TOBIAS LOSS-EATON represents clients in civil and criminal litigation dealing with a range of difficult regulatory, statutory, and constitutional issues. As an appellate litigator, Tobias has extensive experience challenging and defending state and federal agency actions and regulations, including in the energy, trade, securities, and healthcare sectors. He has significant experience in complex contractual and commercial disputes, including cases involving the Federal Arbitration Act. He has also litigated important cases on criminal law and sentencing, including in the Supreme Court.
Tobias is also a member of Sidley’s Transportation group, which U.S. News and Chambers USA recognize as one of the nation’s top-tier practices. He has represented the nation’s largest railroads in many cases involving contractual disputes, federal preemption of state law, and the proper interpretation of the Federal Employers Liability Act (including FRSA-FELA preclusion). He has also assisted major railroads in responding to state and local restrictions imposed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tobias prides himself on clearly and persuasively explaining complex legal issues to busy generalist judges, at the trial level or on appeal. One prominent legal writing expert recently named multiple briefs Tobias worked on as better than the typical work product of “elite” Supreme Court advocates. Tobias has written or co-authored over a hundred briefs in state and federal appellate courts, including forty-five briefs in the Supreme Court. He has also drafted critical motions and pleadings and has argued in the D.C. Circuit, the Seventh Circuit, and state and federal trial courts.
Tobias’s recent Supreme Court cases include:
- Representing the petitioner at the certiorari stage and on the merits in Kahler v. Kansas, 140 S. Ct. 1021 (2020), a landmark case addressing whether the Constitution requires an insanity defense.
- Representing a major equipment manufacturer in a case about the duty to warn in maritime tort cases.
- Representing the petitioner in Davis v. United States, 140 S. Ct. 1060 (2020), a successful summary reversal of the Fifth Circuit’s rule barring plain-error review of factual mistakes in criminal cases.
- Representing the respondents in United States v. Davis, 139 S. Ct. 2319 (2019), a successful due process challenge to a federal gun-possession statute.
- Representing election-law experts as amici defending state laws against “faithless” presidential electors.
- Representing a bipartisan group of lawmakers as amici opposing attempts to restrict government funding under the U.S. Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act.
His other recent matters include:
- Successfully briefing and arguing a Seventh Circuit challenge to a Surface Transportation Board decision construing common-carrier railroads’ interchange obligations.
- Representing a national industry association in successfully challenging a customs regulation restricting excise-tax exemptions in the Court of International Trade, one of Law360’s top five trade rulings of 2020, and successfully defending the decision on appeal in the Federal Circuit.
- Defending multiple False Claims Act cases alleging fraud against government healthcare programs, addressing issues like post-Escobar materiality, “fraud on the FDA” theories, and qui tam procedure.
- Briefing and arguing a successful motion for judgment on the pleadings to secure a ruling that federal law preempted a local government’s attempt to condemn part of an active rail yard.
- Briefing and arguing a D.C. Circuit challenge to a regulation requiring railroads to disclose information about hazardous materials movements without confidentiality protections.
- Representing a natural gas company in Second Circuit and New York appellate cases about environmental approvals and eminent domain proceedings, including a successful challenge to a state agency’s denial of a Clean Water Act certification, which earned Law360’s “Legal Lion of the Week” title, and a successful defense of FERC’s subsequent waiver ruling.
- Representing a railroad industry association in successfully obtaining a declaratory judgment that state laws regulating train movements at road crossings are federally preempted.
- Representing a professional sports franchise in a dispute over telecast rights fees, including obtaining vacatur of an adverse arbitral award in the New York Supreme Court and affirmance on appeal.
- Representing a major freight railroad in successfully obtaining an injunction barring enforcement of a state fee on trains carrying hazardous materials on preemption grounds, and securing affirmance in the Ninth Circuit.
- Representing a corporate executive in a due process challenge to a prison sentence under the “responsible corporate officer” doctrine in the Eighth Circuit and in seeking Supreme Court review.
Before joining Sidley’s D.C. office, Tobias served as a law clerk to Judge Norman H. Stahl of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and Judge Henry H. Kennedy, Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Between his clerkships, he was an associate in Sidley’s New York office, where he focused on commercial litigation and disputes.
Tobias earned his J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School, where he was a senior policy editor of the Harvard Law & Policy Review and notes editor of the Harvard Law Review.