Rising Star: Quinn Emanuel’s Ellyde Thompson


Ellyde Thompson ’08 of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP is featured as a Law360 Rising Star among sports and betting law practitioners under age 40. Thompson is being honored for work that includes helping two MLB players accused of buying performance-enhancing drugs overcome a news organization’s First Amendment defense to their defamation claims.

Why she’s a sports attorney:
“I wouldn’t say I set out to be a sports lawyer, but I think it speaks to my versatility as a lawyer, because a sports law case can be any sort of case from defamation to antitrust violations,” Thompson said.

Thompson has also represented the charitable U.S. Soccer Federation Foundation in a trademark dispute with the U.S. Soccer Federation, the governing body for soccer in the U.S., but her practice extends beyond the sports industry.

“Really the kind of niche I have carved out for myself is being someone who can take a case from trial all the way through the appeal to the Supreme Court, if needed,” she said.

Thompson said that, except for the year she was clerking, she has worked on a trial or arbitration every year for the past nine years, in addition to handling a number of appeals every year.

“Because I am in trial and doing appeals every year, I really look at my cases with an eye toward making sure we have a victory that can be affirmed on appeal,” Thompson said.

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