Ryan McCarl’s expertise in legal writing and strategy helps Rushing McCarl LLP provide elite representation to litigation clients at trial and on appeal.

Mr. McCarl — a law professor and former federal appellate clerk — authored Elegant Legal Writing (Univ. Cal. Press 2024) (book | blog), a pathbreaking book on written advocacy. McCarl uses his deep understanding of civil procedure and evidence law to outmaneuver opponents through aggressive motion practice, creating favorable battlegrounds for trial.

Mr. McCarl has given legal writing seminars to audiences including the ABA Litigation Section and Texas Office of the Attorney General. He previously served as an AI Law and Policy research fellow at the UCLA School of Law, where he taught Advanced Legal Writing. He has also taught Legal Drafting as an adjunct professor at Loyola Law School.

Before co-founding Rushing McCarl LLP, Mr. McCarl clerked for the Honorable David M. Ebel on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, worked as a litigator at WilmerHale and Hueston Hennigan, and founded an educational technology startup. He has published articles and book chapters on diverse topics including artificial intelligence and law, substantive due process, claim preclusion, constitutional vagueness doctrine, sovereign debt arbitration, and property rights. His articles have appeared in outlets including the Stanford Journal of International Law and Cincinnati Law Review.

In 2022, Mr. McCarl helped Rushing McCarl LLP secure a $17.8 million federal jury verdict for a cosmetics manufacturer and obtain an against-the-odds Ninth Circuit reversal against a major airline.

Mr. McCarl earned his J.D. with Honors from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was a member of the Chicago Journal of International Law. He earned an M.A. in International Relations and a B.A. in Political Science at the University of Chicago, where he was a captain of the track team and broke the school record in cross country. He also earned an M.A. in Education at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and taught high school history and geography.

You can review examples of Rushing McCarl’s public work here.


District of Columbia (inactive)
United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
United States District Court for the Central District of California
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas


J.D. with Honors, The University of Chicago Law School
M.A., Education, The University of Michigan–Ann Arbor
M.A., International Relations, The University of Chicago
B.A., Political Science, The University of Chicago

Selected Publications and Presentations

Elegant Legal Writing (Univ. Cal. Press 2024) (book | blog)
Writing Elite Briefs and Motions (CLE presentation to the State of Texas Office of the Attorney General) (2022)
The Limits of Law and AI
, 90 U. Cin. L. Rev. (2022)
Legal Writing Fundamentals
(CLE presentation to the State of Texas Office of the Attorney General and Clear Law Institute) (2021)
Business Property Insurance May Cover COVID-19 Related Losses, Daily Journal (2020) (with John Rushing)
Claim Preclusion Across Jurisdictions: Navigating the Labyrinth, Daily Journal (2019)
AI 101 for Lawyers (CLE presentation, Clear Law Institute) (2019)
ICSID Jurisdiction Over International Mass Investment Arbitrations: Due Process and Default Rules, 51 Stan. J. Int’l L. 173 (2015)
When Homeowners Associations Go Too Far: Political Responses to Unpopular Rules in Common Interest Communities, 43 Real Estate L.J. 453 (2015)
Incoherent and Indefensible: An Interdisciplinary Critique of the Supreme Court’s Void-for-Vagueness Doctrine, 42 Hastings Const. L.Q. 73 (2014)
Creditors’ remedies, in Rosa M. Lastra and Lee Buchheit, eds., Sovereign Debt Management (with Mark Weidemaier) (Oxford Univ. Press 2014)

Notable Results

  • Secured a $17.8 million unanimous federal jury verdict in a breach-of-contract case. Virgin Scent, Inc. v. BT Supplies West, Inc., Case No. 2:21-cv-00184-DMG-AS (C.D. Cal 2022).
  • Obtained a Ninth Circuit reversal of an order granting a motion to dismiss an airline passenger’s claims relating to an in-flight assault. Doe v. Compania Panamena de Aviacion, Case No. No. 21-55983 (9th Cir. 2022).  You can watch John Rushing’s oral argument here.
  • Convinced a Fortune 50 company to drop trademark lawsuits against two Rushing McCarl clients within weeks of taking each case.

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