Jonathan E. Taylor
202.888.1741 | 2001 K Street, NW, Suite 850 North, Washington, DC 20006
Legal Assistant: Blaire Palmer,
Twitter: @jontaylor1
Jonathan E. Taylor is a principal at Gupta Wessler, where he represents plaintiffs and public-interest clients in Supreme Court, appellate, and constitutional litigation.
Since joining the firm a few months after it was founded in 2012, Jon has presented oral argument in the majority of federal circuits and has been the principal author of dozens of briefs filed in the U.S. Supreme Court and all levels of the state and federal judiciaries.
In 2021, Jon served as counsel of record in the U.S. Supreme Court in Lombardo v. City of St. Louis, in which he successfully obtained an unheard-of opinion summarily vacating a pro-officer decision on the merits of a police-excessive-force case. Jon was awarded the 2021 National Law Journal Rising Star award for his stellar appellate advocacy.
Among Jon’s recent arguments are a Ninth Circuit appeal defending a $102 million class-action judgment against Walmart for violations of California labor law; a D.C. Circuit appeal for a certified class of tax-return preparers challenging the legality of over $250 million in IRS-imposed fees; Third and Seventh Circuit appeals resulting in landmark decisions expanding the availability of paid-military leave; a summary-judgment hearing for a nationwide class of PACER users challenging the judiciary’s fee structure for accessing court filings; a First Circuit appeal successfully defending Boston and Brookline’s public-carry restrictions against a Second Amendment challenge; an Eighth Circuit appeal upholding a punitive-damages award against a constitutional attack; an Eighth Circuit appeal successfully reinstating a a jury’s finding of negligence by GM in the design of a seat-belt system, and ordering a new trial on damages only; and an Eighth Circuit appeal successfully defeating a claim of immunity in a constitutional challenge to a city’s “pay-to-play” system, in which people arrested for minor infractions are jailed if they can’t afford to pay fees.
As these cases illustrate, Jon’s work has spanned a wide range of topics—including the First Amendment, Second Amendment, Fourth Amendment, due process, Article III standing, personal jurisdiction, class certification, civil rights, administrative law, and a broad array of issues involving consumers’ and workers’ rights. He has represented classes of consumers and workers, tort victims, federal judges, members of Congress, national nonprofits, military reservists, former NFL players, retail merchants, and the families of people killed by police violence. Jon was also part of the litigation team that sued Donald Trump for violating the Constitution’s Emoluments Claims.
Jon is from St. Louis, Missouri, and is a cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School. He joined the firm following his clerkship with Judge Ronald Lee Gilman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. In 2014, Jon received the President’s Award from the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges for his work helping to obtain a $56 million judgment on behalf of a nationwide class of federal bankruptcy judges.
Jon’s experience at the firm includes the following significant matters:
  • Jon presented oral argument in the Eighth Circuit and prepared the firm’s successful briefing in Bavlsik v. General Motors, an appeal from a district court order vacating a jury’s finding of negligence by General Motors in the design of a seat-belt system, following a rollover collision that left the plaintiff quadriplegic. After obtaining reversal in the Eighth Circuit—which reinstated the jury’s negligence finding and ordered a new trial on damages only—Jon served as counsel of record for the firm’s brief in opposition in the U.S. Supreme Court, defeating GM’s petition for certiorari. Brief in Opposition | Eighth Circuit OpinionEighth Circuit Opening Brief | Reply Brief | Oral Argument Audio
  • Jon presented oral argument in the D.C. Circuit on behalf of a certified class of tax-return preparers challenging the legality of fees imposed by the IRS. The district court invalidated the fees—which total more than $250 million—as unauthorized. The case is Montrois v. United States, and the firm represents the class along with co-counsel from Motley Rice. D.C. Circuit Brief | Oral Argument Audio | Opinion Granting Summary JudgmentMotion for Summary Judgment | Opinion Granting Motion for Reconsideration | Motion for Reconsideration | Class Certification Opinion | Motion for Class Certification | Amended Complaint
  • Jon presented oral argument in the First Circuit on behalf of the Town of Brookline, Massachusetts, successfully defending against a Second Amendment challenge to its restrictions on the public carry of firearms. He was also a principal author of the firm’s appellate brief, which argues that the restrictions are constitutional because they rest on a seven-century Anglo-American tradition of public-carry regulations.  First Circuit Brief
  • Jon presented argument and was a principal author of the firm’s briefing in National Veterans Legal Services Program v. United States (District Court for the District of Columbia), a certified nationwide class action challenging the federal judiciary’s PACER fee structure as excessive. In March 2018, the court had a three-hour summary-judgment hearing in which Jon presented argument for the class. Shortly after the hearing, the court held that the judiciary had misused PACER fees during the class period, exceeding the scope of its statutory authorization to charge fees “only to the extent necessary” to recoup the costs of providing records through PACER. Our firm has been appointed class counsel in the case, along with co-counsel from Motley Rice. The lead plaintiffs are three nonprofit legal organizations (National Veterans Legal Services Program, National Consumer Law Center, and Alliance for Justice). Summary-Judgment Opinion | Motion for Summary Judgment | Reply in Support of Motion for Summary JudgmentOpinion Certifying Class | Class-Certification Motion | Class-Certification Reply | Opinion Denying Motion to DismissOpposition to Motion to Dismiss | Complaint
  • Jon played a lead role in Houser v. United States (U.S. Court of Federal Claims), in which the firm represented a class of current and former federal bankruptcy judges and their beneficiaries in a suit against the federal government under the Constitution’s Judicial Compensation Clause. His work helped obtain class certification and a $56 million judgment on behalf of his clients. Jon also took the lead in coordinating the administration of the class claims process with the Department of Justice. The National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges presented Jon with its President’s Award for his work on the case. Summary Judgment Brief | Complaint
  • Jon presented oral argument in the Eighth Circuit and prepared the firm’s appellate brief in Webb v. City of Maplewood, concerning a constitutional challenge to a Missouri city’s “pay-to-play” system, in which people arrested for minor municipal infractions are placed in jail if they can’t afford to pay fees. Along with co-counsel from ArchCity Defenders and Tycko & Zavareei, the firm successfully defeated the city’s claim to immunity in an interlocutory appeal to the Eighth Circuit.  Eighth Circuit Opinion | Eighth Circuit Brief | Oral Argument Audio
  • Jon played a key role in the firm’s high-profile petition for en banc review in Carrera v. Bayer (Third Circuit), a controversial class-action case about the ascertainability requirement. Jon’s efforts helped persuade four judges to dissent from the denial of en banc review and to call on the Federal Rules Committee to examine the issue. Jon has continued to focus on ascertainability issues since Carrera, most recently successfully opposing a petition filed by former Solicitor General Paul Clement in Soutter v. Equifax (Fourth Circuit). Carrera Petition | Soutter Answer to Interlocutory Appeal Petition
  • Jon was also a principal drafter in several other cases concerning workers’ and consumers’ rights, such as Brady v. Deloitte & Touche (Ninth Circuit), an appeal from decertification of a class of unlicensed audit employees at Deloitte & Touche who allege overtime violations; Kingery v. Quicken Loans (Fourth Circuit), an appeal addressing what it means for a credit-reporting agency to “use” a credit score for purposes of the Fair Credit Reporting Act; Cole v. CRST (Ninth Circuit), a petition involving the application of the Supreme Court’s Tyson Foods decision to California wage-and-hour class actions; and Dreher v. Experian (Fourth Circuit), in which Jon twice helped defeat petitions for interlocutory review raising questions of Article III standing, class certification is statutory-damages cases, and application of the Supreme Court’s decision in Safeco v. Burr. Brady Reply Brief (other briefing in this case filed under seal) | Cole Rule 23(f) Petition | Kingery Opening Brief | Kingery Reply BriefDreher Answer to Rule 23(f) Petition | Dreher Answer to § 1292(b) Petition
  • Jon was the primary draftsman of the firm’s brief opposing certiorari in American Express v. Italian Colors (U.S. Supreme Court), a major antitrust case asking whether courts must enforce arbitration even when doing so would preclude the plaintiffs from vindicating their federal statutory rights. Jon also assisted the firm’s co-counsel, former Solicitor General Paul Clement, in writing the merits brief and helped coordinate amicus briefs in support of the respondents filed by the United States, 22 States, and various scholars, trade groups, and public-interest organizations. Brief in Opposition
  • Jon was a primary drafter of amicus briefs filed on behalf of leading nonprofit organizations in two important Supreme Court cases. The first is Tyson Foods v. Bouaphakeo, in which the Supreme Court adopted the firm’s argument for why the Court should not decertify a class of workers at a slaughterhouse seeking overtime compensation improperly denied to them. The second is Sheriff v. Gillie, in which the firm represents three consumer-advocacy groups supporting a challenge to debt-collecting law firms’ misleading practice of using Attorney General letterhead to collect debts owed to the state constituted clear violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Brief of Nonprofit Organizations in Tyson | U.S. Supreme Court Opinion in TysonBrief of Consumer-Advocacy Groups in Gillie
  • Jon wrote an amicus brief on behalf of former Congressman Patrick Kennedy, the author and lead sponsor of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, in an important test case concerning the Act’s scope, in which the Second Circuit held that the Act applies to claims administrators. The case is called New York State Psychiatric Association v. UnitedHealth (Second Circuit). Amicus Brief of Former Congressman Kennedy | Second Circuit Opinion
  • Jon helped draft the firm’s merits briefing in McBurney v. Young (U.S. Supreme Court), a constitutional challenge under the Privileges and Immunities Clause and dormant Commerce Clause to a provision of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act denying non-residents the same right of access to public records that Virginia affords its own citizens. Merits Brief for Petitioners | Merits Reply for Petitioners
Before his judicial clerkship, Jon spent a year at Public Citizen Litigation Group on a Redstone Fellowship from Harvard. While there, Jon worked with Deepak Gupta to prepare for his Supreme Court argument in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, served as principal author of a Supreme Court amicus brief concerning the False Claims Act, wrote a Ninth Circuit brief in a consumer case, and helped advise a public-health nonprofit on federal preemption of food-labeling laws. Jon also worked as an intern at Public Citizen during law school, where he worked with Deepak Gupta and Brian Wolfman on their successful Supreme Court merits brief in Mohawk Industries v. Carpenter and assisted with the brief filed on behalf of Senators John McCain and Russell Feingold in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.
Jon has previously worked on microfinance and antipoverty issues in Ethiopia, studied Spanish in Chile, and helped prepare a Medicaid fraud case against drug companies as an intern in the Missouri Attorney General’s Office. During law school, he helped teach legal writing as a member of the Board of Student Advisers, competed in the Upper-Level Ames Moot Court Competition, and had the Best Appellee Brief in his first-year legal writing section. Jon received his undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Southern California, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, was awarded a Presidential Scholarship, and was a National Merit Scholar. He is a member of the bar of the District of Columbia and the Supreme Court of the United States.