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Thompson, Ellyde R.

Ellyde R. Thompson

Direct Tel: +1 212-849-7344
New York
Tel: +1 212 849 7000 Fax: +1 212 849 7100

Ellyde R. Thompson is a partner in Quinn Emanuel’s New York office and a leading member of the firm’s appellate practice group.  She brings a unique blend of trial and appellate experience to her matters.  Ellyde’s trial experience includes jury trials and bench trials in federal and state court, administrative proceedings, and arbitration hearings, including before the American Arbitration Association and the International Chamber of Commerce.  She also regularly handles appeals before federal and state appellate courts.  As a result, Ellyde has special expertise in ensuring the preservation at trial of issues for appellate review.

Ellyde has extensive experience litigating across many practice areas, including high-stakes complex commercial matters, constitutional law, copyright and trademark law, employment law, sports law, and the energy sector.  For more than a decade, Ellyde has represented energy companies in a wide range of proceedings, before federal and state administrative agencies, on trial and appeal, before the United States Supreme Court, and in arbitration hearings. Ellyde frequently litigates issues of constitutional and statutory law, including questions of preemption.  As a former newspaper reporter, Ellyde often handles cases implicating the First Amendment and she successfully defended Elon Musk in a jury trial in which the plaintiff sought $190 million in damages for defamation, with the jury rendering its favorable verdict after deliberating less than an hour. Ellyde also has experience representing companies, including technology firms and leading private equity firms, in litigation against former senior executives.   Ellyde’s broad experience litigating intellectual property disputes extends from patent disputes on behalf of Celgene Corp. and Motorola Mobility to a copyright dispute on behalf of the Richard Avedon Foundation to a trademark licensing dispute on behalf of the rapper Jay-Z.  Ellyde recently obtained a jury verdict in favor of Jay-Z and his company in a lawsuit for breach of a trademark licensing agreement.  Ellyde’s practice also encompasses sports law, including representation of individual athletes and sports associations, and Ellyde was named a Law360 Rising Star in the area of Sports Law in 2019.

As an appellate specialist, Ellyde regularly represents clients before the United States Supreme Court, at both the certiorari stage and the merits stage.  Her representations before the Supreme Court often concern issues of constitutional law.  She has filed more than a dozen amicus briefs in cases at the Supreme Court.

Ellyde has an active pro bono practice.  She has represented the Stein Center for Law and Ethics as counsel of record on several Supreme Court amicus briefs concerning the constitutionality of the administration of the death penalty and prosecutorial misconduct.  She recently represented the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, and dozens of other organizations on a Supreme Court amicus brief regarding the application of anti-discrimination provisions in public government contracts with private entities.   In 2017, she helped obtain a favorable Supreme Court decision invalidating on equal protection grounds a portion of the Immigration and Nationality Act. 

Prior to joining the firm, Ellyde clerked for the Honorable Betty Binns Fletcher on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and worked as an associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore, LLP.

  • Alphabet
  • Celgene Corp.
  • E*TRADE Financial Corporation
  • Entergy Corporation
  • hiQ
  • KKR
  • Elon Musk
  • GFI Group
  • QuadPay, Inc.
  • Relay Payments, Inc.
  • Rio Tinto
  • The Richard Avedon Foundation
  • S. Carter Enterprises
  • Sequoia Capital
  • System Energy Resources, Inc.
  • Tesla
  • Obtained a jury verdict in favor of Shawn (“JAY-Z”) Carter and S. Carter Enterprises in trademark licensing lawsuit.
  • Obtained a jury verdict in favor of Elon Musk in a defamation lawsuit in which the plaintiff sought $190 million.
  • Representing System Energy Resources, Inc. in prudence proceeding before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
  • Representing Relay Payments, Inc. in lawsuit from competitor alleging trade secret misappropriation.
  • Representing Major League Baseball players in federal court defamation action arising from allegations of performance-enhancing drug use.
  • Represented Celgene Corp. in Federal Circuit appeal concerning the scope of the patent venue statute.
  • Obtained dismissal with prejudice of trade libel lawsuit against American Society of Anesthesiologists related to Anesthesiology publications.
  • Represented eBay and StubHub in Ninth Circuit in trade secret misappropriation appeal.
  • Represented QuadPay Inc. in lawsuit against former employee.
  • Represented Alphabet and Google in U.S. Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit in lawsuit concerning Google’s AdSense program.
  • Represented major private equity fund in Delaware Chancery Court in a dispute arising out of termination of merger agreement.
  • Represented musicians in U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in appeal of jury verdict of copyright infringement involving the hit song “Blurred Lines.”
  • Represented E*TRADE in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in lawsuit involving routing of trades.
  • Represented Entergy in proceeding to obtain state approval for transfer of ownership of in-state nuclear power plant.
  • Represented Respondent before U.S. Supreme Court in case challenging as unconstitutional on equal protection grounds sections of the Immigration and Nationality Act after obtaining favorable decision in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
  • Obtained favorable settlement for The Richard Avedon Foundation in copyright lawsuit concerning ownership of more than 4,000 photographs.
  • Obtained favorable decision after bench trial, and affirmance from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in case invalidating as preempted Vermont statutes regarding operation of in-state nuclear power plant.
  • Obtained victory for GFI Group in the New York Appellate Division, First Department, reversing entry of summary judgment against GFI in employment dispute alleging former employee violated restrictive covenants.
  • Obtained vacatur of convictions of an individual white-collar conviction in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit regarding Iranian trade embargo restrictions.
  • Fordham University School of Law
    (J.D., magna cum laude, 2008)
    • Dean’s List
    • Fordham Law Review:
      • Senior Articles Editor
    • Fordham Moot Court Board
    • Order of the Coif
  • Northwestern University
    (B.S., Journalism, 2003)
    • Dean’s List
  • The State Bar of New York
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals:
    • First Circuit
    • Second Circuit
    • Ninth Circuit
    • District of Columbia Circuit
    • Federal Circuit
  • United States District Court:
    • Eastern District of New York
    • Northern District of New York
    • Southern District of New York
  • Law Clerk to the Hon. Betty Binns Fletcher:
    • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 2009-2010
  • Cravath, Swaine & Moore, LLP:
    • Associate, 2008-2009
  • Lawdragon 500 Leading Energy Lawyers, Energy Litigation & Appeals, 2023
  • Article, “Finality, Habeas, Innocence, and the Death Penalty: Can Justice Be Done?”, 85 Wash. L. Rev. 107 (2010).
  • Note, “Executioner Identities: Toward Recognizing a Right to Know Who Is Hiding Beneath the Hood,” 75 Fordham L. Rev. 2791 (2007).