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Experience

Nicole Williams is a trial lawyer who represents clients before federal and state trial and appellate courts as well as in arbitration and regulatory investigations and proceedings. She has tried numerous jury cases, in both civil and criminal court. She focuses her practice on litigation and counseling on matters involving antitrust, advertising, RICO, and other complex business litigation and complex commercial disputes, including class actions (as both plaintiff and defendant).

Nicole has provided legal opinions and advice regarding antitrust implications of product distribution agreements, joint ventures, other contractual arrangements, membership requirements for organizations, and mergers and acquisitions. She has provided legal opinions and advice regarding existing or proposed advertising materials, including product packaging and labeling, distribution materials, and social media and website content including as part of due diligence in transactions. Nicole has dealt with First Amendment, Texas Citizens Participation Act (anti-SLAPP), and Defamation Mitigation Act issues related to advertising, social media, business and consumer disputes, and news publications.

Nicole has represented clients in investigative proceedings by the Federal Trade Commission, Department of Justice, Texas Attorney General, and National Advertising Division of the Better Business Bureau, including successfully defending clients from motions to enforce subpoenas.

Nicole serves as Chair of Thompson & Knight’s cross-practice Advertising and Social Media initiative. For years, she has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America®, Texas Super Lawyers®, and Texas Rising Stars® for her outstanding legal work. She frequently speaks and authors chapters and articles on various topics, including antitrust, advertising, class actions, complex arbitration, e-discovery, responding to government subpoenas, and other complex litigation topics.

Chair of Thompson & Knight’s Advertising and Social Media initiative

Vice Chair, ABA Section of Antitrust, Advertising Disputes & Liability Committee

  • Representing a carbon steel flange manufacturer in defense of Lanham Act and common law false advertising and unfair competition claims brought by a competitor and asserting counterclaims for Lanham Act and common law false designation of origin, false advertising, and unfair competition
  • Represented individuals in defense of advertising and intellectual property claims related to sale of turban and other head covering products, resulting in favorable settlement
  • Represented major online review company in suit related to review platform, resulting in a dismissal of the case
  • Advised numerous food, beverage, and consumer product companies regarding product labels; print, online, and social media advertising campaigns; and distribution strategies
  • Represented a major airline in a putative class action relating to airline’s cancellation policy, resulting in a dismissal of the case
  • Represented a major airline in a putative class action against a major airline relating to airline’s reward program, resulting in a dismissal of the case
  • Represented an individual Yelp! reviewer in a case brought by a business asserting breach of contract and defamation claims, resulting in dismissal under the Texas Citizens’ Participation Act (anti-SLAPP statute)
  • Represented multiple pet food manufacturers in threatened putative consumer class actions challenging labeling and advertisements
  • Represented a major airline in a putative class action relating to service, resulting in voluntary dismissal following a motion to dismiss
  • Represented food product manufacturer in multiple alleged nationwide and statewide class actions related to false and misleading advertising for various products
  • Represented consumer product manufacturer in agency proceeding regarding allegations of false and misleading advertising
  • Represented international restaurant chain in threatened putative statewide consumer class action challenging representations on restaurant menu
  • Represented retail food provider in Lanham Act and Alabama Deceptive Trade Practices Act case, resulting in dismissal of first complaint and summary judgment granted in favor of client
  • Represented retail food provider in threatened putative nationwide consumer class action challenging food product labels; motion to dismiss granted in related Lanham Act case
  • Advised numerous companies regarding antitrust aspects of proposed joint ventures, mergers, and acquisitions
  • Represented numerous companies in responding to subpoenas and CIDs from government agencies related to antitrust investigations
  • Represented a manufacturer in an adjudicatory proceeding before the Federal Trade Commission involving price-fixing allegations
  • Advised numerous companies regarding potential antitrust actions and implications of competitors’ behavior
  • Advised numerous companies regarding antitrust policy and compliance matters
  • Represented a manufacturer in direct and indirect purchaser putative class actions regarding an alleged conspiracy to fix prices
  • Represented offshore drilling company in putative class action alleging antitrust and RICO violations, resulting in summary judgment in favor of client
  • Represented a group of physicians in an adjudicatory proceeding before the Federal Trade Commission involving price-fixing allegations
  • Representing owners of retail chain as plaintiffs in litigation against business partners for breaches of fiduciary duties and other wrongful actions
  • Represented bankruptcy chapter 11 Trustee in class action adversary proceedings related to ownership of alleged estate assets and rescission claims against the estate, securing approval of class action settlement required to resolve over $2 billion bankruptcy
  • Represented a medical marijuana distributor in defending claims of fraud and securities violations, resulting in a dismissal of the case
  • Represented litigation trustee in fraud suit against principal of investment scheme, resulting in a favorable judgment of over $40 million
  • Represented a student in a First Amendment challenge to educational institution policies, resulting in a favorable dismissal
  • Represented a company in defending defamation claims involving the First Amendment and the Texas Citizens’ Participation Act (anti-SLAPP)
  • Represented food product manufacturer in alleged class action regarding treatment of independent distributors, resulting in dismissal of case
  • Represented food product manufacturer in arbitration proceeding regarding status of independent distributors and other labor claims, resulting in complete victory for client
  • Represented food product manufacturer in action by independent distributor for various Arkansas state law claims, resulting in Arkansas Supreme Court opinion that arbitration agreement required dismissal of case
  • Represented real estate developer as plaintiff in arbitration proceeding regarding contractual dispute, resulting in complete victory for client, including award of attorneys’ fees
  • Represented title insurance company and insureds to resolve issues relating to missing and incorrect documentation in more than 500 residential property closings across the country
  • Represented banking institution in defending claims of breach of contract and fraud, resulting in take-nothing judgment in favor of client
  • Represented both plaintiffs and defendants in wrongful foreclosure actions of both commercial and residential property
  • Represented both plaintiffs and defendants in actions relating to non-competition and confidentiality agreements, including obtaining temporary restraining orders

Honors & Affiliations

Distinctions/Honors

  • Recommended Attorney, The Legal 500 US by Legalease (Dispute Resolution – General Commercial Disputes), 2018
  • The Best Lawyers in America® by Woodward/White Inc. (Litigation-Antitrust), 2016-2019
  • Texas Super Lawyers® by Thomson Reuters (Antitrust Litigation), 2014-2018
  • Under 40 Hot List, Benchmark: Litigation, The Definitive Guide to America’s Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys, 2016-2018
  • Vice Chair, City of Dallas Judicial Nominating Commission, 2017-2019
  • Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Fellow, 2017
  • Mayor’s Star Council, 2016-2017
  • Rainbow Days Promise Award Recipient, 2015
  • Texas Rising Stars® by Thomson Reuters (Antitrust Litigation), 2012-2014
  • Best Lawyers Under 40 in Dallas, D Magazine, 2006

Memberships/Affiliations

  • Federal Bar Association Antitrust & Trade Regulation Section; Secretary, 2014-2016, Deputy Chair, 2017-2019
  • American Bar Association Antitrust Law Section; Vice Chair, Advertising Disputes and Litigation Committee, 2017-2020
  • Director of Advocacy Programs and Adjunct Professor, UNT Dallas College of Law, 2016-present
  • Executive Board of Directors, Rainbow Days; 2014-present; Secretary, 2015-present
  • Attorneys Serving the Community, 2017-present
  • Women’s Leadership Forum, 2017-2018
  • Antitrust & Business Litigation Council, State Bar of Texas, 2010-present
  • Dallas Bar Association; Antitrust and Trade Regulation Section; Chair, 2012-2013, 2015; Treasurer, 2011; Leadership Committee, 2010, 2014; Co-Vice-Chair, Summer Law Intern Committee, 2015
  • Board of Directors, Dallas Association of Young Lawyers, 2006; Co-Chair, Poker for Playgrounds, 2005; Co-Chair, Law Student Assistance Committee, 2005-2012; Leadership Class Member, 2004
  • Fellow, DAYL Foundation
  • Faculty, Women in Law Institute, 2014
  • Member, Leadership DISD, 2011-2012
  • Adjunct Faculty, Texas Wesleyan School of Law; Moot Court Coach, 2004-2009
  • Mock Trial Coach and Introduction to Law instructor, James Madison High School, 2010-2016
  • Associate, Higginbotham Inn of Court, 2008
  • Lawyer on Loan program with Dallas County District Attorney’s Office

Education & Admissions

Education

  • J.D., 2003, with honors, Duke University School of Law, Law School Advocacy Award; Best Oralist, Best Respondent’s Brief, and Finalist, Rendigs National Products Liability Competition; Journal of Law and Contemporary Problems; Moot Court Board, Chair, Dean’s Cup Coordinator; Duke Bar Association Community Service Board; President and Founder, Duke Law Drama Society
  • B.S., 2000, cum laude, Auburn University, Golden Key National Honor Society; Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society; Tau Beta Pi Sophomore Engineer of the Year Award; Society of Distinguished Collegians; Club Service Initiative Chair, District Service Initiative Chair, District Lieutenant Governor, and District Secretary, Circle K International

Admissions

  • Texas
  • U.S. Supreme Ct.
  • U.S. Ct. of App., Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Ct. of App., Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Ct. of App., Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. Dist. Ct., E. Dist. Texas
  • U.S. Dist. Ct., N. Dist. Texas
  • U.S. Dist. Ct., S. Dist. Texas
  • U.S. Dist. Ct., W. Dist. Texas
  • Arkansas Ct. of App.

Related Team

Craig Carpenter

Associate
Advertising and Social Media

Andrew C. Cookingham

Partner
Advertising and Social Media/Commercial Litigation

Jennifer Rudenick Ecklund

Partner
Commercial Litigation

Mackenzie S. Wallace

Associate
Antitrust