Ryan McCarl

Ryan McCarl represents clients in high-stakes litigation across a variety of practice areas, including constitutional law, civil and appellate procedure, antitrust, securities, and criminal defense. His expertise in legal writing and strategy helps clients develop innovative and successful arguments in complex cases.

Mr. McCarl’s legal arguments and briefs have been decisive in several cases. A Tenth Circuit panel agreed with his claim preclusion argument and disposed of a decade-long antitrust suit against a global medical supplies manufacturer. The New York Court of Appeals cited a brief he drafted in establishing a right to a cautionary jury instruction in cross-race eyewitness identification cases. And the Illinois Supreme Court relied on a First Amendment overbreadth argument he developed in unanimously striking down an Illinois statute prohibiting non-consensual audio recording.

Before joining Hueston Hennigan, Mr. McCarl was an associate at WilmerHale LLP in Washington, D.C. and a federal appellate clerk for the Honorable David M. Ebel on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. He has published articles and book chapters on diverse topics including substantive due process, constitutional vagueness doctrine, sovereign debt arbitration, and homeowners associations. McCarl also created a language-learning application called WordBrewery, which teaches high-frequency vocabulary using real sentences from newspapers around the world.

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 B.A. in Political Science simultaneously 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.


Representative Matters

  • People v. Elroy: Developed a successful argument that Illinois’ criminal prohibition on nonconsensual audio recording was unconstitutionally overbroad in violation of the First Amendment. The Illinois Supreme Court unanimously struck down the law.
  • Stormans, Inc. v. Wiesman: Drafted an amicus curiae brief in support of a petition for certiorari in a First Amendment freedom of religion case.
  • In re Butte Fires and Haber v. Southern California Edison Co.: Drafted an amicus curiae brief and motion for legal determination challenging the application of inverse condemnation to privately owned utilities.
  • In re Allergan Securities Litigation: Helped a major pharmaceutical company obtain preliminary approval of a favorable class settlement.

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  • Western Digital v. Toshiba: Helped a major technology company obtain a favorable settlement in international commercial arbitration related to flash memory contracts.
  • Advised one of California’s largest companies on federal jurisdiction issues related to a prospective civil rights claim.
  • Obtained a four-year restraining order for a domestic violence client in a pro bono case.
  • Obtained conditional release for a client in civil detention in a pro bono case.
  • Drafted a white paper for a hedge fund’s presentation to federal authorities investigating high-frequency trading practices.
  • Conducted Spanish-language fact development to help a bank comply with a federal subpoena.
  • Submitted a petition for executive clemency for a federal inmate convicted of nonviolent drug offenses.
  • Advised a Big Four accounting firm in a prospective investigation of an overseas affiliate’s audit practices.
  • Drafted a client alert about loss contingency disclosures in False Claims Act cases.
  • Conducted legal research and fact development for a telecommunications company in a multi-billion-dollar consumer fraud lawsuit.
  • Conducted legal research for a global automotive parts manufacturer in complex multidistrict antitrust litigation.
  • Developed a Fourteenth Amendment void-for-vagueness challenge to a California economic regulation.

Ryan McCarl

rmccarl@hueston.com 213.788.4765 Linkedin Print profile Download vcard


University of Chicago, (J.D., 2014) cum laude; Chicago Journal of International Law

University of Chicago, (M.A., 2008) International Relations; (B.A., 2008) Political Science

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, (M.A., 2010) Educational Studies


Hon. David M. Ebel

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit