Appellate Litigator Allyson Ho Joins Gibson Dunn in Dallas

Allyson Ho, with her husband James C. Ho, during his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing. Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Ho leaves Morgan Lewis & Bockius, where she co- chaired firm’s appellate practice group

She sees trend in firms having successful appellate practices outside D.C.


Appellate advocate Allyson N. Ho joined Gibson Dunn & Crutcher’s Dallas office June 4.

Ho will lead the firm’s appellate practice group in Texas, building on what she sees as a trend of U.S. Supreme Court and national appellate litigators having “thriving practices” outside the Washington beltway.

She comes from Morgan Lewis & Bockius’s Dallas office, where she co-chaired the firms’ appellate practice group.

Ho’s practice doesn’t focus on one area of law but is “wide-ranging,” she told Bloomberg Law.

Cases she’s argued at the Supreme Court have ranged from employee benefits law to patent law. Ho believes this variety helps her bring “a creative approach” to cases and helps her think outside the box when working with her clients.

Her favorite Supreme Court moment came during her first argument at the court in 2014, in an ERISA case, M & G Polymers v. Tackett, when Justice Antonin Scalia “fired off a question” at her about the contractual dispute at issue in “classic Scalia” style, throwing his hands in the air at the end, Ho said.

I don’t care who wins or loses, Ho recalls Scalia telling her. But if you’d wanted the contract to say what you’re saying it says, you could have negotiated that, he said to her.

It was especially poignant because she had only one other argument in front of him before his death in 2016, she said.

Ho has also served as special assistant to President George W. Bush from 2005 to 2006, and as counselor to the attorney general in the U.S. Department of Justice from 2004 to 2005.

She served as a clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and Judge Jacques L. Weiner Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP has more than 1,250 lawyers working in 20 offices around the world.

Ho’s husband, James C. Ho, left the firm in January to become a judge on the Fifth Circuit.