Tim has taken on the nation’s biggest insurers, major financial services companies, and media conglomerates, helping to achieve after-trial recoveries of over $1 billion for his clients. As a PhD linguist, he brings his proficient analysis of contractual and statutory text to fights in a wide range of practice areas, including insurance, complex commercial litigation, antitrust, civil rights, and bankruptcy litigation. 

Before co-founding Hoppin Grinsell, Tim practiced at O’Melveny & Myers LLP and Holwell Shuster & Goldberg LLP. In his commercial practice, Tim has guided clients through the course of litigation start-to-finish, from investigation to trial to appeal.  In his pro bono practice, Tim has sued to protect voting rights, authored multiple amicus briefs before the Supreme Court relating to criminal sentencing, and written white papers on New York’s surrogacy laws.  When a motion needed to be written swiftly and skillfully, Tim’s colleagues at his former firms turned to him.  

Tim graduated with honors from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was a Kirkland & Ellis Scholar and member of the University of Chicago Law Review. As the inaugural Joseph E. Green Scholar, he completed a dual JD/PhD in linguistics and continues to publish on the application of linguistic analysis to issues of legal interpretation.  He clerked in his hometown of Reno for the Hon. Larry R. Hicks on the United States District Court for the District of Nevada.


JD with honors, University of Chicago

  • Kirkland & Ellis Scholar
  • Joseph E. Green Scholar
  • Member, University of Chicago Law Review

PhD (linguistics), University of Chicago

MS (logic and computation), Carnegie Mellon University

AB magna cum laude, Dartmouth College


Hon. Larry S. Hicks, U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada


New York


U.S. District Courts

  • Southern District of New York
  • Eastern District of New York
  • Central District of California
  • Northern District of California

U.S. Courts of Appeals

  • Seventh Circuit
Presentations & Publications
  • Semantic Indecision, in Vagueness and Rationality in Language Use and Cognition, 135-152 (2019).
  • Changing Tides: Legalizing Surrogacy in New York, New York Law Journal (March 18, 2016) (with Pamela Miller and Valerie Cohen).
  • An Argument for Vagueness with Holes, in Proceedings of 20th Amsterdam Colloquium, 157-166 (2015).
  • The Best of All Possible Congresses (review of Richard Ekins, The Nature of Legislative Intent), The New Rambler Review (2015), online at http://newramblerreview.com/book-reviews/law/the-best-of-all-possible-congresses.