Allyson N. Ho is a partner in the Dallas office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP and co-chair of the Firm’s nationwide Appellate and Constitutional Law practice group.
Mrs. Ho is widely regarded as one of the nation’s most respected appellate litigators. Chambers has ranked her one of the top appellate lawyers in the country, as well as the highest nationally-ranked appellate litigator in Texas, in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019—and it advises clients that “[i]f you have a billion dollars on the line, call Allyson.” She has presented over 50 oral arguments in federal and state courts nationwide, and has argued and won more cases on behalf of businesses before the U.S. Supreme Court than any Texas lawyer.
Among her numerous accolades, Mrs. Ho has been named a “Distinguished Leader” (Texas Lawyer, Sep. 1, 2017) and “Appellate MVP” (Law360, Nov. 23, 2015), and recognized on the “Appellate Hot List” (National Law Journal, Nov. 16, 2015). She has also been profiled in “Litigation Powerhouse” (Law360, Aug. 10, 2016), “Supreme Court Insider” (National Law Journal, July 21, 2016), “Supreme Court Specialists, Mostly Male, Dominated Arguments This Term” (National Law Journal, May 11, 2016), “Lifetime Achievement Awards: Attorney of the Year Finalist” (Texas Lawyer, Nov. 2, 2015), “Litigation Department of the Year” (Texas Lawyer, June 1, 2015), “Employment Group of the Year” (Law360, Jan. 13, 2015), “A Supreme Month: Lawyer Credits Preparedness in Ability to Argue Two U.S. High Court Cases in Three Weeks” (Texas Lawyer, Dec. 8, 2014), “High Court Debuts for Two Lawyers” (National Law Journal, Nov. 3, 2014), “Women in Business Awards” (Dallas Business Journal, Aug 29, 2014), “Litigation Departments of the Year” (Texas Lawyer, June 2, 2014), “Winning Women” (Texas Lawyer, Aug. 22, 2011), and “High court practitioners: increasingly diverse” (National Law Journal, June 6, 2011).
U.S. Supreme Court Practice
Mrs. Ho has argued multiple times before the U.S. Supreme Court. National Law Journal called her a “Veteran SCOTUS Advocate” in the “upper echelons of Supreme Court practice.” Law360 named her a “Supreme Court Star” and “one of the nation’s preeminent appellate lawyers.” EmpiricalSCOTUS.com ranked her among “the most successful attorneys that currently practice before the Court.”
She first attracted attention as a Supreme Court litigator when she argued two Supreme Court cases in 21 days during October Term 2014. Her win in M&G Polymers USA LLC v. Tackett was a “significant ruling for employers across the U.S.” (Law360, Aug. 10, 2016), overturning longstanding circuit precedent and “pav[ing] a new path for companies paying millions of dollars in retiree health care benefits” (Law360, Nov. 23, 2015). In Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association, “several justices agreed with Ho’s contention that SCOTUS should revisit and overrule its own precedent” concerning deference to administrative interpretations of agency rules (Law360, Nov. 23, 2015).
In 2017, Mrs. Ho again argued two cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. In McLane Company, Inc. v. EEOC, she convinced the Court to limit the EEOC’s subpoena power, a win that the employment defense bar has described as “good news for employers across the country.” She also argued in Oil States Energy Services LLC v. Greene’s Energy Group, LLC, a “colossus” that has “immense commercial implications” (National Law Journal). Intellectual property experts have called it “the most important patent case in modern history,” and Supreme Court watchers credited her with “pick[ing] up two votes that pundits thought unreachable.”
Federal and State Appellate Court Practice
Mrs. Ho has presented over 50 oral arguments in federal and state courts nationwide. She has appeared in every federal court of appeals in the country, including en banc arguments before the Fourth and Sixth Circuits. In addition, she has argued in state appellate courts in Arizona, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, and West Virginia.
Her business victories in federal courts of appeals across the country include wins on behalf of Pruco Life Insurance Company (First Circuit), Rite Aid (Second Circuit), Johnson & Johnson (Third Circuit), Genex Services (Fourth Circuit), MERS (Fifth Circuit), American Airlines (Sixth Circuit), Expedia (Seventh Circuit), Cotter (Eighth Circuit), Boeing (Ninth Circuit), Mitchell International (Tenth Circuit), AstraZeneca (Eleventh Circuit), FedEx (D.C. Circuit), and Repros Therapeutics (Federal Circuit).
In addition, Mrs. Ho has argued and won before state appellate courts nationwide, including wins on behalf of Ford Motor Company (Texas), International Paper (Texas), Deutsche Bank (Ohio), Game Stop (West Virginia), and Unit (Oklahoma).
Government and Public Service Experience
Mrs. Ho has a distinguished record of experience at the highest levels of the federal government. She served as Special Assistant to President George W. Bush, Counselor to Attorney General John Ashcroft, and law clerk to Justice Sandra Day O’Connor of the U.S. Supreme Court and Judge Jacques L. Wiener Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Her record of public service also includes appointments to various boards and commissions. Among the most notable: She was recently elected to serve as a member of the Administrative Conference of the United States, and as a trustee of the Supreme Court Historical Society. She has long served on the Federal Judicial Evaluation Committee, appointed by U.S. Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz to evaluate potential appointments of all federal judges and U.S. Attorneys in Texas, and previously served on the U.S. Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel for the Northern District of Texas.
Other Background Information
An active pro bono litigator, Mrs. Ho works most frequently with the First Liberty Institute and as amicus counsel for members of the State and Local Legal Center. She is a frequent public speaker and active member of the Federalist Society, the American Law Institute, and the Washington Legal Foundation’s Legal Policy Advisory Board. She currently serves as chairman of the Board of Directors of The da Vinci School.
Mrs. Ho graduated from Duke University magna cum laude with a B.A. in English, Rice University with an M.A. and Ph.D. in English Literature, and the University of Chicago Law School with high honors. She was a member of the Law Review and Order of the Coif. She and her husband Jim, a federal judge, have a twin daughter and son.
University of Chicago Law School - 2000 Juris Doctor
Rice University - 1994 Master of Arts
Rice University - 1994 Ph.D.
Duke University - 1988 Bachelor of Arts
District of Columbia Bar