Theane Evangelis is an appellate and general commercial litigation partner in the Los Angeles office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. She is a member of its Appellate and Constitutional Law, Class Action and Complex Litigation, Media and Entertainment, and Crisis Management Practice Groups and serves on the Firm’s Hiring Committee. Ms. Evangelis joined Gibson Dunn after serving as a law clerk to Justice Sandra Day O’Connor during October Term 2004 and as an associate with Ziffren Brittenham, a Los Angeles law firm specializing in entertainment and media transactions. Before clerking for Justice O’Connor, Ms. Evangelis was a law clerk to Chief Judge Alex Kozinski of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Ms. Evangelis has played a substantial role in a wide range of appellate, constitutional, media and entertainment, and crisis management matters, as well as employment, consumer, wage-and-hour, and securities class actions. Recent representative matters include persuading the Supreme Court of the United States to reverse the certification of the largest employment class action in American history; representing the plaintiffs from trial to the Supreme Court of the United States in the historic federal constitutional challenge to California’s ban on same-sex marriage, Proposition 8; obtaining a unanimous victory for Standard Fire in the Supreme Court of the United States in a case involving the proper interpretation of the Class Action Fairness Act; presenting argument on behalf of Hewlett-Packard Company and obtaining a precedent-setting, published opinion from the Ninth Circuit regarding a manufacturer’s duty to disclose latent defects under California law; serving as appellate counsel to Toyota Motor Company in the multidistrict litigation arising out of drivers’ reports of “unintended acceleration” in Toyota vehicles and persuading the Ninth Circuit to grant interlocutory review of whether “no injury” class-action plaintiffs lack Article III standing; representing California public school students bringing a constitutional challenge to state tenure laws that prevent school administrators from hiring and retaining the most effective teachers; persuading the Ninth Circuit to grant interlocutory review of a decision certifying a major wage-and-hour class action; winning a dismissal with prejudice of a putative nationwide consumer class action filed in federal court against a technology company, which was subsequently affirmed by the Ninth Circuit; securing a dismissal, with prejudice, of a putative nationwide consumer class action filed in federal court against an internet company; obtaining decertification of a major wage-and-hour class action in state court; winning a dismissal, with prejudice, in favor of Starbucks Corporation in a contractual dispute with singer-songwriter Carly Simon; obtaining a dismissal, with prejudice, of a putative nationwide securities class action filed in federal court; and obtaining reversal on constitutional grounds of a significant punitive damage award in state court.
Ms. Evangelis graduated summa cum laude from New York University School of Law in 2003 and received the University Graduation Prize, which is awarded to the student with the highest grade point average in the graduating class. During law school, she was a Butler and Pomeroy Scholar and served as Managing Editor of the New York University Law Review.
Prior to law school, Ms. Evangelis served as a legislative assistant to former U.S. Representative Max Sandlin, for whom she handled financial services, technology, and foreign affairs legislation. She received a B.S. in Foreign Service, cum laude, from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service.
Ms. Evangelis is a member of the California bar and is admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of the United States, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and all federal courts in California. She also serves on the board of the California Women’s Law Center and as an Advisory Board Member of the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival. In 2013, Ms. Evangelis was named by The Daily Journal as one of the “Top 20 California Attorneys Under 40” and was listed inLaw360’s “Rising Stars for 2013” in Appellate Law, and again in Law360’s “Rising Stars for 2014” in Class Actions. She was also selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers© 2014 in the field of Appellate Practice. In addition, Ms. Evangelis has been recognized by The Recorder as one of California’s “Lawyers on the Fast Track,” and was selected as one of “Greek America’s Forty under 40” by the Greek America Foundation. Southern California Super Lawyers named her as a ”Rising Star” in Los Angeles Magazine in the category of Appellate Law, and she was recognized as one of the “25 Most Intriguing Greek Americans of 2010” by Greek America Magazine for her work challenging Proposition 8. Ms. Evangelis is a recipient of the prestigious Burton Award for legal writing.