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Nossaman LLP
Headquarters Flag of the United States.svg Los Angeles, California
No. of offices 7
No. of attorneys 160
Major practice areas Corporate; Healthcare; Infrastructure; Litigation; Real Estate; Public Policy
Date founded 1942
Company type Limited liability partnership

Nossaman LLP is a national law firm with 160 attorneys and policy advisors located in seven offices throughout the United States. The Firm focuses on distinct areas of law and policy, as well as in specific industries, ranging from transportation, healthcare, and financial services to real estate development, water, and employment. Clients of the Firm include multi-national corporations, public agencies, private businesses, trade associations, non-profits, and individuals. E. George Joseph serves as Nossaman's managing partner.[1]

The Firm was founded in 1942 in Los Angeles by Walter L. Nossaman. As a result of several mergers and acquisitions, the Firm’s name has morphed throughout the years. In 2008, Nossaman merged with the Washington, DC law firm O’Connor & Hannan and shortened its name from Nossaman Guthner Knox & Elliott.[2]

Nossaman's Litigation Department celebrated a significant win in 2012 on behalf of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporate (FDIC), in Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, as the Receiver for IndyMac Bank, F.S.B. v. Scott Van Dellen et al. where the FDIC was awarded a $169 million verdict. This was the first lawsuit filed against former bank officers by the FDIC arising out of the recent financial crisis and was also the first such suit to go to trial. The verdict was #13 on the National Law Journal's list of the "Top 100 Verdicts of the Year" for 2012, and was profiled by the Daily Journal as the Top Plaintiffs' Verdict by Impact for 2012 and named the second largest Plaintiffs' Verdict by Dollar for 2012 (the only case to earn a place on both Daily Journal lists).

The National Law Journal named Nossaman to its "Midsize Hot List," a special feature that highlights 20 of the nation's leading midsize law firms, in 2014[3] and 2011,[4] as well as its 2013 “NLJ 350" list of largest law firms in the United States. Chambers and Partners continually recognizes Nossaman’s Environment & Land Use, Healthcare, and Infrastructure Practice Groups in its guide to top law firms in the U.S. Nossaman partners Geoff Yarema and Patrick Harder are top ranked nationally in the Public-Private Partnership (P3) projects category. Nossaman partner Linda Morgan is also ranked in the top tier for the nationwide Transportation: Rail category.

Nossaman is a member of The Bridge Group, a non-exclusive network of law firms in the United States and Europe. This network offers expanded geographic reach and depth of experience to clients, including the resources and expertise of more than 1,500 legal professionals in numerous cities around the world.[5]

Key practice areas and industries[edit]

  • Bankruptcy
  • Climate Change
  • Construction
  • Corporate
  • Customs, Export Control, and Immigration
  • Eminent Domain and Valuation
  • Employment
  • Energy
  • Environment and Land Use
  • Financial Services
  • Food and Beverage
  • Healthcare
  • Homebuilding
  • Infrastructure
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Intellectual Property and Media
  • Land Development
  • Litigation
  • Manufacturing
  • Native American Affairs
  • Natural Resources
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Public Agency Law
  • Public Finance
  • Public Pensions and Investments
  • Public Policy Law
  • Public Utilities Regulatory
  • Real Estate
  • Telecommunications
  • Transportation
  • Water Law
  • White Collar Defense

Notable people[edit]

Robert M. Adler is known for his successful defense of Gerald Lankford, a former director of human resources at Tyson Foods, in a seven-week criminal trial brought against Tyson Foods and a number of its employees for allegedly hiring workers know to be undocumented immigrants. The National Law Journal named the acquittal the biggest defense win of the year.

William T. Bagley is a former California state assemblymember representing Marin. He is currently a partner at Nossaman in San Francisco. A Segment of the California 101 is named the William T. Bagley freeway.

George J. Hochbrueckner is a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and current Senior Policy Advisor with Nossaman in Washington, DC.

Edward V.A. Kussy is a current partner at Nossaman in Washington, DC and the former chief deputy counsel to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

Kurt W. Melchior was inducted into the California Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame in 2004.[6] He is a Nossaman Partner and serves as the Firm's General Counsel.

Linda Morgan has more 30 years of in-depth regulatory and legislative experience in the transportation industry. Ms. Morgan was chair of the Transportation Practice Group and co-chair of the Government Affairs Group at an international law firm. In 1995, President Clinton appointed her as Chairman of the former Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC), which became the Surface Transportation Board (STB) in 1996. In 1999, the Senate confirmed Ms. Morgan for a second term, and in 2001, President Bush asked for her continued service as Chairman until he designated a new Chairman in December 2002.

Bonnie Neely was a six-term Humboldt County Supervisor and a 12-year member of the California Coastal Commission. She served on the Commission — which she chaired in 2009 and 2010 — as a governor's appointee. She is currently a senior policy advisor at Nossaman.

Robert D. Thornton pioneered the Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) concept creating the first such plan for the area around San Bruno Mountain. He authored and advocated the HCP provisions of the Endangered Species Act. Since 2006, Mr. Thornton has been ranked as one of the top 10 environmental lawyers nationally by United States Lawyer Rankings. He is a partner at Nossaman and located in Orange County.

Geoffrey S. Yarema was appointed in 2007 by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters to the National Surface Transportation Financing Commission[7] and contributed to the recently enacted Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), a measure to reauthorize transportation funding through the end of 2014. Signed into law by President Obama on July 6, 2012 and funding surface transportation programs at over $105 billion for fiscal years 2013 and 2014, MAP-21 is the first long-term highway authorization enacted since 2005.

Notable alumni[edit]

Dick Ackerman is former California Senate Republican leader. He left office in mid-2008 after reaching his term limit.

Charles Calderon is a former Majority Leader of the California State Assembly (2010-2012) as well as the California State Senate (1996-1998).[8]

John F. Foran was a former California state senator and assemblymember. A segment of the California I-280 freeway is named after John F. Foran for his service to the California Transportation Commission.

Karen J. Hedlund was appointed Deputy Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) in November 2011,[9] having previously served as Chief Counsel at FRA.[10] She also served as Federal Highway Administration Chief Counsel where she helped implement the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

John T. Knox is a former California state assemblymember and speaker pro tempore. He authored the Knox-Keene Health Care Service Plan Act of 1975. A segment of the California I-580 is named the John T. Knox Freeway.

Richard Riordan is the former mayor of Los Angeles.[11] He also co-founded The Riordan Programs at UCLA Anderson School of Management.[12]

James Symington is a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives. In March 2008 he received Russia's Order of Friendship, the highest award available to a non-citizen.

Ann Veneman is the former executive director of UNICEF and former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.[13]

Laughlin E. Waters is a former California state assemblymember, served as U.S. attorney for the Central District and served as a U.S. district court judge.


  • Arlington
  • Austin
  • Los Angeles
  • Orange County
  • Sacramento
  • San Francisco
  • Washington, DC


  1. ^ Nossaman Names OCBA Member E. George Joseph Managing Partner
  2. ^ National Law Journal article on Nossaman merger and name change
  3. ^ National Law Journal article naming Nossaman to the "2014 Midsize Hot List"
  4. ^ National Law Journal article naming Nossaman to the "2011 Midsize Hot List"
  5. ^ The Bridge Group - Nossaman LLP
  6. ^ California Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame, Kurt Melchior
  7. ^ National Surface Transportation Financing Commission, Commissioner Profile for Geoffrey S. Yarema
  8. ^ Charles M. Calderon
  9. ^ Infra Insight Blog post announcing Karen Hedlund's appointment
  10. ^ Biography for Karen Hedlund on the Federal Railroad Administration website
  11. ^ Biography for Richard Riordan
  12. ^ The Riordan Programs
  13. ^ The White House, Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman Profile

External links[edit]