Sean Jordan is Partner-in-Charge of Sutherland’s Austin office and co-leader of the firm’s Appellate Litigation Practice. For nearly 20 years, Sean has handled complex civil litigation and appellate cases in both government service and private practice. Sean represents clients in appeals involving commercial, class action, energy, insurance and constitutional issues.
Prior to joining the firm, Sean served as the Principal Deputy Solicitor General in the Office of the Solicitor General of Texas. During his service in the Solicitor General’s Office, he represented the State of Texas, its agencies and officials in more than 40 appeals before federal and state courts, consistently obtaining successful results. His wins for the State include: successfully defending Texas and winning a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that the World Court cannot bind the U.S. justice system and the President cannot order state courts to obey the World Court; an appeal successfully overturning a trial court ruling that would have allowed terminated Texas Tech football coach Mike Leach to seek more than $10 million in breach-of-contract damages; and obtaining the reversal of a federal district court’s class certification order in a case raising constitutional challenges to the Texas foster-care system.
Sean has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court and written numerous Supreme Court briefs, twice winning the National Association of Attorneys’ General Best Brief Award for excellence in Supreme Court brief-writing. As Principal Deputy Solicitor General, Sean led a team of up to 15 appellate lawyers charged with supervising all of the federal and state court appeals handled by the 800-lawyer Texas Attorney General’s Office. He also coordinated the amicus curiae practice of the State of Texas in the U.S. Supreme Court, and federal circuit and state appellate courts.
While in private practice, Sean handled extensive appellate litigation as well as personal injury and complex commercial cases in federal and state trial courts, with an emphasis on class action defense.
Prior to practicing law, Sean served in the United States Army as an infantryman and paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division.REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE
Sean’s recent representative experience includes:
- Asgeirsson v. Abbott, No. 11–50441, 2012 WL 4352400 (5th Cir. Sept. 25, 2012): Successfully defended the constitutional validity of a core provision of the Texas Open Meetings Act, defeating a First Amendment challenge brought by a group of Texas municipal officials.
- M.D. v. Perry, 675 F.3d 832 (5th Cir. 2012): In a proposed class action raising constitutional challenges to the Texas foster-care system, successfully overturned a federal district court’s order certifying an injunctive class comprised of all children in Texas’ permanent managing conservatorship.
- Coleman v. Maryland Court of Appeals, 132 S.Ct. 1327 (2012): Submitted an amicus brief on behalf of Texas and 25 other states successfully arguing that the “self care” provision of the Family and Medical Leave Act does not validly abrogate the states’ sovereign immunity. The Court’s opinion upholding the states’ immunity cited and quoted the brief submitted by Texas and the other amici states.
- Leach v. Texas Tech Univ., 335 S.W.3d 386 (Tex. App.—Amarillo 2011, pet. denied): Successfully overturned on appeal a trial court ruling that would have allowed terminated head football coach Mike Leach to seek more than $10 million in breach-of-contract damages from Texas Tech University.