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James S. Azadian

James S. Azadian


California, U.S.A.

tel: 213-457-1779
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James Azadian is a Member in Dykema's Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. offices and serves as the firm’s West Coast Appellate Chair. He specializes in complex federal and state court commercial litigation raising cutting-edge and core business issues, the First Amendment to the Constitution, Article I of the California Constitution, and the application of California's anti-SLAPP statute in federal court.

Mr. Azadian has served as counsel in more than 200 appeals and writ proceedings covering a wide variety of industries and subjects. He frequently serves as special counsel to other law firms in preparing advocates for oral argument and in assisting with the preparation of appellate briefs as well as critical motions at the trial court level in cases where an appeal by either side seems inevitable or where the outcome of the case will impact an entire series of litigation for the client. He is widely published and frequently cited as a leading authority on appellate advocacy.

Mr. Azadian’s regulatory practice spans the full spectrum of federal agency rule making, including regulations and Federal Advisory Committee resolutions, such as those promulgated under the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Coast Guard/Department of Homeland Security. He also specializes in private company compliance with the 8(a) Business Development Program, as administered through the U.S. Small Business Administration. Additionally, Mr. Azadian has successfully counseled a variety of clients still affected by the redevelopment agency dissolution process mandated under the California Community Redevelopment Law, in each case recouping funds from the California Department of Finance totaling over $150 Million to date. He also has substantial experience in complex internal corporate investigations, high-profile congressional and U.S. Department of Justice investigations, and strategic media campaigns.

Mr. Azadian has served as an adjunct professor teaching courses in Appellate Advocacy at Pepperdine University School of Law, Law and Economics at UCLA, the Supreme Court Practicum at Northwestern University School of Law, and Legal Ethics at USC. He is the current Chair of the Appellate Lawyer Representatives of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, as appointed by Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Sidney Runyan Thomas, a group of approximately 20 appellate attorneys chosen as representing the very best in the field of appellate advocacy. He is the former Chair of the Orange County Bar Association’s Appellate Law Section. In addition, Mr. Azadian is a court-appointed mentor to civil practitioners through the Ninth Circuit Mentorship Program, and has served two terms as a court-appointed member of the Ninth Circuit’s Advisory Committee on Rules of Practice and Internal Operating Procedures. Recently, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit appointed him to serve on the Law Clerk Resource Group, a subsection of the Workplace Environment Committee, created in 2017 by Chief Judge Thomas to provide additional resources to help law clerks navigate their clerkship experience. Additionally, Mr. Azadian serves on Pepperdine Law’s Board of Visitors and on the Board of Directors for the Boys and Girls Club of Laguna Beach.

Before joining Dykema, Mr. Azadian was the Hiring Shareholder and Chair of a Southern California-based law firm’s appellate, writs, and constitutional law practice, as well as its regulatory practice. He started out in private practice as an appellate associate with the Washington, D.C. office of Sidley Austin LLP, right after he had completed his judicial clerkships with Ninth Circuit Judge Consuelo Maria Callahan and District Judge Ricardo Manuel Urbina of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

Mr. Azadian has received numerous litigation accolades. He was recently recognized as one of the Top 40 Under 40 Attorneys in California by the Los Angeles Daily Journal and the San Francisco Daily Journal, and as a Super Lawyers Rising Star in the field of Appellate Law each year since 2010. He was also recently recognized as one of Pepperdine University's inaugural 40 Under 40 Honorees. Additionally, he was elected to the American Registry as one of North America’s Top Attorneys, in recognition for achieving consistently successful outcomes on appeal, and he was awarded the Chief Justice John Marshall Medal by the Supreme Court Historical Society for his excellence in appellate advocacy and his commitment to pro bono representation and the advancement of civic learning among youth. Mr. Azadian is also nationally recognized as one of The Best Lawyers in America®, as currently featured in the 24th Edition of Best Lawyers®.

Bar Admissions

California, 2003

District of Columbia, 2007


Pepperdine University School of Law, J.D., 2001 University of California, Los Angeles, B.A., 1997
Areas of Practice

State High Court Rules Internet Publisher Can’t Be Ordered To Remove Defamatory Posts
Dykema, July 2018

The Communications Decency Act (CDA)—the law Congress enacted in 1996 and confirmed this past year to shield online publishers from responsibility for the speech of others—gives internet platforms the right to publish the ideas and opinions of third-party users without being held liable for that content or being forced to remove it.[1] In the closely watched case ofHassell v...

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