James Hughes

Senior Counsel
Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP

United States
T:+1 512 536 5228
San Antonio
United States
T:+1 210 224 5575
United States
T:+1 512 536 5228
San Antonio
United States
T:+1 210 224 5575
James Hughes

James Hughes

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James provides advice and counsel to employers, and also represents employers and commercial clients in responding to EEOC and other administrative charges, and in litigation in federal and state courts, and arbitrations. He has been involved in the full life cycle of numerous disputes, from pre-suit negotiations, initial pleadings, discovery, motion practice, judgment, appeal, and negotiating settlements.

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 has argued hearings on a variety of matters in state and federal court.

James believes the hallmarks of good representation are responsiveness, attention to detail, and creativity. Every client, and every case, is unique, and this means that attorneys must be proactive in developing and prosecuting a strategy that is tailored to each matter. As an advisor and counselor, James assists clients in mitigating risk and finding cost-effective solutions to employment issues.

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 US 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 employment discrimination, 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, particularly in the Western District of Texas.

Professional experience

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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

  • Texas State Bar
  • Defended non-profit professional association in suit brought by former key employee
  • Defended national insurance industry client in consumer class action regarding insurance rates
  • Defended international manufacturer of retail hardware in pregnancy discrimination suit
  • Defended healthcare provider in whistleblower and breach of contract suit brought by former employee
  • Represented international medical products manufacturer in trade secrets action against former key employee
  • Defended national retailer in a consumer class action case regarding sales tax rebates
  • Represented fabless semiconductor company in patent infringement suit against competitor
  • Defended national retailer in employee class action regarding sick-leave policies
  • Represented regional health care provider in ADA-public accomodation lawsuit brought by patient
  • Defended national telecommunications firm in arbitration with former executive
  • Defended local disabilities non-profit in Title VII retaliation and constructive discharge suit brought by former employee
  • Represented national computer technology company in defense of patent infringement claims and state-law counter-claims
  • Defended national semiconductor manufacturer in disability and workers' compensation retaliation suit
  • Co-author, "New EEOC pay data deadline: September 30, 2019," Norton Rose Fulbright Legal Update, April 2019
  • "Expanding definition of "sex discrimination" under Title VII," Norton Rose Fulbright Global Workplace Insider, April 24, 2017
  • "When Is Our Response Due? – Local Rules and the Three-Day Extension Under Fed. R. Civ. P. 6(d)," Austin Lawyer, Vol. 25, No. 7, September 2016
  • Co-author, "Excluding parties in Texas trade secrets hearings," Norton Rose Fulbright Legal Update, June 2016
  • Co-author, "2016 Defend Trade Secrets Act creates federal cause of action for theft of trade secrets," Norton Rose Fulbright Legal Update, April 2016
  • 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
  • Co-Presenter, Employment Hot Topics: Employment Policies and Procedures to Protect Strategic and Confidential Information, September 25, 2019
  • Presenter, Employment Law Basics and Hot Topics for Managers and Supervisors, May 3, 2019
  • Webinar Co-Presenter, Whistleblower Investigations and Retaliation Claims: Tips, Tricks, & Pitfalls, April 25, 2019
  • Co-Presenter, Employment Hot Topics: Avoiding Liability with Remote Workers, March 28, 2019
  • Co-Presenter, Health Law Symposium: 15 Months After #MeToo - A Reality Check for Employers, January 25, 2019
  • Webinar Co-Presenter, A Year After #MeToo: Has Anything Really Changed?, November 15, 2019
  • Co-Presenter, Workplace Violence: The Threat, Liability Issues, and Best Practices, November 14, 2018
  • Co-Presenter, Association of Corporate Counsel, Austin Chapter, At Risk: Your Strategic Plans And IP, September 27, 2018
  • Co-Presenter, Employment Hot Topics: Wage & Hour Update, September 24, 2018
  • Co-Presenter, Employment Hot Topics: Trade Secrets and Non-Compete Agreements, March 29, 2018
  • Co-Presenter, Charlottesville's Implications for Employers and Other Hot Topics in Employment & Labor Law, September 28, 2017
  • Webinar Co-Presenter, In a Time of Terrorism: A Discussion of President Trump's Travel Ban, Terrorism, Extreme Vetting and Workplace Safety, July 27, 2017
  • Co-Presenter, Employment Hot Topics: Transgender Rights in the Workplace, March 30, 2017
  • 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
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Austin Bar Association
  • Texas Young Lawyers Association
  • Austin Asian American Bar Association