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Mayer Brown

1999 K STREET, NW, WASHINGTON, DC 20006-1101, USA
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Evan Tager

Work +1 202 263 3240
Mayer Brown

Work Department



Evan Tager is a member of the Supreme Court & Appellate practice in Mayer Brown’s Washington, DC office and serves as one of five co-leaders of the firm’s worldwide Litigation practice. Identified by Chambers USA as one of America’s leading appellate lawyers for the past eight years, and profiled by Legal Times as a leading appellate lawyer, Evan has been integrally involved in a range of issues of paramount importance to the business community, including punitive damages, class certification standards, admissibility of expert testimony, and enforceability of arbitration agreements. In April 2014, Evan was elected to the American Law Institute, and has joined the Members Consultative Groups for the Restatement Third, Torts: Liability for Economic Harm and the Restatement Third, The Law of Consumer Contracts. In February 2013, International Law Office awarded Evan its Client Choice Award for the Litigation category in Washington, D.C. This award, which is based entirely on client nominations and references, is given to one lawyer per city. According to ILO’s press release, “[c]lients are asked to rate individual lawyers and law firms on the following client service criteria: quality of legal advice, value for money, commercial awareness, effective communication, billing transparency, tailored fee structures, response time, sharing of expertise and use of technology.” One client interviewed by ILO commented that “Evan Tager’s trial and appellate work for my company has facilitated a fundamental positive change in some of the most important legal doctrines impacting businesses.” Another observed that “Evan’s reputation is that of a master strategist and communicator, with top-flight analytical skills and a unique ability to simplify the complex.” And a third said that “Evan brings a value set and open-mindedness that allow him to become a trusted business partner, and he is eager to align his interests with the client’s.” In 2012, The National Law Journal named Evan to its “Champions and Visionaries” list, citing his work helping Cingular Wireless (now AT&T Mobility) create an incentives-based customer arbitration process aimed at reducing the number of class actions the company had to fight and his successful defense of that process at the US Supreme Court. In AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, the Court ruled that the Federal Arbitration Act preempts states from refusing to enforce arbitration provisions on the ground that they disallow class actions. Recognizing the nearly ten-year duration of Evan’s efforts in this area, The National Law Journal said that “Evan Tager has established himself as one of the great marathon runners in the federal appellate system.” The National Law Journal quoted one of Evan’s clients as saying that his company retained Evan because “[h]is reputation was that of a master strategist and communicator, with top-tier analytical skills and a unique ability to simplify the complex and make sense of confusion. I learned he is that and more. Evan brings a value set and open-mindedness that allow him to become a trusted business partner and is eager to align his interests with the client’s.” Legal Times, in its issue on leading appellate lawyers, said that “[w]hen a major company needs to find a lawyer in a key case involving class certification, punitive damages, or arbitration, there's a good chance it will hire Evan Tager.” “In the past several years,” the publication stated, Evan “has become the go-to attorney in a growing number of cases that matter to big businesses across the United States.” Evan has been listed as a leading lawyer for several years running in Chambers USA, Legal 500, Benchmark Litigation and the Corporate Counsel edition of Super Lawyers. He also has been named as a top lawyer repeatedly in The Washingtonian. The 2009 edition of Legal 500 described Evan as a “professional and ethical thought leader” who is “responsive, committed to shared goals, and fair-minded.” Evan has filed hundreds of briefs on issues of importance to the business community in the United States Supreme Court and in lower courts throughout the country. One of Evan’s clients told Chambers USA that, as a briefwriter, Evan “deploys a grasp of language and argument that is a marvel to behold.” Also according to Chambers USA, Evan is “‘smart and adept,’ he is praised by clients for his ‘ability to focus on the details at the same time as keeping his eye on the bigger picture.’” Evan has argued cases in the US Supreme Court, the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits, the DC Court of Appeals, the California Court of Appeal, the Illinois Appellate Court, the Illinois Supreme Court, the Washington Supreme Court, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, and numerous state and federal trial courts. In addition, he has published extensively on the subjects of appellate advocacy, punitive damages, class actions, and expert testimony, among other things, and has participated frequently on panels devoted to punitive damages and class actions. Evan received his AB, magna cum laude from Princeton University in 1982 and his JD in 1985 from Stanford Law School, where he was Articles Editor of the Stanford Law Review and winner of the Board of Editors Award for Outstanding Editorial Contribution to the Stanford Law Review. Following law school, he served as a law clerk to Judge Mary M. Schroeder in the Ninth Circuit. Evan is a regular contributor to Class Defense, the firm’s blog on key issues affecting class action law and policy.


Princeton University, AB, magna cum laude 1982 Stanford Law School, JD 1985 Articles Editor, Law Review

United States: Dispute resolution


Within: Appellate

Acting across a broad spectrum of practice areas, Mayer Brown’s ‘spectacular’ practice is highly recommended for ‘delivering first-class results’. At the US Supreme Court level, in the case of National Association of Manufacturers v Department of Defense, Chicago-based Timothy Bishop and Washington DC-based Michael Kimberly secured a unanimous win for the petitioners, thereby successfully challenging the EPA's definition under a 2015 regulation of the term 'the waters of the United States', which is used in the 1972 Clean Water Act. In a recent success for Weyerhaeuser in Weyerhaeuser Company v United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Bishop presented arguments concerning the interpretation of the 1973 Endangered Species Act before the US Supreme Court, which unanimously vacated the Fifth Circuit’s decision and sent the case back for further review. The ‘diligent, well-prepared and thoughtful’ Paul Hughes successfully argued for R. Scott Appling in proceedings brought by petitioner law firm Lamar, Archer & Cofrin, LLP before the US Supreme Court, which resolved a circuit court split and unanimously backed the reading of the Bankruptcy Code suggested by Hughes’ client. At the Ninth Circuit and the US Supreme Court, Andrew Pincus successfully led the team on defending a prior decision concerning consumer protection issued by the district court in favor of mobile telecom company AT&T Mobility. Nancy Ross and Brian Netter lead the Chicago and Washington DC teams, respectively, in defending a number of elite universities in a series of class actions across the country, alleging breaches of the fiduciary duties of prudence and loyalty under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). ‘Handling matters to perfection’, Evan Tager (‘the best brief writer in the country’) and Charles Rothfeld (‘a great strategic appellate thinker’) are highly recommended. Following a move from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP in November 2018, Nicole Saharsky assumed the position of co-head of the appellate department. Karen Lin is a promising associate in the practice group.

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United States: Industry focus

Transport: rail and road - litigation

Within: Leading lawyers

Evan Tager - Mayer Brown

Within: Transport: rail and road - litigation

Mayer Brown represents railroad-sector clients in a range of litigation, and is best known for its appellate work, which has impacted the law governing railroad tort liability. A key client for the team is CSX Transportation. In a recent highlight, Evan Tager defended CSX in a case that determined that railroads have no duty to provide crews with automatic external defibrillators and other equipment for responding to medical emergencies. Senior counsel Adrian Steel is representing BNSF in a dispute with Union Pacific Railroad Corporation regarding the allocation of certain costs related to over 30 trackage rights agreements between the parties. Pre-emption expert Andrew Tauber represented North Coast Railroad Authority in the US Supreme Court’s review of the California Supreme Court decision holding that the ICCTA does not pre-empt state environmental permitting laws when they are applied to a publicly owned railroad. In the road sector, the team handles regulatory matters involving motor vehicle safety and consumer product safety. Michael Kimberly and counsel Carl Summers are also key figures. Named lawyers are based in Washington DC. Peter Denton joined Steptoe & Johnson LLP in 2018.

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Transport: rail and road - regulation

Within: Transport: rail and road - regulation

Mayer Brown handles a raft of rail and road regulatory mandates. On the rail side, the team represents major rail operators in the US and Canada, as well as industry associations, in regulatory proceedings; it is also noted for its experience in crafting and defeating rail sector legislation. Andrew Tauber assisted CSX Transportation with its efforts to defeat proposed legislation that would have imposed discriminatory hazardous material-transportation fees on railroads. Senior counsel Adrian Steel advised BNSF Railway Company on the implementation of its rights to access shippers in Lake Charles, Louisiana via a rail line owned jointly by the Union Pacific Railroad Company and the Kansas City Southern Railway Company. In the road sector, the team represents clients in regulatory matters involving motor vehicle safety and consumer product safety, and related litigation. Contacts in the road and auto practice include Erika Jones and Philip Recht, who is based in Los Angeles. Evan Tager and Tauber jointly head the team. Named individuals are based in Washington DC unless otherwise stated.

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