Nicholas helps innovators solve their most important legal risks in all 50 states before state legislatures, attorneys general, and regulatory agencies.

Innovation and technology change rapidly, creating friction for businesses trying to operate in the face of outdated regulations. Nick and the Orrick team help innovators understand their risks and create opportunities for solving them in state legislatures and regulatory agencies. We solve legal and policy problems that cannot be fixed in a courtroom.

Nick's clients operate in many fields. Current and past clients include professional sports leagues, the daily fantasy sports industry, tech companies operating in highly-regulated fields like insurance and alcoholic beverage sales, internet video providers, and new companies at the leading edge of the sharing economy.

Prior to joining Orrick, Nick served as a law clerk to Judge James L. Dennis of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and to Chief Judge David C. Norton of the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina. He also served for two years as an attorney on the staff of the United States Sentencing Commission in Washington, D.C.

  • Legislative and Regulatory Strategies. Nick’s legislative and regulatory engagements include:

    • Sports Betting. Represents Major League Baseball, the NBA, and the PGA TOUR on sports betting issues nationwide, advocating for sports integrity protections in the growing sports betting market. 
    • DraftKings and FanDuel. Represents the nation’s largest and most innovative companies in sports entertainment on issues affecting their businesses, including daily fantasy sports and mobile sports wagering legislation. 
    • Carsharing. Represents innovative carsharing platform Getaround in legislation pending in dozens of states involving insurance and other issues, including battles throughout the nation against protectionist taxes proposed by incumbent rental car companies seeking to gain competitive advantage over new mobility options. 
    • Alcoholic Beverages. Represents tech platform Drizly in connection with legislation affecting the retail sale and delivery of alcoholic beverages. 
    • Insurtech. Successfully represented human resources platform Zenefits in connection with legislative and state Attorneys General efforts that secured the company’s future in the face of an uncertain insurance regulatory environment.
    • Online Wine Sales. Successfully represented New York’s largest wine club retailer in proceedings before the New York State Liquor Authority. Employed a multi-faceted public policy and legal strategy that preserved 150,000 New Yorkers' access to the client's popular internet-based wine clubs. 
    • Online Advertising. Successfully represented an online advertising provider before state agencies trying to limit when and how merchants in regulated industries may use the client's advertising platform. Crafted an innovative legal and policy strategy that secured a victory for the client in the State of New York.

    Constitutional Protections for Innovative Businesses. Nick frequently advises companies on novel constitutional issues affecting the application of state law and regulation to their businesses. He has deep experience in assessing constitutional limitations on the states, including:

    • Dormant Commerce Clause. Drawing on extensive litigation experience involving protectionist legislation, Nick advises multistate companies on the Dormant Commerce Clause’s restrictions on state laws, operational burdens, and taxes that disrupt their operations or advantage local interests. 
    • First Amendment. Advises businesses on all aspects of their First Amendment rights, including the commercial speech doctrine, and the application of the First Amendment to state laws restricting billing practices, surcharges, pass-through tax charges, and state deceptive and unfair trade practice laws. 
    • Due Process. Advises businesses on due process protections, particularly affecting tax liability—including jurisdictional nexus state efforts to retroactively apply changes in tax law.

    State and Local Tax. Nick advises tech companies on their state and local tax liabilities, including representation in high-stakes audits, protests, litigation, and before state legislatures.

    Constitutional Litigation. Among other litigation matters raising constitutional claims and defenses, Nick represented DIRECTV and DISH Network as part of a team handling simultaneous trial and appellate litigation in four states asserting constitutional challenges to pay-TV taxes that discriminate against satellite providers in violation fo the U.S. Constitution. He also litigated a precedent-setting case for DISH Network from the trial court through the state supreme court challenging Oregon’s corporate property tax as violating the state constitution.

    Appellate Litigation. Nick Has represented corporations and non-profit entities in patent, commercial, and constitutional disputes before the U.S. Supreme Court, and various other federal and state appellate courts, including two oral arguments before state supreme courts.

    Pro Bono.  Nick is active in the firm's pro bono practice. He has prevented the deportation of an immigrant to Haiti in proceedings before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit; represented a man on Texas death row who was unconstitutionally denied the assistance of trial counsel; assisted efforts to criminalize sexual extortion offenses in multiple states; and provided advice to immigrants-rights organizations in connection with the Trump administration’s Muslim entry ban.

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