James C. Ho is a partner in the Dallas office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, specializing in appellate and constitutional law. He has over a decade of government experience, including all three branches of the federal government. Most recently, he served as Solicitor General of Texas, the State’s chief appellate and Supreme Court litigator.
Mr. Ho is widely recognized as a leading appellate lawyer. Benchmark called him “one of the most skilled appellate advocates in the country.” Chambers described him as “very compelling and persuasive at oral argument,” and “a really creative thinker; very high energy and very collaborative.” Law360 named him one of the nation’s top appellate lawyers under 40, noting his “impressive string of victories before state and federal appeals courts.” The National Law Journal named him one of the nation’s top 40 minority lawyers under 40, and placed him among the “upper echelons of Supreme Court practice.” Texas Lawyer named him one of 25 “Extraordinary Minorities in Texas Law,” for his success in challenging government regulations in federal and state courts. He is also recognized as a top appellate lawyer by The Best Lawyers in America, The Legal 500, Texas Super Lawyers, and D Magazine.
Mr. Ho has litigated successfully in courts across the country, prevailing in over 75% of his oral arguments. His amicus briefs have been cited by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Texas Supreme Court, and the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fifth and Seventh Circuits. Mr. Ho also regularly counsels clients on constitutional issues and legal strategy in disputes involving federal and state agencies and in other adversarial contexts. He has testified before Congress and the Texas Legislature.
Government and Public Service Experience
As Solicitor General of Texas, Mr. Ho represented Attorney General Greg Abbott and other government officials and agencies in the State’s most difficult legal disputes. He received three Supreme Court Best Brief Awards from the National Association of Attorneys General, and he is the only state solicitor general in the nation to be invited by the Court to express the views of a state.
In addition, Mr. Ho has served in all three branches of the federal government. On Capitol Hill, he was named one of the best 35 Congressional aides under 35 by The Hill, for his service as chief counsel to Senator John Cornyn and to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittees on the Constitution and Immigration. At the Justice Department, he helped lead the Civil Rights Division, and then worked at the Office of Legal Counsel, where he advised White House and other senior officials on constitutional and other complex legal issues. He also served as a law clerk for Judge Jerry E. Smith of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and Justice Clarence Thomas of the U.S. Supreme Court.
His record of public service also includes appointments to numerous boards and commissions, including the Federal Judicial Evaluation Committee, the U.S. Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel for the Northern District of Texas, the Continuity of Government Commission, and the U.S. delegation to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Before law school, he was a legislative aide to State Senator Quentin Kopp.
Other Background Information
Mr. Ho is a frequent commentator on legal issues. He has taught U.S. Supreme Court Litigation as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Texas School of Law. He has served as co-editor of Pub. L. Misc., and as senior editor of the Green Bag. He is also involved in numerous national, statewide, and local organizations.
Taiwanese by birth and Texan by marriage, Mr. Ho is an active member of the Asian American legal community. He is co-chair of the Judiciary Committee of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association and a recipient of the Association’s Presidential Award.
Mr. Ho graduated from Stanford University with honors and a B.A. in Public Policy, and the University of Chicago Law School with high honors. He and his wife Allyson, a successful appellate litigator, have twin toddlers, Quentin and Georgia.
Representative Matters [PDF]
Recent Profiles [PDF]