contracts: Pay Transparency, Equal Pay Reports, Sex Discrimination Guidelines, and Veterans & Individuals with Disabilities," Associated General Contractors of America, May 7, 2015
    • "Accommodating religious preferences of job applicants: EEOC vs. Abercrombie & Fitch goes to the US Supreme Court," Global Workplace Insider, Feb. 5, 2015
    • Contributor, "Discovery Questions – What Do You Ask: Top Ten Standard Discovery Requests," Texas Bar CLE, Jan. 21, 2015
    • "Update: CVS wins summary judgment on EEOC challenge to separation agreements, appeal pending," Global Workplace Insider, Dec. 16, 2014
    • Co-author, "OFCCP's year of action regarding federal contractors," Norton Rose Fulbright - Legal update, Nov. 2014
    • Co-author, "From the Front Lines: ADA Update on the Latest Issues and Trends for Shopping Centers," U.S. Shopping Center Law Conference, Oct. 22, 2014
    • Contributor, "Global Guide to Whistleblowing Laws," Norton Rose Fulbright, June 2014
    • Co-author, "USERRA: Texas," June 1, 2014
    • Co-author, "Obamacare: does it hide a potent whistleblower pill?," Global Workplace Insider, May 29, 2014
    • Co-author, "Top 30 whistleblowing statutes – from Ralph Nader to Edward Snowden," Global Workplace Insider, May 20, 2014
    • Co-author, "Non-Disparagement Clauses: Avoid Common Pitfalls, Reduce Potential Exposure to Liability, and Provide the Best Opportunity for Enforcement," UT Law CLE, 2014 Labor and Employment Law Conference, May 16, 2014
    • "EEOC takes aim at CVS, examining common separation agreements," Global Workplace Insider, Apr. 25, 2014
  • Speaking engagements
    • Client training presentations on Federal and State Employment Law
    • Co-Presenter, Employment Hot Topics: Preparing for a Compensation Manager Interview & Final Rule: Executive Order 13672, March 12, 2015
    • Co-Presenter, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs: Year of Action, Norton Rose Fulbright Forefront Webinar, December 10, 2014
    • Co-Presenter, Fair Labor Standards Act: Lessons from 2013 and best practices for 2014, Norton Rose Fulbright Forefront Webinar and Breakfast Briefings,  Feb. 25, 2014, Mar. 4, 2014, Mar. 12, 2014
  • Memberships and activities
    • Federal Bar Association
    • Austin Bar Association
    • Texas Young Lawyers Association
    • Austin Asian American Bar Association