Joel L. Thollander is a principal in the Austin office of McKool Smith whose practice focuses on appeals and motions in complex cases. Joel rejoined the firm in September 2006 after serving two years in the Attorney General of Texas’ Office of the Solicitor General.

From 2001 to 2002, Joel was clerk to the Honorable Craig T. Enoch of the Texas Supreme Court.

Since returning to the firm, Joel has continued to develop a substantial appellate practice covering full appeals following trial or summary judgment in the district court, mandamus appeals, appeals from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, and amicus representation. He has offered oral argument in numerous appeals, including appeals in the Federal Circuit, the Fifth Circuit, the Texas Supreme Court, and the Texas Courts of Appeals.


Representative Matters

Joel has handled and assisted with many significant appellate matters, including:

In the U.S. Supreme Court:

  • Van Orden v. Perry (First Amendment)
  • LULAC v. Perry (Redistricting)
  • Versata v. SAP (Patent)
  • Halo v. Pulse (Ericsson Amicus)

In the Federal Circuit:

  • i4i v. Microsoft (Patent)
  • Katz v. American Airlines (Patent)
  • Versata v. SAP (Patent)
  • N-Data v. Intel (Patent)
  • Suffolk v. Google (Patent)
  • Summit 6 v. Samsung (Patent)
  • Deere v. Alamo (Patent)
  • PersonalWeb v. EMC (Patent)
  • Rovi v. PMC (Patent)
  • FST v. Oracle (Mandamus)
  • Eolas v. Adobe (Mandamus)
  • Rockstar v. Google (Mandamus)
  • Apple v. Motorola (Ericsson Amicus)
  • Apple v. Samsung (Ericsson Amicus)
  • Cisco v. CSIRO (Ericsson Amicus)

In the Fifth Circuit:

  • Golden Bridge v. Ericsson (Antitrust)
  • Staley v. Harris County (First Amendment)

In the Supreme Court of Texas:

  • Sonat v. Cudd (Choice of Law, Oilfield Indemnity)
  • State v. Oakley (Ch. 103 Compensation)
  • Chudej v. State (Right to Appeal, Due Process)


Rankings & Honors

  • Recognized in Texas Super Lawyers for appellate litigation, 2016
  • As an assistant solicitor general, received the Best Brief Award from the National Association of Attorneys General for excellence in brief writing in the Supreme Court of the United States

Media & Events



J.D., magna cum laude, New York University, 2001

  • Order of the Coif
  • Journal of Legislation and Public Policy

M.A., with honors, Regent University, 1998

  • Outstanding Graduate of 1998

B.A., with honors, Stanford University, 1994


  • Hon. Craig T. Enoch, Supreme Court, Texas

Court Admissions

  • State of Texas
  • The U.S. Supreme Court
  • The U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fifth and Federal Circuits
  • The U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas

Bar Associations

  • American Bar Association
  • State Bar of Texas
  • Travis County Bar Association
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