29 December 2014
Mayer Brown, a leading global law firm, announced that partner Evan Tager (Washington DC) has been named to The National Law Journal’s inaugural list of “Litigation Trailblazers & Pioneers,” which recognizes the achievements of 50 people who have “helped make a difference in the fight for justice” and “shown a deep passion and perseverance in pursuit of their mission, having achieved remarkable successes along the way.” (View profile.)
One of Mr. Tager’s first transformative appellate accomplishments resulted from his work as the principal author on the briefs in BMW of North America, Inc. v. Gore, which Mayer Brown partner Andrew Frey argued in the US Supreme Court. In BMW, the Court—for the first time ever—found that a punitive damages award was so excessive as to violate the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution. With that win, the NLJ said, Mr. Tager began establishing himself as “the go-to lawyer on [limiting] punitive damages.”
The NLJ also highlighted his trailblazing work helping Cingular Wireless (now AT&T) in its efforts to use arbitration as an alternative to class actions. He helped draft an arbitration clause for Cingular that the NLJ described as “fair to consumers and even provide[s] bonuses to them if they prevailed.” After the Ninth Circuit rejected Cingular’s “preemption” argument, Mr. Tager led a team that helped persuade the US Supreme Court to grant certiorari and ultimately to rule for the client. Of the win, Mr. Tager said, “It’s one of the reasons I wanted to be an appellate lawyer: to have an opportunity to have an impact on the law.”
Describing his early days in appellate law, Mr. Tager recalled writing two appellate briefs in law school. “Both times it was like a duck hitting the water. It felt so natural and intuitive,” he said. Looking to the future, he considers state-law mandated interest rates on judgments as one of the more pressing issues. “These fixed rates do not relate to the costs and give judgment winners massive leverage during the appeals process,” he said.
Mr. Tager is a partner in Mayer Brown’s Litigation & Dispute Resolution practice and its Supreme Court & Appellate and Class Action groups. He has argued cases in the Supreme Court and in numerous federal and state appellate and trial courts. In addition, he has filed hundreds of briefs in the Supreme Court and in lower courts throughout the country on issues of paramount importance to the business community, such as punitive damages, class-certification standards, admissibility of expert testimony and enforceability of arbitration agreements. Among his many recognitions and awards, Mr. Tager has been identified by Chambers USA as one of America’s leading appellate lawyers for the past nine years; has been profiled by Legal Times as a leading appellate lawyer; was named to the NLJ’s “Champions and Visionaries” list; and was selected as a Client Choice Award winner by International Law Office for the Litigation category in Washington DC. He is an elected member of the American Law Institute. Additionally, Mr. Tager serves as editor-in-chief of “Guideposts: Mayer Brown’s Punitive Damages Blog,” which includes analysis and commentary on timely punitive damages topics such as excessiveness, liability standards, procedures, trial strategies, recent verdicts and legislative developments.