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Jesse Medlong

Jesse Medlong


Jesse Medlong helps enterprises and governments navigate the legal risks and opportunities on their journey toward sustainability, with a focus on climate change, environmental law, dispute resolution, and multi-stakeholder negotiation.

Jesse serves as a trusted adviser to clients determined to lead in tomorrow's economy. He uses his unique blend of experience in international diplomacy, high-stakes litigation, and sustainability policy to help clients simplify compliance and forge strategic relationships at the increasingly critical intersection of business and sustainability. Jesse coordinates DLA Piper's ESG efforts in both the Technology Sector and the Consumer Goods, Food and Retail Sector, and his client's include Fortune 500 companies and household brands seeking to identify ESG-related liability risks and develop creative, stakeholder-centric approaches to risk mitigation and dispute resolution.

Among his more prominent representations, Jesse represents a sovereign country in United Nations climate negotiations, where he works to give ambitious developing countries a voice in shaping international climate policy. He counsels global brands on regulatory and litigation risks related to plastic pollution. He consults on current and emerging environmental regimes for clients ranging from multinational retailers to global chemical and agriscience firms. Jesse also advises a wide variety of business on environmental and social risks in supply chains, including risks related to human rights abuses and both physical and transitional risks from climate change.

Jesse's guiding star is service to others. He is a Navy veteran and an alumnus of DLA Piper's Krantz Fellowship, which allowed him to spend his first year as an associate working exclusively on pro bono matters. He also supports DLA Piper's commitment to pro bono as a member of the North American Pro Bono Committee.

Jesse writes on a variety of topics, including sustainability, ESG, climate change, environmental legal developments, antimicrobial product regulation, international law, and veterans issues.

Bar admissionsCaliforniaWashington
CourtsUnited States District Court for the Southern District of CaliforniaUnited States District Court for the Eastern District of CaliforniaUnited States District Court for the Northern District of CaliforniaUnited States District Court for the Central District of CaliforniaUnited States Court of Appeals for the Ninth CircuitUnited States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

Recent Significant Representations

Sustainability, Climate Change, Responsible Business, and ESG
  • Represents a sovereign country in negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
  • Advised a private equity firm on ESG considerations and risks related to the acquisition of an infrastructure monitoring technology company
  • Represents an environmental nonprofit in the creation of a nature reserve in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the sale of internationally tradable carbon credits generated by the reserve
  • Represented an energy commodities company in an enforcement matter related to California's cap-and-trade market, helping to reverse a decision to expel the company from the market
  • Advised telecommunications-solutions company on San Francisco's antidiscrimination ordinance with respect to contract bidding process
Environmental Law
  • Advises multiple manufacturers and importers of FIFRA-regulated products and devices at every stage from preregistration to going to market
  • Assisted a major appliance manufacturer in avoiding penalties in a record-setting FIFRA enforcement action relating to allegedly mislabeled shipments
  • Advised a major glass packaging manufacturer in a regulatory enforcement action alleging violations of RCRA's sham recycling rule
  • Advised electronics component manufacturer in responding to regulatory inquiries related to EPA designation of an industry-essential chemical as a high-priority substance under TSCA
  • Advises a leading global provider of innovative supply chain solutions on environmental, health, and safety regulatory issues
  • Represented beverage bottler in obtaining settlement and dismissal of criminal complaint alleging violations of RCRA
Other Litigation and Disputes
  • Defended a global transportation firm to obtain dismissal of all claims in an action raising novel theories of liability for urban paratransit transportation providers
  • Represented individuals affiliated with the licensed gaming industry in overturning a state-law ban on political contributions on First Amendment grounds, obtaining summary judgment in federal district court and affirmance on appeal
  • Represents major workers' compensation insurer in defense of multiple ongoing law suits and regulatory actions
  • J.D., University of Michigan Law School, cum laude

    Articles Editor, Michigan Journal of International Law

  • M.S., International Relations, Troy University


  • 2020 Veterans Advanced Energy Fellow
  • 2019 Marshall Memorial Fellow
  • 2019 Swords to Plowshares’ Bill Brockett Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award
  • 2016 San Diego Homeless Court’s Pat Radburn Award 
  • 2015 New Leaders Council Fellow
  • 2014 Krantz Fellow
  • 2013 University of Michigan Geneva International Fellow
  • 2013 recipient of S. Anthony Benton Memorial Award for scholastic excellence in international & constitutional law
  • 2012 Helen L. Deroy Fellow for Scholarly Writing

Pro Bono

  • Helped develop and negotiate agreement to swap a debt in exchange for commitments to create and manage reserve area
  • Served as lead drafting counsel for the Legal Services Corporation's Veterans Task Force Report on access to justice for veterans
  • Successfully argued to restore the rights of veteran groups in the San Francisco War Memorial Veterans Building
  • Negotiated on behalf of a developing country party under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, including as a delegate to the 2015 climate change summit in Paris
  • Taught a course on pro bono to Mexican law students at Universidad Panamericana
  • Coordinated research team and drafted policy paper on direct democracy for the Public International Law and Policy Group and the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Advised nonprofit corporate clients on various regulatory and civil-legal issues


Media Mentions

Prior Experience

Before joining DLA Piper, Jesse served for 10 years in the United States Navy, where he received a commendation for his professionalism in completing over 100 international maritime interdiction operations in the Persian Gulf without incident. After leaving the Navy, Jesse studied at the University of Michigan Law School. While there, he and a classmate led a team of student researchers conducting pro bono legal research to advise the government of Nepal in its ongoing transition from a unitary monarchy to a federal democracy. During law school, Jesse also served as an extern and International Fellow to the United States Mission to the United Nations, in Geneva, Switzerland, where he supported the legal adviser’s office during the 22nd Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council. He was also nominated by Michigan Law School to serve as a clerk to the International Court of Justice.

Military Experience

Jesse served for ten years in the United States Navy. His service included two deployments to the Persian Gulf, where he was part of a team conducting boarding operations to ensure compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 986, for which he received a letter of commendation from Admiral Joseph Sestak.

Memberships And Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • International Bar Association
  • State Bar of California
  • San Francisco Bar Association
  • American Society of International Law
  • Pacific Council on International Policy
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars
  • Truman National Security Project Defense Counsel
  • DLA Piper Associate Advisory Council
Civic and Charitable
  • Board of Directors, BACK@YOU, a nonprofit dedicated to serving the unhoused citizens of St. Louis, Missouri
  • National Veterans Legal Services Program’s inaugural Advisory Council (former)
  • Swords to Plowshares Pro Bono Advisory Board (former)
  • OneJustice Advisory Board (former)
  • New Leaders Council