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James A. Kraehenbuehl

Washington, DC

t: 202.895.7568
f: 202.237.6131
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University of Chicago Law School, J.D., Honors, 2012; Order of the Coif; The University of Chicago Law Review, Managing Editor; First Place in the 2011-2012 University of Chicago Hinton Moot Court Competition; Federal Criminal Justice Clinic

North Carolina State University, B.S., Valedictorian, Economic & Political Science, 2007; Phi Beta Kappa


Hon. D. Brooks Smith, United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, 2012-2013


North Carolina

District of Columbia

United States Court of Appeals: Third Circuit

James Kraehenbuehl is a trial and appellate litigator who has experience assisting clients in protecting their constitutional rights to property, navigating complex regulatory systems, and defending their intellectual property.  This experience includes work defending Fifth Amendment property rights, litigation under the Constitution and the Administrative Procedures Act against the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Coast Guard, litigation in support of regulatory action taken by the F.C.C., the successful defense of pharmaceutical patents, and the assertion and defense of rights possessed through commercial contracts.

A representative sample of Mr. Kraehenbuehl’s experience includes:

  • Starr Int’l Co. v. United States: trial and appellate counsel for a class of AIG shareholders bringing suit against the federal government for taking and/or illegally exacting 79.9 percent of AIG’s equity in September 2008 without just compensation.  After a nine-week trial, the trial court ruled that Plaintiffs had established liability by showing that the Federal Reserve deliberately acted without legal authority in taking Plaintiffs’ equity as part of a Credit Agreement between the federal government and AIG.  121 Fed. Cl. 428 (2015).  The decision is now on appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.  Case No. 15-5103 (Fed. Cir.).
  • Net Neutrality/Open Internet Order: regulatory and appellate counsel for Cogent Communications, Inc. before the F.C.C. in the proceedings of Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet Order, commonly referred to as Net Neutrality.  After an extensive comment period, the F.C.C. issued an order favorable to Cogent that made interconnection disputes (disputes involving the connection between Internet backbone providers like Cogent and consumer-facing Internet service providers) subject to the common-carrier complaint process.  80 Fed. Reg. 19738, 19741 (2015).  The F.C.C.’s order is now on appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, a matter in which Cogent has participated as an intervenor.  U.S. Telecom Assoc. v. F.C.C., No. 15-1603 (D.C. Cir.). 
  • United Therapeutics Corp. v. Sandoz, Inc.: trial counsel for United Therapeutics Corp., which brought an ANDA suit against Sandoz for its planned sale of a generic version of a medicine for which UTC held three patents.  After substantial discovery and a three-week trial, Sandoz dropped allegations of invalidity against one patent and the District Court found the remaining two to be valid, one of which was infringed by Sandoz’s proposed generic.  Case No. 12-cv-1617 (D. N.J. Aug. 29, 2014).  The case settled favorably while on appeal.
  • Detroit Int’l Bridge Co. v. U.S. Dep’t of State, U.S. Coast Guard, et al.: trial and appellate counsel to the Detroit International Bridge Company (“DIBC”) before the D.C. District Court (Case No. 10-476) and U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (Case No. 15-5086).  This multifaceted litigation involves constitutional and APA challenges to the validity of the State Department’s approval of a new bridge in Detroit that would compete with DIBC’s Ambassador Bridge, as well as an APA challenge against the Coast Guard’s refusal to issue a permit necessary to build a second span for the Ambassador Bridge.  While on appeal, the Coast Guard issued DIBC this permit.

Mr. Kraehenbuehl joined the firm following a clerkship with Judge D. Brooks Smith on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.  He also represented several clients before the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois as part of the University of Chicago law school's Federal Criminal Justice clinic.

Selected Professional Awards and Associations

The American Bar Association & The Federalist Society


James A. Kraehenbuehl, Comment, Lessons from the Past: How the Antebellum Fugitive Slave Debate Informs State Enforcement of Federal Immigration Law, 78 U Chi L Rev 1465 (2011).