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Innovation and technology change rapidly, creating friction for businesses trying to operate in the face of outdated regulations.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 before regulatory agencies.
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:
Legislative Drafting and Model Bills. Nick has significant experience helping companies and stakeholders develop, understand, and implement their legislative priorities through legislative drafting and developing model bills that help clients orient their internal teams around a common set of objectives, including the development of model bills and state-specific legislation and amendments.
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:
State and Local Tax. Nick provides strategic counseling to tech and multistate companies on their state and local tax liabilities, as well as direct 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.