Theane Evangelis is an appellate, class action, and general commercial litigation partner in the Los Angeles office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. She serves as Co-Chair of the firm's Class Actions Practice Group and as Vice Chair of the California Appellate Practice Group. Ms. Evangelis is also a member of the Labor and Employment, Media, Entertainment, and Technology, and Crisis Management Practice Groups. She 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 the Honorable 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:
- Presenting argument on behalf of Yamaha and obtaining a published opinion from the Ninth Circuit dismissing a nationwide class action and limiting a manufacturer's duty to disclose safety-related latent defects under California law.
- 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 striking down 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;
- Obtaining reversal of a nearly $90 million judgment in a wage and hour class action in the California Court of Appeal;
- 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 in a landmark 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 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 dismissal, with prejudice, of a putative nationwide consumer class action filed in federal court against Yamaha;
- 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.
- Representing Uber in a series of putative class actions asserting that Uber has misclassified drivers as independent contractors, including persuading the Ninth Circuit to grant interlocutory review of a class certification order, and obtaining a decision by the Ninth Circuit enforcing Uber's arbitration agreements;
- Representing ABM in a series of putative wage and hour class actions in California federal courts.
- Representing GrubHub in a putative class action asserting that it misclassified drivers as independent contractors.
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, several U.S. Courts of Appeal across the country, and all federal courts in California. Theane serves on the board of the California Women's Law Center and as an Advisory Board Member of the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival. She also serves on the Judicial Elections Evaluation Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association.
In 2016 and 2017, the Daily Journal named her to its list of Top Women Lawyers, and in 2013, she was named by the Daily Journal as one of the "Top 20 California Attorneys Under 40." She has been listed in Law360's "Rising Stars" for 2013 and 2015 in Appellate Law, a Class Actions "Rising Star" for 2014, and in 2016, she was recognized as a "Class Action MVP" by Law360. She was selected by her peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in the field of Appellate Practice from 2014-2018 and was also named "Los Angeles Appellate Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers®. 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 was also named to Benchmark Litigation's "Under 40 Hot List" which honors the achievements of the nation's most accomplished legal partners of the age of forty or younger.