Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation LITIGATION/CONTROVERSY

Our seasoned appellate lawyers have argued 115 cases before the Supreme Court, including leading cases in areas such as antitrust, banking law, bankruptcy, communications, constitutional law, employment, energy regulation, federal preemption, patent, securities regulation and tax. We regularly handle matters in federal and state appellate courts throughout the United States, and have represented clients in over 35 patent and other cases in the Federal Circuit in the last two years. In 2011 alone, 33 different WilmerHale lawyers made a total of five oral arguments in state and federal courts, including six arguments by three different lawyers in the Supreme Court. Combining our trial and appellate strengths allows us to shape litigation strategy from the outset to maximize the likelihood of ultimate success. Clients also retain us to advise them on complex and often unsettled legal issues, no matter what the particular forum or context.

WilmerHale’s appellate practice group, with members in Washington DC, New York, Boston and Los Angeles, has been honored by Chambers USA every year since 2005. Chambers called our team a "bench of talent that is 'impressive beyond belief'" and cited our "built-in ability and knowledge to tackle appeals both before the state, federal and Supreme courts." According to The National Law Journal’s (NLJ) “Supreme Court Scorecard,” in the 2010 term WilmerHale had more Supreme Court wins than any other law firm, and achieved the highest win percentage of firms arguing multiple cases. The NLJ also recognized the group by naming it to the Appellate Hot List for the fifth consecutive year in 2012. The group has also been recognized as a leader in appellate advocacy by U.S. News/Best Lawyers, Benchmark and Law360, which recently named WilmerHale to its "Practice Group of the Year" series for 2013.

Contacts

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Waxman, Seth P.

Seth P. Waxman

Chair, Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation Practice Group

+1 202 663 6800 (t)

seth.waxman@wilmerhale.com

Wolfson, Paul R.Q.

Paul R.Q. Wolfson

Vice Chair, Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation Practice Group

+1 202 663 6390 (t)

paul.wolfson@wilmerhale.com

Publications & News

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March 11, 2014

U.S. Supreme Court Holds that Arbitrators, Not Courts, are Entitled to Interpret Local Litigation Requirements in Bilateral Investment Treaties

February 5, 2014

Patent Law and the Supreme Court: Certiorari Petitions Denied

WilmerHale compiles lists of certiorari petitions that raise patent-law issues. This page contains a consolidated list of all recently denied petitions, organized in reverse chronological order by date of certiorari petition.

February 5, 2014

Patent Law and the Supreme Court: Certiorari Petitions Granted

WilmerHale compiles lists of certiorari petitions that raise patent-law issues. This page contains a consolidated list of all recently granted petitions, organized in reverse chronological order by date of certiorari petition.

February 5, 2014

Patent Law and the Supreme Court: Certiorari Petitions Pending

WilmerHale compiles lists of certiorari petitions that raise patent-law issues. This page contains a consolidated list of all pending petitions, organized in reverse chronological order by date of certiorari petition.

January 30, 2014

Law360 Selects WilmerHale as “Appellate Practice Group of the Year” for Third Consecutive Year

WilmerHale’s Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation Practice was named by Law360 as “Appellate Practice Group of the Year” for 2013.

January 28, 2014

WilmerHale Named Life Sciences Practice Group of the Year by Law360

Law360 has named WilmerHale as a "Life Sciences Practice Group of the Year" for 2013 in its annual competition. Based on the firm's diverse set of knowledge in serving its life sciences clients, the firm is recognized for playing a major role in some of the year's most noteworthy corporate, intellectual property and litigation matters in the life sciences industry.

January 23, 2014

US Supreme Court Holds That a Patentee Bears the Burden of Persuasion on the Issue of Infringement in a Declaratory Judgment Action

The US Supreme Court unanimously reversed a decision of the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and held that the patentee bears the burden of persuasion on the issue of patent infringement in a declaratory judgment action brought by a licensee.

January 23, 2014

Intel Corporation and Somaxon Pharmaceuticals Succeed at the Federal Circuit

Last week, WilmerHale won two appeals at the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit–one for client Somaxon Pharmaceuticals and one for client Intel Corporation.

January 23, 2014

Significant Patent Case Ruling by Supreme Court a Win for WilmerHale

On January 22, 2014, the US Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of WilmerHale client Medtronic Inc., in Medtronic Inc. v. Mirowski Family Ventures, L.L.C.—the first patent decision of the court's 2013 Term.

January 22, 2014

WilmerHale Appellate Team Secures Supreme Court Victory in Hawaii Reapportionment Case

Members of WilmerHale's Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation Practice received a favorable decision for their client, the Chief Election Officer of the State of Hawaii et al., in Kostick v. Nago, No. 13-456.

Recognition

WilmerHale’s appellate practice and its individual attorneys are universally recognized areas as leaders in the field.

  • The National Law Journal included WilmerHale’s appellate group in the "Appellate Hot List” in 2013 for the sixth consecutive year. In addition, Fleming and Partner Danielle Spinelli both received the Appellate Lawyer of the Week recognitions, in 2011 and 2010, respectively.
  • Chambers USA 2013 recognized the firm's appellate practice with a top tier ranking nationally. Seth Waxman is cited as a star individual and praised as "the best in the country" and Paul Wolfson is described as a "widely experienced appellate lawyer." The group has been recognized by Chambers every year since 2005.
  • Law360 has named the group "Group of the Year” for three consecutive years (2011-2013) in their annual series recognizing firms that have played a key role in the significant matters that made headlines and changed the legal landscape within the past year. The publication also recognized Partner Mark Fleming as an "MVP of the Year” with distinction in appellate law.
  • According to the National Law Journal’s "Supreme Court Scorecard,” in the 2010 term WilmerHale had more Supreme Court wins than any other law firm, and achieved the highest win percentage of firms arguing multiple cases.
  • The Legal 500 United States ranked WilmerHale's appellate practice in the "Top Tier” in the 2012 edition of its annual guidebook, and commended the firm for its "superb pedigree before the US Supreme Court."
  • In U.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers2013 Best Law Firm rankings, our appellate practice ranked in the first tier nationally and in Boston and Washington DC.
  • WilmerHale received the National Legal Aid & Defender Association’s 2011 Beacon of Justice Award, recognizing firms that have innovative public partnerships that protect equal justice for all through appellate litigation.
  • Appellate Partner Seth Waxman was featured as a "Litigator in the Spotlight” in the February 2011 edition of American Lawyer for his work on United States v. Goyal.
  • Benchmark Litigation 2013 recognized WilmerHale’s appellate practice nationally. In addition, Benchmark Appellate 2013 specifically praised our Appellate and Supreme Court Litigation Practice with a first-tier national ranking and highly-recommended our group in Washington DC and in the United States Courts of Appeal for the First and Federal Circuits.

Experience

Recent practice highlights include:

  • Presented oral argument in four cases during the Supreme Court's 2011 Term. In Judulang v. Holder, partner Mark Fleming successfully challenged the Board of Immigration Appeals policy restricting the availability of relief from deportation; in a unanimous opinion, the Court ruled in favor of our client and nullified the Board's policy as arbitrary and capricious. In December, 2011, Partners Paul Wolfson and Seth Waxman argued cases on consecutive days in Messerschmidt v. Millender and Martel v. Clair. Finally, on January 12, 2012, Seth Waxman successfully argued in the closely watched FCC v. Fox Television, et al., which concerns the FCC's indecency rules for broadcast television. Ruling unanimously, the Court set aside the FCC's findings that television networks violated the agency's indecency rules.
  • Presented oral argument in five cases in the Court's 2010 Term, including achieving notable victories in two closely-watched patent cases before the Supreme Court. In Microsoft Corp. v. i4i Limited Partnership, the Court ruled that an alleged patent infringer’s invalidity defense must be proved by clear and convincing evidence. This outcome has a dramatic impact on the stability and value of patent rights, and the incentives to innovate across numerous sectors of the economy. The same week the Court also decided Stanford University v. Roche Molecular Systems, an opinion that was significant for, among other things, being the first patent case in which the Supreme Court affirmed the Federal Circuit notwithstanding the Solicitor General urging reversal. WilmerHale attorneys also argued Chase Bank USA v. McCoy, United States v. Tohono O'odham Nationand Turner v. Rogers.
  • Won the judgment of acquittal on all counts against our client, former McAfee Chief Financial Officer, Prabhat Goyal, in the Ninth Circuit. The decision is a resounding rejection of the government's case, finding that no jury could reasonably have reached a criminal violation. In a concurring opinion that takes particular exception with the government's pursuit of criminal charges for accounting and financial fraud, Chief Judge Kozinski noted: “Mr. Goyal had the benefit of exceptionally fine advocacy on appeal, so he is spared the punishment for a crime he didn’t commit. But not everyone is so lucky.” (United States v. Goyal)
  • Won a substantial victory in a nearly decade-long battle over patent rights for recordable/rewritable compact disks when the Federal Circuit—sitting en banc—affirmed the decision of the International Trade Commission. (Princo Corp. v. ITC)
  • Won a significant victory in the Supreme Court in 2010 on behalf of several ocean shippers in a case raising important issues of class arbitration under the Federal Arbitration Act. (Stolt-Nielsen v. Animalfeeds)
  • Continued our representation of inmates at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. In June 2010, we secured a victory in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit when it reversed and remanded the District Court’s denial of habeas relief to one of our pro bono clients detained at Guantanamo. (Bensayah v. Obama) The firm previously obtained a landmark victory in the Supreme Court, which held that Guantanamo prisoners have a constitutional right to habeas corpus. (Boumediene v. Bush)

Patent Cert. Petitions

WilmerHale compiles lists of certiorari petitions that raise patent-law issues. This page contains a consolidated list of all recently pending, granted and denied petitions, organized in each listing in reverse chronological order by date of certiorari petition.

Patent Law and the Supreme Court: Certiorari Petitions Pending

Patent Law and the Supreme Court: Certiorari Petitions Granted

Patent Law and the Supreme Court: Certiorari Petitions Denied

For more information on these petitions or other patent appeal matters, contact:

Joseph J. Mueller (+1 617 526 6396, joseph.mueller@wilmerhale.com)
Thomas G. Saunders (+1 202 663 6536, thomas.saunders@wilmerhale.com)
Leslie Pearlson (+1 617 526 6809, leslie.pearlson@wilmerhale.com)