Education

  • Stanford Law School, J.D., 2017, Senior Editor, Stanford Law & Policy Review
  • Northwestern University, Ph.D., U.S. History, 2015
  • University of Illinois at Chicago, B.A., magna cum laude, History, 2006

Admissions

  • California, 2018
vCard icon

Download vCard
T: 415-433-6830
F: 415-433-7104
E: agourse@rbgg.com

Alexander Gourse is an associate at Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld LLP.  He works on general and complex civil litigation, with an emphasis on civil rights, employment, First Amendment, land use, business, and attorneys’ fees cases, at the trial court and appellate levels.

Mr. Gourse graduated from Stanford Law School, where he participated in the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic and volunteered for the Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center’s Workers’ Rights Clinic in East Palo Alto. Prior to joining RBGG, Mr. Gourse served as a law clerk to the Honorable Rebecca R. Pallmeyer of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. He also holds a Ph.D. in U.S. History from Northwestern University. Full bio »

vCard icon

Download vCard
T: 415-433-6830
F: 415-433-7104
E: agourse@rbgg.com

Alexander Gourse is an associate at Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld LLP.  He works on general and complex civil litigation, with an emphasis on civil rights, employment, First Amendment, land use, business, and attorneys’ fees cases, at the trial court and appellate levels.

Mr. Gourse graduated from Stanford Law School, where he participated in the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic and volunteered for the Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center’s Workers’ Rights Clinic in East Palo Alto. Prior to joining RBGG, Mr. Gourse served as a law clerk to the Honorable Rebecca R. Pallmeyer of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. He also holds a Ph.D. in U.S. History from Northwestern University.

REPRESENTATIVE CASES
  • California Renters Legal Advocacy & Education Fund, et al. v. City of Huntington Beach: In May 2022, RBGG’s client, California Renters Legal Advocacy & Education Fund (CaRLA), a non-profit housing organization, achieved a landmark settlement with the City of Huntington Beach to resolve violations of California’s Housing Accountability Act (Gov’t Code § 65589.5, formerly known as the “Anti-NIMBY Law”).  The controversy arose when the city council disapproved a proposed 48-unit mixed-income apartment building that complied with all applicable planning and zoning regulations, based on pretextual concerns about “health and safety” that the city council manufactured after the fact in response to the threat of litigation.  RBGG was retained to represent CaRLA on three consolidated appeals in the California Court of Appeal arising from key trial court rulings in the matter.  RBGG’s team promptly defeated Huntington Beach’s supersedeas petition and request for immediate stay of the trial court’s orders in favor of CaRLA.  RBGG then briefed a motion to dismiss the consolidated appeals for lack of jurisdiction, which was pending when the parties reached the settlement. 
  • U.S. WeChat Users Alliance v. Trump:  RBGG represented a non-profit organization and several individuals and businesses in the first successful challenge to President Trump’s Executive Order 13,943 (August 6, 2020) and its implementing regulations, which would have effectively banned the WeChat social media application and cut off at least 19 million daily users in the United States from their personal, professional, and religious communities.  RBGG (with co-counsel) filed the Complaint on August 21, 2020, just over two weeks after Executive Order 13,943 was issued, alleging that the intended ban unlawfully regulated constitutionally protected speech, expression, and association, and that such a ban would have particularly dire effects on millions of Chinese-speaking American users who depend on WeChat to communicate with their contacts both at home and in China.  One week later, RBGG filed a motion for preliminary injunction that served as a model for subsequent challenges to both the WeChat ban and a similar ban on the TikTok social media app.  The motion raised pathbreaking legal theories under the First Amendment and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), offered expert testimony that the WeChat ban would do little to advance the government’s asserted national security interests, and included extensive evidence of WeChat’s critical role in connecting Chinese-speaking communities at home and abroad.  On September 19, 2020—the day before the WeChat ban was scheduled to take effect and one day after the Secretary of Commerce publicly vowed to shut down WeChat in the United States—the court granted our motion on First Amendment grounds, thereby ensuring the uninterrupted functioning of WeChat in the United States.  See U.S. WeChat Users Alliance v. Trump, 488 F. Supp. 3d 912 (N.D. Cal. 2020).  RBGG then marshalled additional testimony from experts in cyber-security and internet communications technology to fight off the government’s multiple attempts to obtain an emergency stay of the preliminary injunction in both the district court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  President Biden rescinded EO 13,943 shortly after taking office, putting an end to the Trump Administration’s attempt to shut down entirely a public forum used by millions of Americans.
  • Amici Curiae Brief on Behalf of LGBT Bar Associations in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, No. 17-168; Altitude Express, Inc. v. Zarda, No. 17-1623; and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc. v. E.E.O.C., No., 18-107: In July 2019, RBGG filed an amicus brief in three cases in which the U.S. Supreme Court will consider whether Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects employees from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and transgender status.  The brief, which was filed on behalf of the National LGBT Bar Association, the National Trans Bar Association, the LGBT Bar Association of New York, Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom, and the LGBT Bar Association of Los Angeles, urges the Court to recognize discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and transgender status as forms of impermissible sex discrimination.  The brief also urges the Court to reaffirm that employers may not discriminate on the basis of sex to appease customer prejudice.   
  • Barcenas v. City and County of San Francisco.  Successful settlement on behalf of our client in a civil rights suit brought against San Francisco Police Department relating to the unlawful detention and unwarranted shooting of our client by an SFPD officer.  2018-2020.

Honors & Awards

  • California Lawyer Attorney of the Year Award, 2022
  • Northern California Super Lawyers,  2020-2022 Rising Star

Admissions

  • California, 2018

Professional Experience

  • Law Clerk to the Honorable Rebecca Pallmeyer, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, 2017-2018

Community Service

  • Co-Founder and Board Member, California Renters Legal Advocacy & Education Fund, 2015-present

Alexander Gourse is an associate at Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld LLP.  He works on general and complex civil litigation, with an emphasis on civil rights, employment, First Amendment, land use, business, and attorneys’ fees cases, at the trial court and appellate levels.

Mr. Gourse graduated from Stanford Law School, where he participated in the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic and volunteered for the Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center’s Workers’ Rights Clinic in East Palo Alto. Prior to joining RBGG, Mr. Gourse served as a law clerk to the Honorable Rebecca R. Pallmeyer of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. He also holds a Ph.D. in U.S. History from Northwestern University.

REPRESENTATIVE CASES
  • California Renters Legal Advocacy & Education Fund, et al. v. City of Huntington Beach: In May 2022, RBGG’s client, California Renters Legal Advocacy & Education Fund (CaRLA), a non-profit housing organization, achieved a landmark settlement with the City of Huntington Beach to resolve violations of California’s Housing Accountability Act (Gov’t Code § 65589.5, formerly known as the “Anti-NIMBY Law”).  The controversy arose when the city council disapproved a proposed 48-unit mixed-income apartment building that complied with all applicable planning and zoning regulations, based on pretextual concerns about “health and safety” that the city council manufactured after the fact in response to the threat of litigation.  RBGG was retained to represent CaRLA on three consolidated appeals in the California Court of Appeal arising from key trial court rulings in the matter.  RBGG’s team promptly defeated Huntington Beach’s supersedeas petition and request for immediate stay of the trial court’s orders in favor of CaRLA.  RBGG then briefed a motion to dismiss the consolidated appeals for lack of jurisdiction, which was pending when the parties reached the settlement. 
  • U.S. WeChat Users Alliance v. Trump:  RBGG represented a non-profit organization and several individuals and businesses in the first successful challenge to President Trump’s Executive Order 13,943 (August 6, 2020) and its implementing regulations, which would have effectively banned the WeChat social media application and cut off at least 19 million daily users in the United States from their personal, professional, and religious communities.  RBGG (with co-counsel) filed the Complaint on August 21, 2020, just over two weeks after Executive Order 13,943 was issued, alleging that the intended ban unlawfully regulated constitutionally protected speech, expression, and association, and that such a ban would have particularly dire effects on millions of Chinese-speaking American users who depend on WeChat to communicate with their contacts both at home and in China.  One week later, RBGG filed a motion for preliminary injunction that served as a model for subsequent challenges to both the WeChat ban and a similar ban on the TikTok social media app.  The motion raised pathbreaking legal theories under the First Amendment and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), offered expert testimony that the WeChat ban would do little to advance the government’s asserted national security interests, and included extensive evidence of WeChat’s critical role in connecting Chinese-speaking communities at home and abroad.  On September 19, 2020—the day before the WeChat ban was scheduled to take effect and one day after the Secretary of Commerce publicly vowed to shut down WeChat in the United States—the court granted our motion on First Amendment grounds, thereby ensuring the uninterrupted functioning of WeChat in the United States.  See U.S. WeChat Users Alliance v. Trump, 488 F. Supp. 3d 912 (N.D. Cal. 2020).  RBGG then marshalled additional testimony from experts in cyber-security and internet communications technology to fight off the government’s multiple attempts to obtain an emergency stay of the preliminary injunction in both the district court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  President Biden rescinded EO 13,943 shortly after taking office, putting an end to the Trump Administration’s attempt to shut down entirely a public forum used by millions of Americans.
  • Amici Curiae Brief on Behalf of LGBT Bar Associations in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, No. 17-168; Altitude Express, Inc. v. Zarda, No. 17-1623; and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc. v. E.E.O.C., No., 18-107: In July 2019, RBGG filed an amicus brief in three cases in which the U.S. Supreme Court will consider whether Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects employees from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and transgender status.  The brief, which was filed on behalf of the National LGBT Bar Association, the National Trans Bar Association, the LGBT Bar Association of New York, Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom, and the LGBT Bar Association of Los Angeles, urges the Court to recognize discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and transgender status as forms of impermissible sex discrimination.  The brief also urges the Court to reaffirm that employers may not discriminate on the basis of sex to appease customer prejudice.   
  • Barcenas v. City and County of San Francisco.  Successful settlement on behalf of our client in a civil rights suit brought against San Francisco Police Department relating to the unlawful detention and unwarranted shooting of our client by an SFPD officer.  2018-2020.

Education

  • Stanford Law School, J.D., 2017, Senior Editor, Stanford Law & Policy Review
  • Northwestern University, Ph.D., U.S. History, 2015
  • University of Illinois at Chicago, B.A., magna cum laude, History, 2006

Honors & Awards

  • California Lawyer Attorney of the Year Award, 2022
  • Northern California Super Lawyers,  2020-2022 Rising Star