James J. Scheske PLLC


James (Jody) Scheske is a trial and appellate lawyer whose practice covers a broad range of commercial litigation. Mr. Scheske has been in practice since 1989, previously as a partner of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, where he also served as partner-in-charge of the firm’s Austin office. He also worked as an associate attorney at Vinson & Elkins LLP, McKool Smith, P.C. and Jones Day in Dallas, Texas.

Mr. Scheske is a master emeritus in the Robert W. Calvert American Inn of Court and served as its president in 2010-11. He is a life fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation and a founding fellow of the Austin Bar Foundation.

He is licensed to practice law by the Supreme Court of Texas, the United States District Courts for the Northern, Eastern, Southern and Western Districts of Texas, the United States Courts of Appeal for the Fifth, Seventh and Ninth Circuits, and by the Supreme Court of the United States. Mr. Scheske’s principal office is located in Austin, Texas.

He received his B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin in 1985 and his J.D. in 1989 from the Southern Methodist University School of Law, where he was a member of Order of the Coif and managing editor of the Journal of Air Law and Commerce. In his spare time, he works on his South Texas ranch and is a fourth-generation rancher.


Law School Faculty

Mr. Scheske has served as an Adjunct Professor at The University of Texas at Austin School of Law.

Mr. Scheske has also taught continuing legal education seminars, including at the State Bar of Texas Annual Convention, the Advanced Civil Trial Course, the Bill of Rights Course, and the Austin Bar Association’s Bench-Bar Conference.



County clerks can refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples based on religious objections to gay marriage, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said Sunday.

Paxton noted that clerks who refuse to issue licenses can expect to be sued, but added that “numerous lawyers stand ready to assist clerks defending their religious beliefs,” in many cases without charge.

Austin lawyer Jody Scheske said Paxton’s opinion was legally and morally wrong. “We settled the idea that public officials can pick which citizens to serve or not in the ’50s and ’60s civil rights litigation. They cannot,” Scheske said.


During oral arguments before the Texas Supreme Court on Tuesday, two same-sex couples argued they are being illegally denied the right to divorce in a violation of their right to equal protection.

James J. Scheske of James J. Scheske PLLC, arguing on behalf of the same-sex couples, called the U.S. Supreme Court’s June ruling in U.S. v. Windsor a “game changer,” saying it means Texas cannot single out gay and lesbian couples married legally in other states for disparate treatment, when the state regularly grants divorces...


Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP has named James “Jody” Scheske partner-in-charge of the firm’s Austin office. Scheske joined Akin Gump in 1998 and has been a partner in the litigation practice since 2001. He replaces Barry Senterfitt as partner-in-charge. Senterfitt left earlier this summer to lead the new local office of Greenberg Traurig LLP.

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