Brian C.Lea


Atlanta + 1.404.581.8528

Brian Lea is a litigator with particular experience in appellate matters and high-stakes product liability cases, business disputes, and constitutional litigation. He has successfully briefed and argued many appeals, including appeals involving hundreds of millions of dollars. He also regularly appears as trial counsel, shaping case strategy from the ground up and arguing key motions. In addition, Brian advises clients regarding ways they can minimize the risk of litigation.

Brian represents or has represented clients such as the Archdiocese of Atlanta, The DIRECTV Group, Georgia Power Company, Lowe's Home Centers, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, and ORIX USA. His extensive complex litigation experience spans a wide range of substantive areas and encompasses crucial procedural issues, including class certification, admission of expert testimony, and post-trial relief. Brian also maintains an active pro bono practice that includes civil rights cases and criminal and post-conviction proceedings.

Before joining the Firm, Brian served as a law clerk to Justice Clarence Thomas of the United States Supreme Court and Judge Ed Carnes of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. He also served on the faculty of the University of Georgia School of Law. He continues to present on legal writing, appellate practice, and the Supreme Court. Brian also has published articles discussing the federal courts, which have appeared in the Alabama Law Review, the Virginia Law Review, and the William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal and have been cited in U.S. Supreme Court opinions.


  • Business groups file amici curiae brief in support of Georgia General Assembly's power to cap punitive damagesOn behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, and the American Tort Reform Association, Jones Day filed an amici curiae brief in the Georgia Supreme Court arguing that the Georgia Constitution's jury-trial right does not prohibit a legislative cap on punitive damages.
  • Augusta Chamber of Commerce and key industry leader file amicus brief in challenge to government reduction of water levelsJones Day filed an amicus brief in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Augusta, Georgia and PCS Nitrogen Fertilizer, L.P.
  • R.J. Reynolds wins complete defense verdict in Jones wrongful death lawsuitAfter a trial lasting three weeks, a state court jury in Vero Beach, Florida returned a complete defense verdict in favor of Jones Day client R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in a wrongful death case.
  • R.J. Reynolds secures Florida Supreme Court victory on fraudulent concealment claimsJones Day successfully represented R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company before the Florida Supreme Court in an appeal concerning the reliance element of claims for fraudulent concealment and conspiracy to fraudulently conceal in Engle progeny cases.
  • R.J. Reynolds prevails in Florida Supreme Court appeal involving interpretation of punitive damages statuteJones Day successfully represented R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company before the Florida Supreme Court in an Engle progeny appeal presenting an issue concerning interpretation of Florida's punitive damages statute.
  • R.J. Reynolds prevails in appeal of venue decision in Engle progeny lawsuitJones Day represented R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in an Engle progeny wrongful death action brought by Tammy Frost, daughter of deceased smoker Billy Arant.
  • R.J. Reynolds wins affirmance of defense verdict in Engle progeny lawsuitJones Day represented R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in an Engle progeny wrongful-death action brought by the estate of deceased smoker Eugene Delancy.
  • Lowe's obtains Washington Supreme Court judgment allowing refund of taxes paid on defaulted PLCC credit salesJones Day successfully represented Lowe's Home Centers, LLC in the Washington Supreme Court in obtaining refunds of state sales and business and occupation taxes paid on credit sales to customers who used private label credit cards ("PLCCs") and later defaulted.
  • Professors seek to enjoin new Georgia law permitting students to carry guns on Georgia's public university campusesOn behalf of a half dozen professors from three Georgia universities, Jones Day filed suit against Georgia's governor and attorney general to enjoin a new Georgia law requiring the university system to permit students to carry guns on the state's public university campuses.
  • Metro Atlanta Chamber weighs in on Georgia gun carry lawJones Day argued on behalf of the Metro Atlanta Chamber that Georgia's 2014 'guns everywhere' law should not be interpreted to strip private businesses leasing public property of the right to exclude guns from their premises.
  • DIRECTV and component manufacturers prevail on summary judgment in patent infringement caseJones Day representing The DIRECTV Group, Inc., as well as numerous manufacturers of components used in DIRECTV's systems, prevailed by obtaining summary judgment rulings holding: (1) that a covenant not to sue between DIRECTV and Global was breached by Global's filing of this lawsuit; and (2) that the component manufacturers did not infringe Global's patents.
  • Georgia Power disputes construction claims related to design of two new nuclear units, Vogtle Units 3 & 4Jones Day represented Georgia Power Company and the other owners of the Vogtle Units 3 & 4 Project in Waynesboro, Georgia in a 3-year litigation concerning more than $1.5 billion in alleged cost overruns relating to the licensing, design and construction of the first new nuclear power projects licensed in the U.S. in over 30 years.
  • Former Atlanta School Superintendent Beverly Hall defends allegations of cheating on standardized testsJones Day represented former Atlanta School Superintendent Beverly Hall in connection with allegations of cheating on standardized tests by school system personnel.
  • Jones Day obtains reversal and remand for civil detainee in Fourth Amendment caseA team from Jones Day Atlanta including Rick Deane, Rob Schmoll, Garrett Bradford and Hillary Keith prevailed in the Eleventh Circuit on behalf of a civil detainee held by the State of Florida pursuant to that state's Jimmy Ryce Act.
  • Altre Pubblicazioni

    • 2018
      On Judges: A Tribute to Chief Judge Carnes, 69 Ala. L. Rev. 688
    • 2017
      Situational Severability, 103 Va. L. Rev. 735 (cited in Collins v. Yellen, 141 S. Ct. 1761 (2021) (Thomas, J., concurring); California v. Texas, 141 S. Ct. 2104 (2021) (Thomas, J., concurring and Alito, J., dissenting); Seila Law LLC v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 140 S. Ct. 2183 (2020) (Thomas, J., concurring in part and dissenting in part), Murphy v. Nat'l Collegiate Athletic Ass'n, 138 S. Ct. 1461 (2018) (Thomas, J., concurring), and Texas v. United States, 945 F.3d 355 (5th Cir. 2020))

    Publications Prior to Jones Day

    The Merits of Third-Party Standing, 24 Wm. & Mary Bill Rts. J. 277

    Seminari e convegni

    • May 6, 2022
      A Conversation with Justice Clarence Thomas, moderator, Eleventh Circuit Judicial Conference
    • March 3, 2022
      Supreme Court Roundup, panelist, Jones Day Atlanta CLE Academy
    • June 16, 2021
      Personal Jurisdiction: The Long Arm of the Law
    • April 29, 2021
      The Long Arm of the U.S.: The Reach of U.S. Courts Over Chinese Businesses. China General Chamber of Commerce – USA
    • February 10, 2021
      Supreme Court Roundup, panelist, Jones Day Atlanta CLE Academy, Atlanta, Georgia
    • November 11, 2019
      Making Points to Score Points: Tips for Succeeding on Exams, Atlanta, Georgia
    • January 28, 2019
      Supreme Court Roundup, panelist, Jones Day Atlanta CLE Academy, Atlanta, Georgia
    • February 26, 2014
      Supreme Court Roundup, panelist, Jones Day Atlanta CLE Academy

    Speaking Engagements Prior to Jones Day

    March 2016
    2016 Supreme Court Review/Preview, panelist, University of Georgia School of Law Alumni Weekend Athens, Georgia

    January 2015
    The Proposed Revisions to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Joseph Henry Lumpkin American Inn of Court
    Atlanta, Georgia